city in Volusia County, Florida, United States

In New Smyrna Beach, a city in Volusia County of Florida, blue skies meet 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.

Understand edit

Aerial view of the New Smyrna Beach coastline from the top of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, which is north of the city

New Smyrna possesses a distinct hometown quality reflected in its cracker architecture, lush subtropical 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. It's a community on the borderline of town and city with a diverse and unique history, from its unusual founding as a colony for Mediterranean Islanders and Greek Romanos to its post-Civil War African-American community, fame as the origin of painter and TV star Bob Ross, and multiple arts centers.

New Smyrna has two seasons: Snowbird Season and Orlando. People from Canada and the northern U.S. drive to Florida during the early months of the year, starting around December until early summer. Orlando residents come to the city, typically for the beach, during the second half of the year, particularly in late summer. The city is most crowded during the summer months when the northerners leave and are replaced by locals, although there is a bump in the crowds during midwinter as well and Flagler Ave is popular with the infamous "Spring Breakers" when schools and universities close.

It's important to understand the geography of the town due to its complexity. A canal known as the Intracoastal Waterway separates the western (historic) and eastern (beach) parts of the city, with the Intracoastal Waterway meeting the ocean at Ponce Inlet at the northern boundary of New Smyrna Beach. There are two bridges that cross the Waterway, providing tourist access to the beaches.

Name edit

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, known as "Izmir" in Turkish. The colony the Turnbull family founded was known as "Smyrnea" prior to its abandonment, but the name remained in use and was Anglicized by the time of the city's incorporation.

Locals sometimes abbreviate the name to "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 beach itself.

History edit

Boardwalk constructed at the Turtle Mound site in Canaveral National Seashore

New Smyrna Beach, prior to European settlement, belonged to the Timucua tribe which inhabited the region. One of the city's important sites, now known as the Turtle Mound, is a former landfill used by the tribe to discard shells over a period of hundreds of years roughly corresponding to the European Middle Ages. Following the collapse of the massive sand dunes that once existed south of Ponce Inlet, Turtle Mound became the most prominent peak and one of the highest points in the entirety of New Smyrna.

The Spanish are believed to have been the first Europeans to settle what is now New Smyrna Beach. They planted an orange grove on Bouchelle Island and likely also farmed on Chicken Island in the Intracoastal Waterway. However, the Spanish settlement of the region appears to have been inconsistent and did not result in a permanent settlement being established as took place in St. Augustine to the north.

During the 1760s, Robert Turnbull and a company of British businessmen formed a unique concept for a colony on the Atlantic Coast of the U.S. He claimed several miles of land on the east coast of what is now Volusia County, and imported indentured servants from around the Mediterranean to farm this new region he called "Smyrnea" after the Ottoman city. The agreement he formed with a diverse array of more than a thousand Romanos ("Greeks") and Menorcans required them to work as slaves on his colony for nine years, after which time their settlements would become independently owned homesteads. He demanded the new inhabitants of Smyrnea each build their homes a specified distance apart, farm on land adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway, grow almost exclusively cash crops including indigo, and load the produce onto ships bound for Europe.

Turnbull Canal

His scheme began successfully as the land appeared excellent for production of cash crops and the value of the imports compared well to the cost of importing food and other goods for the colony. However, a combination of factors led to the downfall of the colony. First, the settlers lacked agricultural knowledge, so failure to rotate crops and let land lie fallow led to a collapse in crop production after a few highly productive years. Second, the climate proved unreliable and droughts caused many of the existing cash crops to die. Third, the American War of Independence and associated regional political instability made trade with the colony difficult. Fourth, Turnbull refused to recognize his agreement to set the servants free after nine years. Turnbull and the colonists were enterprising and as a consequence were able to overcome the second problem through the construction of an extensive canal network, which still exists and remains dozens of miles in total length. However, the other problems led to a revolution when the colonists, who felt that the land was rightfully theirs, walked en masse to St. Augustine, an existing Spanish city to the north. The colony was largely abandoned, and new cities have been built over the land formerly developed by the colonists, which itself had been the size of multiple cities at its peak. That said, some settlers continued to migrate to New Smyrna, and during the first half of the nineteenth century, development and property upgrades began along the western shore of Mosquito Lagoon, since expanded into the Intracoastal Waterway. Plantations were founded on the eastern shore of the lagoon, the remains of which survive today in a patchwork of channels through the mangrove forests.

