Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in DeBary, FL

  • Published 2023/03/27

Warm and friendly are just some of the most appropriate words to describe the quaint city of DeBary, Florida.

Make no mistake, though, because it’s also one of the best places for trying new things and experiences.

Incorporated in 1993, DeBary covers 25 square miles and it gets its name from an early settler named Samuel Frederick de Bary.

DeBary is surrounded by Deltona, Orange City, the St. Johns River, and Lake Monroe.

Because of its geographical location, DeBary is an excellent destination for exploring Central Florida’s wildlife and natural wonders.

Here are the best things to do in DeBary, FL:

Explore the Wilderness at Gemini Springs Park

Trees and the sky reflecting on Gemini Springs Park's water

Photography by User: MrX, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Florida has hundreds of nature parks and trails.

If you’re looking for some of the best ones, add Gemini Springs Park, DeBary, to your list.

Gemini Springs Park is a great place to watch the sunrise and sunset and enjoy various outdoor activities.

A white ibis at Gemini Springs Park

gerry, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The 212-acre park is home to picturesque trails, perfect for walking or riding a bike.

Visitors are also welcome to set up camp inside the park, with campsites equipped with a fire ring, picnic tables, grills, and other amenities.

You can also hang out by the fishing dock, but you’ll need a freshwater fishing permit before casting your line.

Gemini Springs Park was purchased in 1994, with its last private owners being Saundra and Charles Gray in 1969.

A fishing pier at Gemini Springs Park

Photography by User: MrX, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Get Active at Bill Keller Park

Fitness enthusiasts will surely enjoy the facilities at Bill Keller Park on Colomba Road.

Named after Volusia County councilmember William Keller, the recreational park is the ultimate haven for the sporty type.

Enjoy amenities like pickleball courts, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, and basketball courts.

Make the most of your day by exploring every corner of this 19-acre park, which includes an ADA playground for kids to play in.

If you want to host special events at Bill Keller Park, book a reservation for a pavilion or a baseball field.

Drink a Glass of Beer at Central 28 Beer Company

If there’s one place for a good glass of ice-cold beer, go to the Central 28 Beer Company.

Stop by this brewing company if you want to get your hands on the finest craft beers in central Florida.

Hang out in the taproom and take your pick from a great selection of ales crafted with the perfect combination of Belgian and American brews.

Try the American Pale Ale, also called Up River, and indulge in the flavors of classic American beer mixed with floral, citrus, and pine notes.

But if you’re looking for a mix that reminds you of bright, sunny days, take a sip of Sunshine Greetings.

It’s a hibiscus wheat ale with a tinge of orange peel for a citrus burst.

Central 28 also offers seasonal mixes, so stop by more than once to get a swig of their original concoctions!

Learn about the City’s Beginnings at the DeBary Hall Historic Site

Exterior of the DeBary Hall Historic Site

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Overlooking St. John’s River is the historic DeBary Hall, recognized as the oldest intact building in southwest Volusia County.

See the DeBary Hall up close, and discover over a hundred years’ worth of history through a series of images, stories, and more.

History marker of DeBary Hall Historic Site

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The DeBary Hall spans ten acres, encompassing an 8,000-square-foot hunting lodge, stables, and other amenities.

In 1871, the hall served as a hunting estate and winter retreat for Frederick DeBary.

The DeBary Hall was also a famous fishing and swimming spot, drawing notable people like Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, and King Edward VII.

Drink and Dine at Swamp House Grill & Tiki

Feed your eyes and appetite with a combination of great food and admirable views at the Swamp House Grill & Tiki.

Eat, chat, and have a great time with your family and friends as you hang out at this Florida resto-bar.

Start your meal with a delicious plate of gator nuggets or some crab cakes before indulging in seafood specialties like the Jammin Jambalaya or the Key West Mahi.

You can also explore options like chicken and aged steak meals, salads, sandwiches, and tacos.

Have a slice of your favorite chocolate cake, key lime pie, or turtle cheesecake for dessert.

Then, head to the Happy Snapper Tiki Bar for a round of drinks while enjoying live music and entertainment.

Shop at DeBary Farmers’ Market

Check out everything the city of DeBary has to offer at the farmers’ market at the Gateway Center for the Arts.

