Daytona Beach area
has been attracting visitors since 1874, when the only way to
get there was by tramp
steamer and the only hotels were located in Ormand Beach along
the intercoastal waterway. At the turn of the century, as the
automobile began to grow in popularity and drivers began to "feel
the need for speed" the hard-packed sand of the Ormand beach
became the worlds first drag strip.
March 26, 1903, brought
time trials on the original "Measured Mile" - on
which Alexander Winton set the first record of 68.198 mph in his
"Bullet" car. The racing moved steadily south down the beach to
Daytona Beach Shores, where Sir Malcom Campbell made history by
setting five land speed records on an 11-mile stretch attempting
to break the 300 MPH. As automobile racing became more organized,
the first NASCAR course was created in 1948, using the beach-and
starting with Ponce Inlet as the straight-away.
As Spring Break in
Ft Lauderdale, began to attact national attention because of the
1960 movie classic "Where the Boys Are" the city of
Daytona Beach decided to get its fair $hare of this new form of
tourism. The city fathers may have been mislead by the wholesome
behavior of the actors in the film. College students are not required
to meet the guidelines of behavior dictated by the Hayes Commission
or the MPAA's
guidelines for film ratings. Despite the stories of bozing
and sex and the hassles created for beachside residents, the economic
impact of Spring Break made it an important event for the city.
In the early 80's,
MTV made its first trip to Spring Break in Daytona. By the mid
'80s Daytona had become the "Capital of Spring Break",
with over 500,000 students visiting the city and tripling the
population each March. Law enforcment was streched-and local residents
were complaining, but the city's businesses had a sellers market.
The price for hotel rooms increased along with the demand for
Break in Daytona Beach, had evolved to a point where both the
students and the locals were unhappy with the situation.
Students began to
look for alternative locations that would be more receptive. The
pied piper of satellite music delivery and tour operators like
Programs, helped to lead the parade to Florida's northern
gulf coast beaches. Once MTV started broadcasting from Panama
City Beach, it was clear that the migration of Spring Break to
PCB had begun.
Daytona Beach, is still
a part of the "Spring Break Tradition", but you need
to make sure you are in the right location. Daily events are normally
found at the hotels where booking is provided by tour operators
or near the Bandshell located at the end of the boardwalk. Inter-Campus
Programs (ICP) is the largest domestic tour operator and is
your best bet on pricing. Many of the hotels are booking directly,
so do your best to get a competitive price. Remember, that traffic
will be a (*&#*&^* , so check the location of the hotel
you are evaluating to the clubs and the boardwalk. You will find
a good map for this on the ICP site.
Activities each year
include about a half a dozen concerts mid-March located at the
Bandshell or at the Plaza hotel. There are generally some daytime
activities like giveaways and contests by corporate sponsors.
There are also scheduled Spring Break parties at several of the
nightclubs. You will want to get a "Gold
Party Card", to get entry to the parties, along with
free cover and express entry to the clubs.
If you are up for
making day trips, Daytona, is close to Disney World, Seaworld
and Universal. ICP used to have scheduled bus trips from their
hotels to the Orlando Theme Parks. Daytona also has DaytonaUSA,
a local attraction celebrating the history of NASCAR and the Daytona
International Speedway as well as the Kennedy Space Center just
down the road.
Remember to check
back here for a Calendar of Events in January and links to Coke,
Hawaiian Tropic, Playboy and MTV in our "News Listings".
you would like to check on available dates and pricing from a
reliable Tour Operator.