Daytona Beach, Fla. By Tom Stanley

At first, when Joey suggested the inclusion of this ocean town to our itinerary, I paused to raise and eyebrow and perhaps have a scratch of the chin. Why, of all the beautiful places to spend a day in Florida, would we spend it in a place like Daytona Beach?
"It's the world's most famous beach," he said. Then I remembered who I was talking to. Joey is a simple guy, an old-fashioned guy in some ways. He eats deer jerky, he doesn't give the barber instructions because, "Hey, you're the barber, not me." Great guy and everything, but so easy to rip on. I remind you all, he scored 10 points lower on his SATs than I did.

Daytona Beach is an old school Florida getaway. Once upon a time, this was the hottest beach around, drinks flying all over and girls flashing their ta-tas for video cameras. Nowadays, its "fame" is clearly spearheaded by the Daytona 500, a racing event that turns this town into a circus every year.
Our time here is extremely limited, possibly the shortest visit to any town on our route up to this point. We're slated to arrive in the evening, spend a night, and look around until noon the next day before continuing onward.
What can we do in that small window of time, besides for the somewhat necessary beauty sleep? Here are some ideas.

-Main Street Pier (at left)

-Daytona International Speedway

-Halifax Historical Museum

-Museum of Arts & Sciences

-Tomoka State Park

-Sugarmill Botanical Gardens

-Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum

-The Casements

All photos courtesy of Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau