If you have any additional questions, please contact our team:
Debbie Meihls, CDME
New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau
Advertising and Promotional Sales Manager
New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau
The Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons are filled with an abundance of marine life and wildlife that call the area their home. Along with a variety of birds, manatees and fish, dolphins are commonly seen in the lagoon either splashing in the water or cruising along the wakes of boats passing by.
On December 10, 2005, a dolphin named Winter was rescued from a crab trap in Southeast Volusia County. Many know Winter from her Hollywood movie story, Dolphin Tale, and her current home at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. What many people don’t know is that Winter was actually found in the New Smyrna Beach area by local fishermen and residents who saw her struggling to get free from a crab trap. They were able to rescue her all because they decided to launch from the only boat ramp in the Canaveral National Seashore and happened to spot her on a chilly, Saturday morning. Winter was given the first prosthetic tail for a dolphin and is now safe and healthy at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium due to the swift and cautious responses of the local residents and wildlife professionals who took care of her.
The Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach is a non-profit organization that dedicates its time to protecting the Indian River Lagoon and the wide variety of species that call it their home. They work tirelessly to provide education, research and community projects to heighten public awareness about the fragile community of ecosystems in the area. Along with a guided kayak and boat tour, the Marine Discovery Center also offers summer camps and community programs that individuals and kids can join to learn more about the fascinating estuary and how they can protect the lagoon and dolphins like Winter.
Located just north of Kennedy Space Center, New Smyrna Beach is a great location to spot rocket launches and see space travel. Visitors can get a perfect view of the launches from the beaches of New Smyrna without having to travel to Kennedy Space Center. There are several rockets that go off and the launch details are available on the visitor bureau's website nsbfla.com.
Launches are visible day and night providing an incredible spectacle. Residents and visitors gather to watch at the beach, local parks, on riverside drive or atop the causeways. Many people even drive down to the southernmost point of the Canaveral National Seashore where they can see the sky line of the Kennedy Space Center facility.
Light the Way
If you’re looking to see the sights in Florida, then look no further than the Ponce de leon Inlet Lighthouse –you can see everything from up there! This historic lighthouse, located right across the inlet from New Smyrna Beach, is the second tallest masonry lighthouse in the country and the tallest in Florida. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998 and continues to be a destination for visitors from all over the world.
Anyone who isn’t scared of heights can trek up the 203 steps to the top of the tower, which stands 175 feet high and offers spectacular views of the Atlantic coastline and its beautiful beaches. You can also check out the museum that provides an in-depth look into Florida’s maritime history. The Ayers Davis Lens Exhibit, in particular, displays a marvelous collection of restored Fresnel lenses, including the first order lens from the Cape Canaveral lighthouse and the original lens from the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.
It’s always fun to try local beers on tap when you travel to new cities. When we say that the New Smyrna Beach Brewing Company is local, we mean it. This microbrewery and taproom opened its doors in 2014 by local graduates from New Smyrna Beach High School. The brewmaster himself, Chris, began brewing beer in his garage and would invite friends over for “free beer Fridays” before he learned how to brew things just right. The brewery is a very intimate setting where you can watch the fermentation process right from your seat in the taproom. Open seven days a week, the brewery offers handcrafted specialty ales all made on site and with fresh local ingredients like locally roasted coffee from New Smyrna’s Island Roasters. Some delicious favorites you’ll find on tap include the Disappearing Island Apricot and the Coronado Beach Cream Ale, with the addition of new seasonal beers that rotate through.
Are you a lover of craft beer? The Canal Street Craft Beer Walk is an event on the first Saturday of every month from 1-7 p.m. for all thirsty beer drinkers. Simply purchase a ticket for $20, and you’ll receive a glass, 12 beer sample tickets and a map of all locations on Canal Street that participate in the event. At each site, you’ll find about 2-3 beers that you can choose from to sample. Not only do you get to experience all of the local craft beers, but you get an inside look into downtown New Smyrna and everything it has to offer.
NSB Sea Turtles
Some Florida coasts are known for seashells or treasure. But, the New Smyrna Beach coast is known for its sea turtles. New Smyrna Beach hosts three different species of nesting sea turtles including loggerhead, green turtles and leatherbacks. Of the three, the loggerhead is the most common. Turtle nesting season is from May 1 thru October 31. In 2016, there were a total of 226 nests recorded.
A local organization known as the Turtle Trackers, is a group of volunteers who go out during nesting season to monitor and record nesting activity in an effort to protect nesting sea turtles, their eggs and hatchlings from human induced threats. Turtle Trackers meet before sunrise to survey the beach for any signs of sea turtle nesting or hatching activity. Duties include looking for turtle tracks from the night before, checking nests that are due to hatch, identifying any disturbance to sea turtle nests and more.
Many volunteer opportunities are available for locals and visitors who are looking to protect the sea turtles such as attending educational sessions and beach cleanups or by becoming a nesting surveyor.