The best things to do in New Smyrna Beach

This post may contain affiliate links that won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Discover the best things to do in New Smyrna Beach. From endless beach fun, wildlife galore and delicious eats, your adventure awaits.

A lighthouse sits on top of a rock next to the ocean, offering things to do in New Smyrna Beach.

Welcome to the sun-soaked shores of New Smyrna Beach, a hidden gem nestled along Florida’s Atlantic Coast. This charming seaside town boasts a unique blend of laid-back coastal vibes and vibrant cultural experiences, making it great for relaxation and adventure. 

New Smyrna Beach is the Shark Bite Capital of the world. This is mainly due to the amount of surfers by the inlet, where the surf is good and where the river feeds into the ocean. Bait plus sharks plus surfers, a bite is bound to happen.

The best things to do in New Smyrna Beach

Many know New Smyrna as Orlando’s beach. Over the years, businesses built condos and high rises. As well, out of towners bought second homes and condos. Thankfully, locals can still enjoy New Smyrna during the week without the influx of visitors that appears on the weekend.

New Smyrna Beach is just a quick drive south of Daytona Beach, approximately 30 minutes, depending on race or beach traffic. While in the area, you might also want to stop by Blue Spring State Park and check out all of the manatees, especially if you’re visiting during winter.

“New Smyrna Beach has this gravitational pull we cannot resist and keeps us coming back every winter. We love being able to drive on the beach, hang out with the dolphins and manatees, take our dog to the New Smyrna Dunes dog beach, visit all the local eateries — our favorite being Tin & Taco — and train at Prodigy Jiu Jitsu. New Smyrna Beach is a small town with a big heart. If you’re looking for the beach, the arts, the food, and the people, look no further.” 

— Sam and Travis, Always Take the Detour

A street with palm trees and a sign that says beach avenue.

Whether you’re a beach bum, nature enthusiast, or foodie, New Smyrna Beach or NSB has something special in store for you. Discover the best things to do in this small beach town, from exploring pristine beaches to savoring delicious local cuisine. 

Explore Flagler Avenue

I was born and raised in New Smyrna Beach. And Flagler Avenue is definitely a touristy spot. However, there are a few things that will get the locals out onto Flagler. 

Wine Walk is one of them. It’s the fourth Saturday of every month when visitors and locals head down to Flager Ave. There, they’ll receive a wristband and tickets to sip over 100 different varieties of wine from various bars, restaurants, and stores along Flagler. 

Flagler Avenue hosts many annual events, such as the Seaside Fiesta, Flamingo Follies, and other food-centric festivals. There are also numerous running events, parades, and activities for the entire family. 

You can also grab coffee at one of the many local coffee joints and stroll down the beach. Or, wander through Garden Arts to admire all the blooming flowers and even pick up some to spruce up your home or garden.

An image of a street at night with a full moon.

Things to do in New Smyrna Beach: Canal Street

Canal Street is a local hangout. Flagler Avenue is a tourist area. Here, you will find a variety of shops, businesses, boutiques, and restaurants. NSB Brewery, City Market Bistro, The Spott, Corkscrew Bar and Grille, Panheads Pizzeria, and Prima are some of the ones that are favorites of locals. Canal Street also hosts numerous events, such as the Sip and Stroll, Classic Cars on Canal, and Gallery Walk.


One thing New Smyrna has a plethora of is bars. From popular beach bars like Toni and Joe’s and Chases on the Beach to fancy speakeasies like The Bounty, there’s something for everyone. 

Fancy pool and darts? Check out the Surf Lounge, play a few rounds there, and then you can walk over to the bowling alley and throw a few games. From there, you can head to a few of the most popular restaurants in town or walk a mile over the bridge, and you’ll land right on Flagler Avenue. In the mood for live music? Check out Casey’s and Beachside Tavern, where you’ll likely find live music any night of the week.

Things to do in New Smyrna Beach: Restaurants

At JB’s Fish Camp, you can rent kayaks or stand-up paddle boards in the morning and then come back and relax with some delicious food and river views. Merks Bar & Grill is a local hangout known for the best wings in town — make sure you get them with the Frankenstein sauce. Outriggers is just across the street with waterfront views; pull your boat up to the dock and enjoy fresh seafood and delicious cocktails. 

For those craving Italian cuisine, Via Canaletto is a must-visit, where authentic flavors transport you to the heart of Italy. If you ask anyone who has visited NSB, they’ll probably tell you to eat at The Garlic. The atmosphere is great, and the food is pretty delicious, but you’ll need to get here before they open. Even then, prepare to wait in line. It’s the busiest place in town, and reservations are not accepted.

A group of sailboats in the ocean near a rocky shore.

Right next door to The Garlic is Norwoods. They’ve recently upgraded their lower dining room, but what they’re known for now is their upstairs Treehouse Bar. It provides a one-of-a-kind dining experience in a treehouse setting surrounded by lush greenery. If you’re in the mood for a beachside dining experience, Third Wave offers a unique green and luscious patio atmosphere. Just a few blocks away, you can enjoy a juicy burger with beach views at Breakers

Don’t skip breakfast while you’re in New Smyrna. Wake Up Cafe is a blend of Spanish, Argentinian, and American cuisine and is the best in town. Don’t miss the new Paco Submarine to taste the town’s best sandwiches. 

Restaurant reviewed

“If I ever find myself in New Smyrna Beach again, you can find me every night at The Garlic. This restaurant is in the heart of a lush, beautiful garden and serves delicious dishes from its wood-fired brick oven. The best appetizer for me is freshly baked bread with heavenly roasted garlic. I think of it often.”

— Susannah Brinkley Henry, Feast + West


When you visit New Smyrna Beach, the first thing on your mind probably isn’t exercise. NSB can make exercise fun with stand-up paddleboard yoga. You can also take a cold plunge at Purefit NSB after doing one of their group workout classes. 

For a lower-impact option, walk the bridges or up and down the beach. Afterward, you can grab a cup of coffee from Island Roasters, get a healthy grab-and-go meal from After Body Meals or even a cocktail from one of the many restaurants or bars along the river.

The sun is setting over a body of water with palm trees.

Turtle Mound

As the name suggests, Turtle Mound looks like a turtle. This mound holds oysters and remnants from the prehistoric Timucuan people, stretching for over 600 feet along the Indian River shoreline and containing more than 35,000 cubic yards of shells. Archaeologists theorize that the Timucua may have utilized this location as a high-ground refuge during hurricanes. It’s open to the public and offers visitors the opportunity to explore and appreciate the historical significance of the area. Hiking to the top of Turtle Mound provides panoramic views of the Indian River.

New Smyrna Beach offers a mix of coastal relaxation and diverse activities. There are plenty of things to do in New Smyrna Beach, from relaxing on the beach to exploring local cuisines and its rich history. NSB is a laid-back beach town where you can escape the hustle of larger beaches like Miami and Panama City. It’s truly a coastal gem. Get ready to make some amazing memories. 

While you’re here, check out these articles

This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life

One Comment

  1. I am so glad I stumbled upon this blog about the best things to do in New Smyrna Beach. As someone who loves the beach and exploring new places, this post has definitely sparked my interest in visiting this charming town. From the endless beach fun to the abundant wildlife and delicious eats, there is something for everyone in New Smyrna Beach. I can’t wait to check out Flagler Avenue and Canal Street, and maybe even spot some manatees at Blue Spring State Park. Thanks for the amazing recommendations and for showing the true heart of this beach town. Keep spreading the love for New Smyrna Beach and I’ll be sure to take the detour and visit soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *