Beach Baby, Beach Baby, Nerds on the Sand
April 16, 2010 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Daytona Beach! I'm there for a conference all next week. I've been there before, but this time we'll have a car. Looking for restaurants, especially lunch, and any suggestions on attractions (although we won't have tons of time for outside activities).

-We're staying near the Ocean Center on the Peninsula.
-Last time I was there I thought there was kind of a dearth of shops and restaurants near the Ocean Center, but we'll be able to drive to close-but-not-walkable places this time around.
-We're flying into Orlando - Best way to drive from Orlando to Daytona? Take the extra time and drive along the coast?
-Any decent and not-too-spendy dinner locations? (Especially seafood, since we, uh, seem to have a lack of that in the Midwest.) We'll probably have dinner out only one or two nights.

I was not that impressed with Daytona when I was there 3 years ago. Maybe you need to be a spring-breaker or a biker or a racing fan to enjoy the town to its fullest? Any suggestions that would make this trip more enjoyable would be greatly appreciated!
posted by sararah to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I-4 is really the best way. 92 can be kind of fun but really not worth it.

it would be a weird and out of the way to drive along the coast. I think Daytona as an area is best played by thinking of it as the south rather than the beach. Take 40 back into the national forest and check out the springs, etc, etc. Maybe go down to the lighthouse in Pt Orange there is a bar near there right on the inlet where I had many a fried grouper sandwich - but while I could drive there with my eyes closed I'm not sure I could give anyone directions. Drive up A1A to St. Augustine if you have the chance.
There is also the Ormond Loop which is kind of a fun drive.

And of course the beach - but drive away from Daytona proper for that.

But yeah - it kinda sorta sucks
posted by JPD at 10:41 AM on April 16, 2010

My aunt and uncle live in north Daytona (Holly Hill) but I've never been very fond of the area. The beaches to the north in Ormond are nice, no cars, some shells. My cousin works at Carribean Jack's restaurant, she says it's good. My uncle likes a place called Our Deck Down Under (on the Intracoastal at Dunlawton Ave). Last time I was over there we drove down the coast to Ponce Inlet to watch a space shuttle launch. It took about an hour to drive to Ponce Inlet and it's a pretty cute little place. There is a nice beachfront park, a lighthouse and a marine science center.
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 8:56 PM on April 16, 2010

goof luck, you're in chain land :) go to Beach Street (actually by the river IIRC), by 92. There should be some decent places there. Further west on 92, Carrabbas is decent.
posted by spacefire at 9:15 PM on April 16, 2010

to get to Daytona from the airport, I4 is the best but can turn into a nightmare on short notice.
You can take I528 to Cocoa and then drive up on 95 but that won't be any more scenic than I4 and would take a bit longer. (can't believe I remembered 528 (just checked on google maps), I have a great memory for numbers but not for anything else)
posted by spacefire at 9:18 PM on April 16, 2010

Forget the chains - you MUST go to the Boondocks - make sure you order the fried fish reuben - you won't be dissapointed.

The next time I'm in Daytona Beach, I will go to Aunt Catfish's - I've heard nothing but good things about this place, but couldn't wait the hour it would take to get a seat (and that was mid week) - call ahead or make reservations.

Have fun!
posted by walleeguy at 6:19 PM on April 17, 2010

Oops - forgot to mention to answer the "something to do" part of your question. Go to the Daytona Beach Flea Market - if you are into that type of thing. It's huge, and great for people watching. Look for the guy selling pickles - he has about 12 different types - my favorite was the habanero flavored ones! Lots of stuff to buy - and I found the prices very reasonable too.
posted by walleeguy at 6:26 PM on April 17, 2010

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