A racecar driver is something that almost every young boy and a growing number of young girls want to grow up to be at one point in their childhood. Since very few of us ever get to race more than the occasional go-kart. A trip to Daytona Beach can let you experience some of the sites, sounds, and places bringing racing alive. Along the way, you can stop and enjoy the finest craft beer being brewed in the area. Daytona Beach has two “trails” set up for you to follow as you explore the history of racing and beer in Daytona.
The Daytona Beach Motorsports Trail
Visitors to Daytona Beach can ‘start their engines’ year-round by exploring and experiencing the area’s rich motorsports heritage. The area’s newest trail is the Motorsports Trail.
The Motorsports Trail takes visitors on a Daytona Beach area tour from scenic beachfront to museums, guiding them through the history of racing.
Three must-see stops on the Motorsports Trail:
- The “World Center of Racing” – Daytona International Speedway. This is of course the home of 2 iconic races held every winter. The Rolex 24 and the Daytona 500. These two races mark the beginning of the motorsports season in the United States. These are the flagship races of Daytona International Speedway, however, the speedway also hosts Supercross for dirt bikes and the Daytona 200 SuperBike race.
This storied superspeedway is open daily for tours. These include a visit to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America which celebrates all forms of motorsports, from stock cars and sports cars to motorcycles and powerboating and more. An iconic stop, the Dale Earnhardt statue, sits right outside the Tour & Ticket Building.
- The museums featured on the Trail are invaluable sources of auto racing history. The Living Legends of Auto Racing Museum and The Racing Zone permanent exhibit at the Halifax Historical Museum both pay tribute to the early days of auto racing and its pioneers.
- No motorsports history tour of the area would be complete without a visit to picturesque Ponce Inlet. The sites of the original North Turn and South Turn of the old beach road course. The legendary, NASCAR-sanctioned course used for auto and motorcycle racing from 1948-1960.
Along the way, the Trail is peppered with restaurants and nighttime entertainment spots that are relevant to motorsports history, including the historic Ormond Garage, Main Street Station, Racing’s North Turn Beach Bar and Grill, and the Streamline Hotel – recognized as the birthplace of NASCAR.
The Daytona Beach Ale Trail
Daytona is also a hub for craft beer. Daytona also has the Ale Trail. This trail is full of unique craft breweries.
“Craft beer enthusiasts will find lots to love along the Daytona Beach Ale Trail,” says Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Communications Director Kate Holcomb. “With nearly two dozen local craft breweries and taprooms, along with several artisan distilleries, there are plenty of flavors to savor and places to explore. Several new breweries opened in just the last year and the quality is excellent.”
Visitors are encouraged to add some tasty custom brews to their current travel itinerary, or dedicate several days to experience the growing “Ale Trail.” Each location has a unique atmosphere — and all are owned and operated by those who are truly passionate about their homemade brews. The offerings are diverse; some serve delicious tapas and meals, and others encourage guests to visit neighboring eateries and bring dishes in, picnic-style. So grab your designated driver and be sure to use the mapping function on DaytonaBeach.com to plot your course. The trail continues to grow each year. Some of the stops I recommend are:
Daytona Beach Brewing Company. A production brewery with a super-chill tasting room; a place to enjoy great craft beers. Try a citrusy Beach Town Pale Ale, Road Course Red Ale, or a Halifax Hefeweizen.
Daytona Taproom. Located in the trendy Seabreeze Blvd. Entertainment District carries 50 craft beers on tap and is well-known for its fresh burgers.
New Smyrna Beach Brewing Company. Just off Canal Street in downtown New Smyrna Beach. Enjoy the quaint digs, and sample brews like Summer Storm Hefeweizen, Disappearing Island Apricot, and even Old Fort Coffee Stout.
Odd Elixir Meads A small batch meadery located inside DeLand Abbey in Historic Downtown DeLand, Florida. Their approach to meads marries traditional techniques with a creative approach to ingredients and flavor integration.
Ormond Brewing Company. This is a craft brewery tucked away in Ormond Beach. They specialize in unique and flavorful beers brewed on-site. It has a relaxing inside tavern with a photo collection depicting the glory days of beach automobiles and motorcycle racing. There is a landscaped beer garden with a fire pit and live music.
Persimmon Hollow Brewing Company. Nestled in the heart of nearby historic downtown DeLand, Florida. The backdoor of the brewery opens onto Artisan Alley. This is home to several great boutiques, an incredible farm-to-table restaurant, and the famous Friday night farmers market. With names like Beach Hippy, Daytona Dirty Blonde, and Lost Fisherman, you can’t go wrong!
Seabreeze Taphouse. This taphouse is a full liquor bar. Over 100 craft beers, 25 of which are on tap. You will find a good mix of American and European producers, with a healthy dose of Canadian makers thrown in.
Wild Atlantic Brew House at Tomoka Brewing Company offers a large selection of signature and core brews that can be paired with smoked wings and hand-tossed pies for the perfect experience.
The map below shows the location of all of the stops on the Motorsports trail. I also included the breweries closest to the trail.
About the Daytona Area
Experience endless adventures in the Daytona Beach area. A destination comprised of eight distinct communities offering visitors the perfect beach base camp to explore East Central Florida. Choose thrilling activities or embrace the tranquility of days spent on 23 miles of world-famous white-sand beaches. With more than 12,000 beds, the destination boasts accommodations for all lifestyles and budgets. You can choose from 4-star resorts to hotels, B&Bs, and everything in between. More information is available at DaytonBeach.com.
If you book through the link above I will receive a small commission