In New Smyrna Beach, a city in East Central Florida, blue skies meet over 13 mi (21 km) of white sand on what has been named one of the world's "best surf beaches" by Surf magazine and National Geographic. New Smyrna Beach lays claim to the best Florida offers — excellent backwater, offshore fishing, golf, historical sites, cultural events, and eclectic shopping and dining experiences along Flagler Avenue and Canal Street. Although the beach is the "shark bite capital of the world," don't let that discourage you from visiting the beach and having a good time.
New Smyrna possesses a distinct hometown quality reflected in its cracker architecture, lush tropical landscape and community. You can spend the afternoon enjoying fresh seafood to steaks and pasta on the waterfront, or under an umbrella at a sidewalk cafe, and then retire to a bed and breakfast inn, family-size condominium or oceanfront hotel at the end of the day.
For the more curious tourist who is willing to explore the city, however, New Smyrna Beach has a more varied culture that exists away from the resorts along the shoreline. A visitor can easily go from an upscale, somewhat New England-like residential area to the conservatively-decorated Canal Street — which becomes far from conservatively decorated during town events or Christmas — within what feels like just a few paces. It's a community on the borderline of town and city that is so spread out that has almost every enclave and quirk imaginable, from its unusual founding as a colony for Europeans to its African-American community and multiple performance arts locations.
Bob Ross is from the city, and some locals wear t-shirts showing they are proud of this fact.
The name of "New Smyrna Beach" comes from the name of the Greek city ("Smyrna"), which was the hometown of the town's founder's wife, and is now the Turkish city of Izmir. The colony was called "Smyrnea" (see #History).
Since "New Smyrna Beach" is a mouthful, locals sometimes call it "NSB." The term "New Smyrna Beach" can be used to refer to the parts of the town on either side of the Intracoastal Waterway, and not just for the area along the beach itself. Therefore, you shouldn't use the term "New Smyrna Beach" unless you are referring to the town; there is no specific name for the beach in common usage.
The original name of the settlement, "Smyrnea," once was the destination former inhabitants of the Balearic Islands reached to work on a colony at roughly the same location. However, the challenges associated with the tropical climate, along with the remoteness of the region at the time, was a great discouragement to the new inhabitants. Following years of labor and many deaths, the workers finally relocated to Saint Augustine, a beautiful city to the north of NSB.
In more recent years, though, New Smyrna Beach has re-emerged, this time as a city with substantial tourist appeal and an important location where the Space Coast and Daytona meet. This places NSB roughly at the intersection of New York-influenced Florida and South-influenced Florida; while the boundary line isn't so clear that it runs through the city, a tourist can see the influences of both North and South here, while inland there is clearly a stronger Southern influence.
New Smyrna Beach is about 20 miles (32 km) south of Daytona Beach along U.S. Highway 1. The towns of Edgewater and Oak Hill, and some unincorporated areas of Volusia County, such as Samsula, are considered to be part of the Greater New Smyrna Beach Area. Spruce Creek and adjacent waterways, along with a largely rural and forested region, to the north of New Smyrna Beach separate mainland NSB from Port Orange and Daytona Beach to the north.
New Smyrna Beach can be divided into three parts, which are almost like "districts". From east to west:
- The coast (or "peninsula" or "island") is separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway. Some of it is residential, but much of it consists of hotels and resorts that follow the shoreline, as the eastern boundary of the waterway is a swamp. On the east side of the coastal island is the beach itself, although all of the island consists of sand. There is a downtown area along Flagler Avenue, which acts as the tourist and cultural center for New Smyrna Beach as a whole. It's here where tourists come to shop and find places to dine. Flagler Avenue is connected to Canal Street, which is in mainland NSB, by the North Causeway, which crosses two islands and goes past an area of low-rise commercial units between the two downtown areas.
- The mainland is west of the Intracoastal Waterway and includes the Canal Street downtown area. Like the coast, it's the older side of town, but unlike the coast, parts of the mainland have low population densities, with a few buildings scattered here and there, especially going inland. It's less densely populated, and is the home of NSB's African-American population (which, to the west of US-1, includes several churches and a museum) and is home to numerous older buildings. The eastern section of Canal Street to the east of US-1 (which includes some restaurants and businesses) includes a range in wealth from the upscale properties — and Al Capone's former residence — along the Intracoastal Waterway to mobile home units along Route 44. Turnbull's Canal is in this part of New Smyrna Beach.
- The area west of I-95, which includes primarily Venetian Bay and rural Samsula, is a separate community from New Smyrna Beach. Venetian Bay, a residential area consisting of Italian-style buildings and man-made lakes, has a golf course that may interest some tourists, while Samsula is less urbanized and marks the transition to the rural area that lies between New Smyrna Beach and DeLand and the Orlando metropolitan area.
