Driving on the beaches of the Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach areas is a Volusia County tradition dating back to the early days of the automobile. For years, beachgoers have enjoyed a leisurely drive on the wide, hard-packed sands. Please be a responsible beach driver by driving only in designated areas and observing the speed limit. The driving areas are designated by signs and wooden posts. Please watch for pedestrians, sunbathers and wildlife. Parking is allowed east, or seaward, of the posts.
The beach is open to vehicles from sunrise to sunset Nov. 1 through April 30, and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 1 through
Oct. 31. There is a $5 per day per vehicle user fee to drive on the beach from Feb. 1 through Nov. 30.
Season beach passes are $20 for Volusia County residents and $40 for non-residents. Daily and seasonal passes may ONLY be purchased at the tollbooths. For further information regarding beach passes, contact Republic Parking at 386-254-4605.
The beach is always open and free to pedestrians and bicyclists depending on tides and access ramps being opened.
Volusia's beaches are divided into three experience zones -- Natural, Transitional and Urban. Natural beach zones exist from the North Peninsula State Recreation Area to Granada Boulevard in Ormond-by-the-Sea, from Emilia Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores to Beach Street in Ponce Inlet, and from 27th Avenue in New Smyrna Beach to Canaveral National Seashore in Bethune Beach.
The Natural zones generally correspond to the areas where off-beach development is less intense. The dune habitats within this area largely are intact. These areas also have the highest concentration of turtle nests on Volusia beaches. Public driving and parking is not allowed in the Natural beach areas.
The Transitional zones are those areas which have a mixture of natural dunes and some beach seawalls. The concentration of people in these areas generally is less intense most of the year. Sea turtle nesting in these areas is moderate. Public driving and parking is allowed in the Transitional zone 30 feet seaward of the dunes or seawall.
The Urban zones are those areas where off-beach development includes hotels, high-rise condominiums and seawalls. The concentration of people is the most intense most of the year. Sea turtle nesting in these areas is minimal. Public driving and parking is allowed in the Urban beach areas 15 feet seaward of the dunes or seawall.
Approximately 1,000 public parking spaces exist at several locations adjacent to the beaches. Beachside parking facilities include Bicentennial Park on the North Peninsula; Ora Street and Revilo Avenue parks in Daytona Beach; Richards Lane and Simpson Street parks in Daytona Beach Shores; Inlet Harbor Road and Lighthouse Point Park in Ponce Inlet; Smyrna Dunes, Flagler Avenue and 27th Avenue parks in New Smyrna Beach; and Bethune Beach Park in the unincorporated area south of New Smyrna Beach. Parking also is available in New Smyrna Beach on the west side of State Road AIA (Atlantic Avenue) at Matthews Avenue.
On the beach, parking is allowed east (seaward) of the conservation zone. Please park either facing the ocean or the dunes. Please refer to the map for locations of off-beach parking areas.
Volusia County's world famous beaches attract millions of visitors each year. The sparkling, white sands of Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach offer a variety of safe, clean, environmentally friendly recreational experiences.
The beaches also are home to hundreds of fascinating plant and animal species. Some animals, such as the loggerhead sea turtle and the piping plover, are threatened with extinction. As a result, they are protected by state and federal laws. To preserve this beautiful natural resource for future generations of beachgoers, all of us must work together to care for and protect this fragile beach ecosystem.
From May 1 through Oct. 31, Volusia beaches host an unusual marine visitor -- the sea turtle. These magnificent animals emerge from the surf at night to lay their eggs in nests dug into the dry sand, then return to the sea. Two months later, about a hundred baby turtles or hatchlings emerge from each of these nests and crawl to the ocean. This amazing cycle of Mother Nature is thousands of years old.
Volusia County has taken several steps to protect these gentle creatures. Beach driving and parking is regulated. Vehicles are not allowed west (landward) of the dune conservation zone where sea turtle nests are most common. Night driving and lighting from beachfront properties is restricted because the mother turtles and tiny hatchlings are confused by bright lights.