Welcome to New Smyrna Beach
The New Smyrna Beach Resort Area, located on the central east coast of Florida, is surrounded by bodies of water; the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Intracoastal Waterway to the west and Mosquito Lagoon in between the two. New Smyrna prides itself on being a laid-back coastal town, free of the crowds, pollution and noise that plague other Florida beaches. It is the ideal location to go wild with water sports.
|New Smyrna Beach: There’s Something for Everyone!New Smyrna Beach is a quaint seaside town on the Atlantic Ocean, a small-town gem situated in-between Port Orange and Edgewater. New Smyrna Beach is the premiere surfing destination of America, also known as “Shark-Bite Capitol of the World”! Shark bites are rare, and usually happen near bait fish, so the majority of surfers have no problems riding the surf in New Smyrna year-round with its sublime waves. The beaches are some of the best in the world, with miles of white sand that include park areas in which some are historical. Bethune Beach State Park down S. Atlantic Avenue is one such beach and there are a multitude of parks situated inland and close to the Indian River that are actual sites built by European immigrants, such as the Turnbull Ruins. On Riverside Drive, there is a beautiful park where people can fish, walk their dogs and watch baby dolphins frolicking in the river. There are narrated eco-system tours from the Marine Discovery Center, taking people on a journey down the Indian River.
New Smyrna Beach is known for its vast eco-system, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Indian River, Mosquito Lagoon, and various state parks, marsh areas and water inlets. It is no wonder that New Smyrna Beach is known as the Redfish Capitol of the World, for New Smyrna boasts some of the best fishing! The waters team with hundreds of species of fish, and for those who want to bird watch, New Smyrna Beach is a bird lovers paradise! There are hawks, sea birds of all kinds, the elusive Florida scrub jay, and many more beautifully feathered friends, all in their natural environment.
New Smyrna Beach has a great variety of activities correlating with beach life, and the arts. The town is known as the “Art Capitol of the South”, home to the Atlantic Center for the Arts, an artists’ colony that showcases individual and group mentorship from visiting master artisans of all genre types, including writers, musicians and painters. There are many galleries inland on Canal Street and throughout the town as well, specializing in local pottery and landscape art.
Stop by and visit many of the artists, some who paint from their galleries on the sidewalk.
There is a bustling antique district on Canal Street and the majority of trendy beachside boutiques on Flagler Avenue. New Smyrna Beach has excellent restaurants and casual mom-and-pop type eateries all throughout beachside and inland areas. New Smyrna Beach is the perfect vacation destination to suit a variety of tastes.
Riverside Park Mainland, 105 Riverside Drive,
A scenic dog park and fishing pier located on the Indian River. The perfect spot for fishing, dog walking and festivities, home to the annual New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival, and annual art festivals. Visiting and local jazz musicians come to Riverside Park to perform free concerts from the gazebo area. Bring your own lawn chairs, or sit on the grass and enjoy the music. The shops on nearby Canal Street stay open late during festivities. There are also monthly car shows on Canal Street. The Jazz Festival is held in September. For fishing enthusiasts, there is Fish Stock, sponsored by Sports Fishing Magazine. This is one of the biggest sporting events in New Smyrna Beach, which takes place in May. The festival includes displays of boats at the park, fishing contests, including major angler competitions, fishing demonstrations and kid friendly activities.
Sugar Mill Ruins Travel Park & Campgrounds
1050 Old Mission Road
This is a complete Campground Resort with facilities for the vacationer to the weary traveler, as they provide accommodations to visitors who stay for a single day and even up to a week or more. They also have the capacity to meet the needs of those who wish to host a group party, birthday, work or other social event.
Old Fort Park, Turnbull Ruins
Off Canal Street and Riverside Park
This is an area of New Smyrna Beach steeped in local history. The location of the annual Art Fiesta, and the famed Turnbull Ruins, the park is also a state historic site. The park consists of small walking trails, the New Smyrna Beach Free Library and Turnbull Ruins, thick coquina shell wall remnants dating from the eighteenth century. These ruins are clearly visible atop the small grassy hill, and one can look directly down into the infrastructure of the architecture. The park area is shaded with giant majestic oak trees, which line the trail before the mound, making the park the ideal place to walk during hot summer months. The whole area has a uniquely old Florida charm.
