If you are visiting with children, you may want to choose a traffic-free beach zone. Mary McLeod Bethune Park contains a free off-beach parking lot at the traffic-free beach. Nestled on six acres between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean, this quiet spot south of New Smyrna Beach features a boardwalk on the ocean side and a fishing pier on the river side - where visitors often catch a glimpse of manatees. Amenities include beach access, children's playground, pavilion, barbecue grills, picnic areas, basketball court, tennis/pickleball courts, volleyball and public restrooms.
Bethune Beach stands out in the area's history as well as it was the only beach in the first half of the twentieth century that African Americans were permitted to use. It is named after Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, educator and founder of Bethune-Cookman College in nearby Daytona Beach.