Old Florida. Real Florida. Vibrant Florida
Sitting right there between Orlando and Daytona, West Volusia encompasses fourteen communities with an eclectic collection of accommodations and attractions. The authenticity travelers are looking for is here. From top-rated downtown DeLand to the scenic St. Johns River, this is real Florida. And what variety it offers! It’s amazing really. The region is known for everything from skydivers above to manatees below and from pancake griddles to paranormal occurrences.
West Volusia is a dream for those who want to explore the waters and natural habitats. The heart of region, and one of only 14 American Heritage Rivers in the country, the St Johns River and the series of lakes it connects, make up the St. Johns River Blueway and the River of Lakes Heritage Corridor. Whether by canoe or kayak, river boat or house boat, exploring the river gives visitors access to view turtles, gators, manatees, more than 200 species of birds and a lush, natural Florida landscape. And of course, there’s fishing! The region is widely known as an excellent area to catch bass and crappie.
Downtown DeLand is home to shops and boutiques, galleries, nine, yes nine, museums and a series of murals – including number one selfie spot #DeLandWings. New to the scene, microbreweries, brew pubs and wine bars dot the map and complement an array of fabulous restaurants. The combination of this “new vibe” and the character of authentic, small town Florida offers a unique experience.
In West Volusia, the emphasis is on the natural, the historical, and the authentic attractions. Barberville’s Pioneer Settlement with its historic buildings and live demonstrations; the Reptile Discovery Center (one of the few anti-venom centers in the USA), an alpaca farm and Cassadaga’s Spiritualist Camp are a few examples of our most fascinating attractions.
River Cruises & Scenic Charters
If you visit the area and don’t take a pontoon boat tour on the St. Johns River, you are missing out on one of the real attractions of the area. If you prefer more speed, airboat rides are also a unique feature of the area. Either way, getting out on the water and seeing the local wildlife and natural beauty of the area is a gift you should give yourself and your family.
Bird watchers will spot numerous endangered species along the St. Johns River, parks and our wildlife refuge. The endangered Florida Scrub-Jay can be spotted here. Bald eagles inhabit West Volusia in abundance. Swallow-tailed Kites, Herons, Ospreys, Limpkins, Pileated Woodpeckers…West Volusia is a great place to check birds off your list!
Here in West Volusia County, the opportunity to hook a 10-pound Black Bass is paired with surrounding tranquility, abundant wildlife, and unspoiled natural beauty. The St. Johns River and its associated lakes offer plenty of great fishing spots year-round and hosts the annual Bass Pro Shops National Qualifier Crappie Masters Florida State Championship Tournament.
You’ll discover a different side of Florida on our trails, which wind through small friendly communities, along the magnificent St. Johns River, and through many beautiful parks.
The West Volusia County region has two multi-use trail systems: the Spring to Spring Trail and the East Central Regional Rail Trail, which are incomplete, but still offer miles of recreational enjoyment as they traverse through shaded tree canopies, open prairie, cypress swamp and magnificent vistas of pristine lakes and the St. Johns River.
These large trail systems are part of an even larger trail: The St. Johns River to Sea Loop – which is still in development, and will be a cyclist’s dream.
Two of the most popular natural springs in Florida are here. At DeLeon Springs the swimming area is a well-groomed area for swimming and snorkeling. At Blue Springs, swimmers can tube along the natural river run or snorkel in the spring boil and enjoy the constant 72-degree water.
West Volusia is an amazing place to visit with the whole family! From gorgeous natural spots to skate ramps, our region is a fun place for kids.
Bars & Pubs
Micro-breweries, wine bars, music bars and good old-fashioned pubs with delicious fare abound in West Volusia. There’s a reason DeLand won “Best Small Downtown” outside of Orlando. Mingle with the locals – you’ll be glad you did!
Life Happens Around Food! Visitors hankering for a unique dining experience will find a memorable menu of international culinary delights. Whether savoring classic Southern comfort food while overlooking the magnificent St. Johns River, relaxing at a cozy sidewalk cafe or enjoying the upscale cuisine at a sophisticated bistro, you’ll get your fill of our region’s authentic flavors. Every place you dine is where the locals go.
Looking for that rare find? Antiques, collectible dolls, fine wine, a rare vinyl record, hand-made candies, a piece of art or sculpture…The unique and specialty shopping in downtown DeLand is great!
Looking for organic or locally grown vegetables, fruit and produce? There are numerous options in the area. From the ordinary to the extraordinary, you will find it at our area farmers markets.
Annual Events & Festivals
Some people will find any excuse to drop what they’re doing and get together for some fun! West Volusia plays host to a variety of festivals and events year-round that celebrate our rich culture, colorful heritage and beautiful natural surroundings. So pick a date and find something special waiting for you!
Go to http://visitwestvolusia.com/what-to-do/annual-events-festivals/
Uncover a part of Florida’s treasured past by exploring authentic historic towns with awe-inspiring homes, a living history settlement, winter retreats of Northern millionaires, and a spiritualist community. Everywhere you wander in West Volusia, our deep commitment to preserving the past surrounds you.
When rock singer John Mellencamp wanted to display his paintings in Central Florida, he skipped Orlando and brought his work to the Museum of Art-DeLand. Discover West Volusia’s vibrant cultural treasures at our numerous museums such as the African-American Museum, the Hand Art Gallery, and Gillespie Museum of Minerals or one of the largest private collections of minerals and gems in the Southeastern U.S. Come check out the many rotating collections at our museums or immerse yourself in the history of the state through the Legendary Florida exhibit located in the old courthouse.
From local productions of first-rate Broadway shows to musicals and orchestral performances, you’ll find something new and inspiring in our area theaters. Stetson University’s School of Music gifts the community with a year-round offering of productions including theatre, classical music, opera, orchestra and visiting musical ensembles and performers.
For more information, please go to www.VisitWestVolusia.com