Nothing says relaxation and rejuvenation more than a laid-back weekend at the beach with girlfriends. One great beach locale to consider for you getaway: Daytona Beach, with its white-sand beaches and endless, year-round sunshine. Here are my recommendations for a perfect day with gal pals in Daytona Beach, Florida:
For breakfast start off the day at the quaint, European-inspired Ivy Lane Bistro. Located centrally in downtown Daytona, this cute eatery brings Florida charm to a decadent menu. Indulge in Frosted Flake Crusted French Toast, Tri-Colored Potato Hash Mess, Nutella Crepes or the healthier choice of the “Eva Diva” Omelet (Fluffy egg whites, avocado, salsa, cheddar cheese, peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes). The freshly brewed coffee lightly scents the air, and the alfresco outdoor seating is one of the more coveted breakfast spots along the brick paved sidewalks.
After breakfast head over to Angell & Phelps. This family-owned chocolatier started by two single ladies has been in business since 1925 and features some delightful souvenirs as well as a variety sweet treats, from chewy caramels to crunchy nut clusters. Taking a 20-30 minute tour of the factory, you will learn the steps to old-fashioned chocolate making, the precise degrees needed, and texturing aspects and entice all of your senses with the sights, sounds and smell of the decadent chocolate. Take home Daytona Beach souvenirs in the shape of palm trees, sea shells, dolphins, gators, sharks and turtles.
Next stop is the headquarters of the Ladies Professional Golf Association for a lesson in one of the most popular sports on the planet. Whether you are an enthusiastic beginner or an old pro touching up your skills, the LPGA team will show you around the immaculate grounds complete with two championship golf courses and top-notch 80,000-square-foot practice academy. Named one of the “50 Golf Courses in America for Women” by Golf Digest, you will be amazed at the natural beauty of the landscape. The lush green grounds and expansive trees are all local to the area and kept in its natural state. After trying your hand on the course, head to The Grille overlooking the 18th hole to grab a quick bite. The casual eatery prepares fresh soups, salads and sandwiches to sate your growing appetite in a leisurely environment. (Favorite items include the Chicken Philly, Muffuletta and Shaved Prime Rib French Dip.)
As with any girlfriends’ getaway, a trip to the spa is a must, so head to Ocean Waters Spa. The first oceanfront resort spa, Ocean Waters is located in the historic Plaza Resort and Spa. The 15,000 square foot European-style spa features 16 private treatment rooms, a hair salon, nail salon, sauna and fitness center. Indulge in a variety of facials (Anti-Aging Myoxy-Caviar, Lacto-Flora Acid Peel or Anti—Free Radical are popular) and relaxing body treatments (Hydrating Seaweed Wrap, Smoothing Body Polish with Vichy Rain Shower or Deep Tissue Massage).
Finish off the perfect day with dinner and drinks at Martini’s. One of the most modern and upscale restaurants in the area, Martini’s is the perfect spot to share appetizers such as the Japanese Nachos (wasabi nori crisps, spiced tuna tartar) and Asiago Crusted Calamari. If the night breeze suites you, gather around the circular glass fire pit in the court yard for that before dinner drink. Relax over a glass of wine or a specialty Martini, Once inside, you will be mesmerized with the Zen-like, contemporary surrounds. Done in dark wood and low lighting, the restaurant gives off a sexy vibe. The menu focuses on fresh and organic ingredients and features items such as Chilean Sea bass, Blackened Florida Shrimp and Harris Ranch Filet Mignon. Owned by a dashing young couple, Clay and Claudia Butters, the pair not only watches the behind-the-scenes happenings of the restaurant but also does all of the design themselves. They are so enthusiastic about design that their second company, Modern Design Elements, specializes in stylish, upscale outdoor furnishings.
After a fabulous day, head to The Shore Resort and Spa for a nightcap on the patio and a s’mores kit to indulge that sweet tooth. Sit around the fire pit roasting marshmallows and melting chocolate on to toasted graham crackers while and listen to the ocean waves crash upon the shore. Having the only AAA-Four Diamond rating in Daytona, The Shores offers premiere accommodations. Panoramic Ocean views, oceanfront pool, chic furnishings, cabana rentals and beach activities are just a few of the perks of the resort. As you settle into your beds, you can still feel the ocean breeze gently sliding over your face as you drift of to dream of another perfect girlfriends’ getaway…
BeverlyHillsGal Kimberly Fisher is a freelance writer who splits her time between Southern California and New York City. She specializes in luxury travel, lifestyle, beauty and fashion, and has traveled to more than 39 countries and almost every US state. Her work has appeared in various English print and online media,and she is the author of one book, Promotional Modeling 101.
The author visited Daytona Beach, courtesy of the visitors bureau.