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The Best Things to Do in New Smyrna Beach: A Guide to this Trendy Surf Town

New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet are laid-back coastal towns on the Central East coast of Florida. They are known for their lovely beaches, surfing, food scene, and beach driving. New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet have a lot to offer, and they are the perfect sport for a solo or family vacation.

New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet’s locations are unbeatable. They are about 1:22 hours from Disney World and one hour from Orlando. This makes them the perfect place for those visitors wanting to venture outside the parks and typical tourist attractions. 

New Smyrna Beach - A Trendy and Eclectic Beach and Surf Town in Central Florida

Where to stay in New Smyrna Beach

Anchor INN NSB Bed and Breakfast is a cozy, ocean-themed bed & breakfast. It is family owned and operated. It sits in a gorgeous bungalow with seven beautiful guest rooms, each with a private bath. They are located in Historic Downtown New Smyrna Beach. They are a short walk to boutiques, restaurants, and antique shops. A delicious complimentary breakfast is served.

Guests are treated like family. You are also a short walk from the Intracoastal Waterway and a two-mile bike ride from the beach. The Anchor Inn is the perfect setting for couples visiting New Smyrna Beach. If you want to celebrate a special occasion, Anchor Inn Bed and Breakfast has special packages. 

Black Dolphin INN is one of the most popular places to stay while visiting New Smyrna Beach. The Black Dolphin Inn is a historic Inn located in a quiet New Smyrna neighborhood just minutes from the beach. The Black Dolphin Inn overlooks the Indian River. It got its name from the numerous dolphins that visit the waters off its dock. The beautifully decorated guest rooms and suites have balconies and terraces to enjoy your surroundings. The Black Dolphin Inn is a 5-minute drive from the beach. You are within walking distance of restaurants and shops in New Smyrna Beach’s Historic Downtown. This property has won multiple awards and accolades, so you will surely enjoy this hidden gem in New Smyrna Beach. The Black Dolphin Inn is perfect for couples and families. 

The Riverview Hotel New Smyrna Beach is a Victorian Style hotel dating back to 1885. It is nestled between the Indian River and New Smyrna’s Beach. This boutique hotel has 18 rooms that have been beautifully updated. The property also has a spa, marina, and complimentary breakfast. The Riverview Hotel also allows its guests to borrow the hotel’s bicycles to explore New Smyrna. This property is perfect for couples and families. 

Buddy’s Place at the Beach, this 2 bedroom 2 bath villa in the private community of Sea Woods in New Smyrna Beach, allows you to explore New Smyrna Beach without staying at a hotel. It is only one block from the beach and has many amenities, including two outdoor pools, a sauna, tennis courts, and a gym. Make yourself at home and enjoy your private patio and community amenities. A gas grill is also available. This property is perfect for families and couples. 

Castle Reef Condo is a ground floor 2 bedroom 2 bath condo located within a 2-minute walk from the non-driving beach. You can enjoy community amenities such as the swimming pool, the kid’s pool, tennis courts, and outdoor grills. This condo is perfect for families and couples.  

Honu Hideaway at Ocean Walk Resort is a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom condo across the street from the non-driving beach area of New Smyrna Beach. It is located on the 2nd floor of the building. You can enjoy the community amenities such as saunas, pools, hot tubs, poolside dry spas, bocce courts, tennis courts, shuffleboards, basketball hoops, and bbq grills. Great property for families. 

Ocean Front Condo with Balcony is a 2 bedroom oceanfront condo in the driving portion of New Smyrna Beach. This condo is perfect for families, and you can also use the 2 provided bikes to explore the surrounding areas. 

Charming Bungalow is only a few steps from Flagler Avenue. It is located 7 minutes walk to the beach. This is a 2 bedroom bungalow that will surely help you enjoy your New Smyrna vacation. 

Where to stay in Ponce Inlet

Ponce Inlet Condo is a 2 stories, 2-bedroom condo located a few steps from Ponce Inlet Beach. Guests staying can use the gated pool, outdoor dining space, and balcony. This property is perfect for families. 

Yellow Sunshine Oceanfront Townhouse is a 2 bedroom 2 bath townhouse located directly on the ocean. It is also 1.1 miles from the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Museum. This property is perfect for families looking to enjoy Ponce Inlet, Florida, and the surrounding areas.

