Daytona Beach: World's Most Famous

Robert Ramstetter By Robert Ramstetter, 10th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Florida

Daytona Beach has something for everybody, whether it is beaches, bikers, or bikinis, you can find it there.

Daytona Beach: World Famous in So Many Ways

At the mention of Daytona Beach, Florida, everybody will have a different image. For some, Daytona Beach means miles of hard packed sand and gentle rolling waves where even a novice surfer can learn the sport. Others imagine endless people watching. Still, others think of Spring Break, Bike Week, and automobile racing. After all, some of the early speed records were set on Daytona's hard packed sand beach.

Dubbed as the world's only drive on beach, Daytona is still quite safe for small children. The ten mile an hour speed limit is strictly enforced and the traffic lanes are out of harm's way. In days gone by, it was possible to drive nearly the entire length of the beach in the sand. In more recent years, however, the driving area has been broken up because the beach has become increasingly narrower due to beach erosion and rising sea levels. While other beaches across the world cope by various beach nourishment projects, Daytona faces a unique problem. The hard packed sand that gives Daytona its trademark beach driving is not easily replaced. Local city officials realize the need to find a solution soon before the beach will have to be closed to traffic. Already, beach access to vehicles is limited to low tide.

Central to Daytona Beach is the pier and boardwalk. A nearby band shell hosts a local symphony, free to the public, where visitors can enjoy classical music under the stars with the soothing sound of the nearby waves. For those who want a little more action, the arcade section is the place to go to see and be seen. A restaurant and lively nightclub is found on the pier itself for those who wish to party the night away.

If quiet evenings suite your taste, a stroll along the beach is just the thing for you. If you are lucky enough, a full moon rising over the water conjures images of everything from pirates to sea monsters. Even better still, a distant storm over the ocean will put on a dazzling light performance that no fireworks show can ever hope to match.

While Daytona Beach hosts several theme weeks, such as "Bike Week", and Spring Break, for the most part, it still retains its family friendly atmosphere. Many of the hotels and motels feature activities for children and young adults, including poolside games and barbecues. Even without these attractions, the beach itself will entertain and delight children of all ages.

The gentle rolling surf is generally safe for everyone, including small children. For those times when it is not, the lifeguards stand vigilant, ready to assist anyone in need. During low tide, tidal pools frequently form, providing a natural wading pool for small children. The small fish that become trapped until high tide usually prove to be too difficult for them to catch, but that doesn't stop them from trying.

When people of any age become tired of playing in the surf, there are always sand castles waiting to be built. Personally, I have been to many, many beaches throughout the world, and I find the sand at Daytona to be the best for building sand castles. A word of caution, though: It can be addictive. What may start out as a tiny pile of sand that you absent-mindedly scooped out may be a towering mountain or castle several hours later. Make sure you either bring something for scooping the sand, or find a shell because the sand is quite abrasive. Your fingers will get sore and blistered in no time. I found that out the hard way.

While no ocean beach is entirely safe, Daytona poses no particular danger as long as normal precautions are observed. Even though the crime rate is low, visitors should exercise the normal precautions. Keeping your room locked and stowing valuables out of sight should be done wherever you go. Also, I would not recommend walking the beach at night alone, particularly the ladies. For water safety, you must remember that it is the Atlantic Ocean, not a pool. Just because they have lifeguards on duty who keep a vigilant eye on the water does not mean that they can keep everybody safe under all circumstances.

When people think of ocean hazards, sharks most often come to mind. While no ocean beach is completely immune to shark attacks, Daytona swimmers have little to fear. While there are occasional shark sightings, they are typically sand sharks or even lemon sharks, neither of which is typically aggressive. The three most common hazards are jellyfish, unexpected ocean currents, and the sun's ultraviolet rays. A little bit of caution goes a long way. For the ocean currents, the best advice is to obey the lifeguard's orders. They are trained to spot dangerous currents and will alert you whenever you are in danger. Heed their warnings, even if you don't believe the danger is real. You do not want to find out the hard way that they were right. Taking precautions against jellyfish stings is easy. They typically infest the waters during unusually calm conditions. The best advice is that if you see them stranded on the beach, they are probably in the water too. If you hear people yelling as they get stung, it is a pretty god sign that jellyfish are present. The most common injury at the beach is sunburn. While it is usually just a minor inconvenience, severe cases may necessitate medical treatment and can lead to permanent scarring. Sunscreen and common sense are the two most important preventative measures.

Something for Everybody

Driving on the sand is not the only feature that makes the beach unique. The gentle, barely noticeable slope of the shore into the water allows you to walk gradually into the shallow surf. As you venture deeper, the waves increase in size. Almost anywhere along the shore, a small child can be seen running to the water's edge, only to make a hasty retreat as the next wave approaches. Indeed, it is common to see people walking in the shallow surf, carrying their shoes on the way to dinner, and not getting their pants wet. As you venture out into increasingly deeper water, the waves get higher, enabling even the novice to become a seeming champion at body surfing. Farther out, surfers are able to ride the waves over a good distance.

Over the past several years, Daytona Beach has experienced rapid development. While some of the smaller, family-orientated motels are sadly falling victim to the wrecking ball, more sophisticated hotels are taking shape. However unfortunate it is for the visitor seeking the smaller ocean side motel, something positive is happening. Daytona has always been a vacation destination with an identity crisis. In days past, a simple drive down A1A would prove that. There were so many places named after other places that it seemed as though Daytona wanted to be something that it was not, rather than being what it was. For instance, you had motels such as the Jamaican Inn, the Sought Seas Motel, the Hawaiian Inn, and so forth. With the latest development, Daytona has finally recognized that people are coming to the area for what it is, not as a substitute for other places.

Unlike most places that mainly cater to one type of crowd or another, Daytona Beach comfortably accommodates any visitor. Whether you are a retiree looking for peace and quiet, a family seeking some time together, or a younger group of singles in search of a good party, you can find what you are looking for at Daytona Beach.



Beach, Daytona, Family Vacations, Resort

Meet the author

author avatar Robert Ramstetter
Robert Ramstetter is a world traveler and writer of short stories, full length novels, and a vast array of technical articles.

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author avatar Mutimut
26th Oct 2014 (#)

Nice post, keep writing and sharing.

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