When it is time to start planning your New Smyrna Beach getaway, your vacation bucket list is probably already filled with the usual activities such as beach days, seafood restaurants, and visits to lighthouses, but you, dear traveler, are seeking something different. You want to visit the attractions that more than likely only the locals know about; you want to experience hidden gems and make memories you will never forget. This guide to the top five best things to do in New Smyrna Beach under the radar will give you the adventures you crave, just as our Ocean Properties vacation escapes will give you the comfort you need!
The Grave of Charles Dummett
Number five on our list of the unusual and best things to do in New Smyrna Beach is truly unique. The grave of a young boy, Charles Dummett, who died at the age of 15 in 1860 sits in the middle of the road, forever memorializing his absence. The road was built to go around the grave in the 1950s and the dog statue that lies on top of the grave was added later, completing the memorial to a young man who never had a chance to discover the beauty of adulthood.
New Smyrna Beach Dog Park, 2698-2504 Paige Avenue
Many of our Ocean Properties vacation homes are pet friendly, and if you have brought your favorite fur baby along for the ride, the New Smyrna Beach Dog Park gives you and Fido another fun activity to participate in during your Florida vacation! Offering a place for the big dogs to play and a separate place for the little pups to explore, this grassy park is a favorite of all who visit and one of the top things to do in New Smyrna Beach for all dog-lovers.
Turtle Mound, 7611 S Atlantic Avenue
If a visit to the dump sounds kind of crazy, even coming in at number three on our list, maybe when you learn that Turtle Mound is actually a landfill from prehistoric times, also known as a shell midden, you will understand the attraction! Used as a landmark to help sailors navigate their way through the seas, the mound is mostly made up of crushed oyster shells and is estimated to have been in existence for over 1000 years. The boardwalks that meander through the trees and brush that have grown out of the mound are a great place to hike and explore this bit of history!
Cruger-dePeyster Sugar Mill Ruins
New Smyrna Beach is known for its beaches, obviously, but it is its history that adds an extra appeal to this surfing hub, and Cruger-dePeyster Sugar Mill Ruins are an integral part of the history. Originally the structure built here was a sugar mill made from coquina, a limestone and shell concoction that is surprisingly long-lasting. The sugar plantation was burned down during the Seminole War in 1835, but the ruins that remain behind still offer a glimpse of what it must have been like in its heyday, and the trails that run along this area are popular for hiking. This combination of history and nature makes this destination one of the best things to do in New Smyrna Beach.
Old Fort Park, 115 Julia Street
Our number one adventure is one that will appeal to a variety of different people, covering the interests of military buffs, nature lovers, and beach lovers. The Old Fort Park offers a day of fun under the sun as you hike, enjoy the views of the Intra Coastal Waterway, and explore the ruins of the old fort for which the park is named. The Sheldon Hotel was once built on this property but was destroyed after gunpowder stored in its cellar exploded during the Civil War, and although the hotel was rebuilt after the war, that structure was also torn down in 1896.