Daytona Beach, Florida facts for kids
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Daytona Beach, Florida
|City of Daytona Beach|
"The World's Most Famous Beach", "The Spring Break Capital of the World"
Location in Volusia County and the state of Florida
|• City||68.19 sq mi (176.62 km2)|
|• Land||65.59 sq mi (169.89 km2)|
|• Water||2.60 sq mi (6.74 km2)|
|• Urban||190.65 sq mi (493.8 km2)|
|Elevation||13 ft (4 m)|
|• Density||1,107.54/sq mi (427.62/km2)|
|• Urban||349,064 (109th U.S.)|
|• Metro||609,939 (90th U.S.)|
|• CSA||3,045,707 (20th U.S.)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0281353|
Daytona Beach or simply Daytona is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States. It lies approximately 51 miles (82.1 km) northeast of Orlando, 86 miles (138.4 km) southeast of Jacksonville, and 265 miles (426.5 km) northwest of Miami. As of the 2020 census, it had a population of 72,647. It is a principal city of the Deltona–Daytona Beach–Ormond Beach metropolitan area, which was home to 600,756 people as of 2013. Daytona Beach is also a principal city of the Fun Coast region of Florida.
The city is historically known for its beach, where the hard-packed sand allows motorized vehicles to drive on the beach in restricted areas. This hard-packed sand made Daytona Beach a mecca for motorsports, and the old Daytona Beach and Road Course hosted races for over 50 years. This was replaced in 1959 by Daytona International Speedway. The city is also the headquarters for NASCAR.
Daytona Beach hosts large groups of out-of-towners during the year, who visit the city for various events, notably Speedweeks in early February when over 200,000 NASCAR fans come to attend the season-opening Daytona 500. Other events include the NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400 race in August, Bike Week in early March, Biketoberfest in late October, and the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race in January.
- Special events
- Points of interest
- In popular culture
- Notable people
- Images for kids
- See also
The area where Daytona Beach is today was once inhabited by the indigenous Timucuan Indians who lived in fortified villages. The Timucuas were nearly exterminated by contact with Europeans through war, enslavement and disease and became extinct as a racial entity through assimilation and attrition during the 18th century. The Seminole Indians, descendants of Creek Indians from Georgia and Alabama, frequented the area prior to the Second Seminole War.
During the era of British rule of Florida between 1763 and 1783, the King's Road passed through present-day Daytona Beach. The road extended from St. Augustine, the capital of East Florida, to Andrew Turnbull's experimental colony in New Smyrna. In 1804 Samuel Williams received a land grant of 3,000 acres (12 km2) from the Spanish Crown, which had regained Florida from the British after the American Revolution. This land grant encompassed the area that would become Daytona Beach. Williams built a slave-labor-based plantation to grow cotton, rice and sugar cane. His son Samuel Hill Williams would abandon the plantation during the Second Seminole War, when the Seminoles burned it to the ground.
In 1871, Mathias Day, Jr. of Mansfield, Ohio, purchased a 2,144.5 acre tract of the former Williams Plantation, on the west bank of the tidal channel known as the Halifax River. He built a hotel around which the initial section of town, today the Daytona Beach Historic District, arose. In 1872, due to financial troubles, Day lost title to his land; nonetheless, residents decide to name the city Daytona in his honor, and incorporated the town in 1876.
In 1886, the St. Johns & Halifax River Railway arrived in Daytona. The line would be purchased in 1889 by Henry M. Flagler, who made it part of his Florida East Coast Railway. The separate towns of Daytona, Daytona Beach, Kingston, and Seabreeze merged as "Daytona Beach" in 1926, at the urging of civic leader J.B. Kahn and others. By the 1920s, it was dubbed "The World's Most Famous Beach".
Daytona's wide beach of smooth, compacted sand attracted automobile and motorcycle races beginning in 1902, as pioneers in the industry tested their inventions. It hosted land speed record attempts beginning in 1904, when William K. Vanderbilt set an unofficial record of 92.307 mph (148.554 km/h). Land speed racers from Barney Oldfield to Henry Seagrave to Malcolm Campbell would visit Daytona repeatedly and make the 23 mi (37 km) beach course famous. Record attempts, including numerous fatal endeavors such as Frank Lockhart (Stutz Black Hawk, 1926) and Lee Bible (Triplex Special, 1929), would continue until Campbell's March 7, 1935 effort, which set the record at 276.816 mph (445.492 km/h) and marked the end of Daytona's land speed racing days.
