If you’re headed to Florida for your much-needed vacation, you’re in for a special treat when you stay at the Daytona Beach area. Imagine relaxing in a beachfront cottage where you can breathe in the ocean air and enjoy spectacular views. Alternatively, there are also rustic houses and spacious condos surrounded by native hardwoods and diverse wildlife. Home to the Daytona International Speedway, the Museum of Arts and Science, and the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse and Museum, Daytona Beach has plenty to offer. Book a stay at one of many Daytona Beach vacation rentals today to enjoy beach fun, shopping, dining, and exciting entertainment. Check out a few of the best places to visit in the Daytona Beach area.

1. Daytona Beach, Florida

A fabulous twenty-three mile stretch of white sandy beach is just the beginning of what Daytona Beach has to offer. Take a vacation rental here and you’re close to some of the best family activities, including the Marine Science Center, the Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory, and the Congo River Golf. You can also spend many happy days on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk with its amusement park rides, an arcade, food outlets, Friday night fireworks, and a gift shop.

2. South Daytona, Florida

South Daytona adds a different dimension to family vacation fun with the indoor ice arena where you can skate year-round in a cool 50 degrees. It’s a great place to cool off when the weather outside is hot. Wildlife enthusiasts and photographers can take the Blue Heron River Tour to cruise the quiet backwater areas of the St. John’s River and the Hontoon Dead River. The tour takes visitors past a manatee refuge and through an 1800’s cypress logging canal. Ge the kids to look out for baby and adult alligators and turtles when the tour stops for viewing and photo opportunities.

3. Port Orange, Florida

Stay in the Port Orange area and you’re surrounded by lush natural beauty. Hire kayaks to explore the wilderness waters of Cracker Creek. Visit Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens to wander amidst the azaleas, camellias, magnolias, palms, and succulents. The kids enjoy adventuring along cool paths through the fern-lined Asian garden to the children’s garden with near life-size stone dinosaurs and a herb garden shaped like Florida. Choose a vacation rental here and you’re also a short hop from the beach for some fun in the sun.

4. Holly Hill, Florida

The peaceful residential area of Holly Hill is a great place to learn about history as it’s home to a boxcar from the 1949 Merci Train. This is a historical reminder of the 49 boxcars packed full of tens of thousands of gifts from France that were sent to each of the states and Washington DC. Enjoy a family visit to see this iconic boxcar and learn more about its history. The collector in your family can also enjoy a visit to the Browse House, a business that buys and sells stamps, coins, and paper money.

5. Ormond Beach, Florida

If you’re a family of beach lovers, the area around Ormond Beach is a great place for a vacation rental. The beach parks let you and the kids enjoy fun in the sun from dawn til dusk. The Al Weeks Sr. North Shore Park with its dune walkovers and bike ramps provides restrooms with showers, picnic tables with grills, benches, and a water fountain. Andy Romano Beachfront Park features a splash pad, playground, pavilions, concessions, and restrooms. If your vacation rental isn’t within walking or biking distance to these parks, each provides off-beach parking areas.

6. De Leon Springs, Florida

Take a vacation rental cottage in De Leon Springs and you have a 625-acre park on your doorstep. The park has a swimming area that is accessible by stairs, ramp and a swimmer lift. Join in a Scuba diving class to explore underwater or go snorkeling. If you prefer staying above the water, rent canoes, paddle boats, and kayaks and take the family on an expedition through the lakes, creeks, and marshes of Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. A guided tour via Fountain of Youth Eco Tours includes narration by the captain, chances to ask questions, and photo-stops along the way.

7. Deltona, Florida

Make Deltona your vacation home-from-home and you’re in an enviable location as you’re a half-hour drive from Daytona Beach to the northeast and a half-hour drive to Orlando, to the southwest. Your family will think you’re the bomb when you announce a day-trip to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Closer to home, take the kids to the Lyonia Preserve to learn about restoring and maintaining habitat for the scrub jay and gopher tortoise.

8. Edgewater, Florida

Edgewater is just across the Indian River from the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve. If you book a vacation home here, make sure you pack your fishing gear as there are plenty of charter boats to take visitors freshwater or saltwater fishing, and Reel Native Boat Tours offer half-day fishing trips and tours to view manatee and other wildlife in the preserve. For something completely different, take the family to Cape Canaveral, just an hour to the south, where you can tour the Kennedy Space Center and, if you’re lucky, catch a rocket launch.

9. Deland, Florida

You can see the beauty of the Florida coastline from land, sea, and sky when you stay in Deland. Freedom Playground offers a large play area, a butterfly garden, the Burgess Building with historical exhibits, and a paved walking path. Take the kids to the Reptile Discovery Center to see lizards, alligators, tortoises, and snakes in natural enclosures.

10. New Smyrna Beach

If you are a family of nature lovers, make New Smyrna Beach your vacation home-from-home. Take a guided kayak tour and nature talk on the Indian River Lagoon. Go on a whale watching and dolphin watching boat tour or simply enjoy wandering around the Smyrna Dunes Park where you can take a dip or go fishing. Your family dog can join in the fun as dogs on leashes are welcome in the park.