Deland is also known as the Athens of Florida, and the title certainly applies as it is strategically located within Daytona and Orlando Beach, where everything is bright, sunny and with just the right amount of salt in the air. The sunny side of this state was founded just over a 141 years ago in 1876 and is graced by magnificent oak trees with a potpourri of Moorish, Polynesian, and Gothic details. So, where do you begin? Let’s dive right in and get to know every interesting slice of DeLand, Florida.
Read on to find out the best things to do in DeLand, FL:
1. Henry A. DeLand House Museum
The DeLand House was constructed in 1886 by the man himself, and after changing owners for a couple of times, it was donated to the city of DeLand. Its doors were changed from those of a home to a museum in 1990. The Henry a. DeLand House Museum contains many items and information on the history of the western end of Volusia County. A great place to visit if you want to learn more about the county you’ve just stepped into.
Henry A. DeLand House Museum
Address: 137 W Michigan Ave, 32720 DeLand, FL
Website: Henry a. DeLand House Museum
2. Hontoon Island State Park
There are no admission charges to this park, but it does require a boat or park ferry to get there. When you do reach Hontoon Island, trudge through its area to see its Native American habitation evidence, as the island itself has served the community for centuries. Fish, canoe or take a boat ride around its waters. You could also rent an overnight boat to soak in every once in this particular Florida state park.
Hontoon Island State Park
Address: 2309 River Ridge Rd, 32720 DeLand, FL
Website: Hontoon Island State Park
3. Stetson Mansion
The mansion holds within itself a tale of woe and revival. Stetson Mansion was once one of the grandest homes in Florida (way back in the 20th century). Due to some unforeseen circumstances, the grand building was lost from the public’s eye for a hundred years. With some extensive work done to its frame, the mansion now stands in its glory once again. Tours are available from time to time, so do check its website for full details.
Address: D1031 Camphor Ln, 32720 DeLand, FL
Website: Stetson Mansion
4. Persimmon Hollow Brewing Company
Two best buds founded this brewery; Andy Sistrunk and Robbie Carelli. The beer center was established just a few years back, but its delicious frothy amber liquids are the talk of the town. No food is served at the brewery, but there’s tons of fun to be found within its wall with arcade machines, pool tables, and a dartboard too!
Persimmon Hollow Brewing Company
Address: 111 W Georgia Ave, 32720 DeLand, FL
Website: Persimmon Hollow Brewing Company
5. DeLand Naval Air Station Museum
Believe it or not, the Naval Air Station used to be an airport. It was closed down in 1946 with the entire property and its surrounding area returned to the city of DeLand. After some high-end refurbishment, the station was reopened in 1995 and till today houses an irreplaceable amount of veteran mementos, artifacts, and military art.
DeLand Naval Air Station Museum
Address: 910 Biscayne Blvd, 32724 DeLand, FL
Website: DeLand Naval Air Station Museum
6. Skydive DeLand
Try living on the high side of life and skydive for a change. Why not do it at DeLand while you’re visiting too? This world-class facility has been operating since 1982 and offers a series of programs which includes tandem skydiving as well as AFF training programs. Skydive DeLand is open daily from 8.30 a.m. onwards until the sun sets.
Address: 1600 Flight Line Blvd, 32724 DeLand, FL
Website: Skydive DeLand
A cozy wine bar that gives you a break from the day with a great glass of Sangria. The shop also sells odds and ends which make really good presents to wrap and give to your loved ones back home. A favorite hotspot for lovers of antiquities, beer and yes, wine!
Address: 104 Artisan Alley, 32720 DeLand, FL
8. Nature and wildlife tours
There’s a good part of nature and wildlife to be explored while you’re in the vicinity of DeLand, Florida. To make the most out of it, it would be best to check out the Blue Heron River Tours. Tours with the company are available every between the months of September to May. The company boasts about its two-hour tour, which will show you precious sightings of baby gators, turtles and many varieties of wading birds.
Blue Heron River Tours
Address: 2999 West State Road 44, 32720 DeLand, FL
Website: Blue Heron River Tours
9. Gillespie Museum
Another museum worth popping into while you’re moving around DeLand has got to be the Gillespie Museum. The museum is the home for many gems and minerals, most of which are found within the Earth’s crust. Look out for the neon rock formations and the gigantic amethyst stone. No admission fees are charged, but donations are welcome as it will support their educational programs.
Address: 234 E Michigan Ave, 32724 DeLand, FL
Website: Gillespie Museum
10. Reptile Discovery Center
This is a fantastic place for kids especially, as they’d be able to take a walk along its trail and see different types of reptiles. Think alligators, lizards, and tortoises. There is a live venom extraction program held on certain days, which makes a truly interesting watch. Did we mention that the Serpentarium has dozens of exotic and dangerous snakes on display too?
Reptile Discovery Center
Address: 2710 Big John Dr, 32724 DeLand, FL
Website: Reptile Discovery Center
The wrap up
DeLand has an enriching experience to offer its travelers, irrespective of whether they’re local or international visitors. There are many trails waiting to be explored, and beautiful sights to see. Drop by DeLand when you can and soak up its intensity and vivaciousness!
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