Daytona Beach, Florida is a fantastic budget-friendly romantic getaway. From pristine white-sand beaches to adrenaline-pumping adventure, there’s something for everyone – no matter what your definition of “romance” is (ours can be a little strange, admittedly).
Here are 11 crazy romantic things to do in Daytona Beach with your partner!
First, of course, you’ll need to fuel up. Grab a coffee at Sweet Marlay’s and a hearty breakfast at the Cracked Egg Diner before your day of romance!
Psst…Looking for more places to escape on a romantic weekend trip? Check out some of our other posts:
- The 10 Best Weekend Getaways in Florida (& Over 60 Activities!)
- 29 Things Nobody Tells You About Savannah, Georgia
- The Best Disney World Resort Bar Crawl: A (Former) Cast Member’s Guide
- 10 Quirky Things To Do In Key West, Florida (& Massive Travel Guide)
Looking for more USA inspiration? We have a MASSIVE travel guide for all our favorite places in the US and handy advice, packing tips and travel guides. Click the link below to download!
Where to Stay in Daytona Beach
When considering where to stay in Daytona Beach, there’s one obvious question that comes to mind: how close can you stay to the beach?
Like can we just stay ON THE BEACH? Can we burrow into a cocoon of warm sand in the beach and order mai-tais and just stay THERE?
Here’s the good news: absolutely, yes.
Here are a few suggestions for romantic places to stay close to all the Daytona Beach attractions.
Budget: Ballin’ ($200+)
- Hammock Beach Resort: With a name like ‘Hammock Beach Resort,” you can already tell how relaxed you’re going to feel staying at this gorgeous golf & spa resort. But just check out that pool!!! Seriously, look at it. It’s AMAZING. You may never actually leave the hotel to make it the 10 steps to Dayton Beach, and honestly? We won’t blame you. Check prices
Budget: Mid-Range ($100-200)
- The Shores Resort & Spa: Located on the beach (of course), The Shores Resort & Spa is pure luxury at an incredible value. Enjoy private cabana service, fire pits, and a tiki bar. Spend a day getting pampered with a couple’s spa treatment. Wind down in the spa tub overlooking the ocean, and cozy up in the hotel bathrobe (I LOVE hotel bathrobes)! Check prices
Budget: As Cheap As Possible (Under $100)
- Tropical Winds Oceanfront Hotel: Is it possible to stay on the beach in Daytona Beach and not shell out an arm and a leg? Get it – SHELL OUT?! Anyway, yes. As long as you’re willing to compromise slightly on the size of your beachfront pool. There are worse things. As a major budget traveler bonus, Tropical Winds Oceanfront Hotel rooms include kitchens or kitchenettes, so you can save some cash by eating in for some of your meals! Check prices
- Beachfront Beach-themed Apartment: There are some great deals on VRBOs in Daytona Beach but we really love this absolute bargain right on the beach. This is a privately owned condo within a larger resort where you have access to all the resort facilities such as indoor and outdoor pools, shuffleboard courts, and BBQ facilities. The condo is a blue beach themed dream bringing the beachy vibes inside!
We recommend booking directly through VRBO because it has fewer fees and more flexible cancellation policies than Airbnb – also, we’re not fans of Airbnb’s unethical track record and lax security.
Want to see some more options? Take a look at all of the most romantic hotels in Daytona Beach on Expedia.
What to Pack for Daytona Beach
There are a few absolutely crucial things you’ll want to bring for your romantic vacation in Daytona Beach! First of all, you’ll want makeup that won’t slide off when you hit the beach – check out our travel makeup guide.
Here are our suggestions for what to wear to Daytona Beach.
- High SPF Sunscreen: I’m way too pale to not wear sunscreen. I really like this Neutrogena sunscreen because it soaks into your skin quickly and doesn’t leave that icky filmy feeling.
- Reef Safe Sunscreen: Help conserve ocean life and marine habitats by wearing biodegradable sunscreen when you go swimming! If you’ll be getting into the water in any natural habitats – especially near manatee or dolphin habitats – this is so important. You’ll be swimming right through their home, and wearing regular sunscreen harms the wildlife that you’re there to see. For more information on how your sunscreen can harm wildlife & the environment, this Vogue article is a fantastic source of information.
- Cute beach hat: Is a trip to the beach really complete without a picture of you in an adorable floppy hat like this one? Or this one? We have a Panama style hat like this one that my husband and I share – he can only pull off this style on the beach, but man, he looks SO cute in it. Oh, right – they protect you from the sun, too.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses, like beach hats, serve multiple functions and are a vital accessory when exploring the best Daytona Beach attractions. 1, they protect your eyes from the sun and the glare of the sun on the white-sand beaches. 2, they help you look glamorous AF. I’m obsessed with these wooden framed sunglasses, but I also like to carry around a back-up pair for when I inevitably lose pair #1 in the sand somewhere.
- Swimsuit: Make a splash in a super cute retro swimsuit like this one. I love this tropical one piece because it’s adorable and also because it doesn’t have any ties or metal pieces on the back, which can get uncomfortable. If you’re more of a bikini gal, try these super cute retro high-waisted styles, or this adorable flouncy number. Omg, I’m buying all of these.
