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The 20 Best Things to do in New Smyrna Beach, FL

Indian River Lagoon Park

Smyrna Beach is a family-friendly locale that features a variety of attractions to suit everyone’s interests. Located in Florida, this beach is surrounded by five communities that provide a visitor with an array of activities to choose from. From nature parks, beaches, museums to green spaces, you will find that Smyrna Beach is worth a visit. A few of the exciting activities offered at the beach include surfing, beach driving, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and annual street festivals among others. In 2018, approximately 383,800 visitors traveled to New Smyrna to enjoy the plethora of outdoor adventures.Here are the most exciting things to do, eat and see the next time you're in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Callilisa Park - Copy

20. Visit Callalisa Park

Located at the intersection of Peninsula Drive and South Causeway is Callalisa Creek, home to the popular Callalisa park. The park is a popular launching spot for several water sports, including kayaking and canoeing. Here, the water is calm enough to provide smooth paddle ground to launch their kayaks and canoes. Friends and family can enjoy fishing and arrange for a picnic in the area. There is plenty of room in the park for kids to run around.


19. Enjoy pizza at Panheads Pizzeria

Grab a slice or two of pizza down at the Panheads Pizzeria, a family-owned and operated family business that serves one of the most delectable pizzas in New Smyrna beach. With freshly sourced ingredients and homemade pizza recipes, this pizzeria has become a beloved tourist attraction as well. Aside from pizza, the pizzeria also offers salads and calzones.

27th Avenue Beachfront Park

18. 27th Avenue Beachfront Park

Start your day with an enjoyable and unforgettable sunrise experience at the 27th Avenue Beachfront Park, a four-acre park that is the perfect destination for an early morning escape. The beach also offers soft sands and blue waters alongside a myriad of park amenities. The park also features spacious picnic spots, an oceanfront boardwalk, and basketball courts.

Canaveral National Seashore

17. Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore is home to historic archeological sites, forests, wetlands, and splendid barrier islands of dunes. This beach is among the amongst things to do in Smyrna Beach, and consists of 24 miles of breathtaking sandy beaches. Many residents consider this seashore their untouched paradise since there is no glimpse of development in sight. Here, you can kick back, relax and unwind. You can also take a hike through the nature trails that will lead you to unique estuaries.

Go for a hike at Smyrna Dunes Park

16. Go for a hike at Smyrna Dunes Park

Smyrna Dunes Park is located in the southern tip of New Smryna beach and is a unique attraction site to recreational visitors. If you’d like to try the hiking trail at this park, you are advised to arrive early to get some parking space. Once all the spaces are filled, the hike begins at the boardwalk to the oceanfront. Along the trail, you will be able to spot several gopher tortoise holes as well as saw palmetto and cat briar tangled together to hold sand mounds in place. The park offers picnic spaces and incredible views of New Smyrna beach. There is also a dog beach nearby where residents walk their dogs against the lapping wave of the ocean.

Hub on Canal - Copy

15. Visit the Hub on Canal

Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the Hub on Canal, a non-profit organization that has brought together art, education, and a whole lot of creative opportunities. Here, you'll enjoy the local art, dance exhibitions, workshops, educational classes as well as musical performances. The events held by the Hub are also geared to extend the arts to socially challenged and underserved individuals through scholarship programs and art. The Hub opened its doors to the community in 2012 and has so far received more than 200,000 visitors from all around the world.

Canal Street Historic District

14. Explore Canal Street Historic District

Stroll through the pedestrian-friendly Canal Street Historic district located in Downtown New Smyrna Beach. The streets offer a rich combination of cultural attractions, historical buildings, dining spots, art galleries, and a number of parks. This district has a distinct ‘Small Town Charm’ feel that you can enjoy during your next trip to the downtown area. Savor this historic destination as you shop and dine with your family and friends.

Explore Old Fort Park

13. Explore Old Fort Park

Per Atlasobscura, your trip to New Smyrna Beach may not be without a visit to Old Fort Park. You can explore the fascinating ruins of this park on foot. The park is located a block away from Riverside Park and Canal street. What makes these ruins a sight to behold is the Spanish-looking structure that has led to plenty of speculation on what the fort was used for and its origin. Dr. Andrew Turnbul, a Scottish physician who founded the town, is credited for the mansion’s structure. Some speculate that it was a colonial church or a site for constructing ships; however, there is not that much information to go by, making the excursion even more exciting and mysterious.

Marine Discovery Center

12. Marine Discovery Center

Explore the wonderful Marine Discovery Center, a non-profit organization that aims at restoring and protecting the ecosystems of the Indian River Lagoon and Coastal Florida. Here, you will get to learn about the various animals and plants of the Indian River Lagoon through different interactive and educational exhibits. If you happen to be traveling with your family, make a point of tagging your kids along to enjoy the aquariums. The center also consists of a variety of gardens, nature trails, playgrounds, and a restored salt marsh.