Marine Discovery Center
162 North Causeway
The center is located just before the boat ramp and Buena Vista Park, heading in the direction from Canal Street to Flagler Avenue and beachside. Vast educational programs exist for all ages, and there are popular narrated eco-system pontoon boat tours down the Indian River Lagoon, with delightful dolphin and bird sightings. Recreational activity abounds as well, including kayak eco-adventure tours for both adults and children.
Buena Vista Park
North Causeway, before beachside
The last mainland park before beachside, located directly on the Indian River.
This park has a fishing pier that stretches out underneath the causeway bridge, one of the only draw bridges in the area that open to let sailboats pass. This is one of the most scenic of the N.S.B. fishing parks. Views consist of passing yachts, sailboats, soaring pelicans, and colorful waterfront residencies across the River. Journey from the park over the bridge to Flagler Avenue, with direct access to the New Smyrna Beach pier and the Atlantic Ocean.
Smyrna Dunes State Park Beachside
2995 North Peninsula Avenue
This park is a nature lover’s dream, highly regarded as one of Florida’s most naturally pristine and protected environments. The Smyrna Dunes Park has varied plant life, that both thrive in salt water, plus a sandy environment. Various eco-systems flourish, consisting within both the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean.
The park is one of the most environmentally diverse spots in all of New Smyrna Beach. Panoramic views include glimpses of the red Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse. Admission is $3.50 per vehicle.
At the end of Flagler Avenue, is the Atlantic Ocean and direct access to New Smyrna Beach, surf and shark capitol of the world! New Smyrna Beach allows driving, though drivers generally park and people stretch out in the sand near their vehicles. There are ample waves for surfers to hone their skills.
Swimming is encouraged, for shark bites usually are relegated to little nibbles on the ankles for mistaken bait, mostly down by the Ponce Inlet direction, heading further down near the jetty and baitfish areas. When swimming in the ocean, simply stay close to lifeguard stations, and swim away from where the pelicans and other birds are diving, where there are more likely to be the elusive, small black-tip shark or two!
Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park
6656 S. Atlantic Ave.
The Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park is one of the three historically black beaches known in Florida. The beach and park are big parts of Florida’s black history. The beach is also considered a surfer’s paradise. This is one of the main areas where the surfers go to ride the waves.
There is a lovely park, including picnic facilities, bathrooms, tennis courts, basketball courts, a boardwalk and a fishing dock. This is an un-crowded spot as well, away from the touristy areas. Head south on A1A.
Canaveral National Seashore
Southernmost tip of A1A
Located at the southern-most end of A1A, past Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park, this is a national treasure, complete with nature-park, tours, junior ranger programs, and protected beach and environmental areas, including twenty-four miles of undeveloped beach. Admission is five dollars for a day pass.
Boat Launching Spots
At the north causeway of N.S.B. on the mainland, is one of the best boat ramps, with direct access to the panoramic Indian River Lagoon, Indian River and Intra-coastal waterway. This picturesque locale makes for an above average boat ramp. There are small park settings, two fishing docks, bathrooms and beautiful scenery. The park, docks and boat launch are located next to the Marine Discovery Center, heading to Flagler Avenue, from Canal Street.
Sugar Mill Ruins Travel Park
Old Mission Road
Rest stop and grounds for camping with your RV, located along Old Mission Road; a winding, old country back-road that connects to Route-44 in New Smyrna Beach. Set back from this road, the Sugar Mill Ruins Travel Park location is in Florida’s own natural setting; a lazy little piece of paradise, ideal for parking your RV and exploring the grounds and lake. Close to all the modern amenities in New Smyrna Beach, and the Atlantic Ocean.
Marine Discovery Center
162 North Causeway
Learn about the Indian Lagoon bottle-nose dolphins, sea turtles, plant life and more! Great for all ages, summer children programs are available.
Canaveral National Seashore
A1A-Southernmost tip of New Smyrna Beach
Located partly in New Smyrna Beach, and across water to Titusville. They offer monthly programs led by park rangers and there are children’s interactive programs as well.
Canal Street has a hub of quaint mom and pop shops, including galleries, antique stores, and the Little Drug Company; a vintage, working pharmacy and soda fountain dating from the 1920′s. Located off U.S.1 and S.R.-44 in New Smyrna Beach.
The busy section of beachside, where you can find outlet stores, department stores, fine restaurants, popular eateries like the Outback Steakhouse, Publix Supermarket, the New Smyrna Steakhouse, Flip Flops Chill & Grill and more. Directly access from the South Causeway Bridge to the beach and A1A section of New Smyrna Beach. Accessible from the Canal Street area.
