What is New Smyrna Beach Known For?

When you think of Florida, what comes to mind? Perhaps high-rise condominiums or Disney World. Yet the state offers so much more than this. New Smyrna Beach, located on the central east coast of the state, offers amazing weather and some of the most unique and beautiful natural habits as well as some of the coolest historical sites in the state – even the country! Here are a few of New Smyrna Beach’s top attractions near our New Smyrna Beach condo rentals.  

bird in a florida swamp

The Most Biologically Diverse Estuary in North America

The Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park sprawls 156 miles along the east coast of Florida from Ponce de Leon Inlet to the Jupiter Inlet and is home to more than 3,000 species of plants and animals. Its mangrove wetlands and salt marshes serve as a spawning and nursery ground for a variety of organisms, including fish and shellfish and diverse bird populations. 

Though commonly called a river, the Indian River is not a river at all. In fact, it is an estuary and a lagoon because oceanic saltwater and freshwater mix to form brackish water. Some days, the Indian River may flow north, on others south, or it may not flow at all. Its flow is completely determined by winds, which distinguishes the Indian River from a true river as rivers only flow in one direction. 

Visiting the estuary, you are likely to see many wild birds, sea turtles, and possibly even manatees or dolphins; over 1,000 bottlenose dolphins live in the estuary as well as one-third of the nation’s manatee population. Spotting any of these creatures is a memory that will last a lifetime!

The entrance to the park is located off Highway 1A1. Admission is free, and the park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset.

florida marshlands

Canaveral National Seashore

The Canaveral National Seashore is a 57,000-acre national park consisting of a barrier island, open lagoon, coastal hammock, pine Flatwoods, and offshore waters. Here you will find 24 miles of pristine beach and one of the most diverse and productive estuaries in North America. The park’s ecosystems are prime habitats for many threatened and endangered species, such as marine turtles which nest on its beaches. Humans also have a fascinating history in the area, with local archaeological finds dating from 2000 BC to early 20th century Florida settlement. 

Visiting the Canaveral National Seashore National Park is the perfect day trip for adventurers, outdoorsmen, and families alike. There are hiking trails, camping sites, seaside horseback riding opportunities, and a restored turn-of-the-century home and information center. You can make the trip by car, arriving at the Apollo Visitor Center at 7611 S Atlantic Avenue. Opening hours are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and costs per vehicle are $20, valid for seven days. 

ponce de leon inlet lighthouse new smyrna beach

The Tallest Lighthouse in Florida

Step back in time at the Ponce De Leon Inlet lighthouse, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998. Today, it is one of the best-preserved and most authentic historic light stations in the country, and it receives over 170,000 visitors each year. It is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and the second tallest masonry lighthouse in the country. From the top, guests can enjoy views of Ponce Inlet and surrounding waterways. 

The lighthouse is located at 4931 S. Peninsula Drive, near Orlando attractions, historic St. Augustine, and the Kennedy Space Center. It is open to the public year-round with varying hours depending on the season. General admission rates are $6.95 for adults, $1.95 for children aged 3 to 11, and free for children under 3. 

While visiting New Smyrna Beach and all its local attractions, consider booking a New Smyrna Beach condo rental. We offer two- or three-bedroom condos in New Smyrna Beach that provide the perfect combination of luxury and comfort with all the amenities of home. Plan your next vacation to one of the most biologically diverse locations in the country. The sight of manatees, sea turtles, or dolphins will be a memory you treasure forever!