On March 8, 1936, the first stock car race was held on the Daytona Beach Road Course, located in the present-day Town of Ponce Inlet. In 1958, William France Sr. and NASCAR created the Daytona International Speedway to replace the beach course. Automobiles are still permitted on most areas of the beach, at a maximum speed of 10 mph (16 km/h).
|Weather chart for Daytona Beach, Florida|
|temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
Daytona Beach is located at 29°12′N 81°2′W (29.2073, −81.0379). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 64.93 sq mi (168 km2). of which 58.68 sq mi (152 km2) is land and 6.25 sq mi (16 km2) is water. Water is 9.6% of the total area.
The city of Daytona Beach is split in two by the Halifax River lagoon, part of the Intracoastal Waterway, and sits on the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered on the north by Holly Hill and Ormond Beach and on the south by Daytona Beach Shores, South Daytona and Port Orange.
Daytona Beach has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) – typical of the Gulf and South Atlantic states. As is typical of much of Florida, there are two seasons in Daytona Beach, the warmer, wetter season (late May through October) and the cooler and drier season (November through April).
In summer, average daytime highs are in the 80s and low 90s (26 to 33 °C) and average night-time lows are near 70 °F (21 °C) in Daytona Beach. The Bermuda High pumps hot and unstable tropical air from the Bahamas and Gulf of Mexico, resulting in daily, but brief thundershowers. A large amount of the yearly rainfall in Daytona Beach falls during this time of year. Fall and spring are transitional seasons, with daily highs in the 75 to 80 F (21 to 24 °C) range and overnight lows in the 50s to low 60s (10 to 17 °C).
In winter, Daytona Beach has weather conditions typical of cities on the Florida peninsula. The coolest months are from December through February; average daytime highs range from 65 to 70 °F (18 to 21 °C) and nighttime lows are near 50 F (10 °C). Occasional cold fronts often drop the daytime temperatures into the 50s F with nights in the 30s F a few times each month. Like much of Florida, Daytona Beach often can be very dry in late winter and early spring, and brush fires and water restrictions can be an issue. Daytona Beach averages only 6 frosts per year according to the National Weather Service office in Melbourne. There is no record of snow on the ground in Daytona Beach in the last 109 years; however, snow flurries have been observed twice since 1880 – on January 1, 1977 and in January 2010.
|Climate data for Daytona Beach, Florida (Daytona Beach Int'l), 1981–2010 normals|
|Record high °F (°C)||92
|Average high °F (°C)||68.4
|Daily mean °F (°C)||57.9
|Average low °F (°C)||47.3
|Record low °F (°C)||15
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.74
Hurricanes and tornadoes
Typically tropical cyclones pass offshore once they reach the northern portion of the Atlantic coast of Florida. As such, the hurricane risk for Daytona Beach is significantly lower than areas of southern Florida like Miami and Key West. The 2004 hurricane season was by far the most active in the Daytona Beach area in the last 50 years. However, since 1950 there has only been one direct hit by a tropical cyclone to the Daytona Beach area, Hurricane Donna in 1960.
Although Daytona Beach has a significantly lesser tornado risk than areas like the Great Plains and Midwest, there have been a few deadly and destructive tornadoes in the last 100 years in Daytona Beach area. Most recently, on February 22, 1998 a tornado killed 3 people, injured 70 people, and caused $31 million in damages.
