Is This Really The Most Famous Beach In The World?

On the east side of the State of Florida lies a golden sand, a very long golden sand which is acclaimed to be The Most Famous Beach in the World.

Is this the most famous beach in the world

Is this the most famous beach in the world?

As only a small town this place half way up the east coast of Florida is famous for two things, a very famous car race and a once very popular beach, claimed to be the most famous.


Daytona Speedway



The car racing franchise of NASCAR (head-quartered here) hold an annual meeting at a large speedway track beside the airport in this town. Many of you may well have heard of the Daytona 500. The speedway dominates one side of the carriageway as you drive on the main road that passes the airport. It is indeed a very large race track which can hold many thousands of spectators. The stadium itself though just appeared to be like lots and lots of temporary scaffolding.

A lot of scaffolding

A lot of scaffolding

More scaffolding

More scaffolding

Streets take name privilege from this massive commercial sporting event as you see names such as “Speedway” and “Nascar” on the green overhead signs.

I must admit that I have close to zero interest in motor sport. Even the term “motor sport” strikes me as a paradox. That aside I did note with curiosity that the speedway holds daily tours at varying times. Had time being more suited I might have been able to try this out to find out more.

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway

I did take a quick wander around the outside of the stadium and could appreciate the size of the place. Each section of the stadium was also endorsed with images and names of some famous drivers in the history of NASCAR. That just about summed up my speedway education for this trip.

Stars on scaffold

Stars on scaffold

My trip was work related so time for such motor sport related exciting adventures were limited.

My workplace for this trip was maybe a couple of miles from the speed track, even still I could clearly hear the thundering sound of cars going around the track. Apparently you can book to drive around the track in one of the race cars which is admittedly quite exciting for any driver. Or take a tour.


Life’s a beach

Visiting Daytona Beach provided a more interesting attraction for me and that was indeed the beach. In fact, for some bizarre reason I couldn’t get a Nicki Minaj song (“Starships”) out of my head. My mind kept repeating the lyric “Let’s go to the beach, each”. It was like a calling and I had to make my way there.

Bridge at the beach entrance

Bridge at the beach entrance

On arrival I was a little surprised at one of the signs on an entrance to the beach claiming to be the most famous beach in the world. This was a little known fact on me and at first I put it down to typical American “bigging up” something and being boastful.

Prompted with curiosity I did perform a search on a well known search engine typing in “the most famous beach in the world”. Sure enough, second on the 845 million search results was Daytona Beach! It was actually the Wikipedia page that came second which makes reference to this claim.

Famous as a holiday spot in the past, the resort location still gains appeal periodically for Spring Break and a biker week. Locals tell me that the place has fallen out of favour in recent times to warmer climes further south on the Floridian coast. Temperatures in Daytona Beach can peak in the low 90’s F (low 30’s C) but still be susceptible to sun burn.

A population of around 61,000 people in the last census shows how small this town by residents is. Even still it is alleged that there were around 8 million visitors in 2004.

The place does have some notable free promotion in Hollywood as it has featured in the 1990 film “Days of Thunder” (clearly a speedway theme) and more recently in “Marley and Me”.

Daytona, the most famous beach in the world goes on for miles

Daytona beach goes on for miles

The beach is indeed quite impressive. Like a bore at a party it just goes on, and on, and on! Admittedly it is more exciting than a bore at a party (odd comparison I know) but this beach stretches for miles! It is fairly straight too so no coves to hide away in.

The beach is not only straight but noted for its compact sand which allows you to drive cars on the beach. It was this factor which historically allowed various car races on the beach.

Promenade by the beach

Promenade by the beach

Now it is a clean and pleasant beach. I was there in April and can say it was never overcrowded.

The place is probably famous now as much for being a Conference venue as anything. Hotels line the beach front yet no rooms were available for my visit by the beach. I soon found out that there was a massive cheer-leading contest going on that week. Hundreds if not thousands of school girls overrunning the town made it not such a quiet walk on the beach. Well at least it was better than thousands of pubescent lads walking around in tight fitting shorts, although there were one or two of those as well!

Cheerleaders celebrating on the most famous beach in the world

Cheerleaders celebrating on the beach


National Cheerleaders Association truck

National Cheerleaders Association truck

Along the beach side were numerous seaside tacky gift shops and a few fair rides. Commercialisation had struck but there was opportunity to move away from it since the beach was so long.

Souvenir shop at Daytona Beach

Souvenir shop at Daytona Beach


Other appeal

Talking of commercialisation, the main other appeal of the place I would say is the Volusia Mall. This is a rather long shopping centre (or “Mall” to Americans) based along International Speedway Blvd; yes you guessed it, this is opposite the racetrack. For a small town it has a pretty reasonable range of the big brands of shops. Not bad for somewhere which claims to have the most famous beach.

