You’re not going to Daytona to shop—unless you’re in the market for some leather motorcycle chaps or NASCAR logo wear. You can buy beach sundries, fireworks and tacky T-shirts, of course, but if you’re in the mood for an upscale experience with designer labels, this isn’t it.
Open Friday through Sunday weekly, this is a classic flea market with 600 vendors selling everything from fresh fruit to sunglasses to jewelry.
If you’re enchanted by things that fly into the air and blow up—and who isn’t?—a stop at Phantom is a must. This is a supermarket for pyromaniacs. Forget the lame crap like sparklers and “fountains” they sell in grocery stores during holidays, this place packs enough firepower to make you the envy of every one of your neighbors within a 2-mile radius next New Year’s. Either that or they’ll call the cops. There are rockets ranging from tiny whistlers the size of your little finger to 8-inchers as big around as a Coke can. There are rolls of 1,000 firecrackers, M-1000s and dozens of varieties of mortar shells. These come in single,- double- and even triple-break (meaning when they explode, they make one, two or three pretty patterns). There are Roman candles, ground bloom flowers, snap ’n’ pops and multi-shot packs with names like Pyro Pulverizer and Bada Bing Bada Boom. Fireworks may or may not be legal where you live, so check it out first, and don’t forget you absolutely cannot ship these or take them on an airplane. You have to sign a paper saying you’re planning to use these to scare birds away from your crops, and we guarantee that if there are any birds around when you let these off, they’ll be plenty scared.
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Honestly, it’s just another mall, so if you’re struck with a sudden need to visit Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister, this is it. There’s a Dillard’s, JCPenney, Rack Room and a few restaurants. The most notable is Mr. Dunderbak’s, a Bavarian-style deli-restaurant with dozens of beers from around the globe. It’s a great place to nip a little schnitzel and then wash it down with Edel Hell lager or maybe a Holy Mackerel microbrew.
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A longtime Daytona tradition, this candy factory is located on the mainland right next to City Island. This is a small shop with a big reputation for its chocolate specialties, such as chocolate-covered potato chips. They do give tours—you stand with the group and watch staff on the other side of the windows attend to the chocolate—but the best part is just browsing the shelves in the retail store to find something to make your little chocolate-loving brain go “bing!” The candies are outstanding, and you can order refills online if you find something you just can’t live without.
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Flagler runs east and west just a few blocks from the causeway to the mainland over to the ocean. East of Pine Street, there’s a strip of small buildings, the area’s original downtown, that now house small boutiques and galleries. You’ll find plenty of flamingo-and-palm-tree art, along with more serious pieces from area artists. The Island Collection is a home furnishings store that features unique tropical-style furnishings designed by the owners Phil and Regina Carpenter and handmade in Indonesia. There are also a few small bistros and an ice cream shop.
If you’re looking for motorcycle accessories—or accessories to put on the accessory on the back of your bike—you’ll want to check out Hawg Tyd and On The Fringe Leather at Destination Daytona. You can get chaps, of course, but also leather hot pants, halters, vests--even leather overalls. Destination Daytona also hosts swap meets—a flea market for bikers—throughout the year.
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