ActivitiesThere's more to New Smyrna Beach rentals than the sun and sand, although that will most likely make up a good chunk of your itinerary. Have fun exploring what else this beach town on the Florida Central Atlantic Coast has to offer.
Beaches New Smyrna’s beaches alone are enough to keep any family excited and entertained for their entire vacation. Situated amidst the mossy trees along the shores of Volusia County’s Indian River, they have a unique beauty to marvel at. In New Smyrna you can relax on the beaches with more serenity and peace than you find with the crowds and noise characteristic of other Florida beaches. The readers of the Florida Monthly Magazine voted New Smyrna the “Best Beach in Florida,” and visitors love to come here for sunning and beach-combing on the soft, inviting sands. There are many other alluring activities to choose from as well, like sailing, windsurfing, fishing, diving, snorkeling and more.
New Smyrna is also right next to Canaveral National Seashore, one of the longest stretches of pristine coastline in the whole country, affording a fabulous opportunity to teach kids a bit about mother earth and ecology. Canaveral National Seashore is a 57,000 acre national park that is home to a lagoon, salt marsh, dunes and over 250 species of animals and birds, several of them endangered.
From May through October, Volusia beaches are hosts to the annual arrival of their unusual marine visitors, the sea turtles. These fascinating creatures emerge from the surf at night to dig nests in the dry sand in which to lay their eggs. When finished laying their eggs, they leave the nest unattended and return to the sea. Two months later the area bursts to life, as about one hundred baby sea turtles emerge from each nest to and instinctively crawl to the ocean, covering the sand with thousands upon thousands of tiny determined newborns. This spectacular cycle of nature is thousands of years old and is awe-inspiring to experience in person. Volusia County has taken several precautions to protect the delicate creatures. The beaches of New Smyrna breed more than just fun, they breed life.
Historical SitesThe Turnbull Ruins, a coquina-block building foundation that overlooks the Intercoastals, is a popular historical site. It’s been said that Andrew Turnbull tried to build his personal mansion on the original coquina remains. A foundation of sea coquina block was set, but the work was never finished. The origins of the first ruins are still unknown, but some believe that they may be remnants of a pre-colonial fort or a colonial church. The Sugar Mill Ruins are another popular attraction for visitors. The site is home to what was once a very busy sugar mill constructed during the uprisings of the Native Americans in the early 1800s. The Sugar Mill Ruins are an evocation of a time when the Seminole Indians fought with the settlers, affecting the molasses and sugar industries.
Flagler AvenueFlagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach’s history-laden beach-side shopping district has an Old World charm that appeals to visitors from far and near. It is ideally situated between Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, and is a real-life seaside beach district with a mixture of diners, restaurants, art shops and quaint hotels. You won’t find any chains or “big box” stores around here. Here you will find 50 unique shops that are truly beachside and just steps from the sea.
The Flagler Avenue Walk of Fame gives you an opportunity to buy a “Walk of Fame” brick. For $50 you can engrave a brick with a personalized message, and it will be placed right in the Flagler Avenue’s walkway. Falger also has a small pool hall, a shuffleboard court park, a late-hours seafood café and a bustling beach at the end of the roadway. When you visit Flagler Avenue, definitely make the Beacon Diner a stop. The food here is delicious, and the cooks truly put their hearts into every dish they make. It’s a local hangout where the residents come to have a great time while they feast on some of the best food in town. For breakfast the biscuits and gravy and home fries are to die for. The lunches are superb with burgers, fries and shakes that are out of this world. For dinner, try the fried oysters, crab cakes and fresh fish with great salads and warm delicious French bread. Yummy! The Beacon is casual, so you can walk in barefoot from the beach or wet from surfing and grab a bite, and no one will mind. It’s the norm here. Flagler Avenue is a must-see for anyone vacationing in New Smyrna.