When it comes to fun in the sun, Florida offers many choices. For years, the savviest travelers have used a simple technique to identify the roads less traveled, yet most worthy of exploration. The key: Follow the Locals. They, more than anyone, can lead you to the places that are quiet and protected, beautiful and charming, fun, interesting and authentic. Greater New Smyrna Beach is one of these places.
Year after year, Central Florida residents have voted New Smyrna Beach, “Best Beach” in the Orlando Sentinel’s “Best Bets” competition; telling, when you consider this is one of the world’s premiere vacation destinations, literally surrounded by world-class coastal options. An unspoiled jewel located 45 minutes east of Orlando International Airport between Daytona Beach and Kennedy Space Center, the New Smyrna Beach area still tends to fly under the radar of many. Here, you’ll find a laid-back blend of history, culture, the arts, nature and 13 miles of pristine white sand beaches.
Greater New Smyrna Beach is an eclectic mix of old and new, subtle sophistication and bohemian soul, as “real” as Florida gets. It occupies a notable place in history as the second oldest city in Florida, site of the largest single attempt at British colonization in the new world. The city is also recognized as one of the “ Top 100 Small Art Towns” in the US, home to numerous galleries and the internationally renowned Atlantic Center for the Arts, recently profiled in the New York Times. Other local attractions include 1830’s-era sugar mill ruins, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, which, at 187 feet, is Florida’s tallest, two marine science centers featuring hands-on discovery tours, and a host of palate-pleasing local dining options.
While history, the arts and culture offer much, New Smyrna Beach and the surrounding areas of Port Orange, Edgewater, Oak Hill and Osteen are perhaps best known for outdoor recreation. Whether your idea of fun is relaxed or adventurous, it’s here. The area’s beaches are clean, safe, wide and uncrowded - perfect for sunbathing, bicycling, swimming, fishing and building sand castles. National Geographic Magazine has named New Smyrna Beach as one of the “World’s Top 20 Surf Towns,” and many recognize the area and its spectacular inland waterways as, “The Redfish Capital of the World.” Kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and kite boarding are all popular. Accommodations range from charming hotels to quaint bed and breakfast inns, to a variety of oceanfront homes and vacation rentals. Condominiums are popular choices for families and extended stays. For more information, call the Visitor Center at 1 - 800-541-9621 or visit nsbfla.com. Discover for yourself what the locals have known for years.