Where to Spot Wildlife in the NSB Area

Home to 17 miles of beaches, a pristine national seashore, and North America’s most biologically diverse estuary, the New Smyrna Beach area is teeming with wildlife. Take a guided tour or head out on your own to get up-close to nature. Here’s where you can find wildlife in NSB:

Get up close to dolphins, manatees, birds, and more during this two-hour kayak tour through the Indian River Lagoon. A certified Florida naturalist leads the way, sharing educational and entertaining tidbits about the local ecosystem.

Each year, from April to October, giant sea turtles arrive at Canaveral National Seashore to nest on its beach. Four species frequent the area: loggerhead, green, leatherback and kemp’s ridley. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the process on select nights in June and July by booking a guided tour through the park. Available three to four nights per week, the cost is $14 per person, ages 16 and under are free.

This county park is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River, at 6656 S. Atlantic Avenue. But for the best wildlife spotting, you’ll want to head to the river portion of the park. Manatees and dolphins frequent this “secret” spot, especially in the summer months. Walk out onto the fishing pier to catch a glimpse of these playful creatures.

  • East Coast Regional Trail

Birding enthusiasts will want to set out on this 52-mile stretch of trail, running from Enterprise to Edgewater. Here, you’ll find feathered favorites like the bald eagle, owl, hawk, woodpecker, and more. The trail is 12 feet wide and paved, so it’s accessible to walkers, joggers, cyclists, and those with disabilities.

Rent a kayak or canoe, then set off down Spruce Creek for a chance to see a variety of wildlife. Deer, alligators, manatees, and birds galore can be found on this stretch of river. Not ready to head out on your own? Do a boat tour instead, led by a professional guide.

  • Goodrich Seafood and Oyster House in Oak Hill (Fall to Spring)

We know this one sounds a little weird—a seafood restaurant? But hear us out. Each fall, beautiful snow-white pelicans make their way to Florida for the winter. Sightings are common throughout the New Smyrna Beach area, but a popular spot is around Goodrich’s in quaint little Oak Hill.


Photo courtesy of: Shelley Lynch Photography