Cultural Attractions in Daytona Beach, Florida

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The bright sun and the white sandy beaches are big, big attractions for Daytona Beach as are all of the motor sports and related motor sport sites. These are the things that most people think of when they think of Daytona Beach. Maybe that is because Daytona Beach bills itself as ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Beach’ and ‘The Birthplace of Speed’. It is true that beaches and speed are certainly the main attractions in Daytona Beach but there are other attractions that should not be missed when you are vacationing in Daytona Beach.

Along the Black Heritage Trail can be found the childhood home of Doctor Howard Thurman. Dr. Thurman was a Mentor of Doctor Martin Luther Kind, Jr. The home was constructed in 1888. It is a visit well worth making.

The Marine Science Center is another very interesting site that you will enjoy visiting. There is a five-thousand gallon aquarium as well as mangroves and marine mammal exhibits. You will be able to see divers feeding the residents or just keeping the aquarium clean. Outside you can stroll along the wooden ‘birdwalk’. There is a seven hundred foot long trail that is accessible by the disabled that leads to board walks and bird observation towers.

The Mary McLeod Bethune’s home is located on the campus of the college that she founded. She founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls (now Bethune-Cookman College) in 1904. The Mary McLeod Bethune home is also part of the Black Heritage Trail. The Mary McLeod Bethune home is filled with priceless artifacts, memorabilia and period furnishings. Dr. Bethune died in 1955 and was buried in a simple grave behind the home.

The Museum of Arts and Sciences combines interactive exercises, exhibitions and objects as it tells the story of Florida from prehistory to the present day. At the museum you will discover the most complete fossil record ever discovered in Florida. The main attraction of the Museum of Arts and Sciences is the skeleton of the Eremotherium laurilardi or Giant Ground Sloth which was excavated in 1975. The skeleton stands thirteen feet tall. The Eremotherium laurilardi was a vegetarian that weighed in at a hefty three to five TONS and would have consumed upward of three hundred pounds of vegetation every day.

The Daytona Beach Symphony Society performs six annual concerts. These concerts feature internationally acclaimed orchestras and soloists. They also perform the annual Daytona Winterfest, a January. Winterfest is a combination of music and food that should not be missed.

The Seaside Music Theater is the only professional music theater in the southeastern United States that can boast a full a full pit orchestra. The Seaside Music Theater is one of the premier musical theaters in the United States and is innovative beyond comparison. Their summer season features five major musical productions and a children’s production. The winter season features a musical revue and dramatic works. Be sure to catch one of the shows while you are in Daytona Beach. You won’t be sorry.

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