Daytona Beach Motels
Daytona Beach: Seven Things to Do When You Leave the Beach
No matter how much people love the beach, and plan to enjoy the sun and the sand, frolic in the ocean, and soak up rays, there comes a time when we look around for something else to do. In Daytona, the most famous of those other activities has something to do with high speed vehicles. But that sells the whole area short. Daytona Beach has more to offer than sand and vrroooom
The Southeast Museum of Photography.
This almost unknown gem is part of Daytona Beach Community College. In fact, many of the students of the college seem unaware it exists. It's their loss because the museum mounts challenging and thought-provoking shows and lectures.
Turtles aren't the only wild creatures sheltered at the Marine Center. They've just opened a bird hospital. After the hurricanes of 2004 many birds were found apparently far from home, the hurricane lifting them out of their natural habitat and depositing them on the shores of the Daytona area. Some of the injured birds can be healed and then released. Others are too seriously injured. These birds will make the center their new home and earn their keep as educational birds, part of the teaching mission of the center. The bird hospital just opened in June 2004 and they already have over 200 birds with about 4 new ones arriving every day. It's the Mary Keller Bird Rehabilitation Facility. And tour guides are available to take you around and show you the infirmary (the hospital is offlimits),
Downtown history and Jackie Robinson Stadium
One of the highlights is the Jackie Robinson Ballpark -- where the color barrier of professional baseball was broken by a courageous Robinson. Although now the home of the Daytona Cubs, when Robinson was swinging his bat it was for the farm team of the New York Yankees. The stadium is being renovated back to a 1940s look. Future plans include an interactive museum called the Jackie Robinson Experience. If they're playing, enjoy a baseball game watching the 2000 Champion Daytona Cubs play a full 168-game season at historic Jackie Robinson Stadium on City Island in Riverfront Marketplace. Call 386-USA-CUBS for game and ticket information
Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse
The beautifully restored distinctive red lighthouse dates back to the late 1800s. It's also one of the few that has all the original buildings intact. The Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station is a National Historic Landmark. Built of over 100 million bricks shipped in. Although the Coast Guard abandoned the lighthouse in 1970, the buildings and land were eventually deeded to the Town of Ponce Inlet and the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse Preservation Association. In 1982 a new beacon was installed and the Lighthouse was returned to use -- a beacon of light shining over the water. In addition to the lighthouse, explore the houses where the lightkeepers lived, and how they lived. The Lens Museum houses Fresnel lenses - giant prisms that transformed the light from a kerosene lamp into a beam strong enough to be seen away at sea. The Light Station is open seven days a week.
Museum of Arts and Sciences
Perhaps the most exciting part is the 13-foot skeleton of a giant ground sloth discovered in 1975 only a few miles away. How old is it? About 130,000 years. Its formal name is Eremotherium laurilardi but it's also known as the Giant Ground Sloth and it dates to the Pleistocene fossil site called the Daytona Bone Bed.
Explore Florida's sugar mill ruins at Dunlawton Plantation Sugar Mill Ruins and De Leon Springs State Park
Sugar was the crop of choice in early Florida because of the rich soil, and sugar mills thrived. You can still see the remains of these mills at several state parks. Spring Gardens Plantation at D eLeon Springs State Park has some of these slowly disappearing pieces of history, and there's an information brochure describing the history of the site. You can also have breakfast at the Sugar Mill Restaurant, famous for their cook-your-own-pancakes breakfast on griddles actually set into the table.
The Dunlawton Sugar Mill also contains ruins from its previous existence, but it has quite a strange recent history. The original Dunlawton sugar mill ruins date back to 1846 (when it was rebuilt and reconstructed), however, it also has dinosaurs. Not real ones, large faux creatures from the 1950s when it was a theme park called Bongoland. Frankly, it's worth a trip just to visit a place that has ruins of historic sugar mill, left over dinosaurs, and is today a botanical garden. Who could resist?