- Beach cover-up: My favorite kinds of cover-ups are the ones you can throw on at the beach and head straight to dinner without needing to change if you don’t want to! They double as a cute, lightweight dress and don’t take up much room in your bag. Try this crochet detail off-the-shoulder style, this laid back maxi dress (with pockets!!!), or this glam but super comfy maxi (also has pockets!!!).
Romantic Things to Do in Daytona Beach
OK, enough dilly-dallying. Let’s get to it. Here are all of the ridiculous romantic and fun things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida!
1. Pretend you’re high school sweethearts and stroll the Daytona Beach Boardwalk & Pier hand-in-hand.
If you’re wondering what to do in Daytona Beach, head straight to the boardwalk, which is arguably one of the most popular attractions!
In our opinion, there’s nothing more romantic than mercilessly competing against one another. Whether it’s racing go-karts, aggressively skee-balling, or beating each other’s high scores at Pac-Man in the arcade, competition is basically the cornerstone of all great romances.
The more shit-talking, the more romantic it will feel (I speak from experience). For that extra sizzle, call each other only by your last names and toss around awkward 80’s ski-movie insults like, “eat my dust, McCormick!” or “Not if I win FIRST, Gibbons!”
Top the day off by screaming your head off on the Sandblaster Roller Coaster.
2. Drive a freaking racecar on the Daytona International Speedway.
There is nothing more romantic than living a real-life version of “Fast & the Furious 11: Extremely Fast and Incredibly Furious” in the racing capital of the world! If you have the need for speed and you’re up for the thrill, this is a super fun thing to do in Daytona Beach.
Don’t worry – if you don’t exactly trust your partner’s high-speed driving skills, you can always ride shotgun with a professional driver instead.
3. Spend a day on the beach, obviously.
Daytona Beach has 23 miles of “the World’s Most Famous Beach.” Grab a picnic basket and build sand-castles together (we can’t be the only grown-up married people who love making sand-castles together, right?!) or stroll along the beach with your toes in the water, looking for shells and sand dollars.
4. Take a FREE guided tour of the chocolate-making facilities at Angell & Phelps before stocking up on fresh fudge and chocolate-covered potato chips.
What’s more romantic than chocolate? Nothing. There is nothing.
5. Make animal friends at one of the many wildlife preserves near Daytona Beach.
Make manatee friends at Blue Spring State Park, kayak with dolphins on the Wilbur Rose Paddling Trail, or combine them both with a dolphin & manatee paddle boarding tour.
Or if you’d rather not have to balance on a paddle-board while you’re making friends with manatees and dolphins, take a pedal boat instead!
Look for bald eagles as you hike at Lake Woodruff Wildlife Refuge, or play with armadillos at Lighthouse Point Park. These are fun Daytona Beach activities to keep you busy during the day!
6. Experience one of Daytona Beach’s many water sports.
Trying adrenaline-pumping new adventures with your partner is a great way to get your romance on.
Take a surfing lesson, rent a jet-ski, try paddleboarding, or even parasailing! Jet-skiing and para-sailing are SUPER fun, even for the most un-athletic and accident-prone people (*cough*me*cough*).
If you’re less into adrenaline and more into relaxation, go tandem kayaking or take a guided kayaking tour, or rent a mouse boat and pack a picnic lunch.
7. Take a ride on the Ormond Scenic Loop, a 30-mile scenic road trip.
If you’re looking for more fun things to do near Daytona Beach, this should be on your bucket list. During your scenic drive, there are multiple opportunities to hike, bike, stroll along a beach, or admire gorgeous natural scenery!
Make yourself a romantic playlist to listen to as you cruise along through a forest canopy, past sunlit beaches, and through natural marshes. It’s a fantastic way to while away the hottest hours of the day (assuming your car has air conditioning, that is).
8. Watch the sunset from the top of Ponce Inlet, the tallest lighthouse in Florida.
The view is well worth the exhausting 203-stair climb (I speak from out-of-shape experience here).
9. Catch an indie flick or a $5 improv show at Cinematique, an indie art-house movie theatre
The best part of this Daytona Beach attraction is that you can sit on a couch and have food delivered straight to you while you watch your movie. Which is as close to staying home and watching Netflix as we can possibly imagine (which we all know is everyone’s favorite date night, let’s be honest), except you’re out and about so it’s a LOT more romantic.
10. Jam to your favorite classic rock band and watch fireworks on the beach at the Daytona Bandshell every Saturday night all summer long!
The highlight? Summer concerts are totally FREE! Get ready to rock out like it’s still the summer of love (happy 50th anniversary to the Summer of Love, y’all)!
11. Hop on the Daytona Beach Ale Trail and sample beer from 18 local craft breweries.
After you two get sufficiently tipsy, sober up with a nighttime walk along the beach. Gaze up at the stars, stumble along holding onto each other for balance, and think about how lucky you two are to have found one another. Awww!
Still searching for a hotel? We like to use Booking.com to secure great hotel deals! Click the bright big button to check availability for your dates.
