25 Best Things to Do in New Smyrna Beach, FL

New Smyrna Beach, FL
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New Smyrna Beach is a city in Florida that is as refreshing as lemonade.

It is famously known for its beautiful white-sand beaches and mesmerizing seashores.

Apart from the very oceanic vibe, the place has museums, parks, historic buildings, and art centers.

This city is the perfect destination for all sorts of travelers, from art enthusiasts and history buffs to lovers of nature and the great outdoors.

It is also famous as a spot where you can easily spot friendly dolphins and enjoy your time befriending them.

And of course, what's a vacation without getting to indulge in mouth-watering local cuisine?

New Smyrna Beach is home to many beachside restaurants serving delicious dishes, including a place that serves some of the best burgers in the world.

With something to offer everyone, this city is undoubtedly the perfect place to go on your next trip.

These are the best things to do in New Smyrna Beach, Florida:

Watch the Sunset at Smyrna Dunes Park

A boardwalk at Smyrna Dunes Park
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Smyrna Dunes Park is located on the north of a myriad of barrier islands.

The beaches around the park are always alive and wavy.

Due to this, Smyrna Dunes Park is a perfect spot for those who want to enjoy surfing.

People who have never tried surfing before can also surf here as the waves are not too big or strong.

Gorgeous sunset over Smyrna Dunes Park
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In addition to surfing, there are a lot of other activities that are offered in this park, such as hiking or surf fishing.

The entry to this park is quite inexpensive.

Even though Smyrna Dunes Park is quite famous, you can only understand its true beauty after visiting the place.

Enjoying sunsets in this magnificent location is something that you definitely have to do when you visit New Smyrna Beach.

Aerial view of Smyrna Dunes Park
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Visit the New Smyrna Sugar Mill Ruins

Daytime view of Sugar Mill Ruins
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The New Smyrna Sugar Mill Ruins are proudly listed as one of the important attractions in Florida on the National Register of Historic Places.

This attraction, also known as the Cruger and DePeyster Sugar Mill, is located on historical grounds that used to be part of a plantation.

It is believed that the sugar mill was established more than 200 years ago.

A well at New Smyrna Sugar Mill Ruins
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The mill basically offers an interesting perspective on Florida's past.

It presents a picture of how the state was when the area was undeveloped and not very populated.

It is believed that the mill stopped working in the late 1800s.

Close view of New Smyrna Sugar Mill Ruins
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Learn about Aquatic Life at the Marine Discovery Center

The Marine Discovery Center is one of those spots in the city that you absolutely have to add to your New Smyrna Beach itinerary.

Situated on Barracuda Boulevard, the center is not some ordinary facility.

It might come as a surprise to most visitors, but the discovery center is an all-in-one zoo, aquarium, and museum.

The Marine Discovery Center provides visitors with the opportunity to get to know more about aquatic plants and animals.

The place has different types of exhibitions and activities, along with guided tours.

This is a fantastic place that will expose you to the wonders that live under the water.

Go Back in Time at the New Smyrna Museum of History

Exterior of New Smyrna Museum of history
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The New Smyrna Museum of History is a suitable place for all those who are interested in learning more about the city's history.

This museum has an extensive collection of items that depict the city's past and how people evolved and developed the city throughout the ages.

There are a number of displays and exhibitions in the museum that document the lives of local people and artists, as well as their beliefs and traditions.

Entrance door of New Smyrna Museum of History
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Enjoy Excellent Food and Live Music at Flagler Tavern

Parade outside Flagler Tavern
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Flagler Tavern is a restaurant that offers premium quality food at all times of the day.

The restaurant is built with a unique concept and has some award-winning dishes on the menu.

The best part about this restaurant is that it offers very delicious and affordable seafood that is cooked with fresh ingredients.

Apart from the seafood, the restaurant also has other dishes on the menu.

It offers gluten-free food as well.

