Daytona Beach

So I may live in the greater Indianapolis area, but I’m not into race cars. Not at all actually. Yes, yes, I’ve been to the track … and I’ve sweated like a MF (sorry, but remembering how hot it was on the track there really is no way to describe it without swearing) while trying to be interested in everything going on around me, but other than the super entertaining drunk people, I really wasn’t that entertained. But, although this post is about another NASCAR/INDYCAR-crazed city, I’m not going to talk about anything that moves fast other than the absolutely CRAZY slingshot ride on Daytona’s boardwalk.

A few years ago, my family along with two other families rented a beach house a few miles up the shoreline from Daytona Beach. The property itself was on Flagler Beach—halfway between Daytona and St. Augustine. The beach was nice enough and the area was clean and safe, but didn’t have a whole lot of action—which for the teenagers was both good, and bad, depending on whether you ask the parents or the said teenagers. Me, I kind of liked being on a quiet beach where random turtles wandered about, but, truthfully, there isn’t much to do right there—except eat BBQ from Baynes BBQ … really, I can’t say enough about this place, and I’m not even a fan of BBQ. BUT. The coleslaw is so damn good I would go back everyday if I could. (Seriously, its that good!)

But for those who want more to do than chat with turtles, a short drive north or south is in order.

About 25ish minutes north of Flagler is St. Augustine. Home to America’s oldest military fort, Castillo de San Marcos, it’s a nice daytrip and a great place to visit for history buffs and anyone for that matter. If you go, be sure to plan enough time to eat at the Salt Life Food Shack—yes, like that Salt Life. And if you have an off day where you don’t want to be at the beach, check out the dolphins at Marineland. Just be sure that if you want to book an adventure you do so in advance as this can be a pretty popular spot, especially during spring break weeks.

South of Flagler Beach is Daytona Beach … THE spring break destination for a gazillion college students. I mean hey, according to the Travel Channel, it’s the #1 attration in Florida so it’s no wonder so many people flock there. And it’s a great beach for doing absolutely everything to absolutely nothing … and home to the insane, aforementioned slingshot ride—which, for the record I did not do but I did ride the ferris wheel, which, as it so happensis no longer there … it was taken down in 2015 (why,, I have no idea). Anyway, the boardwalk is pretty busy with shops galore and plenty of places to get some ink, a body piercing, and such … truthfully, it’s a little too hectic for The Midwest Mermaid, but my teenagers loved it. Go figure.

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Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So this little blog is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. Here you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—like where to find the best seafood (and riverfish) in the Midwest. And some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.

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