As a family, I wish we could travel more. Unfortunately, we can never find enough time in our schedules or cost gets involved. When we do travel, we tend to keep it local and have found that staycations end up being some of the best times we could have imagined. When we can experience new places like we did recently, it makes it even better. We loaded up our Kia Sedona and made the quick 2-hour drive North-East to Daytona this past weekend. The trip seemed to fly by since the kids were occupied with a movie playing on the built-in DVD player.
Explore Daytona Beach or stay nearby. There’s always something to do.
We arrived into town and with the help of Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, I know this is a trip my kids will remember for years to come. Hilton Daytona Beach hosted our stay in return for this review but no doubt all opinions are my own.
Hilton Daytona Beach
The location of the Hilton Daytona Beach cannot be any more perfect. Situated steps from a no-drive beach and directly next to Daytona Boardwalk Amusement Park and Breakers Park, there’s no shortage of fun to be had within walking distance while staying at the Hilton.
Where To Eat
After a long day at Daytona Lagoon (conveniently located across the street), we were exhausted and very hungry. After making our way up to the HiltonHonors 15th floor and oohing and awwing over the views (more about the room in a minute), we made our way back down to the Lobby floor where we had dinner at Don Ricos Fresh-Mex Grill. Offered here is traditional tex-mex cuisines intertwined with local beachy flavors to make up a delicious one-of-a-kind menu. It was quiet at 6 PM and my family was the only ones in the place besides 2 other single diners. It was a nice change from a busy restaurant in the city. We received excellent service from start to finish and never felt like the waitress was rushed or bothered by my kids. The kiddos stuck to the kid’s menu which offered kid-friendly options like burgers, PB & J, hot dogs, and chicken fingers (all with a side of fries). The PB & J was nothing fancy; with grape jelly and creamy peanut butter on white bread. Not sure about your kids but my little ones have always hated the fancy stuff so they gobbled the sandwiches down as if I made them at home.
I, on the other hand, went a little fancy by first ordering the Crab Stuffed Avocado appetizer. Admittingly, I do not like seafood at all but it sounded delicious. I’m so glad I made this choice. I even had it or lunch the next day – seriously SO good!
For my main entree, I had the Street Style Tacos with chicken pastor. All I can say is yum. The flavors were so fresh and the chicken was marinated to perfection. We also tried their BBQ Loaded Nachos and chicken tenders. Boy, was it all delicious. I wish we had more time at the resort to sample everything seeing as how everything we had was good. After all that, we were stuffed and ready to settle into our room.
The ocean view rooms at the Hilton Daytona Beach are nothing short of amazing. If I could stare out the window all day I would. Totally wouldn’t ever get bored with the sights and sounds but that’s just me. If you can spring for it, ask for an ocean view. You won’t be sorry.
It was just the 3 kiddos and me on this trip since my hubby had to stay back in Orlando to work so the 2 Queen Bed Room worked perfectly. The room comes with a lounge chair, desk & chair, large flat screen TV, and telephone. The beds are really comfortable with feather-down soft pillows. All you need in a room!
I loved the bathroom area. You have your typical bathroom with large mirror and counter space along with toilet, full-size bathtub, and shower but also outside of that room is a separate vanity/mirror/sink area. This is great for families! My only complaint is how horrible the lighting was. The lights were bright orange and besides not getting a great picture, there’s no way anyone could properly do their makeup. It may sound silly but all you women out there definitely know what I’m talking about. Thankfully the room has a full-size body mirror so I took my makeup out to that area and used the natural light from the large windows.
The next morning it was all about the beach and the pool! First, we went downstairs to have breakfast at Doc Bales’ Grill. I wish I could say the food was as good as Don Ricos but I cannot. My kid’s pancakes were cold and my entire All American meal was cold. From the eggs, skillet potatoes, undercooked bacon, and hard biscuit – I’d never eat breakfast here again. After breakfast, we changed and headed down to have some fun!
The beach is no-drive which is wonderful. We got out there early and caught the low tide. My kids had a blast finding shells and you can even see tiny fish by the shore! It wasn’t busy at all but later in the day, it does get a bit busier as families wake up. The sand down by the shore is harder but still great for making sand castles. If you want softer sand head up away from the water. It’s great for building with, walking through, and pure white!
Might sound strange but even though I adore the beach, I never go in the water. After a couple of hours on the beach, it was time to check out of the room. Check out is at 11 AM but the hotel lobby will happily hold your luggage if you have a late flight. I used the valet service for my Kia Sedona so I opted to have them bring up the van, we loaded it up, then they parked it again for us.
We weren’t ready to go home and I was ready to cool off so we headed to one of the two Hilton Daytona Beach pools. We went to the pool closer to our tower and it was perfect. Again, not busy at all and with how large it is, you can swim around or stick to your own little space. There is also a large hot tub and a shallow lukewarm children’s pool to enjoy. We spent about 5 hours at the pool before heading home. Way too much sun? Probably but the kids and I were having way too much fun to cut the day short.
Would We Return?
Most definitely! The food (with the exception of breakfast) was incredible and filling, the staff was super friendly, and lobby, elevators, room floor, and the room itself was immaculately clean. I love the location and the distance to so many fun things like the Boardwalk, Daytona Lagoon, and so many Daytona parks, not to mention just minutes from Daytona International Speedway.