Daytona Beach City Guide

Daytona Beach is known for its racing roots and 23-miles of white sand. Here are some tips for where to go, stay and eat in this Florida beach town.

Photos

Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi Island State Park

Enjoy 3 miles of undeveloped beach with your significant other on Caladesi Island State Park, which is easily accessible from St. Petersburg. Hotels and resorts closest to the island are minutes away, in Dunedin, FL. 960 1280

VisitFlorida.com  

Destin

Destin

What better way to start your life together than on the beautiful sugar-white beaches of Destin, FL, at Sandestin Beach Golf Resort, northwest Florida’s premier hotel. The hotel recently made National Geographic Traveler's "10 Best Fall Trips." 960 1280

Photo courtesy of Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort  

Little Torch Key

Little Torch Key

Welcome to tropical paradise on Little Torch Key. The Little Palm Island Resort and Spa is a wonderful oasis for a honeymoon. Picture this: Air-conditioned, thatched roof bungalow suites, with custom-made beds topped by plush mosquito netting. White paths of crushed seashells weave through 6 acres of tropical flowers, palm trees and sandy beaches. 960 1280

Little Palm Island Resort  

Santa Rosa Beach

Santa Rosa Beach

Just outside of Panama City, the WaterColor Inn and Resort on Santa Rosa Beach is considered one of the best honeymoon locations in Florida. 960 1280

VisitFlorida.com  

Honeymoon Island

Honeymoon Island

Minutes north of Caladesi Island is Honeymoon Island, known for its turquoise waters and white sand beach. 960 1280

Florida Department of Environmental Protection  

Florida Keys

Florida Keys

The beautiful islands and beaches of the Florida Keys can leave anyone speechless. 960 1280

VisitFlorida.com  

Palm Beach

Palm Beach

Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Four Seasons Resort on Palm Beach. 960 1280

Four Seasons Resort  

Siesta Key

Siesta Key

Many consider Siesta Key the Sunshine State's most romantic getaway, according to Southern Living magazine. 960 1280

ForthDude through Flickr Creative Commons  

South Beach

South Beach

While visiting The Tides, you can feel world's away from the busy nightlife of South Beach, or right in the middle of it. Your choice. 960 1280

King & Grove Hotels  

Naples

Naples

If kicking back and enjoying one another isn't enough, the LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort in Naples, FL, is a beautiful complement. Enjoy the relaxing sands in the morning, greens the rest of the afternoon, and an intimate dinner for 2 in the evening. 960 1280

Noble House Hotels & Resorts  

Sanibel Island Beach

Sanibel Island Beach

Located on Florida's southwest Gulf Coast, the beautiful Sanibel Island Beach is a favorite destination among honeymooners for its honeymoon cottages and memorable sunsets, some of the most romantic along the Florida Gulf Coast. 960 1280

VisitFlorida.com  

Captiva Island

Captiva Island

Captiva Island, the sister island to Sanibel, offers a luxurious honeymoon escape. South Seas Island Resort's secluded honeymoon getaways and private villas are a must. 960 1280

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Delray Beach

Delray Beach

Each year, nearly 1 million people visit family-friendly Delray Beach to enjoy the 2-mile-long beach that’s ideal for fun beach activities, including sandcastle-building. Take a break from the beach and hit nearby Atlantic Avenue, lined with boutiques, seafood restaurants and the luxurious Seagate Hotel and Spa. Find out more about our recommendations for <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/beaches/articles/top-10-beaches-in-florida">Florida beaches</a> to visit. 960 1280

ddmitr/ Moment Open/ Getty Images  

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach

One of America’s finest white-sand beaches, Clearwater Beach spans a narrow, 3-mile stretch of the Pinellas Peninsula on the Gulf Coast. Clearwater’s proximity to Tampa offers visitors ample activities to enjoy, including beach volleyball, parasailing, a dolphin-watching cruise and a fun fishing excursion. 960 1280

Image Source/ Getty Images  

Naples

Naples

Watch the rolling waves and gaze at the mansions that line some of Naples’ most popular beaches along 12th Avenue South. For a family looking to camp out on the beach for the day, we recommend heading a few miles north of Old Naples to Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. Food stands and on-site rentals for umbrellas, kayaks and snorkeling gear are available nearby. 960 1280

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Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

Watch the rolling waves and gaze at the mansions that line some of Naples’ most popular beaches along 12th Avenue South. For a family looking to camp out on the beach for the day, we recommend heading a few miles north of Old Naples to Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. Food stands and on-site rentals for umbrellas, kayaks and snorkeling gear are available nearby. 960 1280

