Fun And Best Things To Do In DeLand, Florida – For good reasons, DeLand has remained one of the must-visit places for tourists in Florida. DeLand, located in Volusia County in Central Florida, approximately 32 miles southwest of Daytona Beach and 34 miles north of Orlando, offers a world of historical and recreational activities that can keep tourists occupied for days. Regardless of your travel companions’ ages and interests, tourists to Deland should have no trouble finding things to do.
The tiny city is close enough to Daytona Beach to enjoy its bright and beautiful surroundings. The city is also approximately 34 miles north of Orlando in Volusia County, making it an excellent destination for touring historical sites and antiquing. Outside of its historic sites, DeLand, Florida, has many interesting things to do, including several holiday celebrations and numerous tourist opportunities. You’ll never run out of things to do in DeLand, also known as the “Athens of Florida.” Sadly, visitors aren’t often told about some of these fun and best things and so they miss out on them.
Deland has all the charm, wonderful restaurants, and creative vibes one could want. And, believe it or not, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained. The majority of the businesses and shops are located right in the heart of Downtown on Woodland Blvd, and there are some wonderful mural arts all over Downtown. However, in this post, we have narrowed our selection to the best things to do in DeLand that are worth labelling as a lifetime experience.
Disclosure: Due to new safety regulations, some of the information regarding the attractions and sites listed below may have changed. For the most up-to-date information, please contact the location.
Here Are The Best Things To Do In DeLand, Florida:
1. Visit the Marketplace at Rivertown
If you are in for entertainment and shopping, the Marketplace at Rivertown in Deland is a place to be. It is a three-story multi-dealer vintage mall and one of the best things to do in DeLand. Here, you can shop and explore antique furniture, clothing, jewelry, and many other treasures. It is a unique destination in downtown Deland that holds many browsing experiences for visitors who enjoy antiquing.
2. Hike on St. Francis Trail
If you love to experience nature while burning a few excess calories, then traversing the St. Francis Trail on River Forest Boulevard is a great thing to do in DeLand. The trail is a famous destination for those who admire birds and so you can visit here to see many varieties of wading and migratory birds, birds of prey and even woodpeckers. There is no fee attached to access this trail. It is 7.9 miles long and a very enjoyable hiking experience that visitors shouldn’t miss.
However, keep in mind that hiking on the St. Francis Trail during Thanksgiving New Year isn’t safe because that is the season of gun hunting, so you can expect a lot of gun hunters around that area. If you have to visit here by all means during Thanksgiving and the new year, be sure to wear a blaze orange vest. Destinations like the St. Francis trail in Deland allow those with an active lifestyle to enjoy the weather in Central Florida.
3. Go on Blue Heron River Tours
Alternatively, you can go on the provided two-hour boat tours on the St. Johns River. The boat tour is one of the best things to do in DeLand, Florida that tourists crave to experience and it won’t be a bad idea to give it a shot. You will get to see Florida’s wildlife and learn about the history of the area. The tour on the water leads to the Ocala National Forest which is known for its large area of sand pine scrub forest.
It is an adventurous activity to engage in if you feel bored during your stay in DeLand. Here, you get to experience nature’s serenity at its peak. The excursion to the St. Johns River with Blue Heron River may cost you some fee but access to the national forest is free with some restricted areas accessible with purchased tickets.
4. Skydive DeLand
Another exciting thing you can do in DeLand is skydiving. You can book a reservation at Skydive DeLand. This is a great choice if you want to enjoy the sport of skydiving for the first time. It features a jump that includes a 60-second freefall and 5 minutes of canopy flights. If you have been thinking of getting aerial views of DeLand, this is your chance. There is also an on-site full-service restaurant and bar for relaxation.
5. Explore DeLand Artisan Alley Farmers Market
Another thrilling and best thing to do in DeLand, Florida is to visit the DeLand Artisan Alley Farmers Market. With more than 80 vendors and farmers, the vibrant market is not only a great place to purchase quality foods and items but also a sight for sore eyes. The market is open every Friday evening from 6 pm to 9 pm. A short trip to the historic downtown DeLand will be perfect with friends and family (and the pups). Here, you can shop for sweet treats like pickles, baked goods, bath products, and art & crafts, among many other things.
6. Visit the Athens Theatre at DeLand
Athens Theatre is an oldie but a goodie. Located at 124, North Florida Avenue, Downtown Deland, the theatre is a jewel of Italian Renaissance architecture and has been in existence since 1922. A visit to this place allows you to experience classic films, live performances, and concerts in the Theater. So you have to be sure of what events are holding before you go. Events are always indicated in the theatre calendar for public viewing.
7. Watch Sport at the Edmunds Center
The Edmunds center is another fun and relaxing place to visit when exploring DeLand, especially for the first time. It is a multi-use event venue based in the renowned Stetson University where people go to watch the university’s men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball games. With about five thousand spectator capacity, this center has remained a famous ground for hosting some of the celebrated basketball tournaments. To make the most of your trip to the Edmunds center, it would be best to first know the games on the calendar through their website before heading out.