Of the development projects that likely took place during the 19th century, two important structures were built or remodeled that partially survived due to the use of coquina, a durable local stone, in their construction. One was a mansion, called the "Old Fort" by locals, facing the Intracoastal Waterway in what is now downtown New Smyrna. Much of the history of this structure remains a mystery and only the foundation and surrounding fortifying towers remain well below the current elevation in the area and may have been built almost a century after the "Fort" was built. One structure built during the mid-19th century that survived better than the Old Fort was the Sugar Mill, a mill operated by slaves which was damaged during the Seminole Wars of the 1830s, lost to the encroaching forest, and since rediscovered and converted to a historic site.

Soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, the Union launched a blockade of the South's Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. The Confederates attempted to bypass the blockade via ships which smuggled goods out of the South's agricultural belt wherever possible, and one of the sites of such smuggling was New Smyrna. Once the Union discovered this, they launched an assault on the town by enacting the blockade, destroying the Confederate ships which had retreated to the lagoon, and by shelling the hotel, which had been converted to a fort. The inhabitants of New Smyrna, realizing they could not hold the city against the overwhelming Union forces, retreated to the jungle, and Union forces hot on their trail took the city, burned down its buildings, and destroyed most of the remains but were unable to capture the residents. Ultimately, according to legend, a fire lit to hoard off mosquito infestation alerted Union troops to the settlers' location, where the final holdouts were tracked down and defeated. A few dozen settlers remained in the jungle following the Union occupation, and it developed into a hamlet known as Glencoe which has survived to the present day. Others resettled New Smyrna during the latter half of the century, as an 1887 survey recorded a population of 150 residents, but a full economic recovery in the town would not occur for almost a century.

Ruins of the Fort

Henry Flagler's rail network of the late 19th century brought Americanization and some prosperity to the small settlement, although it remained largely a rural backwater for several decades into the 20th century. It grew into two towns: the mainland town of "New Smyrna," west of the Intracoastal Waterway, a typical small Southern town, and the beach town of "Coronado Beach" east of the Waterway, which rapidly developed from a primitive hunting and farming area in the early 20th century to a prosperous tourist area as highways and bridges were built to connect the beach to the mainland. With the growth of Coronado, the two communities decided to merge into New Smyrna Beach, although many businesses and a church east of the waterway maintain the Coronado name.

Modernization enabled New Smyrna Beach to evolve into first a tourist destination during the 20th century, and later a property boom during the late 2010s and early 2020s. The mainland part of the city saw its standard of living rise exponentially due to immigration from Northeastern and Midwestern states and development, redevelopment, and gentrification of the suburbs, and by 2023 the city had developed into one of several bustling tourist cities along the east coast of Florida.

Orientation edit

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:

Subtropical rainforest in New Smyrna Beach
  • The coast (or "peninsula" or "island" on the east) 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 much of this region of the city remains a marsh. There is a downtown 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. The mainland was until the 21st century sharply divided between Riverside, a wealthy getaway for businessmen and mafia bosses from the North, and the rest of the town, which resembled an ordinary Southern town with segregated white and Black areas. However, many of the poorer parts of town have been bought and gentrified by Northerners, with museums, festivals, and art centers having been built to revitalize the community.
  • The area west of I-95 includes primarily Venetian Bay and rural Samsula. Venetian Bay, a residential area with dozens of man-made lakes, has a golf course, while Samsula is a biker hub and is converted into a campsite for thousands of bikers during Bike Week every March and Biketoberfest each October.

Demographers consider New Smyrna Beach to be part of 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.

To the west of New Smyrna Beach, there are several miles of forest, and then farther west are the cities of DeLand and Orange City; these cities are the northern end of the Orlando metropolitan area.

New Smyrna Beach
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches
See NEW SMYRNA BEACH MARINE DISCOVERY CENTER, FL US's 7 day forecast    Data from NOAA (1981-2010)
Metric conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm

Climate edit

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, during which time forested areas should be avoided.

The time to avoid visiting the city and Central Florida 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, 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 more variable, cold winds on the beach can make the air feel especially unpleasant on a cold winter day.

Tropical cyclones edit

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. Additionally, check other news reports for details on the expected path and dangers of a forecast tropical cyclone.

Visitor information edit

Get in edit

By plane edit

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 (DAB IATA)(the closest); Orlando International Airport (MCO IATA); or Jacksonville International Airport (JAX IATA);.

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 below.

By car edit

  &  : 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 (SR) 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 SR 44 east if you want to go to the beach; it leads through a few miles of suburban development before crossing two major bridges: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge, which goes over US-1 and the railroad, and the South Causeway, which crosses the Intracoastal Waterway. Once you cross the Intracoastal Waterway and enter coastal NSB, SR 44 becomes Atlantic Ave (FL-A1A) and goes south to various resorts and ultimately Canaveral National Seashore.