New Smyrna Beach is part of a group of cities in the Daytona Beach area. In the north is Ormond Beach; then to the south is Daytona and a couple small, coastal villages; then the city of Port Orange; then NSB; and then, finally, in the south, Edgewater. Also, on the coast, to the south of New Smyrna Beach, is a park (nationally-owned), and farther south again, Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. Edgewater and Oak Hill have no coastline but do feature a shoreline on the Intracoastal Waterway. Otherwise these settlements are residential.
|New Smyrna Beach|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
New Smyrna Beach offers a humid, subtropical climate characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters. Winter temperatures very rarely drop below freezing, and summers are longer than those encountered in many temperate regions. During summer, temperatures frequently reach approximately 90 °F (32 °C) in July and remain hot and humid into autumn, and unless you have an unusual interest in large, unpleasant tropical insects which shall remain nameless, or unless you are completely mosquito-bite resistant, setting one foot into the rainforest during these months should be avoided at all costs.
The time to avoid visiting the region in general, unless you plan to spend all your time near the milder temperatures of the ocean, is June through September, when the region's weather matches that of a wet tropical climate. Summers often feature mid-day thunderstorms and — occasionally — tropical cyclones, while winters and early spring vary between cold, dry spells from the rest of the North American continent and warm invasions from the south.
Due to the lack of mountain ranges — or anything even remotely like mountains, as the highest elevations in the city are the tops of trees, the terrain on golf courses, rooftops and bridges — in the vicinity of New Smyrna Beach, along with sharp contrasts between winter and summer in the Eastern United States, temperatures in NSB are unpredictable except in summer, when hot weather pushes north into the continent and prevents New Smyrna Beach from receiving cold weather. Wild temperature swings are common during winter — varying between 40 °F (4 °C) and 80 °F (27 °C) quite often — and during this season you will need to bring both summer and winter clothing. Although temperatures inland are especially variable, and particularly so in Samsula, cold winds on the beach can make the air feel especially unpleasant on a cold winter day.
Hurricanes, tropical cyclones which in the Atlantic Ocean reach peak winds from 74 mph (119 km/h) to 200 mph (320 km/h), are a danger from June until November; but tropical cyclones are not restricted completely to those months. During hurricane season — the months when the ocean is warmest — the NOAA maintains a webpage dedicated to forecasting the paths of Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms. This website helps you predict where you may need to travel to escape the path of a hurricane, but even this webpage is not one hundred percent accurate, especially days or weeks ahead of time, so check other news reports for additional details on the expected path and dangers of a forecast tropical cyclone.
Although New Smyrna Beach has a Municipal Airport, it is chiefly used by private aircraft. Commercial flights to this area should be sought arriving to either Daytona Beach International Airport (the closest), Orlando International Airport, or Jacksonville International Airport.
A relatively easy option for getting to New Smyrna Beach is through the Daytona Beach Airport. If you fly with Delta, you can go from basically anywhere in the United States to Atlanta International Airport; from there, you can get flights directly to Daytona Beach International Airport. Daytona's airport is fairly small and generally not too busy, and it's pretty easy to get a rental car, etc. From the airport, it's a short drive to I-95, and I-95 will take you to the portion of New Smyrna Beach near Venetian Bay. To continue, see Get in#By car.
Amtrak offers the Amtrak Auto Train service with its southern Terminus in Sanford, about 35 miles west of New Smyrna Beach. The Amtrak Auto Train carries passengers and automobiles between Sanford and Lorton, Virginia, effectively serving as a car-rail link to Florida from the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. You can easily drive your car into New Smyrna Beach after departing from the Auto Train.
Amtrak offers regular passenger service with the closest stop being near the city of DeLand. This stop is rather remote, some distance from NSB and is not the best option.
- 1 Greyhound, (bus stop) Tropical Chevron Gas Station at 2995 St Rt 44 (Off of Exit 249 of I-95, NW of the junction, in front of Wal-Mart.), toll-free: . Passes through between Miami, West Palm Beach, Ft Pierce, Titusville, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville and points in between along I-95. Passengers transfer in Jacksonville, Miami or Orlando to reach other cities. Take the Voltran Rt#44 bus from bus stop in front of Wal-Mart Parking lot (closer to Popeye's) into town. Otherwise one would need to transfer to a local Volusia County bus or take a taxicab to complete your trip to New Smyrna Beach from Daytona Beach (see below under 'Voltran' listing).
- 2 Votran (Volusia County Public Transit System), (bus station) 'Julia and Sam' Transfer Point at Julia St & Sam Ave (South of Julia St from Old Fort Park.). Take the #7 (via Sierra Rd) or #4 bus (via Ridgewood Ave (US Hwy 1) and Nova Rd) from Daytona Beach Beach to Port Orange. Transfer to the #40 bus to continue from Port Orange to New Smyrna Beach. Routes 40-44 operate locally in and around New Smyrna Beach from 'Julia and Sam' Transfer Point as public transportation. Check schedules & maps.
New Smyrna Beach is easily accessed by car, as Interstate 95 passes through the western side of the city, and U.S. Highway 1 ("Old Dixie Highway") passes through the center of the city. There's also a Florida state road, numbered 44, that goes from DeLand to NSB; I-95 intersects this freeway near a Walmart grocery store. If you are traveling into New Smyrna Beach on I-95, to your west is Venetian Bay and Samsula, while to your east is the rest of New Smyrna Beach. Take Route 44 east if you want to go to the beach; it leads through a few miles of suburban development before there are two major bridges: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge, which goes over US-1 and the railroad, and the South Causeway, which goes across the Intracoastal Waterway. Once you cross the Intracoastal Waterway and then enter coastal NSB, Route 44 becomes the beach road (A1A) and goes south to various resorts and, of course, the beach.
