Ormond Beach

Eastern Gateway | Ormond Beach

The Gateway City of Ormond Beach bridges the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway and the Atlantic Ocean. Situated just north of Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach is known as “the Birthplace of Speed.”
Henry Flagler bought the stately Hotel Ormond in 1890 and also purchased the railroad, which had been brought into Ormond Beach. A bridge was erected across the Halifax River so that Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway could discharge passengers at the entrance of his Hotel.

Early in the 1900s, a visitor at the Hotel Ormond found out that the new motor cars could drive on the sands of the beach. The first race took place on the beach in 1903. For the next eight years, Ormond Beach was the world’s center for racing. Inventors such as Winton, Ford, Chevrolet, Stanley and Packard came to test their machines on the only reliable flat track in the United States – the beach.

The Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway starts on the west side of Ormond Beach as SR 40 crosses under Interstate 95.


  • Atlantic Ocean Beaches
  • Tomoka State Park
  • Birthplace of Speed Antique Car Show
  • The Ormond Scenic Loop & Trail – a Florida Scenic Byway
  • The Casements—the historic former winter home of John D. Rockefeller which is open to the public.
  • Rockefeller Gardens
  • Historic buildings, like the recently renovated Historic Ormond Beach Fire House

In 1875, what we now know as “Ormond Beach” was founded as “New Britain” by inhabitants from New Britain, Connecticut, who started a retirement colony on the west banks of the Halifax River. I suppose you can say they succeeded… because a recent edition of “Where to Retire” magazine designated Ormond Beach as one of the top 10 places. The city has also been rated as one of the top 100 cities to relocate by National Strategy Group.

In 2012, the national non-profit organization KaBOOM selected Ormond Beach as one of its 2013 Playful City USA communities for its outstanding dedication to play. Ormond Beach recently completed its Limitless Playground at the Sports Complex.
Timucuan Indian mounds have been found been a testament to the areas ancient native American population that once lived here. The European settlers built large sugar mill plantations around the Halifax and Tomoka Rivers. The Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway ends at the western edge of Ormond Beach where SR 40 reaches I-95.

Ormond Beach Chamber
165 W. Granada Blvd.
Ormond Beach, FL 32174
386-677-3454 (phone)

Links: Visit Florida – Ormond Beach, Ormond Beach Historical Society