Daytona’s Beach Street
The downtown area along Dayton’s Beach Street is going through a renewal with a wide range of restaurants and shops. Many of the older period buildings have been carefully restored adding to the beauty of the area. One of the more exciting opportunities will be the new Riverfront Esplanade and at the date of this blog is currently under construction with plans to open in 2022. Once completed, the Riverfront Esplanade will offer waterfront trails along the Halifax River, dog park, gardens, and a range of gathering spaces.
Halifax Historical Museum
Continuing our walk along Daytona’s Beach Street, we found the Halifax Historical Museum located in the beautiful Merchant’s Bank Building (circa 1910). The Museum is free to the public and offers exhibits highlighting life in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Ponce Inlet and Port Orange for the earliest known inhabitants of the area from 2,500 – 5,000 BC, continuing through the Spanish and English settlements, and continuing to the mid-1800’s and present time.
Aside from the displays, the Merchant’s Bank Building is a treasure too. Once inside, we viewed the intricate plaster, wall murals that are works of art on their own, intricate mahogany woodwork, and priceless Tiffany style windows.
Daytona Beach Boardwalk
The Daytona Beach Boardwalk continues to track locals and vacationers alike. There are parts that have been restored including the beach side clock tower and the amphitheater. Through the summer, music acts continue to entertain and the beach side amphitheater provides one of the most unique settings for live music.
A number of changes have occurred at the Boardwalk. No longer are the carnival style attractions lined up and down the beach. These were torn down some time ago and replaced with large multi-story hotels, restaurants and gift shops. The roller coaster and other carnival rides are gone with the exception of the thrilling sling shot and a ride called the screamer. As the name implies, the thrills and screams are heard for those having fun during the evenings. One of the popular tourist destination is eating at Joes Crab Shack at the end of the pier. Some of the old still remains with a few beach side eateries, arcades and, gift shops.
Favorite Restaurants From This Trip
One thing that is for sure about Daytona Beach and the surrounding area, there is no shortage of restaurants offering a wide range of cuisine and atmosphere. From those along the beach front, along the rivers and more inland, there’s no shortage of places to enjoy the simplest meal or splurge for a special event. For the trip we’re highlighting two of our favorites.
Racing North Turn – This is interesting place – part beachside restaurant, part museum. The North Turn Restaurant is beach casual and provide both indoor and beach side dinning. This is upscale beach food and we enjoyed fried calamari and their famous sweet onion hush puppies (a southern delicacy), shrimp and grits (another southern delicacy), grilled Atlantic salmon, along with our favorite beverages. We were entertained to live music during the evening to a number of our favorite tunes.
But the visit is limited to food only. The restaurant and racing museum sits on the exact location where racing history began in Daytona Beach. The restaurant is located on the historic North Turn and for stock car racing launched today NASCAR. Races took place on the beach from 1936 until 1958 with a 1.5 mile stretch along the beach, then turn back to pavement on S. Atlantic Ave. for looping laps. The museum contains an extensive photo library, with many photos donated by some of the most famous racecar drivers and bike racers in history.
Rip Tides Raw Bar & Grill – The Rip Tides restaurant is one of my and Joan’s favorites. For a number of years visiting Daytona Beach, our trip wasn’t complete until we visited Rip Tides. The restaurant is located in Ormond Beach and is just a few minute drive on N. Atlantic Ace. from the famous Daytona Beach Boardwalk. Beach casual dining is offer both indoors and inside with fares from sandwiches, seafood entrees and a raw bar. During the day, it’s not unusual for those enjoying the beach to walk up to the outdoor bar for a meal and beverage.
The food and service is top notch and we enjoyed an overstuffed shrimp Po Boy sandwich with an abundance of delicate, fried shrimp, grilled shrimp and onion rings, and our favorite beverages. Live music was great with the entertainer providing popular soft rock, country, jazz, and of course our favorite reggae tunes.
A trip to Daytona isn’t complete without a day at the beach. We had our bluetooth boom box playing beach tunes, our son Joel brought his electric grill and using the OUPES 1800 Power Station, we grilled cheese burgers on the beach then spun up the electric blender for some of our favorite beverages. Between the sand, waves, and a couple serious games of bocce ball, this was just too much fun!
We now have family in the Daytona Beach area and will be returning with the RV several times a year. There’s much more to experience and we’re looking forward to returning soon.
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