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Daytona Beach

Introducing Daytona Beach

Known for its wide, hard-packed white sandy beaches, gaudy carnival attractions, and as a mecca for leather-clad bikers, revheads and spring breakers, Daytona Beach is most famous as the birthplace of the ultra-Southern and mega-popular motorsport of NASCAR racing and as home of the Daytona 500. All this talk of racing has been known to inspire drivers to push the pedal to the metal. Police know this, of course, and quickly curtail any need for speed.

Anything but a wallflower, Daytona Beach draws a good-time crowd: it hosts one of the last spring breaks on the Atlantic Coast (tamer now than during its halcyon days); its population quintuples during Speed Weeks; and as many as half a million bikers roar into town for Bike Week in March and Biketoberfest in October. If balmy beer-soaked days and nights of motor-racing, motorcycles and the men who love them are your thing, you might have found your heaven on earth. If not, move on.

If you can see past the garish beachside barricade of 70s high-rise blocks, nightclubs and tourist traps (if not quite literally), you might witness the phenomena of nesting sea turtles (in season) or explore a handful of interesting and worthwhile cultural attractions.