One highlight was the amazing Florida Cheese Festival in historic downtown DeLand. This was the first annual Florida Cheese Festival, so keep an eye on the calendar and on the website to see when next year's will be. It's so worth the drive from N. Georgia to spend a weekend there!
Just imagine: Cheese, beer, cheese, wine, cheese, cheese, music, Florida! The delicious cheese samples were from all around the world: Switzerland, Germany, England, Spain, Italy, and Norway, to name a few of the countries represented. All of our samples were served with crackers. My favorites included the classic sharp cheddar pimento cheese, emmentaler cut swiss, brie and creamy havarti. YUM! We did have a little rain and wind at the beginning, but it soon cleared up and we were able to visit each of the tents that lined the street. Each tent represented a country and offered their samples. We bought some chocolate dipped strawberries from a scout troop that had a tent there. They had a wine garden, bar truck and beer available, too. And live music. Plus, you are just a few steps away from many restaurants and shops in downtown DeLand, so you can really make a day of it! Just keep your festival wristband on and you can come back to the festival after you eat and shop downtown!
We went to nearby Daytona Beach after we enjoyed the Festival for a while. It's a short drive away. Then we drove north on A1A to look at some of the pretty little beach towns. I love that area! The surf was really high that day; they had the red warning flags out, so no swimming. We just walked on the beach and took lots of pictures!
One thing we didn't have time to do during our visit was the Persimmon Hollow Quest in downtown DeLand. It sounds like so much fun, and we'll make sure to do this on our next trip. You follow a series of clues through downtown DeLand. There are also GPS coordinates given if you'd rather do this as a geocache search. The clues are fun to decipher, but also educational! For example, did you know that DeLand was originally called Persimmon Hollow because of all the persimmon trees that were there? This treasure hunt will be fun for the entire family!
Also on my list for our next visit: The Museum of Art - DeLand, the Stetson Mansion and the DeBary Hall Historic Site. Those are all part of the River of Lakes Heritage Corridor in West Volusia County. There are plenty of other museums and historical sites, plus parks, trails and the Lyonia Environmental Center and Preserve. So much to do in West Volusia county!
Ready to go to pack your bags and head to West Volusia to check out all the parks, springs and fun things to do? Start by ordering your free copy of their Visitor's Guide. Then visit the West Volusia Tourism Bureau site for much more information about planning your visit!
Follow them on Facebook and Twitter - you will find out all the latest news there. And mark your calendar and join the West Volusia Tourism Bureau at 9 pm on May 31 for a Twitter party!
It's such a great place to get outdoors and explore Florida. And it's affordable, too! A vacation to DeLand, Deltona or DeBary won't break the bank, but it will provide fantastic memories and beautiful places for your family to enjoy.
Our thanks again to the West Volusia Tourism Bureau for hosting us on our fantastic 3 night/4 day trip last month. We had such an amazing time exploring a beautiful part of Florida! All opinions about the trip here on my blog are my own.