US-1 enters NSB in the mainland region, and it intersects Canal Street. However, it does not intersect Route 44. To get to Route 44 from US-1, go west on Canal Street. To go to Flagler Avenue from US-1, turn east onto Canal Street and follow the road until it intersects Riverside Drive. Make a left on Riverside Drive until you reach the North Causeway, a short distance along the road. Take a right on North Causeway, and you'll go over a large bridge, after which the road enters the coastal island and becomes Flagler Avenue.
You can't, however, get into NSB by driving either north or south along the coastal A1A route, in the north because the island ends and in the south because the road ends. You have to enter New Smyrna Beach via the mainland. Once you're on the mainland, then you can get to the coast quite easily (see "get around" section below).
Votran is the local Volusia County bus service, which also provides a public transit connection to nearby Daytona Beach. The buses offer service in New Smyrna Beach, M-Sa 7AM-7PM. Votran 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. Cost: $1.75 per trip, or $3.75 for a one-day bus pass (Valid for all routes).
Roads in New Smyrna Beach are excellent with few exceptions, and as a visitor you'll want a car to cover the distances around the city and the distance to its neighbors, especially if you're planning on traveling beyond the beach/coast area.
The main road that goes along the beach is A1A. From A1A, numbered streets (1st, 2nd, etc.) go towards the beach. Some have beach parking or lead to the beach itself, so you can drive along it and park on the beach. However, A1A comes to a dead end south of NSB. If you travel north along A1A through the coastal part of town (away from the dead end), the road eventually turns to the west and goes over a high bridge to the mainland. This route is called the South Causeway. There is another, smaller route to the north of the South Causeway, called the North Causeway. The North Causeway leads to the Flagler Avenue downtown area.
On the island, Peninsula Avenue connects the eastern end of the South Causeway with Flagler Avenue. This road continues north from Flagler Avenue toward the northern end of the island.
If you go west on South Causeway to the mainland, the road becomes Florida Route 44, which goes west, intersecting I-95, going past Venetian Bay and then continuing to DeLand. Airport Road goes north/south in Venetian Bay, and Tomoka Farms Road (Route 415) goes north/south to the west of Airport Road and leads toward Daytona Beach. Pioneer Trail goes in an east/west direction from the northern mainland area of New Smyrna Beach to Route 44, and intersects Tomoka Farms Road and Airport Road in between. However, while Pioneer Trail does cross I-95 on a bridge, there is no off-ramp from I-95 onto Pioneer Trail or vice versa.
From US-1, which goes north/south east of I-95, going west on Canal Street takes you to Route 44, while going east on Canal Street goes to Riverside Drive, which in turn leads north to the North Causeway that becomes Flagler Avenue. US-1 continues north to Port Orange and south into Edgewater.
The main point of interest for most tourists is the beach; however, because it is an activity, it is listed in the Do section of this article.
Named one of "America's Top Small Cities for The Arts," New Smyrna is home to the Atlantic Center for the Arts, an artists-in-residence community and educational facility, the Harris House, the Little Theatre, The Hub and Arts on Douglas. Frequent arts shows featuring visual and performing arts take place throughout the year.
- 1 Arts on Douglas, 123 Douglas St, ☏ . An upscale art gallery on Douglas Street. Works are for sale, but you can view the paintings for free.
- 2 Atlantic Center for the Arts, 1414 Art Center Ave, ☏ . Open until 4PM. Founded by local artist Doris "Doc" Leeper, this tranquil artist seminary plays hosts to artists worldwide, and invites them to come and create art at the center. The center itself is an architectural marvel in the modern architectural style, but in an area that feels surprisingly remote for an arts center, hidden inside the rainforest. Exhibits are always coming and going. Donations are accepted, but admission is free.
- 3 Galleria di Vetro, 310 Flagler Ave, ☏ . Galleria di Vetro, a unique experience in glass is a thriving gallery and working studio. The Galleria specializes in architectural installations for both commercial and residential spaces, as well as custom pieces in any form. Featuring live glassblowing demonstrations, classes for all ages and world famous and local artists such as Hans Godo-Frabel, John Blazy, Shane Fero, Kyle Carni and many more.
- 4 The Hub, 132 Canal St, ☏ . There is an art gallery here, along with music performances and various arts-related activities and events. A large mural is painted on the side of the building, facing a street that intersects Canal.
- 5 New Smyrna Museum of History, 120 Sams Ave, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu–Sa 10AM–4PM. The museum, which is in the Canal Street downtown district of New Smyrna Beach, features a few exhibits telling the complex story of New Smyrna Beach's history.
- 6 Old Fort, 115 Julia St, ☏ . The old fort building, or whatever it was, existed near the intersection of Riverside and Canal Street; but today, only a stone foundation remains. You can see the fort from the road, but it's also open as a park.
- 7 Sugar Mill Ruins, 600 Mission Dr (Mission Drive intersects Route 44), ☏ .
Sharks live in the Atlantic Ocean, and manatees and dolphins live in the Intracoastal Waterway, weather permitting; manatees cannot live if the water gets too cold. Alligators are present throughout the region, along with armadillos. Details about the dangers posed by alligators and sharks can be found in the #Stay safe section of this article.