8. Check out a Variety of Exhibits at the Reptile Discovery Center
Visitors who find themselves in DeLand can take a trip to the Reptile Discovery Center located at 2710 Big John Dr, Deland, Florida. It is an exciting place to be if you want to view various snakes and animals of different species, including king cobras and Burmese pythons. There is no need to fear because the activity is safe enough for visitors to view.
The unique facility also has a trail outside where you can walk through to see more tortoises and alligators. The best time to visit the Reptile Discovery Center is during the venom retrieval period. This season is often posted on their website. Checking out a variety of exhibits at this center is a must-do when in DeLand.
9. Tour the Stetson Mansion
Located at D’1031 Camphor Ln, 32720 DeLand, the Stetson Mansion has a story of grass to grace. The building used to be one of Florida’s grandest homes but lost its fame for about a century. Recently, the grand building speedily became a popular historical Landmark for visitors in Deland. If you have an eye for architectural works, then a trip to the Stetson Mansion won’t bore you. The place is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and intricate parquet floors. To access this place, you will need to make reservations. It is one of the fun and best things to do in DeLand, Florida.
10. Walk, Eat, and Shop on MainStreet DeLand
There are many stores and restaurants in Mainstreet Deland, some of which exude unconventional hospitality and ambiance. The area sometimes hosts local events and outdoor activities. It is impossible to visit this place without finding something to do. There’s something special about smaller cities. Apart from the ease of navigation, small towns allow visitors to have a native jaunt with personal attachment. You can walk, eat, or shop at any of the outlets in the area. It is known to be a very lively place and a popular spot for visitors who want to have a native jaunting experience.
11. Observe Art in DeLand’s Museum of Art
Viewing art improves your thinking and empathy while sharpening your observation skills. The Museum of Art in DeLand is a famous spot for aesthetes who would love to wander the museums to learn more about the arts on display. The non-profit art museum focuses on the collection, preservation, study, and exhibition of fine arts alone with two gallery locations – one in Downtown Deland, and the other close to Stetson University. It is also a great idea if you choose to have a guided tour around the area that will explain the history of each art to you as you observe them.
12. Explore Hontoon Island State Park
Hontoon Island State Park is a big park that spans 1,600 acres of property on Volusia County’s Hontoon Island. The Park is easily accessible via a personal boat launch or ferry service located about six miles west of Deland. Beautiful natural palm hammocks, oaks, bald cypress swamp ecosystems, and pine flatwood may be found at this site.
Hontoon Island State Park provides a variety of recreational options, including kayaking, canoeing, as well as fishing, but only with a permit. You can also go nature watching, biking, or hiking. The Park is also a great area for photography. One of the fun things to do in DeLand, FL is to visit this Park.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is DeLand Florida Known For?
There are dozens of landmarks in DeLand that make the destination remain on the lips of globetrotters. However, what peaks the fame of DeLand is that it is home to Florida’s oldest academic higher institution, Stetson University. The institution is known for its magnificent oaks around the vicinity, red-brick-themed architecture, and Greco-Roman columns.
Is DeLand Worth Visiting?
DeLand may not come up as the Number #1 destination for visitors in Florida but it is a place you don’t want to miss out on. Located in Central Florida between Orlando and Daytona Beach, Deland is worth visiting when you consider how charming and historic the destination is. The ambiance of Deland is something you may not experience in any other area in Florida. The best part is that it is a short drive from Orlando.
Why is DeLand Called the Athens of Florida?
DeLand is called the Athens of Florida because it’s home of the Athens Theater established in 1922. The city, Deland, was founded by Henry Addison. He had the vision of making the city exhibit breathtaking architecture both inside and out, representing the vaudeville theatre in the South.
Does DeLand Have a Downtown?
Yes, there is a downtown in DeLand, Florida. Downtown DeLand is a Florida Main Street community that has received numerous accolades. Many devoted businesses and individuals work every day to keep the downtown alive and economically viable. Downtown DeLand is where history and future connect.
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Before You Go
DeLand, known as the “Athens of Florida,” is a historical town with several well-preserved historical structures that reflect the city’s long history. Aside from historical buildings, there are a lot of fun and best things to do in DeLand, Florida such as festive activities and your first skydiving leap. To tick this great city off your list, we have gone through a list of some of the best things to do in DeLand, Florida (and places to go) for the next time you will be here.
You will find unique attractions like Stetson University, the Reptile Discovery Center, Blue Heron River Tours, Volusia County Farmers Market, Edmunds Center, and more as the best things to do in DeLand, Florida. It is important to admit that a weekend getaway or holiday to this small city is better experienced when you go with friends, family, or a travel companion. Now that you have an idea of things to do for your next stay at DeLand, which among these activities amuses you the most?
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