2 Day Trip in Daytona Beach, Florida: 12 Places To Eat, Play, Stay

Daytona Beach Shores, Florida

Welcome to Daytona Beach, the “World’s Most Famous Beach” stretching 23 miles of white-sand beaches! There is much to love about Daytona Beach, offering a unique combination of sports, racing, entertainment and dining on a beautiful beach setting.

Did you know? Daytona Beach ranked for Travel Channel’s 2017 Top 10 Attractions in Florida, TripAdvisor’s Best Weekend Getaway in Florida and USA Today’s Top 10 Best Reader’s Choice travel award for Best Florida Attractions.

Welcome to Daytona Beach Sign in Florida

Daytona Beach is also conveniently located so it’s 30 minutes away from West Volusia for some old Florida adventures, and 1 hour from the oldest city in USA, St. Augustine.

I have had a strong affinity to Daytona Beach ever since I was a kid. Back in 1996, one of the very first PC games I played was Daytona USA, which I was hooked on as a kid, never realizing that one day I would be standing on the actual speedway.

Car on the the Beach at Daytona Beach Shores, Florida
Beach driving is popular in Daytona Beach.
You can drive on the beach to a maximum of 10mph

I was very excited to have a two day trip to the area, which I’m sharing all about here. Suffice to say, two days is definitely not enough! The Daytona Beach area consists of seven cities: Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, Ormond Beach, Ormond By The Sea, Ponce Inlet, South Daytona and Holly Hill.

To put things to perspective, the Riverfront Shops of Daytona Beach alone has more than 60 shops and restaurants to explore and try! Plus, there’s also a new multi-million dollar world-class entertainment district, ONE DAYTONA, that offers retail, dining, entertainment and lodging options.

Beach view from Sunglow Pier in Daytona Beach, Florida

This two-day itinerary will showcase some of the best things to do, restaurants and accommodation in Daytona Beach area including Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, Ormond Beach and Ponce Inlet. Perfect for a Weekend Getaway to Daytona Beach!

12 Things To Do, Where To Eat and Stay in Daytona Beach, Florida:


Daytona International Speedway

Website / Address: 1801 W International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
All Access Tour Price: $26 (Ages 13+), $20 (Ages 5-12)

When people hear Daytona, racing is one thing that comes to mind. Aside from its beaches, Daytona Beach area is widely known for racing, being the birthplace of speed in Ormond Beach. Did you know? Speed racing started on the beach in 1903 when two people wanted to see whose cars were faster.

Landscape of Infield of Daytona International Speedway
The first Daytona 500 took place in the speedway back on February 27, 1959.

You cannot miss the Daytona International Speedway, one of the most popular attractions in Daytona Beach and home to the most prestigious race of NASCAR, the Daytona 500.

Start your day by taking the Daytona International Speedway All Access Tour at 11:30am (or 10:30am). This 90 minute-tour takes you around the near 500-acre motorsports complex while learning all about racing, the speedway and more. Travelling Foodie Tip: Allot at least 2 hours!

Curved Track of Daytona International Speedway

I highly recommend doing the tour as this is a great experience even if you’re not into racing. I felt the rush and excitement just being there, and can only imagine the energy when races are happening.

As part of the tour, you’ll actually get to be on the 2.5-mile infield track. The guide will even drive on the track so you can feel how steep it is.

Travelling Foodie Raymond Cua on the Infield Track at Daytona International Speedway
You get to feel how steep the turns are! This turn has a 31 degrees banking.

You’ll also get to visit the popular Gatorade Victory Lane, where the winning driver celebrates after.

Gatorade Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway

Visit the Fan Zone where fans get to watch the race at ground level up-close on the track. You might even get the opportunity to enter one of the garages to see real race cars.

NASCAR Race Cars
Inside the NASCAR Race Car

Step into the media room to see where your favourite racers are interviewed, and how the media work to share the news.

Travelling Foodie Raymond Cua at Daytona International Speedway Interview Panel
Interviewer: How is your racing career?
Me: I will race you to the restaurant!

