In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated DeLand's population to be 24,375. It is part of the Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 436,575 in 2006.
The city is named for Henry A. DeLand. It was founded in 1876, and incorporated in 1882. In 1883, Henry A. DeLand established DeLand Academy. Later, DeLand entrusted the academy to his friend John B. Stetson, a wealthy hat manufacturer from Philadelphia and a founding trustee. In 1889, it was renamed John B. Stetson University after its new patron. The name was later shortened to Stetson University, and in 1900 it became the first law school in Florida. The University's sports teams are called the Mad Hatters.
DeLand grew during the 1920s Florida Land Boom. The Downtown DeLand Historic District has been undergoing extensive renovations recently.
DeLand has a warm and humid subtropical climate, and there are two major seasons each year. One of those seasons is hot and rainy, lasting from May until October (roughly coinciding with the Atlantic hurricane season). The other is a cooler season (November through March) that brings more moderate temperatures and less frequent rainfall. The area's warm and humid climate is caused primarily by its low elevation and its position relatively close to the Tropic of Cancer, and much of its weather is affected by the movement of the Gulf Stream.
Amtrak offers the Amtrak Auto Train service with its southern Terminus located in Sanford, a few miles southwest of DeLand. The Amtrak Auto Train carries passengers and automobiles between Sanford and Lorton, Virginia, effectively serving as a car-rail link from Florida to the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. You can easily drive your car into DeLand after departing from the Auto Train.
Amtrak offers regular passenger service with the closest stop being just west of the city. This stop is remote and will require taxicab service to get into town.
Highway travel is the most common method of arriving in DeLand. Interstate 4 (I-4) begins about 20 miles away in nearby Daytona Beach, and passes near DeLand. U.S. Highway 92 also begins near Daytona Beach and is known in both places as "International Speedway Boulevard" because it passes in front of that raceway. U.S. 92 meets U.S. 17 coming in from Jacksonville 90 miles to the north, and the two highways become one, and is known as "17/92" as it travels through Orlando 40 miles south, to Haines City, where they again split into two highways. Florida Highway 44 crosses I-4 five miles east of DeLand, and crosses 17/92 in the center of historic downtown DeLand. To further confuse travelers, 17/92 is known as Woodland Boulevard (or simply "The Boulevard," being the only boulevard in DeLand), and Florida Highway 44 is known as "New York Avenue," as the streets were known well before the advent of the U.S. and Florida Highway systems.
VOTRAN is the name of the local Volusia County bus service. It is a cheap way to get around and is handicap accessible. The website provides maps and timetables. Buses travel to most sites and places of interest. Service is offered in DeLand roughly M-Sa, 7AM-7PM. A one-day Votran bus pass costs $3.
Northgate Shopping Center, 101 E International Speedway Blvd., . Northgate Shopping Center is a 178,474 sq. ft. open air mall, with a mix of national, regional, and local retailers, anchored by Publix and Kmart.edit
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