On July 3, 1992, a 28-mile (45 km) long rogue wave hit the Volusia County beaches. The wave's range was from Ormond Beach in the north, to New Smyrna Beach on the south. The crest was 9 feet (2.7 m) high and centered at Daytona Beach. Sailboats crashed ashore onto cars and many people suffered cuts and bruises from glass and debris. Two people required hospitalization and 200 vehicles were damaged. 75 injuries were reported. The prevailing theory is that an underwater landslide caused the rogue wave, although others have theorized that it was the result of a squall line.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Daytona Beach demographics|
|2010 U.S. Census||Daytona Beach||Volusia County||Florida|
|Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010||−4.8%||+11.6%||+17.6%|
|Population density||1,044.4/sq mi||449.2/sq mi||350.6/sq mi|
|White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic)||57.8%||82.5%||75.0%|
|(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian)||54.4%||75.4%||57.9%|
|Black or African-American||35.4%||10.5%||16.0%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||6.2%||11.2%||22.5%|
|Native American or Native Alaskan||0.4%||0.4%||0.4%|
|Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian||0.0%||0.0%||0.1%|
|Two or more races (Multiracial)||2.3%||2.1%||2.5%|
|Any other race||1.8%||3.0%||3.6%|
As of 2010, there were 33,920 households, out of which 19.5% were vacant. As of 2000, 18.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.1% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.6% were non-families. Of all households, 39.4% were made up of individuals, and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.77.
In 2000, the city the population was spread out, with 17.6% under the age of 18, 16.6% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.5 males.
In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $25,439, and the median income for a family was $33,514. Males had a median income of $25,705 versus $20,261 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,530. 23.6% of the population and 16.9% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 34.9% of those under the age of 18 and 12.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
As of 2000, English spoken as a first language accounted for 90.37% of all residents, while 9.62% spoke other languages as their mother tongue. The most significant were Spanish speakers who made up 4.01% of the population, while French came up as the third most spoken language, which made up 0.90%, and German was at fourth, at 0.86%, as well as, Arabic with 0.66% of the population.
The Museum of Arts and Sciences is the primary cultural facility for Daytona Beach and Volusia County. Other museums located in the city include the Southeast Museum of Photography and the Halifax Historical Museum. The Museum of Arts and Sciences is actually a collection of museums and galleries and includes the Klancke Environmental Complex, the Cuban Museum, Root Family Museum featuring one of the largest Coca-Cola collections in the world, the Dow American Gallery and the Bouchelle Center for Decorative Arts which together form what is probably one of the finest collections of furniture and decorative arts in the Southeast. There are also changing exhibitions and a children's science center opened in 2008. Since 1952, the non-profit Daytona Beach Symphony Society has sponsored performances by U.S. and international orchestras, opera and dance companies each season at the Peabody Auditorium.
The city attracts over 8,000,000 tourists each year. Special events that draw visitors to Daytona Beach include:
- Speedweeks (Daytona 500 NASCAR race, Rolex 24 sports car race, and others)
- Coke Zero 400, NASCAR race held on the first Saturday of July (formerly called the Pepsi 400 and the Firecracker 400)
- Daytona Beach Bike Week Daytona 200 motorcycle races, bike shows and biker reunion in March
- Biketoberfest in October
- Turkey Run car show and events during Thanksgiving weekend (Traditionally called the Turkey Rod Run)
- Spring break (date varies, usually the first and second week of March)
During motorcycle events (Bike Week and Biketoberfest), several hundred thousand bikers from all over the world visit the greater Daytona Beach area. The city is also often associated with spring break, though the efforts of the local government to discourage rowdiness, combined with the rise of other spring break destinations, have affected Daytona's preeminence as a spring break destination. It is the destination of Dayton 2 Daytona, an annual event that draws over 3,000 University of Dayton college students since 1977.
Passenger airline services are located at Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), which is centrally located within the city adjacent to Daytona International Speedway. The site was first used as an airport with terminals being constructed in 1952 and 1958. The present facility was constructed in 1992 at the cost of $46 million, and includes both a domestic terminal and an International terminal. Despite the new facilities, DAB has found difficulty in attracting and retaining carriers; Continental Airlines, AirTran Airways, and United Airlines discontinued flights to Daytona in 2007 and 2008. LTU & American Airlines also serviced Daytona Beach during the 1980s and 1990s, both of which ended all flights in 1994 & 1997.
Current passenger airlines serving DAB include Delta Air Lines (with nonstop service to Atlanta) and American Airlines (with non-stop service to Charlotte). Both carriers offer connecting service from those cities to destinations worldwide. International flights from DAB fly to destinations in the Bahamas through air taxi and charter services Airgate Aviation and IslandPass; non-stop flights are available from DAB to Marsh Harbour, Treasure Cay, and North Eleuthera. Sunwing Airlines also operates seasonal flights from Toronto Pearson International Airport. DAB is also heavily used for general aviation, largely due to Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, whose campus is located at the airport.