You’ll end the tour at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, a 10,000 sq-ft hall dedicated to American motorsports: cars, motorcycles, off-road, powerboats and airplanes.

Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Daytona International Speedway

Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach

Website / Address: 918 N Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118

Have lunch at Sessions, the beach restaurant inside the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach. Be sure to sit outside so you’ll get panoramic views of the beach and Atlantic Ocean.

Blue Lemonade at Sessions in Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach, Florida
Seaside “Blues” Lemonade ($11) – Absolut Citron, Absolut Mandarin, Lemonade, Sierra Mist, Blue Curacao

When in Florida, you’ll want to try the Rock Shrimp as it’s mostly found in the Gulf of Mexico. They are quite different in bite and texture, which is more similar to that of lobster than regular shrimp.

The Bleu Cheese Glazed Tater Tots are also a must-order if you love tots or fries! It’s full of flavour from the bleu cheese, balsamic drizzle and bacon.

Rock Shrimp, Tater Tots and Mule at Sessions in Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
On the table (top to bottom): 1. Rock Shrimp ($14) – tempura, chili-garlic 2. Hard Rock Mule ($12) – Absolut Elyx, Ginger Beer, Lime Juice 3. Bleu Cheese Glazed Tater Tots ($7) – bleu cheese crumbles, bacon, balsamic drizzle

A great appetizer that doubles as a main is the Mussels which was so delicious with the Pernod cream sauce and parmesan.

Mussels at Sessions in Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
Mussels ($17) – Pernod Cream Sauce, Toasted Baguette

After lunch, check-in to the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach, a luxury modern hotel with 200 rooms.

Wall of Rock at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
Wall of Rock” features guitars from artists who have performed at the hotel.

Make sure to book an Oceanfront room because the views are just amazing!

Bedroom at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
Balcony from Hard Rock Hotel Bedroom

Before dinner, enjoy the hotel’s swimming pool or head straight to the beach (the hotel has direct access to it).

Swimming Pool at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach

Wine-Me

Website / Address: 204 S Beach St, Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Head to Daytona Beach Downtown to Riverfront Shops of Daytona Beach in the historic Beach Street. Start your night by wine-ding down at Wine-Me, a locally owned wine and tapas bar.

Lounge Area at Wine-Me

Wine-Me carries a wide variety of wines from all over the world, and the selection changes monthly. They also server cheese and charcuterie platters, tapas, fondue and flatbreads to pair with your wine.

Cheese, Charcuterie and Red Wines at Wine-Me
On The Table: – Trentadue La Storia Zinfandel from USA – Sailor’s Grave Cabernet Sauvignon from USA – Cheese and Charcuterie Board: white Vermont cheese, spicy capicola, mortadella

Travelling Foodie Tip: On Wednesdays, they have free wine tasting from 5-8pm!

White Wine Tasting at Wine-Me in Daytona Beach, Florida
White Wine Tasting: – Ponga Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – La Fiera Pinot Grigio from Italy

Ichi Ni San Asian Grilled Ramen & Sushi

Website / Address: 246 S Beach St, Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Head one street along the Riverfront Shops of Daytona Beach for dinner at Ichi Ni San, one of Daytona Beach’s new restaurant which opened in July 2018.

Ichi Ni San Asian Grilled Ramen & Sushi serves Asian food specializing in Thai and Japanese cuisine with the owners themselves are Thai and one of the chefs is Japanese.

Sake Cocktail at Ichi Ni San in Daytona Beach Riverwalk, Florida
Sake Cocktail

Be sure to check out their Special Menu. When you see Wild Caught Blue Fin Tuna, order it! I love sushi and blue fin tuna is my favourite. I was so happy when I saw the Blue Fin Lover Set from the Special Menu. The fish was very fresh and melts, and the fish-to-rice ratio was right.

