New Smyrna Beach, Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Above all, go to NSB for the beach. You can even park on the beach here — drive onto the beach at one of the approved entrances (such as the east end of Flagler Avenue.), drive along the designated traffic route that runs along the beach, and park. There are also places adjacent to the beach where you can park, such as a parking lot accessible from 27th Avenue. The 27th Avenue parking area is close to the beach road, so when you reach the traffic lights at 27th Avenue, you turn left onto that street before turning right if you want to enter the parking lot. There is another parking area south of Flagler Avenue, again adjacent to the beach.
The beach is long, with various parking areas that continue for miles, but also wide enough that, even during busier times, it tends not to be crowded. The reason for its width is that there is no steep slope from the sandbanks to the beach itself, until you reach the small cliffs — or walls, in some areas — that lead to the resorts. However, because of this, tides seem large, as the beach can be substantial when the tide is out, but then become nonexistent during an unusually high tide. There is a website which you should use to check the tides before you go to the beach.
Not all of the beach features the same topography. For example, the Mary McLeod Bethune Beach., which dates back to the era of segregation in the South, more closely resembles the beach at Canaveral National Seashore than it does the northern part of New Smyrna's beach. To the north of this area the beach is sandy, while going south it becomes covered with a layer of shells and features a steeper slope.
In addition to the width of the beach itself, there is a sandbank that follows alongside the shoreline itself. If the tide is out, these sandbanks become visible, but they're inconsistent, and do not enter the water where there is a break in the sandbank, as the opening could cause a current depending on the direction of the tide.
Be careful about going into the water — as stated at the beginning of the article, this is the shark attack capital of the world.
The beach is an excellent place to visit for viewing rocket launches. Rockets that have launched from Cape Canaveral can be viewed directly from the beach, as the shoreline from NSB to the cape is straight, on a clear day. First the bright light is seen soaring into the sky, before a few minutes later the faint rumble of the rockets can be heard. The time gap is due to the distance between New Smyrna Beach and the rocket launch site, as sound travels at a speed slightly above that of an airplane, while the light travels within a fraction of a second.