Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier
As the premier entertainment center in the area, the Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier features outdoor/indoor rides and amusements, live performances,
fireworks displays, great food, and more! One of the most recognizable landmarks in the city, the Boardwalk has been the center of beach life since the beginning of the community.
Rewind to before the turn of the 20th century, and the original palm log pier extended 600 feet into the ocean, located at the end of Main Street where the present pier resides. It was known as the Keating Pier, named after its builder, until it was nearly destroyed by a tremendous fire in 1920 and sold to Jeter McMillan shortly after.
McMillan tore it down and constructed the new Pier Casino, which opened on June 11, 1925. The 1,000-foot pier featured a Victorian style building with an ornate ballroom, often accommodating up to 2,000 dancers and hosting some of the top bands of the day. The Pier Casino was the scene of charity balls, weddings, beauty contests, social events, and civic meetings.
During that time, racing still took place on the beach, requiring some of the pier’s pilings to be removed to allow racecars to pass underneath. Needless to say, it became a popular site for photos of the famous racers who came to Daytona Beach. Once such photos were seen increasingly worldwide, Daytona Beach became known as, “The World’s Most Famous Beach.” After McMillan’s passing in 1946, the pier changed ownership several times until the city of Daytona Beach took operational control in 2009, completely refurbished it, and sought a long-term, quality tenant for the casino building.
On June 5, 2012, the Daytona Beach Pier reopened, and Joe’s Crab Shack opened its doors to begin serving a unique brand of seafood and casual entertainment. While modernized, the Boardwalk’s combination of family operated businesses and old-fashioned nuances give it a nostalgic touch.
At the base of the pier, Zeno’s Boardwalk Sweet Shop features an old-fashioned saltwater taffy-puller in the window, making it impossible to sneak kids past the pastel-colored sweetness. The Daytona Beach Boardwalk also encompasses the Joyland Amusement Center with best new and classic arcade favorites, Mardi Gras Fun Center, Pizza King, and several gift shops located right on the beach.
The breathtaking views and ocean breeze can also be experienced from the Grand Prix Go-Kart Raceway and atop the Ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl, roller coaster, or slingshot at Boardwalk Amusements. Once on the ground, the Splash Park, playground, and volleyball can be enjoyed at Breakers Oceanfront Park.
The fun, carefree time even carries into the night, with concerts, street performances, and fireworks displays at the historic Daytona Beach Bandshell, located at the threshold of Ocean Walk Shoppes and restaurants.
Over the years, the Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier has withstood both fire, constant pounding surf, and hurricanes, but still stands strong and full of character, serving as a perfect venue for family friendly activities, a city landmark, and a source of many memories.