Direct access to Flagler Avenue, and funky-colored boutiques, with casual clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, ice-cream, spas and restaurants. There are popular beachside bars and eateries, great for people watching. Accessible from Canal Street.
The best antiquing is on the mainland on Canal Street, with a cluster of shops situated in one section. There are some big selections; from old Florida art, Highwaymen Art, gallery works, pottery, china, flatware, furniture and more.
New Smyrna Museum of History
120 Sams Avenue
Local history comes to life at the museum; with information about New Smyrna’s Native Americans, early settlers, colonization and more.
Black Heritage Festival, Inc.
314 N. Duss Street
Great local history of New Smyrna Beach and its African American residents, historical information, and festivals.
Universities and Educational
Daytona Beach StateCollege: New Smyrna Beach Campus
The New Smyrna Beach campus of Daytona State College.
Atlantic Center for the Arts
1414 Art Center Avenue
(386) 427- 6975
A place for master artisans to mentor beginning artists. Includes visiting professors and artists of music, film, writing, theater. One of the most unique Volusia County schools, situated among lush, old Florida surroundings.
New Smyrna Beach Fact Sheet
Location: New Smyrna Beach is located on Florida’s east coast, just north of Cape Canaveral. Off 1-95, exit 84A. Closest beach to all central Florida attractions.
History: The land, originally inhabited by Timucuan Indians, was settled in 1767 by Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a Scottish physician. He named the town after his wife’s birthplace of Smyrna, Turkey (now known as lzmir).
Land Area: 19.5 square miles, including a 13.2-mile stretch of beach. An additional 22 miles available at Canaveral National Seashore.
Population: Currently, New Smyrna Beach is home to approximately 23,376 citizens, according to the US Census Bureaue estimate of July 1, 2009.
The Beach – “The World’s Safest Bathing Beach” free entertainment in a clean, peaceful setting (sunbathing, swimming, surfing, jet skiing,wind surfing, fishing, shell collecting).
Turnbull Ruins – The remaining structure of Dr. Turnbull’s unfinished mansion upon which several other buildings were constructed and then destroyed.
Turtle Mound – A 50 foot high mound, containing 33,000 cubic yards of oyster shells, created by the Timucuan Indians. Visible 7 miles out at sea and historically used as a navigational device.
Canaveral National Seashore – Twenty-four miles of preserved coastline. Home to many unique species of plants and animals. Nesting grounds of loggerhead sea turtles.
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse – Built in 1882 on the north side of the inlet, the lighthouse stands 175 feet high and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway.
Backwater Fishing – Mosquito Lagoon is a 21 1/2 mile long and 3 1/2 mile wide lagoon containing redfish, black grouper, speckled trout, tarpon, triple tail, snook, spots and Spanish mackerel to name just a few.
Golf – Golf enthusiasts have three 18-hole courses to choose from locally, but many more within a 30 minute drive, including the new LPGA course.
Theater – Atlantic Center for the Arts hosts theatrical performances, lectures, recitals and readings. Little Theater puts on several plays and musicals throughout the year.
Stock Car Racing – New Smyrna Speedway holds weekly races. Daytona Speedway is 20 minutes away.
Accommodations: Visitors can choose from a wide variety of oceanfront condominiums, hotels, mom & pop motels, bed and breakfast inns or campgrounds/RV parks.
Dining: New Smyrna Beach, surrounded by the plentiful waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway and Mosquito Lagoon, claims the best fresh seafood restaurants around. There are also restaurants for lovers of traditional, Italian, Mexican and Chinese fare.
Shopping: New Smyrna Beach and nearby Edgewater have several shopping plazas. Visitors can also frequent the different shops and boutiques in downtown New Smyrna Beach, picking up souvenirs and gifts along the way.
On calm, quiet mornings, spectacular red and pink dawns break on the horizon above the Atlantic Ocean bordering New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Gentle waves roll onto a long, flat shore with a soft curling motion, then gracefully withdraw back into the sea. In the distance, a pelican swoops down into the water with a plunk, while a small band of sandpipers scuttle along the shore leaving tiny webbed footprints in the fine gray sand.
