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The Best Things to Do in DeLand FL| Guide

October 8, 2021 7 min read

This post was updated on 3/10/2024

Known as the Athens of Central Florida, DeLand is about 34 miles away from Orlando. This beautiful city is full of history, charm, and cute shops. Aside from being a charming, historical city, DeLand has also been a filming location for various movies, such as the 1998 film, The Waterboy. For those looking to get away from the theme parks and looking for a bit more of a small-town feel, DeLand, FL, is the perfect city to visit.

In this post, you will find some of the top things to do in Deland FL. From reptiles to the blue springs, here are the best things to do in Deland.

The Best Things to Do in DeLand FL

There’s plenty to do in DeLand, but there are a few things that stick out more than the others. So while I enjoyed every activity I did in DeLand, these are some of the best things to do in this beautiful city.

Downtown DeLand

There are quite a few areas to check out in DeLand, but if this is your first time visiting this beautiful city, I recommend starting in Downtown DeLand, where you’ll get to see the history and architecture of DeLand.

Things to Do in DeLand FL

1. Athens Theatre

When I first saw this theatre, it was love at first sight. This circa-1921 venue is home to theater companies and also features concerts and films. It’s a beautiful theatre that sticks out from all the other buildings due to the wonderful architecture.


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2. Museum of Art – DeLand Downtown

There are two Museum of Art locations – one in downtown and the other is closer to Stetson University. The one downtown is quite charming and has some great exhibits. They also have a cute museum store as well.

The general admission is $5 and the cost of a single ticket provides admission to each location.


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3. Sidecar Market and Bar

If you’re looking for an eclectic coffee shop that also happens to have a bar and a market, then Sidecar Market and Bar is the place to go. Not only is this place full of unique decor, but you can also buy quite a number of the pieces for sale. From dining ware to clothes, you will be able to shop and enjoy a coffee, all in one place. They also have a food menu as well and you can also get drinks at this location.


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4. Chess Park

This beautiful, peaceful park might be small, but it’s a great area to relax. It also used to have chess tables, but the last time I was there, I did not see any. Right near this area is also a mural by Jill Cannady.


5. Pretty Little Things of DeLand

DeLand downtown has plenty of stores, but one store that sticks out the most is Pretty Little Things of DeLand. This store is quirky and has items I had never seen in other stores. They also have some awesome jewelry, which is another reason why I like this store so much.


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6. Orchid Rain

Orchid Rain is a clothing store with a unique style. The clothing mostly reminds me of the 70’s with a groovy vibe in each piece. I love the uniqueness of the store and the decor is quite amazing! Once you step into the store, you will feel like you’ve traveled back in time.


DeLand, FL

7. Pat & Toni’s Sweet Things

If you do not try Pat & Toni’s Sweet Things, were you ever in DeLand? This is the Willy Wonka of DeLand! Not only do they have a variety of sweets, but they also have some delightful shakes. You’ll find all sorts of sweets in this place.

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8. Gillespie Museum

If you’re a fan of museums, Stetson University has the Gillespie Museum, which houses one of the largest gem and mineral collections in the Southeast. There is no admission fee, and all walk-ins are welcome. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday, from 10 AM to 4 PM. On Saturdays, it only opens once every month for Science Saturday from 10 AM to Noon.


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9. Buttercup Bakery

This is such a hidden gem of a place! While it is located in the downtown area, it is a few feet away from the central shops and restaurants. This is closer to a park, so you may want to drive there rather than go on foot. Buttercup Bakery has some amazing baked goods and if you want to grab some lunch, they do have a small menu of sandwiches, lemonade, and teas.


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10. Painter’s Pond Park

This small beautiful park is close to Buttercup Bakery and offers visitors a peaceful walk around the pond. Aside from the pond and ducks, there are also several small murals on the wall around the park. It’s a neat place to check out, especially if you like hidden gems.


