5 Quirky Hidden Gems to Explore on Your Daytona Beach Vacation
From an ancient Indian burial mound to a Gnome tree, off-the-beaten-path excursions inspire and delight
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 14, 2019) – Quirky hidden gems and less-frequented local hangouts sometimes offer the best experiences and truest sense of a place, and Daytona Beach has plenty of each to explore.
1.) Learn the Legend of Brownie.
This Daytona Beach stray dog was "owned by no one, loved by all" — and was collectively adopted by the residents of the city from 1939 until his death in 1954. Visit his grave in Riverfront Park near the water on the corner of Beach Street and Orange Avenue. Learn more about Brownie’s famous story.
2.) See Some “Dinosaurs”.
A trip to Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens is unlike a visit to any other abandoned sugar mill — that much is for sure. Amongst the old mills, historic ruins and flowering trees, giant prehistoric dinosaurs loom quietly. After the mill was closed, the space became Bongoland, a pre-Disney theme park that was open from 1949 to 1952. Only a few remnants of that world remain, but it's always fun to surprise an unsuspecting visitor with the dinos!
3.) Go see the Holly Hill Gnomes.
For more than a decade, a local person has cared for the tiny gnomes that have “taken up residence” in an old tree. The Gnome Tree has since garnered international attention, and people come from all over the globe to leave notes with the gnomes. Whether wishing for healing or leaving a note to inspire a stranger, these letters have become a special tradition. Read more about the caretaker here.
4.) View Ormond Indian Burial Mound.
For a unique cultural experience, Ormond Indian Burial Mound is a spot right in the middle of a riverside neighborhood. Located at the corner of South Beach Street and Mound Avenue in Ormond Beach, this intact burial ground is estimated to contain over 100 individual burials and is thought to be over 1,200 years old.
5.) Go on an All-American Road Trip.
Daytona Beach has a stop on the historic Florida’s Presidential Campaign Trail: former President Warren G. Harding even had a winter home here. You can visit it, actually — it’s been transformed into a spot for Italian fine dining called The Cellar. Whether or not you try to hit every single one of the many cities on the official campaign trail, Daytona Beach is full of history to discover. In fact, Daytona Beach was named by TheTravel.com as one of the top places to go on a road trip in the U.S.
Want more ideas? We've got lots! Try the Top 10 Things to Do to get started.
About the Daytona Beach Area
Experience endless adventures in the Daytona Beach area, a destination comprised of eight distinct communities offering visitors the perfect beach base camp to explore Florida’s East Coast. Choose thrilling activities or embrace the tranquility of days spent on 23 miles of world-famous white-sand beaches. Recognized worldwide for a few annual events including Bike Week, Biketoberfest®, the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA and the DAYTONA 500, Daytona Beach’s famed heritage also claims the headquarters of LPGA and NASCAR -- and is home to Daytona International Speedway, the ‘World Center of Racing.’ With more than 12,000 beds, the destination boasts accommodations for all lifestyles and budgets from 4-star resorts to hotels, B&Bs and everything in between. Ranked #1 in Travel Channel’s 2017 “Top 10 Attractions in Florida, and a TripAdvisor 2018 Best Weekend Getaway in Northeast Florida. TripAdvisor also named Daytona Beach to its “10 Most Affordable Beach Vacations on Florida’s East Coast” and “25 Most Popular Summer Vacation Rental Spots in the US.” Visitors can enjoy experiences beyond the beach by choosing from a surprising list of outdoor adventures, family-friendly attractions, arts and cultural venues and a colorful culinary scene. With 23 miles of world-famous beaches ideal for swimming and surfing, it is no surprise Daytona Beach was chosen as a Best Florida Attraction and Best Spring Family Beach Break Destination in the Top 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award contests sponsored by USA TODAY. To receive a complimentary Destination Guide or book a stay, visit DaytonaBeach.com. For real-time updates, visit Facebook.com/DaytonaBeach or Twitter.com/DaytonaBeachFun.