New Smyrna Beach is one of the finest Atlantic
Coast Beaches. Below Daytona, and above Cocoa Beach, New Smyrna is
often overlooked in favor of the more heavily advertised beaches to
the north and south. But it is definitely worth a look, especially
if you are looking for something a little different. For beach and
nature lovers, surfers, and fishermen, Smyrna Dunes Park at the
north end of the island, on Ponce Inlet, is the place to be. Birding
is excellent in the park too.
Cars are allowed to drive on much of
New Smyrna Beach, like they are on Daytona. The wide, flat beaches,
recently renourished with fresh sand are much whiter and finer than
most Atlantic coast beaches. In fact, they can be blindingly white.
One of the first things that I noticed about New Smyrna is that
even though it has plenty of tall buildings on the beach, very few
of them are hotels. I stayed at the Holiday Inn right on the beach
and was quite pleased with it, but overall the selection is nothing
like what you'll find in Daytona or Cocoa Beach. The Holiday Inn New
Smyrna Beach is newly renovated. We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite that
was absolutely one of the most comfortable hotel rooms I've stayed
in. Most of the
available accommodations on the beach are condominiums with a few smaller
motels thrown into the mix. The larger hotel chains with predictable
levels of quality and service are not well represented.
Flagler Avenue is a focal point. The main public beach access is
on Flagler and there are lots of small shops, boutiques,
restaurants, and beach / surf shops in this historic district. It
has a nice beach vibe. I like New Smyrna Beach.