The staff is very friendly and courteous, as it has been associated with the restaurant for more than a decade.

Flagler Tavern also has special menu offerings on specific days of the week, including one where you can pay $4 to customize your own burger.

They also hold live music performances and private events.

Bite into a Classic American Burger at The Breakers Restaurant

The Breakers Restaurant has been operating in New Smyrna Beach, Florida since the 1900s.

The eatery is situated in a divine place that is surrounded by white beaches and ocean waves.

What makes this restaurant stand out among other places is its bright color and unique interior.

The building is designed with a pink exterior, which creates a beautiful contrast against the white beaches.

The place is madly popular among locals and tourists.

It offers diners different types of burgers, some of which have been consistently voted as the best burgers in central Florida.

The Breakers Restaurant offers not only food but a welcome break from all the busy surfing schedules in the city.

This one location is a place where you can just visit and spend your time without second thoughts.

Sample the Famous Craft Beers at New Smyrna Beach Brewing Company

Located right in the heart of the city, New Smyrna Brewing Company is famous for its craft beers.

The brewery is also known for brewing its beer on-site.

Diners love going here not just for the beer but also for their complimentary snacks like flavored popcorn.

The beer menu of this brewery is so extensive that you will definitely have a challenging time selecting just one for yourself.

Apart from different flavored beers, the place also offers lattes, orange juice, and other refreshing drinks.

The brewery is the perfect place to get a break from all the hustle and refresh your body after a long sunny day in the city.

Treat Yourselves to Happy Hour at Sugar Works Distillery

Sugar Works Distillery is a family-owned business that is famous for distilling crafted rum, whiskey, and moonshine.

All the drinks are made in small batches with local ingredients, promising the best possible flavors.

They have also devised unique ways of serving drinks, making it absolutely different from other distilleries in the city.

Sugar Works Distillery uses traditional techniques to craft some of the best whiskeys and rum in the entire city.

They also have a small gift shop that sells souvenirs such as glasses, caps, and other gift items.

Purchase Tickets to a Race at New Smyrna Speedway

Aerial view of New Smyrna Speedway
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While it isn't the biggest or most popular attraction in New Smyrna Beach, New Smyrna Speedway is a great place for all those who would love to enjoy some speed.

The speedway has been famous for organizing a lot of international races and average speed racing events.

You can easily get a ticket to this place and spend some time watching extremely talented drivers showcasing their control over speed.

Road sign of New Smyrna Speedway
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Venture into the Art World at Atlantic Center for the Arts

Exterior of Atlantic Center for Arts
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Located on the shores of Turnbull Bay, Atlantic Center for the Arts is known for providing some really beautiful views and fantastic stays at very reasonable rates.

The center has a different collection of artworks.

Along with that, it also works as a temporary as well as a permanent residence for artists from around different corners of the world.

View of Atlantic Center for the Arts from across the street
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can visit the center and enjoy communicating with the artists while they work on their new pieces.

Atlantic Center for the Arts also organizes a lot of artistic and cultural events throughout the year.

So to enjoy the place in full swing, make sure that you visit the center during some cultural or artistic event.

Browse through Amazing Art at The Hub on Canal

The Hub on Canal is loaded with a number of historical buildings, art galleries, shops, art studios, and much more.

It is a perfect blend of historical culture and the contemporary world.

The place offers a lot of items to buy as gifts for your friends, family, and other important people.

All the items for sale are mostly produced by local artists as their original works.

Even if you're not interested in buying something, you can take a walk in this place situated in downtown New Smyrna Beach.

They also organize a large number of events and festivals throughout the year.

Attend New Smyrna Beach's Annual Seaside Fiesta

Hosted near downtown, the Annual Seaside Fiesta has been able to increase its popularity among the crowds for more than three decades.

The event is basically a large get-together of all the local business and civic development organizations that aim to patronize the local culture, art, beliefs, and history among new crowds.

