When you're traveling to new places, budget is always a huge factor. We recently spent a week in Daytona, Florida and we were determined to stretch our budget as far as possible. We managed to have a ton of fun every day without spending an arm and a leg!
Check out these fun and free activities to do in Daytona, Florida:
Stroll through Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens
We had to check this place out because the pictures online just looked amazing. We weren’t let down! We arrived and were instantly enamored with the beauty of the place. The walking paths are lined with foliage and vegetation, not to mention curious squirrels.
This place has an interesting history. There are a bunch of random dinosaur statues that are apparently remnants of a short lived amusement park called Bongoland. You can also take a stroll through the remains of the old sugar mill factory.
The garden wasn’t very crowded when we visited. Just a few passers by. This was in January which is probably the off season, but we found it super relaxing and very photogenic. Definitely a must see spot if you’re visiting the Daytona Beach area.
We paid a visit to the gardens in a recent vlog episode:
Tour the Angel and Phellps Chocolate Factory
We all had a bit of a sweet tooth, so we decided to take a tour of the Angel and Phellps Chocolate Factory in Daytona, Florida. As soon as we walked in, they handed free samples to us. I tried a fudge bar that was literally called “Amazing”. And let me tell you, as the name implies, it was amazing!
We showed up around 2pm on a Wednesday and the place was rather crowded. Which isn’t much of a surprise considering that the tour is free and at the end they give out free chocolate! The tour gave us a fun, behind the scenes look at how they make all of their chocolate goodies from chocolate covered cherries, to chocolates in the shape of fish and seashells.
At the end of the tour, you are able to pick a couple samples to try. I highly recommend the chocolate covered potato chips. They were so good it was stupid.
Walk the Daytona Beach Boardwalk
Since we were staying just down the road, we had to check out the Daytona Beach Boardwalk. Here you’ll find the usual boardwalk amenities: Huge hot dogs, rides, and crowds of tourists. We actually traveled here in the off season so it was manageable, but I’d hate to see how busy this place gets in the summer months!
The beach was great. Aside from almost being run over by minivans and jeeps (yep, you’re allowed to drive on the beach here. Weird right?). The sand was white and packed down, great if you’re looking to take a jog. The ocean breeze was light and cool. For the middle of January we all found it to be very refreshing!
The Boardwalk is definitely a must-go. So next time you’re in Daytona, why not grab hot dog, hop on the ferris wheel and chill.
Explore the Ponce de leon Lighthouse
During our time in Florida, we were always on the hunt for epic views and photo ops. The Ponce De Leon Lighthouse did not let us down. This 175 foot tall lighthouse overlooks the Ponce Inlet beach. The views from the top were just amazing. We got lucky here too as we didn’t find it to be too crowded, but I can imagine how busy it might get
Unfortunately it isn’t actually free to go up to the top, but at $6.95 for adults, it’s pretty cheap and worth the price, so we decided to include it anyways!
So if you’re visiting Daytona Beach, make sure you take time to visit the Ponce Lighthouse. It’s likely to be a highlight of your trip!
We also visited the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse in a recent vlog:
Visit the North Peninsula Sate Recreation Area
Now that you’ve had your fill of tours and tourists, take a secluded and peaceful hike through the North Peninsula State Park. Parking is free and cars aren’t allowed on the beach, so you won’t have to worry about sharing the road. Plus there aren’t any tacky condos in sight which was probably our favorite part! Just pretty walking trails, sun-bathers, turtles, and blue herons. We also hear it’s a bird-watchers paradise, so if that’s your thing, make sure to bring your binoculars.
Check out The Casements - John D. Rockefeller’s Summer Home
The Casements was purchased in 1918 for John D. Rockefeller and it served as his winter getaway during his retirement years. He ultimately passed away there in 1937.
While quite interesting, the Casements is a bit of an anomaly. After Rockefeller passed, it served as a girls’ preparatory school for 20 years. After which it fell into disrepair after it was ravaged by fires and severe weather. It was ultimately bought by the city of Ormund Beach and is now restores and serves as a cultural community center.
At a price of free, it’s definitely worth checking out. And while much of the original substance of the house is long gone, there are enough pictures inside and interesting stories to read to make it a worthwhile visit.