Where to eat in New Smyrna Beach

Wake Up Cafe is the perfect place for a hearty, delicious breakfast. It is a family-owned cafe that serves Argentine-inspired cuisine. It’s a casual spot, but their food is flavorful and delicious. We love their choripan and empanadas, as well as the deliciously fluffy pancakes. 

Third Wave Cafe and Wine Bar is a lovely spot for lunch or dinner located in downtown New Smyrna Beach on Flagler Ave. They have delicious sandwiches, pizzas, and high-quality coffee. The restaurant has an enchanting garden setting to relax after a long day at the beach. They offer an eclectic blend of global and southern coastal traditions and foods. The ambiance is magical and beautiful. You can dine under large native trees with twinkling lights and flickering flames from torches. We love their charcuterie board and the wood-fired pizzas. 

Third Wave Cafe and Wine Bar

River Park Terrace is located in the historic district. It is considered one of the best restaurants in the New Smyrna Beach area. The tropical garden ambiance is unique and delightful. The restaurant sits in a beautiful cozy cottage that is perfectly decorated. Their food is cooked from scratch, and they feature modern American fare with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. You can dine inside or outside; however, we enjoyed sitting outside while enjoying live music. The owners and staff work hard to create a unique and magical experience for all guests. 

River Park Terrace New Smyrna Beach
River Park Terrace New Smyrna Beach Outdoor dining
River Park Terrace New Smyrna Beach
River Park Terrace Restaurant New Smyrna Beach
River Park Terrace Restaurant New Smyrna Beach
River Park Terrace Restaurant New Smyrna Beach
River Park Terrace Restaurant New Smyrna Beach
River Park Terrace Restaurant New Smyrna Beach

Yellow Dog Eats Kitchen & Bar is the perfect place for a casual bite. Their food is delicious, and they offer a wide variety of items. The focus is on American food like BBQ, sandwiches, and salads. One of my favorites from Yellow Dog Eats Kitchen Bar is the pulled pork sandwich with an incredibly delicious fig sauce and the salad.  

Yellow Dog Eats New Smyrna

Norwood’s Eatery Tree House is a fun place to eat. The setting is magical. If you are lucky, you can dine upstairs in the tree house. Having said that, the entire restaurant is meticulously decorated, and it guarantees a great experience. We recommend any of their seafood dishes. 

Where to eat in Ponce Inlet

Hidden Treasure Tiki Bar & Grill is a waterfront restaurant located next to the historic lighthouse in Ponce Inlet. Their menu has a variety of items, including but not limited to fresh seafood and award-winning burgers. The relaxed atmosphere with the view of the ocean is unbeatable. By the way, their burgers are genuinely delicious. 

Hidden Treasure Tiki bar and grill view
Hidden Treasure Tiki Bar and Grill Hamburger
Hidden Treasure Tiki Bar and grill view Ponce Inlet

Jerry’s Italian Grill & Tiki Bar is a favorite amongst the locals. The environment is extremely relaxed. They have live music often. Great place to stop after a long day at the beach.

Jerry's Italian Grill & Tiki Bar
Jerry's Italian Grill & Tiki Bar Ponce Inlet

What to do in New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach and the surrounding areas have many exciting things to do and a lot of places to explore. Although surfing is pretty big in New Smyrna Beach, it is by no means the only popular water sport in the area. Visitors can also enjoy paddleboarding, boating, fishing, biking, kayaking, jet skis, etc. 

Canal Street and Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach 

Canal Street and Flagler Street are prime spots for shopping, dining, and strolling. In addition, you will find unique boutiques, candy shops, and art galleries. 

Canal Street New Smyrna Beach
Welcome to New Smyrna Beach
Flagler Avenue New Smyrna Beach

Can I drive on the Beach at New Smyrna Beach?

Yes, you can drive on the beach in New Smyrna Beach. It is a great way to enjoy the ocean, find the perfect parking spot, and unload your things on the sand. You won’t have to tow and lug stuff down the road and boardwalk. 

Driving on New Smyrna Beach

How much does it cost to drive/park on New Smyrna Beach?

Beach driving on New Smyrna Beach is $20 a day, or you can buy their annual pass for around $100.

Sunrise in New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach is famous for its beautiful sunrises. So if you are willing to set your alarm clock and walk to the beach in the wee hours of the morning, you will be hugely rewarded with a beautiful sunrise. 

