Interesting Places to Visit in New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Tucked away on the central east coast of Florida and only a few miles south of Daytona; lies a hidden gem known as New Smyrna Beach. This quaint and charming coastal city is reminiscent of an era gone by, where the people are friendly and happy, and life is conducted at a much slower pace.
From beaches to surfing and golf to auto racing, New Smyrna Beach offers something for everyone. Art enthusiasts, food connoisseurs, bargain hunters, sun worshippers and environmentalists flock to New Smyrna Beach to rejuvenate, regenerate, and explore.
Rich in history and abundant in art, New Smyrna Beach has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Art Towns in America” and one of the “Top Small Cities for the Arts.” Additionally, New Smyrna Beach has consistently been voted as “Best Beach in Florida” and “World’s Safest Bathing Beach.”
Interesting Places to Visit in New Smyrna Beach : For Art and Music Enthusiasts
New Smyrna Beach is an art and music enthusiasts dream come true. Home to the prestigious Atlantic Center for the Arts, this non-profit arts education facility attracts talented artists from around the globe. Nestled on 69 acres of pristine property, the Center features a 200-seat amphitheatre, performance theatre, and numerous art studios. The Center bestows both residents and visitors’ ample opportunity to interact with artists through a variety of community outreach programs presented throughout the year.
Annually, New Smyrna Beach is host to a number of art and music festivals including the prestigious, Image: A Festival of the Arts, held in mid-February and the renowned Jazz Festival, held each September. Each year thousands of music lovers descend upon New Smyrna Beach to attend concerts that feature world-famous musicians. Residents and visitors alike, flock to Flagler Avenue and Canal Street, where they can locate unique works of art on display by more than 100 artists.
Interesting Places to Visit in New Smyrna Beach : For Food Connoisseurs
Visitors to New Smyrna Beach never leave hungry. From ice cream to filet mignon, there is something to delight the palate of everyone. Many of the locals turn to Merk’s Bar and Grill when they want a good burger and fries. PJs Seafood Shack is the place to go when you want a fresh seafood dinner at a great price. Both restaurants offer a relaxed, comfortable and welcoming environment where you can dine indoors or outside.
For Sunday brunch, try the Grille at Riverview. Be sure to save room for one of their decadent desserts such as the classic vanilla bean crème brulee or the luscious profiterole – a pastry puff filled with cream and glazed with hot fudge. To die for!
The Mon Delice’ Bakery will tantalize your taste buds with their authentic French pastries and freshly baked breads. Heavenly Sandwiches and Smoothies provide you with a healthy alternative and feature home-made soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps. If you love coffee drinks, indulge in the Caramel Coffee Bean Smoothie. It’s made from low-fat yogurt so you can indulge guilt-free.
You’ll find dozens of local shops with tempting treats and a multitude of restaurants in New Smyrna Beach. A visit to the local Farmer’s Market will net you garden-fresh produce and fresh baked goods. Regardless of where you go, you’ll find delicious food at affordable prices and the service always comes with a smile.
Interesting Places to Visit in New Smyrna Beach : For Water Enthusiasts
New Smyrna Beach is completely surrounded by water with the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Intracoastal Waterway to the west, and Mosquito Lagoon in between the two. Water recreation is a way of life in this laid-back coastal community, with everything from swimming and scuba diving to marine life expeditions and saltwater fishing excursions.
Boating is the local pastime in New Smyrna Beach and a variety of boating adventures are available to visitors. Many of the local marinas rent all types of watercraft including boats, kayaks, canoes and jet skis. If you have your own boat, by all means bring it. Locally, there are four boat ramps, and many others in nearby towns.
Interesting Places to Visit in New Smyrna Beach : For Ecology Enthusiasts
The Marine Discovery Center is the perfect choice for those who want to learn more about Florida’s diverse ecology. Tours take place daily onboard a 40-passenger pontoon boat, and generally last about two hours. Visitors can participate in a variety of tours including Eco-tours which take place during daytime hours and at sunset; the informative and educational History tour; and special tours such as the Kayak Adventure Tour.
The Eco tours are the most popular and focus on providing passengers with an “up close and personal” experience of the unique creatures that inhabit the remote backwaters of the Indian River Lagoon. IRL is home to more than 300 bird species, 685 fish species, 1350 plant species and 2,765 animal species. Photography opportunities abound, so take your camera and make certain you have fresh batteries and plenty of film. Afterwards, submit up to three of your photos to the St. Johns River Water Management District; host of the 2008 Indian River Lagoon Calendar Photo Contest.* Marine Discovery Center tours are conducted daily, but check the schedule for times, as they vary with the season.
Smyrna Dunes Park is a hidden treasure offering 250 acres of nature to explore. Stroll along more than two miles of walkways to discover a wide variety of animals, reptiles, birds, marine life and vegetation in their natural habitat.
Fishing is allowed throughout the park and all saltwater fishing regulations apply. Swimming is also allowed at Smyrna Dunes, but make note that there are no lifeguards on duty and never swim alone. The dunes are protected, so stay on the walkways at all times and never remove anything from the park.
Smyrna Dunes is a place where you can get away from the hustle bustle of the more populated beaches. Oftentimes, you won’t find more than a handful of people there at one time. You’ll love the soft white sand, the jetty, the solitude and the peace and quiet. Give yourself plenty of time to explore the many wonders and abundant beauty that Smyrna Dunes has to offer.
Interesting Places to Visit in New Smyrna Beach : For Bargain Hunters
Treasures abound in New Smyrna Beach. From aromatherapy to wine, visitors can stroll down palm tree lined streets as they search for the perfect souvenir or gift.
Flagler Avenue is considered to be the premier shopping area in New Smyrna Beach. Five blocks in length, it runs from the river to the ocean and is filled with art galleries, gift shops, boutiques and restaurants.
Canal Street is located in the heart of New Smyrna Beach. Although the downtown area consists of only a few blocks, you’ll find many hidden treasures here. Romesco’s Market Café and Wine Bar offers some of the finest selections of wines and cheeses in the area. The Little Drug Company has been an icon in the community since 1920 and features an old fashioned soda shop that will transport you back to the 1950s. Canal Street shops are packed with a wide range of products, specialty items, art galleries and antiques – all within a few blocks.
Interesting Places to Visit in New Smyrna Beach : For Relaxation Enthusiasts
New Smyrna Beach is known for its golf courses, which include two public, four private and one semi-private facility. The two public facilities are: Hidden Lakes Golf Course which lays claim to having the “best par 3 in Florida” and New Smyrna Beach Municipal Golf Course, which is heavily bunkered.
When it’s time to wind down, visitors can indulge in a variety of spa services offered at Abundant Health Day Spa or the Spa at Riverview. Services range from manicures and pedicures, to half-day packages that pamper you from head to toe and include a gourmet lunch.
New Smyrna Beach is definitely a laid-back coastal community that is free of the crowds and noise that plague other Florida beaches. It is the perfect vacation spot for the young and young-at-heart. It provides plenty of activities for families and solitude for lovers and will make you wish you never had to leave.
Interesting Places to Visit in New Smyrna Beach