The rainforest is more varied than it may appear at first glance, as a hike into it will reveal. It contains a mixture of dense forest, swamp, and open grassland once you go beyond the mixture of pines and palm trees seen from most local country roads. The forest, however, can only be visited during the cooler winter weather, since insects take over once the region warms going into spring and summer.
Above all, go to NSB for the beach. You can even park on the beach here — drive onto the beach at one of the approved entrances (such as the 1 east end of Flagler Avenue), drive along the designated traffic route that runs along the beach, and park. There are also places adjacent to the beach where you can park, such as a parking lot accessible from 27th Avenue. The 27th Avenue parking area is close to the beach road, so when you reach the traffic lights at 27th Avenue, you turn left onto that street before turning right if you want to enter the parking lot. There is another parking area south of Flagler Avenue, again adjacent to the beach.
The beach is long, with various parking areas that continue for miles, but also wide enough that, even during busier times, it tends not to be crowded. The reason for its width is that there is no steep slope from the sandbanks to the beach itself, until you reach the small cliffs — or walls, in some areas — that lead to the resorts. However, because of this, tides seem large, as the beach can be substantial when the tide is out, but then become nonexistent during an unusually high tide. There is a website which you should use to check the tides before you go to the beach.
Not all of the beach features the same topography. For example, the 2 Mary McLeod Bethune Beach, which dates back to the era of segregation in the South, more closely resembles the beach at Canaveral National Seashore than it does the northern part of New Smyrna's beach. To the north of this area the beach is sandy, while going south it becomes covered with a layer of shells and features a steeper slope.
In addition to the width of the beach itself, there is a sandbank that follows alongside the shoreline itself. If the tide is out, these sandbanks become visible, but they're inconsistent, and do not enter the water where there is a break in the sandbank, as the opening could cause a current depending on the direction of the tide.
Be careful about going into the water — as stated at the beginning of the article, this is the shark attack capital of the world.
The beach is reopening from the coronavirus pandemic, and cars are once again allowed to park on the beach and tourists are largely free to go where they choose, even without wearing masks.
- Hiles Boat Ramp, 156 Hiles Blvd. Hiles Boat Ramp is a concrete single boat ramp off of Hiles Boulevard. It's the perfect ramp for canoes, and those eager to navigate the county's beautiful Intercoastal Waterway.
- Lake Ashby Boat Ramp, 1151 Commercial Ave. The boat ramp at Lake Ashby Park is open 22 hours a day, seven days a week. The launch site is on Commercial Avenue. Lake Ashby is a beautiful setting for recreational activities, though the water is dark-colored. Forests surround the lake.
Events in New Smyrna Beach include the regular farmers' market, along with a jazz festival held in late summer each year.
- New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival. The jazz festival takes place in September. The music performances in New Smyrna Beach's jazz festival occur around the town rather than being in one specific location, over a weekend. The event involves primarily live music, with few concerts, and therefore do not plan a visit to the city around it, though it's worth visiting Flagler and Canal if you happen to be in town while the jazz festival weekend takes place.
Anglers at nearby Mosquito Lagoon have set international records with giant redfish catches. Deep-sea charters leave New Smyrna Beach daily, giving offshore fishers an easy way to wet a line in the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.
- Eldorada Charters, ☏ . Capt. Brian Clancy is a full-time fishing guide on this Coast Guard licensed, national park permitted and insured trip, specializing in red fishing. All ages and experience-levels welcome. Call for reservations.
- Fish the Mosquito Lagoon, ☏ . Capt. Tony Pantuso is a full-time fishing guide specializing in light tackle inshore fishing for trophy redfish and seatrout.
- 3 Fishin' Cove Bait & Tackle, 129 N Riverside Dr, ☏ . Open daily, 6AM-6PM. A full-service marina, Fishin' Cove offers river fishing and deep-sea fishing charters and boat rentals.
- 4 Floridays Fishing Excursions, toll-free: . Experience the thrill of the strike, fishing for red fish and sea trout. Fly fishing trips are available. Call for reservations.
- 5 Marker 57 at Cameron's Marina, 2001 S Riverside Dr, ☏ . Open daily 6AM-6PM. Rentals include boats for flat bottom fishing. Tackle and bait shop and boat slip rentals.
- 6 Hidden Lakes Golf Course, 35 Fairgreen Ave, ☏ .
- 7 New Smyrna Municipal Golf Course, 1000 Wayne Ave, ☏ .
- 8 Turnbull Bay Golf Course, 2600 Turnbull Estates Dr, ☏ .
- 9 Venetian Bay Golf Course, 63 Airport Rd, ☏ .
- 10 Flying B Ranch, 687 N Samsula Dr, ☏ . Flying B Ranch is a 33 acre horse facility, offering horseback riding and horse boarding.
- 11 Pioneer Trail Reserve, 4311 Pioneer Trail, toll-free: . At the reserve, there are twenty-one equestrian ranches in a conservation area, which is a gated community. Horse training and riding are offered.
- 12 Whispering Palms Farm, 137 FL-415, ☏ . Offers horse boarding and riding lessons.
Many historical and cultural sites make New Smyrna Beach noteworthy. From the Turnbull and Sugar Mill Ruins, to the Eldora State House, the area is rich in history.
