Busy Day Exploring Daytona Beach, Florida

My friend Betty and I had flown down to Daytona Beach for three fun-filled days. We hit the ground running on day one, and day two was even more busy.

We woke up early at the Oceanside Inn and headed to Crabby Joe’s Deck & Grill to meet Lori Campbell Baker and Tonya West of the Daytona Convention and Visitors Bureau for breakfast.

Lori and Tonya had worked hard to arrange our schedule and, although it sounded like a strange spot for breakfast, I trusted they had their reasons.

When we arrived, we soon realized Crabby Joe's was not only a scenic spot out on the Sun Glow Pier over the ocean, but the menu was filled with some unusual dishes, like fish fillets for breakfast.

The day was cloudy and it appeared that a storm was coming, but we were ready to brave whatever the weather had in store for us.

Betty enjoyed the Fisherman's Special with grits, while I had some tasty French toast.

We talked more about Daytona Beach, what we had done, and all the fun things ahead of us, before Betty and I bid farewell and headed to the Museum of Arts & Sciences.

The museum definitely exceeded my expectations. I learned that Root Glass, the company that made Coca-Cola bottles was based in Daytona and there was an interesting – and colorful – exhibition on Root that included lots of bottles and other memorabilia.

The museum also had a teddy bear display, as well as a Chinese Art gallery, and assorted other art exhibits.

We spent a few hours there and took a walk through the serene Tuscawilla Preserve before heading just next door to the newly opened Ciciand Hyatt Brown Museum of Art.

The collection was quite extensive and I wished we had more time to explore it further, but we still had a lot to do.

The Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum had a Honeybaked Ham Café. It was nostalgic for me as there was one near the house I lived in while in New York for many years.

Before we left we got some sandwiches to go. We headed to the beach for a picnic lunch. It didn’t last long as the rain finally did break through the clouds as we watched the surfers taking advantage of the storm waves.

Our next stop was Daytona International Speedway, which is quite impressive.

We walked around the Welcome Center and checked out the Pit Shop before taking the Speedway Tour.

The rain (literally) put a damper on the open-air tour, but we did learn a lot about the speedway and it’s $400 million renovation.

It’s already an impressive facility and looks to be even more so over the next year.

Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t completely catch up on the schedule and got to Angell & Phelps too late for the final Chocolate Factory tour of the day.

We were still able to look through the windows to check it out a bit. One of the workers saw us and gave us a quick briefing and some samples.

Before we left there we picked up some of their chocolate covered potato chips and chocolate covered bacon to bring back home.

We spotted Wine Me on our way to the car and decided to stop in and have a glass of wine. It’s a cute place, with a big selection of wine that changes often.

It was after 6:00 pm when we got back to the hotel and decided to take a little break before heading to dinner in nearby Ponce Inlet.

Racing’s North Turn is a popular place in the Daytona Beach area. It’s right on the ocean, on the spot where racing began here in 1936.

We enjoyed the live music and some cocktails with dinner. Betty once again took advantage of the ocean location for some great seafood, while I had pasta.

Daytona Beach Oceanside Inn
After dinner, we headed back to the Daytona Oceanside Inn. Betty did some walking on the beach, but I was done for the day and looking forward to another full day.

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