New Smyrna Beach FL: Great Alternative to Daytona Beach, with Boiled Peanuts!

New Smyrna Beach FL...

Growing up in the Orlando FL area you come to realize that even though Daytona Beach is the macdaddy of beaches and very popular with the tourists, there is another great alternative beach to go to… New Smyrna Beach is just as nice as Daytona is, and probably nicer because it’s not as well known outside of the area and not crowded with snow birds. It’s just a short 45 minute drive from Orlando, with lots of great driving on the beach, just like Daytona!

Everyone who has lived in Central Florida for at least a year or so has heard of New Smyrna Beach and it may be their choice of beaches for the east coast of Florida. Daytona Beach is to the north, and Cocoa Beach FL is just to the south, so it’s in a great location to be able to get to quickly. It can still get busy during the height of the summer, but it’s going to mostly be locals coming out for a good time. As usual, it’s always good to get to the beach bright and early to stake out a nice spot for your car before the heat of the day and before it starts filling up. The beach is fantastic, with white smooth sands perfect for driving, just like Daytona. There’s something different about Florida beaches, you don’t mind getting there early for a perfect day of swimming and sunning…

Buy an Annual Pass for New Smyrna Beach FL...

There are lots of beaches in Florida that are awesome, but New Smyrna Beach FL and Daytona Beach are different for one main reason… You can actually drive your car on them! If you’ve never done this before, you will love the experience because you don’t really have to worry about getting stuck in the sand since it’s not deep at all. Another beach that I drove on in the Outer Banks NC has sand about a foot deep, and was very soft and unsteady. New Smyrna is very flat and has firm sand, perfect for driving or racing, as they did in Daytona years ago!

They do charge you for the privilege of driving on the beach, somewhere around $5 a car or so, but if you’re going to be in the area for a while then you can buy an annual pass and save some money. It seems to be a rite of passage growing up in Florida to head for the beach on a beautiful day with some friends for a good time! There have been many memories throughout the years about the awesome times at New Smyrna Beach FL…

Surfing at New Smyrna Beach FL...

This is also a good beach for surfing at New Smyrna Beach FL, and many boarders like to head down toward the pier for some action. The waves are pretty good, even though it’s not Pacific coast quality… But it’s probably the best you will find on the east coast of the U.S.! You can find a good surf shop or two here as well, if you are a beginner or need a new board or lessons. Be aware though, that shark attacks seem to happen more here than anywhere else on the eastern coast that I know of, but the attacks are rarely fatal. Unlike California or Australia, where you’ll find massive Great White Sharks, they tend to be much smaller here and mainly trying to chase after fish near the pier and may accidentally take a little nibble out of your leg or arm in the murky water. They soon realize that it’s not their favorite fish and let go, but I know that doesn’t make it any easier while you are tending to the bite!

New Smyrna Beach FL really is my top pick over Daytona Beach on the east coast of Florida, because of the ability to drive right on… The sand seems to be much deeper and looser farther south in Cocoa Beach and farther, so it doesn’t make for good driving without a four wheel drive vehicle. So the next time you head down to Central Florida to see Walt Disney World, try to spend at least a day at the beach and enjoy a slower pace for a little while! Oh, and don’t forget to stop at a roadside stand and buy some boiled peanuts on the way back… They are awesome!

Sharks...

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CapstoneTrends 5 years ago from Outside Boston, Massachusetts, USA

That New Smyrna Beach area is great... I was down there a few years ago and it was awesome! That shark photo is scary though... Yikes!

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