Blue Fin Tuna Platter at Ichi Ni San
Blue Fin Lover ($24.95) – 3 pcs tuna sushi, 3 pcs tuna sashimi, 8 pcs spicy tuna roll with o-toro, chu-toro and akami from Wild Caught Blue Fin Tuna

If you like raw fish, you’ll love it here because the fishes are very fresh. We enjoyed the Sear Sesame Tuna and the Signature Poke Bowl, which had salmon, tuna and yellowtail (hamachi).

Seared Tuna at Ichi Ni San Asian Grilled Ramen & Sushi
Sear Sesame Tuna ($12.95)
Signature Poke at Ichi Ni San in Daytona Beach, Florida
Ichi Ni San’s Signature Poke ($18.95) – tuna, salmon, hamachi, tamago, masago, scallion, edamame, wakame, ginger and cucumber on top of Japanese Sushi Rice with ICHI Poke Sauce

Travelling Foodie Tip: I recommend going through the Special Menu paper and the Special Menu boards on the walls first. The regular menu can be quite overwhelming with over 5 pages of dishes to choose from.

When I looked through the Special Menu boards, I saw what I wanted and that was the Soft Shell Crab Stir-Fried with Thai Curry Sauce. I love soft shell crab, but it’s not common to find in restaurants. When I do find it, it’s usually in a Japanese restaurant made deep-fried tempura style.

Therefore, I was curious when I saw it was made as a Thai dish that wasn’t deep-fried. This one didn’t disappoint. The dish was full of flavour with the Thai curry that I loved mixing it with the rice.

Soft Shell Crab at Ichi Ni San in Daytona Beach, Florida
Soft Shell Crab Stir-Fried with Thai Curry Sauce ($24.95) – 2 whole jumbo softshell crab tempura stir-fried in wok with Thai creamy curry sauce, egg, onion, scallion, celery, bell pepper and Thai chili paste
Japanese Donut at Ichi Ni San
Japanese Doughnut with Matcha and Strawberries

Crabby Joe’s Deck & Grill

Website / Address: 3701 S Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118

Wake up early on your next day to catch the beautiful sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean! Best of all, you don’t even need to get out of your room at the Hard Rock Hotel. You just open your balcony.

Sunrise at Daytona Beach, Florida
Sunrise at Daytona Beach usually occurs around 6:30am.

I love how restaurants in Daytona Beach maximize the beach setting. At 7am, head to Crabby Joe’s Deck and Grill, an over-the-water restaurant at the Sunglow Pier.

Crabby Joes at Sunglow Pier in Daytona Beach, Florida

Enjoy breakfast with a view! Crab Cake Benedict is not common to find as well since most eggs benedict options are typically bacon, ham or salmon. The crab cake was full of sweet crab meat and little to no fillers.

Crab Cake Benedict at Crabby Joes at Sunglow Pier in Daytona Beach, Florida
Crab Cake Benedict ($13.99) – served with cheese grits (+$0.50)

Be sure to check out the Sunglow Fishing Pier as well which is directly behind Crabby Joe’s. It has great views looking into the city.

Bird at Sunglow Pier in Daytona Beach, Florida

You can buy baits and rent a rod there to go fishing. The best part is you can get Crabby Joe’s to cook the fish you caught too!

Fillet and Descale Fish at Sunglow Pier in Daytona Beach
Adult Fishing ($7), Children under 12 Fishing ($3), Rod Rental ($3/hr, $7/day)

Daytona Beach Parasail

Website / Address: 4936 S Peninsula Dr, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127
Price: $69 (600 ft), $79 (800 ft), $89 (1000 ft), $99 (1200 ft)

Arrive 9am at Daytona Beach Parasail for a unique way of seeing Daytona Beach! Though I’ve done skydiving before, this was my first time parasailing, and I LOVED IT!

The experience is so different from skydiving! It’s not what I expected at all. Once you’re high up, it actually becomes peaceful and still. It’s actually rockier on the boat. Plus, the 360 views of Daytona Beach was just breathtaking

Lady waving Father and Son parasailng in Daytona Beach, Florida

This adventure is fun for all ages (minimum 5 years old)! No maximum limit. They said the oldest they had was someone in their 90s. When I did it, there were two 75 year old ladies (best friends) who were trying to check it off their bucket list.