This is New Smyrna Beach, also dubbed the “World’s Safest Bathing Beach,” where the air and water temperature average a comfortable 70 degrees. Known also as the “temperate zone,” New Smyrna lays claim to the best Florida offers — featuring lush greenery and beauty without the intense year-round humidity so common to a tropical climate.
A scenic drive south on A1A leads to Canaveral National Seashore Park, a 57,000-acre reserve that’s home to a variety of indigenous birds. Discovering and identifying wading birds is just one of the activities Mother Nature provides to entertain her beachside guests. At the park, bird watchers can take a gander at some of the most unusual, well-plumed birds in North America, including the blue heron, pelican, water turkey, ibis, snowy egret, great egret and countless varieties of waterfowl and shore birds.
This undeveloped, protected barrier beach also serves as a refuge for several endangered and protected species of Florida wildlife. On rare occasions, even a Florida panther can be spotted in its natural habitat.
Canaveral Seashore, a 24-mile stretch of unspoiled coastline and one of the longest in the United States, also serves as a home to the nesting loggerhead turtle. Florida’s loggerhead population is the largest in the nation, second only to that on Masirah Island, Oman, in the Middle East. Nesting takes place in New Smyrna, and to the south at Miami and at Cape Sabale on the west coast of Florida.
Strict enforcement is practiced to protect New Smyrna’s loggerhead turtles since the odds are stacked against the turtles from the start; only one in 10,000 lives to adulthood. Despite the bleak statistics, loggerhead sea turtles continue, as they have for 150 million years, to make the perilous trek from the familiarity of the ocean to the beaches of Canaveral Seashore to lay eggs.
Nesting can begin as early as May and end as late as September. Usually, the peak nesting period occurs during the months of June and July, when more than 2,000 nests are created and 240,000 eggs are laid.
During the nesting months, sometime between nightfall and sunrise, female loggerheads lumber ashore to the cool, loose sand where they excavate a nest. Within 15-30 minutes, the hole for the nest is ready. The turtles lay their eggs into 19-inch deep cavities, which will incubate in the sun-baked sand for 45-60 days. When the eggs are laid, sand is scooped over the nest until the holes are filled. Then slowly the female loggerheads start their journey back to the water. They reach the water’s edge within 30-45 minutes, then a sudden burst of energy propels them through the water, taking them instantly out of sight.
Alongside Florida wildlife, the sea dune landscape supports several species of plant life, including the tropical seagrape, beach berry, saw palmetto, yucca and black mangrove. A hike on the nearby Castle Windy trail offers nature lovers a bird’s eye view of the scrub live oak, wild coffee, wild pines, a variety of air plants and the sable palm, Florida’s state tree.
Shelling is a another form of natural entertainment at the water’s edge on Canaveral Seashore, where nature provides an unlimited supply of shells year ’round, in all shapes and sizes. Former homes to snails and other sea creatures, the most common shells consist of moon and jingle shells, calico scallops, angel wings, the coquina clam, slipper shell and the valuable pearl oyster.
A short drive further along A1A leads to Turtle Mound, one of the most significant geographical sites on the east coast of the U.S. Historians estimate that it consists of 33,000 cubic yards of oyster shells, extends 600 feet along the Indian River and is 50 feet high. Dating back to prehistoric times, the mound was built by the Timucuan Indians, and served as a lookout point for enemies and approaching storms.
A stroll over an elevated wooden walkway at Turtle Mound commands a spectacular view of both Mosquito Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, including familiar examples of Florida wildlife such as racoons and the armor-shelled armadillo.
Mosquito Lagoon, sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and Oak Hill (just south of New Smyrna) is part of the Canaveral Seashore system belonging to NASA. This sprawling body of water, made up of four bays, is one of the Southeast’s most abundant fishing areas where one can catch redfish and flounder. In addition, the brackish waters create an ideal environment for clams, shrimp and oysters. Deep-sea sportsmen can expect to land snapper, amberjack, wahoo, black bass and tarpon.
Man – fishFor those would-be anglers, a professional guide can assist in learning the ins and outs of the lagoon — many of whom guarantee a catch or your money back. Also found here are speckled trout, tarpon, mango, snook, triple tail, bluefish, jack chevalle, drum, sailor’s choice and Spanish mackerel.
New Smyrna Beach’s temperate climate, magnificent ocean scenery and flora and fauna, provide unique appeal to all who visit here. All one has to do is take a look at the surroundings — where Mother Nature still knows best.