From fruits and vegetables to local crafts and baked goods, the DeBary Farmers’ Market has got it all.

After your shopping spree, take a break with fresh coffee or a scone, which you can find in the stalls, too.

Have a Cup of Fresh Brews at MG Coffee Brews & Bites

Nothing beats the smell of roasted coffee beans, especially if you swear by the power of fresh brews.

If you’re one of the millions of people who consider themselves coffee lovers, go to MG Coffee Brews & Bites.

This coffee shop’s selection of organic, freshly roasted, and single-origin coffee is guaranteed to leave you returning for more.

The best part is that MG Coffee Brews & Bites has the perfect menu of baked goods to go along with your coffee.

Enjoy the homey atmosphere inside the cafe while indulging in sweet and savory pastries like chicken and bacon rolls, scones, and croissants.

Book a Trip with St. Johns River Eco Tours

You can’t leave DeBary without exploring Florida’s nearby waterways.

When it comes to unforgettable tours, nobody does it better than St. Johns River Eco Tours in DeBary.

Go on a sightseeing boat cruise and get up close and personal with St. Johns’ picturesque views and beautiful waters.

While on tour, experience the Florida wildlife by spotting creeping alligators, migratory birds, manatees, and much more.

You can also go on a photo tour on a 20-foot pontoon boat, gliding through tighter spaces that offer picture-perfect sightings.

Explore DeBary aboard the SunRail

The SunRail train

DanTD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Walking around is a great way to explore DeBary.

If you’re looking for a less tiring alternative, you can board the SunRail.

Covering a total of 49 miles with 16 stations across Florida, SunRail’s train system offers commuters and tourists a comfortable riding experience across the state.

People waiting for the SunRail train at the station

DanTD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore DeBary’s rich, natural beauty the fast, easy, and affordable way by riding the SunRail.

Get a feel of the city life as a commuter.

As soon as you alight at DeBary Station, you’ll find other modes of transportation that can take you to business and shopping districts.

SunRail station map inside the train

DanTD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the Gateway Center for the Arts

DeBary isn’t one to fall behind when showcasing a collection of artworks and forms.

Get a glimpse of DeBary culture when you go to the Gateway Center for the Arts.

From exhibits to live performances, the Gateway Center for the Arts is the ultimate hub for artists to let their imagination and talent run wild.

Enjoy live music, dance, and theatrical performances from a lineup of budding artists.

You can even enroll in art classes if you want to upgrade your skill set.

Traverse the Spring-to-Spring Trail

Fitness enthusiasts and nature lovers are in for a real treat along the Spring-to-Spring Trail.

Feel the rush of excitement when you explore this scenic route from Gemini Springs Park to DeLeon Springs State Park.

The Spring-to-Spring Trail can accommodate visitors from all walks of life, such as joggers, cyclists, walkers, inline skaters, and people with disabilities.

The Spring-to-Spring Trail also gives visitors access to five other trailheads, including the DeBary Hall Historic Site, Lake Monroe Park, Gemini Springs Park, Blue Spring State Park, and Lake Beresford Park.

While exploring the trail, don’t forget to take a bunch of pictures because you can’t find these sights anywhere else.

Go Driving at DeBary Golf and Country Club

Enjoy a warm sunny day at the golf course at DeBary Golf and Country Club.

Play with your friends or sign up for a golf tournament in a deluxe private club setting with a natural layout everyone will admire.

For every hole, you’ll see a different view, ranging from landscaped fairways to dense woods and vegetation.

Lloyd Clifton designed the golf course, a familiar venue for the U.S. Open Qualifiers.

You can also enjoy other facilities, such as the driving range, chipping green, and putting green.

Satisfy Your Cravings at Goodfella’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant

Goodfella’s Italian Restaurant is arguably one of the best places to have your fix of Italian cuisine in DeBary.

The Ciaccio family owns and operates the restaurant, which prepares fried calamari, buffalo chicken strips, and pizza made with the finest cheese.

You can also try the eggplant parmigiana, homemade lasagna, shrimp Sinatra, baked cheese ravioli, and more.

Pair your meal with a glass (or a bottle) of red or white wine sourced from Italy, California, and New Zealand.

Hang Out at O’Leary’s Irish Pub

There’s nothing better than downing a glass of beer while hanging out with friends after spending a long day outside.

