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Can't decide where to stay

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
8 posts
119 reviews
Can't decide where to stay

I've been to Daytona, years ago, and stayed in a condo. I'm coming back with my husband next month. I can't decide between Daytona, Ormond beach, cocoa beach, New Smyrna beach, etc... We are a child-free couple, early 40's, workaholics, looking to relax for 4 days. We are flying into Orlando and renting a car. We'd like to be close to bars and restaurants. Any inside advice would be appreciated.

11 replies to this topic
Vero Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Vero Beach
Level Contributor
9,397 posts
179 reviews
1. Re: Can't decide where to stay

Florida Trend magazine's Golden Spoons miss lots of good restaurants, but they do provide a measure of local restaurant strength.https://www.floridatrend.com/golden-spoons

Ormond remains decidedly more prosperous than central Daytona Beach, which has a number of excellent hotels (and the no-drive section of the beach) and is perhaps gentrifying, but remains economically distressed.

New Smyrna Beach has Flagler Ave., one of the most attractive commercial streets in the state, and much busier than it was in the past. Check it on Google Street View.

Cocoa Beach has a distinct traffic problem but remains a real residential area along with serving the weekend hordes from Orlando. The Melbourne beaches are for the most part more sedate.

Metro Orlando
Destination Expert
for Daytona Beach
Level Contributor
4,429 posts
95 reviews
2. Re: Can't decide where to stay

Do you have a sense of what sort of environment you're looking for?

The Daytona Hilton is moreor less the center of the strip, and the closest to the most stuff. It's the anchor to an entertainment complex with a bunch of restaurants and a movie theater, and the bandshell to the North. It also got the Boardwalk and Pier to the South, which has kind of a 40s Coney Island thing going on. Some parts of that are very nice. Others are total throw-backs. There are also a bunch of other restaurants and bars in the immediate area.

For a sleepier pace, take a look at The Shores Resort and Spa. It's to the South, next to a stretch of beach where they haven't let high-rise condos take over. The area is very nice and laid back, but doesn't have many restaurants outside of the hotel. The police down there have a reputation for being agressive, so that tends to keep out the riffraff.

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
8 posts
119 reviews
3. Re: Can't decide where to stay

Hello. I don't want to be around a bunch of kids or drunk college students. But, considering the time of year, I doubt that will be a big issue anywhere. I've been reading tons of reviews and I'm afraid Daytona will seem trashier than I remember it. Perhaps people are just being overly dramatic. We are laid back, casual and certainly not snobby. I am however, a bit of a nut about cleanliness. Otherwise, just some place we can walk the beach, have a beer overlooking the ocean and maybe go fishing. Our only real plan is to go to the cruise night in New Smyrna. Thank you so much for your reply!

Palm Coast, Florida
Destination Expert
for Flagler Beach, Palm Coast
Level Contributor
2,108 posts
236 reviews
4. Re: Can't decide where to stay

Consider Flagler Beach. Old Florida at its finest

Metro Orlando
Destination Expert
for Daytona Beach
Level Contributor
4,429 posts
95 reviews
5. Re: Can't decide where to stay

Parts of the center of town are kind of beat, although by no means all of it. To the South in the Shores, it's mostly in pretty good shape.

Ormond Beach...
Destination Expert
for Vermont, Ormond Beach
Level Contributor
9,647 posts
93 reviews
6. Re: Can't decide where to stay

I'd go for Ormond or NSB. Daytona is great, but still has that delicious tackiness of dozens of chain hotels & low-end restaurants. :) NSB is kitchy & upscale. Ormond is more sparse and relaxed.

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
8 posts
119 reviews
7. Re: Can't decide where to stay

Thank you all so much for your feedback! I'm leaning towards Flagler or New Smyrna, depending on good lodging available. I'll let you know how it goes when we return.

Vero Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Vero Beach
Level Contributor
9,397 posts
179 reviews
8. Re: Can't decide where to stay

Flagler is rather tiny, except that a small city is growing on the mainland.

nyc
Level Contributor
2,755 posts
26 reviews
9. Re: Can't decide where to stay

Have you considered the historic district of st. Augustine? It's worth a good look, and has most everything you are looking for.

In the historic district, it's very walkable and offers many bars and restaurants. Some offer outdoor seating in a backyard,or just a typical restraint.

The beach is 5-10 minutes away,and has a nice long pier if you want to go fishing.

We have stayed in town before, but prefer the hotels on a1a (the beach).

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
8 posts
119 reviews
10. Re: Can't decide where to stay

I plan on visiting st. Augustine for a day, at least. I hadn't really looked into staying there. My husband wants an oceanfront balcony and the beach hotels around Volusia county look a little well-worn. I'll check it out. Thank you!

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