If you are visiting the Daytona Beach area and have a vehicle, either because you drove here or will be renting a car, you may want to check out some interesting areas within an hour away. The beach is wonderful and will be there when you return, but if you want a break during the heat of the day, or if it's gloomy and not the best beach day, there are options. Planning of these places into your Daytona Beach vacation will add to the enjoyment of your trip.
These are five interesting places that are all within about an hour from the Daytona Beach area and are worth taking the time to visit:
- Canaveral National Seashore. The Canaveral National Seashore is within a short drive from the Daytona Beach area and offers a great opportunity to see undeveloped beaches and go hiking. The beaches in the area have not been developed, so there are no big buildings or hotels lining the shore. All you see is beautiful beach. There are also several hiking trails you can take while you are there, including one that is on a boardwalk and leads to the top of a Native American shell mound. Read more.
- St. Augustine. The historical aspect of this city makes it well worth the trek there. It's the oldest city in the nation and has a lot of places for you to explore. Visit the old fort, take a trolley tour of the city, and stroll down St. George Street to visit the shops and restaurants, and just enjoy the day. It's a beautiful city with a lot of culture and history, and plenty of things to do.
- White Sands Buddhist Center. About a half an hour or so drive from the Daytona Beach area you will find the White Sands Buddhist Center, located in Mims. They have the largest Buddha statues in the state. They are big and they are beautiful. They do offer services and retreats, but they do invite people to just stop by anytime during the day to stroll the beautiful serene grounds and take some photos. Read more.
- Alexander Springs Recreation Area. Located around an hour away from the Daytona Beach area, Alexander Springs is a gem in the Ocala National Forest. The natural spring is pristine, beautiful, and offers summer visitors the opportunity to for swimming, snorkeling, and cooling off in the cool water. The area is absolutely beautiful and the springs are clean, cool, and refreshing. There are also hiking trails to check out. Read more.
- Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. This destination is around an hour south of the Daytona Beach area and provides a wonderful look at Florida wildlife and natural beauty. You can hike, kayak, or just take the scenic route through Black Point Drive. Along the way you are bound to see a wide variety of wildlife, wildflowers, and more. Be sure to stop off at the manatee observation deck to see if you can catch a glimpse of one of those amazing animals. You can even catch a glimpse off in the distance of where the rockets launch from at NASA. Read more.
You already know about all the theme parks, such as Disney and Universal, that are within an hour or so from the Daytona Beach area. These places listed here are not as known, but are great places to check out. They are all affordable places to visit, provide natural beauty and history, and are waiting for you to explore them. Add one or more of these destinations to your next Daytona Beach vacation and you will not be disappointed!