Out with the old, in with the new. That seems to be the motto every New Year. But this year, it feels extra relevant. As we put 2020 and all its challenges behind us, there are many things we all know we have to do a little differently now. And one of those things is travel. I know, I know, we’re all dying for a vacation. But the thing is, there are many ways to still do it, as long as you do it safely.
If you need something new to put on your list for this year, it’s New Smyrna Beach. Not only is it filled with white sandy beaches, amazing seafood, and everything you could want from a Florida beach town, it’s also packed with COVID-safe outdoor activities, making it easy to do things a little differently. Here’s how we suggest you plan your New Year in New Smyrna Beach.
Where to Stay
New Smyrna Beach has ocean-side hotels, condos right on the beach, and beautiful homes to rent. But if you want to change things up a bit, we recommend heading to the Black Dolphin Inn. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, or simply want to enjoy the intimate luxury of staying at an upscale bed and breakfast, this is the place.
From your first glance at this building, you’d think it was on the Mediterranean. But instead, it’s overlooking the Indian River Lagoon. The stucco walls and terracotta rooftops make you want to stand on a balcony in a robe and drink champagne all day. And trust me, the style only gets better on the inside. These modern, yet unique rooms make for an extra special stay.
This B&B puts a lot of care into their guests’ experiences, and that means putting safety at the top of the list. It also means providing an amazing complimentary breakfast every morning. So you can rest well knowing your room has been properly sanitized and a delicious breakfast will be waiting for you when you wake up.
Where to Eat
We’re all sick of eating our own cooking after being cooped up all year. So yes, 2021 should be about trying new foods! And New Smyrna Beach has a bunch of creative restaurants that will give your taste buds the workout they are looking for.
Café Verde is a globally inspired restaurant that uses locally sourced ingredients to make dishes from all around the world. Some favorites are the grilled mahi with lemon turmeric sauce and the bibimbap, a unique Korean dish on a crunchy bed of rice. You can’t find dishes like these just anywhere.
And Yellow Dog Eats is another local favorite and great funky option. They offer a creative spin on some classic comfort sandwiches, in a more casual atmosphere. Pulled pork layered with cherry pepper rings, brie cheese, raspberry melba, and barbeque sauce? Yes, this is the happy place we all need right now.
What to Do
Finding things to do outdoors is not hard to do in New Smyrna Beach. And to stick with the theme of doing things differently, there are tons of adventure sports for you to try. Have you ever soared through the air at 600 to 1,200 feet above the sea on a parasail? Or how about surfed on a wakeboard behind a speedboat going 50mph? Ponce Inlet Watersports makes all of this possible. Here, you can go boating, paddle-boarding, tubing, wakeboarding, fishing, parasailing, and much more.
One of the best ways to see the coastal waters of this beautiful area is on one of the charters that they have to offer. The captains have years of experience on these waters, so they are filled with fascinating information about the species that swim underneath, including where to find them. But if you are more of a solo traveler, you can also rent a kayak and explore the waterways of Ponce Inlet and the Indian River Lagoon. Spot some manatees, look for dolphins, or walk the beaches on a hunt for shells and sand dollars.
So much of this beautiful area can be explored on foot too. Smyrna Dunes Park, Apollo Beach, and Indian River Lagoon are all-natural places with no crowds, no cars, and no gift shops – just nature. With everything we’ve been through this year, you can’t ask for a better place to relax, take a deep breath, and listen to the sounds of the natural world.
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