Father and Son Daytona Beach Parasailing

If you don’t want to do it, you’re still able to join the boat ride (as long as there’s space). I still think it’s a good idea because you’ll get a nice boat ride on the water, get to see how parasailing works, get a chance to see some wildlife (we saw dolphins), and even see some funny antics the guide do when someone’s parasailing.

Guy fake cutting the cord at Daytona Beach Parasailing
It takes about 1 minute per 100 ft of line to be released.

End your parasailing with a splash! The guides will ask if you want to dip into the water before they bring you back to the boat. I recommend you do! It’s just fun, and also a nice way to cool off if the weather is hot.

As an extra bonus, your parasailing ticket gives $5 off at Ocean Deck Restaurant & Beach Club when you spend $25 or more. Limit 2 per party.

Travelling Foodie Raymond Cua knee deep in water at Daytona Beach Parasailing

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum

Website / Address: 4931 S Peninsula Dr, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127
Price: $6.95 (Age 12+), $1.95 (11 and under), Free (up to 2 years old)

Just next door from Daytona Beach Parasail is the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, a National Historic Landmark visited yearly by over 170,000 people. Did you know? Ponce Inlet Lighthouse was first known as Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse because of the large amount of insects in Ponce Inlet.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Museum at Daytona Beach, Florida

Unlike its neighbour St. Augustine Lighthouse which is the oldest lighthouse in Florida, this 1887 Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is Florida’s Tallest Lighthouse and the second tallest masonry lighthouse in the USA at 175 feet with 203 steps! It is also a National Historic Landmark.

Framing Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
Framing the beauty of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse from the Daytona Beach Parasail shop.

Aside from the lighthouse, the museum also gives access to the lighthouse keepers’ dwellings and other historic light station buildings. One of the most popular building is the Ayers Davies Lens Exhibit Building which showcases restored fresnel lenses from around the world.

Fresnel Lens Museum at Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Museum
The Fresnel Lens collection includes the Cape Canaveral lighthouse’s rotating first order Fresnel lens and the restored original Ponce Inlet lighthouse first order Fresnel lens.

Off The Hook at Inlet Harbor

Website / Address: 133 Inlet Harbor Rd, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127

For lunch, head to Off The Hook at Inlet Harbor, a waterfront restaurant that opened in January 2018 as the second location to its original New Smyrna Beach location.

The restaurant is huge with a seating capacity of 400 people: 220 on the 6,500 sq. ft. outdoor deck and 180 inside. Boaters can even access the restaurant through the dock.

Fresh Oysters at Off The Hook at Inlet Harbour Raw Bar & Grill
Dozen Raw Oysters ($MP) – Indian River Oyster Company from New Smyrna Beach (left half) and Galveston Bay oysters from Texas (right half)

As the restaurant name implies, definitely do seafood here since fresh local seafood is what they do best! You’ll find the list of Fresh Catch of the Day on the chalkboard by the main entrance.

Make sure to try their Rock Shrimp which were fresh and shrimply delicious with just the simple garlic butter.

Rock Shrimp at Off the Hook at Inlet Harbour in Daytona Beach, Florida
Rock Shrimp ($15) – a dozen split and broiled rock shrimps with garlic butter and seasoned breadcrumbs

I enjoyed my first poke taco in St. Augustine, and I’m back at it again here! I’m still surprised I haven’t seen this much in Toronto. The poke taco was very flavourful and I loved the tropical taste with the pineapple mango chutney.

Hamachi Poke Tacos at Off the Hook at Inlet Harbor
Poke Tacos ($14) – two flour tortilla filled with seared Yellowfin Tuna, toasted macadamia nuts, scallions and avocado on top of shredded iceberg lettuce and pineapple mango chutney. Served with fries, coleslaw or onion rings

Grouper is one of the most popular fishes in Florida because it’s available to catch all your round. You’ll always find it on seafood restaurants as Fresh Catch. Since Off The Hook specializes in Caribbean-infused flavours, I had the Blackened Grouper, which was blackened with Cajun spices.