- Daytona Beach is served by Greyhound Bus Lines, which has a terminal located at 138 South Ridgewood Avenue (US 1). The Greyhound routes from Daytona Beach connect with hubs in Jacksonville and Orlando.
- Votran is the local bus service provided by Volusia County.
Daytona Beach is easily accessible by I-95 that runs north and south and I-4 connecting Daytona Beach with Orlando and Tampa. US 1 (Ridgewood Avenue) also passes north–south through Daytona Beach. US 92 (International Speedway Boulevard) runs east–west through Daytona Beach. SR A1A is a scenic north–south route along the beach.
The Volusia County Parking Garage is located at 701 Earl Street at North Atlantic Avenue (SR A1A). The garage is strategically located, next to the Ocean Center, Daytona Lagoon, and across the street from the Hilton Hotel and Ocean Walk Shoppes. Over one thousand parking spaces are available inside the garage, which also houses an intermodal transfer station for VoTran.
There are four bridges over the Halifax River (and Intracoastal Waterway) at Daytona Beach. They include (starting from furthest downstream) the Veterans Memorial Bridge (which carries CR 4050 traffic), the Broadway Bridge (which carries US 92 traffic), the Main Street Bridge (which carries CR 4040 traffic), and the Seabreeze Bridge (which carries SR 430 traffic). All four bridges charge no toll to traffic. In June, 2016, the Veterans Memorial Bridge was closed as part of a three-year project to demolish the drawbridge and replace it with a high span bridge.
Passenger railroad service to Daytona Beach was established no later than 1889 by the Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Halifax River Railway, predecessor of the Florida East Coast Railroad (FEC). Long-distance trains such as the City of Miami and the South Wind (both from Chicago), East Coast Champion (from New York City) and the Havana Special (New York City) made stops at Daytona Beach. Long distance routes were diverted to Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and Seaboard Air Line Railroad routes on the Florida interior south of the Jacksonville Union Station, following the beginning of a labor dispute on the FEC in 1963. Passenger trains continued calling at Daytona Beach until July 31, 1968, when the FEC terminated passenger operations system-wide. The FEC currently operates freight trains through Daytona Beach.
Daytona Beach is served by Amtrak by way of a Thruway Motorcoach connection between the beachside and Amtrak's DeLand Station, 28 miles (45 km) to the west. There, the service connects northbound with train 92, the Silver Star, and train 98, the Silver Meteor. Southbound connections from Daytona Beach are limited to Silver Meteor southbound train 97. The DeLand – Daytona Beach service is Amtrak's only Florida Thruway Motorcoach route provided by a taxi-cab, rather than a bus.
Points of interest
National Historic Places
Other points of interest
In popular culture
Novels set in Daytona Beach include:
- Day Number 142 (1974) by Edgar A. Anderson
- Last Cruise of the Nightwatch (1956) by Howard Broomfield
- Kick of the Wheel (1957) by Stewart Sterling
There have been a number of movies based on Daytona Beach, usually with a racing theme. The most recent example was the 1990 hit Days of Thunder, parts of which were filmed in Daytona Beach and nearby DeLand. Chris Rea wrote the song "Daytona" which was in his 1989 album The Road to Hell. Suzi Quatro's song "Daytona Demon" is often believed to refer to the city. Also, about half of the video for the song "Steal My Sunshine" by Len was filmed at Daytona Beach.
Daytona Beach was also the destination of a group of plagued teenagers in the movie Final Destination 2.
Daytona Beach was also one of the settings in the 2008 film Marley & Me.
A major part of the Daytona Beach area economy is involved in the tourist industry. Over 8 million visitors came to the Daytona Beach area in 2004.
The area's economy includes other industries besides tourism, such as manufacturing. Daytona Beach has industrial sites within an enterprise zone and sites within a foreign trade zone adjacent to Daytona Beach International Airport. Prime Interstate 4 and Interstate 95 sites are available with access to road, air, rail and water transportation.
Companies and organizations that have their corporate headquarters or a major presence in the area:
- Brown & Brown
- Halifax Health
- Halifax Media Group
- International Speedway Corporation
- Gambro-Renal Products
- Ladies Professional Golf Association
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Cobb Cole
- DMW Delivers
- Volusia Mall, 1700 West International Speedway Blvd. The largest shopping mall in Daytona Beach. Anchored by Sears, JCPenney, Macy's, and Dillard's.
