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When you think of auto racing, Daytona Beach is at the top of your mind. The racing craze began in 1903 after a reporter claimed the sand at Ormond Beach was well-packed enough for automobiles. By 1906, Fred Marriott set the world land speed record of 127.659 mph with his Stanley Rocket Racer, and the quest for speed began, involving automobile inventors and motorcyclists who wanted to showcase their vehicles. Racing continued on the beach itself until 1959, when NASCAR was founded and the Daytona International Speedway built, a venue that attracts millions for the fastest game in town. But racing is only one aspect of Daytona Beach. ...

When you think of auto racing, Daytona Beach is at the top of your mind. The racing craze began in 1903 after a reporter claimed the sand at Ormond Beach was well-packed enough for automobiles. By 1906, Fred Marriott set the world land speed record of 127.659 mph with his Stanley Rocket Racer, and the quest for speed began, involving automobile inventors and motorcyclists who wanted to showcase their vehicles. Racing continued on the beach itself until 1959, when NASCAR was founded and the Daytona International Speedway built, a venue that attracts millions for the fastest game in town. But racing is only one aspect of Daytona Beach. Shucking its party days of the past, Daytona Beach has evolved into a family-friendly destination with numerous mom-and-pop motels still surviving side by side with massive beachfront condos. The allure is the beach, but the historic, cultural, and natural attractions are equally significant, including one of the best local history museums in Florida and the largest collection of Cuban art in America, and The Loop, a driving tour beneath ancient oaks through landscapes lost in time.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

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Sandra Friend for Triporati

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