- 13 Deep Creek Preserve, 964 S FL-415. A park with some hiking trails southwest of New Smyrna Beach. The park includes some spaced-out pine woodlands, along with an appropriately-named creek, around which is some relatively lush flora. Benches are spread out along the route. The park has a couple of trails, some of which are not too clearly marked, but colored signs are used to mark the trails, along with arrows and symbols (horses and people) to represent trails specifically intended for a certain type of use. There is a wide dirt road that divides the forests and crosses the park, but it's best to avoid hiking on this road when possible as its surface is thick, making hiking difficult.
- 14 Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve (County), 1755 Martin Dairy Rd (Make sure, though, that you find the correct entrance to the park, as it as multiple entrances. The correct entrance is the Martin Dairy dirt-road entrance). This secluded wildlife preserve offers miles of lonely trails that lead to 60 ft (18 m) sand cliffs that slope gracefully into Spruce Creek. These sand bluffs are among the largest in Florida.
- 15 Flagler Avenue Park. The Flagler Avenue Park is a popular beachfront park just off historic Flagler Avenue, complete with its quaint shops and restaurants.
- 16 Lake Ashby Park, 4150 Boy Scout Camp Rd (Follow Boy Scout Camp Road until you reach two road options, one going slightly to the right and one going more sharply to the right. Take the latter, and after about a quarter to half a mile on that road, you should enter a parking area and playground. Not all of the road is paved). open sunrise to sunset. Lake Ashby Park is a 124-acre rural setting park in the Osteen area that includes primitive tent camping, playground, volleyball court, nature/horse trails, boardwalks, fishing pier, pavilions with picnic tables and grills. It also offers a free public boat ramp nearby. The park offers a 3,500 ft² (330 m2) play area for children that includes a variety of climbers, swings and ladders. The boardwalk goes for a few hundred feet out over the lake itself, and includes a couple of benches along the way. It then enters the forest for a short distance, demonstrating some of Florida's most scenic forest including ferns, palms, and pine trees.
- 17 Smyrna Dunes Park (County) (north of the Flagler Avenue district), ☏ . Open daily sunrise to sunset. Perched on 250 acres of sand dunes at the northern tip of the New Smyrna Beach peninsula, the area is surrounded by water on three sides, as it's where the Ponce Inlet, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Atlantic Ocean meet. The park consists of five ecosystems (ocean, river, dunes, scrub zone, saltwater marsh). $3.50 per vehicle, $1 per person for vehicles with more than eight passengers.
- 18 Longleaf Pine Preserve (two entrances, one on Pioneer Trail closer to Samsula and another off FL-44 closer to DeLand). A couple trails (going from the separate staging areas) go through the region's mixed ecosystems. As the eastern trail, the one closer to New Smyrna Beach, is near a shooting range, hikers may hear the sound of not-so-distant gunshots, but need not be concerned.
- 19 New Smyrna Speedway, northwest corner of FL-44 and Route 415, ☏ . Half-mile race track offers regular schedule of FASCAR (Florida Association of Stock Car Auto Racing) races.
Scuba diving & snorkelingEdit
- 20 Sea Dogs Dive Center Guide & Services, 111 Flagler Ave, ☏ . Provides a 42 ft (13 m) custom Newton Dive Vessel, New Smyrna Beach's only U.S. Coast Guard Certified dive vessel. Relaxing SCUBA diving for up to 16, with a divemaster or instructor on every trip. Full service PADI dive center, NITROX Fill station, spearfishing specialists, and a full range of PADI certifications. There are beautiful reefs, along with wrecks, and some of the largest lobsters on the east coast of U.S.
- 21 Detwiler Park Tennis Center (Corner of Oakwood and Horton), ☏ . Offers five hard tennis courts. Free.
Since Flagler Avenue and Canal Street are in the cultural heart of NSB, they feature several quaint shops and cafes, and it's no surprise that the second oldest city in Florida is also home to many antique shopping pavilions. Neither Canal Street (the part of it east of US-1) nor Flagler Avenue are long roads, so while you'll find enough to suit your shopping and dining (see #eat) tastes, you also won't get exhausted from walking a long distance. The streets are not part of commercial districts, either, though, meaning that you will not find many downtown-oriented shops once you get outside the immediate vicinity of Canal and Flagler and onto other streets. In fact, both Flagler Avenue and Canal Street are surrounded for the most part by residential districts.
Along with the farmers' market held in mainland NSB northeast of Canal Street, similar events to farmers' markets are also held on Canal Street and Flagler Avenue on occasions.
- 1 Canal Street is in the vicinity of the farmers' market, which is held near the old fort where North Causeway and Riverside Drive meet. Normally, Canal Street is far quieter than Flagler, its equivalent on the island; and because Canal Street is beyond walking distance from Flagler and the beach, on a typical day Canal Street businesses are glad to see customers. Thanks to Canal Street's quieter existence away from the beach, it feels more spacious than Flagler, despite the palm trees that follow its route.
