15 Things to Do in South Daytona (FL)

South Daytona is located in north-central Volusia County on Florida’s Atlantic coast.

It is bounded by Ormond Beach and Daytona to the north, and Orange Harbor and New Smyrna Beach to the south.

At the last census, South Daytona had approximately 12,500 residents. It combines delightful small-town charm with close proximity to world-class natural, historical and recreational attractions, making it the perfect place to hang your hat as you explore the Sunshine State.

Here are 15 things you might want to check out in and around Daytona South.

1. Reed Canal Park

Reed Canal Park

Most parks are free and underutilized community resources and ideal places to relax between events.

Reed Canal Park is popular with locals, especially those with children. It boasts amenities such as an 18-hole disc golf course, playgrounds, ponds, and many walking and biking trails through peaceful forested areas. There is also a dedicated dog park.

On Saturday morning, the park’s pond was littered with remote-controlled boats that the kids seemed to find mesmerizing. At sunset, it’s a great spot for a relaxing picnic or an evening walk.

2. Hannah’s Family Restaurant

Hannah's Family Dinner

Florida has one of the largest retirees in the country, and the area around South Daytona is especially popular for its abundance of sunshine, warm weather and businesses serving seniors.

Hannah’s Family Diner is located on Reed Canal Road, not the exclusive country of snowbirds and old men. In fact, it is also popular with tourists and young residents.

Hannah’s is known for its traditional cuisine, generous portions and reasonable prices. Past guests have commented that they appreciate the comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere and attentive service.

3. Racing Legends

racing legend

Daytona Beach is arguably the most iconic racing destination in the country. During this season, it attracts millions of tourists from all over the world.

While tickets to the Daytona 500 are hard to come by and prohibitively expensive, the area offers a variety of race-related attractions, many of which are convenient and affordable.

Living Legends of Auto Racing is not only free to visit, but full of exhibits and memorabilia dating back decades.

The museum is located in Sunshine Mall. Although many guests stumble upon it, it often ends up being one of the most memorable experiences of their trip.

4. Daytona Beach Boardwalk

Daytona Beach Boardwalk

The Daytona Beach Boardwalk is located along North Ocean Drive in Daytona Beach and was originally built in 1938. Despite numerous upgrades and renovations over the years, it still retains much of its original charm.

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The boardwalk has attracted locals and tourists alike from the start, filled with shops, bars, restaurants, rides and arcade games, creating a theme park-like atmosphere.

Band Shell on the boardwalk hosts a variety of concerts and live entertainment, many of which are free.

There’s no better place to capture an unforgettable Florida sunset, so don’t forget to bring your camera.

5. NBalance Best Holistic Wellness Spa

NBalance Best Holistic Wellness Spa

With a dizzying array of massage areas and comprehensive wellness options to choose from, the NBalance Best Holistic Wellness Spa is a popular hotspot for those with an unbalanced breath and those who just want to feel younger and more relaxed than they really are.

Previous guests have commented on the patience and attentiveness of the staff and the variety of options available to them.

From aromatherapy and scalp massage to anti-aging and firming treatments, there is probably something for everyone, regardless of age. For those who lead busy and stressful lives, there’s no better way to start a vacation than with a little pampering.

6. Museum of Art and Science

Art and Science Museum

The Museum of Art and Science on South Nova Road in Daytona Beach houses tens of thousands of works of art, making it one of the largest attractions of its kind in the state.

The museum’s collections have works of various international influences, including Cuba, South America, and China.

Exhibits also include many craft sports and American pieces, such as vintage teddy bears, quilts, and toy cars from decades ago.

The museum also has a dedicated children’s area; its interactive exhibits touch on science, the natural world, aviation, and technology, and it’s known for keeping kids engaged for hours on end.

7. Jackie Robinson Ballpark

jackie robinson ballpark

In 2014, the Jackie Robinson Ballpark on City Island in Daytona Beach celebrated its 100th anniversary. Although it started small and has had several different names over the years, the stadium still harks back to a bygone era.

It has undergone various expansions and renovations over the years and is historically significant as it was the site of the first professional comprehensive baseball game.

That historic game took place after World War II, and the stadium is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While it’s still a well-functioning ballpark, it’s also now a sports and civil rights museum.

8. Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway is a world-renowned racing icon, and while not all visitors are lucky enough to get tickets to the speedway’s famous races, it’s still possible to learn about the impressive facility and its unrivaled history.

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Tour options are plentiful, and given the number available, finding one that fits nearly every visitor’s schedule and interests is usually not a problem.

Generally speaking, tour times vary from 30 minutes to several hours. Part of the highway is a museum that includes racing equipment and memorabilia, cars, photos and multimedia presentations.

9. Ormond Brewing Company

Ormond Brewing Company

Ormond Brewing Company is located on Division Street in Ormond Beach, described as a beer lover’s utopia, just a short drive from South Daytona.

Featuring a variety of craft beers, from dark stouts and porters to light and refreshing wheat and IPAs, there’s likely to be something to tempt just about every taste bud. Their restrooms usually have around 20 different varieties to choose from.

Ormond Brewing does not serve food, but guests are encouraged to bring their own. Like many breweries, food trucks are often found on this land offering delicious, cheap food.

10. Ponce de Leon Lighthouse and Museum

Ponce de Leon Bay Lighthouse and Museum

At nearly 180 feet tall, the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Florida, and the original structure was constructed nearly two centuries ago.

While most of the current lighthouse is not original, it has been lovingly restored to resemble its historic appearance. It is now a museum dedicated to preserving the state’s rich seafaring history.

The grounds consist of the lighthouse and other historic buildings that once housed the breeder’s family, as well as other equipment needed to keep the lighthouse functioning.

Large group and educational tours are available, but you need to book before visiting.

11. Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Centre

Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center

Although much of Florida’s Atlantic coast has been developed, there are still some opportunities for those interested in experiencing the region’s natural state — but they’ve become harder to come by over time.

The Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center is located on Division Avenue and includes a variety of environmental and animal-related exhibits that are informative and fun.

The center is open to the public free of charge every day except Sunday and Monday. On days when they offer guided tours or classes, they may be closed, so it’s best to check online or give them a call before going on a special tour.

12. Richard Petty Driving Experience

Richard Petty Driving Experience

Richard Petty’s name is one of the most recognizable drivers in NASCAR history. The driving attraction that bears his name is one of the most exhilarating and adrenaline-pumping activities most visitors experience when traveling to the Sunshine State.

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There aren’t many venues where the average Joe can drive a 500+ horsepower race car and tools around a world-famous track. Considering the uniqueness of the experience, it’s not overpriced.

There are also accompanying options for those who want to experience incredible speed but would rather drive with a professional.

13. Smyrna Dunes Park

Smyrna Dunes Park

The beach is one of Florida’s biggest attractions, and for many vacationers, it’s where they spend most of their time.

Smyrna Dunes Park is located on North Peninsula Avenue in New Smyrna Beach, at the scenic confluence of Ponce Bay, the Indus River and the Atlantic Ocean. It is much less developed than the parks and beaches in many other areas.

The park includes long beaches, scenic sand dunes and a variety of diverse ecosystems connected by trails open to walkers, cyclists and runners.

It is common to see wildlife in the park, and it is also popular with fishermen and boarders.

14. New Smyrna Historical Museum

New Smyrna Historical Museum

The New Smyrna Historical Museum houses one of the most complete collections of historical objects in the region associated with the mid-Atlantic coast, including natural and historical exhibits, offering guests a wider range than most museums.

Most guests found the creation part of the area to be the most interesting. It is not known that Scottish doctors were among the first Europeans to settle in the area.

The museum is housed in a historic post office building from the 1930s, and most guests spend one to two hours visiting it in its entirety.

15. Canaveral National Seashore

canaveral national seashore

While a little drive south of Daytona, the Canaveral National Seashore is well worth a visit for travelers interested in immersing themselves on wheels in some of the state’s most pristine barrier islands and coastal environments.

The reserve includes more than 20 miles of idyllic beaches, as well as sand dunes, estuaries and lagoons with a rich diversity of flora and fauna.

Don’t expect to find a Starbucks, Ferris wheel, buffet or surf shop, but do expect magnificent ocean views, lots of blue skies and lots of unrestricted sea breezes.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in South Daytona, FL (FL)
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