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23 Best Things to Do in DeLand, Florida

23 Best Things to Do in DeLand, Florida

Are you ready for a real treat in DeLand? This Central Florida gem has everything you need for an amazing adventure. From world-class skydiving to family-friendly attractions, here are the best things to do in DeLand, Florida, an adorable town about 30 miles southwest of Daytona Beach and 30 minutes from Orlando.

It’s part of Central Florida along the St. Johns River in West Volusia County.


1. Athens Theatre

The architecturally gorgeous Athens Theatre is a do-not-miss in downtown DeLand. This local, historic venue is home to Broadway-style shows, concerts, and Stetson University events. This season alone you can see Rock of Ages, Peace of Woodstock, and tribute concerts, including The Doors and John Denver.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Jim Morrison of The Doors is from Melbourne, FL, about an hour from DeLand?


2. DeLand Museum of Art

For art lovers, the DeLand Museum of Art is a must-see. There are actually two museums to explore, both showcasing incredible works. I was lucky to see John Mellencamp’s artwork here when it toured Florida — the only gallery in Florida to have his pieces.


3. Main Street Shopping

Shopping enthusiasts will be delighted by the boutiques on DeLand’s award-winning Main Street. From unique pet stores to music shops and literary havens, there’s something for everyone. And vinyl lovers, rejoice! DeLand has record shops (Steve’s Downtown Music and Groovy Records) that have been serving music enthusiasts for decades.

It is worth mentioning that DeLand isn’t just now jumping on the vinyl popularity. These two record shops never closed since the origination date decades ago. They are packed full of great rock & roll classics, and literally every kind of music you can think of. Merchandise also includes posters, memorabilia, and knick-knacks. I used to drive two hours from Vero Beach just to browse these unique spots.


Getting hungry? See where to eat in DeLand in this mouthwatering post.

4. Take a Walking History Tour

Join a walking history tour with Stanton from Walking DeLand Tours. Roll or Stroll the town and see the sights while learning fascinating facts about DeLand. It’s a truly immersive experience. Choose from a variety of tours, including Urban DeLand, Stetson and Downtown, the Decades tour, and more.


5. Visit Cassadega: A Spiritualism Center

Just minutes away from DeLand, you’ll find the spiritual retreat of Cassadaga. Wander through this unique town and experience its peaceful energy. If you’re feeling curious, schedule a reading with one of the gifted psychics or mediums.

The costumed interpreters do a great job telling about the Three Sisters’ history and how Cassadaga came to be. Most of the mediums and psychics live onsite and have gone through lengthy training and certification to become community members.


6. Visit One of Florida’s Most Famous Houses: The Stetson Mansion

Schedule a visit at the magnificent Stetson Mansion, nearing 160 years old and built as a winter home for hat manufacturer John B. Stetson. This beautifully restored 19th-century mansion offers a glimpse into the past with its stunning architecture and luxurious features. It’s a must-visit attraction in Florida and often wins top awards for #1 Holiday Home Tour in Florida from TripAdvisor.


Florida’s first luxury estate features gorgeous stained glass windows, 16 types of custom parquet floor patterns, and Edison electricity

The Christmas Spectacular holiday tour is the ultimate and one you will remember always from its over the top decorations and unique, festive decorating ideas. Please note: Photography is not allowed inside the Mansion. Tickets run slightly under $40 per adult.

Photo from Stetson Mansion.

7. Indulge at Pat and Toni’s

Looking for a family-friendly spot to visit in Downtown DeLand? Look no further than Pat and Toni’s Sweet Things! With a variety of candies, sweets, ice cream, chocolates, and more to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on their Instagram-worthy extreme shakes, the ones with candy and gook around the glass rim, for a tasty snack and perfect Instagram photo.


8. Explore the Reptile Discovery Center

Kids will also love the Reptile Discovery Center, where they can explore beautiful habitats for reptiles. This indoor and outdoor space creates beautiful habitats for lizards, turtles, gators, and much more in natural enclosures. You can see snakes from around the world and even watch a live venom extraction on certain days of the week.

