From a deserted stretch of terrain on the Florida coastline to profitable citrus and cotton plantations to a major vacation and motorsport destination. Daytona Beach's transformation can only be called a roaring success and one that was accompanied by the tumultuous and throaty roar of racing car engines. The strip of hard sand fronting this community proved perfect for more than strolling along and since the beginning of the 20th-century, parts of it have been used as a race track for stock cars as well as multiple attempts at breaking the land speed record. Tourism came first though and that was what truly powered Daytona Beach's urban growth. As more and more hotels were built to accommodate the flocks of visitors, a whole new workforce was needed. Migrants, many of Italian descent, flooded to Daytona Beach in search of employment, but others spotted business opportunities and opened pizzerias to provide the sun-seeking masses with pizza.
The Italians who migrated to Daytona Beach in the early twentieth century came from all over America and were descendants of families from a variety of different regions of Italy. That means there's a wide choice of types of pies on the pizzeria menus in the city. There's one that stands out from them all though and that's the original one – thick crust. It's baked in more restaurants than any other, so thick crust is the pizza Daytona Beach has become known for. When you eat a thick crust pie, you know you've eaten it. The crusty dough base topped with that herby tomato sauce and cheese is a real appetite satisfier. If you can manage to consume more than three slices in one sitting then you're a pie-eating champion. No matter whether you go for a plain Margarita or have it loaded with veg or meat, thick crust is a pizza that always puts a smile on your face.
If you've just collapsed on the sofa after a day on the beach and realized there's nothing in the icebox for dinner, it's time to order in a pizza. You can get the best delivery pizza in Daytona Beach brought straight to your door if you give Napoli Pizza a call. Napoli Pizza's premises are located on North Atlantic Avenue and designed for speed of dispatch so once you've told them what you want, you won't have long to wait until it's with you. When the phone rings in this small but efficient pizzeria, the chef's hands move so fast spinning the dough it almost becomes a blur. Your pizza will be in and out of the oven pretty quick then in a box and on its way before you've even had time to decide what drink to have with it. If you've got friends round, they'll complete special bulk orders just as swiftly too.
Pretty much every pizzeria in Daytona Beach will be happy to serve you a take-out pizza. To get the best take-out pizza in Daytona Beach though, you need to drop in at Neighbors Pizza on Derbyshire Road. You'll see the premises of Neighbors Pizza about a block before you actually get there. There's really no mistaking what they do as their signage could never be called subtle. While you might be dazzled by the brightly colored vinyl lettering on the windows, you won't be by their neutrally beige interior décor. Order your pie, then take a seat at the tables on the pavement outside to watch the world go by while it's cooking. If there are no pedestrians or traffic, you can always read the special offers pasted on the various chalkboards to help pass the time. It'll help keep your mind off food until they hand you a Chicken Parm or Olympian.
To get away from the tourist masses of Daytona Beach all you have to do is head inland in a south-westerly direction for around twenty-eight miles to Deltona. This Floridian city is totally surrounded by state forests and state parks. Go trekking through the greenery of the Tiger Bay or Seminole State Forests or pass a tranquil hour or two on the shores of Lake Monroe. It's a great way to spend the day if you finish up with a pie dinner at Scorpio's Italian Eatery and Pizzeria on Elkcam Avenue.
Palm Coast is a city thirty miles north of Daytona Beach and worth a visit if you're looking for some family fun in a less crowded location. Named for the numerous palm trees that line its streets, in Palm Coast you'll find the Marineland Dolphin Adventure Park a great way to entertain the kids for a while. Take them hiking along the sands in the Washington Oaks State Park or kayaking the creeks in the Faver-Dykes State Park then spoil them with a pizza at the Mezzaluna Pizzeria on Palm Harbor Parkway.
You can still enjoy aquatic activities while learning about nature and the history of Florida if you drive twenty-five miles west of Daytona Beach to De Leon Springs. Wander through the cypress forests of the De Leon State Park then around the springs which were believed to contain healing waters, take a boat ride with an informative narration, or spot birds and animal life in the tranquil surroundings. It's a superb spot for a picnic so pick up a pizza from Luigi's Pizza and Italian Restaurant on North Woodland Boulevard before you get there.
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