Enjoy a plate of DeBary’s best wings with flavors like garlic parmesan, teriyaki, and more一all topped with O’Leary’s special sauce.

Otherwise, try O’Leary’s fresh ½-pound burger with fries or onion rings, then choose from 12 draft beer flavors to go with your meal.

If you’re planning to stop by on a Friday night, then O’Leary’s will kick your night into high gear with live music.

Try Your Hand at the Disc Golf Course at River City Nature Park

River City Nature Park is your perfect outdoor getaway in DeBary.

Spanning over 100 acres, this park resembles a triangle and offers a variety of recreational activities for you and your group.

It sits adjacent to the St. John River, offering both land- and water-based features.

But one of its primary facilities is its disc golf course which comes with 36 holes.

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert player in disc golf, this course layout provides a challenge for you.

The public park is also a known bird-inhabiting spot.

So, get ready to settle down with your binoculars to find ospreys, egrets, and herons while relaxing within the natural space.

River City Nature Park is on Barwick Road.

View the Aircraft Replica at Memorial Park

If you’re a fan of aircraft or model replicas of aircraft, you might like Memorial Park.

This public park is a peaceful place of tribute to many veterans and local heroes.

Opened in 1999, it sits on about 2.5 acres of grassy land.

With its five picnic pavilions and hillside garden, it’s a go-to place for many wanting to get away from the buzz of downtown life.

But its centerpiece is the F-15 Eagle aircraft mounted on a base and surrounded by various flags.

Other structures you can find in this park include an eagle and the USS Langley’s anchor.

Located along the intersection of Dirksen Drive and Buena Vista Street, Memorial Park is a must-visit for individuals and families alike.

Rent a Kayak at Lake Monroe Park

Signage of Lake Monroe Park

Pelow Media /

If your definition of a fun time includes a water adventure, head over to Lake Monroe Park.

This admission-free park is one of the oldest ones of its kind throughout Volusia County.

Reopened in 2004, it features floating docks and nature trails.

With a kayak, venture out into the waters of the lake.

Or go for a stroll along the boardwalks and feel relaxed watching the serenity of lake water.

You can reach Lake Monroe Park via South Charles Richard Beall Boulevard on US Highway 17-92.

Experience a Primitive Stay at Highbanks Marina & Camp Resort

Don’t miss the chance to spend a night in the beautiful nature of DeBary at Highbanks Marina & Camp Resort.

This 25-acre RV campground sits just a few feet away from the St. Johns River.

This led to the nickname Camelot on the River.

Some of the amenities you can expect within the resort include a clubhouse, a swimming pool, and a wildlife sanctuary.

For the little ones, there’s a small fry fishing pond.

Rent a boat to traverse the beautiful waters of the historic river.

If you prefer to have fun within the resort premises, you might like the billiard room and bocce ball court.

Highbanks Marina & Camp Resort is on West Highbanks Road, offering boat rentals and woodland hikes.

Tee Up at Glen Abbey Golf Club

Want to embark on a golf adventure while in DeBary?

Then, Glen Abbey Golf Club should be part of your itinerary.

This medium-difficulty golf course offers 18 holes.

Opened in 1975, this golf course takes pride in its layout, which came from the genius mind of Dominic Palomba, Jr.

Prepare for tee times and expect fun all-in-one—or better yet, hole-in-one!

Head over to North Pine Meadow Drive to reach Glen Abbey Golf Club.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Cast a Line at Konomac Lake

Florida has a bunch of waterways, no matter which city you’re in.

If you’re looking for a great fishing spot, you might want to swing by Konomac Lake in DeBary.

Cast your line at Konomac Lake, and see if you can catch its top species like the largemouth bass, chain pickerel, bluegill, and bluefish, among others.

Spend your day by the lakeside or find out the best hours to go fishing by creating an account on FishBrain.

You also need to follow the fishing regulations in Konomac Lake, including fish size, quantity, and more.

Final Thoughts

Even a rustic and quiet place like DeBary can offer dozens of new experiences for tourists.

You’ll feel closer to nature as you explore the waterways surrounding the city, and get front-row seats to see Central Florida’s diverse wildlife.

If you’re considering visiting this place, you might want to book a longer stay because you can’t possibly do everything on a weekend.

Book your trip to DeBary today!

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