Daytona Beach, famous as the “World Center of Racing” and home of NASCAR, is part of the East Central Florida greater metropolitan area. Daytona Beach is the best known of the seven area communities. Although the wide 23-mile (37km) stretch of white sandy beach is still the biggest attraction here, with over 8 million visitors flocking to the area every year. The metro area is rapidly changing from event Mecca to family oriented resort destination. Historical sites like the Main Street Pier, the Oceanfront Boardwalk and the Clocktower in Oceanfront Park add to the appeal of this exciting city.
Daytona was founded in 1870 by Matthias Day, from whom it takes its name. It was incorporated as a city in 1876. The separate towns of Daytona, Daytona Beach and Seabreeze merged to form Daytona Beach in 1926. In the 1920s, the city became known as The World’s Most Famous Beach.
Daytona’s wide beach of smooth, compacted sand attracted automobile and motorcycle enthusiasts beginning in 1902, when pioneers in the industry tested their inventions. On 8 March 1936, the first stock car race was held on the Daytona Beach Course. In 1959, William France created Daytona International Speedway to replace the beach course.
Automobiles are still permitted on the beach — at much slower speeds! Daytona is one of the few places in the world where a family car can be driven on an ocean beach.
The city of Daytona Beach sits on the breezy shore of the Atlantic Ocean and is split in two by the Halifax River. It is bordered on the north by Holly Hill and Ormond Beach and on the south by Daytona Beach Shores, South Daytona, and Port Orange.
Daytona Beach has a humid subtropical climate typical of the lower latitudes. Summers are hot and humid with highs usually in the 90s (32+°C)and a heat index often exceeding 100°F (38°C). Thunderstorms are frequent in summer afternoons as the heat builds, and quick summer downpours are common. Warm and sunny weather prevails in Daytona Beach in September, October, and November with highs in the upper 70’s F and low 80’s F and warm ocean surf temperatures.
Winters are generally dry, sunny, and mild, with high temperatures in the upper 60’s F and lows in the middle 40’s F. Occasional cold fronts make it all the way south down the East Coast to give Daytona Beach a few cool days with highs only in the low 50’s F and lows in the middle 30’s F, although freezes are rare. Temperatures in spring are famously pleasant with warm afternoons, cool evenings, and less humidity. The beach season in Daytona Beach normally runs from early March to late November.
- Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats – The Wildcats play baseball at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
- Daytona State College Falcons – The Falcons compete in five Division I NJCAA sports including Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Baseball, Fast Pitch Softball and Women’s Golf.
- Daytona Tortugas, E Orange Ave, ☎ +1 386 257-3172. The Cincinnati Reds’ affiliate in the Class A Advanced Florida State League plays at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Eagles – The Eagles baseball team plays on campus at Silwa Stadium. The Eagles basketball and volleyball play on campus at the ICI Center. There is also the Eagles Soccer team and Eagles Tennis team.