I surprise myself for having cycled to the pier in Daytona Beach. It's at least a 12 mile return trip which I know is nothing to shout about but it inevitably leaves me fatigued. Granted I stop at Frank Rendon Park to stare at the sea (and mesmerize myself with the churning ocean sounds); and regularly arrest my progress to snap photos with my iPhone (the miracle that it is).
It's easy to toss one's head back with a mocking chuckle at the mention of Daytona Beach, its putative carnival atmosphere and redneck dedication to race cars and motorcycles. But one mustn't ignore the richness of its history. Daytona Beach really is one of the world's most famous beaches! The bandshell is but one example. It is no accident that its streets and beaches are well maintained. But the place isn't sterile, it does have a robust and authentic flavour. I concede that there is a popular element to Daytona Beach exemplified by its extraordinary pier in the centre of town where it intrigues me to be absorbed into the swirl of commonality.
If one prefers to avoid the festival atmosphere of the urban centre it requires little effort to withdraw to nearby comparative tranquillity. The beach is at least 15 miles long affording every opportunity for seclusion or involvement. For me the beach is anchored at the north by the Daytona pier and to the south by the Ponce Inlet rock pier. The north pier attracts families; the rock pier attracts fishermen, nature lovers and photographers.