Photo from Reptile Discovery Center.

9. Sip Tasty Brews

And for the adults, DeLand has some great drink options. Beer lovers should check out Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. for their craft beer flight and enjoy the family-friendly taproom. My recs for what beer to order are the 3 Wise Guys Coffee Porter or Daytona Dirty Blonde Ale, their biggest seller.

Fun Fact: DeLand was once known as Persimmon Hollow thanks to the wild persimmons that grew there.


10. Take a Boat Tour on the St. Johns River

When it comes to outdoor activities, the St. Johns River, “Bass Fishing Capital of the World”, is a must-visit. Whether you’re into ecotourism, fishing, boating, or birdwatching, this beautiful river has it all. And don’t forget to go on a pontoon boat tour with St. Johns River Eco-Tours to experience the wildlife up close.

Tickets are around $25 for adults, $15 for children 3 to 12, and typically last an hour, though there are longer cruises.


I recommend going early, and bringing sunscreen and plenty of water. Reservations are required.

Fun Fact: The St. Johns River is 310 miles long and the longest in Florida. It is one of the only rivers that flows north, while winding its way through 12 counties.

Photo from Visit West Volusia

11. Visit an Amazing Florida State Park Chock Full of Manatees

Blue Spring State Park is another great spot, especially if you’re a manatee lover or enjoy biking and picnicking. Explore the park’s acres of natural beauty and observe the gentle giants in their designated 2,600 acre refuge. There are often between 350 and 400 daily.


Walk on a handicapped-accessible boardwalk to observe them; public facilities and a snack shack are in that same area. Keep your eyes open for birds, gators, and fish of all types. The natural setting makes for stunning photo-ops.

Tubing and swimming at Blue Spring State Park. You can rent tubes inside the state park, or bring your own, 6-feet or under.


12. Overnight at the Artisan

if you’re looking for boutique accommodations, check out the historic Artisan Downtown Hotel. With its charming decor, exposed brick walls, functional furniture, free Wifi and parking, and a convenient location, it’s the perfect place to stay in DeLand. Plus, you can unwind at the onsite Lounge Tapas & Martini Bar.


13. Go on a Mural Walk

Stroll through town and admire the captivating sculptures and cool murals on DeLand’s Mural Walk. It features the most beloved murals in town, the “Wings of the West” series by Erica Group. My favorite mural in DeLand is A Conversation over Chess, in 1929, done in sepia. They truly bring the city to life.


14. Try Tasty Vegan Food Items, and Much More

At BakeChop, they work their magic with vegetables, so don’t miss their daily specials. I’ve enjoyed an arsenal of side dishes, vegetarian fare, and toothsome desserts from this beloved DeLand eatery. Sit outside on the cute patio weather permitting.


15. Indulge in International Eats

De la Vega offers mouthwatering Latin empanadas and plates, plus their sangria is a must-try. If you’ve never experience Latin cuisine, this will be a perfect introduction for you. Whatever you choose, pork, chicken, beef, or exotics, be sure to add beans and rice—they are flavorful beyond belief. Chef Nora’s pork with some chimichurri sauce is my fave.

Vegetarians and vegans are more than welcome here. Come for Sunday brunch from 11 AM to 2 PM where you can try all-you-can-eat tapas for $23.95 per person. Want to try something unique? Hibiscus tacos are one of De la Vega’s specialties.


16. Stay in a Historic Property

If you’re looking for a great place to stay, the DeLand Hotel is the perfect choice. This historic property from 1925 combines antiques with modern amenities and exceptional service. My room had a beautiful four-poster bed and a luxurious bathroom with a claw-foot tub. Plus, they offer a daily beer and wine reception in the parlor.


