You may know the Daytona Beach area for its beaches. And after all, they are wonderful! But you may be surprised to know that there are some celebrities who are from the Daytona Beach area, too. Just imagine growing up in an area of sun and fun, with loads of fun options all within an hour away.
Here are celebrities who are from the Daytona Beach area:
- Brian Kelley. He's part of the duo that makes up the popular country band Florida Georgia Line. He is from Ormond Beach and is a 2004 graduate of Seabreeze High School. He even played baseball for a year for Daytona State College. Oh, and the mayor of Ormond Beach (Ed Kelley) is Brian's dad. In July 2021, Brian released a solo song about being from Ormond Beach. The video was shot there, too.
- Ryan Lochte. As an Olympic medalist for swimming, Ryan Lochte has traveled the world, but he is a 2002 graduate of Spruce Creek High School, located in Port Orange in the Daytona Beach area. Lochte's father, Steve, owns Daytona Beach Speed Swimming, and serves as head coach, offering competitive swimming.
- Vince Carter. This NBA basketball player may be well known around the country for his skills on the court, but he's from right here in Daytona Beach. He graduated from Mainland High School in 1995. He also owns a restaurant in the area, called Vince Carter's, which is also located in Daytona Beach.
- Bob Ross. Famous for his great painting, he was born in Daytona Beach in October 1942. He ended up being raised in Orlando, but he got his start in Daytona Beach. Today, you can visit the Bob Ross Art Workshop and Gallery right down the road in New Smyrna Beach.
- John Travolta. Known for some big Hollywood hits like Pulp Fiction, he used to live in the Spruce Creek Fly-In community in Port Orange, just south of Daytona Beach. The fly-in community allowed those who own a plane to land it there and keep it in their own private hangar. Travolta had disputes with the HOA regarding the size of his airplane, which is likely the reason why he moved on (he now lives in Ocala, which is around 1.5 hours away), where he can land his big airplane without being harassed by an HOA.
- Chipper Jones. This professional baseball player was born in DeLand and raised in Pierson, in the metro Daytona Beach area. Chipper Jones played baseball in high school, but he got his start at the age of seven playing Little League in the DeLand area.
- John D. Rockefeller. The business mogul made Ormond Beach the destination for his winter home. Considered one of the wealthiest people in history, you can visit his winter home and take a tour of it. The Casements, as it is called, is located on the river in Ormond Beach, providing tours and hosting numerous events throughout the year. He also died in Ormond Beach in 1937.
- Mary McLeod Bethune. A pioneer when it came to civil rights and education, she started the Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in Daytona Beach with just $1.50. As time went on the school continued to grow and change, and merged with an all male school called Cookman Institute, to become what is known today as Bethune-Cookman University. The university is located in the heart of Daytona Beach.
These are not all of the celebrities or notable names that have hailed from the Daytona Beach are. But it gives you an idea of the variety of celebrities that have come from the area. There has been musicians, sports players, educators, and business legends who have all called this area home at one time or another!