VIBE: Relaxed, Family Friendly
2995 N Peninsula Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
New Smyrna Beach has an amazing beach park called Smyrna Dunes Park that we love! It has over 2 miles of wide, elevated, handicapped accessible boardwalk capped with lumber that makes for a great walk on cooler Florida days.
Is New Smyrna Beach worth visiting?
Yes! This small city is eclectic and full of charm. One of the great things about Smyrna Dunes Park is the beach section designated as a dog park. Our rescued greyhound, Fancy Pants, loved it! This Florida beach park is the complete package and it's a great place for nature loving individuals. Beside the park preserve with white dunes, the main beach has miles of drive-on sand. It's easy to relax when visiting New Smyrna Beach, and it's near Orlando. Families will love a Florida vacation here with so much to do near the beach and downtown.
Hurricane update 2022: Smyrna Dunes Park did not sustain a lot of damage during Hurricane Ian. There was dune erosion but the big ones were untouched. It is open for driving on the beach via Flagler Avenue access.
New Smyrna Beach Sand
One of the most beautiful things about New Smyrna Beach is the huge, white sand dunes. Sometimes they look like that 4-letter word: SNOW! Don't be scared off though. This area is breathtaking with sand as white as Siesta Key. You can't walk on the dunes (they are protected) but you might see some wildlife including sand crabs or turtles. The sand is thick, so follow our advice regarding driving in deep sand. Don't get into trouble spinning your wheels. We see it all the time.
New Smyrna Beach Water
The Atlantic ocean can get quite rough. This is why surfers love it - big waves! There are other beaches near this park for swimming that may be calmer. But if you stay away from the inlet (where the surfers and fishermen are), you will have a better swimming experience. There are many beach access points on this long stretch of beach that have a lifeguard, which is always recommended. You can drive right on the beach if you like. We like to walk the Smyrna Dunes Park boardwalk for exercise, dip in the ocean to cool off, then head back to the pickup truck. When the beach waves are particularly high (like when a storm is coming or going), it's great fun to watch the surfing!
New Smyrna Beach Parking and Amenities
This is a popular beach in Florida that you can drive on or park in one of the beach access lots. Smyrna Dunes Park has a parking lot but it is small. It fills up fast on weekends and holidays. The Park is fully accessible. Even the fishing pier is accessible! Restrooms, pavilions and barbeque grills are available. Nature is abundant here: we often see eagles and gopher tortoises. If you choose the drive-on section of the beach (see below) then you can park and eat at a a wide variety of beachside restaurants. You will probably need a 4x4 because the sand is thick!
New Smyrna Beach Activities
New Smyrna Beach is known for it's surfing. When the waves are high, surfers run to the beachfront. Why not take a surfing lesson while you are here in Florida? If you don't surf, there are other options. Check out these two fellows below having a grand time riding their onewheels! For us, riding our bikes or walking in the ocean surf is just fine. We prefer two or four wheels to get around this beach. You can grill on the beach with your own BBQ or have a bonfire but charcoal must be disposed of properly.
Other Activities in New Smyrna Beach
The Canal Street Historic District is a walkable shopping and dining district. "Sip and Stroll", galleries, concert series and artisan displays showcase old-world Florida charm. We did not even know about this area until we moved here. Some of the beach streets and shops remind us of the St. Pete Beach area. It's also just a quick ride down to the Kennedy Space Center, the Daytona International Speedway and Indian River Lagoon. P.S. did you know that New Smyrna has its own speedway? It has a NASCAR Advance Auto Parts race every Saturday night and other special events. Kids will love this!
Look Out! This Could Happen...
Unfortunately, we have to mention this: the chances of getting bitten by a shark in New Smyrna Beach are higher than anywhere else in the nation. But the chances of encountering a shark are LOW and you are more likely to get hit by lightning. Most of this shark activity is associated with surfers and fisherman near the inlet. Sharks are provoked when people splash and kick their feet while using their surf boards. Fishing done near the inlet also attracts sharks due to bait. It's advisable to swim away from the surfing area and at low tide. Swim near the lifeguard stations. You can find a map here.
Trucks At This Beach
Can't miss this all white customized RAM2500 beauty. Along with that high lift kit, this pickup truck features great touches like matching white extended towing mirrors, a MOVE classic front bumper kit with light cutouts and light bar, huge exhaust chrome tip, and rear blacked out taillights. All this is riding on those gleaming Hardcore OffRoad rims and big Toyo Open Country MT tires. When this pickup truck pulls in, you have to look. We sure did!
What We Really Think About New Smyrna Beach
Smyrna Dunes Park is one of the best Florida beach parks for a nature walk on the Atlantic Ocean side of Florida. The beach itself has 17 miles of beachfront to drive on and explore: you won't be disappointed. Lots of areas for fishing, surfing and our favorite sport: eating (see The Garlic restaurant below)! Even if you just love to walk, this park and preserve offers lots of sightseeing and photo opportunities. Restaurants and events along the beach (and downtown) ensure any visitor won't be bored.
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New Smyrna Beach Hotels
Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites
Hampton Inn New Smyrna Beach
Springhill Suites New Smyrna Beach
Inn On The Avenue Bed & Breakfast
Black Dolphin Inn
New Smyrna Beach Restaurants
The Breakers Restaurant
Norwood's Treehouse Restaurant & Bar
Toni and Joe's Patio
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Susan and Bruno are travel bloggers. We write about Florida beaches on every coast. Our opinions only.