  Old Dixie Freeway: 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 reach Flagler Avenue from US-1, following Washington St, which becomes the North Causeway.

  Atlantic Ave: You can't access 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).

By train edit

View of New Smyrna Beach

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.

By bus edit

  • 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: +1 800 231-2222. 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.

Get around edit

By bus edit

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).

By car edit

North Causeway, looking northwest

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.

Coast edit

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.

Mainland edit

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.

See edit

Map of New Smyrna Beach

Although the beach is the primary point of interest for tourists visiting New Smyrna Beach, there are several artistic and historic sites, particularly surrounding the Canal Street historic district.

Arts edit

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, +1 386 428-1133. 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, +1 386 427-6975. 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, +1 386 409-0402. 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, +1 386 957-3924. There are several local art galleries 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.

History edit

Part of the Sugar Mill site

No structures, apart from the Old Fort, remain from the Turnbull settlement. That said, the history museum and affiliate organizations have uncovered artifacts from the site. Most of the ruins of the settlement remain buried underneath the current cities of New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater.

  • 5 New Smyrna Museum of History, 120 Sams Ave (just of Canal St, behind Jason's Corner), +1 386 478-0052, . Tu–Sa 10AM–4PM. The museum includes artifacts dating from pre-Columbian times through to the modern era, with an emphasis on the Turnbull settlement. Among the most notable historical artifacts are thousand-year-old Native American tools and a Byzantine Christian medal discovered at one of the Turnbull colony residences. In addition, the museum includes drawn plans and maps of the city demonstrating land grants and geographical features of the region.    
  • 6 Old Fort, 115 Julia St, +1 386 424-2175. The Old Fort, a former house of unknown origin that was converted into a quasi-fort during the Civil War, 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 and the surroundings are walkable. Due to erosion, the foundation is well below the structural level and it is therefore impossible to navigate deep into the pit to reach the rooms, although they can be viewed from above. Around the mansion are several trees and a lawn.    
  • 7 Sugar Mill Ruins, 600 Mission Dr (go south on Mission Dr from Route 44 until reaching a dirt road to the right, marked by a sign), +1 386 736-5953. Circa 1830 this sugar mill was built by colonists with slaves performing the brutal manual labor. The mill quickly proved difficult to sustain, as its operation took place amid the Seminole Wars, and the colonial settlement proved strategic to the conflict. Successful counterattacks by the Seminole Tribe captured the site and it was subsequently burned, although being constructed by coquina stone these fires had relatively little impact on the structure itself, much of which still stands. The site was subsequently abandoned and forgotten for decades before being rediscovered and thought to have been a much older site built by missionaries or even Columbus himself. Large pots and other tools related to the production of sugar remain in the building, in addition to the impressive mill, which was constructed with arches, halls, and furnaces.    

Canals edit

Several canals built by Turnbull have survived to the present day, including 8 Gabordy Canal and 9 Turnbull Canal. The canals are popular for kayaking and lead either directly or indirectly to the modern Intracoastal Waterway system.

Wildlife edit

Sharks live in the Atlantic Ocean, and manatees and dolphins live in the Intracoastal Waterway, weather permitting; manatees cannot survive if the water becomes too cold. The Intracoastal is an excellent bird watching area as pelicans and various smaller birds inhabit the islands of the waterway. Inland, alligators are common in and around lakes throughout the New Smyrna area, in addition to armadillos. Details about the dangers posed by alligators and sharks can be found in the #Stay safe section of this article.

The rainforest contains dense forest, swamp, and open grassland beyond the pines and palm trees seen from local roads. The forest, however, can only be visited during the cooler winter weather, since insects take over during late spring and summer.

  • 10 Disappearing Island. One of the most beautiful sites in NSB, the islet is tidal and accessible only by boat. Local travel agencies organize tours of the island, while locals who are familiar with the tides and waterways come on their own boats. At low tide the islet, which is covered by low shrubs and beaches, offers beautiful views of Ponce Inlet to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway to the north and south.
  • 11 Marine Discovery Center, 520 Barracuda Blvd, +1 386 428-4828. Small aquarium and tour agency. Tours launch from the marina on North Causeway, not the site of the aquarium.
  • 12 Rookery Island. Popular with bird watchers, the islet is one of the primary landmarks of the New Smyrna harbor. The mangroves and scrub covering the islet attract various species of local birds. However, boaters should view from a distance and avoid the islet itself and surrounding sandbanks in order to respect the local wildlife.

