New Smyrna Beach Thing to do
Welcome to the premier online travel guide to New Smyrna Beach, Florida showcasing hundreds of exciting attractions throughout Central Florida including New Smyrna and the neighboring Daytona Beach Region.
New Smyrna Beach is famous for its beautiful white, sandy beaches stretching approximately 13 miles in length and surrounded on one side by the Intracoastal Waterway and Indian River and on the other by the Atlantic Ocean and Canaveral National Seashore Park.
Blue skies meet over 13 miles of white sand in New Smyrna Beach, voted one of the “Best Beaches” in the Annual Best of Florida Awards.
From the Turnbull and Sugar Mill Ruins to the Eldora State House and the Ponce Inlet lighthouse, the area is rich in history. 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 and Arts on Douglas.
Flagler Avenue and Canal Street feature quaint shops and cafes. It should be no surprise that the second oldest city in Florida is also home to many antique shopping pavilions.
The resort community of New Smyrna Beach is ideally located in Central Florida and offers visitors a delightful year-round vacation destination. New Smyrna is the closest ocean resort to well-known tourist attractions including the nearby Kennedy Space Center and Orlando’s entertainment capital featuring the famous Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World.
New Smyrna is close to Central Florida’s theme parks and a short drive from the Orlando and Daytona Beach International Airports.
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
New Smyrna Beach is known as ‘The World’s Safest Bathing Beach’ as Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
well as ‘The Redfish Capital of the World’. Here visitors can find world-class angling, boating, surfing, golf, tennis as well as miles of pristine inland waterways for canoeing and kayaking.
New Smyrna Beach offers visitors a multitude of wonderful attractions including the famous Sugar Mill Ruins, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, Marine Discovery Center, Smyrna Dunes Park, New Smyrna Museum of History, Turtle Mound,
Atlantic Center for the Arts
1414 Art Center Ave. New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 Local Phone: 386-427-6975 Toll-Free U.S./Canada: 800-393-6975 Fax: 386-427-5669
New Smyrna Beach is the proud home of Atlantic Center for the Arts.. The center is a nonprofit interdisciplinary artists-in-residence community and education facility dedicated to promoting artistic excellence. Atlantic Center provides mid-career artists an opportunity to work with some of the world’s most distinguished contemporary artists in the fields of composing, visual, literary, and performing arts. Open daily, the public gallery exhibits the works of the artists-in-residence. Performances, outreaches, and receptions provide the opportunity for the public to interact with the artists. Directions: Exit 84 (New Smyrna Beach) off I-95; E. to U.S.1; N. on U.S.1 approx. 3 mi., past the NSB Airport; entrance onto Art Center Ave. on L. (Westside) of U.S.1.
Canaveral National Seashore
Just south of New Smyrna lies the Canaveral National Seashore, which offers excellent swimming, bird watching, hiking and more. Anglers at nearby Mosquito Lagoon have set international records with giant redfish catches. Deep-sea charters leave New Smyrna Beach daily.
Canaveral National Seashore is on a barrier island that includes ocean, beach, dune, hammock, lagoon, salt marsh, and pine flatland habitats. The barrier island and adjacent waterways offer a blend of plant and animal life. Records show that 1,045 species of plants and 310 species of birds can be found in the park. Visitors may enjoy walking nature and historical trails during the cool winter months. Throughout the year opportunities for recreational activities include; lagoon and surf fishing, boating, canoeing, surfing, sunbathing, swimming, hiking, horseback riding, and backcountry camping.
New Smyrna Speedway
3939 S.R. 44 New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 Local Phone: 386-427-4129
Enjoy auto racing every Saturday night from the middle of Mar. – Dec. beginning at 7:30 p.m. Front gate opens at 6 p.m. Call for racing information Jan. – Mar. Racing held nightly during special events. Located midway between I-95 and I-4 at the corner S.R.44 and S.R. 415.
Marine Discovery Center
118 N. Causeway New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169 Local Phone: 386-428-4828 Toll-Free U.S./Canada: 866-257-4828
Wildlife Nature Tours and River of History Tours of the Indian River Lagoon aboard “Discovery” our Coast Guard approved 40-foot pontoon boat with a certified Florida Naturalist/biologist with many years of experience on the Intracoastal Waterway, the most diverse estuary in North America and one of the cleanest left in the world. We also offer guided kayak tours. One of Florida’s best wildlife experiences. MDC is dedicated to protecting our marine environment.
