Attractions: Overview and History of New Smyrna Beach (Preview)

One of The First Cities in Florida

New Smyrna Beach was the first attempted colonization in Florida by Scottish Dr. Andrew Turnbull.  After sickness and the lack of troops, he went north to St. Augustine and created the first city in Florida.  He then returned to New Smyrna Beach and settled the area in 1768.  The Scottish and British settlers knew the area was special and Andrew Turnbull’s wife was originally from Smyrna, Turkey, so they called the area Smyrna.  Today, it is called New Smyrna Beach and celebrates its 250th Anniversary on June 16, 2018.

The New Smyrna Beach (NSB) area is located on Florida’s Central East Coast, south of Daytona Beach and north of the Kennedy Space Center.   The area comprises 5 communities; Port Orange located just north of us – great shopping, fishing and golfing; Edgewater located just south of us – home to our area boat manufacturers, such as Boston Whaler, Everglades and EdgeWater Power Boats; Oak Hill – a small rural community home to the Mosquito Lagoon and Goodrich’s Seafood Restaurant located on the Lagoon.  The area has fish camps as well.  Osteen – a rural area to the southwest of NSB, is a step back in time. Visit the Osteen diner, Beck’s Ranch Park or Golf at Cypress Head.

Between all five of our communities, we have a diverse array of accommodations bound to satisfy our visitors’ needs. From private homes and condominiums on the beach, quaint bed and breakfasts and campgrounds, to hotel chains you know and love, we know you’ll enjoy your stay and feel like you’re at home.

New Smyrna Beach is no doubt the draw to the area. With our unique land location, A1A does not run up the coast like in other coastal cities in Florida.  This is due to the Mosquito Lagoon to the south and Ponce DeLeon Inlet to the north (thus separating us from our neighbors Daytona Beach and Kennedy Space Center).  Those seeking that coastal drive will have to drive in from route 1, HWY 95 or I-4 and then connect to A1A on the Island.

A treasure trove of beauty, nature, and waterways

The intracoastal waterway is called the Indian River Lagoon.  This body of water is the North America’s most biologically diverse body of water, home to over 400 species of birds, fish, and mammals.  Many have referred to this area as the Atlantic Ocean’s nursery. Due to the influx of water from the Atlantic into the river, many species such as dolphin, manatee, and fish call this home and create their offspring.  With all this water, it’s no surprise that boating, fishing, stand-up-paddleboard (SUP), and surfing are a huge attraction in our area.  The north jetty beach has been ranked #4 for best surf by Surfing Magazine.

Two Downtown Areas

But the activities don’t stop on the water, with two downtown areas: Our beachside Flagler Avenue and Historic Canal Street, the area boasts island shopping in boutiques, unique dining options, art shops and lodging options to visitors.  The area also has larger chain stores located in nearby communities.  Fishing is amazing, diving the offshore wrecks are fun and the fish are abundant!

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