While staying at the Hyatt Place, Daytona Beach Oceanfront hotel, I had a chance to walk the beach in Daytona Beach.
It was a real treat to simply walk out the back door of the Hyatt Place, past the swimming pool and down the steps onto the beach.
Driving and Parking on Daytona Beach?
Probably the most unique aspect of walking the beach in Daytona Beach was that I was sharing the beach with cars and trucks. That’s a first for me.
The hard packed sand of Daytona Beach allows for driving and parking on the beach. I don’t know of any other beach that allows this.
Hate hauling all of your beach toys, chairs, coolers, floats, and everything else from a parking lot onto the beach?
Yep, me too.
Daytona Beach is made for us! What a pleasant alternative to simply drive all of my stuff onto the beach in the back of an SUV.
It wasn’t crowded but every hundred yards or so there were one or two or three vehicles parked on the beach. It reminded me alot of tailgating before and after a big game.
These Beach goers knew how to enjoy the salt life.
Daytona Beach Access Points
Our hotel was halfway between two access points for Daytona Beach. Trucks and SUVs would come through a gated access point from the main road and drive onto the beach.
According to some locals that I spoke with, you can either pay for a day pass or get a longer-term pass like for a year. That would allow you to drive and park on Daytona Beach whenever you want.
Daytona Beach is famous for being the birthplace of NASCAR racing. The wide beaches with hard packed sand was inspiration for “former” bootleggers to race their souped up cars.
In just the short distance that I walked between the two access points near our hotel, there was a blend of very hard packed sand which any vehicle could drive on as well as some softer sand that would require a four-wheel-drive to get through.
What’s Swimming at Daytona Beach Like?
The wide, flat beaches also mean that there is no steep drop off when you waded into the water. Whether the tide was in or out, you have to go out a long way before you even get up to waist deep water.
There were a good amount of waves even though it wasn’t windy.
Swimming and floating were not the best options for us in the ocean at Daytona Beach. But we did enjoy wading and jumping the waves as they came in.
The ocean was definitely warm enough to swim in while we were in Daytona Beach.
Daytona Beach Sand
Most of the sand at Daytona Beach is picture perfect white sand. Closer to the water, it’s very hard packed which makes for the unique option to drive and park trucks on the beach. Further from the ocean, the sand is nice and powdery soft.
As opposed to the last beach I walked (at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Jamica), this beach had almost no rocks and shells.
You would occasionally come across some very small shells but, for the most part, it was a perfect beach to walk if you don’t want to step on anything that will hurt.
Why is there red sand on Daytona Beach?
In some of our pictures you’ll notice there’s a darkness to the sand. The sand looks red or rust colored. I even heard it described as cinnamon colored sand.
Apparently, the red sand color comes from bits of coral and maybe shells that are similar sized to sand grains.
When we honeymooned in Bermuda, the pink sand beaches were really stunning. The red sand of Daytona Beach was the same idea, just not as intense of a color as the pink sand beaches of Bermuda.
Beach Chairs and Umbrellas
While our hotel didn’t offer beach chairs or beach service like we had at the Hyatt Confidante in Miami Beach, there were rental options available.
The beach rental service that dominated our area was offering 2 beach chairs, an umbrella and a side table for $40 per day (from about 9am til 5pm).
We saved about $100 over 3 days by buying a pair of chairs at Wal-Mart for $30.
And the $1 cheap blue float was definitely worth at least $1.50. Seriously, the waves were a little much for relaxed floating like you might do in the calmer waters of the Gulf at Clearwater Beach.
After a few final hours of sitting on the beach on the morning before we flew home, we found a young family who was happy to accept a pair of free beach chairs. Hopefully that Mom & Dad were able to relax as well in them as we did.
Daytona Beach Weather
While it may be too hot for many people in the summer, Daytona Beach weather was fantastic in late September.
Our three night stay had zero rain and perfect beach weather. Highs were in the mid to upper 80s and lows were in the high 60s. I’m going to call that the perfect weather to relax on the shore and wade into the ocean to jump some waves.