My Memorial Day weekend trip to Florida was almost a bust due to the Alberto storm. I normally visit the beaches along the Gulf Coast such as Treasure Island, St. Pete, Clearwater, and Siesta Key. The Gulf Coast had rain on the radar for the entire weekend. Something told me to check the Atlantic side and it was a go!
The only dilemma was deciding between Daytona Beach and Coco Beach. I picked Daytona because it is a straight shot off I-4. Thanks to storm Alberto, Daytona Beach will be my #1 choice when I go to visit my Mom and Dad.
This is a quick list of what I loved about Daytona Beach:
1. Driving on the beach
A $20 fee will give you access to park your vehicle between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. I left earlier because the tide was getting too close for my comfort. Although I am a great swimmer, I was not trying to get swept away.
2. Daytona Beach Main Street Pier
Compared to Clearwater’s Pier 60, Daytona’s Pier allows you to walk to the end of the pier and fish without any fees. The pier also has a few restaurants.
3. Daytona Beach Boardwalk
There are souvenir shops, arcades, restaurants, and Screamer Park Amusement rides along the boardwalk.
The Daytona Beach Bandshell offers free weekend concerts in the summer.
Food trucks on the beach made my day! The fruit I packed in the cooler was less appealing after buying a “loaded” funnel cake consisting of two scoops of ice cream. There are healthier food truck items such as salads and grilled chicken.
5. Close to Orlando
Like I mentioned in the introduction, Daytona Beach does not require a lot of back road driving. I believe the storm threats kept everyone away because I did not run into any traffic. The only snarl was in the downtown Orlando area that has major construction underway. It was nothing to stop off International Drive and grab dinner.
What I missed
- I would like to visit Bethune-Cookman University and take a tour of Bethune’s home.
- The water sports were in a different location from where I was parked.
I favor Daytona over Clearwater because there is more to do and the convenience of having personal belongings very close.
Clearwater has the advantage of facing the Gulf and offering beautiful sunsets along the horizon. Overall, I choose Daytona Beach because there are more things to do and a more diverse population.