The festival takes place every June and has a different theme each year, making it more interesting and entertaining.

Along with providing access to the city's art and culture, the festival is also famous for organizing live music, carnival games, rides, and delicious food.

This event is one of the most carefree and enjoyable events in the city.

Unleash Your Inner Creative at IMAGES: A Festival of the Arts

New Smyrna Beach's IMAGES: A Festival of the Arts, organized at Riverside Park, has been voted one of the top 50 outdoor activities in the entire country.

The festival is organized over a span of four days, generally in the month of January.

The festival has a different theme for each year.

It also attracts a large number of artists from all corners of the world.

Apart from that, it is also famous for providing some really crazy live music, affordable yet good food, and other energetic activities for all people.

Book a Stay at the Lovely Black Dolphin Inn

Black Dolphin Inn is located along the shore of the Indian River.

The inn is one of the most famous accommodations in the city as the dolphins come by the dock to enjoy themselves with the visitors.

The hotel's furniture and other amenities are ranked among some of the best in the entire state.

The place also offers breakfast and other meals of the day.

Rooms with private docks are also available on the property.

The property is located just next to some of the most famous places in the city.

They have currency exchange on-site to accommodate tourists.

If you are interested in befriending some dolphins, this is the perfect stay for you.

Catch the Sunset at Apollo Beach

Gorgeous sunset over Apollo Beach
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What better way to end a day at the beach than by watching the sun go down over the horizon?

Apollo Beach is a secluded strip of beach on the northern edge of Canaveral National Seashore.

If you're looking for a quiet area to go on a date, this beach is the place to go.

In New Smyrna Beach, relaxing on the beach and walking along the water's edge are among the most romantic activities for couples.

Keep your eyes peeled until the sun sets to see a breathtaking sunset over the ocean.

Check Out the Turtle Mound National Historic Site

The Turtle Mound National Historic Site is an archaeological site located inside Canaveral National Seashore.

The 50-foot-tall turtle-shaped mound built out of oyster shells will interest nature and history aficionados.

This historical site is supposed to have been an ancient navigational instrument utilized by early mariners.

To observe Turtle Mound from a distance, ascend to the water's edge.

Thanks to the boardwalk, the walk is simple and will bring you to one of New Smyrna Beach's great spots to visit.

Peruse Different Shops at Flagler Avenue Park

A cafe at Flagler Avenue Park
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It is not surprising that Flagler Avenue Park is a popular destination for tourists and residents, given the abundance of venues to eat, drink, and celebrate.

Flagler Avenue Park is a lively coastal park from early morning to dusk.

This park features a lot of stores and restaurants for you to select from, whether you're searching for a cup of coffee during your early morning beach promenade or supper after a long day at the beach.

If you are hungry or want to shop, you should head there.

There are so many souvenirs and valuable items for sale in this park, and window shopping is one of the free and entertaining activities you can enjoy in New Smyrna Beach.

Play with Your Fur Babies at New Smyrna Beach Dog Park

The 1.2-acre New Smyrna Beach Dog Park has grassy spaces and shallow seas for your four-legged pals to enjoy.

New Smyrna Beach is a great place to take your dog on vacation if you're looking for exciting activities to do with a pet.

There are separate play spaces for large and little dogs and broad grassy areas for your pets to run about.

Don't forget to bring poop bags for your pet's needs and a leash.

While it's lovely to have some fun, you should remember to clean up after your dog or cat.

See the Old Fort Park Archeological Site

Daytime view of Old Fort Park Archeological Site
Everythingpossible, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

History buffs can have another slice of history at the Old Fort Park Archeological Site on Julia Street.

The site houses the coquina stone ruins, known as the Old Fort, which is most likely an 18th-century British period structure.

A 60-room wooden hotel was built on top of the foundation in the 1850s, which was destroyed when a gunpowder explosion occurred in the cellar during the attacks of the Union Navy.

