Travel Travel Tips

Daytona Beach Family Fun: A Complete Guide to a Day on Daytona Beach

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on
July 28, 2019

During our recent 6-day Disney vacation to Orlando, Florida, we had the opportunity to undergo a full day of Daytona Beach family fun!

Perhaps you too are heading to Daytona Beach as a chance to catch some waves during a Disney World non-park day?

With many nearby beaches to choose from, we chose Daytona Beach for classic family fun while having the chance to drive and play on its iconic hard-packed white sand.

If you’re going on a family vacation to Daytona Beach, or perhaps just visiting for 1-day, this post will describe how to experience a perfect day of Daytona Beach family fun.

From where to park, what to expect, and things to do, these practical Daytona beach planning tips will have you covered!

Discover exactly what to do, where to park, and where to play on Florida's Daytona Beach! A popular destination for a non-theme park day, Daytona Beach family fun is sure to be amazing with our practical guide! #DaytonaBeachfamilyfun #thingstodoatDaytonaBeach #DaytonaBeachFlorida #DaytonaBeachwithkids #wheretogoinDaytonaBeach
Width of Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach Family Fun: Introduction

Daytona Beach is located on the Atlantic Ocean in the city of Daytona Beach, Florida. The beach is known for its 23 miles of expansive shoreline and hard-packed white sand.

One of the best things about Daytona Beach is its enormous size.

Not only is the beach 23 miles long, but the shoreline is 500-feet wide at low tide. What this means for beach-goers is plenty of elbow room to lounge and play while undergoing hours of Daytona Beach family fun!

Planning tip: A popular place to visit on a Disney vacation non-park day, many people question the distance from Disney to Daytona Beach.

Daytona Beach is located 73 miles from the Disney theme parks and takes a drive time of approximately 1hr 15 min.

From Disney: Follow Interstate 4 East for approx 53 miles. Take the exit on the left onto I-95 N toward Jacksonville. Take exit 261 for US-92 toward Deland/Daytona Beach.

Additional information: Its hard-packed sand made Daytona Beach a mecca for motorsports in the early 1900s.

Car races took place directly on the beach for over 50 years.

Daytona Beach is still known as the World Center of Racing through the ‘beach tracks’ were replaced by Daytona International Speedway in 1959. As the current home of NASCAR headquarters, car racing is still the main draw to Daytona Beach, Florida.

Beach spalsh pad
Andy Romano Park splash pad on Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach Amenities

When visiting Daytona Beach, its best to actually select from 1 of its 10 beachfront parks as your beach day base camp for your day of family fun.

Though the beach itself is one physical location, it includes a multitude of different parking lots, pavilions, and other amenities spread throughout its 23-mile expanse.

Basically, choose a beachfront park as your starting point and head to the ocean from there. You can’t miss it!

The wide array of Daytona Beach parks offer families endless hours of entertainment with the conveniences of shade, picnic areas, pavilions, restrooms, and kids’ splash pads.

In addition, we found that each and every pavilion area was safe, clean, and very well-kept. An added bonus was the presence of a small playground and snack shop as well.

The following provides a list of the beachfront parks on Daytona Beach.

Planning tip: We parked, stayed, and played at Andy Romano Park whose pavilion can be seen in the photo below. This was a fabulous area and had every amenity imaginable for a perfect day of Daytona Beach family fun!

Discover exactly what to do, where to park, and where to play on Florida's Daytona Beach! A popular destination for a non-theme park day, Daytona Beach family fun is sure to be amazing with our practical guide! #DaytonaBeachfamilyfun #thingstodoatDaytonaBeach #DaytonaBeachFlorida #DaytonaBeachwithkids #wheretogoinDaytonaBeach
Andy Romano pavilion on Daytona Beach

Parking

There are literally thousands of free public parking spaces at numerous locations adjacent to Daytona Beach.

If not parking at one of the oceanfront parks, another great option is the Ocean Center Parking Garage. This parking garage is located at Ocean Walk Shoppes and right across from Main Street Pier.

Planning tip: Andy Romano Park has a free pavilion parking lot, as well as a beach parking on-ramp. Double bonus if you’re not quite sure which to choose.

On-beach parking

Because of Daytona Beach’s incredibly expansive beaches, there are still select sections where driving on the beach is allowed.

Beach driving is one of the most popular and iconic activities visitors have come to enjoy as part of their Daytona Beach vacation. After all, this is what has made Daytona Beach so famous!

The designated beach parking areas and entrances are well marked and are open from one hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset (tidal conditions permitting).

