Between high octane races down at the speedway and cultural festivals at the water's edge, Daytona Beach always has something to do. Each year, the city attracts millions of visitors for its festivals and other events, but of course the bright sunshine and beautiful beachfront might also be responsible. No matter when visitors decide to check Daytona Beach off their travel list, they are most certainly going to find some event going on.
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach has been synonymous with racing since Major Henry Segrave set the automobile land speed record on its sandy beaches in 1929. Today, the city is home to the World Centre of Racing, more formally known as the Daytona International Speedway. This world famous venue hosts some of the world's most popular races such as the Coke Zero 400, Rolex 24 and the granddaddy of them all, the Daytona 500. Known as "The Great American Race," the Daytona 500 is the signature event for NASCAR racing. This prestigious event takes place on the last weekend in February to start off NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series with a bang. The celebrate this upcoming event, the Daytona International Speedway fills up the month of February with races featuring some of the biggest names in the sport. However, for visitors that only have time to take in one race, the Daytona 500 should be it. The event has proven year after year that it is the race where memories are made.
In the most popular event aside from the Daytona 500, Daytona Beach's Bike Week is dubbed the "World's Largest Motorcycle Event." In a ten-day motorcycle festival, Daytona Beach is filled with the rev of engines and crowds of leather-clad enthusiasts. However, Bike Week is more than the 500,000 motorcyclists that crowd the streets to show off their custom cycles. The crowds are accompanied by concerts, bike shows, motorcycle races, rallies, manufacturer showcases and more events that even the non-motorcycle enthusiast can enjoy. There is no better excuse to break that bike out in March and head down to Daytona Beach where summer comes early.
Daytona Blues Festival
While Bike Week and the Daytona 500 are major draws to the city, Daytona Beach isn't just about fast cars and loud bikes. The other festivals of the city showcase the blossoming culture scene within Daytona Beach and provide world class entertainment in both historic and state-of-the-art venues. For those exploring the music scene of Daytona Beach, the annual Daytona Blues Festival is a must. Held in historic Jackie Robinson Ballpark, the Daytona Blues Festival runs for a three day stretch in October. The event features not only nationally known blues artists, but also some of the strong up-and-comers in the genre. The ballpark is transformed to accommodate the festival with covered seating, eclectic food vendors and a wide variety of craft beer offerings.
Halifax Art Festival
Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
In the second largest art festival in Florida, the Halifax Art Festival in downtown Riverfront Park on Beach Street attracts hundreds of artists and craftspeople from all over the country. For over 50 years, this festival has brought attention to Daytona Beach's art scene and has also served as a major fundraiser for the local Museum of Arts and Sciences (MOAS). Visitors can enjoy the two day festival in November while browsing thousands of antiques and original artwork in a variety of mediums including crafts, jewelry, clothing and paintings. The Halifax Art Festival also boasts live entertainment, art competitions and a wide array of international food vendors to assure a full day fun for all those who attend.
Daytona Beach Film Festival
While it's no Sundance or Cannes Film Festival, the Daytona Beach Film Festival is quickly becoming one of Daytona Beach's top cultural attractions. The festival showcases dozens of independent films, student productions and both local and foreign movies over the course of this multi-day event in October. Visitors can enjoy the viewings during the day while partaking in cocktail parties with the filmmakers at night, live music at the best venues in town and munching their way through the collection of treats at the Food Truck Bazaar. At the end of the event, visitors can help name winners in categories like the "Best Drama," "Best Documentary," and "Best Florida."