15 Best Things To Do In New Smyrna Beach, Florida

things to do in new smyrna beach florida
| 5 min read

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. Book your stay at the top Airbnb vacation rentals, and have a look at this list of the best things to do In New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

1. Atlantic Center for the Arts at Harris House

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Atlantic Center for the Arts congratulates Ivan Riascos, ACA’s Residency Director, one of six Finalists for Pathways...

Posted by Atlantic Center for the Arts on Friday, May 20, 2022

This is one of the downtown locations of the Atlantic Center for the Arts. This convenient downtown location of the artists’ community and art education center is a non-profit facility like the parent organization. It offers opportunities to talented artists to interact with distinguished names in their respective fields. Presentations, workshops, and exhibitions are all regularly held at this location.

Atlantic Center for the Arts at Harris House

Address: 214 South Riverside Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168

Website: Atlantic Center for the Arts at Harris House

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 4pm (closed on Sun)

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2. Callalisa Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

This compact park is located on Callalisa Creek and it sits at the intersection of Peninsula Drive and South Causeway. Weekdays are a good time to visit if you like your peace and quiet. It makes for a great take-off point for leisurely kayaking and canoeing escapades, given its location alongside a small creek. You can also go fishing here. Bring along a picnic lunch to be enjoyed in designated areas and you could make a day of it. Spend a quiet day at this park if you don’t know what to do in New Smyrna Beach.

Callalisa Park

Address: 598 S Peninsula Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169,

Website: Callalisa Park

Opening hours: 7am - 8pm (daily)

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3. Old Fort Park

Old Fort Park, New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Everythingpossible used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This archaeological site is perfect for a dose of history when you’re in the area. It features on the US National Register of Historic Sites and is believed to be the remnant of an ancient Spanish fort. However, there are also those who believe it to be the remains of a mansion that belonged to a physician who first founded the colony of New Smyrna. The thick foundation walls of the mysterious structure are still standing and open to the public.

Old Fort Park

Address: 115 Julia St, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168

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4. Mary S Harrell Black Heritage Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Mary S Harrell Black Heritage Museum on Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Discover the history of the African American community in the region at this compact museum. Browse the collection of photographs, artifacts, and memorabilia housed within a late 19th-century church building. A Heritage House with period furniture and accessories is also part of the museum and it lies just across the street. Festivals are also held seasonally at this museum, which is one of the few of its kind in Florida.

Mary S Harrell Black Heritage Museum

Address: 314 N. Duss Street New Smyrna Beach, Florida 32168

Website: Mary S Harrell Black Heritage Museum

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 1pm - 4pm (closed from Sun - Tue)

Price: Free

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5. Panheads Pizzeria

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

What’s one of the best New Smyrna Beach activities? Eating delicious grub, of course! Drop by Panheads Pizzeria in the historic downtown area for a slice of fresh, homemade pizza. The dough, the sauce, and the special cheese blend are all made from a recipe handed down the generations. Only fresh ingredients are used and the meat is smoked in-house, even the rubs and seasonings are made from scratch at this pizzeria. Other items on the menu at this restaurant include salads and calzones. You could dine at the stylish restaurant or order takeaway. Half-baked pizzas are also available for takeaway so you can just pop them in the oven and have a feast!

Panheads Pizzeria

Address: 113 S. Orange Ave.(Historic Downtown NSB), New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168

Website: Panheads Pizzeria

Opening hours: Mon: 4pm - 9pm; Tue - Thu: 11:30am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 11:30am - 10pm (closed on Sun)

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6. Smyrna Dunes Park

New Smyrna Dunes
Source: Photo by Flickr user Under the same mo... used under CC BY 2.0

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

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7. BiPlane Flight Tours

New Smyrna Beach FL peninsula01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Why not see the town from up above if you don’t know which things to do in New Smyrna Beach today? 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

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8. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
Source: Photo by Flickr user Larry Syverson used under CC BY-SA 2.0

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

Website: Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum

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9. Turtle Mound River Tours

Posted by Turtle Mound River Tours on Friday, 23 June 2017

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

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10. Sugar Mill Ruins

New Smyrna Sugar Mill Ruins14
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY 2.5

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.

This New Smyrna Beach attraction is 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

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11. Marine Discovery Center

Posted by Marine Discovery Center on Sunday, 26 February 2017

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

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12. New Smyrna Museum of History

Posted by New Smyrna Museum of History on Saturday, 18 March 2017

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

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13. Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore.
Source: Photo by Flickr user Larry Crovo used under CC BY-ND 2.0

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

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14. New Smyrna Speedway

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by New Smyrna Speedway on Wednesday, June 1, 2022

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

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15. Water Sports

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Spring fun!

Posted by Paddleboard New Smyrna Beach on Thursday, April 29, 2021

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.

Outdoor Sports

Website: Outdoor Sports

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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. There are pet-friendly Airbnbs and other vacation rentals that provide great accommodations as well. The charms of this Floridian city are endless!

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Frequently asked questions about things to do in New Smyrna Beach

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Hannah is a freelance writer, list making aficionado, and world traveler currently based in Germany. She is an avid explorer, and believes in creating new experiences to put on her bucket list to...Read more

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