Thinking of moving to Daytona Beach? Here’s what you need to know.
Daytona Beach prides itself on being home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, with 23 miles of white, hard-packed sand. The wide, smooth shoreline became a perfect testing ground for high-speed automobiles in the early 1900s, which shaped the city’s identity as a racing mecca. The Daytona 500 is still held at the Daytona International Speedway, which is undergoing a $400 million renovation. But with a revitalized Main Street Pier and dozens of events year-round, fast cars aren’t the city’s only draw.
The permanent community of more than 60,000 residents in the city proper is fairly small compared to the 8 million visitors that frequent the family-friendly beaches annually. The large tourism sector has provided a lot in the way of jobs as well as quality restaurants and nightlife. There are also five institutions of higher education in the area: Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona State College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Keiser College and the University of Central Florida’s satellite campus. Combined, the more than 50,000 students add a youthful vibe to the city.
Daytona Beach is on the eastern, central coast of Florida, a short drive from St. Augustine and Orlando. The area is divided into eight communities. Ponce Inlet has an “Old Florida” style with seaside restaurants and the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse, the tallest in the state. Ormond Beach earned a reputation as a playground for the rich and famous around the turn of the 20th Century and still celebrates its racing heyday. Ormond-By-The-Sea and Wilbur-By-The-Sea offer quaint, residential areas. South Daytona lies along the Intracoastal Waterway. Similarly, Port Orange and Holly Hill boast beautiful riverfront views and parks.
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The arts scene in another beneficiary of the city’s revitalization efforts. The Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art opened in 2015, showcasing a $100 million collection of Florida-centric fine art. Next door, the Museum of Arts & Sciences recently completed work on a $1.6 million planetarium. The Daytona Beach Bandshell is still alive and well, holding free summer concerts in the original 1937 structure. There are dozens of nature parks to choose from for camping, fishing and water sports. Blue Spring State Park is a designated manatee refuge, as is Tomoka State Park, which also boasts 160 varieties of birds. And of course, the miles of beaches can’t be ignored. From the excitement of the rides at the Daytona Beach Pier to the quieter North Shore Park, there is a beach experience for everyone.