I feel like a lot of people are really unfamiliar with Groupon, which is sad, because if not for Groupon, I never would have found the Atlantic Ocean Palm Inn in Daytona Beach Shores. This was one of those sort-of-last-minute trips that G and I took over spring break. I needed something inexpensive, but also in a good area. And I needed sun. Lots of it. Living in Ohio during the winter is probably the easiest way to deplete any Vitamin D stores you may have. So I did some research, booked the hotel and away we went.
Daytona Beach Shores is directly south of the more well known Daytona Beach, and is a little more than 5 miles long. This place is the best of both worlds in my opinion. Why? Well, first, its close enough that you can drive, or depending where you are staying, even potentially walk, to the boardwalk and all of the excitement that is Daytona Beach. You can still drive on the sand-which we didn’t, but it was definitely cool to watch cars go by as we were building sandcastles. And may I add…..ice cream trucks on the beach? Hello! Best day ever. Seriously, the picture says it all.
But its much less touristy than Daytona Beach, which means less crowds and specifically in our case, less spring breakers. Which is always a plus when you have a child in tow. I would say the biggest downfall in staying at the Shores rather than Daytona itself, was that we usually had to drive to get to food, which in my mind was worth what we were getting in return. The boardwalk was about a 5-10 minute drive depending on the traffic. Its your typical boardwalk with rides and lots of food options but its definitely a fun addition to the trip.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the aforementioned Atlantic Ocean Palm Inn. It was by no means perfect, but for $40/night and being right on the ocean, it was pretty perfect for what we needed. It was clean, the staff were very helpful and is set up like a motel which was actually really nice because we could come right out of room and watch the sunrise
Ok, who am I kidding, I could come out and watch the sunrise while G slept. It has a pool, which we only took advantage of once, but it was clean and not too crowded. The best part, though was that we could literally come down the steps every morning and head right out to the beach. We would set up our towels and sand toys and we were set for the day. Perfect.
Where to Eat
The best part about the Daytona area is that everything is fairly close together. You can find most anything you need within a reasonable walk or short drive. There are plenty of good places to eat on S. Atlantic Ave. We enjoyed The Cracked Egg Diner for breakfast or lunch and Crabby Joe’s for a great view of the water while you dine. Bruno’s Pizzeria has great pizza; its a fairly small establishment that offers carryout so my recommendation is order out and enjoy while sitting on the beach, which is truly the best ocean view you can ask for anyway!
Most of the places in Daytona Beach Shores have to be driven to. If you’re looking to be in the center of the action, Daytona Beach is just a few miles away!
You can drive on the beach, but be aware of tide levels. They close or shift the driving lanes depending on the tide.
Of course, as always, talk to other people! We ended up meeting a lovely family on the beach from Georgia who vacationed there every year and they were able to give us some great tips on some yummy bakeries in the area.