Jan 14, 2020 at 7:00 AM by
Take one look at your Discovery Map and you’ll see there’s a lot of water in and around New Smyrna Beach (and also Edgewater), Florida. Fortunately the subtropical climate of Central Coast Florida cooperates enough so that you can have fun in the water year round.
The magnificent Atlantic Ocean borders New Smyrna Beach aka NSB to the east fronting the coast with a wide, seventeen-mile swath of smooth, super-fine albeit firm sand. You can even drive on many parts of the beach from May to October. To the west, Indian River (also known as the Intracoastal Waterway) has carved out craggy bits of shoreline resulting in wondrous inlets and creeks that beg to be explored. Opportunities for boating, fishing, beach-going, swimming, surfing and all kinds of other activities that you do on or in the water abound.
As you can imagine, with all this coast and shoreline, there are endless opportunities for sitting, relaxing and sipping a cool one while taking in the views. Outriggers Tiki Bar & Grille and The Grille at Riverview are two such places where you can watch the fun waterfront scene while enjoying tasty food and drinks. Here, as in many places in NSB, you’re practically surrounded by blue. For a luxurious stay and/or elegant dinner, also along the Intracoastal Waterway, reserve at Black Dolphin Inn. It’s a beautifully-restored, old Mediterranean-styled mansion that’s become a top boutique hotel in the area. In Oak Hill, just south of Edgewater, delight in a truly authentic experience at Goodrich Seafood Restaurant and Oyster House, an historic family-owned establishment that originally began as a wholesale/retail seafood house in 1910. In addition to sweet, briny oysters, you can feast on Florida chowder (made with fish, potatoes and tomatoes), shrimp Po’ Boys or even a fried gator plate, to name a few.
Part of what makes NSB so chill is that it enjoys a cool surf vibe. (You can’t find much more laidback than a surfer.) Gotta love that surf culture; it helps the rest of us to dial it down some and kick back and enjoy the sun, sand and surf. It’s largely the steady swell that attracts the surfers so much. Remember that in most places, surf is not always up, so the consistency of the waves here has helped to make NSB a popular surf destination. Known as the surf capital of Florida, surfers also love the fact that they can drive up to the “surf break” instead of hiking a distance out on the beach with their boards. It’s best to save energy for all the paddling required to catch a good wave.
Further testament to the fact that NSB garners a lot of interest among surfers may be found at the Museum of East Coast Surfing NSB housed at the NSB History Museum. Surf enthusiasts will love the exhibit assembled here that pays tribute to many world–class surfers from New Smyrna Beach. They also showcase lots of historic photos, memorabilia, some gorgeous surfboards and more. This is a great way to check out the sport up close and personal because from the shore it’s not always easy to capture the full magnitude of the challenges of surfing.
If you want to see if you can tackle surfing or perfect your skills, consider taking a lesson or enrolling in a program with Jimmy Lane Surf Academy. You’ll find out that there’s a real technique to hopping up on a board. Most surfers make it seem so easy!
You can bet there’s some great fishing in the area both out on the Atlantic and and inshore on the Intracoastal Waterway and its many inlets. To do it right, you need a good boat and an even better guide. Captain Scott Tripp is one of the best fishing guides around; check out his charters in advance because they fill up fast.
As you can tell from your Discovery Map, the inland waterways of NSB lend themselves particularly well to kayaking and paddleboarding and this is one of the best ways to explore them. Not surprisingly, most are located along the Intracoastal Waterway, since as mentioned above, the Atlantic can give way to some big surf in these parts. JB’s Lagoon Adventures, Nichols Surf Shop and Paddleboard New Smyrna Beach are a few places to check out for rentals.
Last but certainly not least, know that New Smyrna Beach ranks as one of the most beautiful oceanfront destinations in the United States. There’s seemingly no end to the fun you can have on this wide slice of paradise whether you’re ambling down it by foot or cruising on it on a bike or in a vehicle. The northern stretch of the pristine Canaveral National Seashore lies to the south in case you’re up for a big adventure. Loll along the beach with a good book, build a sand castle, frolic in the surf, stroll upon its seaside boardwalks, the world is your oyster here in NSB–it’s up to you to make the best of it.