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Daytona Beach, Florida

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Daytona Beach in Florida.

Daytona Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, USA. According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city has a population of 64,211. Daytona Beach is a principal city of the Deltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which the census bureau estimated had a 2006 population of 496,575. Daytona Beach is a principal city in the Fun Coast region of the state of Florida.

The city is historically known as having a beach where the hard packed sand allows motorized vehicles to drive on the beach in restricted areas. This hard packed sand made Daytona Beach a mecca for motorsports, with the old Daytona Beach Road Course having hosted races for over 50 years. This course was replaced in 1959 by the Daytona International Speedway. The city is also the headquarters for NASCAR and the Grand American Road Racing Association.

Daytona Beach is a year-round family-friendly resort area, but could also accurately be called a seasonal town, with large groups of out-of-towners descending upon the city for various events, most notably Speedweeks in early February when over 200,000 NASCAR fans come to attend the season-opening Daytona 500. Other events include the NASCAR Coke Zero 400 race in July, Bike Week in early March, Biketoberfest in late October, and the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race in January.

The city attracts over 8,000,000 tourists each year. It is one of the few places in the world where a car can be driven on an ocean beach.

During motorcycle events (Bike Week and Biketoberfest), several hundred thousand bikers from all over the world visit the greater Daytona Beach area. While the city is often associated with spring break, the efforts of the local government to discourage rowdiness, combined with the rise of other spring break destinations, have nearly ended Daytona's former preeminence as a spring break destination.

Special events that draw visitors to Daytona Beach include:

* Speedweeks (Daytona 500 NASCAR race, Rolex 24 sports car race, and others)
* Coke Zero 400, NASCAR race on or around July 4 (Traditionally called the Pepsi 400 or Firecracker 400)
* Daytona Beach Bike Week Daytona 200 motorcycle races, bike shows and biker reunion in March
* Biketoberfest in October
* Turkey Run car show and events during Thanksgiving weekend (Traditionally called the Turkey Rod Run)
* Spring break (date varies, usually the first and second week of March)

Daytona Beach is also home to the headquarters of NASCAR, Grand-Am, International Speedway Corporation, United States Tennis Association in Florida, and the LPGA.

The Museum of Arts and Sciences is the primary cultural facility for Daytona Beach and Volusia County. Other museums located in the city include the Southeast Museum of Photography and the Halifax Historical Museum. The Museum of Arts and Sciences is actually a collection of museums and galleries and includes the Klancke Environmental Complex, the Cuban Museum, Root Family Museum featuring one of the largest Coca-Cola collections in the world, the Dow American Gallery and the Bouchelle Center for Decorative Arts which together form what is probably one of the finest collections of furniture and decorative arts in the Southeast. There are also changing exhibitions and a new children's science center planned to open in 2008.

In addition to motorsports, Daytona is also the home of the Daytona Cubs, a minor league baseball team of the Florida State League and the Daytona Beach ThunderBirds, an arena football team of the AF2.

Golf

There are a number of golf courses in Daytona Beach.

* Club at Pelican Bay:Two courses, North and South Courses
* Daytona Beach Golf Course:Two courses, North and South Courses designed in 1922.
* Indigo Lakes Golf Club
* LPGA International: The headquarters of the LPGA are located in Daytona Beach. The golf club offers two 18-hole courses, Champions and Legends. The golf facilities are owned by the City of Daytona Beach and operated under agreement with the LPGA.

Shopping

* Volusia Mall, 1700 West International Speedway Blvd. The largest shopping mall in Daytona Beach. Anchored by Sears, J. C. Penney, Macy's, and Dillard's.
* Ocean Walk Shoppes, 250 North Atlantic Ave. Open-air shopping center, located in the heart of the beach area.
* Promenade Shopping Center
* Wal-Mart Super Center

Points of interest

* Daytona 500 Experience
* Daytona Beach Bandshell and Oceanfront Park Complex
* Daytona International Speedway
* Daytona Lagoon Water Park
* Halifax Historical Museum
* Jackie Robinson Ballpark
* Main Street Pier
* Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center and Visual Arts Gallery
* Museum of Arts and Sciences
* News Journal Center
* Southeast Museum of Photography
* The Ocean Center
* List of Registered Historic Buildings in Daytona Beach, Florida

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