Explore the Past and Future of New Smyrna Beach

Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 5:15PM

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Few areas in Central Florida are as well known and well-loved as New Smyrna Beach. Tourists from across the country and world flock to the city’s white, sandy beaches. People from all over consistently rave about the world-class attractions, top-notch shops and restaurants in town. In fact, the area has been popular for centuries.

Celebrating 250 years in 2018, the rich history of New Smyrna Beach is as exciting today as ever. Read on to discover novel tidbits about New Smyrna Beach, and how you can still enjoy some of the same sights and experiences that early visitors and residents to this area did.

Humble Beginnings

Founded in 1768 by Dr. Andrew Turnbull, the area in and around what’s now New Smyrna Beach was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years. This happened first on a nomadic basis. Later, Timucuan tribal leaders established basic camps and villages.

New Smyrna Beach was officially incorporated in 1887. The city’s population drastically increased starting in 1892, when Henry Flagler provided rail service to the area.  

The official motto “Cygnus Inter Anates” means “swan among ducks.” It highlights the pride city leaders and residents still feel for the community today.

Local Favorites

Like many historic communities, there are curiosities and points of interest to be found in and around New Smyrna Beach. That includes the final resting place of Charles Dummitt. Raised in New Smyrna Beach, Dummitt died in a hunting accident when he was only 15. As the story goes, his family refused to relocate the body during road construction. So, the above-ground tomb remains intact today in a residential area on Canova Drive.

Another popular attraction is the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. The tallest lighthouse in Florida (203 steps to the top), it’s listed as a National Historic Landmark. As expected, the lighthouse can be seen from miles away.

Notable Points of Interest

Known as a family-friendly locale, the city’s radio station has kept the call letters of WSBB, short for “World’s Best Bathing Beach.” Plus, Volusia County’s area code of 386 spells “F-U-N” on a touch-tone dial. This is a nod to the wealth of wholesome entertainment available in New Smyrna Beach and throughout the region.

New Smyrna Beach is also known as a top destination for art lovers across the globe. The city boasts several arts-centered facilities, including the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Little Theatre, Harris House, Arts on Douglas, and other venues.

In fact, famous artist Bob Ross called New Smyrna Beach home in 1992. Instructors from his original workshop still teach budding artists today. 

Living History

According to local historians, more than 800 antique buildings remain intact in New Smyrna Beach. Most were built between 1900 and 1930. In addition (and despite modern conveniences), much of the natural beauty of New Smyrna Beach is still enjoyed by tourists and residents alike.

That includes daily opportunities for a relaxing cruise along the Intracoastal waterway. When you book a scenic two-hour cruise aboard The Manatee, you’ll learn more about the interesting history of the region. In addition, young and old alike will marvel at native wildlife and vegetation.

Featuring a sundeck, restroom, and snacks available on board, the cruise is ideal for every member of the family. Contact us today to reserve your spot.


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