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New Smyrna Beach For the Whole Family

by Holly Riddle

Apr 28, 2018

© New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau

Destinations / North America

Head to a new Florida family destination — not Orlando, not Amelia Island, but New Smyrna Beach. The barrier island in East-Central Florida offers 17 miles of sand and plenty of stay options, whether you’re looking for a private condo, vacation rental or the resort lifestyle. Plus, you’re just a short hop away from three airports. What’s there to do once you reach this underutilized vacation destination?



There are several different beaches to enjoy in the New Smyrna area, based on your family’s preferences and activity levels. North Beach is popular with surfers (in fact, it was recently named one of the “Best Surf Towns in America” by Surfer Magazine). It’s also a fun spot to try surf fishing — the catch of the day ranges from redfish to Spanish mackerel to flounder. There are beach parks nearby with oceanfront playgrounds and beach volleyball.

NSB Sunrise (10)

Photo: New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau


Central Beach is particularly popular with families. You can pull your vehicle right onto the sand, with plenty of space despite the vehicle traffic (the beach is 500 feet wide at low tide).


Past 27th Avenue and heading south, the beach becomes traffic-free. You’ll find Bethune Beach in that direction, which makes history as the only beach in the county up until the 1950s that permitted entrance to African American beachgoers.


Other Outdoor Attractions

The Canaveral National Seashore is a 24-mile stretch of shoreline that acts as a refuge to native wildlife, including nesting sea turtles.


Smyrna Dunes Park is likewise a quiet shorefront along the Intracoastal Waterway, with 73 acres surrounded by water on three sides. There’s a two-mile boardwalk and large fishing pier, and it’s a great site to spot birds, turtles and dolphins. You might even catch a famous pup or two, like @elote.the.dachshund or @hankthetank_frenchie! You can also view the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse from this vantage point.


Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore. Photo: Canaveral National Seashore

While you’re in the area, be sure to check out North America’s most diverse estuary, the Indian River Lagoon.


One great thing about the New Smyrna Beach shores? Unique for Florida beaches, beach bonfires are allowed in designated spots November through April (to account for sea turtle nesting season).


Next year is New Smyrna Beach’s 250th birthday and beyond the beaches you’ll find a smattering of the area’s history, as the second-oldest city in Florida and site of the largest single attempt at British colonization in the New World.

Smyrna Dunes Park New Fishing Pier

© New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau


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