East Central Florida is a long and narrow region that starts with Daytona Beach on the north side and ends with St. Lucie Inlet in the south. It is divided into various regions that feature different attractions. Aside from its lovely sand beaches, this part of Florida is also abundant with interesting historical sites and beautiful parks that are waiting to be discovered and enjoyed by travelers.
One of the most visited regions in Florida is Brevard County. It is also referred to as Space Coast due to the famous Kennedy Space Center located in one of its cities named Cape Canaveral. The Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex offers visitors regular tours of its facilities and museums. It is a favorite destination for tourists here in Florida. The coast is also full of pristine beaches. Cocoa Beach is one of the most well-known vacation spots for locals and tourists alike. The Atlantic beach is an amazing haven for surfers around the world. Another surfing town is Melbourne Beach. For some nature tripping, visit Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville where you can admire the natural wonders of forests, marshes and dunes. It also serves as home to endangered species such as manatee, sea turtle and bald eagle.
Probably the most popular of Florida’s regions is Volusia County, also coined the Fun Coast. This is where the reputed Daytona Beach lies. Known as the World Center of Racing, and for its white sandy beach, Daytona Beach attracts millions of visitors every year. The majority of these visitors are heading to Daytona International Speedway to witness racing events and other motorsports. One of the biggest events held in Daytona Beach is Bike Week. Thousands of enthusiasts join the 10-day adventure where they explore the whole of Daytona Beach. Others favor watching the picturesque Halifax River or paying a visit to one of the many museums and galleries sitting along its banks. One notable museum is the Halifax Historical Museum that houses Indian and Spanish artifacts and memorabilia. The Southeast Museum of Photography inside Daytona State College exhibits various local and world-renowned photographers. Another Daytona Beach attraction is the Dunn Toys and Hobbies. Considered the South’s Largest Toy Store, its vibrant window display is too colorful not to be noticed. It is an ideal place for youngsters and the young-at-hearts. There are also interesting landmarks in this area that you might want to see and photograph such as the Daytona Beach Clock tower dedicated to Sir Malcolm Campbell, or the Dale Earnhardt Sr. Statue that was built in memory of the NASCAR racer who died while racing, or the life-size Wright Flyer Sculpture made by Larry Godwin.
Florida’s tallest lighthouse, and second tallest in the US, is also found in Volusia County at Ponce Inlet. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is a National Historic Landmark. With its 175 feet height, it offers stunning views of the Halifax River and the Atlantic Ocean to visitors who brave its winding staircase. It is also home to a museum that showcases lighthouse life, shipwrecks and local history. Passing the Lighthouse Loop is also a good way to explore the city. The scenic route is commonly used by bicyclists, runners and walkers. The Lighthouse Point Park at the south end of Ponce Inlet is a 52-acre land ideal for hiking, picnics, and wildlife observation. Ponce Inlet Jetty, on the other hand, allows visitors to watch marine life such as dolphins that frequent the area. It is also an excellent spot for fishing and surfing.
Fascinating white sand beaches, numerous historical sites and diverse dining and shopping experiences make New Smyrna Beach a perfect destination. Just 20 miles from Daytona Beach, it is convenient to stop by and see what New Smyrna Beach has to offer. Aside from its beaches, Flagler Avenue Park is a popular beachfront park that is flocked with people, restaurants and shops. It is ideal for an evening walk and some quiet time. Lake Ashby Park, on the contrary, is a perfect spot for some outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, hiking and volleyball. There is also a playground where swings and ropes are available for your childrens’ enjoyment. Smyrna Dunes Park is great for sightseeing with its area surrounded by water.
The Treasure Coast of Florida includes St. Lucie and Indian River. It is named as such because of the sunken Spanish vessels that are said to be filled with treasures. Mel Fishers Treasure Museum displays some of these treasures excavated from the shipwrecks such as gold coins, gold bars and other Spanish artifacts.