Florida’s Best Beach – New Smyrna Beach
Repeatedly honored as “Florida’s Best Beach,” New Smyrna Beach has four commercial districts, and miles of pristine beaches. What are you waiting for – come visit Florida’s Best Beach New Smyrna Beach!
History and the Arts
New Smyrna Beach is noted for being the site of the largest single attempt at colonial settlement in the United States when in 1768 Dr. Andrew Turnbull established a colony of 1,225 immigrants on coastal plantations. These were not the first inhabitants of this land, however. Native Americans roamed the wilderness, and until the early twentieth century, shell mounds abounded in the community. Some mounds still exist, but the majority were depleted when the shells were used for roads and building material.
The Atlantic Center for the Arts was founded in 1977 by Doris Leeper, a renowned painter, sculptor, and environmentalist. The center’s Pabst Visitor Center and Gallery features three interconnecting galleries: The Jean G. Harris History Gallery, the Master Artist Gallery, and the Jack Mitchell Portrait Gallery.
The Mary S. Harrell Black Heritage Museum brings history to life through its collection of memorabilia, artifacts, and photographs that educate visitors about the history and race relations in small-town Florida throughout the twentieth century.
Explore the grounds of The Lighthouse at Ponce Inlet for a glimpse into the life of a Florida Lighthouse keeper. The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is Florida’s tallest lighthouse. Two hundred three steps take you to the top of the 175-foot tower to some of the most magnificent views of Ponce Inlet and surrounding waterways.
Right next to the lighthouse is the Marine Science Center where visitors can learn about turtle and seabird rehabilitation, wander through an exhibit gallery and even touch a stringray.
Leisure Time and Shopping
The New Smyrna Waterfront Loop comprises the four commercial districts of the city. Visitors can easily move from “sand to street” to spend the day shopping for anything from antiques to fashions. A variety of restaurants and art galleries, and even a kayaking tour are part of the fun.
Surrounding Area Attractions
New Smyrna Beach is directly south of the World’s Most Famous Beach. Daytona seems a world away from the quaint small-town life of New Smyrna, but visitors will enjoy the Daytona Boardwalk and Pier, which features the Joyland Amusement Center, Mardi Gras Fun Center, and throughout the summer concerts and street performances are part of the attraction.
Daytona Beach Speedway offers daily tours from thirty minutes to an hour in length. Race fans will be treated to the history of racing, explore the Velocitorium, which is home to the vehicle that broke the land speed records of 276.82 mph on Daytona Beach in 1935, take a trip around the track, along the infield and down pit road, explore the NASCAR Sprint Cup garages, look into the driver’s meeting room, and so much more.
New Smyrna Beach and Volusia County have a diverse array of entertainment, shopping, and culture, not to mention sun and sand, for visitors.