Daytona Beach is located in Volusia County
, northeast of Orlando
, between Ormond Beach and New Smyrna Beach. It lies along Highway A1A near Ponce de Leon Inlet and the Atlantic seacoast.
During the late 1800s, the area attracted the attention of numerous out-of-state tycoons who found the land favorable for investment. In 1874, the magnate Mathias Day, founding father of Daytona, constructed the first hotel, Palmetto House. In the early 1900s, John D. Rockefeller made his winter home here. Automobile racing became a regular pastime on the beaches at the turn of the 20th Century. In 1947, the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing was founded in Daytona Beach and the Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959.
Today, the Daytona Beach area, with its balmy weather, attracts more than eight million visitors every year. The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 65,136, an increase of 3,145 since 1990.
Daytona Beach is part of the Daytona Beach, Florida metro area.