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 adventures to have in Daytona Beach with your partner!
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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 in Daytona Beach on any budget.
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 the 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
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. 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 things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida!
1. Pretend you’re high school sweethearts and stroll the Daytona Beach Boardwalk & Pier hand-in-hand. 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! 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.
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. 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 where 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 best part? 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:
- Romantic Things to Do in Memphis, TN: Weekend Getaway Itinerary
- 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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