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Dive Into Daytona: The Greater Daytona Region Offers Residents More Surf and Turf

A perfect lifestyle awaits in the Greater Daytona Region. 

By Erica Buehler on June 7, 2022

Students at Stetson University relax in hammocks outside. Stetson University is located in the Greater Daytona Region of Florida.
Stetson University

While you may hear the word “Daytona” and think “beach” or “NASCAR,” there’s actually quite a bit more going on in this area. The Greater Daytona region boasts a considerable list of reasons to love living here and so much so that it’s a place where the locals tend to stay and where visitors choose to relocate. Ready to see what all the fuss is about? 

The Artisan Alley Friday Growers and Makers Market is an official "MainStreet DeLand" event featuring local produce, plants, food, arts & crafts is held every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. in Artisan Alley in downtown DeLand, Florida (part of the Greater Daytona Region).
Jeff Adkins

Save That Dough

One reason folks love this region is it is affordable (and in more ways than one). For example, Florida doesn’t have a state income tax. And the median home value is $284,000, which is low by national standards and more affordable than neighboring cities like Orlando and Miami. This means residents can save more money or spend it on things they enjoy.

“One of the things that’s so unique about our environment is that no matter what career path you want to take, it’s a really affordable place to live and work,” says John J. Adams, president of Adams, Cameron & Co.

Realtors, who have been in the Greater Daytona real estate business for about 20 years. “From an education standpoint, there are several universities in the area, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the premier aeronautical university in the U.S. and worldwide; Stetson University; Bethune-Cookman University, a fantastic historically Black college that’s well recognized and respected; and Daytona State College. So there are several opportunities for advanced education in the area, on top of a very good primary and secondary system through the Volusia County Schools system.”

Desingers are responsible for designing, creating and testing parachutes at the Aerodyne Research headquarters in DeLand, Florida. Aerodyne Research is a major designer, manufacturer, and distributor of some of the most technically advanced and highest-quality sport parachute systems in the world (part of the Greater Daytona Region). ©Journal Communications/Jeff Adkins
Jeff Adkins

Careers Galore

Understandably, a region that offers affordability and top-tier education institutions attracts people to the area, increasing the number of move-in rates and a need for more jobs. Between 2011 and 2019, Greater Daytona added more than 33,000 jobs.

Big-name companies here include Arralis Technologies, a global leader in building technology and products; TECHFIT Digital Surgery; Spectre Powerboats; and SEAMAX Aircraft, a manufacturer of amphibious light-sport aircraft.

“We have quite a bit of manufacturing here. In fact, many people are not familiar with how much manufacturing we have,” Adams says. “There’s also quite a bit of opportunity with regard to hospitality, including hotels, restaurants, and with the Daytona International Speedway downtown. In conjunction with that, we offer quite a bit with regard to health care — we have a great health care system because we have a lot of retirees. There’s a real demand.”

“Daytona Beach is a perfect hub to explore several awe-inspiring Florida State Parks that offer a glimpse of nearly everything our state has to offer.” 

Erin McDade, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Get Connected

Living in Greater Daytona means it’s also easy to connect with nature and those within your community. The region offers countless ways to get involved, from organizations geared toward career networking and gateways to nonprofits and volunteer opportunities. One example that numerous local young professionals love is the Volusia Young Professionals Group, which allows members to develop their careers, build relationships and get involved in the community. Plus, a number of social clubs are available, giving residents plenty of opportunities to enjoy hobbies or learn new skills.

Photo of a couple backpacking at Tomoka State Park, which is located in the Greater Daytona, FL Region.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection

The Great Outdoors

The gorgeous weather and nearly endless activities here allow for hours of sun and fun. 

“Daytona Beach is a perfect hub to explore several awe-inspiring Florida State Parks that offer a glimpse of nearly everything our state has to offer,” says Erin McDade, deputy press secretary for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. “The nearest park, Tomoka State Park in Ormond Beach, is a birdwatcher’s paradise that features hiking and bicycling trails, boat access to the Tomoka River and 100 campsites. A little further north is Bulow Creek State Park, where you can bring a canoe and paddle the Bulow Creek Paddling Trail, known for its expansive views of cabbage-palm-lined salt marshes, as well as for its redfish, snook and other fish sought by recreational anglers.”

And one can’t mention Greater Daytona and not talk about the beaches. Residents can explore 47 miles’ worth of sand and water — so you can expect to spend hours sunbathing, swimming, kayaking (check out Florida Kayaking Tours for a fun-filled water adventure) and even driving on some of the hardpacked sand.

“To the west, a short drive takes visitors to De Leon Springs State Park,” McDade says. “This park has a fascinating history as well as the famous Sugar Mill Restaurant that’s located in a 100-year-old replica of an 1830s sugar mill and features cook-your-own pancakes.”

And as for those who love to hike, lace up those boots because you’re in for a treat. Spend an afternoon at Deep Creek Preserve in New Smyrna Beach and Longleaf Pine Preserve in DeLand.

“It’s a great area with various opportunities,” Adams says. “For somebody who wants to retire (or move) here and maintain an active lifestyle, we’ve got everything available.”

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