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Daytona Beach was founded in 1870 and officially became a city when it was incorporated in 1876. Most sources agree that it received its name from its founder Matthias D. Day, a business tycoon from Mansfield, Ohio. He purchased 3,200 acres in the fall of 1870 for the sum of $1,200. In 1926, the three separate towns of Daytona, Daytona Beach and Seabreeze merged as Daytona Beach.
Made famous for its wide beach and smooth, hard-packed sands, Daytona Beach became widely known in the early 1900s for high-speed automobile testing, and later, racing. This made the beach a mecca for racing enthusiasts.
By the 1920s, it was dubbed the "World's Most Famous Beach." As more and more racing took place, the sandy beaches gave way to the development of the famous racetrack known as the Daytona International Speedway, which was built by NASCAR founder William "Bill" France. The speedway has been hosting the Daytona 500 since 1959 and attracts thousands of tourists and race enthusiasts from all over the world in search of thrills.
Today the hard-packed beach sand and the alluring Atlantic Ocean attract millions of tourists annually. The Daytona Beach area boasts one of only a few beaches where driving and parking is allowed. It's also perfect for building sand castles, bike riding, jogging, fishing, swimming, surfing or just relaxing in the warm sunshine.
The city is also been attractive to college students searching for their perfect education. There are five institutions of higher learning in our city:
Although the city is largely known for the speedway and its beach, today it offers a wide variety of famous landmarks and cultural centers. Such landmarks include: