The beautiful city of DeLand, Florida is conveniently located just north of Orlando and west of Daytona Beach, but that doesn’t mean you need to travel far to find some great things to do. DeLand is actually full of great restaurants, shops, art, history, and many other fun activities. And with some of Florida’s best state parks just minutes from downtown, DeLand is a destination in and of itself.
Whether you’re planning a fun family weekend, a romantic date night, or a friendly gathering, we’ve pulled together a list of some of the best local activities in the DeLand area:
1. Spend A Day At The Volusia County Farmers’ Market
Much of Central Florida is farming country, so it’s no surprise that the Volusia County Farmers’ Market is one of the biggest and best in the state. Here you’ll find tons dozens of local vendors selling fruits, vegetables, condiments, and plants from all over the state. But it doesn’t stop there — the farmers market also doubles as a flea market, so you never know what antiques, glassware, or collectibles you’ll stumble upon. It’s truly a picker’s paradise. The market first opened in 1975 and still runs every Wednesday from 7 am to 2 pm at the Volusia County Fairgrounds. It’s open rain or shine!
2. Explore Some Beautiful State Parks
While DeLand’s not a far drive from Florida’s Atlantic Coast, you don’t need to go far to enjoy the sun and water. There are several beautiful state parks in and around the DeLand area. Below are two of our favorites:
- Blue Spring State Park
One of Florida’s most beautiful state parks is right in DeLand’s backyard. Blue Spring State Park is right on the St. Johns River and offers visitors stunning views and beautiful trails. The water is typically 72 degrees, making it perfectly comfortable for swimming. Best of all, the park is home to over 500 manatees, so it’s your chance to get up close and personal with Florida’s famous “sea cows”. One of the best ways to take in the whole park is to hike the 4.5-mile Pine Island Trail, where you’ll see beautiful scenery and a wide range of wildlife. The park also offers campgrounds, kayak/canoe rentals, picnic areas, educational programming, and even some restaurants and shops.
- De Leon Springs State Park
De Leon Springs State Park is 625 acres of water, woods, and picnic areas. This park has an awesome warm water swimming area that is accessible by ramp, stairs, and swimmer lift. Hikers will also love the 4.2 mile Wild Persimmon Hiking Trail, which has some of the most scenic views in the area. Canoeing, paddleboarding, and snorkeling are all popular activities at this beautiful park.
3. Take A Step Back In History At The Stetson Mansion
If you’re a history buff, you’ll definitely want to check out Florida’s most historic home which is located right in DeLand. The Stetson Mansion dates back to 1886 and is often considered one of the best historical homes to visit in Florida. The mansion was designed by famous Philadelphia architect George T. Pearson and was built by John B. Stetson, who happens to be the inventor of the cowboy hat.
The museum is open for tours multiple days each week; however, days and times can frequently change so be sure to check out the website before you go.
4. Enjoy A Show At The Athens Theatre
DeLand’s prime entertainment spot is the Athens Theatre, a historic downtown building that hosts an array of shows, musicals, concerts, comedians, and more. The Athens Theatre’s theatrical season runs from fall to spring and always features a number of fantastic performances. In addition to theater, you can also enjoy a number of local and national musicians in concert.
The building itself is one of the most beautiful in all of DeLand and represents classic Italian Renaissance architecture. While it’s been renovated multiple times, it’s still been able to maintain some of its historically significant design. Check out the theatre’s upcoming concerts and performances on their website.
5. Check Out Some Old World War II Military Vehicles
DeLand Naval Air Station (DNAS) was an important local airbase in World War II, but it’s since been transitioned into a fascinating museum. Here you’ll find some great artifacts that represent DeLand’s important military history including some amazing historical photographs. You’ll also have the chance to see an Avenger Torpedo Bomber, a M38A1 Jeep, and a PTF-3 Fast Torpedo Boat. The museum hosts some interesting public tours, so check out their website for the most up-to-date times.
6. See Some Exotic Killer Snakes
DeLand’s Reptile Discovery Center is home to a wide range of snakes and lizards from all over the world. Check out some of the world’s most poisonous snakes such as the Burmese Python and the King Cobras. the Reptile Discovery Center has both indoor exhibits and some beautiful walking trails. You can even witness a live venom extraction between programs! The museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 am to 4:30 pm.
7. Jump Out Of A Plane
If you’re a true thrill-seeker, why not jump out of a plane with one of the world’s most renowned skydiving organizations? Skydive DeLand’s exhilarating ride is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Tandem skydiving for first-time jumpers is a safe and enjoyable way to try skydiving. Plus you’ll get a birdseye view of beautiful Central Florida. If you absolutely fall in love with it, you can even enroll in Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) courses. After your jump, discuss your experience with friends at an onsite restaurant and bar. Having such a great skydiving destination in your own backyard is just one of the best parts of living in DeLand.
8. Grab A Beer At Persimmon Hollow Brewing
Local breweries are always a great place to relax and enjoy time with friends. Located in downtown DeLand, Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. has a rotating list of 12 locally-brewed beers on draft and ample table space, making it a great hangout spot. They even have an awesome outdoor bar and patio. If you’re looking for some fun events, this brewery has a weekly calendar with live music, bingo, and themed trivia nights. The brewery is open daily from 12 pm to 12 am.
Great dining, outdoor activities, beautiful art, and rich history are just some of the things that make living in DeLand so enjoyable. It’s never hard to find something interesting to do, which is one of the reasons people from all over the world are moving to central Florida.
If you enjoy small-town living, but still like to be in close proximity to prominent cities and destinations, living in DeLand might be the best choice for you. If you’re ready to move up, contact us at Atlas Homes today to discuss building a brand new custom home in our community.