I visited Daytona Beach as part of a hosted stay. All opinions are mine. We seriously loved Daytona Beach!
A Daytona Beach family vacation is a must do when in Florida. Known as the “most famous beach in the world”, Daytona Beach has more to offer than just the beach. If your family is looking for lots of fun, you’ll love these activities. From science adventures to magic tricks, Daytona Beach offers a wide variety of experiences that are perfect for a weekend getaway at reasonable prices.
I was able to take my little sister, little brother and my two boys with me on this Daytona Beach family vacation. We went right after Christmas and it was warm enough to swim even though it was winter. Gotta love the Florida winters, right?
Our 48 hours of fun in Daytona Beach would be perfect for a weekend family getaway. Check out what we did so you can plan your own Daytona Beach family vacation.
Afternoon: Check into The Fountain Beach Resort
We stayed at The Fountain Beach Resort for two nights. Located oceanside, this was a perfect place to take the kids. I loved it because it is walking distance to The Boardwalk, close to lots of dining, and of course right on the beach. It was only a short drive to the other attractions we visited.
Check out my full review here on TravelingMom.
Evening: Dinner at LuLu’s Oceanside Grill
After checking into our hotel we headed out to a family friendly dinner at LuLu’s Oceanside Grill in Ormond Beach, a quick 10 minute drive from the iconic pier. The outside dining offers the perfect atmosphere for families or even date night. The kids were happy with their mac and cheese, and mama was happy with happy hour priced margaritas and fish tacos.
After dinner we stopped by Publix to stock up on snacks and a few meals for the kids. Our hotel had a kitchenette which was great for keeping the kids happy and well fed.
Morning: Walk on the Beach
The next morning we woke up early for a quick walk on the beach before heading to breakfast.
Breakfast: The Cracked Egg Diner
We did breakfast at The Cracked Egg Diner in Daytona Beach Shores on our way to Ponce Inlet. I’m still full from this breakfast. Here is a picture of a half portion meal. Let me write that again: a half portion! Not only are the portions huge, the prices are on point.
After breakfast we headed down to Ponce Inlet. You could easily spend an entire day down there, and you should if you have the time. For this quick getaway, we could only spend a morning down there but next time we plan to stay all day.
Morning: Ponce Inlet
Kids need to stay in motion, don’t they? That’s why we followed up breakfast with a trip to the playground in front of the lighthouse. The kids loved the chance to play at a park. This isn’t the only park in town, you can find several, and some are even beachfront!
The Marine Science Center
After a quick play break we walked over to the Marine Science Center. Adults 13 and over are $5, kids are $2, and babies 2 and under are free. As a former biology teacher, I can’t express enough how impressed I was with the staff and overall structure of the Marine Science Center. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in energy and knowledge. The educators are full of life and love talking to the kids. Robert shadowed one of the educators for an hour and refused to let him talk to other patrons. Even Jackson wanted to play with the snake!
Kids can touch and feed sting rays, feed wild birds, touch a snake, and learn about the sea turtle hospital. They can even watch the staff feed the octopus!
Robert got to pet and even feed the sting rays!
Jackson was entranced by the moray eel.
We could have stayed at the Marine Science Center all day long! However, we knew we only had 48 hours in Daytona Beach so we headed for more adventure.
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Museum
We walked from the Marine Science Center to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Museum. We couldn’t get over the prices. Adults, 12 and over, are only $6.95 and kids 11 and under are $1.95! Kids two and under are free. Jackson fell asleep on the way and enjoyed his nap while I took the older two boys into the lighthouse.
The grounds are beautiful! One thing you should know though is that you can’t bring water onto the grounds. Leave those water bottles in the car!
I didn’t want to walk up the lighthouse because I was absolutely terrified. Not only do I have a small fear of heights, but I was also worried about taking a 3 year old up that high. I was convinced he would get scared halfway up and I’d have to carry him down this very long set of stairs.
Turns out, he loved it! And he convinced me to keep going. Anytime I sounded nervous or scared, he would help me get over my fear. I wish I could be as fearless as a three year old!
The view from the top was worth it. Isn’t this gorgeous?
You can also get a great view of the lighthouse grounds.
Lunch at Racing’s North Turn
After the lighthouse we knew we needed lunch, so we stopped by Racing’s North Turn on the way back into Daytona Beach. It’s been voted as one of the top 10 beach bars in Florida for 6 years in a row! This was the only restaurant we visited that had tourist prices, which is to be expected because you are paying for the view of the beach while you eat. While we paid more here than the other places we ate, the food was great and the view was even better. The kids ate pizza and I ate wings and drank a beer. It was the perfect combination for the beach.
After lunch we took a quick stroll along the beach. Check out the view of the restaurant from the beach. How awesome is it that it’s right on the water?
Afternoon: Riverfront Shops
Since the kids were exhausted by this point we decided to drive to the Riverfront Shops on Beach Street just to see if the kids would fall asleep on our way.
It didn’t happen so we decided to get some energy in the form of chocolate from Angel and Phelps Chocolate Factory. They offer free tours, but we opted to just buy the chocolate this time! There are actually a lot of free things to do in Daytona Beach. Head here to see them all.
Once we restored our energy, we walked over to the Daytona Magic Shop where they gave us a quick magic demo. The kids loved it!
Afterwards we headed back to the hotel to see if anyone would jump at the chance for some afternoon rest time. After 20 minutes of trying to get the kids to sleep, we decided to skip it and enjoy the beach instead!
Dinner: The Ocean Walk Shoppes
After some much needed beach time we headed to the Ocean Walk Shoppes to play around in the bandshell and eat dinner.
We ate dinner at Mi Pi, a choose your own topping pizza place. There are lots of different options there such as Bubba Gump’s, Sloppy Joe’s and Johnny Rocket’s.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel for an early bedtime. Our day of adventures finally caught up with us.
Morning: Breakfast on the Boardwalk
The next morning we walked over to The Boardwalk. We had every intention of eating breakfast there, but ended up getting drinks and food at Starbucks on the way. We enjoyed our drinks with this view.
A quick walk down the boardwalk with our coffees was the perfect way to start our day. Imagine this view with a great cup of coffee.
We even saw a surfer.
Lunch at Dancing Avocado Kitchen
We headed back to our room to pack up, then stopped by the Riverside Shoppes one last time for lunch. We ate at Dancing Avocado Kitchen, one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. The hippie vibe was awesome. The kids were entertained with toys and games at the table.
Once again, the prices here were on point. This was the perfect spot to fuel up on healthy foods before we headed back home after 48 hours of affordable family fun in Daytona Beach.
We can’t wait for our next Daytona Beach family vacation!