With a permanent year-round population of around 500,000 and playing host to nearly ten million visitors per year, Volusia County is one of the most popular places to visit in Florida because there is so much to do here. Whether you are here for the Daytona 500, Bike Week or just looking for a weekend beach getaway, the varied activities available to visitors and residents alike makes Volusia County one of the most desirable destinations in the Southeastern United States.
Located on the east coast of Central Florida, Volusia County’s 47 miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches are a playground for people from all over the world visiting our beachfront cities, which include Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach and New Smyrna Beach.
Though water sports are plentiful, Volusia County is generally known for our land sports. Early automotive pioneers such as Louis Chevrolet and Henry Ford enjoyed their leisure time in the sun and found that the hard-packed sand, gentle slope and wide expanse of Volusia’s beach was the perfect proving ground for early auto racing. Ormond Beach, in fact, is known as the “Birthplace of Speed.”
More than racing
But Volusia County is much, much more than racing. Here are five cool things to do around Volusia County that you may or may not know about.
- Blue Spring State Park– Do something truly unique on your vacation and come see the manatees at Blue Spring State Park near Orange City. Blue Spring State Park covers more than 2,600 acres, including the largest spring on the St. Johns River. Blue Spring is a designated manatee refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. During manatee season, which approximately runs from mid-November through March, several hundred manatee can be viewed atop the spring’s overlooks on cold days.
- Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse– Visited by over 170,000 people each year, the Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998. The lighthouse tower and museum are located 10 miles south of Daytona Beach and are open to the public year round. The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and the second tallest masonry lighthouse in the country second only to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Visitors can climb 203 steps to the top of the 175 foot tower and enjoy magnificent views of the World’s Most Famous Beach, Ponce Inlet, and surrounding inland waterways from the lighthouse gallery deck.
- Canaveral National Seashore– The Canaveral National Seashore is a 58,000 acre barrier island that was preserved by an act of Congress in 1975. The park’s 24 miles of undeveloped beach is the longest such stretch on the east coast of Florida. Mosquito Lagoon, which comprises over two-thirds of the park, is designated an Outstanding Florida Water and as a part of the 156-mile long Indian River Lagoon, an Estuary of National Significance.
- DeLand Naval Air Station Museum– The DeLand Naval Air Station Museum, located at the DeLand Municipal Airport, opened its doors about 50 years after the end of World War II and the closure of the original NAS that was located on this site during the war. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday for four hours each day, but is rich in history with old airplanes, helicopters and Navy boats for visitors to see and learn about.
- Deep Creek Preserve– Located in New Smyrna Beach, the 8,000 acre Deep Creek Preserve includes natural and agricultural features. Visitors can hike, bike, ride horses or take a free buggy ride through the preserve to learn about the flora and fauna unique to the area.
Whatever your reason for visiting Volusia County, if you get bored you really have no one to blame but yourself.