From sunny weather to sandy beaches to ocean all around, it’s no surprise that Florida is the vacation spot of the world’s dreams. Despite miles of golden shore along its peninsula, each Florida beach offers a completely unique experience. Those that seek a family-friendly atmosphere and relaxed, small-town feel will find New Smyrna Beach their paradise. Unlike the packed shores of its popular neighbors, NSB is Florida residents’ favorite destination. Book your east coast vacation in New Smyrna Beach and explore the area’s locally loved landmarks, restaurants, and activities.
Personally, we believe there’s no landmark as iconic as the Atlantic Ocean (and that can be seen from any of our oceanfront vacation rentals!). However, it’s not a true NSB experience without paying a visit to New Smyrna Beach’s most recognizable spots. Grab your camera and get ready to give your friends travel envy!
Flagler Avenue Sign
You know you’re in for days of relaxation once you see the infamous Flagler Avenue sign. This NSB landmark ushers beachgoers right to the waves as it stands prominently before the public beach access. Its playful colors and ocean backdrop make it the ideal place for pictures. When you’ve well-documented this landmark, you can make an afternoon of strolling down Flagler and popping into its many shops and restaurants.
The Lifeguard Tower
There’s no need to leave the sand as one of NSB’s landmarks presides over the driving beach. New Smyrna’s lifeguard tower makes many social media appearances as the yellow structure is a classic part of beach life. Just set up your chair and umbrella and spend the day by it. You’ll find the lifeguard tower located on Buenos Aires Street only a brief walk from Toni and Joe’s Patio and the condominium complex, Oceania Plaza.
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
While technically not in New Smyrna, we adopt this landmark as our own as it is visible from NSB’s shore! The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is the tallest in Florida and has guided seamen and travelers since 1887. Along with a rich history, this landmark provides a bird’s eye view from 175 feet at the top. It’s the best place for videos, pictures, and simply marveling at the ocean scenery. Plan your visit here!
If there is one thing New Smyrna Beach vacationers are passionate about, it’s the local food! Whether you’re a seafood fan or simply love dinner with an ocean view, NSB is the ideal spot for evenings out. Below we’ve listed three of NSB’s most famous restaurants; however, the island has so many more for you to discover. Find the top ice cream shops, healthy eats, outdoor dining, bars, and more on our New Smyrna Beach dining page.
No beach vacation is complete without sipping a frozen margarita and enjoying a burger to the sight of the ocean. The Breakers has been a New Smyrna Beach staple for over 30 years. While their menu holds an impressive selection of burgers and drinks, the building itself has grown to be a landmark. The restaurant’s pink exterior and oceanfront location make it a popular spot for pictures. In true beach fashion, this joint is a casual place where you seat yourself, take in the view, and enjoy classic American food. View their menu here.
Those who crave dinner ambiance will find nothing lacking underneath Norwood’s treetops and string lights. This treehouse restaurant is one of NSB’s most famous date night spot. Upstairs on the rooftop you’ll find a full bar, live music, and a magical atmosphere amongst the trees. Along with aesthetic appeal, Norwood’s Treehouse is raved about for its fantastic seafood that’s freshly caught nearby. View their menu here.
If you’re on the hunt for the popular spot with NSB locals, you’ll find they all gather at the riverside JB’s Fish Camp. This casual seafood joint is reminiscent of summer camp with its laid-back atmosphere, kayak rentals, and dockside fishing. Unlike the rest of New Smyrna’s dining scene, JB’s offers a unique glimpse of NSB’s freshwater side. Guests can dine outdoors and watch the kayaks and wildlife on the Indian river. Keep your eyes open for manatee sightings! View JB’s Fish Camp menu here.
Top Things to Do
Unlike urban destinations, doing nothing is one of the beach’s top activities. Most vacationers spend their days stretched out on a towel, soaking up rays, and leisurely walking along the tide. Below are the top 3 activities travelers love New Smyrna Beach for.
Relaxing on the Beach
Grab a beach chair and spend your days in the sunshine and fresh salty air. If your plans are to read a book and rest, we recommend laying out your towel on New Smyrna’s non-driving shore. If you prefer to be walking distance to the local restaurants and shops, set up your umbrella on the driving beach. Those that crave activity will find plenty of fun and adventure between the sand and ocean. New Smyrna Beach is considered Florida’s surfing hub thanks to the inlet’s great waves. Whether you surf, swim, or cruise the shore on bikes, you’ll find the beach itself fills your days with fun.
Shopping on Canal & Flagler Street
No vacation is complete without a few souvenirs! Find cute mementos to remember your Florida vacation by when you shop Canal Street and Flagler Avenue. Flagler Avenue is NSB’s most popular street as its lined with boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and even shuffleboard courts. However, New Smyrna Beach locals often frequent Canal Street which is nestled in the town’s historic district. You’ll find everything from a 1920’s soda fountain shop to a funky art museum to a charming farmer’s market in this area. Discover Canal Street and Flagler Avenue online!
Golf Cart, Bike, and Surfboard Rentals
Beach living calls for no shoes, golf cart rides around town, and as much time spent in the ocean. New Smyrna Beach vacationers often rent beach equipment to add to the fun. If you don’t plan on straying from the shore, we recommend renting a golf cart instead of a rental car for your stay. Golf carts are permitted around town and on the driving beach! If you love staying active, rent beach cruisers or surfboards with local companies like Sandy Andy’s and Nichols Surf Shop.
With this guide in hand, you’re ready to make New Smyrna Beach your destination and experience the best Florida vacation. Start planning your trip by booking a vacation rental with Great Ocean Condos and Homes. We offer over 300 unique vacation experiences ranging from direct oceanfront condos to luxury homes. Browse our rentals online or call us at 386.478.8763 to place your vacation reservation!