Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Following the Ocean to Daytona Beach

I’ve spent a lot of time in Florida, but one place I haven’t visited much was Daytona Beach. When the tourism board contacted me about doing a trip, it didn’t take a lot of convincing.

The plans went quickly into action with my friend Betty coming along for her first trip exploration with me.

We had a very early flight out of Bloomington, Illinois, but the next one would have gotten us into Daytona too late in the day so we went for it and planned a fairly light day ahead.

We had also decided to make our first stop to get in the downtime mood by finding a Groupon for manicures and pedicures at Aadvanced Bodyworx

It was definitely relaxing and we were ready to get the flip flops on!

Just down the road from the spa was Woody’s BBQ. Judging by the lunchtime crowd, it seemed to be a popular local place.

We weren’t disappointed. We ordered combination plates and the roast turkey, mac n cheese, and coleslaw were delicious. 

The pulled pork looked a bit dry, but when I put one of Woody’s barbecue sauces on it the whole dish changed.

Our schedule was light the first day, but kept us going until the end. We couldn’t help making a short stop to see the ocean before we went any further.

Since I grew up and spent most of my life only a few miles from the ocean on Long Island I love just listening to the waves, but Midwesterner Betty enjoyed the full experience.

The first official stop was at the Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum & Gardens.

It looked like it might rain so we decided to wander the gardens first. The trail was colorful and relaxing. We found it quite peaceful as we meandered through the unusual flora and waterfalls.

We also took a walk through the Labyrinth, an ancient symbol for wholeness and healing. More of that could never hurt!

The Memorial Art Museum is not large, but it’s worth a look. They also have various art classes and programs for children and adults.

From the museum we went to the hotel to check in.

The Oceanside Inn was right on the beach. It’s a comfortable hotel with a restaurant, bar, and pool.

We had a room with a perfect view of the ocean. It also had a kitchenette and sitting area, which come in handy when you are spending a few days.

We took just a short time to relax before heading to Ocean Deck for dinner. The tourism board had told us it was a favorite of locals and was directly on the beach.

It definitely was. Some of the tables were just a step from the sand and ours wasn’t much further.

Ocean Deck Restaurant on Daytona Beach. Cloudy, but great view of the beach from our table.

We had hoped to catch a nice sunset, but it was too cloudy.

Still we enjoyed the view with some tropical cocktails.

As much as I love going to waterfront restaurants, it’s always a challenge with a seafood allergy. Ocean Deck Restaurant was very accommodating.

While Betty enjoyed the fish special, I really liked the veggie burger with mango and guacamole they made me.  

We saved some room for desserts, Snickers Pie and Chocolate Cream Pie.

The early morning flight was catching up with us and we were ready to go back to the Oceanside Inn to get some sleep.

We were going to need it because the schedule for day two in Daytona Beach was packed with fun. 

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