Set in the middle of the east coast of Florida, Volusia County includes miles of beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean. Two of the most famous beach areas in the country, Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach, are included in this area. As you might imagine, swimming, surfing and boating are big business in this area, and tourists flock here year round. You may think you know the area from seeing it on television, there’s much more to Volusia County beaches than what you find at first glance.

Direct access to the Atlantic Ocean is blocked by a barrier island down half of Volusia County, so half the cities actually have two sets of ocean beaches. The attitude and environment of each beach area is completely different from its sister beach. The direct access beaches, from Daytona Beach down to New Smyrna Beach, are typical tourist areas. You’ll see kite surfing, families camping out all day with coolers and beach umbrellas, sun lovers showing off their tans and lobster-red northerners every Christmas day.

The other part of the beach scene in this county is much quieter. You’ll find dozens of smaller beaches, most of them in tiny municipal parks. Some of the beaches are only about 10 yards wide, and the parks are so quiet during the week that you’ll often have the whole thing to yourself. Residents craving peace and quiet often set up a beach chair so their toes dangle in the ocean water, and may only be interrupted by a friendly greeting from a local fisherman or two.

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