Driving on the beach comes with a small fee of $20 per vehicle which allows for an entire day of beach driving and parking. 

A beach driving speed of 10 mph is enforced. You must also well drive with your headlights on, window down, with no cell-phone use or texting.

Planning tip: If you are visiting Daytona Beach with children and concerned about safety, you may want to choose a traffic-free zone.

The small traffic-free section of beach in front of Andy Romano Park was perfect for our family.

With driving zones located on either side of it, we were still able to watch vehicles beach driving without them being close to where we were playing and sitting. (Plus we saved $20 by not parking on the beach.)

Daytona Beach parking map
Beach parks and parking: Photo courtesy of Volusia County

Accessibility

Daytona Beach is well-known for the consideration and importance that it places on being highly accessible for all.

For those needing assistance, beach wheelchairs are available for free. They are found on a first-come-first-serve basis from any of the four lifeguard stations. Likewise, additional beach mobility equipment is available from Beach Mobility Rentals.

You should know that handicap vehicles get free access to driving on the beach. If choosing to park at a handicap accessible beachfront parks (see above map), they include ramps to get down to the beach.

Daytona Beach Family Fun: Boardwalk and Pier

The Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier is a classic old-fashioned, all-American oceanfront experience!

A combination of many family-operated businesses, the Boardwalk offers gift shops, snack bars, restaurants, and a classic arcade. Another highlight of the Daytona Beach Boardwalk is the nightly street performers!

Centrally located along the Daytona Beach Boardwalk, the Pier is one of the area’s most recognizable landmarks. Also known as Main Street Pier, the Daytona Beach Pier has been standing since 1925!

Planning tip: Fishing is allowed on the east end of the pier 7 days a week from March 16 – October 31, 7 AM – 7 PM, and November 1 to March 17, 7 AM to 5 PM. There is no charge to fish on the pier.

Daytona Beach Vendors and Rentals

When you’re hungry, you’ll find plenty of food vendors offering all kinds of tasty food, snacks, and drinks.

Our family favorite was a visit from an ice cream truck, and yep! Right onto the beach!

Vendors also rent beach chairs, umbrellas, surfboards, bodyboards, scooters, and much more. They are positioned all across the 23 miles of oceanfront in close proximity to the park pavilions and on-ramps.

Disney non-park day-beach
Daytona Beach ice cream truck vendor

More Dayton Beach Family Fun

If you’re looking to spend more time in Daytona Beach, Florida, there is a lot more to do!

Not only are there multiple family-friendly attractions in Daytona Beach, but many of them happen to be free.

Drive on or around Daytona Beach in style with a variety of golf carts, scooters, motorcycles, bicycles, and Sling Shots rentals.

Additional activities include the Daytona Lagoon waterpark, Screamer’s Park amusement park, or a tour of the Daytona International Speedway!

For the absolute best deals on where to stay in this area, browse and book here!

Booking.com

If you enjoyed reading about Daytona Beach family fun, click here to check out our Related Posts:

Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*

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Discover exactly what to do, where to park, and where to play on Florida's Daytona Beach! A popular destination for a non-theme park day, Daytona Beach family fun is sure to be amazing with our practical guide! #DaytonaBeachfamilyfun #thingstodoatDaytonaBeach #DaytonaBeachFlorida #DaytonaBeachwithkids #wheretogoinDaytonaBeach
Discover exactly what to do, where to park, and where to play on Florida's Daytona Beach! A popular destination for a non-theme park day, Daytona Beach family fun is sure to be amazing with our practical guide! #DaytonaBeachfamilyfun #thingstodoatDaytonaBeach #DaytonaBeachFlorida #DaytonaBeachwithkids #wheretogoinDaytonaBeach
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5 Comments
  1. Reply

    Leah

    August 5, 2019

    Daytona Beach sounds like a great beach for families! Great tips!

    • Reply

      Jen

      August 5, 2019

      Thanks! Yes, we loved it there!

  2. Reply

    Margie

    August 5, 2019

    A very useful post! We lived in FL for years and never visited!! Now that we drive down to visit family, we’ve thought about stopping here. Thanks for the tips on where to park.

    • Reply

      Jen

      August 5, 2019

      You’re welcome! I was quite overwhelmed at first due to its size, so was happy to fill everyone in on what to expect 🙂

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    Hi, I’m Jen!  Welcome to Travel With A Plan!

    I’m an avid adventurer who is always planning the next family vacation for my husband and I, and our three boys!

    As an advocate for family travel with kids of all ages, I am a firm believer that traveling together helps keep families healthy and happy at home!

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    TMOM Travel Writer
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