DeLand, Florida, is just an hour or less from Orlando or twenty minutes from Daytona Beach and offers a variety of things to do. Now that Jenn goes to school in DeLand, we’ve been in the area more and have made some great discoveries. If you’re a tourist visiting Disney or the other attractions, maybe you would find something to break the “tourist mold” on your way to Daytona Beach. There’s something for everyone! (See the bottom of this post for a link to restaurants, for a blog with updates on events in DeLand and for the Stetson University calendar of events.)
What we recommend personally:
- Blue Spring State Park – we saw the historic Thursby house and did some birdwatching and hiking, but we’d like to come back in the winter to see large groups of manatees gather in the spring for warmth
- Concerts at Stetson University (see our photo of the organ inside the beautiful Lee Chapel in historic Elizabeth Hall)
- DeLeon Springs State Park – besides the usual swimming, boating, and hiking, make your own pancakes in the old mill at your table (read our story)
- Downtown events – Mainstreet DeLand organizes a lot of fun events. We attended Taste of DeLand in January and enjoyed sampling foods from 25+ local restaurants.
- Gillespie museum at Stetson University – largest collection in the Southeast for minerals, rocks, and fossils
- Historic Downtown – the buildings in the area are on the National Register, so stroll, shop, or enjoy a nice restaurant. We love taking photos, like this one of the old barber shop. Mike really wanted to get a haircut there. Maybe next time. Stop in Pat & Toni’s Sweet Things, too, for a trip back in time to a candy store filled with goodies.
- Sports at Stetson University – The Hatters baseball team is nationally ranked this year. We recommend Hatters baseball if you want to watch an affordable and fun baseball game while visiting Orlando. Read about our night at the ball game.
We haven’t made it here, but hope to:
- I love the outside of the Athens theater so we should plan to see something performed there some time.
- DeLand House museum – historic house tour
- Deland Naval Air Station Museum
- Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center at Stetson University – extensive collection of art by Modernist painter Oscar Bluemnerwill (free, but check the website for hours)
- Hontoon Island State Park – accessible only by boat . The free ferry will take your camping gear over for you.
- Lectures at Stetson University
We’ll not try this!
- Cave diving in some of the local springs
- Go to this post about restaurants we’ve tried or TripAdvisor can guide you.
- Stop in The Sweet Spot for some homemade ice cream to finish your day trip.
- How to find concerts, lectures, and sports events at Stetson. Use the “search events” on the school calendar to find out what’s scheduled during your time at DeLand.
- The Historic Downtown DeLand blog has the latest on what’s happening in DeLand.
- Lake Helen also has a historic district, but so far, we’ve just driven past.
NOTE: This post is part of the series of recommended tips for enjoying I-95.