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Don’t Miss These! 7 Must-Do Activities in New Smyrna Beach, FL


New Smyrna Beach boasts over ten miles of golden shores and emerald waters that attract lots of visitors all year round. But beyond the natural splendor, the city also has a cosmopolitan vibe throughout downtown with several top-notch eateries, bars, galleries, and entertainment venues for you to enjoy during your visit.

With a diverse range of activities, events, and adventures on offer, it can sometimes be overwhelming to decide where to start, especially if you’re visiting NSB for the first time. 

That’s why we’re here. In this blog, we have curated a list of the things you can’t miss in New Smyrna Beach, FL.

Let us be your guide through this Florida paradise!



1. Drive on the Hard Sand in New Smyrna Beach


Once you arrive in New Smyrna Beach, the number one activity you can’t miss is exploring the miles of stunning shores. This Florida gem offers something unique: you can drive along the hard sand on a designated stretch at the end of Flagler Avenue.

When you find a quiet spot, park your car, set up your beach chair and umbrella, and enjoy a memorable day under the sun, admiring the emerald waters of the Atlantic.

2. Soak in the Natural Wonders of Smyrna Dunes Park


Smyrna Dunes Park is a stunning inlet featuring not only miles of beaches but also a variety of ecosystems and nature trails for you to explore and spend a day in contact with the best of what nature has to offer in Florida. 

A vast system of walkable paths cuts through gorgeous sand dunes and coastal vegetation that is home to cute creatures, including the Gopher tortoise. Along the way, you’ll find fantastic views of the Atlantic, the Indian River, and Ponce de Leon Inlet with its lighthouse, as well as many pavilions with picnic tables.

With easy access to the beach, the park is home to miles of white sands and calm waters for you to relax, swim, and watch a spectacular sunset painting the landscape in warm colors.

If you’re traveling with your furry companion, there’s even a pet-friendly section of the beach where dogs on a leash can play and cool off. Extra amenities include restrooms, washing areas for your pooch, and a fishing pier near the parking lot.


3. Explore Canal Street and the Historic District


No visit to New Smyrna is complete without some exploration along Canal Street and the Historic District — a hub for history, shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Canal Street is the town’s main road. This beautiful street lined with palm trees is not only home to great restaurants, bars, breweries, boutiques, and art galleries but also the stage for many fun events, such as Canal Street Nights and Canal Street Sip & Stroll. It also hosts a Farmer’s Market with local produce every Saturday that is popular among locals and visitors.

Beyond Canal Street, there’s much more to explore in the Historic District, such as lush parks, historical buildings, and cultural venues. The New Smyrna Museum of History on Sams Avenue, for example, is a great way to travel to the past and understand the town’s history.

Along Flagler Avenue, another must-visit street in New Smyrna, you’ll find even more incredible eateries, unique shops, and ice cream parlors for you to cool off before delving further into the charms of this area of the town.



4. Join a Fun Event in New Smyrna Beach


New Smyrna Beach’s events schedule is rich, offering locals and visitors unique activities and tons of fun all year round. When you plan your trip to the city, make sure to check if any special event or festival is happening — attending them is a big part of experiencing the local culture and adding that extra fun element to your vacation.

Below is a quick guide through the most beloved events and festivals happening in New Smyrna Beach:


      • Images Festival: Every January, this festival infuses New Smyrna Downtown with art from over 200 artists, performances, exhibitions, food trucks, and live music. It’s a great opportunity to chat with locals and get your hands dirty at stalls offering the chance to engage in hands-on art projects. Expect diverse artistic expressions and a lively atmosphere through Riverside Drive and Canal Street.


        • New Smyrna Beach Art Fiesta: This annual event happens every February, featuring hundreds of artisans from all over the US displaying and selling their works. Besides having the chance to talk to artists and buy unique pieces, this two-day event is also filled with good music and food.


          • New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival: Usually happening in May (dates can change), this is one of the most anticipated festivals in the city — three days of fantastic performances from musicians from all over the country taking place in different parts of the city.


