Founded in 1768, New Smyrna Beach is the second oldest city in Florida and is one of the state’s most charming cities! Home to beautiful white-sand beaches, eclectic shops, and plenty of delicious seafood, the destination is also brimming with many hidden gems that showcase the city’s rich history and vibrant future.
Check out our list of some of the incredible hidden gems in New Smyrna Beach:
New Smyrna Museum of History
History buffs will revel at the opportunity to learn about the area’s unique history which is preserved and on display at the New Smyrna Museum of History. An engaging experience for all ages, a visit to the museum is a must for visitors and residents. Native American artifacts, railroad memorabilia and pictures of life 100 years ago are just some of the exhibits. The newest exhibit is the New Smyrna Beach Surfing Exhibit which features historic photographs, surfboards, artifacts, memorabilia and more. Fun fact: New Smyrna Beach is known as one of the top surfing destinations in the world!
For a unique historic experience, head to Dummit’s Tomb on Canova Drive. This above ground tomb, located in the middle of a residential street, commemorates the son of one of the first settlers of New Smyrna Beach. Douglas Dummit, a sugar merchant, Justice of the Peace and orange grower who lived in New Smyrna Beach in the 1800’s married an African American slave girl and had four children. The son, Charles, was born in 1844. Charles was raised in New Smyrna Beach, educated in the North then returned to New Smyrna Beach where he was killed in 1860 on a hunting trip when his rifle accidentally went off. His tomb was erected where it still stands today in a residential area in the middle of Canova Drive.
Sugar Mill Ruins
For an Instagramable stop, head to the Sugar Mill Ruins in New Smyrna Beach. The sugar mill, once part of the Cruger-dePeyster Plantation, was built in the early 19th century. This 17-acre historic site contains the ruins of the Coquina Sugar Factory that was raided during a war between the Seminole Indians and the United States. It is also a beautiful site for taking pictures and becoming emersed in the beauty of nature!
The Hub on Canal
Art lovers will be delighted to wander through the The Hub on Canal, a hidden gem on Canal Street. In this unique communal space, a central hub of artists make, showcase and teach art. Open to the public, visitors can admire different local artist’s work and even pick up a one-a-kind souvenir for your home!
The Atlantic Center for the Arts
Another incredible hidden gem for creative minds is The Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA). The ACA was first conceived by Doris Leeper in 1977, this Florida-based artist-in-residence program in which artists of all disciplines could work with current prominent artists in a supportive and creative environment. The residency program was designed to bring together internationally acclaimed artists from different disciplines with talented artists who are selected by the masters. Over the years, artists have attended residencies of varying lengths, with sessions that include master classes, individual critiques, opportunities for collaboration and private studio time. ACA has often been the starting point for new works which are later shown at national museums and performance centers such as the Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, the Spoleto Festival, Jacob's Pillow, the Walker Art Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The ACA is open to the public and a can’t miss stop on your next visit to New Smyrna Beach.
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