When Floridians are planning a staycation there are a handful of destinations within short-driving distance that come to mind. Disney, Tampa/Clearwater and South Florida just to name some. Times are definitely changing and The DAYTONA hotel is a glimpse into the future of what staycations should be about. Located directly across from the world-famous Daytona International Speedway, The DAYTONA is a testament to Daytona’s rich racing history.

We were recently invited to spend a few days at the beautiful new property and take in the entire Daytona experience. As far as staycations go and suitable destinations for anyone of any age, you’d be hard pressed to find anything better than this amazing property. Weighing in at six stories, the hotel was designed by Studio 11 Design and everything from the time you step foot on the property pays homage to the racing heritage that is synonymous with this region.

The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive is just how effortless the parking is. Let me repeat that for the ones in the back of the class. Parking was effortless! I have traveled to a lot of places and parking can really make or break the entire travel and hotel experience.

As you enter The DAYTONA your senses are immediately stimulated by how great the place smells and the upbeat chunes that serve as the perfect background soundtrack to your stay. It’s just an all-around great vibe and puts in you the perfect vacay mood.

After checking in and getting settled, I grabbed a quick change of clothes and made the short elevator ride down to the well-appointed second floor. Our weekend at The DAYTONA began with libations at The Blue Flame bar. The Blue Flame offers 16 custom craft beers on tap and cocktails inspired by the area’s legendary racing history.

After welcome cocktails, we headed over to Sir Malcolm for dinner. The onsite restaurant was inspired by Sir Malcolm Campbell, the famous British racing motorist. The photos don’t do it justice, the food and service was top notch!

The great thing about where the hotel is situated is that you have access to just about anything you would want to do on a staycation. You have access to 23 miles of white sand beaches, the Jackie Robinson Ballpark, Daytona Lagoon, Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and of course the iconic Daytona International Speedway.

We had the opportunity to spend some time at the track and take in the NASCAR Ride Along Experience. Riding shotgun in a NASCAR on this iconic racetrack at 170 mph is something I won’t soon forget. There’s just something about the fact that some of your favorite racers like Dale Sr and Jr, Chase Elliot, Kyle & Kurt Bush have all graced this track.

Our weekend concluded with a nice beach side dinner at the Landshark Bar & Grill restaurant where we enjoyed live music and experienced a beautiful sunset. Watching the sun set on our final day in Daytona was a very fitting way to end the weekend.

It’s worth noting that The DAYTONA is located at the ONE DAYTONA dining and retail district, a bustling area filled with shops, restaurants, live entertainment and a movie theater.

Other design highlights of the property include a rotating collection of vintage race cars, mounted displays of automobile speedometers, a revolving 24 inch auto-inspired sculpture known as “Wheel in the Sky” above the check-in area as well as a historic trophy case showcasing the history of accomplishments in automotive racing.

If you plan on taking a Florida staycation, The DAYTONA should be at the top of your list.

Learn more about The DAYTONA here.

Words and photography by: Maro Onokpise

Thank you to the incredible team at The DAYTONA and our gracious host for putting this experience together.