When you picture your perfect beach vacation, what image springs to mind? Maybe you imagine quietly relaxing with a book for hours at a time. Maybe it’s all about non-stop splashing and riding waves with the kids. Perhaps your perfect beach day includes a long stroll with a stop for a snack and a cold drink at a beach bar along the way. 

With plenty of elbow room, a family easily bicycles along the hard packed sands of Daytona Beach

No matter what type of beachgoer you are, the Daytona Beach area has a beach for you! With 23 miles of famously wide, hard-packed beaches to choose from, there’s no shortage of elbow room for everyone to enjoy. Park on the beach or use off-beach parking in the pedestrian only zones. Find an on-beach food truck for an ice cream cone. Play volleyball with new friends, or tuck away behind a beach umbrella into your own paradise — your options are endless. And with the area’s excellent beachfront parks, there are plenty of fun things to do in the shade, too.

So what kind of beach experience are you in the mood for? Although there’s something to love about all the area’s beaches, they’re listed below with their top defining feature to help you find the perfect fit.

1) Most Peaceful Beach - Daytona Beach Shores

Sunglow Pier in Daytona Beach Shores during a peaceful sunrise

To the south, Daytona Beach Shores is definitely considered the quieter side of the beach, and boasts the perfect place to kick back, relax and unplug. Filled with a tangible sense of tranquility, this stretch of beach is ideal for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

2) Best Family-Fun Beach - Daytona Beach

An aerial view of the wide Daytona Beach coastline and the Daytona Beach Pier and Oceanfront Bandshell

Whether you’re grabbing a bite to eat on the Boardwalk or hosting an impromptu sandcastle competition for the kids, Daytona Beach is an iconic place to soak in new beach memories. If you’ve ever wanted to drive your car right on the beach, you can do just that very slowly on select sections of the beach.  Plus, in this area you’ll find a variety of casual restaurants and gift shops within steps of the sands. So pack a picnic, load the car and cruise right up to your on-beach parking spot for a full day of fun!

3) Best Nature Park Beach - Lighthouse Point Park

An aerial view of the majestic Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, Florida's tallest

Lighthouse Point Park in Ponce Inlet is a wild and wonderful place to experience a different side of the Daytona Beach area. This park is largely a natural preserve, resulting in vast areas of undisturbed land available for all to enjoy. Amongst the rugged natural beauty, you’re likely to come across an abundance of wildlife, too. From the dolphins that frequent the shoreline to the gopher tortoises that can often be spotted in sandy areas, it’s always an intriguing scene. Venture to the observation deck or access the inlet side of the waterfront with your furry friend — this portion is dog-friendly!

4) Most Nostalgic Beach - Ormond Beach

Rent an umbrella chair for a day and relax on Daytona Beach

There’s something about Ormond Beach that feels like a return to the good ol’ days. Brimming with unspoiled beauty and a classic beach town charm, Ormond Beach’s vibe is relaxed and stress free. On the way there, don’t miss the chance to take a ride along the Ormond Scenic Loop, a 34-mile route full of historic sites, natural beauty and miles of the canopy dripping in Spanish moss.

On every beach in the area, you can count on the fact that beach safety is paramount. In fact, Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue was named the 2016 Beach Patrol of the Year, the highest honor given by the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association.

And, no matter which beach you find yourself drawn to, you can’t go wrong — and you’ll have plenty of room to enjoy it, too. Miles of wide-open beach allow for several fun activities not available in other beach destinations. Here on these uncrowded beaches you’ll find that you have room to breathe.

So go ahead — pick a beach and start packing! Plan your trip today.