Racing is an authentic Florida tradition proudly worn in Daytona, where motor cars first coursed the hard-packed sand of its beaches during the 1930s.
You can still drive on the beaches, but the racing has moved inland to Daytona Beach International Speedway.
Bikers from around the country roll into Daytona for a 10-day party beginning March 4.
The spillover is conspicuous throughout the state as tourists sporting biker leather rattle the norm from dive bars on the Gulf Coast to the Overseas Highway through the Keys — all converging on Daytona from March 4-13.
Here’s our guide to help sort through the RV and tent camping options, cool rides, and other outdoors things to do.
- Camping Options For Bike Week
- Best Camping Near Daytona Beach
- Scenic Rides
- Cool Rides Around the State
- More Things to Do
- Hotel Accommodations
Events & Tickets: daytonainternationalspeedway.com/events/bike-week/
Camping Options For Bike Week
One of the major challenges you may face during your visit to Daytona Beach in late February and early March is finding a campground to pitch a tent or park your RV.
Hotel and motel accommodations can also be scarce.
The key to success is booking reservations as early as possible.
Infield Camping at the Speedway
For a small fortune, RV, travel trailers, motor coaches and even tents can camp inside the Speedway on the 180-acre infield, where you can watch events from your campsite. Ample sites are also available at a lower rate outside the track behind the berms. Most campsites include infield admission.. Book Online
Special Event Campground — FinishLine RV Park
Just one block from the Speedway, FinishLine RV Park is only open 30 days a year for Daytona’s hottest events — Speed Weeks, Daytona 500, Bike Week, Coke Zero 400 and Biketoberfest. A few of the sites are paved, and a few have electric hookups, but you’ll pay $20 a night extra for 30-amp power. You must also pay a $100 non-refundable deposit regardless of your length of stay. Weekly and daily rates are available and range from $50 to $100 per night, depending on length of RV. Book Online.
Special Event Camping — Volusia County Fairgrounds
For the second year in a row, there will be no camping at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in DeLand due to COVID-19 precautions.
Hot Tip: Enterprising ranchers have been known to open their fields to campers near the Speedway. One year, I found a pasture where I could pitch a tent less than a half-mile away from the Speedway. Cruise around, but you should have a backup plan.
Best Camping Near Daytona Beach
Our campground recommendations cost far less, and for that reason they get snapped up early. But they are worth checking in case of cancellations.
Blue Spring State Park, Orange City
On the eastern edge of a vast basin of preserved lands, wildlife refuges and state parks that protect the watershed of the oddly north-flowing St. John’s River, making this park an ideal launching pad for paddling your kayak into the wild or just chilling out in the spring. 51 campsites (tent or RV), $24 night; Cabins, $95; Rest rooms with showers; Grill, table, water and electric at each site; Dump station; Swimming, snorkeling, tubing in the spring; Nature trails; Kayak/canoe concession on St. John’s River; Boat launch outside park; Pets OK in campground; No alcohol, no weapons. Book Online
Tomoka State Park, Ormond Beach
A watery paradise with excellent paddling, boating and fishing. This beautiful state park is on the scenic Ormond Loop Trail. One of the premier stops on the Florida Birding Trail with more than 160 species sighted either resident or passing through during the spring and fall migrations. More than 100 shady campsites near the Tomoka River with electric and water hookups, picnic table and a grill. Dump station on site. Maximum RV length is 34 feet. Sites are $24 per night and include electric, water. Pets OK in the campground. Book Online.
Gamble Rogers State Park, Flagler Beach
Camping on the beach, behind the dunes. A great little oceanfront campground, if you can get in. There are 34 sites, some with an ocean view. Al sites have water, electric, picnic table and a fire ring. A dump station is on site. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance. Book Online.
Wekiva Falls RV Resort, Sorrento
Tent sites along the banks of the Wekiva Falls spring run and hundreds of RV sites, this RV park is a small city with its own general store, community center with heated pool and a waterfront tiki bar just off the wild and scenic Wekiva River. The prolific spring channels up through a concrete flue, creating an aerial “falls” that spills into a water park, then down the spring run to the river. All RV sites have full hookups. Tent sites are primitive (no hookups) but have picnic tables and fire rings. 38 miles to Daytona via I-4. Book Online.
Favor-Dykes State Park, St. Augustine
This tranquil park borders Pellicer Creek into the open marshes that frame the Intracoastal Waterway south of St. Augustine. This park is one of the most popular in the state for bird-watching. The campground has 30 sites in a shady hardwood hammock, each buffered from neighboring sites by natural vegetation. Each site has water, electric, fire circle with grill and a picnic table. Pets allowed. Alcohol prohibited except within your campsite. 42 miles from Daytona via I-95. Book Online.
Also check out these private RV parks:
Bike Week visitors often extend their visit to explore or revisit other areas of Florida, so we’re including a few of those destinations, as well as some really cool rides near Daytona.
Ride the Loop
The Ormond Scenic Loop is a 30-mile road trip through live-oak canyons, waterfront postcard scenes, abundant wildlife, two state parks and a state historic site. Along the way, there’s camping, hiking, biking and paddling opportunities. Arguably one of Florida’s most scenic road trips.
This quaint little beachside community is a refreshing change from the high-rise condos and hotels that populate much of Florida’s coast. And it’s coastal waters are at the vortex of Florida winter whale watching.