- As of 2020, the walking-distance region of Canal Street ends abruptly at the intersection with US-1, which is under construction. The busy US-1 — the Dixie Freeway is its name as of June 2020 — along with a railroad separate the eastern and western portions of Canal Street. However, there are some businesses, such as Aunties Soul Food Kitchen, along with residential — though less urbanized — development along the western part of Canal Street, which is part of Historic Westside New Smyrna Beach (though the historic buildings are not found along the road itself). However, businesses west of US-1 and the railroad, on the western portion of Canal Street, should be accessed by car and not walking due to the lack of a sidewalk along this part of the road.
- At Canal Street's eastern end, east of the railroad and US-1, it passes small local stores, several restaurants, the Hub Art Gallery, and the civic center before it meets Riverside Drive; at the intersection of these two streets is a park, a curved wooden boardwalk for fishing, and a large events center. The eastern end of Canal Street is north of the South Causeway Bridge, which from the park can be clearly seen.
- 2 Flagler Avenue is particularly popular with tourists during the tourist season due to its restaurants and shops. There are small stores that are locally-owned but within various genres. There are couple of shopping "malls," though not of the typical American sort; in each of these an alley leads away from the sidewalk and goes to businesses (such as shops or restaurants) that are in relative privacy, away from the busy street. A good example of one of these is a courtyard on the south side of the street, which is surrounded by the Giftz store and the Courtyard Grill restaurant.
- The convenience of Flagler Avenue, however, is perhaps its best attribute, as Flagler Avenue leads to the beach itself. This does bring traffic, however, and parking areas around Flagler can be crowded. One of the largest, on the southern side of the avenue towards the Methodist church, is not paved and therefore can easily become flooded after rainfall.
Shopping malls of the typical kind can, of course, be found in NSB. These include the Indian River Village Shopping Center, the 3 New Smyrna Beach Regional Shopping Center, the 4 New Smyrna Shopping Plaza, the 5 Ocean Village Square Shopping Center, and the 6 Winn-Dixie Plaza.
New Smyrna's restaurants generally feature either American cuisine or seafood, but there are exceptions, such as an Asian-cuisine restaurant on Flagler Avenue and a couple Italian restaurants. The region's low cost of living means that there are restaurants with low prices given the quantity and quality of the food they serve.
After a few months of closed or takeout-only dining during the first wave of the pandemic in spring 2020, most restaurants are returning to 100% capacity following socially distanced seating over the summer. Many diners do not wear masks, though they are recommended by the county when indoors and not eating or drinking. Business is somewhat down from early 2020; some restaurants that would normally be crowded are now merely busy.
Restaurants along the coast are concentrated along Flagler Avenue, the eastern end of the South Causeway, and along the A1A Road/beach area.
- 1 Boston's Fish House, 1414 S Atlantic Ave (near A1A's turn from eastbound to southbound), ☏ . Seafood and chicken in the medium-range category.
- 2 Chases on the Beach, 3401 S Atlantic Ave (if you approach from the South Causeway, follow the A1A beach road south), ☏ . Florida seafood and luscious tropical drinks. Listen to live music while laying around the pool and sipping on a special cocktail.
- 3 Heath's Natural Foods, 600 E Third Ave (corner of Cooper and Third Ave., Beachside), ☏ . 8:30AM-7PM. Health food store that offers wonderful organic prepared food to grab 'n' go. Delicious smoothies, wheat grass and vegetable juices available daily. The store also has a full array of grocery items, organic produce, gluten-free products and organic meats.
- 4 Heavenly, 115 Flagler Ave (at the far end Flagler Ave from the Beach), ☏ . A healthier foods restaurant with sandwiches, wraps and ice cream.
- 5 JBs Fish Camp & Seafood Restaurant, 859 Pompano Ave (near the Intracoastal Waterway), ☏ . Seafood.
- 6 Norwoods, 400 Second Ave (on Route 44 just after ending the island via the South Causeway. It's on the left), ☏ . An institution in New Smyrna Beach that successfully made the change from fans, screen doors and smoked mullet to fine dining, wines, and air conditioning. It serves American cuisine, such as burgers and fries, but also has an upstairs treehouse, where there is a bar and therefore does not permit kids and teenagers. However, it's a nice experience to be up inside the tree itself, unique from experiences found in most other restaurants, especially in this area.
- 7 Ocean's Seafood, 601 E Third Ave, ☏ . This little place doesn't have a view, but what it does have is excellent local seafood, and at cheap prices to boot. Caught daily in local waters. Only open till 7PM, so get there early. $10–20 per person.
- 8 Riverview, 101 Flagler Ave, ☏ . Offers fine dining with a great view of the Intracoastal Waterway (Indian River). There is a hotel next to the restaurant. $30 per person.
- 9 The Garlic, 556 E Third Ave (if you go east along the South Causeway, after you've entered the island, the Garlic is on your left after Norwood's). Ambience is unbeatable at the upscale Garlic, featuring savory Tuscan music, Al Fresco dining, and live music most nights. Surrounding the restaurant is a beautiful garden, with lush plants all around it, despite being close to the South Causeway Road. From $30 per person.
- 10 Aunties Soul Food Kitchen, 829 Canal St (if going westbound on Canal Street, it's on your right. It's not connected to any other buildings and is painted white and red), ☏ . F–Su. This restaurant west of downtown is home to Southern U.S. American cuisine, and it has an especially good reputation among locals.