Can I grill on New Smyrna Beach?

Yes! You can grill on New Smyrna Beach. Remember to contain any fires to your grill and properly dispose of trash and ashes once everything is cooled off. 

Grilling at New Smyrna Beach

Bonfire at New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach allows you to gather friends and family and host a bonfire from November through April. However, between April and November is turtle nesting season, and bonfires are prohibited.  

Volusia County’s Beach Safety Division provides fire rings free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations for the fire pits must be made in advance. You may contact the Volusia County Beach Patrol at 368 239 6414 ext 230.

Beach visitors can bring their own bonfire pit if it’s not sea turtle nesting season. No permit is necessary!

The wood for the fire is not provided. The best type of wood to bring is unprocessed wood. Do not use discarded wood from household furniture with varnishes and paint or wood containing nails.

BonFire New Smyrna Beach

Are there sharks in New Smyrna Beach?

Yes. You can find sharks along New Smyrna Beach and all of the Florida coasts; however, fatal attacks are not common. 

Beach Rentals in New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach offers various rentals, including surfboards, kayaks, beach bikes, golf carts, paddleboards, etc.

Where can I rent a bike in New Smyrna Beach?

In New Smyrna Beach, you can rent a bike from Salty Rentals NBS and Beyond the Waves. Many visitors and locals use bikes along the Beach and downtown areas. Bikes are a lovely way to get to know the area, transport your belongings and enjoy your surroundings. If you decide to rent a bike, consider whether it’s a better deal to rent by hour or day. New Smyrna beach has 17 miles of white sand beaches!

Can I rent an electric bike in New Smyrna Beach?

Yes! You can rent electric bikes from Daytona Electric Bikes, Salty Rentals NSB, in New Smyrna Beach. This could be a perfect time if you haven’t tried an e-bike before. Electric bikes are so much fun! Because they require less strenuous activity, most riders tend to go further and exercise more. 

Daytona Electric Bikes
Biking in New Smyrna Beach
Electric Bikes New Smyrna Beach

Where can I rent a golf cart in New Smyrna Beach?

In New Smyrna Beach, you can rent a golf cart from Salty Rentals NSB. Remember that there are areas of New Smyrna Beach where vehicles are allowed. Golf carts are a great way to explore New Smyrna Beach and surrounding areas.

Can I paddleboard in New Smyrna Beach

Yes! You can use a paddleboard on New Smyrna Beach. Whether this is your first time or you are an experienced paddle boarder, New Smyrna Beach and its surrounding areas offer beautiful scenery. You can paddle through the ocean, Mary Bethune Beach Park, Callalisa Creek, Menard-May Park, and the North Causeway.

Can I rent a paddleboard in New Smyrna Beach?

Yes! You can rent a paddleboard from Beyond the Waves. Paddleboarding is a fun sport that allows you to enjoy New Smyrna Beach and the surrounding areas. You can paddle through the ocean, Mary Bethune Beach Park, Callalisa Creek, Menard-May Park, and the North Causeway.

Can I rent a kayak in New Smyrna Beach?

Yes! In New Smyrna Beach, you can rent a kayak from Beyond the Waves. So whether you need a one person kayak or a two-person kayak, these awesome rental companies have you covered. New Smyrna Beach is a great place to start your kayaking adventure, but remember that New Smyrna Beach is also home to many waterways worth exploring. You can kayak through the ocean, Mary Bethune Beach Park, Callalisa Creek, Menard-May Park, and the North Causeway.

Kayak New Smyrna Beach

Can I take surf lessons in New Smyrna Beach?

Yes! Surfin’ NSB offers Surf Lessons in New Smyrna Beach. I remember my first surf lesson, and although I can still recall the major wipeouts, I can tell you it is enjoyable. It is also a fantastic workout. Kids have a knick for better balance than adults, and they get to ride the waves quicker. The process is so rewarding, so go out there and book a surfing lesson. It’s totally worth it. Beyond the Waves also offers surf lessons and surfboard rentals. 

