New Smyrna Beach
Just an hour’s drive from Orlando, New Smyrna Beach offers a lovely drive-on Atlantic coast beach – much like that of Daytona Beach, but quieter and with a feeling of an historic hometown. New Smyrna Beach has loads of little shops and cafes, and a thriving arts community, and its beaches are wide and flat with golden-hued sands. Its Apollo Beach is part of the extensive Canaveral National Seashore that continues to the south, all-natural and minimally developed. New Smyrna Beach has been named to National Geographic’s list of the World’s 20 Best Surf Towns and in 2013 Travel & Leisure Magazine placed New Smyrna on its list of the top 15 “World’s Coolest Surf Towns.” In fact, New Smyrna Beach was the only city on the east coast of the United States to make the top 15-list.
New Smyrna Beach is approximately 38 square miles in size and is located on Florida’s east coast, in the County of Volusia, just north of Cape Canaveral with easy access to both Interstate 95 and Interstate 4.
- 15 miles south of Daytona Beach
- 56 miles east of Orlando
- 40 miles north of Kennedy Space Center
- 109 miles south of Jacksonville
- 250 miles north of Miami
- Estimated 7 miles of Beach property
- Estimated 8 miles of Riverfront property
New Smyrna Beach occupies a notable place in history as the site of the largest single attempt at colonial settlement in what is now the United States. Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a Scottish physician and entrepreneur, obtained a grant of land from the British Crown. In 1768 he established a colony of 1,225 immigrants on the coastal plantations at New Smyrna, with a view toward the commercial production of such crops as corn, indigo, rice, hemp, and cotton. The land that the Turnbull colonists settled is located along the west bank of the Indian River, opposite one of coastal east Florida’s relatively few inlets. For some 10,000 years before the arrival of the Europeans, Native Americans inhabited the area, initially on a nomadic basis and later in more sedentary camps and villages. Until the early twentieth century, the coastline was strewn with mounds of ancient refuse that testified to the presence of the Indians. Most of the mounds were destroyed, the shell used for roads and building construction material. However, much evidence of prehistoric habitation remains hidden under ground and water within the corporate limits of New Smyrna Beach and beyond.
Fun for race fans, friends and families, Daytona Beach boasts resorts, attractions and the Daytona International Speedway and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Come during the Daytona 500 or spring family beach break – or any time at all. You already know about Daytona Beach’s swimming, surfing and unusual drive-along- our- beach opportunities. But don’t forget to visit the Daytona Beach Pier, a historic attraction that recently reopened after a $5 million restoration. The beach has hard- packed sand where driving is permitted in designated areas. Near the boardwalk’s rides and arcades, Daytona Beach Bandshell stages free summer concerts. Steps from the beach, Daytona Lagoon water park offers go-karts, laser tag and waterslides.
Just north of Daytona Beach along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, Ormond Beach offers a first- class resort experience without sacrificing its small-town grace. One of its earliest settlers was millionaire John. D. Rockefeller, and Ormond Beach still provides visitors with elegant relaxation – though, now, it also allows easy access to busier nearby destinations such as next-door neighbor Daytona Beach or, just more than an hour away, Orlando. Bordered by the Tomoka River on the west, the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Ormond Beach is an ideal location for a myriad of water activities. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of cultural and recreational events offered throughout the year – and the pleasures of its historic downtown along Granada Boulevard.
Daytona Beach Shores
Daytona Beach Shores is a charming, friendly, oceanfront community of 4,300 residents located on the barrier island directly south of Daytona Beach, Florida. The city was founded in 1960 by local businessmen who were convinced that a smaller community would better serve the residents.
Just 5.5 miles long, the city features the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Intracoastal Waterway on the west. Residents and visitors alike take advantage of the pristine beach – whether for sunrise walks or bicycling, frolicking in the sand and surf, or enjoying the quiet solitude of the setting sun. Boats sail and cruise along the waterway, making the views from either the east or the west particularly scenic.
Surf’s up in Ponce Inlet, just south of Daytona Beach. Along with awesome waves, Ponce Inlet is best known for being home to Florida’s tallest lighthouse and a marine science center with interactive exhibits, a boardwalk, observation tower and nature trails. At 175 feet and with 203 steps, the lighthouse in Ponce Inlet offers a nice workout for those craving some exercise, but don’t be intimidated. The climb is totally doable, even for kids. And the view is more than worth it! Later, be sure to relax along one of Ponce Inlet’s gorgeous beaches, perfect for walking, jogging, sunning and shelling.