17. Experience the Thrill of Skydiving

For the thrill-seekers, Skydive DeLand is the place to be. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, their expert staff and world-famous training program ensure a safe and exhilarating experience. You can even watch others take the leap while enjoying a delicious breakfast or lunch at the onsite restaurant.

Splurge and bring home the movie of your exhilarating jump.


18. Relax in the Spring

Looking to explore the natural beauty of West Volusia? Visit De Leon Springs State Park, named after the famous explorer Ponce de Leon. Besides breathtaking scenery, you can camp, hike, swim in the refreshing spring, and let the kids enjoy the playground. Don’t forget to check out the small museum showcasing the park’s history.

Admission is $6 per vehicle. If you don’t want to explore nature, perhaps the all-you-can-eat pancakes, which you make yourself on a table grill, from Old Sugar Mill Pancake House is more up your alley.


19. Beer and Oysters

If you’re a beer lover, Half Wall Beer House is a must-visit. With an impressive selection of 76 craft beers (their own and beer from around the country) and a tasty bar menu, it’s the perfect spot to relax and catch your favorite game. And the oysters are out of this world! Other tasty contenders are the Bavarian pretzel with beer cheese dip and the beer battered fish & chips.

There are two other locations of Half Wall Beer House, Port Orange and New Smyrna.


20. Taste and Buy the Best Key Lime Products

Craving something sweet? Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe has you covered. Try their famous Belgian chocolate-dipped frozen key lime cheesecake on a stick. You won’t be able to resist. And the best part? These delicious treats are made right here in DeLand, 1842 Patterson Avenue. Pop by their outlet store for some irresistible discounts on key lime pie items, gourmet cookies, and more.

FYI: The two things I can’t leave without buying are the Key Lime Tartar Sauce and the Strawberry Key Lime Pie.


21. Visit Horseshoe Park

Take a stroll through Horseshoe Park, filled with whimsical fairies, sprites, and enchanting trinkets. Don’t forget to snap a photo with the beautiful pastel-colored wings mural created by the local muralist, Erica Group. You will see her “Wings Over X” all over town.


22. Go Shopping for Vintage Finds

Marketplace at Rivertown is a three level antique mall with 7,000+ square feet of retail shops, many vintage or antique. The inventory includes lighting, primitives, glassware, toys, collectibles, clothing, furniture, jewelry, repurposed, vintage, antique, and oodles more.

I couldn’t take more than two or three steps without wanting to buy something fantastic in my path. Prepare to go down the rabbit hole in this treasure trove.


23. Go on a Mini Art Adventure

If you are a fan of murals or art in general, you’ll go crazy for the Downtown DeLand Miniature Art Adventures. Self-guided brochures can be picked up at the West Volusia Visitor Center,116 W. New York Avenue. I’ve spotted about 15, but I think there are many more. Young kids will be stellar at this fun trail.


Read more fun things to do in Florida here: 

What to Do in Key West

A Road Trip to Dunedin

Top Things to Do in Sebastian

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The Best Places to Visit in Florida by Floridians | Detail Oriented Traveler

Tuesday 28th of January 2020

[…] DeLand is a place you’ll fall in love with and want to visit over and over again.  […]

Carmen Edelson

Friday 15th of February 2019

You had me at pancakes! I just love the variety of activities DeLand is only about a 4 hour car journey from me so I think it's time to plan a road trip :)

The Travel Bunny

Thursday 14th of February 2019

There is so much joy in this post! Awesome ideas and photos. Absolutely love the murals!

Mei and Kerstin

Thursday 14th of February 2019

We made an east coast road trip from NY down to the Keys a few years ago, and really loved Florida. But somehow didn’t stop in DeLand, it’s crazy that you can get so many pancakes for less than $6/person!

Rosie Fluskey

Thursday 14th of February 2019

Deland looks like a gorgeous city. I am gutted i didn't know about it when I had a spare day in Orlando. The food sounds especially good. Mead and quesadillas, pancakes you can customize yourself...delicious

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