Ormond-by-the-Sea is a coastal, barrier island town in
unincorporated Volusia County that is comprised of just under 2 square miles of
The boundaries of
Ormond-by-the-Sea include the Volusia/Flagler county line on the north, the
city of Ormond Beach on the south, the
Atlantic Ocean on the east, and the Halifax River on the west. The
area has traditionally been called the North Peninsula, although other
nicknames such as OBC or OBTS are sometimes used.
There are two
principal roads: State Road A1A(also known as
Ocean Shore Boulevard), which runs along the Atlantic Ocean, and John Anderson
Drive, which runs along the Halifax River, both of which are designated scenic routes. Residents
commonly refer to their community as “a tiny slice of heaven.”
earliest known inhabitants of the Ormond-by-the-Sea area were the Timucuan Indians, who in the sixteenth century occupied a large village
called Nocoroco, located at the site of Tomoka State Park. The Timucuan diet
relied heavily on oysters and other shellfish, and their shell middens, or
trash heaps, may still be found along the Halifax River in Ormond-by-the-Sea.
Nearly all of present-day Ormond-by-the-Sea remained undeveloped until the
1950s, when the area began to grow in earnest as a retirement community.
Though most of the
town is little more than a half-mile wide, it supports no fewer than six
distinct ecological zones. The tidal zone which features distinctive
reddish-colored sand created by crushed coquina shells and is inhabited
by a variety of coastal birds including plovers, stilts, avocets, terns, and
gulls and pelicans. Just above the tide line, several species of sea turtles
are known to lay their eggs, including the leatherback, Atlantic loggerhead, and green turtle. Immediately in-land is the Temperate Beach Dune, a
"pioneer zone" of vegetation growing along the primary dunes. Species
of note include sea oats, beach morning glory, and beach
sunflower. Slightly inland from the primary dunes is the Coastal Strand, a
shrubby area dominated by saw palmetto, Spanish bayonet, prickly pear cactus, and greenbrier vines. The Coastal Strand frequently
overlaps with nearby sand ridges featuring Florida scrubplant communities,
including scrub live oaks, slash pine, and Florida's state tree, the sabal palm. This zone is home
to the Florida scrub jay and the endangered gopher tortoise. Close to the Halifax River,
the moist soil supports Maritime Hammock species, includinglive oaks, magnolias, American holly, red cedars and coontie
ferns. The river's edge features many plants associated with tidal marshes,
including salt marsh cordgrass, needle rush and mangroves. Oysters and blue crabs are common in the
shallow waters, as are a variety of wading birds including egrets and herons.
Manatee and dolphin sighting are frequent.
One of the
historical treasures of this tiny town is a watch tower constructed in 1942 by
the Coast Guard Reserve to look out for German U-boats operating off the coast. The tower was
restored in 2004 and is the last remaining example of a World War II era
observation tower on the Florida coast.
beach-lovers, there is no better place to reside than in Ormond-by-the-Sea.