Surfin' NSB New Smyrna Beach Surfing
Catalina Surfing
Surfin' NSB New Smyrna Beach Surfing
Surfing in New Smyrna Beach

Things to do in Ponce Inlet

Ponce Inlet is such a cute little town on the east coast of Florida. Water, tiki bars, ice cream shops, museums, and educational places like the Marine Science Center surround it.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

The Ponce Inlet LightHouse is a museum located at Ponce Inlet in Central Florida. It is considered the tallest lighthouse in the state, measuring 175 feet in height. 

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

Can I go inside the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse?

Yes! The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is open to the public. You can climb the 203 steps to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy a beautiful 360-degree view of the Atlantic Ocean and the peninsula. 

Ponce de Leon Lighthouse
Ponce Inlet
Light at the Ponce Inlet Museum
View from Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

What are the Hours of Operation at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse?

 The Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum are open seven days a week except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The regular Hours of operation are:

 Fall, Winter, and Summer Hours of Operation: (Day after Labor Day to Day before Memorial Day) Open from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. (last admission at 5:00)

Summer Hours of Operation: (Memorial Day through Labor Day). Open from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.(last admission at 8:00)

Ponce Inlet Museum

What are the rates to enter the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse?

The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse admission rates are $6.95 for adults and 1.95 for children (11 and under). Infants are admitted free of charge. 

Climb to the Moon at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse 

The Climb to the Moon Event at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse happens monthly. It is a popular fundraiser event for only 25 guests every month. Reservations are required. You

What happens at the Climb to the Moon Event at the Ponce Inlet?

The lighthouse keeper will give you a guided tour, then you will climb the tower and enjoy sparkling beverages and light refreshments while enjoying 360 views of the Atlantic Ocean. The lantern room, which is never open to the public, is available during the Climb to the Moon Event. You can climb another 10 steps and observe the lens and the later room.

When does the Climb to the Moon Event at the Ponce Inlet occur?

The Climb to the Moon Event at the Ponce Inlet occurs once a month when the sunset and the moon rise on the same evening.

Full Moon at NSB

How much is the Climb to the Moon Event at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse?

The fee for the Climb to the Moon Event at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is $25 for non-members and $20 for members. 

How do I make reservations for the Climb to the Moon Event at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse?

To make a reservation to the Climb to the Moon event at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, you can call (386) 761 1821 Ext 10 or visit www.ponceinlet.org

Marine Science Center

Touch a stingray, marvel at aquariums, and witness the impressive sea turtle and marine bird rehabilitation efforts of the Marine Science Center.

Marine Science Center Ponce Inlet

Turtle Release in Ponce Inlet

The Marine Science Center is a fantastic organization located in Ponce Inlet. They help rehabilitate sea turtles to get them back to their natural habitat. Sometimes, if you are visiting Ponce Inlet or New Smyrna Beach, you will be lucky to see them release the turtles back into the ocean. 

Turtle Release NSB

How do I know when a sea turtle release will be happening?

The Marine Science Center generally announces when turtle releases will occur via their Facebook Page. Be sure to follow them on Facebook

What happens during a sea turtle release?

You will learn all about the turtle or turtles being released, and then you will see them being sent off into the ocean waters.

Turtle Release Ponce Inlet
Releasing Turtle NSB
Turtle Information NSB
Tortuga NSB

Can I rent a kayak in Ponce Inlet?

Yes! In Ponce Inlet, you can rent a kayak from Ponce Inlet Watersports. So whether you need a 1 person kayak or two-person kayak, these awesome rental companies have you covered. 

Kayak Ponce Inlet

Can I rent a paddleboard in Ponce Inlet?

Yes! You can rent a paddleboard from Ponce Inlet Watersports. Paddleboarding is a fun sport that allows you to enjoy Ponce Inlet and the surrounding areas. 

Our family loves spending a day at the beach, strolling along the beautiful coastline, exploring the shops, dining, visiting educational sites like museums, attending exciting Turtle Releases, and running into interesting festivals and celebrations.

Plan your next awesome vacation to New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet. The trendiest and eclectic town of New Smyrna Beach is in Central Florida. This surf town is full of adventures and things to do. You can have a low-key or action-packed weekend in this little area.

New Smyrna Beach has festivals, picturesque landscapes, and unbelievable sunrises, but above all, the people welcome you to enjoy a little Florida Sun and Water. Next to New Smyrna Beach is Ponce Inlet. Ponce Inlet has a lot of things to do as well. For example, you can explore the tallest lighthouse in Florida and learn about its history.