What’s new? The real question should be, what’s not new in the Daytona Beach Area? There are more exciting hotel, attraction, dining, and shopping options than ever. Now is the perfect time to (re)experience all that Daytona Beach has to offer. Whether it’s endless activities or calm, quiet days spent sunbathing and beachcombing, you’ll find just what you’re looking for in a Florida vacation along the 23 miles of world-famous iconic shores of Daytona Beach.
New Attractions and Renovations
The Daytona Aquarium & Rainforest Adventure will be opening in Daytona Beach in early 2024 and will be the destination’s first aquarium offering an interactive educational experience featuring animals from both land and sea. The 55,000-square foot facility will include close to 40 separate exhibits including a 100,000-gallon shark exhibit and two touch pools including a 12,000-gallon stingray touch pool. There will also be habitats for alligators, frogs, and lizards, oh my! The indoor rainforest will be open at a later in phase 2 and will feature primates, sloths, and tropical birds.
Hugging the Intracoastal Waterway, the Riverfront Esplanade is a premier gathering space and botanical garden in downtown Daytona Beach. Composed of more than a mile of waterfront running trail with comfortable benches and swings overlooking the Halifax River, the Riverfront Esplanade also features a dog park with an agility course and a state-of-the-art splash pad. Get engrossed in the southern end walkways that run through a creek with waterfalls, gardens with flowers, plants and trees and picnic tables that overlook the water.
The Marine Science Center, which is located in Ponce Inlet just celebrated the opening of its new Raptor Education and Conservation Exhibit. Funded by a Volusia ECHO Grant and community donations, the exhibit is dedicated to the permanent raptor residents of the center, who, due to injuries, cannot be returned to the wild. The carefully crafted habitat provides a safe and enriching environment for these majestic birds.
Additionally, the center will soon complete a renovation of their exhibit which pays tribute to the history of the Volusia County’s Artificial Coral Reef program and educates visitors about its importance. Vital marine habitats are created by placing the remains of ships, barges, culverts, airplanes, concrete utility poles and other large items on the seafloor. The exhibit is an artificial reef modeled after a real ship – the 150-foot Lady Philomena – that began serving as a man-made habitat off county shores in June 2018.
Pickleball anyone? Pictona at Holly Hill, which opened in July 2020, is a world-class venue that is the largest pickleball facility on the east coast of Florida. The state-of-the-art campus, which was recently named one of the top 25 great places to play pickleball in the United States by Pickleball Magazine, features 49 pickleball courts, 13 of which are covered, and one of which is a Championship Court with seating up to 1,200 spectators during tournaments and 1,500 for entertainment events. A new addition to the facility is a nine-hole putting course, which is free to the public and available anytime during operating hours.
The Museum of Arts and Sciences, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum, has new exhibits planned for 2024 as well as a renovation of its state-of-the-art Lowell and Nancy Lohman Planetarium. The new exhibits include Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived (Feb. 3 through July 21), where you will literally walk through the 60 foot beast to explore the world of this gigantic prehistoric shark that once commanded the world’s oceans, Planetarium 2.0: Bringing Space Down to Earth (June 29-Sept. 1), and Audubon’s Birds of Florida at the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art (Sept. 21 through March 2).
The Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center completed significant renovations to its lobby, box office and art gallery as well as new seats in its auditorium. They will re-open in February with a performance by Grammy-nominated Victor Wainwright and the Train.
Welcome to Rockville
Get ready to rock! Welcome to Rockville, one of the biggest rock music festivals in the United States, returns to Daytona International Speedway on May 9-12. The festival is bigger and better than before and is adding a fifth stage and will feature 150 bands in total over four days. The musical lineup for 2024 edition of Welcome to Rockville will include Foo Fighters, Mötley Crüe, Slipknot, Jelly Roll, Disturbed, Limp Bizkit, Queens of the Stone Age, Judas Priest, Greta Van Fleet, Evanescence, Falling In Reverse, A Day To Remember, Breaking Benjamin, Bad Omens, The Offspring, Mudvayne, Koe Wetzel, Stone Temple Pilots, Primus, Cypress Hill, Sum 41 and many others.
New Accommodations and Stunning Renovations
Come find your new home away from home. Expected to open in 2024, the Renaissance by Marriott Daytona Beach Oceanfront on 640 North Atlantic Avenue offers modern hotel accommodations with private balconies, high-end seafood restaurant, state-of-the art design, multi-floor parking garage with valet parking services, infinity pool, oceanfront ballroom with amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean, and outdoor event space.
New Airline Service
Low-cost carrier Avelo Airlines has recently begun non-stop service twice per week between Daytona Beach International Airport and two new destinations – New Haven, CT (HVN) and Wilmington, DE (ILG).
New and Renovated Dining Options in the Daytona Beach Area
Billy’s Tap Room, located beachside on Granada Blvd. in Ormond Beach, is scheduled for reopening in 2024. Billy’s Tap Room is one of the original restaurants of Ormond Beach with a history dating back to 1922. Now under new ownership, this storied restaurant will have a fresh reopen and keep that same historic feel that made it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The menu will include seafood and steaks along with beer and wine on tap and live entertainment.
The 44-room Streamline Hotel, a historic beachside art deco-style boutique property that once hosted the meeting that launched NASCAR, has opened a new restaurant named Victory Lane. Enjoy a twist on some old favorites with hand-crafted cocktails and fresh-made menu items.
The racing themed Brickyard Lounge & Grill in Daytona Beach completed interior renovations and unveiled an updated menu. Known widely throughout the community for their hamburgers and chicken wings, this legendary spot also features an extensive collection of racing memorabilia.
Racing’s North Turn Beach Bar and Grille in Ponce Inlet, which sits on the exact location where racing history began in the Daytona Beach area, completed an impressive renovation. The restaurant has an expansive deck overlooking the beach for dining, features live music and displays a collection of racing photos and memorabilia for you to enjoy.
Whether you prefer thrilling activities or embrace the tranquility of days spent on 23 miles of world-famous white-sand beaches, you’ll agree with these with outstanding reviews. The Daytona Beach area ranked #1 in Travel Channel’s “Top 10 Attractions in Florida” and was named a Tripadvisor Best Weekend Getaway in Northeast Florida. TripAdvisor also named Daytona Beach to its “10 Most Affordable Beach Vacations on Florida’s East Coast” and Tripadvisor travelers named Ormond Beach, the northernmost Daytona Beach area beach, one of the “Top 25 Beaches in the U.S.” Visitors can enjoy experiences beyond the beach by choosing from a surprising list of outdoor adventures, family-friendly attractions, arts and cultural venues and an eclectic culinary scene.
To receive a complimentary Daytona Beach Destination Guide, find a place to stay, or book your next adventure, visit DaytonaBeach.com. #LoveDaytonaBeach.