In 1877 property was purchased for the creation of Eldora, a small community situated on the southern inland waterway. The exact population of early Eldora was not known, deeds and tax records indicate 50-75 people. The agricultural community thrived since travel along the waterway was faster and safer than the ocean. Their Eldora’s decline began after three freezes during the late 1880s and 1890’s destroying the citrus crops.
After 1900 – After 1910, the Eldora “State” House, a large home on the water’s edge was built. It has a Dutch Colonial design with plain, yet graceful features such as a gambrel roof and columns surrounding the front porch. The style is open and airy; they have full use of the attic and a widow’s walk. Today, two buildings remain the Eldora “State” House and a post office/citrus packinghouse. Directions: It is located in the North District of Canaveral National Seashore, south of New Smyrna Beach on A-1A. From the district’s Parking #8, a short walk will take park visitors to the edge of Mosquito Lagoon and remains on the Eldora Community.
New Smyrna Museum of History
120 Sams Ave. New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 Local Phone: 386-478-0052
New Smyrna Beach the Museum’s main exhibit features the Turnbull Colony with additional exhibits from the Pre-Columbian era, Spanish Periods, British Period, Seminole Wars, Civil War, Railroad Era, and the 20th Century. Built-in 1901, The Connor Library originally served as the area’s local library and was donated to the city in 1924. Today, The Connor Library Museum, the oldest municipal building in New Smyrna Beach, serves as a museum of local history.
Dating back to 2000 BC, the Timucuan Indian civilization created Turtle Mound over a period of several hundred years. A kitchen midden made up of oyster and shellfish remains, Turtle Mound is seen seven miles out at sea and resembles the shape of a turtle. The highest point of elevation in the New Smyrna Beach area, Turtle Mound stands 50 feet tall and covers two acres. Located in Canaveral National Seashore Park, a trail to its peak leads to a spectacular panoramic view of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. Directions: Located south of A1A in Canaveral National Seashore.
This coquina block foundation represents the colonization by Dr. Andrew Turnbull from 1766-1777. It’s believed that he attempted to build his personal mansion on these coquina remains. Although the origination of the ruins is unknown, it’s theorized that they may be the remnants of a pre-colonial fort or a colonial church.
Sugar Mill Ruins
This once highly functional sugar mill was built during the uprisings of the Native Americans in the early 1800s. The mill, the sugar plantations, and all the buildings in New Smyrna were destroyed during the war between the Seminole Indians and the United States.
New Smyrna Beach also features unique shopping in two distinct historic districts – downtown Canal Street and oceanside Flagler Ave. Both offer an eclectic mix of boutiques, shops, galleries, restaurants, and antique stores. Visitors and shoppers alike can find a rich variety of historic, artistic, and cultural attractions throughout the greater New Smyrna region.
New Smyrna is the second oldest settled city in Florida offering visitors several historical sites and museums. You can visit the Eldora House, New Smyrna Museum of History, Sugar Mill Ruins, Turnbull Ruins, and the Turtle Mounds.
Long before Juan Ponce de Leon sailed Florida’s east coast in 1513 searching for a “Fountain of Youth,” Timucuan Indians lived in the New Smyrna Beach area. Nomadic hunters and gatherers, they inhabited this area 10,000 year ago. But Timucuans disappeared within 200 years of Ponce de Leon’s landing, victims of European infections and slavery. Only their shell mounds survived. Dr. Amos W. Butler, an Indian archaeologist, identified 22 mounds between Port Orange and Oak Hill in his “Observations on Some Shell Mounds on the Eastern Coast of Florida,” published in 1917. Nearly all 22 were destroyed for use as road material.
The Florida State Historical Society saved Turtle Mound in 1924, purchasing Canaveral National Seashore for $8,000. Today it is a designated State Historic Memorial. Visible seven miles out to sea, Turtle Mound has been a navigational aid since the 1500s.
Preparations had been made for about 500 colonists, not 1,200 plus. This made New Smyrna the largest British attempt at colonization in the New World, nearly three times larger than Jamestown, Virginia. As an economic enterprise, New Smyrna succeeded, perhaps the most lucrative of all New World colonies.
The rich history of Southeast Volusia, especially New Smyrna, makes it Florida’s third most important historical area. The New Smyrna Beach area provides a union of history and nature. Visitors can explore a mix of historic ruins, waterways, a national park, and landmarks serving as bridges to the past.