New Smyrna Beach, Florida – The Ultimate Travel Guide

I’m so excited to have Heather Hinson of Hinson Photography on the blog today, here to tell you all about New Smyrna Beach, Florida! Heather and her husband are photographers local to the area and wanted to share with me all the reasons why she loves her hometown. I have been to New Smyrna Beach a handful of times, but I was so excited when Heather offered to put this guide together for the blog. She is the expert of the area, so read on to find out everything to know about “Florida’s Secret Pearl”.

New Smyrna Beach Travel Guide

Things To Do in New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach is a laid-back gem along the Central East coast of Florida. It is known for its white sand beaches, surfing, beach driving and appreciation for the arts. There are plenty of ways to experience New Smyrna Beach, from fishing to shopping and much, much more.

I highly recommend a stroll down Canal Street with a stop at Old Fort Park. There are some mysterious ruins that are fascinating to see. New Smyrna Beach is nearly as old as St. Augustine, which is the oldest city in the country. Here are my other favorite things to do here.

  • Drive on the Beach– A popular activity in New Smyrna Beach is to hop in the car and drive on the beach. We often enjoy coffee breaks while driving through the sand! It is a great way to enjoy the views and you can park right on the beach without having to lug everything down a sandy boardwalk. Beach driving is $20 a day or you can buy an annual pass for $100. For $20 more, you can add on an annual pass to the Inlet state parks. If you live in Volusia County, the pass is $25 or $45 for the inlet parks and beach driving. Beach driving is subject to closure, so check to make sure it is open.
    • Beach Driving Entrances:
      • Beachway Avenue
      • Crawford Avenue
      • Flagler Avenue
      • 3rd Avenue
      • 27th Avenue
New Smyrna Beach Travel Guide
  • Relax on the Beach – For a day at the beach, there are 17 miles of sparkling coastline to explore in New Smyrna Beach. If you go to one beach during your trip to New Smyrna Beach, make it Smyrna Dunes Park. There is a $10 entrance fee to the park and a winding 3/4 of a mile walk to get down the ocean, but it is so worth it! This is because there is a recently redone boardwalk that has a lookout tower to take in the stunning views. You can enjoy sprawling dunes without any high rise condos. Soak in views of the Ponce Deleon Lighthouse and New Smyrna’s White sand beaches in seclusion from all of the hustle and bustle. Dunes Park is also one of the few dog friendly beaches in the area.
    • Other Beaches Include:
      • North Beach- North Beach is right down the street from Flagler Avenue at 1100 N. Atlantic Avenue. It is located along a residential stretch of beach so there are towering dunes instead of towering condos. It is a drive beach and has a wash off station, pavilion and bathrooms.
      • 27th Avenue- 27th Avenue beach park is a great place for families. It is currently undergoing improvements. It is where beach driving ends, so it is more laid back for small children. There are bathrooms and showers available too which makes it easier on families
New Smyrna Beach Travel Guide
  • Paddling– Going kayaking or paddle boarding is one of the best ways to experience New Smyrna Beach. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards from layZBoards or go on one of their wonderful tours of the lagoon.
  • Shopping– Enjoy strolling Canal Street and looking at all of the boutiques or walk down Flagler Avenue and treat yourself to something sweet at Beachside Candy Co.
New Smyrna Beach Travel Guide
  • Deep Sea Fishing– Going on a fishing charter is a great way to get out into the ocean and catch fresh seafood with a guide. It is a popular draw for many visitors!
  • Hiking – Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserves is one of the best spots in New Smyrna Beach, Florida for a nature walk. You can also view Sugarmill Ruins and enjoy a short hike.
  • Spot a Sea Turtle- In addition to the Space Coast, this is another common place for turtles to lay their eggs. See if you can see one nesting between May through September.
  • Surfing– New Smyrna Beach is also one of the most popular surfing destinations in Florida. Surf competitions are held in New Smyrna Beach by the jetties, where surfers typically flock.
New Smyrna Beach Travel Guide
  • Water Sports – Fishing, Boating, Jetskiing and Scuba Diving are also popular things to do on the water here. With an average temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s the perfect way to expereince the ocean.
  • Local Events– Be on the lookout for street festivals on Flagler Ave. You’ll find everything from food festivals to live music to art showings. There are also plenty of unique Art Galleries full of local art to check out.
Wine Walk Flagler Ave

The Florida Travel Girl’s Take – This list covers so many of the awesome things to do in New Smyrna Beach! I especially recommend checking out the local events as well. We went for the Monthly Wine Walk once and had so much fun trying wine at a dozen different restaurants.

New Smyrna Beach, Florida Restaurants

New Smyrna Beach is a small area, but it is still packed with delicious things to eat. You’ll find most of the restaurants on the two main beach roads (Flagler Ave. and 3rd Ave.) and a few on the other side of the causeway off Canal Street. Heather shared her top 4 favorites and I have some favorites of my own. I also added a list of a few other spots on my list of New Smyrna Beach restaurants to try.

