The “World’s Most Famous Beach” has been pictured on postcards. For the residents of this Volusia County locale, the beach is their playground and the ocean is their backyard (but with sea turtles instead of swing sets). What tourists travel miles for, residents can enjoy year round! As if you needed more convincing, it’s important to note that while Daytona Beach is a beach town, it’s also a golfer’s town (LPGA headquarters here) and it has even made a few film cameos. Remember Days of Thunder? What’s not to like?
Perfectly situated between Orlando and Jacksonville off the I-95 corridor, Daytona Beach is loved for more than its beach. The laidback atmosphere, impeccable local seafood and unique culture make it a place worth visiting and, better yet, worth living in.
Fair warning: the closer you get to the beach, the more touristy it can become in spring and summertime. Like most beach towns, Daytona Beach can be broken into mainland living (a bit further from the beach), beachside living (about 2 miles or closer to the beach) and Intracoastal/Waterfront living (on the beach or with a beach view). Each area brings a different vibe, with mainland being more quaint and suburban and Intracoastal offering a bit more of a city/sand-in-your-pants atmosphere.
In on the action - Intracoastal
Living here puts you right in the middle of all things Daytona Beach. Well, once you get over the bridge, that is. Apartment living offers a lot of options in the waterfront area and great amenities (views, docks, pools). Renters will easily find condos, lofts, high rise apartments and penthouses. People live here for the obvious perks such as the ocean breeze, proximity to the boardwalk, shopping and dining. Living here puts you close to the water but isn’t necessarily “beach” living. If you want the best of both worlds in the lap of luxury this is your spot.
No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem - Beachside/South Daytona Beach
Called this because it's closer to the beach than the mainland, beachside is full of single family homes—often older or established with a bit of old Florida/beach town charm—and apartment homes. This location is in close proximity to I-95 and I-4. Apartments come with upgrades such as w/d in unit, fitness centers and views. Being a beachside resident means having an advantage: you can leave a bad day at the office and be on your board in no time.
Calling all land lubbers- Inland
A more quaint area, this area is further from the shoreline (only by a few minutes) but the homes still offer a beach town charm. The subdivisions are filled with many established homes with a few newer properties sprinkled into the mix. Residents love living here because of the lake views, golf courses and the proximity to hospitals and business districts. It is also close to the speedway for those of you who want to watch the races on the weekends. Inland apartments often feature screened patios (a true Florida amenity), public transportation stops, billiards rooms, and fitness centers.
Basic utilities (water, sewage) are covered by the City of Daytona. Pretty sweet deal. Also important to know is that the weather here can be temperamental. In the summer, it is hot and humid but nothing a dip in the ocean or pool can’t fix. The winters often get a bit nippy for Florida weather, with temps dipping into the 30s and freeze warnings popping up a couple of times during the season. However, the cold is a welcomed change and you will often see locals rocking flip flops with sweaters, despite the chilly air.
Sure you can drive on the beach but if you want to hit the main road, here are the roads that will take you places: I-95 runs virtually through the entire eastern seaboard of the nation, but here it can bring you in and around Daytona Beach and surrounding areas (Deltona, Ormond Beach) in no time. I-4 is the other main artery of Daytona Beach. Via I-4, residents can connect to Orlando and Tampa in an hour or so. There is always A LOT of traffic on I-4, so if you intend to use it as your main route, plan accordingly. Driving on the beach itself is still permitted here but proceed with caution. No littering is allowed and speed limits are set at 10mph. Oh and watch the baby turtles, please. For beachside driving and venturing into the heart of Daytona Beach, A1A (yeah, like that Vanilla Ice lyric!) will be your best friend. Cruise with the top down if the spirit moves you - it’s the beach, after all!
Daytona also boasts four bridges, all open to traffic and all leading to various parts of the city and neighboring cities. Seabreeze will connect drivers with beachside, Main Street will take you downtown as will Broadway Bridge. Veteran’s Memorial will carry drivers through the city to the Historic District. Public transportation in the area is provided by the VoTran, the local bus system. VoTran brings passengers to various popular spots in the city. Seasonally, near the beach, the A1A Trolley (which has A/C) motors around beachside, for tourists and residents alike.
There is literally always something to do in Daytona Beach. From Bike Week, Biketoberfest, SpeedWeek, and the Daytona 500 to Spring Break, surf contests and golf tournaments, dull moments are few and far between here. Another Daytona perk: the sunsets and sunrises here cannot be beat. So hurry up! The only thing standing between you and a backyard filled with 23 miles of sugary, white sand is finding the perfect spot to live. We think we’ve led you in the right direction, so what are you waiting for? Daytona Beach beckons. Come on in, the water’s just fine!