If you live in Daytona Beach area, or somewhere in Volusia County, you are not far from a couple of great wildlife drives. These are nice experiences that you can do with the family. Wildlife drives give you a place to drive through a nature preserve and observe all you get to see.
When you go through a wildlife drive you don't have to get out of your car at all if you don't want to. They usually have a low speed limit, and you can simply cruise along admiring the view. You may even want to stop for a second here and there to snap a few pictures. If you do want to get out of the vehicle some, they offer observation areas, hiking trails, and additional sightseeing spots along the way. Most offer some sort of restroom along the drive, although they are usually porta-potties. The wildlife drives are one-way, so once you get started you have to continue through it all. If you do stop to take photos, be sure to pull off to the side if possible, so others can go around you.
Here are wildlife drives within an hour of the Daytona Beach area:
Black Point Wildlife Drive
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
28.657507, -80.754484 (Use the coordinates or put in Black Point Wildlife Drive into your navigation system)
Merritt Island Visitor Center is located at 1987 Scrub Jay Trail in Merritt Island.
This wildlife drive offers a 7-mile ride through a nature preserve. You can see many different kinds of birds and alligators. Other animals in the refuge include bobcat, otters, and snakes. The fee is $10 per vehicle and it takes around 40 or so minutes to drive through it. In addition to seeing a lot of wildlife, there are beautiful nature views all around. For additional information, click here.
Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
2850 Lust Rd in Apopka
28.669195, -81.562865 (coordinates)
This wildlife drive is miles long and offers beautiful views that will keep you taking pictures. In addition to many different kinds of birds, there are a lot of alligators here, as well as other types of wildlife. There are also some beautiful wildflowers and pretty nature scenes in every direction. This wildlife drive has no admission fee. Plan on taking 1.5 hours to go through it. It could be longer if you get stuck behind people driving very slowly or you stop to take a lot of pictures. The nature preserve is 20,000 acres, providing a lot of habitat for wildlife in Central Florida. It is only open Friday - Sunday. For additional information about Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, click here.
These wildlife drives are not far from Daytona Beach, Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach, Ormond Beach, DeLand, DeBary, Edgewater, and other nearby cities.