New Smyrna Beach: Florida’s Best-Kept Secret


If you’re like me, you’ve probably been dreaming about sandy shores, the soothing sound of waves, and the feel of the sun warming your skin. Your dream vacation spot might be closer than you think. Allow me to introduce you to New Smyrna Beach, a charming coastal town in Florida that has everything you could ever want from a beach getaway, and then some! From surfers catching waves to foodies delighting in fresh seafood, this place is a heaven you’ll never want to leave.

Flagler Avenue

If New Smyrna Beach is the body of a vibrant, beachy community, then Flagler Avenue is its beating heart. Trust me, folks, this iconic street is where all the magic happens. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, Flagler Avenue has a unique ability to captivate anyone who walks its charming lanes.

The Vibrant Atmosphere: Flagler Avenue effortlessly combines the quaint and the modern. With its historic buildings and newer establishments side by side, it creates a unique atmosphere that speaks volumes about the community’s respect for its roots while embracing the new. Just strolling down this street feels like you’re flipping through the pages of a live, colorful history book.

Shopping Extravaganza: Let’s talk shopping, shall we? Whether you’re hunting for souvenirs or keen on scoring some unique fashion finds, Flagler Avenue is a shopper’s paradise. From surf shops to boutiques selling handcrafted jewelry and clothing, you’ll find a plethora of retail options that scream individuality and flair.

Food and Drink: Hungry? Or maybe just thirsty? No problem! This avenue is lined with an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Think fresh seafood, gourmet pizza, mouth-watering burgers, and cafes that serve the best coffee in town.

Art and Culture: Art enthusiasts, get ready to be amazed! Flagler Avenue is home to several art galleries that feature local artists. And don’t be surprised if you stumble upon a live music performance or an art show while you’re here. This street is not just a visual treat; it’s a feast for the soul.

Events and Festivals: The street is no stranger to seasonal festivals and events either. From wine walks and craft beer festivals to art shows and holiday parades, Flagler Avenue knows how to throw a party. These events offer the perfect opportunity to mingle with locals and experience the community’s vibrant culture.

Nightlife: When the sun sets, Flagler Avenue transforms into a bustling hub of nightlife. With its collection of lively bars and pubs, you’ll find the perfect spot to unwind after a day of adventure. Live music, cocktails, and the rhythmic sound of ocean waves in the background—what more could you ask for?

Kid-Friendly Spots: Got kids? You’re in luck! This avenue also has several spots that are absolutely kid-friendly. Think ice cream parlors, toy stores, and mini-golf! Your little ones will have just as much fun as you, if not more.

The Beaches of New Smyrna

So, you’ve heard about the water activities, the nightlife, and the avenue that brings New Smyrna Beach to life. But let’s not forget the main attraction: the beaches themselves! Each has its own unique charm and offerings. Let’s delve deeper into what makes each one a must-visit.

Main Beach

This area is the quintessential beach experience. Picture sun-kissed sands that stretch as far as the eye can see, framed by waves that surfers dream of. It’s a playground for both locals and tourists, offering a mix of activities that keep the energy levels high.

Whether you’re into surfing, jet skiing, or even a simple game of beach volleyball, this is the place where you can let your hair down and enjoy the Floridian sun to its fullest. And, if you’re not in the mood for activities, just throw down a towel, grab a good book, and let the sea breeze whisk you away.

Bethune Beach

This is where you go when you need a breather. Less crowded and more serene than its bustling counterpart, Bethune Beach offers a peaceful retreat for those looking to escape the hubbub. It’s family-friendly, with shallow waters that are perfect for younger swimmers.

Picnic tables and barbecue grills are aplenty, making it an ideal spot for a family outing. Bird watching? Check. Seashell collecting? Double-check. This beach is also accessible via boardwalks, allowing for leisurely strolls where you can take in the natural beauty around you.

If you’re searching for a spot where you can hear yourself think and relish the tranquility, Bethune Beach is your sanctuary.

Canaveral National Seashore / Apollo Beach

These areas are as close to untouched paradise as you can get. Protected by federal laws, they offer a glimpse into Florida’s natural coastline, untouched by commercial development. Here, it’s not uncommon to spot endangered sea turtles nesting or dolphins frolicking in the waves.

The beach itself is a stretch of unspoiled beauty, with dunes that add to the scenic view. If you’re a fan of fishing, the lagoons offer some of the best spots in the area. There are also hiking trails for those wanting to explore the diverse ecosystems.

Even More to Do in New Smyrna Beach

Great, you’ve got the beach and the avenue down. But, New Smyrna Beach is far from being just about surf and shopping. The city offers a range of other activities for those who want to expand their adventure horizons. Let’s unpack some more!

East Central Regional Rail Trail: If you’ve had enough of sandy toes but still want to be active, head over to the East Central Regional Rail Trail. This multi-purpose trail is perfect for walking, jogging, or cycling. Grab a pair of comfy shoes or rent a bike and take in the breathtaking natural scenery.

Wildlife and Bird Watching: The trail is also an excellent spot for wildlife enthusiasts. With a bit of luck, you might spot deer, rabbits, and various bird species. So if you’re into nature, don’t forget your binoculars at home!

Why New Smyrna Beach? A Florida Treasure Awaits You

Strategic Location: So why should you pack your bags and head straight to New Smyrna Beach? First off, its location is a winner! Situated on Florida’s Central Atlantic Coast, it’s a short drive from major cities like Orlando. Imagine leaving the hustle and bustle of city life and within an hour or two, finding yourself amidst pristine beaches and beautiful landscapes.

