The natural beauty of New Smyrna Beach is a huge part of what draws people to our town every day of the year, and with that comes the ability to take awe in Florida nature and the wildlife that makes themselves at home in this beautiful land and seascape. From the seagulls flying through the sky and occasionally stealing beachgoers’ sandwiches to the dolphins frolicking in the surf or soft-eyed deer stepping gracefully munching on greens at the edge of the woods, our town is a veritable cornucopia of the wild and the graceful. This guide to the top five wildlife-watching spots will help you get some really great photographs!
Halifax River in Port Orange
The bird is the word when you add a stop at the Halifax River for a day of fun in the sun. Offering its watery banks as a home to a variety of wildlife creatures, birdwatching (or birding if you do this as more than a hobby) is a popular activity here. Get out your notepads, binoculars, and perhaps a picture of the Florida scrub jay, the only bird that won’t be found anywhere else, as it is unique to our state.
Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve in New Smyrna Beach
Featuring marshland and marked trails, the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve is a fantastic way to take a peek at the natural habitat of many birds and animals. This is where the deer live, where eagles nest and all varieties of creatures and sea life can be spotted for fun nature things to do in Florida.
Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park in New Smyrna Beach
Named after a local hero, the Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park was once the site of the only African American beach in the area during segregation, but today is a bastion of freedom for the manatees who play, swim, and live in this area! The gentle giants of the sea are friendly and fun to watch, and this park is also a great spot to watch dolphins playing in the waters off the pier.
Smyrna Dunes Park in New Smyrna Beach
If you want the opportunity to see a little bit of all wildlife and Florida nature in one spot, Smyrna Dunes Park is the perfect place to add to your wildlife viewing bucket list. From the variety of sea creatures swimming by your feet in the water to the shorebirds that flock to the shores and the occasional turtles and other reptiles, this tranquil park is the sweet spot for all nature’s creatures.
Marina Discovery Center, 520 Barracuda Boulevard in New Smyrna Beach
The eco-tours offered by the Marina Discovery Center are the best way to not just view wildlife but to gain an education about the creatures that make their home in the Indian Lagoon area, which has been determined to be the most bio-diverse estuary on the continent. Offering feeding programs, walking trails, and boating and kayaking tours, the creatures you will meet along the way will change your life.