Coastal Getaways: New Smyrna

If you surf, or are looking to learn, this is a great place to set up base.

Time to read: 4 min.

Adventure Level: Moderate

New Smyrna is a sleepy little surf town with a lot of history and charm. If you’re in need of a low-key, out of the way spot with a beach, you can’t go wrong with New Smyrna. It is one of the best kept secrets on the Florida east coast.

And if you surf, or are looking to learn, NSB (as the locals call it) is a great place to set up base. A collection of surf and clothing shops, hip eateries with organic and local ingredients, and local excursions will keep you busy (but not too busy) and will allow you to while away the afternoon. No doubt you’ll find — as we did — the town’s relaxed vibe infectious.

Lighthouse Point Park
Check out Light Point Park

Open Daily:
Sunrise to sunset

$10 per vehicle. $20 annual inlet parks pass.

Lighthouse Point Park
Check out Light Point Park

Open Daily:
Sunrise to sunset

$10 per vehicle. $20 annual inlet parks pass.

are not permitted on weekends and holidays without prior authorization from the Coastal Division through a Special Event Permit. There is a $25 application fee and the form can be submitted via email to RecPro-

Park Office: 386-756-7488
Lighthouse Point Park is at the southern tip of Ponce Inlet. The natural beauty of the undisturbed land has been preserved for all to enjoy. Dolphins frequent the shoreline, gopher tortoises can be found in sandy areas, and other wildlife (including raccoons, possums, skunks, armadillos, shore birds and birds of prey) can be observed.

The 52-acre park features fishing, nature trails, an observation deck and tower, swimming and pavilions.

Driving directions
From Daytona Beach, take I-95 south toward Miami. Take SR-421, Exit 256, toward Port Orange. Take the Taylor Road ramp toward Port Orange/Daytona Beach Shores. Merge onto State Road 421 East/Dunlawton Avenue. Cross the high-rise bridge, turn right on South Atlantic Avenue, and drive straight to the park. [courtesy of]

Smyrna Dunes Park Location:
2995 N. Peninsula Ave., New Smyrna Beach

Open daily:
Sunrise to sunset

$10 per vehicle. $20 annual inlet parks pass.

Smyrna Dunes Brazilian Pepper Eradication Program: Map

Park office: 386-424-2935
Visitors to Smyrna Dunes Park may arrive by land or by sea. Perched on 73 acres of pristine land at the northern tip of the New Smyrna Beach peninsula, the area is surrounded by water on three sides.

Park features
»» Dune walkover (1.5 miles long)
»» Educational programs (call park manager for more information)
»» Fishing
»» Nature trails
»» Observation tower
»» Parking
»» Pavilions
»» Picnic tables
»» Restrooms
»» Riverside fishing pier (350 feet long, ADA accessible)
»» Swimming

Waters from the Indian River flow through Ponce Inlet and into the Atlantic Ocean providing a variety of fishing or swimming venues for park goers.

The park also provides a unique opportunity for naturalists, ecologists, students and the general public to see a wide variety of animals, birds, reptiles, marine life and vegetation in their natural habitat. The surrounding waters provide excellent fishing, boating and swimming opportunities.

The park consists of five ecosystems (ocean, river, dunes, scrub zone, saltwater marsh). The principal system is vast sand dunes. To protect the sensitive sand dunes from foot traffic, two miles of elevated walkways, picnic areas, pavilions and an observation tower were built, allowing visitors to travel through the park in a natural environment.

Smyrna Dunes Park is one of a few county parks where man’s best friend may enjoy the amenities. However, pets must be leashed at all times.

Turn right on Peninsula Avenue and go north two miles.

[courtesy of]

Where to Stay: Inn on the Avenue

This charming bed and breakfast puts you right in the middle of everything on Flagler Avenue. Each room is themed and decorated accordingly (Seashell, Flamingo, Lighthouse, etc.). And the best part of the Inn on the Avenue is the breakfast. In-table griddles allow guests to make their own pancakes, and only the freshest seasonal items make their way onto the menu.

The staff is friendly, and often enough an array of goodies like home-made brownies and lemonade are left for the guests as they make their way back from their excursions.

Continuing on our journey southward, make a stop at Phil Foster Park underneath the Blue Heron Bridge in West Palm Beach. A kaleidoscope of wonders await just below the surface of the water…