Choosing New Smyrna Beach for Our Family Spring Break
Each year, my family and I find a wonderful spot for a spring break vacation. So far, these trips have taken us all over the United States. This year, we decided to visit New Smyrna Beach, Florida. With its warm nature, friendly people, and outdoor activities, it sounded absolutely perfect for our multi-generational family to getaway.
Exploring the Town on Two Wheels
Part of the reason we chose New Smyrna Beach for our family spring break was for the many outdoor activities that go beyond the beach. This Floridian town is very bike-friendly, and we found ourselves cycling a few times during our trip. Since we didn’t bring our own bikes, Nichols Surf Shop was the rental of choice.
Our favorite New Smyrna Beach cycling spot was the East Central Regional Rail Trail. This path is a whopping 52-mile long circuit, and it runs from DeBary to Edgewater. Obviously, we only biked a few miles near New Smyrna Beach, but it was still an unmatched experience. We saw Florida-native thriving flora, a couple of different ecosystems, as well as a few hidden tortoises!
The Ponce Inlet Trail was a close second. Technically, this biking path is just north of New Smyrna Beach (around 15 minutes driving) in the town of Ponce Inlet, but it was so incredible that it deserves to be highlighted. We got to see beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean, Ponce Preserve, and the adorable homes of Wilbur-by-the-Sea.
At the end of the Ponce Inlet Trail, we reached the historic Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. At 175 feed in height, it is the tallest lighthouse in Florida, and one of the tallest in the United States. This is a great family memory stop along the trail - If you like, you can go inside, learn about the history of the area, and even climb the 203 steps to the top of the lighthouse.
Bike on the Beach
But you don’t have to stick to paved pathways when biking in New Smyrna Beach. Feel the breeze and ride by the waves instead.
We headed to the main beach entrance of New Smyrna Beach, which many people call it the Beach at Flagler instead. This strip of shoreline was ideal for bike riding. I was a little worried that our tires would sink into the sand, but that wasn’t the case at all! We cruised as easily as if we were riding on pavement. If you have never done it, trust us – New Smyrna Beach is the place to try this new way to explore the shoreline.
We got to take in the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, warm up under the Floridian sun, and say hello to the many birds hanging out by the water. We ended up biking for miles and only finished our ride when the sun finally set.
It is important to note, however, that you can’t bike on all of the New Smyrna Beach beaches or at all times of the day. The sand’s softness level varies as the tides come and go during the day. Typically, for ideal beach biking conditions, you’ll want to head north of South 27th Street and go at low tide. You can check the tide charts here.
Hiring a Fishing Charter
Since my husband and son are big fans of fishing, we knew we had to add a fishing charter to our trip. A few locals mentioned Tiger Shoals, Spruce Creek, Mosquito Lagoon, and Smyrna Dunes Park as fantastic places for inshore fishing. And then, of course, there was the option for deep-sea fishing. In the end, we hired a deep-sea fishing charter with Captain Dan through Holy Smokes Fishing Charters.
After just a couple of hours, we had already had some success on our fishing trip! Thanks to the help of Captain Dan, we caught red snapper, cobia, and tarpon. We even got to glimpse of a pod of dolphins during this memorable morning. It was definitely a family bonding experience.
Fishing at Mosquito Lagoon
We had so much fun on our deep-sea fishing experience, that we last minute decided to add another nature adventure to our New Smyrna Beach family spring break itinerary. This time, we made our way to Mosquito Lagoon to experience New Smyrna Beach’s inshore fishing.
Mosquito Lagoon has a couple of different fishing options, including hiring a charter and fishing from the beach. Since we had already hired a charter for this trip, we opted to just fish from the beach this time around. And we were lucky enough to catch a couple of trout and redfish, with our own equipment!
Dine at Off the Hook Raw Bar and Grill
After so much sightseeing and activities on New Smyrna Beach’s waterways, trails, and shores, our bellies were craving a seafood dinner night. Off the Hook Raw Bar and Grill is one of the best seafood restaurants in town. Their tasty dishes use the freshest seafood and, many caught in the area. Try the fresh oysters, the rock shrimp with garlic butter, the grouper Reuben, or the mahi-mahi, grouper, or shrimp tacos. I know… we just told you to order everything!
For more travel inspiration in New Smyrna Beach, check their Suggested Itineraries and start planning your spring break family vacation today!