Take it from me: New Smyrna Beach, Florida, is a surfer’s paradise. In fact, according to several magazines and news outlets, it is one of the world’s best surf towns. No matter where you go in New Smyrna Beach, you’ll find awesome rides along the 17 miles of pristine coastline.
Personally, I like to drive to New Smyrna Beach. It is accessible via I-95, I-4, and U.S. Highway 1 (Old Dixie Highway). For out of towners, New Smyrna Beach is accessible via Orlando Sanford International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Orlando Melbourne International Airport, Jacksonville International Airport, Daytona Beach International Airport, and New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport.
Where to Stay and Eat
Most surfers rent vacation homes or condominiums. If hotels are more your style, Best Western has you covered. Additionally, there are plenty of local inns and bed & breakfasts to choose from.
Surfing works up the appetite, and there are many great restaurants in New Smyrna Beach. The Breakers is New Smyrna Beach’s iconic burger joint. With surfboards proudly displayed on the ceiling and TVs playing videos of epic rides from around the world, Gnarly Surf Bar & Grill pays homage to all things related to surfing. Also, JB’s Fish Camp has the best seafood in town and will even cook your catch for you. I guess it is time to break out that old fishing rod of yours…
Learn to Surf
New Smyrna is the perfect place for amateurs to learn and for experts to refine their technique. The rock ledges that are 5 miles offshore lend themselves to lots of wave breaks and protection from dangerous currents. Beginners can confidently practice the sport in safe waters.
Various shops and businesses offer lessons for all ages and skill levels. Jimmy Lane Surfing Academy and Surfin’ NSB teach daily and weekly classes. Check out Nichols Surf Shop, the oldest surf shop in New Smyrna Beach. Lessons, tours, rentals, sales, and maintenance services are also available.
Where to Surf
Ponce Inlet, which meets where the Intracoastal Waterway, Indian River, and Halifax River merge into the Atlantic Ocean, is the best spot for consistent waves. New Smyrna Beach North, New Smyrna Beach South, Bethune Beach, and Flagler Avenue Beach are popular alternatives. As a discretionary note, for safety reasons, each spot has its own policy on the use of fiberglass surfboards.
Most locations have lifeguards on duty and paid parking lots. New Smyrna Beach residents receive a free parking pass. If you time your stay with the American Professional Surfing Association’s surf contest, a bicycle may serve you better than a car. The latest surf report will be your best friend when planning your trip to New Smyrna Beach.
Other Things to Do
New Smyrna Beach is known for world-class paddleboarding, kayaking, diving, fishing, and other water sports. Dry off by strolling along stretches of white sand and miles of boardwalk or take advantage of the walking, cycling, and horseback riding trails.
Explore Flagler Avenue and Canal Street and celebrate the magic behind one of Florida's oldest cities (New Smyrna Beach was founded in 1768). A few Canal Street events include art strolls, gallery walks, and the classic car show. Don’t leave without visiting the New Smyrna Museum of History; it gives a chronological overview of how New Smyrna Beach came to be, starting with prehistoric Florida and continuing through present day.
Surfers are adrenaline junkies, and I understand the need for speed! New Smyrna Speedway is a high-banked, half-mile, paved, oval track that is located five miles west of New Smyrna Beach. Known as the "World Center of Racing," the circuit is home to the best stock car racing in the country. Along with hosting weekly and special racing events, New Smyrna Speedway serves as a testing facility for the NASCAR Nationwide, Camping World Truck, and Spring Cup Series teams.
New Smyrna Beach has the finest wave action on the East Coast, and it is my favorite surf destination. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, there is something for everyone. No one is left out. Besides surfing, New Smyrna Beach is a prime getaway for visitors who are looking for a laidback community that is filled with fun activities. Plus, it is a charming beach town that is rooted in rich history and natural beauty. What more could you ask for? “Hang ten” in New Smyrna Beach today!