Holly Hill is a town of about 12,000 residents that sits on the western shore of the Halifax River, which runs between the Florida mainland and the barrier island adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean.
Holly Hill is bordered by Ormond Beach to the north and Daytona Beach to the south, both of which are easy day-trip options for those interested in taking side excursions.
Though it’s close to the coast, all of Holly Hill’s incorporated area is landlocked, though some of the Sunshine State’s most beautiful beaches are just a hop, skip, and a jump away.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Holly Hill, Florida that you may want to check out.
1. Holly Hill History Museum
The Holly Hill History Museum is located across from City Hall on Ridgewood Avenue. Though it’s small, it’s the city’s premier destination for those interested in learning about the area’s past.
The museum is staffed by knowledgeable and enthusiastic local volunteers and is full of unique exhibits, including photographs, historical memorabilia, and first-hand accounts of pioneers and settlers who lived and worked in the area in centuries past.
Holly Hill History Museum is free to visit, though most guests leave a donation to help with upkeep and acquiring new items.
Most visitors spend between 30 minutes and an hour seeing everything.
2. Merci Train Boxcar
In the years after the Second World War, the US government sent a train to Europe to assist with the recovery after such a devastating event.
Now, part of that same train is back in the states, and it’s on Ridgewood Avenue in Holly Hill. It’s called the Merci Train Boxcar, and it’s open to visitors from Tuesday through Saturday, noon until 4 PM.
It’s one of those unique attractions you won’t find elsewhere; for history and military buffs, it’s one of those convenient and free things that shouldn’t be missed, and nearly everyone finds its history and background intriguing.
3. Copper Bottom Craft Distillery
Though craft breweries usually steal the spotlight when it comes to the adult beverage renaissance that has swept the country in recent years, the distillation of hard spirits in small batches has gained in popularity too.
Copper Bottom Craft Distillery offers facility tours that give guests an interesting insight into how mundane ingredients like corn, wheat, and sugar are turned into tasty and intoxicating beverages loved the world over.
Of course, samples are available along the way; they’re particularly known for their rums and vodkas, some of which are infused with natural flavors like vanilla.
They can even assist with shipping to some states outside Florida.
4. Alfie’s Restaurant
Located on Ocean Shore Boulevard in Ormond Beach, Alfie’s Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Most previous guests agree that their prices are reasonable considering the quality, portion sizes, and varied menu options to suit most taste buds.
The restaurant is owned and operated by a married couple, and they’re particularly known for their fresh Florida seafood and tender prime rib.
Their menu also includes plenty of soups, salads, and other light fare, as well as their always-popular fried fish.
Alfie’s is often described as a pleasant mix of contemporary and traditional, with a low-key but slightly upscale atmosphere.
5. Daytona International Speedway
For diehard race fans, Daytona International Speedway is one of the country’s racing meccas, and tickets to its namesake event can be hard to come by and painfully expensive.
For those who’d like to get an up-close-and-personal look at the iconic speedway without paying an arm and a leg and fighting hundreds of thousands of screaming and inebriated race fans, there are plenty of options.
Tours of the facility last anywhere from half an hour to three hours, and some of the more VIP-experiences even offer a lap or two around the track at relatively high speeds.
There is an onsite visitor center and race museum as well.
6. Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center
The Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center offers guests the chance to see the Atlantic coast the way it was in previous centuries, before it underwent such a development boom.
The center is located on Division Avenue and is an easy drive for those staying in Holly Hill.
Ormond Beach’s Central Park is the centerpiece and includes both indoor and outdoor sections open to self and professionally guided exploration.
The visitor’s center includes interactive exhibits that focus on wildlife and habitat, and there are a number of outdoor trails connecting different areas, including a few wildlife-filled ponds and covered seating areas.
7. Sweet Marlays’ Coffee
South Florida has an abundance of coffee shops, ranging from national chains to small independents; Sweet Marlay’s Coffee on South Beach Street is one of the most popular in the latter category.
Daytona Beach can get downright hot for much of the year, and it’s often necessary to find a cool place to relax and recharge your batteries with a caffeinated beverage.
Marlay’s is just the ticket, and offers a wide variety of hot and cold coffee drinks and many sweets like chocolate, pastries, and even crème brulee.
For those who visit in the morning, they offer hot and hearty breakfast sandwiches as well.
8. Daytona Beach Pier and Boardwalk
Though the area around Holly Hill and Daytona Beach is full of a variety of activity options, many vacationers come specifically for the abundance of sun, sand, and surf.