Gregory Moine, flickr  

South Beach

South Beach

Take a dip in the crystal-blue waters of Miami’s South Beach, an international playground that offers non-stop nightlife, high-end shopping, luxurious boutique hotels and unique Art Deco architecture. This man-made beach is perfect for early morning runs and topless sunbathing. 960 1280

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Siesta Key

Siesta Key

Spend the perfect family vacation in Siesta Key, a barrier island off Florida’s central western coast that boasts beachside picnic areas and playgrounds. Go shell collecting, kayaking or hop on a catamaran for more active pursuits. For adults who want a more low-key experience, spend a candlelit dinner at a restaurant or rent a cozy cottage for a romantic getaway. 960 1280

Mike Miller, flickr  

Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach

Sand as soft and white as sugar, brilliant sunshine and azure waters all abound in this far northeastern stretch of Florida. Only a short drive from Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach exudes small-town charm, especially at the Beach Town Center, where the pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets are lined with restaurants, galleries and boutiques. 960 1280

Fallbrook/ iStock  

Palm Beach

Palm Beach

This 14-mile-long, half-mile-wide island is the epitome of wealth and extravagance. In times past, it served as the winter home to the Vanderbilts, the Kennedys, the Rockefellers and other millionaires. True to form, the town still features some of Florida’s finest hotels, restaurants and shops, as well as beautiful beaches. Perched next to the Gulf Stream, this beach town also enjoys the extra benefit of warm blue water and gentle breezes. 960 1280

Panoramic Images/ Getty Images  

Captiva Island

Captiva Island

The blue waters and white-sand beaches of Captiva Island stretch into the horizon. So we recommend watching a spectacular sunset at the end of Captiva Drive. But before the sun sets, go boating down the waterways of the island to see local wildlife, including dolphins, crocodiles, blue herons and many different species of colorful birds. 960 1280

Pete Markham, flickr  

Key West

Key West

The beaches in Key West are ideal for swimming and snorkeling, and fishing is allowed off the piers at most beaches. Enjoy these activities at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Florida’s southernmost state park -- and one of its most beautiful spots -- that’s home to wide stretches of sand and tranquil waters. We recommend renting a 2-person, glass-bottom kayak if you’re looking for a fun but romantic escape. 960 1280

Katja Kreder/ AWL Images/ Getty Images  

Tampa Bay: Nightlife

Tampa Bay: Nightlife

A designated National Historic Landmark District, Ybor City is a lively neighborhood: It developed into a nightclub and entertainment district after its days as home to Florida’s Spanish, Cuban and Italian immigrants, as well as to its many cigar factories. 960 1280

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Charlotte: Nightlife

Charlotte: Nightlife

Easily accessible with its own stop on Charlotte’s light rail, EpiCentre is a hub for upscale dining, entertainment and nightlife. Along with restaurants, nightclubs and even bowling surrounding an open-air pavilion, EpiCentre offers amazing views of the Charlotte skyline. 960 1280

Bill Russ - visitnc.com   

Tampa Bay: Outdoors

Tampa Bay: Outdoors

Hop across the bay for the broad swaths of white sand at Clearwater Beach, which offers plenty of outdoor activities including jet skiing, parasailing and water biking. Don’t worry -- we’d never heard of water biking either, but it’s worth a Google. 960 1280

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Charlotte: Outdoors

Charlotte: Outdoors

The US National Whitewater Center just happens to be home to the world’s largest man-made recirculating river, providing rafting enthusiasts the chance to try their hand at Class II, III or IV white-water rapids. 960 1280

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Tampa Bay: Museum

Tampa Bay: Museum

Located in downtown Tampa’s River Arts District on the Riverwalk, the Tampa Museum of Art showcases 20th-century art, as well as Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities. Grab a table at the museum’s SONO Café overlooking the Hillsborough River for Italian cuisine that embraces the “Slow Food” movement. 960 1280

inazakira, flickr   

Charlotte: Museum

Charlotte: Museum

Located in uptown Charlotte, Discovery Place isn’t just for kids. A science and technology museum, Discovery Place offers visitors interactive exhibits, activities, experiments and an IMAX Dome Theatre that provides an immersive movie experience. The museum recently underwent a $31.6 million renovation, enhancing its status as a state-of-the-art, must-see attraction in Charlotte. 960 1280

