Equal parts adventure and natural majesty, New Smyrna Beach is a Sunshine State getaway just south of Daytona, Florida. With a portfolio of local attractions that includes Smyrna Dunes Park, there are many things to do and sights to see in New Smyrna, Florida. This historical beach town is renowned both for its beaches and rich culture.

Here are our top five reasons to spend your next Florida vacation exploring New Smyrna Beach.

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1. Explore world-class beaches

Known for the world-class quality of its beaches, New Smyrna Beach introduces locals and visitors alike to picture-perfect shores. Its rank as one of the finest surf towns in the entire United States makes New Smyrna Beach a dream coastal vacation destination for traveling families and friends. Introduce your toes to white sands. Relax shoreside with a drink in hand. Take in a breathtaking sunset, or enjoy the warm waters for easy, aquatic recreation.

Among its acclaimed beaches is the Canaveral National Seashore, a barrier island park that hosts a protected ecosystem and a regular stream of impressed visitors. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of nesting sea turtles, delicate butterflies, or even a bald eagle! West Indian manatees frequent the shallow waters around the seashore, and the sand dunes teem with vibrant plant cultures. Together with its fellow beaches, Canaveral National Seashore headlines a series of must-see New Smyrna Beaches.

2. Discover timeless, historic value

New Smyrna Beach also plays host to its fair share of local history!

Take advantage of close proximity to the Eldora State House, one of the only remaining signs of the once-booming Eldora resort community. The pride of the Canaveral National Seashore, the house is a dated tribute to what was once a farming society that championed oranges as their main export. Today, you can visit the only member of the original Eldora community dwellings which remains open to public view. Constructed in 1912, it’s a site well worth the investment.

Then there’s the New Smyrna Museum of History, where behind welcoming front doors, exhibits and displays telling the story of the region’s rich history lay waiting to educate passerby and visitors alike. Since 2003, the museum has detailed the emersion of local culture through hosted events and a constantly rotating portfolio of displays.

On the U.S. National Register of Historic Places is the Old Fort Park Archeological Site, a New Smyrna Beach historical staple, and all that’s left of the 18th-century Smyrna Settlement. Visitors are always encouraged to bring cameras along for the trip, to document authentic history.

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Experience hands-on learning

You’ll also find your fair share of hands-on learning opportunities in New Smyrna Beach, with attractions like the Marine Science Center. A compact aquarium that also sports educational opportunities onsite, this establishment allows children of all ages to experience the wonders of marine life. The location doubles as a museum of natural history, so when you’re not learning about the freshwater turtles and cownose stingrays which frequent the region, you can learn more about what makes the region itself such a privilege of a visit.

Few hands-on experiences induce more adrenaline than the New Smyrna Beach Escape Room. Visit the location with your family or group of close friends and test your wits against the clock! In puzzle that requires teamwork in order to successful evade tricks and traps. Choose from several timed challenges of all sorts, and discover the perfect way to beat boredom, escape the rain, or exercise collective teamwork.

For fans of authentic oil painting, the Bob Ross Art Workshop simply can’t be missed. Original Bob Ross products and paintings are available onsite, and is the authority in Certified Ross Landscape, Floral and Wildlife Instructors. A certified trainer, as well as guest artists from around the world, provide fun, dynamic instruction, in true friendly Bob Ross style.

4. See onsite art

The Atlantic Center for the Arts exists as a theatre, painting exhibit, and overall art museum all rolled into one. This is the epicenter for local artistic creativity in New Smyrna Beach. As a nonprofit location dedicated to introducing visitors to the wonders of authentic, artistic creation, this center fosters community integration, with its constantly changing portfolio of exhibits, displays, and hosted events. Contemporary artists are constantly involved in sponsored programs, developed for the purpose of allowing visitors to discover the artist inside everyone.

The local Clay Gallery is also characterized by a unique, artistic feel, where local artists place their stained glass renderings, pottery creations, and painstaking paintings on full display. The picture-perfect grounds of the Clay Gallery are also frequently employed for the purpose of social functions of all sorts; from the high-profile wedding to the end-of-the-year office party, the Clay Gallery is more than qualified to transform a good time into an unforgettable one.

5. Enjoy the wildlife and recreation

Lastly, you’re never short on adventure when you elect to spend your time in New Smyrna Beach. Check out Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park, a coastal excuse for outdoor adventure that allows guests to enjoy land bordered by both river and ocean waters. Multipurpose courts and fishing venues make for a well-rounded experience, together with a playground for younger children.

Both Riverside and Sugar Mills Ruins Travel Park allow for unique outdoor adventures, from camping opportunities to your next potential fishing endeavor. Grace K. Barck North Beach Community Park features available fire pits, and 27th Avenue Park puts both racquetball courts and swimming beach to full use. Suffice to say, New Smyrna Beach packs a punch with regard to local park quality.

Go for a paddle around the beach for the perfect guide to backwater wildlife. From the Indian River to Mosquito Lagoon, the beauty of the Floridian south is never more present. Guided tours highlight local estuaries and waterways, and you’ll meet dolphins, manatees, osprey, and more during your award-winning educational paddleboard adventure!

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New Smyrna Waves by Exploria Resorts

However you decide to spend your vacation time in New Smyrna Beach, you will find a diversified selection of attractions available to choose from.

From educational immersion to an unmatched series of award-winning southern beaches, it’s a better time than ever before to call Florida’s New Smyrna Beach your newest escape for coastal-quality living!

Guest contribution by Trip101