Heather’s Favorite New Smyrna Beach Restaurants

  • The Garlic– I cannot speak positively enough about The Garlic. Their Prime Rib is divine and I have never been let down at The Garlic. It is an award winning local favorite that is well known outside of New Smyrna Beach.
  • Norwood’s Eatery and Treehouse Bar– Enjoy an adult’s only treehouse bar with a wine selection that will please most wine connoisseurs. Incredible dining experience and a cannot miss experience in New Smyrna Beach.
New Smyrna Beach Travel Guide
  • CorkScrew Bar & Grille– Enjoy the Historic District whole dining in the outdoor seating area or enjoy the ambiance of indoors. Delicious burgers and cocktails.
  • Breakers– If you are looking for the best burgers in New Smyrna Beach, you will find them at Breakers. Enjoy your food while watching the waves because Breakers is right on the beach!

Amy’s Favorite New Smyrna Beach Restaurants

  • Third Wave Cafe & Wine Bar– I have been to this adorable outdoor spot multiple times because I just love the food and the vibe. The outside is a dreamy garden and they have delectable salads, flatbreads, wine and cocktails.
Third Wave Cafe
  • Yellow Dog Eats– This is a fun sandwich and barbecue spot with locations in New Smyrna Beach and Orlando. Live music is common here and you have to try their tender pulled pork!
  • Cafe Verde– This plant focused restaurant has something for everyone! Though not completely vegetarian, they offer so many different kinds of local grown vegetables with their inventive entrees. The bowls, tacos and salads are a big hit.
Cafe Verde New Smyrna
  • Flagler Tavren– A popular spot with the locals, especially for a bite after the beach! Check out eh fresh seafood and happy hour specials here.
  • New Smyrna Beach Brewing Company– This is not actually a restaurant as they only have popcorn, but it’s a must-visit spot for drinks! This new brewery has some very beachy beers, likes the Disappearing Island Apricot Ale and the Shark Attack IPA.

More Restaurants to Try

  • The Taco Shack– A super cute outdoor spot that feels very California. The tacos look amazing as well as the authentic looking sides of rice and beans.
  • Aa Garden Fusion– This is a Pan-Asian restaurant featuring favorites like pho and poke bowls. Try traditional options like curry or get something more unique like the Asian Alfredo.
  • Wake Up Cafe North– Start your day with pancakes or an eggs benedict at this adorable cafe. There are even some options with an Argentine twist, as the owners are Argentine natives.
  • Flagler Avenue Pizza Company– Another great spot for a quick bite off the beach is this New York pizza spot. They serve it by the slice and it’s sure to hit the spot after a day in the sun.
  • Atlantis Bistro– A cozy Italian spot with all sorts of seafood and pasta. It looks perfect for a date night!

New Smyrna Beach Florida, Hotels

Whether you want the peacefulness of Riverside Drive or to soak in the salty beachside air, there are plenty of accommodations.

  • Night Swan Inn– For Riverside Drive sunsets from an Adirondack chair below a mossy love oak tree check out the Night Swan Inn. It is a quaint and coastal bed and breakfast that will make you feel like you are a local.
New Smyrna Beach Travel Guide
  • Oceanwalk Condos– Located just steps from the beach, Oceanwalk Condos is a sprawling gated community with sparkling pools and spacious units.
  • Riverview Hotel– If you are looking for a Victorian style hotel that is right on Flagler Avenue, Riverview is perfect. Right next door is a Riverview Grille, dine with a fantastic view! You are also steps away from the popular Flagler Avenue shops and restaurants.
  • Vacation Rental– You can also rent beach homes and fully furnished condos from vacation rental sites like Airbnb, VRBO and Vacasa Vacation Rentals.
New Smyrna Beach Travel Guide

Know Before You Go

Thanks again to Heather Hinson for such an awesome travel guide! She has me dying to take a trip up to New Smyrna Beach again. Here are just a few more tips to keep in mind if you are traveling to this area.

  • The best time to visit is March-June and Mid-October through Mid-December. It can get a bit too cold for the beach in the winter and you definitely want to avoid peak hurricane season in August and September.
  • If you are flying, Daytona Beach Airport is half an hour away and Orlando Airport is an hour away.
  • I recommend getting a rental car, although if you are staying on Flagler Ave and only want to hang out there, you can get a shuttle to take you to and from the airport.
  • New Smyrna Beach is a quick hour-long drive to many tourist attractions including Disney World, Universal, and the Kennedy Space Center.
  • Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach are very close by and also have some fun attractions to check out.
  • Did you know New Smyrna Beach is the shark bite capital of the world?! Attacks are still very rare, but make sure to read up on shark statistics and safety tips before visiting.
  • If you would like to get some couple or family pictures to commemorate your vacation, contact Heather Hinson at Hinson Photography!
New Smyrna Beach Travel Guide

If visiting this surf spot isn’t on your bucket list, then you need to add it! Add this pin above to your Pinterest board for future reference.

HEather Hinson Photography

Heather Hinson and her husband Jon live in New Smyrna Beach, Florida with their beautiful son and furry chihuahua. Their photography services include vacation and family portraits, as well as wedding photography. They service most of Central Florida. Heather provided most of the photos for this post, including the gorgeous beach shots! For more information check out their website at, or email