Authentic Florida draws visitors to the streets of DeLand
This “real Florida” downtown has taken the top ranking as “America’s Best Main Street” in 2017. On the streets of DeLand, visitors find a sense of history as well as a contemporary vibe. It is home to shops and boutiques, galleries and a remarkable collection of nine museums. This delightful downtown has live theatre, fabulous restaurants, microbreweries and a series of murals – including number one selfie spot, #DeLandWings – in addition to an outstanding slate of annual events. Promoters are getting the word out through a variety of videos spotlighting Old Florida/New Vibe/Downtown DeLand and touting Definitely DeLand.
DeLand was awarded top honors in the nationwide online Main Street contest from among 242 nominated cities in 48 states. The challenge is conducted by Independent We Stand, dedicated to promoting the important economic benefits of America’s downtowns and main street businesses. DeLand was chosen after weeks of online voting propelled the popular West Volusia destination into the contest’s top 10.
“I’m extremely excited. I’m very happy for our community,” Mayor Bob Apgar said. “So many people have worked over the years to build MainStreet DeLand into what it is today. It puts us on the national map, and it’s just a great honor.” DeLand also has the honor of being named the best downtown outside of Orlando earlier in 2016 by readers of the Orlando Sentinel. Clearly, Central Florida locals as well as visitors are loving the result of what’s been a true renaissance here.
The popular destination has seen an amazing transformation from a once forgotten downtown district to a thriving city with shops, attractions and a growing sense of excitement. The authenticity of this real Florida town adds to its popularity and is drawing more visitors than ever. That and is something planners were careful to preserve.
DeLand is home to Florida’s first MainStreet program, which was established in 1985. The city’s MainStreet Association dedicates itself to continued downtown economic development while promoting and preserving its historic roots. Those roots give this Central Florida downtown an authenticity sought after by many visiting the region, providing the essence of what many consider the real Florida experience.
DeLand is an integral part of the West Volusia region, a destination with stories to tell, history to share and fun to have. Nestled between Orlando and Daytona, West Volusia encompasses fourteen communities with an eclectic collection of accommodations and attractions. The authenticity travelers are looking for is here. From top-rated downtown DeLand to the scenic St. Johns River, this is real Florida. And what variety it offers! Start your journey at www.visitwestvolusia.com.