Flagler Avenue Park

11. Flagler Avenue Park

Enjoy the popular beachfront park at New Smyrna, known as Flagler Avenue Park. It is located off of the historic Flagler Avenue and next to the most popular beach access ramp in the country. It is also close to the Atlantic Ocean beach and several amenities, including off-beach parking, a brick courtyard, pavilion, and restrooms. Here you can enjoy a cup of early morning coffee while enjoying the morning beach breeze or opt to stop by for a picnic under the pavilion at a later time during the day. You can also decide to enjoy an evening stroll through the beach while enjoying what the shops, restaurants, and cool bars have to offer. This avenue runs through the center of New Smyrna‘s town barrier island. Additionally, if you are looking to learn more about New Smyrna Beach, there's a memorial that explores the historical account at the park.

Harris House - Copy

10. Atlantic Center for the Arts at Harris House

Located in downtown New Smyrna Beach, The Atlantic Center for the Arts at Harris House is a community and education center. This non-profit facility provides talented artists from the community with a myriad of opportunities to form interactions with successful individuals in their distinguished fields. Here, you can join artists and tourists who have come to indulge in exhibitions, presentations, and workshops.

Turtle Mound - Copy

9. Turtle Mound National Historic Site

Enjoy an exciting tour around the Turtle Mound National Historic Site in New Smyrna Beach that will take tour travel delight to another level. Here you will come across shorebirds, manatees, dolphins, and sea birds. Explore the numerous hiking trails that course through the Canaveral National Seashore. You can also choose to head on to the 50-foot high formation viewpoint. A knowledgeable guide will be with you through the tour to provide exciting information on different animals, plants, and attraction sites at the historic site.

Mary S Harnell Museum - Copy

8. Discover Mary S Harrell Black Heritage Museum

The Mary S Harrell Black Heritage Museum is a unique museum located at the corner of Mary and North Duss Streets. Here, you will find a collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and photographs taken during the 20th century. This museum preserves the history of race relations in Florida through that time. The displayed collection is meant to educate the citizens and tourists on what happened during that trying time. The museum also hosts a number of events, including the Black Heritage Festivals, where people gather to celebrate with food, arts and crafts as well as culturally diverse music.

Visit New Smyrna Museum of History

7. Visit New Smyrna Museum of History

Originally founded in 1876, the New Smyrna Museum of History has preserved the city's unique heritage. An account of the rich story of the oldest and most charming city is told through engaging experiences at the museum. Take a closer look at the exhibits displayed in the museum, including the Centerpiece that follows the city’s timeline from the time fossils were discovered. In the New Smyrna Museum of History, you can get an exquisite taste of the local society. You'll also get to appreciate the colonial architecture of the building that houses the museum.

Indulge in Water Sports

6. Indulge in Water Sports

Do you love to spend your time in the water? Well, jolly! New Smyrna Beach has plenty to offer when it comes to beachside fun, it being a waterside destination. The beach is surrounded by water on three sides, making it the perfect avenue to enjoy water sports. The available water sports include surfing, snorkeling, or diving in the cool waters. You can also indulge in wakeboarding, kayaking, and fishing. The beach also offers different experiential tours along the Indian River Lagoon.

New Smyrna Speedway - Copy

5. New Smyrna Speedway

Race Car fanatics will love spending time in New Smyrna Speedway, a high banked and half-mile paved track. Popularly known as the “World Center of Racing,” this speedway has hosted some of the most exciting car racing events in the country for more than 45 years. Located just 5 miles from New Smyrna Beach, the New Smyrna Speedway is a perfect getaway location for friends or family. Book your trip to the beach between March and November to catch a speedway event. The speedway also has food and beverage spots and entertainment for you to indulge in.

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum

4. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum

Explore an entirely different timeline when you visit the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, home to lighthouses that guided mariners along the Florida coast. This lighthouse museum has also been a national landmark since 1998 and can be found on the world’s most famous beach. There are a number of activities to choose from, including the light station self-guided tour around the museum. There are also workshops and educational tours that explore Florida’s history. Feel free to stop by at the gift shop for unique merchandise.

Apollo Beach Reserve

3. Apollo Beach Reserve

One of the most desirable areas in the Tampa Metro region is Apollo Beach, home to unique harbors and great neighborhoods. The weather offers water lovers a perfect chance to swim, surf, kayak, and even ride a boat. Located on the beach is also the Manatee Viewing Center, where you can spot wild manatees roaming around the area. The reserve is a wonderful spot to host picnics with family and friends. Additionally, the great views and soft sand are worth the trip down to the beach.

Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens

2. Take a walk through Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens

Take a splendid walk through the botanical gardens of Dunlawton Sugar Mill, which covers ten gorgeous acres of land in Port Orange. Aside from being a botanical garden, the Dunlawton Sugar Mill is also a historical site. The garden is tucked away in the Dunlawton plantation and gives one a live sneak peek into how old Florida was like. Here, you can glide through the well-manicured gardens that feature both local and exotic plants. Children are bound to fall in love with the children's garden that consists of full-sized dinosaurs. You can also purchase New Smyrna beach’s locally sourced honey for your delight.

Indian River Lagoon Park

1. Indian River Lagoon Park

The Indian River Lagoon Park is a natural park located at 700 Sandpiper avenue. The park is home to amazing wildlife and a scenic trail that you can follow all through the bank of the Indian River. The park also features two docks that overlook both the Browns Bay as well as the Indian River estuaries. This is a great spot to have a picnic with family, friends, or by yourself as you take in the natural settings of the environment. Water sports lovers can also launch their kayaks and canoes from this spot to their destination along the river trail.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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