- Ocean Walk Shoppes, 250 North Atlantic Ave. Open-air shopping center, located in the heart of the beach area.
- Tanger Outlets, located in the southeast quadrant of Interstate 95 and LPGA Blvd. The 380,000 square feet (35,000 m2) retail center was completed in November 2016.
According to the City's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Volusia County School District||7,623|
|3||Volusia County, Florida||3,408|
|4||Advent Health Daytona Beach||2,288|
|5||Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University||2,003|
|6||Daytona State College||1,250|
|7||The City of Daytona Beach, Florida||921|
|8||Bethune Cookman University||843|
|9||Florida Hospital Healthcare Partner||697|
Daytona Beach is home to the headquarters of the LPGA, NASCAR, IMSA, International Speedway Corporation, in Florida.
In addition to motorsports, Daytona is also the home of the Daytona Tortugas, a minor league baseball team of the Low-A Southeast who play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark; it was established in 1993 and currently has 6 championships.
There are a number of golf courses in Daytona Beach.
- Daytona Beach Golf Course: Two courses, North and South Courses designed in 1922.
- LPGA International: The golf club offers two 18-hole courses, Hills and Jones (originally Legends and Champions).
Primary and secondary schooling
Public primary and secondary education is handled by Volusia County Schools. Daytona Beach has two public traditional high schools, two middle schools and six elementary schools. Some of the larger private schools include Father Lopez Catholic High School.
- Bonner Elementary
- Ortona Elementary
- Champion Elementary
- Palm Terrace Elementary
- R.J. Longstreet Elementary
- Turie T. Small Elementary
- Westside Elementary
- David C. Hinson Middle
- Campbell Middle
- Seabreeze High
- Mainland High
- Father Lopez Catholic High School
Colleges and universities
- Bethune–Cookman University
- Daytona State College
- Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University
- University of Central Florida, Daytona Beach Campus
- The Airline Academy – Offers flight training for pilots and other airline professionals.
- Keiser College
- Phoenix East Aviation – Offers flight training for pilots.
- WyoTech (formerly AMI) motorcycle repair, and marine repair training.
- Duane Allman and Gregg Allman, musicians
- Perry Baker, rugby player for U.S. national team
- Fulgencio Batista, 19th President of Cuba
- Pete Carr, musician
- Vince Carter, basketball player, 8-time NBA All-Star
- Ed Charles, former Major League Baseball player
- Bryan Cranston, actor
- Bill France Sr., founder of NASCAR
- Roland G. Fryer Jr., economist; In 2007, at age 30, he became the youngest African-American to be given tenure at Harvard University
- Lee H. Hamilton former Indiana U.S. Congressman
- Danielle Harris, actress
- Zora Neale Hurston, writer, anthropologist
- Alex Kinsey, singer
- E. J. Kuale, professional football player
- Gary Russell Libby, art historian, curator, and former director of Museum of Arts and Sciences
- Ryan Lochte, swimmer, winner of 12 Olympic medals including six gold
- Martin Mayhew, pro football player and executive
- Mary McLeod Bethune, educator and civil rights activist
- Walter M. Miller Jr., author of A Canticle for Leibowitz
- Matthew Tyler Musto, musician
- Kevin Nash, professional WWE wrestler
- No Kum-sok, North Korean defector
- Ransom Eli Olds, automobile pioneer
- Pavlina Osta, radio host
- Josef Papp, engineer
- Kitty Pryde, rapper
- Glen "Fireball" Roberts, NASCAR driver
- Jackie Robinson, professional baseball player
- Bob Ross, artist and television host
- Galen Seaman, lawyer, Wisconsin State Assemblyman, and mayor of Daytona Beach
- David Sholtz, 26th governor of Florida
- Mike Skinner, NASCAR driver
- Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté, painter
- Howard Thurman, author and theologian
- Denzel Washington, actor
- Eric Weems, professional football player
- T. K. Wetherell, president of Florida State University
- Robert Wright, musical theater writer
- Smokey Yunick, mechanic and motor racing innovator
Images for kids
In Spanish: Daytona Beach para niños
Daytona Beach, Florida Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.