            • Flagler Avenue Wine Walk: Stroll through the beloved Flagler Avenue sampling a variety of great wines in different venues along the street. Happening on the fourth Saturday of each month, this is an excellent opportunity to get to know one of the most exciting parts of the city while indulging in superb tastings.

            • Classic Cars on Canal: On the second Saturday of every month, Canal Street transforms into a showroom for several classic and incredibly customized cars, trucks, and motorcycles. The street is closed to traffic for pedestrians to enjoy the fun display and all the great venues along the iconic street.



          5. Unwind on Canaveral National Seashore’s Pristine Beaches


          Just a 20-minute drive from New Smyrna Beach, Canaveral National Seashore is another unmissable place to experience the stunning natural landscape of the region.

          Located on a barrier island, Canaveral boasts a diverse ecosystem: ocean, dunes, lagoon, salt marsh, and pine flatland habitats. You can spend a day exploring gorgeous walking trails, spotting wildlife, and unwinding by the sea. The park also has miles of uncrowded and serene beaches where you can swim, sunbathe, and wait for the incredible sunset that gives the entire area a beautiful glow.

          An extra interesting fact is that from Canaveral National Seashore, you have a great view of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, so you can even witness a shuttle launch from the beach.

          6. Admire captivating sea creatures at the Marine Discovery Center


          Especially if you’re traveling with kids, a visit to the Marine Discovery Center is an unbeatable activity in New Smyrna Beach.

          This is one of Florida’s most respected organizations, offering you the chance to experience the natural splendor of the Sunshine State. The center has incredible attractions such as eco-tours, a butterfly garden, kids’ discovery zones, interesting exhibits, and aquariums displaying fascinating sea creatures, including sharks.

          There are also outdoor activities such as kayaking and eco-tours with the Marine Discovery Center where you have the opportunity to see dolphins, learn about the Indian River Lagoon, and watch the sunset from the water.


          7. Feel the delightful atmosphere at New Smyrna Beach Farmers Market at Norwood’s


          For over 30 years, the New Smyrna Beach Farmers Market at Norwood’s has been the go-to place for locals and visitors to buy fresh and locally grown produce. Held every Saturday from 7 AM to 12:30 PM on Sam’s Ave near Old Fort Park, this outdoor market attracts locals, visitors, and even residents from nearby cities who drive all the way to New Smyrna to buy unique goods.

          The market’s atmosphere is very pleasant, with friendly vendors, good music, and beautiful surroundings. On top of that, you can find amazing products: from organic breads, honey, jams, coffee, and cheese to fruits, flowers, herbs, and much more. You can even find recycled goods, garden and metal art, and souvenirs for your furry companions.

          It’s worth mentioning that the market is extremely pet-friendly. So, if you are traveling with dogs, it’s a great place for them to socialize with other canine friends.

          Top Things You Can’t Miss in New Smyrna Beach, FL

          New Smyrna is full of surprises. There’s so much more to see and do in this Florida gem that you’ll want to keep coming back every time you have the opportunity to travel. If you’re a first-time visitor to the city, with the tips above you will certainly make your time in NSB unforgettable.

          Want more tips on New Smyrna Beach? Then head to our destination blog. We’ve covered everything from the best restaurants and a nightlife guide to all you need to know about fishing in New Smyrna Beach. And there’s more coming soon!

          Where to Stay in New Smyrna Beach, FL

          Want another tip from us? When you visit New Smyrna Beach, we suggest choosing vacation rentals over hotels to enjoy a place with local vibes and all the privacy you want.

          There are plenty of beach vacation properties, cozy condos, and charming homes in this area. This is another way to immerse yourself in the local culture — shop at local markets, stroll through nearby neighborhoods, and dine at local restaurants. You’ll truly feel like a local.

          For a selection of the very best vacation homes in New Smyrna Beach, visit our booking page. For all the above, we’ve got you covered.

          Not to brag, but we are very proud to have earned the official title of one of the “Best Vacation Rental Professionals in the World” from Business Insider.

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