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Daydream Daytona

Daytona Beach, Florida

There was a time, not so long ago, when you wouldn’t have been able to sit on Daytona Beach for fear of being run down by a speeding automobile or motorbike. The wide, smooth sands of the beach have attracted speed enthusiasts since the early days of motorsport, and, although an ‘official’ speedway track was constructed in the city in 1959, the beach has continued to be a popular if unofficial racetrack for fans. Vacationers need not worry too much, though: these days the racers are confined to strictly controlled areas of the beach away from people who are enjoying the sands for their more relaxing qualities.

If there’s one thing that Daytona knows how to cope with, it’s vacationers. People who visit the city as part of a tour usually have no problems finding a room, and the only time the city ever comes close to being fully booked up is at the very height of the vacation season. For Daytona, in particular, this means Spring Break. The city wasn’t always a popular Spring Break destination, but when a few years ago the residents of Fort Lauderdale further down the Florida coast finally grew tired of student hi-jinx and banned the revelers, Daytona was the place they moved to. The city’s residents have been more tolerant of the yearly mayhem than their friends further south, and have reaped commercial rewards for their patience.

It goes without saying that if you don’t want to share your vacation with thousands of hyperactive young adults, late spring is not a good time to visit Daytona. Things can get a little hectic for several weeks as various academic institutions all over the Union spill out their attendees at slightly different time for a well-earned break from studies. Midsummer can get maybe a little too hot, and late summer and fall is the hurricane season. The secret of a great Daytona vacation is picking the right time for the vacation you want to enjoy!

The vacationer looking for a resort in Daytona is really spoiled for choice. If you’re a relatively well-heeled student, or a more mature vacationer operating on a budget that’s neither too tight not too extravagant, the Oceanside Inn could be the place for you. One of the great attractions of this resort is its views – you can’t miss them, even when you’re in bed. Every room of the hotel has floor-to-ceiling windows that look out directly on to the beach itself. If you want a little more space to spread out in, and maybe the ability to cook up a little taste of home during your vacation, you can also opt for one of the resort’s oceanfront kitchenettes, which combine all the comforts of the oceanview hotel rooms with the convenience of your own cooking and dining area.

There’s a great deal to do around and about. Florida, of course, probably has more golf courses per head of population than anywhere else in the world with the exception of Scotland. So if you’re a keen player you will be well catered for. Those who enjoy less sedate sports can take the opportunity to participate in a whole range of waterborne activities, including guided sea-fishing expeditions coordinated by the resort.

If you’re a sportsfan but your idea of a good time is watching rather than taking part, the legendary Daytona International Speedway is not far away. For those few Americans that have managed to live their lives without hearing anything about this death-defying sport, it’s not motor racing in the Formula One or IndyCar mould – this is pure, dirt track racing between stock cars, giant pick-ups, and more or less anything else with wheels and a huge engine that can skid round a dirt track at speeds in excess of eighty miles per hour. Sadly, the racers don’t always defy death, either – in recent years there have been a handful of fatal accidents, including one notorious smash during the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 race when superstar driver Dale Earnhardt paid the ultimate price for his love of speed.

But just as you can be fast in Daytona, you can take things slow and easy too. The Oceanside Inn offers a full range of amenities to keep you relaxed and to send you back from your vacation glowing with health. The on site fitness center is comprehensively equipped, and there is an oceanfront pool for those guests who can’t quite face the prospect of dipping their toes direct into the briny. And when you’ve finished a hard day’s relaxing, you can refresh yourself in the resort’s restaurant and cafe.

So, whether you want to take your vacation in first gear or in fifth, steer for the broad sands of Daytona!

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