- 11 Blackbeards, 701 N Dixie Fwy (US-1 about half a mile north of the intersection with Canal Street), ☏ . Popular restaurant with a large menu, with its emphasis on seafood and steak. If you want a substantial meal at good prices, this is the place to come, as you'll get the opportunity to self-serve soup or salad and you'll receive some snacks along with your main course, but the restaurant is crowded due to its famed prices and prime rib. Additionally, prepare before you come with the knowledge that parking is not always easy, unfortunately, as it's limited to what's provided immediately surrounding the restaurant. The location along Route 1 makes it quite accessible by car, but its location is not near the downtown area, so — unless you are looking for a hike in residential NSB — you cannot visit Canal Street and dine at Blackbeard's without traveling via some means other than walking. The restaurant's main positives are that it has a lively atmosphere, especially in the evenings, and provides a good example of American cuisine.
- 12 Corkscrew, 235 Canal St (if you're going east on Canal Street, it's on your left. It's surrounded in tropical plants, so it's hard to miss), ☏ . Canal Street's main attraction, with beautiful tropical foliage surrounding the restaurant's modern, urban-style interior design in a dimly-lit but atmospheric environment. Upscale American cuisine is served here. There are outdoor and indoor options for seating, although it's often quite busy, so you can't trust that the option for outdoor seating (or indoor seating, for that matter) will be available.
- 13 Jason's Corner, 135 Canal St (if you're going east on Canal Street, it's to your left, near the New Smyrna Beach history museum), ☏ . Serves meals around the day; the best time to come is around breakfast/lunch, although there is also a dinner menu. There is limited outdoor seating along with a larger dining area indoors.
- 14 Thai Mango, 424 Canal St (if you're going east on Canal Street, it's on your right), ☏ . Receives praise from reviewers for its Thai cuisine.
- 15 Yellow Dog Eats, 147 Canal St (The restaurant has a somewhat narrow entrance toward the eastern end of Canal Street), ☏ . Locals often recommend this restaurant, although it is one of the smaller units along Canal Street.
West of I-95Edit
With the exception of the restaurant at the golf course, restaurants in Venetian Bay are gathered in a plaza area near Airport Road. This plaza area features a main shopping mall that includes apartments (accessed from a courtyard-like parking lot) and shops accessed from the outside. Around the plaza is a brick walkway, and at the far end from Airport Road is a park that goes from the clock tower to a lake.
- 16 Bistro 424, 424 Luna Bella Ln #111 (there's a parking lot accessible from Luna Bella Lane, which in turn intersects Airport Road. From the parking lot, there's a sign showing the path that leads to the restaurant), ☏ . This is a good place if you're looking for an alternative to the American/seafood restaurant types common in NSB. It serves Italian cuisine, including many pasta dishes with a smaller American influence than many other Italian restaurants in the U.S. American-influenced options, however, do exist, including quesadilla. It has both indoor and outdoor seating; the outdoor seating looks out onto a lake, in the middle of which is a large fountain. A locally well known plane crash took place in the lake, behind the restaurant, in late 2020.
- 17 Happy Deli, 424 Luna Bella Ln #128 (in the same shopping area as Bistro 424, but facing directly onto the street), ☏ . Featuring American cuisine and includes a Boar's Head outdoor BBQ, this deli/cafe literally has "happy" written all over it.
- 18 Venetian Bay Golf Course Restaurant, Airport Rd. An American cuisine restaurant at Venetian Bay Golf Course featuring excellent prices, even for this area, with some dinner main courses at prices as low as $10. There's a nice seating area behind the restaurant with views of the golf course, neighboring countryside, and housing developments.
- 1 The Breakers, 518 Flagler Ave, ☏ . This place is a beach bar/restaurant, far from fancy, with the oceanfront setting and great cheeseburgers.
- 2 Half Wall Brewery, 1887 FL-44, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The old Gilley's Pub has changed hands many times. It is now owned locally and operates as the "Half Wall Brewery", featuring a wide selection of craft beer and locally brewed favorites.
West of I-95Edit
There are a large number of hotels of various sorts along the beach, and they continue for miles along A1A south. These hotels typically face toward A1A or a small nearby beach road and face the other way toward the beach.
The types of places where you can stay on the beach alone are diverse, ranging from smaller buildings of two stories to large resorts with several stories.
As U.S. Route 1 is the main highway, don't expect much from hotels along this route.
- 1 Beachcomber Motel, 2705 S Atlantic Ave, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Mixed reviews, with some pointing to the location and others noting poor standards in cleanliness and service.
- 2 Blue Heron Motel, 1204 N Dixie Fwy, ☏ . Poor cleanliness standards according to a review.
- 3 Ocean Air Motel, 1161 N Dixie Fwy, ☏ . A review considers it mediocre with decent standards of cleanliness and service.
- 4 Pooles Motel, 635 N Dixie Fwy, ☏ . Reviews are generally positive, with some criticizing the rooms for being out-of-date.
- 5 Atlantic Plaza, 425 S Atlantic Ave (very close to the beach), ☏ . Twenty-two 2-bedroom, 2-bath non-smoking condo units.
- 6 Best Western Beach Hotel and Suites, 1401 S Atlantic Ave (by the ocean), ☏ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Offering 102 suites featuring a private living area, ocean-side balcony and private bedrooms that can accommodate 6 to 8 guest. Seascape restaurant on-site.
