New Smyrna Beach is the quintessential Florida beach town with its relaxed pace and family-friendly atmosphere. Rent a Smyrna Beach vacation rental for a quiet family getaway nearby adventure and outdoor activities. Whether you’re just planning on a quick weekend trip or heading out for a longer dream vacation, there are plenty of activities to keep your entire family happy. Here are 11 things kids and adults will enjoy doing in New Smyrna Beach.
1. Take a Swim
As the name implies, New Smyrna Beach lies right on the ocean, which means there are plenty of opportunities for swimming. The public beach is about 13 miles long, so there’s plenty of room to find your own spot. Many areas even let you drive your car directly onto the beach for added convenience. For a quieter experience, try Bethune Beach or the Canaveral National Seashore.
2. Learn To Surf
The conditions around New Smyrna Beach are ideal for surfing, so try your hand at riding the waves or bring your own boards to stash in your vacation rental between trips. If you’re new to surfing, several outfitters offer lessons for adults and children as young as five years old.
3. Watch the Wildlife
Florida is home to diverse and beautiful animals, and there’s no better place to see them than at Smyrna Dunes Park. This quiet, low-traffic park lets you stroll along well-maintained boardwalks as you keep an eye out for birds, turtles, tortoises, and more. You can even go for a swim to cool off after your hike.
4. Explore By Bicycle
New Smyrna Beach is a bicycle-friendly town, and it’s the travel mode of choice for many locals and regular visitors. Bring your own to have them easily accessible so you can leave your car in the garage of your vacation rental, or rent them from the local outfitters around Flagler Park if you just plan to use them for a day or two. One of the main benefits of relying on bicycles for travel, aside from the simple fun, is that you can avoid parking fees when you head down to the beach.
5. Catch Your Own Dinner
Spending some time catching your own fish for dinner can be a fun and relaxing way to spend time with the kids. For a deep sea fishing experience, hire one of several charter fishing companies located in the area. If you’re doing your own fishing rather than hiring a charter, be sure to pick up the necessary fishing licenses before you begin! Children under the age of 16 can fish without a license, but all adults and older teenagers need one.
6. Learn About Marine Life
The Marine Discovery Center is one of the most popular attractions in the area. Located right on the edge of the Indian River Lagoon, it features numerous educational opportunities and tours to teach both kids and adults about the area’s unique ecosystem. The Dolphin Discovery Tour is a popular option that lets you lean back and relax on a pontoon boat as your tour guide shuttles you around the area and points out plants and animals. There are also kayak tours and a free guided walking tour of the shoreline.
7. Become a Junior Ranger
Junior Ranger programs are a great way to get your kids excited about nature. Try one of the one-day Junior Ranger workshops at Canaveral National Seashore, where Rangers take kids on guided tours and then help them make themed crafts focused on the wildlife or history of the region. State parks in the area also have a self-guided Junior Ranger program, which involves specific tasks that you can help your children complete in the park.
8. Stroll Along the Boardwalk
New Smyrna Beach has a charming boardwalk area running along Flagler Avenue, which is the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon after a morning of swimming and building sandcastles. There are plenty of shops and restaurants to enjoy, plus a playground for the smaller kids. This is also where most of the shops offering equipment rentals are located, so you can pick up some gear before heading down to the beach.
9. Visit a Historic Lighthouse
At about 175 feet tall, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is one of the tallest lighthouses in the United States. This historic building has been beautifully preserved as a museum and historic site. This may be a better activity for older children, as very young kids may have trouble climbing to the top, which requires a trek up 203 stairs but offers stunning views of the inlet and surrounding area.
10. Paddle Through a Lagoon
There’s nothing quite as peaceful as slowly paddling through a quiet lagoon or among mangrove islands, and there’s plenty of opportunities to explore by water in the New Smyrna Beach area. Take a guided tour of the Marine Discovery Center or other outfitters, or branch out on your own Smyrna Dunes Park. You can find maps and other information at the ranger stations or kayak rental shops.
11. Enjoy an Exciting Car Race
If the slow pace of New Smyrna Beach gets to be a little too quiet for you, head over to the New Smyrna Speedway for some high-octane thrills. Despite its small size, this family-friendly track offers some world-class stock car racing. Ticket prices and concessions are also famously affordable, so you can take the whole family out without breaking the bank.
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