There is something for everyone in the Greater Daytona Beach area.
Home to more than 547,000 residents, the Greater Daytona Region features standout communities that appeal to all different lifestyles.
Home to Stetson University and satellite campuses of Daytona State College and Florida Technical College, DeLand is a robust arts community with cultural attractions like the Museum of Art-DeLand, Athens Theatre and DeLand Naval Air Station Museum. The annual DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts, which takes place the weekend before Thanksgiving, draws 175 juried artists who showcase their works, including paint, glass, sculpture, jewelry, leather, photography, printmaking, wood and ceramics. The area is also known as the “skydiving capital of the world.â€ General aviation pilots are served by DeLand Municipal Airport. The Downtown DeLand Historic District features several 19th-century buildings along the city’s Woodland Boulevard. The Volusia County Fairgrounds are also in DeLand.
Located on the north shore of the St. Johns River, DeBary is noted for its friendliness and hometown atmosphere. DeBary features nine city parks, three county parks and thousands of oak trees that attract many bird species. Residents have direct access to Interstate 4 and U.S. Highway 17/92. One of the city’s signature attractions is DeBary Hall Historic Site, a hunting lodge built in 1871 that served as the winter home of Frederick DeBary, the first settler in the region. The home, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, is open to the public for tours.
Nicknamed “The Hospitality City,â€ tourism is a key driver of the Edgewater economy. Living up to its name, Edgewater is located along the Indian River. The 22.5-squaremile community includes 142 acres designated as parkland. A recent $3.5 million upgrade of Whistle Stop Park includes a new splash pad, skate park and dog park as well as new basketball, racquetball, volleyball and tennis courts. Hikers and bikers have access to several trails running through the region.
Daytona Beach is the principal city along Florida’s Fun Coast. The city is known for its 23 miles of beach with hard-packed sand that allows motorists to drive on it. Daytona Beach is home to the headquarters of NASCAR and the Ladies Professional Golf Association. The fabled Daytona 500 auto race, which is held in February, takes place at Daytona International Speedway. A $15 million gift from a local foundation is financing a major upgrade of Riverfront Park in downtown Daytona.
Daytona Beach Shores
Daytona Beach Shores was incorporated in 1960, and today, it is a resort and retirement community built on tourism and the service industry. Just 5.5 miles long, more than 80% of residents live in high-rise condominiums along the Atlantic Ocean. The city’s main highway is State Road A1A/Atlantic Avenue. Amenities include a number of upscale restaurants, seven public parks and a dog park.
Billed as the “Fern Capital of the World,â€ Pierson is a town that relies heavily on agriculture. Ferns from Pierson are exported worldwide for use in various floral arrangements. Livability amenities include Pierson Community Center, Lake Pierson Municipal Park, Nixon Park and Washington Avenue Park. The town owns and operates one of the few grass-strip airports in the nation – Pierson Municipal Airport.
The most populated city in Volusia County is Deltona, where residents enjoy life on the northern shore of Lake Monroe along the St. Johns River. The community is largely residential with a range of affordable housing options. The community features more than 100 lakes and 19 parks covering 200 acres. Satellite campuses of Bethune-Cookman University and Daytona State College accommodate students, and the city attracts many events at The Center at Deltona, located off I-4.
With its trademark white sand, Ormond Beach is a popular destinations along the Atlantic Ocean in Volusia County. Bordered by the Tomoka River to the west and the Atlantic to the east, Ormond Beach offers a wealth of waterrelated recreation opportunities. Many visitors camp at Tomoka State Park. Other popular attractions include Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum & Gardens and Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center as well as the historic downtown district along Granada Boulevard that offers unique local retail and restaurants.
Once a city known for its citrus, farming, lumber, oystering and ranching, Port Orange has a variety of upscale housing options and expanding subdivisions. A highly regarded education network includes the 600 student Palmer College of Chiropractic. For 34 consecutive years, the city has received the Tree City USA award from the National Arbor Day Foundation. The River District on Port Orange’s east side includes Riverwalk Park, which features a playground, splash park and picnic facilities. The north side of the park features a kayak/canoe launch, a trail and an over-water boardwalk and trailhead.
Lake Helen is located off I-4. Nicknamed the “Gem of Floridaâ€ for its tree-lined streets, historic architecture and small-town character. The city’s namesake Lake Helen spans 26 acres and is great for swimming, sailing, fishing and boating (sailboats, rowboats and boats with trolling motors only). Lake Helen can be accessed at Royal Park, which includes a pavilion with picnic amenities, a small bandstand and a boat ramp. The popular 20-acre Lake Macy includes a partially covered dock and boat launch.
South Daytona is an upscale residential city bordering the Halifax River and only minutes from Atlantic Ocean beaches. Residents have access to numerous parks, excellent schools, many independent restaurants and well-landscaped neighborhoods. Abundant shopping options throughout the community include Sunshine Park Mall. Riverfront Veterans Memorial Park offers a newly renovated public boat launch ramp, state-of-the-art kayak launch and fishing pier.
On the west bank of the Halifax River, Holly Hill is the corporate address for one of the state’s largest health insurers, Florida Health Care Plans, which has made its headquarters there for more than 30 years. The 4.2-square-mile community boasts ample holly bushes, magnolias, palms and majestic oak trees as well as 15 parks.
New Smyrna Beach
A destination for outdoor recreation, New Smyrna Beach offers water sports of all kinds, including boating, fishing, sailing, scuba diving, surfing and swimming. Students can attend classes at Daytona State College, New Smyrna Beach-Edgewater Campus. New Smyrna Beach has long been recognized as a top community for the arts thanks to venues such as the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Harris House, Little Theatre and a popular gallery called Arts on Douglas, which promotes the work of Florida artists. The city’s airport has three active runways (the longest is 5,000 feet) with an air traffic control tower.
Named for its thousands of acres of orange groves, Orange City is a growing community and has welcomed an average of 100 new business license holders annually over the past five years. Conveniently situated at I-4 and State Road 472, the community was recently named a Monarch City for its efforts to preserve and grow the region’s dwindling monarch butterfly population. Orange City has seven sites on the National Register of Historic Places, including Orange City Town Hall.
Located between the Halifax River and Atlantic Ocean, Ponce Inlet is visited by more than 80,000 people annually. The famed Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station, the second-tallest lighthouse in the nation, lets visitors climb its steps to view the Florida coastline. Ponce Inlet also has several marinas and the Marine Science Center, with exhibits that include a humpback whale skull, freshwater turtles and stingray touch pool.
Once known only for citrus growing, Oak Hill today has an increasingly diverse economy. The city is along Florida’s 156-mile River of Lakes Heritage Corridor and features recreational fishing opportunities as well as several clam and oyster farms. Oak Hill’s Burns Science and Technology Charter School features a STEM-based, K-8 curriculum that attracts students from as far away as Orange City and Ormond Beach.