Do edit

Beach edit

The beach, looking south

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. The reason for its width is its flatness, particularly in the north. The consequence is that the impact of tides upon the beach is exaggerated. There is a website which provides important information regarding the current status of tides.

Not all of the beach features the same topography. For example, 2 Bethune Beach, a "Blacks-only" beach prior to desegregation, 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 is 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 the shoreline. 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 most dangerous coastline surrounds Ponce Inlet but shark attacks happen everywhere.

The beach is an excellent place to visit for viewing rocket launches. Rockets that have launched from Cape Canaveral can be viewed directly from the beach, as the shoreline from NSB to the cape is straight, on a clear day. First the bright light is seen soaring into the sky, before a few minutes later the faint rumble of the rockets can be heard. The time gap is due to time it takes for sound to travel several miles from the launch site to NSB.

Boating edit

New Smyrna Beach is a good place to visit for those interested in boating
  • 3 Hiles Boat Ramp, 156 Hiles Blvd. Hiles Boat Ramp is a concrete single boat ramp off of Hiles Boulevard.

Events edit

Events in New Smyrna Beach include the weekly farmers' market, annual Art Fiesta, and a jazz festival held each spring.

Fishing edit

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.

  • Fish the Mosquito Lagoon, +1 386 214-3940. Capt. Tony Pantuso is a full-time fishing guide specializing in light tackle inshore fishing for trophy redfish and seatrout.

Golf edit

  • 4 Hidden Lakes Golf Course, 35 Fairgreen Ave, +1 386 427-4138. Small golf course south of Turnbull Bay and the NSB sports complex.
  • 5 New Smyrna Municipal Golf Course, 1000 Wayne Ave, +1 386 424-2192. A larger golf course and Italian restaurant south of Hidden Lakes; the main golf course in the city.
  • 6 Preserve at Turnbull Bay, 2600 Turnbull Estates Dr, +1 386 427-8727. Golf course at Turnbull Estates, a residential community on the west side of Turnbull Bay.
  • 7 Venetian Bay Golf Course, 63 Airport Rd, +1 386 424-5775. The westernmost golf course on the southern side of Venetian Bay. Like the Turnbull Golf Course, it surrounds residential areas and lakes. Following a change in ownership in 2022, the on-site restaurant and general grounds were upgraded.

Parks edit

New Smyrna Dunes Park

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.

  • 8 Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve (County), 1755 Martin Dairy Rd (Make sure, though, that you find the correct entrance to the park, as it has 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. The trail signs tend to be confusing, so use a GPS such as your smartphone on satellite view to keep track of where you are.
  • 9 Flagler Avenue Park. A popular beachfront park where Flagler Ave meets the ocean. The park offers unpaved parking space for the surrounding shops and restaurants on Flagler Ave, while a raised walkway and benches provide view of the beach and the Atlantic. It is one of the various points in New Smyrna that offers public beach access, including to vehicles.
  • 10 Smyrna Dunes Park (County) (north of the Flagler Avenue district), +1 386 424-2935. 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.

Racing edit

Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve

New Smyrna Speedway is in Samsula.

Scuba diving & snorkeling edit

  • 11 Sea Dogs Dive Center Guide & Services, 111 Flagler Ave, +1 386 424-1644. 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.

Tennis edit

  • 12 Detwiler Park Tennis Center (Corner of Oakwood and Horton), +1 386 424-2175. Offers five hard tennis courts in a predominantly residential neighborhood south of Flagler Ave. Free.

Buy edit

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.

Downtown Canal Street area; Canal Street is behind this image
  • 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 a 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.

Eat edit

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.

Coast edit

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), +1 386 424-0757. 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), +1 386 423-8787. 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), +1 386 423-5126. 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), +1 386 427-7475. A healthier foods restaurant with sandwiches, wraps and ice cream.
  • 5 JBs Fish Camp & Seafood Restaurant, 859 Pompano Ave (near the Intracoastal Waterway), +1 386 427-5747. Seafood.
  • 6 Norwoods, 400 Second Ave (on Route 44 just after ending the island via the South Causeway. It's on the left), +1 386 428-4621. 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, +1 386 423-5511. 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, +1 386 428-1865. 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.