Are you totally stoked to visit Daytona Beach?! Here’s an insider tip: if you can steal a day or two off during the week, you’ll save big with these Daytona Beach Weekday Getaway Deals! And check the Daytona Beach website for more incredible adventures, places to stay, and local tips.
Are if you’re looking for a way to travel without leaving home? We created an immersive virtual Disney world tour so you can enjoy the magic from the comfort of your sofa!
Looking for more places to escape on a romantic weekend trip? Check out some of our other posts:
- The 10 Best Weekend Getaways in Florida (& Over 60 Activities!)
- 8 Incredible Weekend Getaways in Indiana
- How to Do Disney: A Disney Parks Guide by a Former Cast Member
- 50+ Awesome Places to Visit in Louisville, Kentucky: A Local’s Guide
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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of DaytonaBeach.com. All opinions are 100% mine. Feature photo credit: “Daytona Beach Pier Sign” (CC BY 2.0) by Erin Costa
Our Top Travel Tips & Resources
- Booking Flights: To score flight deals, search on Google Flights or Kayak. Money-saving tips: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on only on a budget airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
- Accommodations: We usually stay in budget-friendly vacation rentals, boutique hotels or private rooms in hostels. We use Booking.com to book hotels (we love their flexible cancellation policy) and Hostelworld to book hostels (low deposit, easy change/cancellation, and excellent reviews). For vacation rentals, we prefer to book using VRBO because they've got lower fees and better support than Airbnb, and we're not fans of Airbnb's unethical track record. You can also book vacation rentals on Expedia and Hotels.com. We also use TrustedHousesitters as both hosts (for our home and our fur-child) and travelers!
- Travel Insurance: We always, always, ALWAYS buy travel insurance for international trips, and we STRONGLY suggest it - visit our Travel Insurance Guide to find out why. We recommend either World Nomads or SafetyWing for international travel insurance. SafetyWing is one of the few policies that covers Covid-19, and they have excellent monthly policies that are perfect for Digital Nomads and long term travelers!
- Travel Credit Card: We book all of our trips on our favorite travel credit card. Not only do we earn cash back that we can spend on more travel, but the card offers fantastic travel perks like travel insurance, trip delay and cancellation coverage, lost baggage reimbursement, and rental car coverage, which helps protect us on our travels. Learn more here.
- Vaccines & Meds: We use the travel guides on the CDC website to research recommended medications and vaccines for international trips. We always recommend getting every vaccine recommended by the CDC! You can get them at your primary care doctor's office or a walk-in pharmacy.
- Tours: We love booking guided tours, especially food tours and walking tours, to get a local's perspective and a history lesson while sight-seeing! We book our tours using Viator and GetYourGuide.
- Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to figure out how to get from place to place, and book local transportation online using Bookaway wherever we can. When we book a rental car, we use DiscoverCars to compare rental companies and find the best deal.
- Luggage Storage: Whenever we're checking out early or taking advantage of a long layover, we use LuggageHero to safely store our luggage while we're running around. Use the code PRACTICALW for 2 hours of free luggage storage on us.
- VPN Service: A VPN keeps your digital information (like website login details, bank info, etc) safe, even when you're connected to an unsecured network while traveling. Plus, it lets you use Netflix & other streaming sites abroad! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO when you sign up!
- What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we bring on every trip. We also have packing lists for hot weather, cold weather, and many more. Take a look at all of our packing guides!
Nicholas R Cangemi says
After reading this article, I am even more excited to take my gf to Daytona than I already was! The Ale Trail and beach fireworks sound magical! Thank you so much for sharing this!
Lia Garcia says
Aww yay! Have a great trip!
Chris Slonske says
Thanks for posting! I am heading to Orlando in February to visit some of my family. Never been to Florida! Thinking of taking a drive to Daytona while I’m there. I’m going solo, but I want to know where some of the best scenic views or places are in Daytona. Such as views of palm trees with the ocean in the background. Looking for some good photo ops. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Lia Garcia says
What a great idea! Here’s a resource which should help you find those gorgeous shots. Half the fun of shooting a new place is walking around and scouting shots for us 😛 Hope you find some good ones!
Sandy N Vyjay says
This seems definitely THE place to be for a romantic time. Apart from the lovely beach there are so many activities that are sure to spark the embers or romance. I always find lighthouses to be romantic with an aura of mystery. The light house here looks really ethereral, a perfect foil to watch a romantic sunset, I am sure.
We think so too, Sandy!
I haven’t been to Daytona beach before. I love the beach in general, so I hope to make it a family trip one day. Didn’t think there were so many awesome things to do. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome, Jo! A lot of the stuff we listed in this post can be adapted for family fun, for sure.
OMG!!! We’re going to Daytona Beach next week and now I can’t wait! We’ll be doing some kayaking, lighthouse and beach time for sure! So many reasons to use exclamation points!
Oh perfect!! So glad we could help, enjoy Daytona Beach!
I’ve been to Daytona Beach once, but wow I definitely need to go back as I had no idea there was so much to do there. The kayaking sounds amazing!
Thanks Karen! I definitely had only a few hazy memories of one ill fated Spring Break way back in college, but it turns out that Daytona Beach is actually totally rad (and not just for college students)!