11. Spec Martin Municipal Stadium

Remember that I mentioned The Waterboy was filmed in DeLand? Well, this is the stadium they used! It may look small from the outside, but the stadium is quite large once you get a closer look.


West DeLand

West of Downtown DeLand, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, but in the mix of restaurants, you’ll also find Stetson Mansion, which is a must-visit if you want to learn about why this landmark has been rated by Tripadvisor as the #1 Landmark Tourist Attraction in all of Florida.

DeLand, FL

1. Stetson Mansion

A few feet away from Downtown DeLand, The Stetson Mansion is the largest, most innovative home ever built in Florida before the 1900’s. They have several different tours that occur during different months. They have their Christmas tour, which begins in November, and then their past and present tours.

The tour cost varies on which one you go with, but it’s roughly around $22 per adult. For those wanting to go in the year 2024, the tours will not be available, but the Christmas Tours will be offered from Nov 1, 2024, to Jan 18, 2025.


North DeLand

North DeLand has more attractions than West DeLand, so if you are headed north of Downtown DeLand, check out these must-visit places.

1. The Reptile Discovery Center

See all kinds of reptile species at the Reptile Discovery Center. They have lizards, alligators, tortoises, and more. It is $13.50 for adults, $11.50 for children 4 to 17, and free for children under 3.


2. DeLand Naval Air Station Museum

All staffed by volunteers, the Naval Air Station Museum offers tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 AM to Noon. Here you will find a Navy F14 Tomcat along with some other aircraft, boats, and boat engines. They have an extensive collection, which has impressed many visitors.


Free Things to Do in DeLand

While DeLand has a lot of inexpensive attractions around the area, there are also many things you can do for free. Many of the ones listed above are free admission, but the list below offers more options for anyone on a tight budget.

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1. DeLand Sculpture Walk

When you go to Downtown DeLand, you’ll notice quite a few sculptures around. There are plenty to check out and you can even take a Sculpture Walk. You will need to head to the Visitor Center on 116 West New York and get a brochure to get the locations of the sculptures along with more information on each one.


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2. DeLand Historic Mural Tour

If you are a fan of art or murals, then check out the mural tour. DeLand has so many murals around and with the help of this brochure, you can find them all and get to know DeLand through its murals.


State Parks Near DeLand

You can’t come to Florida and not experience the outdoors. After all, this is the sunshine state. We have so many amazing State Parks, but if you’re looking for a few near DeLand, here are a few to visit.

1. Hontoon Island State Park

The Hontoon Island State Park is in DeLand, and there is no entrance fee. You can go camping – there is boat camping and primitive camping. There is also fishing, hiking, paddling, and more. What I love about this state park is that you can take a ferry to the island and there is a visitors center/museum as well as cabins to stay in.


2. Gemini Springs Park

Located in the DeBary area, this is about a 27-minute drive. It’s free admission and there are many types of wildlife to observe in Gemini Springs Park. They also have a bike trail and a walking trail.


3. DeLeon Springs State Park

A 15-minute drive, DeLeon Springs State Park is a Must-Visit. This is also another favorite due to the amount of activities you can do there. From boat tours to snorkeling, DeLeon Springs State Park is quite a popular State Park. The admission is $6 per vehicle, but it is worth it, especially if you’re going to their famous Old Sugar Mill Pancake House, where you can make your pancakes at the table.


4. Blue Spring State Park

This is also close by with a 17-minute drive from DeLand, and quite a beautiful state park. Here you will find a variety of water activities as well as hiking, historic sites, and camping. From mid-November to March, Manatees will congregate at the Springs, which is when all water activities are halted. However, it is worth going to see these beautiful creatures and admire the springs as well. Expect to pay $6 admission per vehicle.

DeLand, FL is a beautiful city full of history and charm. So if you’re ever in Florida looking for a new place to visit, be sure to visit the city of DeLand.

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About Me

About Me

Hola!

Hola! I'm Hanny and I have been traveling since the age of three. Although, I grew up traveling, it wasn't until 2013, when I decided to start a blog. Read More

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