- 7 Buena Vista Inn & Vacation Apartments, 500 N Causeway, ☏ . Receives consistently high ratings, with the vast majority of reviewers in the highest categories.
- 8 Islander Beach Resort, 1601 S Atlantic Ave, ☏ . Its location is a significant advantage, being close to the beach, a major contributor to its high ratings.
- 9 Ocean Sands Beach Club, 3208 Hill St, ☏ . Another hotel near the beach, it receives generally high ratings from reviewers.
- 10 Oceania Beach Club and Suites, 421 S Atlantic Ave, ☏ . Highly rated due to its proximity to the Flagler Ave district and the entrance to the beach.
- 11 Sea Vista Motel, 1701 S Atlantic Ave, ☏ . Oceanfront motel with Tiki Bar and restaurant. Microwave, coffee maker and refrigerator in every room. Choice of motel rooms, efficiencies with full kitchens, studio apartments with king beds and sleeper sofa, one bedroom apartments.
- 12 Hampton Inn, 214 Flagler Ave (Flagler Ave, close to the North Causeway), ☏ . This hotel on the western side of Flagler Avenue is painted a light tan color and therefore is easily recognizable from the other buildings along the street. It's generally upscale, and the lobby in particular is kept in mint condition.
- 13 Marriott Springhill Suites, 512 Flagler Ave (turn left just before the entrance to the beach), ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Has views of the beach from its lobby, as well as live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. Much like its neighbor at the other end of Flagler Avenue, on the upscale end of medium-range.
- 14 Minorca, Minorca Beach Way, ☏ . Offers luxurious rentals, and the utmost in privacy. About $400 daily.
As long as you use common sense and stay in either your hotel/resort or tourist-friendly streets such as Flagler Avenue late nights, crime is not a concern in NSB. Nowhere is too dangerous to be off-limits during the daytime.
However, the city is home to alligators and sharks. Therefore, stay near the shore if you want to go into the ocean, and do not enter the water in any estuary, brackish water, swamp, or lake. In the ocean, rip currents are an additional concern that you should avoid by staying close to the shoreline if you go in the water. Check weather forecasts in case a rip current/storm warning is in place.
Florida, thanks to its wet climate, is home to many lakes and waterways. Explore these in a boat, not by swimming, since you do not want to risk being killed by an alligator in the murky waters of these lakes and rivers. Although people sometimes view the dangers of alligators in extremes, either as harmless or as a threat to people, the best stance to take is to stay at least a few feet from any bodies of water and always watch for signs of an alligator (usually the snout is the first feature of an alligator to be exposed). Despite what is indicated by some news outlets, alligators do not invade areas with human presence without a good reason. If alligators pose a threat at any time, it is almost definitely because you are not taking proper precautions in the areas where alligators live. Although fishermen and golfers often go dangerously close to the water, this is no excuse for responsible tourists to do so.
- See also: Culture shock
People frequently express their political opinions in NSB through signs and posters, often — though not always — conservative. There is a Republican Party headquarters on Route 44 that does little to hide either its existence or its political persuasion, but political differences in the city are tolerated and there are no reasons for travelers to be concerned by these expressions of political opinion.
Seven digit dialing is in effect for local calls in the New Smyrna Beach area, and the local area code is 386.
There are about 20 radio stations in Volusia County.
- WSBB, 1230 AM, New Smyrna Beach, Standards
- WKTO, 88.9 FM, Edgewater, Religious
- WJLU, 89.7 FM, New Smyrna Beach, Religious
- WKRO, 93.1 FM, Edgewater, Country
- WLGM, 95.3 FM, Edgewater
There is an urgent care center just off Route 44 (mainland) and another one in Edgewater along US-1.
There are churches in the area of various denominations; particularly notable are the 1 First Baptist Church north of Canal Street, along with one Catholic church each on the island and the mainland. The First Baptist Church emphasizes its family-friendly nature, and is among the largest of the numerous local churches. Space Coast Baptist Church is in the Samsula area.
- Just south of New Smyrna lies the Canaveral National Seashore, which offers excellent swimming, bird watching, and hiking opportunities.
- Port Orange is a rapidly growing city just north of New Smyrna on the mainland, where you can enjoy golf and tennis.
- Daytona Beach is New Smyrna's famous neighbor to the north of Port Orange; it offers NASCAR racing and other special events.
- Daytona Beach Shores is a quiet, small city north of New Smyrna, on the Daytona Beach peninsula.
- Ponce Inlet is a scenic fishing village located to the north, on the southern tip of the next beach peninsula. Here you will find the historic Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, Marine Science Center, local charter fishing boats, along with several of the area's best seafood restaurants. It's quite a long distance to the destination if you travel to it by car, however, as it's necessary to go via the mainland, since there is no bridge from the New Smyrna Beach coastline north to Ponce Inlet.
|Routes through New Smyrna Beach|
|Daytona Beach ← Port Orange ←||N S||→ Mims → West Palm Beach|
|Daytona Beach ← Port Orange ←||N S||→ Mims → West Palm Beach|
|Mount Dora / Eustis ← DeLand ←||W E||→ Jct → END|