During the vacation season, the beaches can get crowded and downright scorching, so many visitors choose to leave the beach and head to the pier and boardwalk in the afternoon and evening hours after a long day in the sun.
They’re full of shops, arcades, bars, and restaurants, and there are often live entertainment events and street performers as well.
Much of what you’ll find is on the touristy side, but it’s a great place to catch a sunset or pick up some unique Florida mementos.
9. Museum of Arts and Sciences
Daytona Beach’s Museum of Arts and Sciences’ collection includes tens of thousands of individual works done in a variety of mediums with a number of international influences.
It’s one of the area’s largest and most complete museums. In addition to traditional art, it includes antiques, quilts, and other bits of Americana, like teddy bears and toy trains.
The museum also features an auditorium and planetarium that offer regularly scheduled performances and events. During the summer, there are several camps and guided tours designed with little ones in mind.
Museum of Arts and Sciences is located on South Nova Road near to other Daytona Beach attractions.
10. Lighthouse Point Park
Florida’s coasts are dotted with scenic and historic lighthouses from bygone eras, and Lighthouse Point Park in Ponce Inlet is one of the region’s most accessible sites for lovers of lighthouses and the nautical history that goes along with them.
The park is located on more than 50 acres along the southern portion of Ponce Inlet. It offers visitors an elevated observation deck and nature trails, as well as fishing, swimming, and shell collecting opportunities.
Many visitors choose to pack a lunch and make a day of it, and it’s close enough to Holly Hill to make it a convenient day-trip option for those looking to distance themselves from the crowds at the more touristy sites.
11. Dustin’s Bar-B-Q
Generally speaking, seafood is the big draw in the coastal towns around Holly Hill, but BBQ is and has always been popular in Florida too.
Dustin’s Bar-B-Q is located on West Granada Boulevard in nearby Ormond Beach. It’s known for its traditional, no-frills taste and presentation that keeps many guests coming back time and time again.
Dustin’s offers a variety of styles and sauces, like St. Louis and Kansas City, to complement their offerings of chicken, beef, and ribs. It has been said that their sides are just as delectable as their entrees.
Take-out is available in large portion sizes, so it’s a great option for traveling groups who’d like to head to a nearby beach park for a scenic picnic.
12. Addison Blockhouse Historic State Park
Addison Blockhouse Historic State Park is the former home of a Florida plantation owner who played a significant role in the area’s founding, as well as the Seminole Wars between settlers and Native Americans in the 1800s.
Though much of it was destroyed by war and fire, some of the original homestead and blockhouse are still standing; they give visitors a unique look into the lives of those who lived in the area in the past when it was dangerous, rugged, and hostile.
The park offers a variety of photo opportunities and chances for self-exploration along the trails that connect the home site, Tomoka River, and forested areas.
13. Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens
The Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens are located on East Granada Boulevard, and they’ve been wowing visitors since the mid-‘40s.
There’s really no place else in the area like them for their sheer variety of art, history, and natural beauty.
The museum portion of the facility is a repository for a number of significant works of art created by noted local and regional artists. In addition to their permanent exhibits, they also host temporary ones on-loan from other institutions.
The gardens include several distinct cultivated areas connected by easily walkable trails, and there’s a poignant veteran’s memorial onsite as well.
14. Andy Romano Beachfront Park
Though it’s smaller than many other area beach parks, Andy Romano Beachfront Park is a local gem that’s spread along four scenic acres of Atlantic coastline.
There’s ample parking adjacent to the park, and unlike many other, more rural beach parks, there is a variety of lodging, dining, retail and activity attractions nearby, making it convenient to visit for harried travelers with full itineraries.
The park includes restrooms and covered seating areas that are great for picnics or relaxing with a good book, and there’s a playground and seasonal splash-pad onsite as well.
Things can get downright crowded during peak times during the summer.
15. Our Old Stuff Antique Mall
More than most other states, Florida attracts residents who come from all over the country in search of sun, sea, and temperate weather.
All those people bring lots of stuff when they come, and much of it eventually ends up in antique malls, like Our Old Stuff Antique Mall on Ridgewood Avenue in Holly Hill.
The mall consists of two distinct buildings, and they’re both chock-full of everything from antique furniture and crystal to vintage clothing and jewelry.
It’s a perfect place to kill a few hours for those who’ve tired of the sun, and there’s always a chance of finding that one proverbial diamond in the rough. It’s a great place to pick up Christmas presents, stocking stuffers, and Florida keepsakes too.