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"The World's Most Famous Beach"
Daytona Beach is located at the mouth of the Halifax River. The seat of Volutsia County, it has a population of approximately 64,430.
The site on which Daytona Beach now sits was developed as a community in 1871 by Mathias Day, for whom the city was named, and incorporated in 1876. The St. Johns & Halifax River Railway reached the city in 1886. In 1889, the line was purchased by Henry M. Flager, who made it part of his Florida East Coast Railway. In 1926, the cities of Daytona, Daytona Beach and Seabreeze merged into one entity to form the current City of Daytona Beach.
Major industries in the city are printing, commercial fishing, and the manufacture of electronic equipment and metal products. Its location on the Intracoastal Waterway makes Daytona Beach an important shipping center. Tourism is also a major contributor to the economy, as is the revenue generated by various auto and motorcycle racing events held at the Daytona International Speedway. Daytona is also home to the National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) and the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).
Daytona is home to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach Community College, and a campus of Keiser College.
Sites and Attractions
"The World's Most Famous Beach" attracts over 8 million tourists every year, including several hundred thousand bikers who congregate in Daytona to celebrate Bike Week and Biketoberfest.
Stock car racing as an organized sport had its beginnings on the beaches of Daytona. The wide beaches with smooth, compacted sand began attracting automobile and motorcycle racers as early as 1902, and the area soon became known as "The Birthplace of Speed." The first stock car race was held on the Daytona Beach Road Course on March 8, 1936. In 1959, William France built Daytona International Speedway to replace the beach course. Today the Speedway hosts a number of racing events every year, including: the Daytona 500, which officially opens the NASCAR season in February; the Rolex 24-Hour Sports Car Race; the Daytona 200, a motorcycle race; and the Pepsi 400 NASCAR race in July. The track is open to visitors whenever races are not taking place. Visitors to Daytona USA can see the car that won the most recent Daytona 500, as well as a host of exhibits detailing the history of stock car racing.
Other major attractions include: the International Motorsports Hall of Fame; the Halifax Historical Museum; the Museum of Arts and Sciences; the Southeast Museum of Photography; and the Ponce de León Light, the second tallest lighthouse in the United States.
The Daytona Cubs are a minor league baseball team of the Florida State League.
Daytona Beach is also the summer home of the London Symphony Orchestra.
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This page was last updated on June 22, 2017.