In general, I find it pretty hard to sit still when traveling. I want to see, hear and taste all of the things. But sometimes, you need a trip where the main focus is stillness and relaxation. This means different things to different folks, but to me it’s all about connecting with nature, not staying up too late, not getting up too early and just slowing down in general. To kick off 2018, we took a family trip to Daytona Beach that ticked off all those boxes.
All About Relaxation on Daytona Beach
This trip was actually a belated birthday gift to my mom. She had some health issues over the past year, so this was a much-needed healing getaway for her. She loves the ocean and watching waves roll in, so finding waves somewhere in the U.S. was a top priority. Florida was our top choice, and we knew the Atlantic coast would offer the best waves. After some research we settled on Daytona Beach, since we were able to get cheap flights and reasonably-priced hotel rooms with ocean views. The waves definitely lived up to her expectations. and we all enjoyed being able to hear the sounds of the ocean from our beds and smell the salt air in the mornings.
Tom and I were thrilled to be able to join her on this trip and enjoy some beach time ourselves. My brother and sister-in-law joined as well, so it was the perfect mini family vacation. We were there just after the new year, with less than a month before we moved from DC to OKC. The down time was ideal for reflecting on fresh starts, and new things to come.
I think my favorite part about the whole trip was waking up without an alarm, grabbing a quick breakfast at the hotel and then taking a long walk on the beach. We lucked out with the weather in January, with mild temperatures two out of the three days we were there. Even when we had to bundle up a bit, it’s always better to be chilly on the beach than anywhere else.
When we weren’t on the beach, we enjoyed the views from our hotel with a book and our morning coffee, or evening cocktail.
Day Trip to Ponce de Leon
We did pull ourselves away from the beach one afternoon to visit nearby Ponce de Leon, known for its famous lighthouse. Ponce de Leon Inlet Light is the tallest lighthouse in Florida. We had a quick lunch at Hidden Treasure on the water, before heading over to check it out. Surrounding the lighthouse is a well-maintained park and museum you can tour to learn more about the history of the lighthouse itself. You can also climb to the top for expansive views of the area. We were there on the coldest, cloudiest day of our trip but it was still very much worth the visit and the climb up to the top.
After getting our fill of lighthouse fun, we walked over to meet our boat captain with Fun Cat Sailing for a quick cruise on the Arabella. Was it too cold for a boat ride? Probably. Did we care? Nope. We had a great time watching schools of dolphins swim alongside us and dancing on the bow of the ship. We also had adequate libations, which didn’t hurt a bit.
A Tasty Escape in Daytona
Food wasn’t as much of a focus on this trip as it usual is, but of course we managed to get our fill of fresh seafood and – a must for any Florida trip – a slice or two of key lime pie. We enjoyed shrimp everything (po’boys, egg rolls, you name it – the shrimp is awesome in Daytona!), a beautiful lobster benedict, grouper cooked every way imaginable and of course… that pie. Hopefully we’ll be able to return to The Sunshine State soon for a full immersion into all the local deliciousness.