Daytona is famous for its dedication to modern society’s greatest invention. No, not fire — we’re talking about the wheel, of course. Although sparks do erupt from time to time, especially on the race track!
Before you take a spin over to Diamond’s Daytona Beach Regency to experience all the motors that the city has to offer, scroll through these five frequently asked questions for some insider knowledge.
1. What and when is the DAYTONA 500?
The Daytona International Speedway hosts many events, and the February DAYTONA 500 is arguably the biggest, garnering the largest televised audience for any auto race in the U.S. since 1995. It’s also possible to catch the action in person. In fact, as soon as the annual race is over, tickets almost immediately go on presale for the next year. So if you want to attend, all you have to do is plan ahead.
If you don’t want to travel during the busiest race season, you can visit Daytona Beach another month or attend other heart-racing NASCAR and motorcycle races. These include the Coke Zezo Sugar 400 and the DAYTONA Supercross, as well as March Bike Week festivities.
2. What is Daytona Bike Week all about?
To celebrate the motorcycle, Bike Week began in 1937 with a race on the hard-packed beach sand. The American Motorcycling Association (AMA) halted the event from 1942-1947 due to World War II, but once it resumed, it never stopped.
In the 1980s, Bike Week gained a reputation when crowds swelled, non-sanctioned satellite events grew rowdy and law enforcement and bikers clashed repeatedly. Things smoothed over after the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce turned it into a ten-day festival for locals, as well as visitors, to enjoy.
Today, Bike Week is the largest motorcycle event in the world. The races, along with motorcycle demonstrations and a huge array of vendors and sponsors like Harley-Davidson, now take place at the Daytona International Speedway. And the whole of Volusia County gets involved with special offers on lodging, drinking and dining, as well as other happenings like treasure hunts and giveaways.
3. Is it true that you can drive your car on the beaches?
The short answer is yes — you can drive on the cement-like sands of Daytona Beach and the other beaches in Volusia County. Keep in mind that for most of the year, you will need to purchase a pass to be allowed to drive your vehicle on the beach. If you’re a resident, however, these passes are free in December and January. Otherwise, you have to pay $20 per vehicle for an annual beach pass.
Driving is dependent on the weather, tide and wildlife you might encounter. In addition, keep these rules in mind:
- The speed limit is 10 mph
- Absolutely no texting while driving
- Don’t “cruise” — drive to find a spot and park
- Park perpendicular to the coastline
- No double parking
- Drive with at least one front window down and your headlights on
- Stay in the lane, and watch out for children and sea turtle nests
- No driving at night: From May 1-Oct. 31, the hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from Nov. 1-April 30 you can drive between sunrise and sunset
- Traffic is one-way, and there are several traffic-free and no-parking zones for families with young children
4. What other behind-the-wheel experiences can I find during a Daytona Beach vacation?
Learn how to drive like a NASCAR pro on a Daytona Beach race track! Okay, maybe just learn how it feels to hold the wheel of a powerful race car and go really fast. The Richard Petty Driving Experience offers 5 to 48-minute track times experience year-round — complete with pit stops every eight minutes for the longer sessions. You’re allowed to pass slower cars, too, while a one-on-one instructor guides you over the in-car radio.
But if the signature 2.5-mile, tri-oval speedway with 31 degrees of banking turns sounds a little too dramatic, don’t worry. The NASCAR Ride Along Experience allows you to get the same thrill. Kids can even ride shotgun with a pro as long as they’re at least 48 inches tall.
5. Where can I admire cars, trucks and bikes that aren’t revving their engines?
For car, motorcycle and truck enthusiasts, Daytona provides more than the famous, heart-stopping action that’s hard on the eardrums. The Spring Daytona Turkey Run is a wonderful, family-friendly event for the display of classic, customized and exotic cars and trucks. Held at the International Speedway, the event includes vendors, artisans, a kids’ zone and entertainment. The vehicles are also up for sale or swap.
If you love vintage and custom motorcycles, the annual Kory Souza Originals No-Class Bike Show takes place at the Ocean Center Beachside Convention Center every March. AutoFest Daytona Beach is a community event where collectors and owners bring their rides to show and swap.
Likewise, Daytona Street Cruisers has a comprehensive list of monthly and weekly cruise-ins, where collectors gather to talk shop.
Finally, if you find just looking at cars too tame, head to Daytona Lagoon, where the only go-kart course in town introduces the thrill of racing to every member of the family.
However you get your engines revving, you won’t be disappointed by a Daytona Beach vacation. Start planning your trip today by visiting Diamond Resorts.
Diamond Resorts International Marketing, Inc., its parents, sister companies, and subsidiaries, make no warranty, express or implied, as to the condition, capacity, performance or any other aspect of the activities, events, or service providers listed herein. No inquiry has been made into the activities or events, or the qualifications or the quality of services offered by the providers. Do not consider this an endorsement of or recommendation for any of the activities, events, or providers.