Matt Fletcher, flickr   

Tampa Bay: Neighborhood

Tampa Bay: Neighborhood

An upscale, open-air shopping district, Hyde Park Village is a trendy stop for anyone looking for the best of Tampa’s arts and entertainment. Among Tampa’s best restaurants and shops, a CineBistro recently opened, combining a movie theater with fine dining. 960 1280

Madison Marquette, flickr   

Charlotte: Neighborhood

Charlotte: Neighborhood

North Davidson, or NoDa for short, is the hub of Charlotte’s arts scene. Formerly made up of textile factories and mill workers’ homes, it is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood is currently home to Charlotte’s trendy residents, as well as art galleries, music venues and hip restaurants. 960 1280

Willamore Media   

Tampa Bay: Park

Tampa Bay: Park

A neighborhood oasis, Ballast Point Park offers stunning views of downtown Tampa. Perfect for picnics under the shady trees, jogging and even rollerblading, this park dates back to 1894. 960 1280

Judy Malley, flickr   

Charlotte: Park

Charlotte: Park

Known as the “Central Park” of Charlotte, the 98-acre Freedom Park has trails, tennis and volleyball courts, athletic fields and an indoor shelter (complete with a fireplace) that is available to rent for parties and even weddings. Visit in September for the 5-day Festival in the Park, overlooking the park’s center attraction: a 7-acre lake. 960 1280

cheriejoyful, flickr  

Tampa Bay: Sports

Tampa Bay: Sports

Tampa Bay loves its baseball, with the Tampa Bay Rays being their pride and joy. A state famous for being the home of Major League Baseball’s spring training, Florida named its team the Rays to represent the idea of the team being “a beacon that radiates throughout Tampa Bay and across the entire state of Florida.” Catch a game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, a half-hour jaunt from Tampa. 960 1280

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Charlotte: Sports

Charlotte: Sports

As home to the recently opened NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte is proud of its racing culture. The Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts prestigious NASCAR events, including Memorial Day weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 and the Sprint All-Star Race. 960 1280

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Tampa Bay: Transportation

Tampa Bay: Transportation

Tampa first had electric streetcars in 1892, but the line was shut down in 1946. The streetcars returned in 2002, making it easy to get around Tampa, like back in the good ol’ days. The TECO Line Streetcar System connects downtown and Channelside to the historic Ybor City district. 960 1280

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Charlotte: Transportation

Charlotte: Transportation

Public transportation is relatively new to Charlotte, with the LYNX light rail line opening in 2007. The light rail comprises 15 stations over 9.6 miles. The city hopes to expand its public transportations services completely by the year 2034. 960 1280

Lynx - Willamor Media, flickr   

Tampa Bay: Landmark

Tampa Bay: Landmark

At 214 feet tall, the Sulphur Springs Water Tower is visible from Interstate 275 as well as much of the rest of the Sulphur Springs Historic District. The water tower was built in 1927 where a lighthouse once existed that, according to local lore, guided European ships from the bay up through Hillsborough River to replenish their fresh water tanks from the local springs. 960 1280

Jason, flickr   

Charlotte: Landmark

Charlotte: Landmark

A water fountain designed by Czech sculptor David Černý, Metalmorphosis stands at the Whitehall Technology Park in Charlotte. At 14 tons, the massive sculpture is split into layers that rotate 360 degrees, occasionally aligning to form a face. It’s so mesmerizing that it has its own webcam. 960 1280

Michael Kuhn, flickr   

Tampa Bay: Food

Tampa Bay: Food

When in a state surrounded on nearly all sides by miles and miles of water, it would be a shame to miss out on some of the freshest seafood around. From Apalachicola oysters to spiny lobster, you can’t go wrong when it comes to Tampa’s seafood. 960 1280

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Charlotte: Food

Charlotte: Food

From ribs to pulled pork, there’s nothing quite like North Carolina’s barbecue. While in Charlotte, pile your barbecue sandwiches high with coleslaw just like the locals do. 960 1280

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Tampa Bay: Shopping

Tampa Bay: Shopping

Conveniently located near Tampa International Airport, International Plaza and Bay Street makes it simple for visitors to do some major shopping. This mall in Tampa’s Westshore business district opened in 2001, and happens to have a hotel on its campus -- one of only a handful of US malls to have such an amenity. 960 1280

International Plaza  

Charlotte: Shopping

Charlotte: Shopping

The 1,621,000 square feet of SouthPark Mall make it the largest mall in the Carolinas, not to mention the 10th largest on the East Coast and the 28th largest in the US. Located approximately 5 miles from uptown Charlotte, the mall is a central part of the upscale SouthPark neighborhood. 960 1280

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