Port Orange is a city in Volusia County, East Central Florida. Port Orange is considered to be part of the Greater Daytona Beach Area, although Port Orange does have its own mailing address, separate from Daytona Beach. Tourism marketing continues to tie these two cities together.
Port Orange is made up of several distinct neighborhoods. The city encompasses 26.4 square miles and is home to over 50,000 residents. While it has a city center surrounding a lake, there isn't a commercial downtown area, as it's not a particularly tourist-oriented destination. It is farther from the beaten path than either Daytona Beach or New Smyrna Beach, cities to the north and south respectively, but enough of it is upscale that it's worth a visit for its shopping and partially-suburban, partially-urban landscape.
The original settlers of the Port Orange area were the Timucuan and Seminole Indians. During Florida's plantation period, Patrick Dean was granted 995 acres in 1804 from the Spanish Crown which later was named the Dunlawton Plantation. The fertile soil was favorable for citrus, indigo, and sugar cane which could be shipped to market on the Halifax River. The plantation was destroyed by the Seminole indians during the Second Seminole War in 1836. The Dunlawton Sugar Mill on Old Sugar Mill Road is the last remnant of the old plantation.
The second major era for Port Orange occurred after the Civil War. Dr. John Milton Hawks, an abolitionist and United States Army Surgeon, along with other Union Army officers formed the Florida Land and Lumber Company and brought 500 freed slaves to public lands along the Halifax River, north of Spruce Creek in 1866. Dr. Hawks moved the settlement he was credited with naming Orange Port in February 1867 from the Mosquito Inlet (Ponce Inlet) to where the community lies today. By April 1867, the settlement's name change to Port Orange because another town in the United States already had the former name. Port Orange was incorporated in 1926.
Port Orange only offers Spruce Creek Airport, a small private airport, which is part of the Spruce Creek Fly-In real estate community. If you need to fly here, you will need to find a commercial flight arriving to either Daytona Beach International Airport (the closest), Orlando International Airport, or Jacksonville International Airport.
Amtrak offers the Amtrak Auto Train service with its southern Terminus located in Sanford (Florida), about 35 miles west of Port Orange. The Amtrak Auto Train carries passengers and automobiles between Sanford and Lorton, Virginia, effectively serving as a car-rail link from Florida to the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. You can easily drive your car into Port Orange after departing from the Auto Train.
Amtrak offers regular passenger service with the closest stop being near the city of DeLand. This stop is rather remote and is not recommended as an option.
Greyhound Bus Lines offers bus service to nearby Daytona Beach. Upon arrival at the Daytona Beach bus station, you will need to either transfer to a local Volusia County bus or take a taxicab to complete your trip to Port Orange.
Port Orange is easily accessed by car, as Interstate 95 passes by just west of the city, and U.S. Highway 1 passes through the center of the city; it is named "South Ridgewood Avenue."
Votran is the name of the local Volusia County bus service, which also provides a public transit connection to nearby Daytona Beach. The buses offer service in Port Orange, M-Sa 7AM-7PM. Votran is a cheap way to get around and is handicap accessible. The website provides maps and timetables. Buses travel to most sites and places of interest. Cost: $1.75 per trip, or $3.75 for a one-day bus pass (Valid for all routes).
Getting around by car is generally easy and convenient in Port Orange. The major roads are all wide and easy to drive on with all the major areas signposted, but traffic jams around major intersections are common in the afternoons, and around the tourist areas on Saturday nights. Important roads in the city include Williamson Boulevard in the west, Dunlawton Boulevard connecting the east/west portions of the city, and US-1 going from north to south in the east. Traffic can be heavy on Dunlawton and slow on US-1.
- Spruce Creek Park, 6250 Ridgewood Ave, ☏ . Spruce Creek Park offers a 536-foot boardwalk with three miles of nature trails, leading to a 15-foot observation tower and continues to Rose Bay. The tower overlooks the marsh area near Spruce Creek.
- Sugar Mill Gardens. 950 Old Sugar Mill. Open daily sunrise to sunset. Sugar Mill Gardens is a botanical garden developed and maintained by the Botanical Gardens of Volusia, Inc., a non-profit organization with no salaried employees. It features a 16th-century sugar mill. Free.
One of the largest annual events in Volusia is Port Orange Family Days held in October. This four-day festival which takes place at the City Center Complex focuses on celebration of family and quality of life in Port Orange and features a carnival, business and non-profit expo, children's games, parade, food court and entertainment.
- Sunset Quay Outfitters, 6296 South Ridgewood Ave, ☏ . Offers upscale brand kayak/canoe rentals, instruction, guided eco-tours (various locations), kayak fishing.
- 1 Crane Lakes Golf and Country Club, 1790 Crane Lakes Blvd, ☏ .
- Spruce Creek Golf and Country Club, 1900 Country Club Dr, ☏ .
- The Golf Club at Cypress Head, 6231 Palm Vista Street, ☏ . Port Orange's municipal Golf Course.
Scuba Diving & SnorkelingEdit
- Discover Diving Guide & Services, ☏ . 92 Dunlawton Causeway. Offers off-shore dive trips to wrecks and reefs. Also offers Lobster trips. Call to book your space. Only five passengers per trip.
- Spruce Creek Scuba Guide & Services, 1646 Taylor Rd, ☏ . Spruce Creek Scuba is a full service recreational/technical dive center. Offers training for open water diver, specialty diver, advanced open water diver and rescue diver. Also offers basic Nitrox, advanced Nitrox, staged decompression, extended range and Trimix.
