Events and Festivals

Daytona Beach, a city synonymous with sun-kissed beaches and thrilling motorsports, also boasts a rich tapestry of events and festivals throughout the year. These gatherings bring to life the city’s diverse culture, arts, and community spirit. For those looking to immerse themselves in the local festivities, here’s a 3-day itinerary that showcases the best of Daytona’s vibrant event scene, complemented by great food, sights, and activities.

Day 1: Art and Cinema Under the Stars

Morning: Local Art Exploration

Start your cultural journey with a visit to the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art, where you can admire the largest collection of Florida art in the world. Enjoy breakfast at the museum’s café, savoring local flavors amidst inspiring artworks.

Afternoon: Scenic Riverfront Lunch and Stroll

For lunch, head to Zappi’s Italian Garden, nestled in Daytona’s historic district, offering delicious cuisine in a charming setting. Afterward, take a leisurely stroll along the Halifax Riverfront, enjoying the picturesque views and stopping by local shops.

Evening: Movie Night at the Bandshell

The iconic Daytona Beach Bandshell often hosts outdoor movie nights, providing a perfect setting for enjoying a film under the stars. Grab some snacks from nearby vendors and settle in for a night of cinema. For dinner, opt for a casual meal at Sloppy Joe’s on the beach, offering a fun atmosphere and tasty American fare.

Day 2: Festival Fun and Culinary Delights

Morning: Farmers Market and Brunch

Begin your day at the Daytona Beach Downtown Farmers Market, where you can sample local produce and artisanal goods. Follow up with a brunch at The Dancing Avocado Kitchen, known for its healthy and flavorful options.

Afternoon: Dive into a Festival

Depending on the time of your visit, Daytona hosts various festivals throughout the year, from the Daytona Beach Wine & Food Festival to the Daytona Turkey Run, a classic car show extravaganza. Spend your afternoon immersed in one of these events, enjoying the local culture, food, and entertainment on offer.

Evening: Sunset Dinner Cruise

Cap off your day with a Sunset Dinner Cruise aboard the Daytona Beach River Cruise. Enjoy a scenic journey along the Intracoastal Waterway, complete with a delicious dinner. It’s a serene way to experience Daytona’s natural beauty and unwind after a day of festival fun.

Day 3: Racing Excitement and Beachfront Relaxation

Morning: Speedway Thrills

No visit to Daytona is complete without experiencing the thrill of motorsports. Check the Daytona International Speedway schedule for any races or events happening during your visit. Even if there’s no race, the Speedway tours are a must-do, offering a behind-the-scenes look at one of motorsports’ most hallowed grounds.

For breakfast, head to Peach Valley Café, where you can fuel up with hearty, delicious fare before your Speedway adventure.

Afternoon: Relax at the Beach

After the morning’s excitement, enjoy a more laid-back afternoon at Daytona Beach itself. Rent a cabana, soak up the sun, or take a dip in the ocean. For lunch, Caribbean Jack’s offers waterfront dining with a menu that’s perfect for midday refueling.

Evening: Live Music and Farewell Dinner

Check the schedule at the Daytona Beach Bandshell for any live music performances happening. This historic amphitheater often hosts concerts featuring a variety of genres, making for a lively and memorable way to spend your last evening in Daytona. Enjoy dinner at The Cellar Restaurant, known for its Italian cuisine and intimate setting, before heading to the concert.