Blackened Grouper at Off the Hook at Inlet Harbor
[Fresh Fish of the Day] Blackened Grouper ($MP) – served with two sides

Enjoy the food with their selection of beer from Florida breweries like Ormond Brewing Company and New Smyrna Brewing Company. Travelling Foodie Tip: They have Live Music on Friday to Sunday.


Sweet Marlays’ Coffee

Website / Address: 214 S Beach St, Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Head to the Riverfront Shops again for coffee at Sweet Marlays’ Coffee, a locally owned coffee shop that’s one of the best coffee shops in Daytona Beach. It can also be considered a bakery as they make pastries and desserts in-house daily.

Try a Cuban con Leche which is not common to find in coffee shops. You can enjoy some board games while sipping on your coffee too!

Chess and Cuban con Leche at Sweet Marlays' Coffee
Cuban Con Leche ($3.45)

Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory

Website / Address: 154 S Beach St, Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory has been a Daytona Beach staple for chocolates since original owners Riddell Angell and Cora Phelps closed their original Michigan location after World War II and moved to Daytona Beach to open the store.

When you enter, you enter chocolate heaven! I loved browsing through the different chocolates they have. They have some uncommon ones like chocolate covered applewood smoked bacon and chocolate covered chips.

Chocolate Dipped Apples at Angell and Phelps Chocolate Factory in Daytona Beach
Did you know? Angell and Phelps uses 500 cocoa pods for 1lb of chocolate.

Perhaps a first time for me was hearing of chocolate treats for dogs. They use white chocolate for these treats since white chocolate doesn’t have cocoa so it is not bad for dogs.

Catch the complimentary factory tour at 3pm. In this 20-minute tour, you’ll learn about the history of chocolates, lessons in chocolate making and see how they are made at Angell & Phelps through large windows overlooking the factory.

I was surprised to learn that they still do everything by hand, which makes their chocolates even more special.

Guy coating chocolates at Angell and Phelps Factory Tour
They mark the chocolate as a way to keep track of the flavour

The best part is, after the tour, you’ll get to sample two chocolates of your choice from the platter.

As a bacon lover, I just had to try the chocolate covered bacon. Bacon makes everything better, and it is still the case here! I highly recommend trying it to see. I love the mix of sweet and salty flavours.

The same goes for the chocolate covered chips, which I ended up buying a bag to take home. They use Martin’s Sea Salt Potato Chips for these. And they’ve found a way to perfect the procedure so the chip stays crispy and doesn’t crumble when being coated by chocolate.


Grind Gastropub & Kona Tiki Bar

Website / Address: 49 W Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32174

Take a break by exploring more of the Riverfront Shops, or go back to the hotel to rest or head to the beach.

Head to downtown Ormond beach and start your night with cocktails at Kona Tiki Bar at the Grind Gastropub. This outdoor tiki bar is the largest of its kind in the area.

I loved the atmosphere here with its intricate tiki masks and carvings, palm leaf thatch roofing, and the fun casual vibes. It’s definitely a place I see locals hanging out regularly.

Bar area at Kona Tiki Bar

Travelling Foodie Tip: You don’t have to worry about parking because there is complimentary valet parking off of New Britain Avenue.

Try their specialty cocktails while enjoying live music, which they have nightly except Sundays.

Blue Lemonade Cocktail at Kona Tiki Bar at Ormond Beach, Florida
Disco Lemonade Cocktail ($9) – mango and lemons

Rose Villa Restaurant, Southern Table and Bar

Website / Address: 43 W Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32174

For dinner, head next door to Rose Villa Restaurant, a historic hotel turned restaurant serving Southern-inspired cuisine. Ask locals for the best fine dining restaurant in Daytona Beach or Ormond Beach, and Rose Villa would be a common answer.

