Whether you're a Florida native visiting Daytona for a weekend getaway or you've traveled hundreds of miles to enjoy the city's white sand beaches and emerald waters, you won't regret carving time out of your trip to visit some of the area's beautiful natural environments. Luckily, there are many state parks near Daytona Beach, making it easy to spend a day exploring before making it back to your oceanfront hotel for sunset.
If you're looking for nature things to do in Florida, exploring some of the Sunshine State's many state parks should be at the top of your list. With just a short drive to any of these parks near your Daytona Beach home base, you can immerse yourself in wild nature, from swamplands and marshes to tall forests and unspoiled beaches. Check out some of our favorite spots to connect with the raw beauty of Florida.
Perfect for wildlife lovers, Tomoka State Park is home to endangered manatees and over 160 species of birds. Explore the half-mile nature trail and discover picturesque live oak canopies, secluded beaches, and saltwater marshes. If you'd rather get on the water, you can rent canoes and kayaks to get a better look at the fish-filled lagoon and see the park's manatees up close.
If you'd like to experience some local history during your trip, Bulow Creek State Park is perfect for you. Walk or bike your way through this 5,600-acre park, discovering marshes and giant groves of live oaks along the way. Make sure to visit the over 400-year-old Fairchild Oak, one of the largest trees in the South. You can also follow a hiking trail to the ruins of the Bulow Plantation and sugar mill, dating back to the early 19th century.
Head to Tiger Bay State Forest for your chance to romp through the wilderness - 28,000 acres of it. This piney forest and wetland area, just seven miles west of Daytona Beach, is home to nine lakes and ponds, extensive wetlands, and great fishing. Hiking and off-road biking are popular in the park, and there's even a dedicated equestrian trail for visitors who want to go horseback riding in Daytona Beach. You'll also want to keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles and Florida black bears, as the park maintains roaming habitats and potential nesting areas.
If you're looking to encounter sea turtles during your trip to Daytona Beach, make a trip to North Peninsula State Park. Boasting three miles of pristine shoreline, this coastal park is a great place to spot sea turtles during their season of May through September. You'll also get the chance to see other wildlife native to the park, like indigo snakes and gopher tortoises. Hiking and cycling trails are both available.
Daytona Beach is home to a treasure trove of fun activities and things to do. From shopping and surfing to NASCAR races and Broadway plays, there's something for everyone to enjoy. No matter how you choose to spend your days, the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort is the perfect home base for all your adventures. Book one of our hotel packages to start planning!