Mother's Day- the one day in May where we give back for all that mom does for us. But many believe that their hard work and selflessness is deserving of a little more than one day …more like the entire month of May.
May is the month when things are just starting to heat up along the mid-Atlantic coast of Florida. A perfect time to create some new memories with mom in the homey, laid-back community of New Smyrna Beach. It’s an eclectic mix of old and new; of subtle sophistication and bohemian soul that is as “real” as Florida gets. It’s a throwback to the old Florida beach towns of the mid-20th century- and makes New Smyrna Beach an ideal place to take the special mom in your life. A place to rekindle memories of family beach trips back in the days when she was a kid. But the white sand and warm Atlantic waves are only the beginning of the adventure. A vibrant downtown awaits just beyond the dunes of New Smyrna Beach.
Take mom on a stroll down Flagler Avenue- located right off the beach. She’ll love the boutiques, jewelry stores, and the variety of restaurants that line the avenue.
Lunch and dinner options are seemingly endless in New Smyrna Beach. Have lunch in the garden at Third Wave Cafe & Wine Bar. Enjoy the fresh pompano- caught right off the shore. The owners pride themselves on preparing menu items that are locally sourced dishes. You can go casual at JB’s Fish Camp & Restaurant. Sit out on the dock that sits between the Atlantic and the intercoastal. Watch the dolphins and manatees play while you order from a menu that offers just about every kind of Florida seafood. JB's also offers kayak and paddleboard rentals and pontoon boat cruises.
Dine on the water- but in a more relaxed atmosphere- at the Grille at Riverview. The Grille is known for its Sunday brunch and riverfront views of the North Causeway from the Key West deck.
From the Grill, you can head right next door to the Riverview Hotel & Spa and treat mom to a day of pampering. She can recharge in a calming atmosphere with a deep tissue massage and a facial, then kick back with a glass of wine or champagne by one of the spa’s two “serenity” pools.
For the “artsy” mom, take a walk down Canal Street- New Smyrna Beach’s historic arts district. Browse galleries like The Hub on Canal, a venue filled with creative works from talented local artists. The Hub is also known as a cultural gathering spot, where a number of classes and workshops are offered, including watercolor and acrylic painting.
If landscapes are her thing, you might want to visit The Bob Ross Art Workshop & Gallery, just over the causeway from Canal Street. Classes in the late artist’s unique style of oil painting (as seen on PBS) are held Tuesdays through Saturdays.
If mom has a chic or eclectic style, she’ll find everything she needs in the shops, boutiques, and galleries that line Canal Street and beyond. Walk into The Posh Pineapple- a trendy gift and clothing boutique- where mom can pick up a cute beach tote or a sundress. If antiques are her passion, head for the white picket fence that surrounds Aberle Antiques. She’ll find vintage collectibles, art, and hand-made jewelry. This charming old shop also specializes in buying and selling vintage Louis Vuitton bags and leather goods.
There’s no shortage of dining options on Canal Street If mom is in the mood for some comfort food with a southern twist, the Corkscrew Bar and Grille on Canal Street might be your best bet. The sleek stylish bar, the outdoor tropical patio is reminiscent of the Florida of old. Start with the conch fritter- served with Sriracha ketchup and the parmesan Mahi or mojito scallops for your main course,
For the outdoorsy Mom: pack a lunch (maybe some Italian subs from Manzano’s Deli on Flagler) and head to one of two pristine beaches: Smyrna Dunes Park or Canaveral National Seashore.
Smyrna Dunes Park- in the northern section of New Smyrna Beach- is a scenic, unspoiled 2.4-mile boardwalk loop with several places to veer off and discover wildlife in its natural habitat. Watch the turtles and seabirds on the inlet side and surfers catching waves on the Atlantic side. A perfect setting for a picnic on the beach.
Down at the southern end of New Smyrna Beach, you’ll find Canaveral National Seashore- Florida’s longest stretch of unspoiled beach. The area’s southernmost section is Playalinda Beach. It’s just north of the Kennedy Space Center launch towers. In fact, you can see the towers from the beach access road.
Accommodations in New Smyrna Beach range from quaint to modern. Rent a condo, book a suite, or a charming bed & breakfast. The Black Dolphin Inn is an upscale, old-timey B&B overlooking Indian River North and it’s just a few minutes walk to Canal Street. Or stay beachfront at Coastal Waters Inn, with available suites that provide all of the amenities. For a more modern style, Springhill Suites on Flagler Avenue provide spacious luxury suites, a beachfront pool, and free breakfast.