A Hidden Gem: Now, we all know Florida is teeming with popular beaches. But, why follow the crowd when you can have a slice of paradise almost all to yourself?

New Smyrna Beach is less crowded compared to its more famous neighbors like Miami Beach or Daytona, giving you more room to breathe and relax. It’s like finding a secret garden, but instead of flowers, you’re surrounded by stretches of golden sand and clear blue waters.

The Perfect Mix of Adventure and Leisure: For the thrill-seekers, New Smyrna Beach is a surfing mecca. The waves are just perfect, whether you’re a pro or a newbie. And don’t worry if you’ve never surfed; there are plenty of surf schools to get you up and riding those waves. Prefer something more laid-back? How about a lazy afternoon collecting seashells or building sandcastles with the kids?

Campgrounds & RV Parks

New Smyrna Beach RV Park and Campground: Want to be close to all the action but still enjoy a rustic experience? New Smyrna Beach RV Park and Campground offers the best of both worlds. You’re only minutes away from the beach and Flagler Avenue, yet you get to sleep under the stars. It’s also equipped with modern amenities to make your stay comfortable. Address: 1300 Old Mission Road, New Smyrna Beach.

Sugar Mill Ruins Travel Park: History buffs, this one’s for you! This campground is near the historical Sugar Mill Ruins. So yes, you get a dose of history along with your outdoor experience. Address: 1050 Old Mission Road, New Smyrna Beach

Rose Bay RV Campground: Prefer something closer to nature’s elements? Rose Bay RV Campground offers not just a place to park your RV but also an opportunity to go fishing right on the premises. Address: 5200 South Nova Road, Port Orange

Lake Ashby County Park (Tents Only): If you are looking for a more primitive camping experience, then Lake Ashby County Park is your go-to spot. This tent-only campground is perfect for those looking to disconnect and be one with nature. The lake offers canoeing and fishing opportunities too. Address: 4150 Boy Scout Camp Rd, New Smyrna Beach

Where is New Smyrna Beach?

New Smyrna Beach is located on Florida’s Central Atlantic Coast. Specifically, it’s in Volusia County, snuggled between the popular Daytona Beach to the north and the Canaveral National Seashore to the south. It’s like the middle child who turns out to be everyone’s favorite—positioned perfectly for both action and solitude.

Getting There: Your Route to Paradise

  • By Air: The closest major airport is Orlando International Airport (MCO). From there, it’s a pretty straightforward drive to reach New Smyrna Beach.
  • By Car: If you’re road-tripping it, New Smyrna Beach is easily accessible via major highways like I-95 and U.S. Route 1. Thanks to its strategic location, you won’t have to navigate through complicated roads to get there.


How Far is New Smyrna Beach from Orlando?

Here’s the kicker: New Smyrna Beach is only about an hour’s drive from Orlando. Yep, you read that right! You can literally leave the hustle and bustle of Orlando’s theme parks in the morning and be digging your feet into the sand by noon. It’s about 55-60 miles depending on your starting point in Orlando, which is perfect for a day trip or a whole vacation away from the city.

New Smyrna Beach to Daytona Beach

Love the energy of Daytona Beach but want to retreat to somewhere quieter at the end of the day? New Smyrna Beach is just a mere 20 miles south of Daytona Beach. That’s a short 20-30 minute drive! You can easily enjoy the best of both worlds without spending all day in the car.

Know These

Tides in New Smyrna Beach

If you’re into water activities like surfing, fishing, or even just lazing around on the beach, understanding the tides at New Smyrna Beach can make a huge difference to your experience.

First off, why should you even care about tides? Well, if you’re planning to hit the waves or cast a fishing line, tide conditions can seriously impact your outing. Low tides are great for collecting seashells, and high tides offer the best surfing conditions. So, tides matter!

Luckily, it’s super easy to get this info. Several local websites, fishing shops, and even some mobile apps offer up-to-date tide charts for New Smyrna Beach. Keeping tabs on this data can help you plan your water activities better.

New Smyrna Shark Attacks

Okay, time to address the elephant—or rather, the shark—in the room. You might have heard rumors or news stories about shark attacks in New Smyrna Beach. Let’s set the record straight.

New Smyrna Beach has been labeled as the “Shark Bite Capital of the World.” But before you cancel your trip, it’s important to put this in context. The majority of these incidents are minor and often involve surfers in deeper waters. Considering the number of people who visit the beach, the percentage of shark incidents is extremely low. And guess what? Most are more like “nibbles” than full-on attacks.

New Smyrna Beach is rich in marine life, which means it’s also a feeding ground for sharks. They’re not there for you; they’re there for fish. Often, a shark bite occurs when a shark mistakes a foot or hand for its natural prey.

While the likelihood of encountering a shark is low, it never hurts to take precautions. Swimming in designated areas, avoiding swimming during feeding times like dawn or dusk, and staying in groups can all reduce risk. Lifeguards and local authorities are also well-trained to handle such situations.


Wow, we’ve covered a lot, haven’t we? From the pulsating energy of Flagler Avenue to the serene beauty of Bethune Beach, New Smyrna Beach is the Floridian destination that truly has it all. Whether you’re camping under the stars or staying in a luxurious oceanfront hotel, you’re guaranteed a vacation filled with unforgettable experiences.