Read more: Escape to this real Florida beach town
Cruise the beaches
Riding your motorcycle on the hard-packed beaches of Daytona and New Smyrna Beach is a Florida tradition. Pioneers did it with horses and buggies. From the 1930s until 1959 — stock car racing was born on these beaches. Early racers sped along this hard-pack sand until Daytona Speedway was built in 1959. You can ride these beaches, too — just not as fast.
Read more: Ultimate Road Trip: Driving on the beach
Canaveral National Seashore
Apollo Beach at Canaveral National Seashore is one of the last stretches of pristine beach on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, and it’s all yours. From the park entrance in Bethune Beach, you can cruise more than 6 miles on a paved road behind the dunes, pulling off at one of a half-dozen parking lots with beach access. Follow A1A south of New Smyrna Beach. Near the entrance, stop for lunch and a brew at JB’s Fish Camp.
Read more: Apollo Beach: Canaveral National Seashore
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Less than an hour’s drive south of Daytona on U.S. 1 is the spur road to the north entrance of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Oak Hill. The casual, fun and scenic route is one bikers frequently cruise during Bike Week. Once inside the refuge, you can cruise for miles through wilderness. And on your way back, enjoy outdoor dining on the deck in Oak Hill.
Ocala National Forest
The forest is bisected by two main roads — State Road 40 (east-west) and State Road 19 (north-south). There are dozens of forest service roads, most unpaved, branching off both of these highways, and you would be remiss to ignore them. These roads take you deep into the woods and boast magnificent scenery. The two main routes to access the forest are State Road 44 from New Smyrna Beach via Deland, and State Road 40, west out of Ormond Beach. (From Daytona, take I-4 south to SR 44 in Deland or take I-95 north to the SR 40 route.)
Read more: 5 things to do in Ocala National Park.
More about cool rides near Daytona
Cool Rides Around the State
Florida Keys Overseas Highway — In the weeks before and after Bike Week, U.S. 1 through the Florida Keys is mobbed with bikers from Key Largo all the way to Key West. Take the road less traveled, Card Sound Road to North Key Largo, and stop at Alabama Jack’s, a traditional stop for bikers. And time your trip for the next biker hangout, Florida Keys Mile Marker Guide
Florida Cow Country — The Cracker Trail is an off-the-beaten-track, two-lane road running through the heart of Florida’s historic cow country. This rural road lined with picturesque pastures and majestic live oaks offers subtle beauty and little-known history linking Bradenton on the Gulf Coast, through Sebring, to Fort Pierce on the Atlantic Ocean. Read more: A drive through Old Florida cow country
Tamiami Trail and Loop Road — Experience the Everglades from your motorcycle. Pick up U.S. 41 west of Miami, just off the Turnpike, and travel west through the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp to the Gulf Coast. Don’t miss the Loop Road, a Big Cypress side trip that will remind you why you are riding with the wind. Read more: Scenic Drive exploring the Everglades and Loop Road: Storied path is full of wildlife
Indian River Lagoon Circuit — You’ll find an Old Florida flavor on the western shore of the Indian River Lagoon, especially on the scenic 20-mile drive between Stuart and Fort Pierce, and then swing back along the eastern shore on State Road A1A and enjoy some of Florida’s best beaches on Hutchinson Island. Read more: Fort Pierce to Jensen Beach and Barefoot on Hutchinson Island.
More Things to Do
The Homely Manatee — The West Indian sea cow migrates in winter to the steady temperatures of the springs that feed the nearby St. John’s River, where you can observe their lazy meanderings. One of the best viewing areas is at Blue Spring State Park, just a few miles from Daytona off Interstate 4. Seafaring legend has it that these lumbering creatures were the myths of mermaids. Mermaids? Read more: Where to see Manatees in Florida
Baseball Spring Training — Players and owners are in the middle of contract negotiations as the spring training season approaches in 2022. If all goes well, you may be able to catch a game. Read more: 2022 Florida Spring Training in limbo
Orlando Theme Parks — No doubt that many of you will be cruising down I-4 to Orlando to enjoy a day or three at Disney World, Universal Studios, Legoland and other Orlando-area attractions. Here’s where to camp: 7 cool campgrounds within an hour of Disney World,
Oldest City — St. Augustine is a treasure, and it has great beaches, not to mention a great ride along A1A north of Daytona. Cruise through the historic downtown and visit fortifications the Spanish built to protect their fleets laden with gold and silver. Read more: Five cool things we discovered in St. Augustine. Don’t miss the St. Augustine Pirate Museum.
There are hundreds of motels, both on the beach and near the beach, in Daytona Beach and surrounding communities. We particularly like the Riverview Hotel & Spa in New Smyrna Beach for it’s classic Florida ambiance, waterfront location on the Indian River and proximity to one of Florida’s best beaches.
Another good option is the Black Dolphin Inn, a high-end B&B on the Indian River in New Smyrna Beach. The 14-room Black Dolphin prides itself on its connection to local fishing guides, who will take you out into nearby Mosquito Lagoon.
Book a hotel in Daytona Beach at Hotels.com
Book a vacation home in Daytona Beach at VRBO.com
A note from the editor:
The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning your trip.
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Bob Rountree is a beach bum, angler and camper who has explored Florida for decades. No adventure is complete without a scenic paddle trail or unpaved road to nowhere. Bob co-founded FloridaRambler.com with fellow journalist Bonnie Gross 12 years ago.