After leaving St Augustine we had 4 days until we had to be in Miami. We had two fantastic beach stops. First we stopped at Daytona Beach then next was Vero Beach. Both were excellent family destinations.
We spent two wonderful nights at Daytona Beach. There are so many hotels along the beach front and they all seemed so similar and the prices were very competitive. We chose to stay at the Best Western Aku Tiki Inn which was a wonderful place. The hotel rooms were large and had a full size fridge, the complimentary breakfast was amazing and very fresh and hot. The hotel had FREE cocktail hour in the evening which was so relaxing as the drinks could be taken to have around the pool. And the pool was huge and heated which was great for winter and the kids took full advantage of the amenities. The beach was only a few steps away and accessible from the hotel. Be aware that cars drive on the beach so treat it like you would a road.
DRIVING A NASCAR
The main reason for our Daytona stop was to drive a NASCAR at the Daytona Speedway. This was a true once in a life time experience for Billy and the boys. We headed to the Speedway and joined the other group members who were also going to be NASCAR passengers. The boys were all given their race gear to wear and had the experience of being passengers in an actual NASCAR. They did 3 laps each. Just so thrilling and a real highlight for them. Polly and I were able to be spectators which definitely wasn’t boring!
Other Daytona Family Activities
Even though our hotel provided so much to do we did explore the Daytona area. There is a boardwalk with amusement rides and many expensive places to play mini golf and feed an alligator before you tee off. We decided to drive along the coast and look at the amazing beaches and houses that we wished we could afford. We drove out to Ponce Outlet where there is a lighthouse, a small marina to catch boat cruises looking for sea life and the Science Marine Centre. This small educational sea life centre was a great place for the kids to be whilst it was raining. Entry was only a few dollars and there was the chance to touch many creatures and feed them, We spent a few hours here.
Our next stop was Vero Beach.
We hit the jackpot when we chose Vero Beach for two nights. We wanted to stop and relax for two days before spending time in Miami and many places were very expensive. We booked Vero Beach on a whim and it was WOW. We stayed at Prestige Hotel Vero Beach which was a small hotel right on the beach. The hotel had a lovely pool and complimentary breakfast. Each room had a large kitchen and have just been refurbished. Each day the hotel would place sun loungers and umbrellas on the beach for guests. There was also a large deck with beach chairs to look at the beach view. The beach itself was calm and long, just perfect for beach walks and shell collecting. There were many family friendly restaurants within a few minutes drive of the hotel which we ate at one night then had dinner on the beach deck at the hotel another night.
VERO BEACH FAMILY ACTIVITIES
We had a round of mini gold which was a fun family activity and it was much cheaper than Daytona. There is a small village near the restaurants with shops to browse through. As a baseball loving family we were pleasantly surprised to find the Historical Home of the LA Dodgers at Vero Beach. We spent some time looking at the grounds and watched a local game of baseball.
Vero Beach had such a lovely vibe to it and spending time as a family at the beach was a lovely relaxing time on our busy holiday itinerary.
We left Vero Beach headed to Cape Canaveral for the Kennedy Space Centre which was a little over an hour from Vero.
If you are looking for more tips on Florida Adventures head over to our post on Miami and our visit to Universal Studios.