The charms of New Smyrna Beach are as endless as the beaches are beautiful. This Florida beach town perfectly blends active adventure with laid-back attitude for an unforgettable getaway vacation. The allures of this coastal town are endless. Explore the 13 miles (21 km) of golden-hued beaches and dive into the refreshing Atlantic surf for ocean escapades galore.
On dry land you can soak up the sun, as well as the vibrant art scene, shop in the unique boutiques lining the quirky downtown area, and explore intriguing historical sites. New Smyrna Beach has so much to offer. Here’s a list of the ten best things to do while you’re in town!
1. Smyrna Dunes Park
Dip your toes in the sand dunes and marvel at the picturesque delights of this wind-swept park. Stunning beauty surrounds Smyrna Dunes Park, as water from the Indian River flows through Ponce Inlet and joins the brilliant Atlantic surf. With an observation tower, nature trails, and a dune walk, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the five different ecosystems this unique park encompasses, and the wide variety of animals, birds, and marine life that call the park home. You can also enjoy the beautiful peninsula from the water with boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities available.
Smyrna Dunes Park
Address: 2995 N Peninsula Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
Website: Smyrna Dunes Park
2. BiPlane Flight Tours
The beach vistas of New Smyrna Beach are incredibly impressive - elevate your viewpoint with a BiPlane Flight tour! Each tour takes you to the sky in a classic 1941 open cockpit biplane and lets you enjoy unprecedented panoramas of the coastline. Get a bird’s eye view of iconic town landmarks, like the Ponce De Leon Inlet lighthouse and watch the sands of the pristine Cape Canaveral Nature Preserve beaches twinkle in the sun. Any of the four tours is a memorable way to see the sights and enjoy Florida’s spectacular natural beauty.
BiPlane Flight Tours
Address: 2096 Aero Cir, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
Website: BiPlane Flight Tours
3. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum
The historic Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is an icon of New Smyrna Beach and the coastline. Measuring 175 feet (53 meters) tall, the historic establishment is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and is a National Historic Landmark! Visitors can learn more about the lighthouse’s history and the keepers who lived there and view a large collection of Fresnel lenses, including the restored, original Ponce Inlet lighthouse first-order Fresnel lens.
For superb views of the surrounding coastline, climb the 203 steps to the top of the lighthouse tower and look out over the brilliant, blue ocean waves.
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum
Address: 4931 S Peninsula Dr, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127
4. Turtle Mound River Tours
Explore Florida’s prehistoric roots at Turtle Mound. Constructed by the Timucuan Indians, 33,000 cubic yards (25,230.3 cubic meters) of oyster shells make this the largest shell midden in the continental United States. Hiking trails in the Canaveral National Seashore lead to the site, or you can view the 50 foot (15 meter) high formation while on a Turtle Mound River tour.
The excursions highlight the natural beauty and the rich ecological diversity of the area. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, manatees, and seabirds, as a knowledgeable guide leads you along the Indian River Lagoon Estuary.
Turtle Mound River Tours
Address: 859 Pompano Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
Website: Turtle Mound River Tours
5. Sugar Mill Ruins
Take a step back into history and ramble over the ruins of an ancient sugar mill. Built in the early 19th century, the sugar mill was once a part of the Cruger-dePeyster Plantation and now makes up a 17 acre (7 hectare) site listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
The ruins are made of coquina, a mortar made of seashells and survived the Second Seminole War in 1835 which destroyed the rest of the plantation. Today, visitors can walk along nature trails, rove over the ruins, or sit back under the pine trees and enjoy a picnic.
Sugar Mill Ruins
Address: 600 Mission Drive, New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Website: Sugar Mill Ruins
6. Marine Discovery Center
More than 4,000 species of plants and animals live along the Indian River Lagoon and the Marine Discovery Center encourages you to immerse yourself in their habitat. On their ecotourism expeditions, educated naturalists lead you by boat or kayak through mangrove shorelines, over sand bars, and across the lagoon. Explore the lush landscape as you watch ospreys and pelicans soar above you or bottlenose dolphins play in the wake of the boat.
Gentle manatees may also come up and greet you as you travel across the estuary. Each excursion is an adventure of exploration and education, with eight different tours available. In addition to the tours, the center also allows you to have interactive, hands-on experiences in their educational center.
Marine Discovery Center
Address: 520 Barracuda Blvd, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
Website: Marine Discovery Center
7. New Smyrna Museum of History
Walk through time as you explore the exhibits in the New Smyrna Museum of History. Starting from prehistoric Florida, 12 different time periods are represented through the exhibits. Learn about New Smyrna’s founders, the Mediterranean colonists who were led by the Scottish physician Dr. Andrew Turnbull, and dive into the special collections of the upstairs exhibit by Zelia Wilson Sweett.
The Sheldon Research Library which contains documents, books, and periodicals is open by appointment and complements the Interior Gallery of the museum.
New Smyrna Museum of History
Address: 120 Sams Avenue, New Smyrna Beach Fl 32168
Website: New Smyrna Museum of History
8. Canaveral National Seashore
Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and the best place to enjoy the balmy weather is at Canaveral National Seashore. This barrier island ecosystem boasts pristine beaches, sparkling ocean panoramas, and a rich array of plant, animal, and marine life. Mosquito Lagoon is one of the most diverse and productive estuaries in the United States and contributes to the sumptuous natural beauty of the area.
In this protected area, there are 24 miles (7 km) of undeveloped, glimmering, sandy beaches, so there is not a bad view throughout the park. Forget about your worries as you soak in the sunshine, the surf, and the relaxing atmosphere of the seashore.
Canaveral National Seashore
Address: Titusville, FL
Website: Canaveral National Seashore
9. New Smyrna Speedway
The smaller New Smyrna Speedway is a fantastic complement to the nearby Daytona International Speedway and NASCAR viewers will recognize the track as the setting of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. The high-banked half-mile (.8 km) track is known as the “World Center of Racing,” and serves as the testing facility for teams from the Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck.
With a schedule of weekly races and a calendar bursting with special events, the New Smyrna Speedway always promises a fun-filled night of entertainment.
New Smyrna Speedway
Address: 3939 Florida 44, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
Website: New Smyrna Speedway
10. Water Sports
No roundup of the best things to do in New Smyrna Beach can ignore the sublime beaches and subsequent opportunities for water sports the town offers. The lure of the water dominates the area: from estuaries to the lagoon to the ocean there are water activities for every comfort level, taste, and experience. Climb aboard a fishing boat with the Fishing Guy charters and head out into the bay to see what you can wrangle from the waves, or enjoy a peaceful afternoon kayaking along the mangrove trees with the Marine Discovery Center.
There are many local businesses that offer guides and lessons for stand-up paddle boarding, like Paddleboard New Smyrna or East Coast Paddle, as well as rental companies that will lend you a canoe to take along the estuaries. Surfing is the most popular sport here, so dive in to join the locals! If you need some lessons to get you started, check out Surfin’ NSB or the Jimmy Lane Surf Academy.
Website: Outdoor Sports
A city of adventure, exploration and surprises
If you expect New Smyrna Beach to have magnificent sandy beaches, friendly, sun-tanned locals, and a laidback, coastal charisma, you won’t be disappointed. Yet, there are also so many unique attractions, historical sites, and hidden natural spaces that fascinate, delight, and will spark your desire to explore. The charms of this Floridian city are endless!
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.