As you enter, you feel like you’re transported back to a Victorian house in the 1920s with custom wallpapers and ceilings, and multiple artworks reminiscent of Florida’s history hanging on the walls. Make sure to check out the washroom. It’s a casual restaurant, but the atmosphere is intimate and fine dining. It shares the same valet parking as Grind Gastropub and Kona Tiki Bar so you don’t need to worry about moving your car.

Upstairs they have a Parisienne bar, the Upstairs Absinthe and Dessert Bar, where you can try house-made desserts and absinthe cocktails. The good thing is you can still order them from the dining room. It’s rare to find Absinthe cocktails in restaurants.

Absinthe cocktail at Rose Villa Restaurant, Southern Table and Bar
Hemmingway’s Mistress ($10) – Absinthe Rubra, lime juice, ginger simple, champagne

Their most popular appetizer is the Rose’s Deviled Eggs which you have to try! Before dinner, when locals learned we were going to Rose Villa, they immediately tell us to order this. Our server at Kona Tiki Bar even told us she gets three of this when she dines there.

The egg yolk was creamy but you get a crunch from the crispy pork belly, which adds a nice salty flavour to the egg as well. Highly addicting!

Deviled Eggs at Rose Villa Restaurant in Daytona Beach, Florida
Rose’s Deviled Eggs ($6) – house recipe, crispy pork belly, red cabbage chow chow, olive oil crunch

I wanted to try the Scallop Marsala since I’ve only had Marsala as Chicken or Veal Marsala in Italian restaurants so this was quite unique. The Marsala cream sauce was different than what you’d be used to in chicken marsala. You’ll even notice this in the color where the one here is white when it’s typically brown.

Traditional marsala sauce has a mix of garlic, onions, mushrooms and herbs to create the sauce. The marsala cream sauce here focuses more on the marsala and the cream for a lighter tasting sauce, which is perfect for the scallops since it doesn’t mask the scallop’s taste but adds to it.

Pan Seared Scallops at Rose Villa in Ormond Beach, Florida
Scallop Marsala ($12) – scallops, leeks, bacon, marsala cream sauce over crostini

They are popular for their Signature Fried Chicken. If you love those, you’ll want to visit Monday night when they have all-you-can-eat Signature Fried Chicken.

Southern Fried Chicken at Rose Villa Southern Table & Bar in Daytona Beach, Florida
Signature Fried Chicken ($20) – house recipe 1/2 fried chicken, whipped potatoes, collared greens, gravy

Be sure to ask what the Chef’s Fresh Catch is! I loved the Chilean Sea Bass here. It was perfectly cooked with the meat still oily but not falling apart.

Patagonian Toothfish at Rose Villa in Ormond Beach, Florida
[Chef’s Fresh Catch] Chilean Sea Bass ($MP) – shrimps, risotto, lobster sherry cream

Their most popular dessert is The Hummingbird, a unique cake that’s a combination of banana and pineapple. It feels like eating a carrot cake and a banana cake combined. I was surprised that it was a small sized cake instead of a slice, so it’s perfect for sharing.

House-Made Cake at Rose Villa in Ormond Beach, Florida
The Hummingbird ($14) – moist banana & pineapple cake, layered & frosted with cream cheese icing, shredded coconut, toasted pecans

Hope this two-day travel guide to Daytona Beach, Florida helps you plan your next trip with the best things to do, where to eat and stay in the Daytona Beach Area!


Daytona Beach, Florida: 2 Day Guide with 12 Best Things To Do, Restaurants and Accommodation including Daytona International Speedway, Hard Rock Hotel, Crabby Joe's, Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory, Daytona Parasail, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Rose Villa Restaurant.

This post was sponsored with Visit Florida. As usual, reviews and opinions are 100% entirely my own.

You can learn more about Visit Florida thru their website, or find them in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

2 thoughts on “2 Day Trip in Daytona Beach, Florida: 12 Places To Eat, Play, Stay

Comments are closed.