Mainland edit

  • 10 Blackbeards, 701 N Dixie Fwy (US-1 about half a mile north of the intersection with Canal Street), +1 386 427-0414. 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.
  • 11 Corkscrew, 235 Canal St (if you're going east on Canal Street, it's on your left. It's surrounded in subtropical plants, so it's hard to miss), +1 386 957-3955. 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.
  • 12 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), +1 386 424-9878. 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.
  • 13 Thai Mango, 424 Canal St (if you're going east on Canal Street, it's on your right), +1 386 428-0208. Receives praise from reviewers for its Thai cuisine.
  • 14 Yellow Dog Eats, 147 Canal St (The restaurant has a somewhat narrow entrance toward the eastern end of Canal Street), +1 386 410-4824. Locals often recommend this restaurant, although it is one of the smaller units along Canal Street.
  • 15 Spanish River Grill, 1518 S Dixie Fwy, . The Grill, which offers Spanish and American cuisine specializing in tapas, has operated at multiple locations in the city for decades but has now moved to US-1. Most options on the menu are in the low double digits in price.
  • 16 City Market Bistro, 124 Canal St (next to The Hub on Canal St), +1 386 402-4429. Local cuisine specializing in farm-to-table.

West of I-95 edit

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.

  • 17 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), +1 386 402-4657. 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.
  • 18 Happy Deli, 424 Luna Bella Ln #128 (in the same shopping area as Bistro 424, but facing directly onto the street), +1 386 410-3776. Featuring American cuisine and includes a Boar's Head outdoor BBQ, this deli/cafe literally has "happy" written all over it.
  • 19 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.

Drink edit

Coast edit

  • 1 The Breakers, 518 Flagler Ave, +1 386 428-2019. This place is a beach bar/restaurant, far from fancy, with the oceanfront setting and great cheeseburgers.

Mainland edit

Sleep edit

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.

Budget edit

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, +1 386 427-3786, . 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, +1 386 428-4491. Poor cleanliness standards according to a review.
  • 3 Pooles Motel, 635 N Dixie Fwy, +1 386 428-9819. Reviews are generally positive, with some criticizing the rooms for being out-of-date.

Mid-range edit

  • 4 Atlantic Plaza, 425 S Atlantic Ave (very close to the beach), +1 386 427-4636. Twenty-two 2-bedroom, 2-bath non-smoking condo units.
  • 5 Best Western Beach Hotel and Suites, 1401 S Atlantic Ave (by the ocean), +1 386 426-0020. 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.
  • 6 Buena Vista Inn & Vacation Apartments, 500 N Causeway, +1 386 428-5565. Receives consistently high ratings, with the vast majority of reviewers in the highest categories.
  • 7 Islander Beach Resort, 1601 S Atlantic Ave, +1 386 427-3452. Its location is a significant advantage, being close to the beach, a major contributor to its high ratings.
  • 8 Ocean Sands Beach Club, 3208 Hill St, +1 386 427-1151. Another hotel near the beach, it receives generally high ratings from reviewers.
  • 9 Oceania Beach Club and Suites, 421 S Atlantic Ave, +1 386 423-8400. Highly rated due to its proximity to the Flagler Ave district and the entrance to the beach.
  • 10 Sea Vista Motel, 1701 S Atlantic Ave, +1 386 428-2195. 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.
  • 11 Hampton Inn, 214 Flagler Ave (Flagler Ave, close to the North Causeway), +1 386 898-9444. 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.
  • 12 Night Swan, 512 S Riverside Dr, +1 386 423-4940, . House converted to bed & breakfast adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway.
  • 13 Black Dolphin Inn, 916 S Riverside Dr, +1 386 410-4868. Mansion turned to hotel on Riverside Dr near the Intracoastal Waterway.

Splurge edit

  • 14 Marriott Springhill Suites, 512 Flagler Ave (turn left just before the entrance to the beach), +1 386 427-0512, toll-free: +1-888-287-9400. 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.
  • 15 Minorca, Minorca Beach Way, +1 386 478-7863. Offers luxurious rentals, and the utmost in privacy. About $400 daily.

Campgrounds edit

Stay safe edit

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, it's no excuse for responsible tourists to do so.

Respect edit

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.

Connect edit

Seven digit dialing is in effect for local calls in the New Smyrna Beach area, and the local area code is 386.

Radio stations edit

There are about 20 radio stations in Volusia County.

AM edit

  • WSBB, 1230 AM, New Smyrna Beach, Standards

FM edit

  • 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

Cope edit

Medical care edit

There is an urgent care center just off Route 44 (mainland) and another one in Edgewater along US-1.

Religious services edit

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.

Go next edit

  • Just south of New Smyrna lies the Canaveral National Seashore, which offers excellent swimming, bird watching, and hiking opportunities.
  • Southwest of New Smyrna are several recreation areas near Lake Ashby.
  • 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 BeachPort Orange  N   S  MimsWest Palm Beach
Daytona BeachPort Orange  N   S  MimsWest Palm Beach
Mount Dora / EustisDeLand  W   E  → Jct  END

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