- Spruce Creek Tennis Club, 1900 Country Club Dr, ☏ . Two hard courts and six clay courts, some with lights. Call for hours and fees.
Daytona State College has one campus in Daytona Beach and another in New Smyrna Beach/Edgewater.
- Countryside Shopping Center, 3820 South Nova Road. Countryside Shopping Center is 118,376 sq. ft. retail plaza, with a mix of national, regional, and local retailers, anchored by Big Lots, McDonalds, and Save A Lot.
- 1 Dunlawton Square, 3845 South Nova Road. Dunlawton Square is 332,800 sq. ft. shopping center (built in 1979), anchored by Bealls Outlet, Burger King, Dollar General, GNC, PCS Metro, Port Orange Steakhouse, Publix supermarket, Radio Shack, Space Coast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, and TGI Friday's.
- Park Place Plaza, 3781 South Nova Road. Park Place Plaza is a 132,341 sq. ft. open air shopping center, anchored by Beall's, Gold's Gym, and Ross Dress for Less.
- Port Orange Plaza, 4020 South Ridgewood Ave. Port Orange Plaza is a 189,673 sq. ft. open air shopping center, with a mix of national, regional, and local retailers, anchored by Family Dollar Store and Hardees.
- Ravenwood Square Plaza, 4606 S Clyde Morris Blvd. Ravenwood Square Plaza is a 112,073 sq. ft. retail and business center, anchored by Java Jungle Coffee Bar, Manny's Pizza House, and VIP Travel Reservations.
- Riverwood Plaza, 4001 South Nova Road. Riverwood Plaza is a 93,506 sq. ft. open air shopping center, with a mix of national, regional, and local retailers, anchored by Dollar Tree and Winn Dixie supermarket.
- Westport Square Shopping Center, 1682 Taylor Road. Westport Square Shopping Center is a 484,594 sq. ft. retail plaza, anchored by Bank of America, Kohl's Dept. Store, Publix supermarket, Subway, and several local merchants.
- 2 The Pavillion at Port Orange (The Pavillion), 5501 S. Williamson Boulevard Port Orange, Florida (I-95, Exit 256 - Port Orange. Merge onto Taylor Rd/FL 421 West toward Williamson Blvd. Turn right (North) onto South Williamson Blvd. Pavillion is on East side of Williamson Blvd.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. An open-air retail shopping center with several dining locations and movie theater. Offers many major retail stores such as HomeGoods, Belk, Payless Shoesource, Kirklands, Michaels and Ulta. Also, a few local specialized shops including hair and nail salons. Dining options included major franchise resturants and local establishments. Movie theater is Regal Pavillion Stadium 14 & RPX.
- 1 Aunt Catfish's on the River, 4009 Halifax Dr, ☏ . Seafood.
- 2 Monterey Grill, 1665 Dunlawton Ave # 101, ☏ . Steak, Seafood.
- [dead link] Port Orange Steakhouse, 3851 South Nova Rd (K-Mart Plaza), ☏ . Steaks, Seafood, American.
- 3 Takara, 5527 S. Williamson Blvd, ☏ . Japanese steakhouse and hibachi grill. Excellent sushi.
- Dusk to Dawn Motel, 4545 Ridgewood Ave, ☏ .
- Fairview Motel, 5964 Ridgewood Ave, ☏ .
- Town and Country Motel, 5384 Ridgewood Ave, ☏ .
- Seven digit dialing is in effect for local calls in Port Orange. The local area code is (386).
- The Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, 126 East Orange Avenue, ☏ , fax: . The official sales and marketing organization for Daytona Beach and surrounding area, including Port Orange.
- Port Orange-South Daytona Chamber of Commerce, 3431 Ridgewood Ave, ☏ , fax: . Clearinghouse of information about the local area.
It is common for many of the larger hotels and lodgings in the area to offer free internet access for their guests.
Public libraries in the area offer free computer internet access to Volusia County residents. There is a small charge for non-residents.
- Port Orange Public Library, 1005 City Center Circle, ☏ .
Florida has a high occurrence of hurricanes. You might want to check the Hurricane safety page if you are visiting Florida. Beware of lightning in the central part of the state. Also, there is a high occurrence of tornadoes in Florida, so check the Tornado safety page.
Port Orange has varying crime intensity by neighborhood. Tourist areas rarely have violent crimes, but theft is an occasional occurrence. The 911 number for fire and police emergencies is in effect in Port Orange.
- Daytona Beach - Port Orange's famous neighbor to the north offers NASCAR racing and other special events.
- Daytona Beach Shores - A quiet, small city northeast of Port Orange along the beach peninsula.
- New Smyrna Beach - Just to the south of Port Orange lies New Smyrna Beach. The city lays claim to excellent backwater and offshore fishing, golf, historical sites, cultural events and eclectic shopping and dining experiences along historical Flagler Avenue and Canal Street.
- Ponce Inlet - A scenic fishing village located the southern tip of the beach peninsula. Here you will find the historic Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, Marine Science Center, local charter fishing boats, along with several of the area's best seafood restaurants.
|Routes through Port Orange|
|Jacksonville ← Daytona Beach ←||N S||→ New Smyrna Beach → West Palm Beach|
|Daytona Beach ← South Daytona ←||N S||→ New Smyrna Beach → West Palm Beach|