by Steve Deal
One of the main reasons I live here in the Daytona Beach area is the beach itself! I only live about 1-1/2 blocks from the beach because there is nothing like it. It's beautiful, soothing, and fun. You will always find someone there looking for shells, getting exercise, or just hanging out in the sun. Daytona Beach is 23 miles of beautiful white sand, and beach driving is allowed on 11 of those 23 miles. Personally, I really like driving down the beach with the windows open, because I get to smell the salty air, check out all of the beachgoers, and feel the warm wind on my face. It's fun and relaxing. When I was in school here, I would always cruise the beach after a tough exam just to clear my head, and it always worked!
The beach in this area is a versatile one. If you want to get away from everyone and hang out by yourself or with a friend, it is easy to find a quiet, remote stretch of beach. However, if you want to be where the action is, you'll have no problem finding that, too. You can find areas that are enjoyed by families with kids, couples, seniors - you name it! But wherever you end up, expect to feel welcomed.
Daytona Beach offers lots of extras. Handicap vehicles get free access to the beach. I guess you could call that a perk! Everyone knows the best hotdogs are served at the ball game and at the beach, so when you're hungry, you'll find plenty of food vendors offering all sorts of tasty snacks and drinks. (No alcohol is allowed on the beach, by the way.) Vendors also rent beach chairs, umbrellas, surfboards, body boards, scooters and much more. Make sure you try out the complimentary Surf Chairs, available at the following lifeguard stations: Cardinal Drive (386) 676-4160, Main Street (386) 239-6484, south of Browning Avenue, Dunlawton Avenue Tom Rennick Park (386) 441-1544, Lighthouse Point Park (386) 756-7491 and Flagler Avenue (386) 424-2345. Surf Chairs provide beach mobility in a wheelchair - and they may change your whole outlook on going to the beach! For more information visit www.volusia.org
There are lots of Beach Access Ramps and parks where you can drive your vehicle onto the beach, and most of them are accessible for a wheelchair also. Occasionally the sand becomes very soft and a bit tricky to maneuver in with a wheelchair, so be careful. If being on the beach is not your preference, you might want to visit one of the many beachside parks that provide a stunning ocean view - without all that sand! Most parks offer showers and picnic tables, ramps and more.
Beach Rules: I know. Who wants to read the rules? Just a few things to remember...
- No alcohol is allowed on the beach.
- No pets, except at beachfront parks and must they must be leashed at all times also pet friendly beaches.
- 10 mph is the speed limit on the beach.
- Don't sit or lie in a traffic lanes. (Makes sense to me!)
- No cars are allowed on the beach at night.
- (That said, the beach is open 24/7 for pedestrians!)
- Barbecue grills are allowed. Be sure that any fires are contained to a grill, and please dispose of ashes properly once cooled.
- Bonfires on the beach: Volusia County has fire rings available free of charge and by reservation only:
- Frank Rendon Park - 2705 S. Atlantic Ave. - Daytona Beach Shores
- Tom Rennick Park - 1575 Oceanshore Blvd., - Ormond Beach
- Call the Volusia County Beach Patrol at (386) 239-6414 ext. 230 to reserve a fire ring and don't forget to bring the marshmallows!
Beach visitors are also permitted to bring their own bonfire pit as long as it's not sea turtle nesting season, May 1 - October 31. No permit necessary! All rules still apply.
Check out these links & information:
Emergency phone: 911
Non-emergency phone: (386) 239-SURF (239-7873)