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Florida Beaches Guide - New Smyrna Beach

Beach 411 ~ New Smyrna Beach

Northern most tip of Space Coast, in Volusia County

  • Beach type: family oriented
  • Beach geography: very wide, flat, room to spread out, fine soft sand, Atlantic-side with high tides and a powerful undertow. Often windy.
  • Ease of access: lots of access off Gulf Blvd with designated public parking at intervals for a few $$ (metered)
  • Extra costs: no extra costs for pedestrians to access the beach – but there is a $10 fee for vehicles (allowed on the beach sunrise to sunset). Beach chairs and all manner of beach activities are available to rent as well.
  • Beach amenities: In front of the major hotels are the activity rentals (paddle boards, wave runners, Aqua cycles) and chair/lounge/daybed rentals. Ample restaurants and washroom facilities along the entire stretch.
  • Special note: to keep the kids amused, head up towards the TradeWinds for the multi-story inflatable slides and activities.
  • Geo-locator: Where is New Smyrna Beach?

One of the world’s coolest surf towns

In November 2013, Travel & Leisure Magazine rate the town of New Smyrna as one of the top 15 “World’s Coolest Surf Towns.” In fact, it was the only city on the east coast of the United States to make the top 15 list. Whether you come to soak up the sun, cast a line into the surf, build sand castles with the kids or cruise along the shoreline in your convertible, New Smyrna Beach is 500 feet wide at low tide – lots of room for everyone.

New Smyrna Beach activities & attractions

spanish ruins, New Smyrna BeachA visit to New Smyrna Beach will help you uncomplicate life. Although recent years has increased visitors to the area, it rarely feels crowded – although traffic can be frustrating. Our advice? Park your car and walk everywhere.

Residents are immensely protective of their Spanish ruins, which some argue are the original St. Augustine settlement. Whether they are or not, no one knows but if you’re a history buff, they’re worth a visit.

If you’re eager for some beach shopping, there are two areas you’ll want to focus on:

  • boutiques on Flagler AveFlagler Avenue – On the inlet stretching from the beach (on the Atlantic) to the canal, the street is filled with all sorts of shopping. Pricey boutiques to kitschy tourist traps, gourmet restaurants to burger joints, you’ll find the whole gamut.
  • Canal Street – On the other side of the drawbridge (mainland) Canal is a mirror of Flagler – though with a wider street and more of a city feel. You’ll find more home décor and artisan shops over here. On the weekends, enjoy the market in the park beside the Spanish ruins.

artisan shops on Canal St. New Smyrna is surrounded with attractions in all directions. Drive an hour south and you’ll find the Kennedy Space Center. Drive half hour north and you'll run into the Daytona International Speedway. Let out your inner child by heading an hour or so southeast and visiting Walt Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios.

There’s always something going on at New Smyrna Beach – all four seasons. The New Smyrna Beach Visitor’s Bureau has a full listing, regardless of the time of year you visit.

New Smyrna hotels

From May to October, artificial light to the beach is minimized and hotels on the beach are diligent in helping their guests comply. The light reduction is to help nesting turtles go toward the ocean, instead of toward hotels and the street. But you won’t miss the light – the ocean is beautiful on its own.

Inn on the Avenue, New Smyrna BeachInn on the Avenue – Located on the iconic Flagler Ave, the Inn on the Avenue is smack in the center of all the shops and restaurants and a 5 minute walk from the beach – close enough to enjoy the sand but far enough to escape the wind. Although the inn was built in 2013, it mimics fashion from a century ago, with over-sized duvets and cozy rooms. Nightly rates range from $170 to $350 a night. They’re known for the breakfast so be sure to make time to eat before you leave for the day.

Riverview Inn and SpaRiverview Hotel & Spa – Built more than 130 years, you’ll fall in love with the charm of the Riverview Hotel & Spa the moment you arrive. Rooms overlook either the pool or the river and are small but luxuriously appointed. Bikes are available to all guests – and there are bike lanes everywhere so safety isn’t a concern. Nightly rates range from $170 to %350 per night. Enjoy your meals at the Riverview restaurant – we highly recommend cocktails on the Key West Deck. Bliss!

Best Western – If you want a room that overlooks the ocean and is literally on the sand, the Best Western is an economical choice. Don’t expect anything fancy but the hotel is clean, staff is friendly and there’s a restaurant onsite if needed. This hotel is our top choice if proximity to the beach overrides your need for creature comforts.

For more hotel recommendations throughout the New Smyrna Beach area, we recommend exploring Booking.com.

New Smyrna restaurants

Norwoods Eatery and Treehouse BarNorwood’s Eatery and Treehouse Bar – If you’ve never eaten dinner in a treehouse, you must visit Norwood’s. The restaurant is actually built around a pair of trees with a catwalk between the two. While the experience is very cool, the food is equally impressive.

The Garlic's zesty goodnessThe Garlic – Also built around a grove of trees, The Garlic is all on one level and it’s very hard to tell whether you’re eating inside or out. Unless it rains. I walked to the restaurant and could smell the garlic from blocks away. Their signature “mashed garlic” is served with bread (no charge) – soaked in olive oil and slow roasted, the garlic clove is mashed at the table and used as a spread on Italian bread. The rest of your experience will be equally inspired.

Third Wave delightsWake-Up Café – If you’re a breakfast foodie, the Wake-Up Café is the best place in town to start your day. They don’t have a website but you can catch up with them on Facebook if you’re curious what other travelers have to say about them.

Some of our other favorites (in no particular order) include: Spanish River Grill, Third Wave, Garden Fusion and Café Verde.

New Smyrna Beach (Space Coast) weather

Space Coast weatherThe Atlantic side of the Florida coast differs distinctly from the inner gulf coast. This Atlantic side will more often be affected by winds buffeting off the ocean, thereby affecting water currents, tidal effects and undertows. More prone to the harsh effects of hurricanes, it’s amazing how 100 miles from Gulf to Atlantic side changes the weather patterns. Summertime temperatures can reach well into the 90's ‘F where winter temps are milder with highs reaching 70 ‘F and lows dipping to 40 ‘F range. Water temperature fluctuates between 65°F (coolest December through March) peaking to 80°F in the heat of July and August.

For more information or help planning your next Florida getaway, visit:

For more information or help planning your next Florida getaway, visit our other Florida Beaches:

Ever been to New Smyrna Beach in the Florida? We'd love hear what you love about it! Drop a comment below or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook – and let's continue the conversation!

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