The Old Fort Park Archeological Site entered the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

It's a great spot to go for a walk and learn a piece of history.

Ruins at Old Fort Park Archeological Site
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Admire the Stunning Views of the New Smyrna Beach City Marina

Aerial view of New Smyrna Beach City Marina
Austin Hamilton / Shutterstock.com

The New Smyrna Beach City Marina is the perfect spot to get closer to the water with restaurants, shops, and hotels only a few steps away.

If you have a boat, you can dock here as it offers boat slips on a first-come, first-served basis to those who are cruising the coast.

The marina also features a cable TV, WiFi, laundry, showers, a pump put, and a picnic area.

It's also pet-friendly, so if you have your furbabies with you, just keep them on a leash and take them for a walk, and simply enjoy the saltwater air.

The New Smyrna Beach City Marina is located off North Riverside Drive.

Read a Book at the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library

Traveling bookworms can take refuge in the comfortable corners of the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library on South Dixie Fairway.

With the help of the library staff, you can find something new and interesting to read in between your adventures in the city.

The library keeps a great selection of books for all ages, as well as newspapers, magazines, e-books, audiobooks, movies, music, and many more.

The New Smyrna Beach Regional Library also hosts many programs and events for the community.

It's also part of the Volusia County Public Library System.

Spend a Day at the 27th Avenue Beachfront Park

Get your beach fix and spend a day with your family and friends at the 27th Avenue Beachfront Park.

The 3.4-acre park features a playground, picnic areas with beach cabanas and tables, as well as racquetball and basketball courts, which are all great for traveling families and friends.

With the terrific sunny Florida weather, you can also enjoy swimming on the beach.

The 27th Avenue Beachfront Park is just one of the crowned jewels in New Smyrna Beach for locals and tourists alike.

You can find it at South Atlantic Avenue.

Sign Up for an Art Class at Bob Ross Art Workshop

If you have your love and passion for art, or if you simply love painting, but have not tried classes or workshops, head to Bob Ross Art Workshop.

Established in 1993, it offers classes and workshops through its certified trainer and art instructor Nicholas Hankins.

Enjoy learning more about the art of landscape, seascape, floral, and wildlife, and head back home with 100% painting skills like Bob Ross!

You can also see here the large collection of oil paintings that Bob Ross did, which were mostly showcased on his TV series, "The Joy of Painting".

Bob Ross Art Workshop is located off East 3rd Avenue.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Head to the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum

Ponce De Leon Inlet lighthouse
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

Traveling to a beach city is hardly ever complete without getting to visit a lighthouse.

Located in the town of Ponce Inlet, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is just 25 minutes away from New Smyrna Beach.

Spiral staircase in Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum
humblebleufrog photo / Shutterstock.com

The lighthouse, which also houses a museum, is the tallest in Florida and stands at a height of almost 180 feet.

It was opened nearly two centuries back and has been quite a fascinating place to visit since its establishment.

You can also visit the top of the lighthouse to enjoy beautiful views of the city.

People on top of Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum
VIAVAL TOURS / Shutterstock.com

Discover Disappearing Island

Near Ponce Inlet, roughly a 25-minute drive from New Smyrna Beach, is an island that emerges only at low tide.

Disappearing Island is situated at the confluence of two rivers since it's not usually accessible.

The island vanishes as the wave comes in, so you must drop by at the right moment.

There are boaters from all over the world that go to this beach while it's accessible.

Take your time and enjoy the silky sands of this beach during low tide if you'd like.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to vacation destinations, New Smyrna Beach stands out.

For one thing, it's a great place to ride the waves and meet beautiful aquatic life.

New Smyrna Beach is specifically known as a beach location where animal lovers are given the opportunity to get up close and personal with the friendliest dolphins.

Apart from all the beach activities, there are many other things to do in New Smyrna Beach, like checking out art galleries, attending vibrant festivals, and geeking out at historical sites.

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