Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park
GPS Coordinates: 28.950742, -80.839271
Location: 6656 S. Atlantic Avenue, Bethune Beach
Directions: Drive south on Atlantic Avenue from New Smyrna to Bethune Beach. The beach access
is at the intersection of South Atlantic Avenue and Kingfish Avenue.
Cost: Free entrance and free parking.
Hours: Sunrise to sunset.
The restrooms and at least one picnic pavilion are wheelchair accessible, as is the boardwalk along the beach.
There is a wheelchair friendly ramp down to the sand, but as far as I can tell there is no beach wheelchair
- Covered picnic pavilions with grills
- Beach boardwalk with steps and ramp to beach
- Free unpaved parking
- Lifeguards during posted hours
- Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the beach. Glass containers are not allowed on the beach.
- Animals are not allowed on the beach, except for service animals.
- Animals are allowed in the park but must be on a leash.
Though named after an accomplished black American educator and civil rights leader who started a school for
black students in Daytona Beach, which later became Bethune-Cookman University, this is a rather unremarkable beach
access with no shade, other than a few covered picnic pavilions and restrooms. The beach has no dunes or beach
vegetation, but sports a sea wall, which is a familiar theme along the New Smyrna/Bethune Beach shoreline.
There is no decorum or design to the beach front, except an aging wooden boardwalk several hundred feet long
with steps and a ramp to the beach. You can park with your front bumper against the boardwalk and you are just feet
from the ocean.
The sand in the Bethune area is more of a reddish/golden color, much like the Daytona or Ormond Beach sand.
Further north at the 27th Ave, Flagler and Jetty Park access the sand is more of a white quartz makeup.
The restrooms are modern and clean and, along with at least one of the picnic pavilions, are wheelchair
This is not an access that I would recommend as a destination, but if everything else is full, why not?
Here’s a great tip: Notice that the cross streets in Bethune Beach are named after fish. Just
south of Catfish Avenue, A1A jogs toward the Atlantic Ocean and takes a short scenic detour before dead-ending at
Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park. Be sure to enjoy that scenic detour. It’s easy to miss because Turtle Mound Road
continues south as the main through road before once again merging into A1A (South Atlantic). Also, one of the
area’s best restaurants, J.B.’s Fish Camp, is in the area at Pompano Avenue (GPS: 28.946744,-80.837864).