Updated: Aug 20
My favorite place is the beach. I can't believe that I, mother of daughters, lover of beaches, have never visited "The Most Famous Beach In The World" Daytona Beach.
When I think of Daytona Beach I think of 80's movies, and Spring Break, I was born in 1980, after all. Now that I live in Florida, I decided to drive up from where I live, a short trip (about 2 hours), to Daytona Beach. My family and I were graciously hosted by The Hilton Daytona Beach Ocean Front Resort over 4th of July weekend. Once we drove into Daytona I was hit with such a nostalgic feeling. You see, I'm from New York, and every summer was spent with my grandparents in Atlantic City, on the Jersey Shore.
Daytona Beach feels like a mix of Atlantic City, Coney Island, and Venice Beach CA, all wrapped into one. It's intoxicating, a little wild, and non-stop action. My daughters (6 and 9) were enchanted immediately! Between the boardwalk entertainers, our beach front cabana suite, and the hotel pool, we did not have one moment of boredom.
Booking a beach front cabana suite at The Hilton Daytona Beach is an absolute MUST- especially if you are staying in the summer. They have fireworks on the beach every Saturday night, so you basically get a VIP up close and personal view, in the privacy of your patio which overlooks the boardwalk and ocean. As soon as we arrived we were warmly welcomed, and our room freshly cleaned and ready. A sweet little gift basket was waiting for us too- it was such a nice touch! The suite was large enough for a family of 4, and has a separate living room area with a mini fridge and microwave which is so convenient when you have kids.
I had some work to catch up on while we were there, so while my husband hung at the pool with the girls, I caught up with emails at the business center (which has a beach front view!). I try not to work on vacation, but this was in fact- a workcation, so it had to be done. Luckily, The Hilton Daytona Beach has amenities that make it seamless to get business done.
I'm no foodie, but let me tell you that you NEED to get the tacos at Don Ricos Sports Bar & Grill. The atmosphere is super casual and family friendly. The kids menus in all of the restaurants had all of the regular faves (chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, etc.), and very reasonably priced. We also dined at Doc Bales for dinner and breakfast, and we had amazing freshly made omelettes while overlooking the ocean. You can't beat the view! The Hilton Daytona Beach also has two other restaurants- The Blind Turtle & Waves Beach Bar, that are beach front and perfect for a quick lunch and fun fruity frozen cocktail. There is always somewhere to get a snack, a meal, or a drink, and for us that is so important because when you're traveling with kids it can be hard!
We spent most days switching between the pool, and the beach. The water was super warm, and there were tons of fish! My daughters even caught a few in their net, and then released of course! We loved strolling on the boardwalk in the evenings after dinner, and grabbing a dessert, or interacting with one of the boardwalk entertainers. I haven't seen my kids smile and enjoy life like that in a while. Daytona Beach is full of life, and for all of us, 2020 stopped life in its tracks. It was so glad to be back and feel the energy of a crowd.
After 3 enjoyable nights, it was time to pack up and go, and I would lie if I said that there were no tears shed. It's great to know that we can always go back to visit Daytona Beach, just a 2 hour car ride away. When we need some excitement, a rush, or a little pick me up, we know that the Hilton Daytona Beach will be right there, waiting to welcome us back.