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New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna BeachThe area is also known for many other water sports. Wind surfing in both the Intracoastal Waterway (Indian River) and Atlantic Ocean are enjoyed by many. Jet ski rentals are available along the beach & Intracoastal.

The land, originally inhabited by Timucuan Indians, was settled in 1767 by Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a Scottish physician. He named the town after his wife's birthplace of Smyrna, Turkey (now known as lzmir).

Throughout the year, the area is home to many festivals & community activities. The Black Heritage Festival of New Smyrna Beach indulges people on ancient African culture. An art festival called Images takes place in March, and offers live performances, food, and of coarse art. There is also the Indian River Native American Festival. This family-oriented event portrays the Native American way of life through educational programs, crafts, food, and dancing.

In addition to the pristine beach, New Smyrna offers historic sites of interest, such as the Turnbill Ruins and Old Fort and the New Smyrna Sugar Mill Ruins State Historic Site.

The historic Ponce Inlet houses the still functional Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse. Climb to the top of this 175 foot structure and emjoy a breathtaking view of nearby New Smyrna Beach & Daytona Beach. Also visit the lighthouse's maritime museum to learn of the United States maritime heritage.

For fishermen, fishing boats leave from Ponce Inlet daily. New Smyrna beach is alos home to many restaurants that offer the catch of the day.

In addition to the beach, other attractions include:
o Turtle Mound contains an estimated 33,000 cubic yards of oyster shells, covers two acres, and is 50 feet high. It can be seen seven miles out at sea. Today is is part of the Canaveral National Seashore.

o Canaveral National Seashore, a 50,000+ acre National Park is the barrier island's home to more than 250 kinds of birds and animals. Free to the public, this park has salt marshes, mangrove islands, lagoons, and river estuaries. Free brochures and maps are available at the Park Headquarters and Visitor Center.

o Turnbull Ruins was started as a palace for Dr. Turnbull, a foundation of sea coquina block was set, but work was never completed.

o Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, you can climb 203 steps to the top of the lighthouse which is 175 feet tall. The view is worth the climb.

o Many recreational activities are available in the New Smyrna Beach area such as 5 Golf courses nearby, fishing, theater, stock car racing.

There are many stores and excellent restaurants nearby.

8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from May 1-Oct. 1; the rest of the year, the hours are sunrise to sunset.

Parking: 3rd Avenue and 27th Street; 2 lots at Flagler Avenue; Hiles approach; Bethune Beach Park

Facilities: Restrooms and outdoor showers are located along the beach.

Food: The Breakers, Chases and Sea Vista

Swimming Conditions: Flat beach with gradual slope

Rental equipment: Beach chairs, ATVs, floats, bikes, boogieboards and concessions are available.

Surfing: Permitted in zones from Beachway ramp north to the inlet, and from Hiles approach south.

Other helpful tid-bits: Lifeguard towers are set up in various locations on the beach. There are no shaded areas. Alcohol, glass containers and pets are not allowed on the beach, except for pets assisting persons with special needs. For your safety, try to park and swim near lifeguard towers. Check towers for daily swimming conditions. Driving is not permitted from 27th Avenue to Bethune Beach.

The weather is always nice, with the mean temperature ranging from 62.7 in January to 81.9 in July.

New Smyrna Beach is located on Florida's east coast. It is considered to be "Orlando's Beach" because of its close proximity to all central Florida attractions. It is a twenty minute drive south of Daytona Beach, an hour drive from Orlando, and forty minutes from the Kennedy Space Center. From 1-95, exit 84A. Head South on SR-44 across the South Bridge (Intercoastal Waterway). SR-44 becomes A1A (South Atlantic Avenue).