There are also some great seafood restaurants near the beach where you can enjoy what is truly fresh fish. Yum, yum.


Do you think Daytona should be labelled as the most famous beach in the world?

Overall I enjoyed my trip to Daytona Beach. The length of the beach is staggering and indeed it is a pretty good beach.

This way to Daytona Beach - the most famous beach in the world

This way to Daytona Beach

I always thought that Bondi was the most famous beach in the world but now maybe not. Even if Daytona Beach is the most famous beach in the world I wouldn’t say it is the most beautiful.



  1. says

    It is always funny when you travel and see ‘the most famous this” or ‘the oldest that’ even ‘the best ___’ gets me sometimes. It is often difficult to find validity in these statements as the seem to be lofty “bigging ups” as you say. I’d agree that often they don’t live up to their reputation, but occasionally they do. I definitely didn’t know that Daytona was considered to be the most famous beach in the world. I am like you, my interest in Nascar or motor sports is near non-existent outside of the fact that I enjoy driving myself. All in all, I guess that is what tourism does.

    By the way, got Nikki Minaj stuck in my head now… thanks.

    • says

      I’m very wary Andy of these subjective rather than objective terms. They do seem to work though in drawing you in to find out why they used the term. 9 times out of 10 I often find that I’m disappointed. I’m often left challenging the statement.

      As for the Nikki Minaj song, you’re welcome :-)

  2. says

    I’m guilty of visiting Daytona purely because of it’s reputation as ‘world famous’ and I found it to be slightly underwhelming – although, in fairness, it was out of season.
    I like your photo of the entrance bridge, it all looks very understated and refined from that angle.
    It certainly wasn’t my favorite beach, I preferred Clearwater but I think ‘most famous’ is as good a reason as any to visit a place.
    Bet it’s fun around Spring Break time :)

    • says

      Hi Sara, I visited just at the end of Spring Break so most of the holiday makers were gone. To be honest I prefer it that way, I don’t like it being overcrowded, takes ages to get anywhere or to be served.

      I’ve never been to Clearwater but will keep it in mind if I’m ever nearby.

      Thanks for liking the photo :-)

  3. says

    Oh, Daytona Beach! The memories I have from three drunken Spring Breaks there. Lot of wine, women, song, and beer. Used to be able to drive your car on the beach too. Been to Clearwater too and played beach vollyball and fished into the wee hours of the morning there. Love them both! Nice post!

    • says

      Thanks Phil. Maybe next time I go I need to get a heads up from you on the places to go. You know how to find the good parties.

  4. says

    Well, I didn’t know that! I think I’ve heard of Daytona Beach, but I didn’t know of it’s global significance. I’m not much of a beach person, despite living on tropical Four Mile Beach, Bournemouth would get my vote.

    • says

      Hi Alyson, I’ve not seen any research to back the statement up as a fact. I suspect it is just marketing by the Americans to give the place more appeal.

      Sorry to hear that you are not into beaches much, there will be quite a few people jealous of you for where you live.

    • says

      Hi Agness, I took these pictures in the evening so maybe that was a factor. Whilst it is a massive beach which goes on for miles I understand that Spring Break and Biker Week are really popular times. Locals also tell me that the place is not as popular as it used to be. A warmer climate further south makes visitors head to southern Florida and by pass Daytona Beach

  5. says

    I ready as well once that Daytona Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world, this indeed due to Nascar, motor sports and high school kids getting drunk on this beach during spring break :) Although it is a very impressive beach, I agree with you might be the most famous one but not the most beautiful one.

    • says

      Hi Freya,

      I agree that Nascar is certainly a big factor in the modern day.

      What beaches do you like best? Do you have a favourite?

    • says

      Hi Suzy,

      Maybe they do. They certainly have a focused marketing campaign and make sure you know about it whilst in the town.

    • says

      Many thanks for your comment. Yes it is very famous in the racing world. I suppose with the name “Beach” being in the place name it adds to the fame.

  6. says

    In the world?? I think this is one of those instances where the US mistakes North America for the entire globe – a bit like having a “world series” for a sport no one else takes seriously 😉

    • says

      Hi Grant I tend to agree with you on the beach front. The Americans tend to market things as the biggest or the best. it seems to be part of their ethos. As for the World Series, yes that often doesn’t translate well abroad. I understand that the name relates to a sponsor of the series in the past. Not sure if they still are the sponsor now though.

      In line with this the team that wins the NFL Super Bowl is often labelled by the Americans as the best American Football team in the world. They probably are (I’ve little reason to think any other team could beat them) yet there is no world club challenge to confirm such an accolade.


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