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DeLand, with the St. John’s River and the Atlantic Ocean on its sides, is meant for greatness. This historic part of Volusia County is the oldest center of private higher education in Florida. The simple fun of Daytona Beach seems to differ greatly in DeLand’s environment of academic excellence, though they are geographically in proximity. The Stetson University elevates DeLand to rare intellectual heights and gives the town great value.

Stetson University has a variety of subjects for its students to pursue. An unvarying adherence to the best educational traditions acts as a strong and common thread that holds the entire campus together. Stetson University has produced leaders of influence and citizens with admirable moral fiber for over 120 years. Its trophies of achievement stretch from lecture halls to playing fields and aesthetic spheres of public life. The campus is spread over more than 150 acres and finds a place in the National Register of Historic Places.

The serious style of Stetson University is set off by liberal facilities in and near DeLand for outdoor recreation. Residents can enjoy quality time in nature and practice sports such as canoeing, scuba diving, and swimming in natural water bodies while availing themselves of modern city amenities at the same time. Families enjoy fit and sportive lifestyles as a bonus that comes with residence in DeLand.


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The Blue Spring State Park is close enough for DeLand residents to think of it as a treasure of their own. The dense riverside marshes and forests make for refreshing hikes and boating. The Park is also a sanctuary for manatees. Visitors can observe the large but gentle creatures frolic in the inviting waters of the reserve. Native Indians flourished here for centuries before European colonization. Discarded shells of snails on which they fed have formed a large mound, remnants of which can be seen until today. This mound was also the site of one of the first European settlements in the area, as it protected from floodwaters when the aquifer-fed river was swollen with heavy precipitation.

The DeLeon Springs State Park is the site where the remnants of a six thousand-year-old Indian canoe have been found. This land has been used for agriculture and still houses an ancient mill. Grilling fresh pancakes from grain milled on the Park is a memorable attraction of a visit. There is also an abandoned sugar mill on the estate. The Park offers fishing, canoeing, and scuba diving for sporting visitors. Alligators, vultures, kingfishers, herons, and ibis are but a few of the exceptional animal species that can be sighted here in abundance.

The Hontoon Island State Park is another asset that the St. John’s River bestows on DeLand. Replicas of Native Indian wood carvings of animal figurines represent a culture that is largely lost to us today. The Park is an ecologist’s delight, with cypress swamps at river bank-level and pine trees at higher elevations. Wildlife thrives in the generous vegetation, and visitors can see a variety of fauna during repeated visits.

The Deland experience is incomplete without a skydiving experience. Residents and visitors can both enjoy this thrilling pastime in DeLand. There are facilities for novices and experienced divers alike. The landing area has an excellent bar and restaurant to refresh divers after each time of falling from the sky to smooth landings.

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