By: Jacqueline Bodnar, blogger at Volusia County Moms
If you want to head over to Volusia County you will find there are plenty of things you can do that won’t break the bank. Check out the many free and cheap things to do in the Daytona Beach and surrounding areas. Daytona Beach, New Smyrna and Ormond Beach are just a quick drive away from Orlando.
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VOLUSIA COUNTY ARTS & MUSEUMS
Climb to the Top – The view from the observation deck at the top of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse cannot be beat. Climb all 203 steps to the top to get a great view.
Check out cars – Stop by Hanksters Hot Rods to see a collection of hot rods. With 65 cars on display and free admission, it’s something any car lover will enjoy.
Hit the museum – The Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach is free on the first Tuesday of each month, and they have plenty to do there.
Enjoy a small venue – Imagine sitting at a table eating a meal and watching a movie on the big screen. That’s what is offered at Cinematique, the county’s own art house cinema, featuring many Indie movies, Improv comedy, and other community events.
Stroll the Casements – Located in Ormond Beach, The Casements was the winter home of John D. Rockefeller. Stroll the grounds along the river, tour the mansion, or enjoy one of the many classes and events offered there each year.
Experience history – Visit the former home of Mary McCleod Bethune, an African American trailblazer who established what became Bethune-Cookman University.
VOLUSIA COUNTY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Hit the springs – Volusia County is home to four springs, two of which you can swim in during certain times of the year. Green Springs and Gemini Springs are both great places for a picnic and stroll, while you can get pancakes and swim at DeLeon Springs State Park, or you can swim in the summer at Blue Spring State Park or visit the manatees on cold winter mornings.
Take a hike – There are some great hiking trails in Volusia County, including at Canaveral National Seashore, Smyrna Dunes Park, Hontoon Island State Park, Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, and Bulow Creek State Park.
Visit the beach – Volusia County offers 47 miles of ocean beach, offering a variety of areas to check out. There are areas of the beach you can drive on and areas that are designated as no driving allowed.
Have a beach bonfire – As long as it’s not turtle nesting season, you can have a beach bonfire in Volusia County. Take your own pit or reserve one.
Go kayaking – There are some great kayaking opportunities in Volusia County, whether you bring your own kayak or rent one. Be sure to check out Cracker Creek and the Marine Discovery Center for kayaking opportunities.
MORE THINGS TO DO NEAR DAYTONA BEACH
Play mini golf – If you want to play mini golf with an ocean view, be sure to check out Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf.
Swing by the speedway – Anyone visiting Daytona Beach has to swing by Daytona International Speedway, where you can a Dale Earnhardt statue, get a look inside a racing car, make a merchandise pit stop, see the walk of fame, and take some selfies.
See racing – If you like the racing of NASCAR but want something cheaper, check out the New Smyrna Speedway. The smaller track holds events open to the public, and many of the NASCAR teams train there leading up to the big races.
Bike the trails – Bring your bikes with you and take a nice ride on the paved bike trails in Volusia County, or try out the mountain bike trails at Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve in Port Orange, or Chuck Lennon Park in DeLeon Springs.
Hit the ice – Visit the Daytona Ice Arena for some cold fun, even if you don’t know how to skate. You can use a walker to help keep you from falling as you give it a try.
FREE & CHEAP THINGS TO DO IN ORLANDO
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