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The History of Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach was founded in 1870 and officially became a city when it was incorporated in 1876. Founder Matthias D. Day purchased 3,200 acres in the fall of 1870 for the sum of $1,200. In 1926, the three separate towns of Daytona, Daytona Beach and Seabreeze merged as "Daytona Beach."

Made famous for its wide beach and smooth sands, Daytona Beach became widely known in the early 1900s for high-speed automobile testing and racing. This made the beach a mecca for racing enthusiasts. By the 1920s, it was dubbed the "World's Most Famous Beach." Later, NASCAR founder William "Bill" France bought a tract of land and developed the famous racetrack known as the Daytona International Speedway. Since 1959, the speedway has been host to the Daytona 500 and attracts thousands of tourists and race enthusiasts from all over the world in search of thrills.

Today the beautiful Daytona area attracts millions of tourists annually. Daytona Beach boasts one of only a few beaches where driving and parking is allowed. It's also perfect for building sand castles, bike riding, jogging, fishing, swimming, surfing or just relaxing in the warm sunshine.

The city is also attractive to college students searching for their perfect education. There are five institutions of higher learning in the city -- Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona State College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Keiser College and a University of Central Florida satellite campus.

Although the city is largely known for the speedway and its beach, today it offers a wide variety of famous landmarks and cultural centers. Such landmarks include Jackie Robinson Ballpark, Halifax Harbor Marina, Tarragona Arch, Municipal Stadium, Ocean Center, Peabody Auditorium, the Clock Tower, Bandshell, Museum of Arts and Sciences and the Daytona Beach Pier.

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