The Changes in New Smyrna Beach Over 20 Years

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Gone are the days that the tiny town serving as a quiet hideaway from the Daytona Beach crowds is a well-kept secret. However, one thing of which you can be certain is that the seaside beauty and majesty for which the charming town of New Smyrna Beach is known will never change. Of course, there have been transformations over the past 20 years…

Most recently, when earth’s axis shifted during the wrath of COVID, New Smyrna Beach experienced the loss of Ocean’s Seafood, Golden Biscuit, Coronado Hardware and Bob’s Automotive. The Little Drug Company, which took the stage of the Victoria Theater building and offered a taste of nostalgia with an old fashioned soda fountain, also closed its doors when its 50-year owner retired.

Then there are just the changes that come with time, like the fact that the Sea Shack was replaced by Starbucks (which can be a good or bad thing depending on your perspective) and there are fabulous new restaurants that add a fun flavor to New Smyrna, such as Café del Soul which is a mostly vegetarian, organic option and Avanu, a third-story venue atop The Pizza Company (which is also a delicious dining experience) offering ocean views, a tiki bar and a menu with modern Asian flair. Barracuda’s on the Beach has become Ocean Breeze, which is yet another great ocean view restaurant. 

Other New Smyrna Beach changes include a wider boardwalk extending around the peninsula. The New Smyrna Museum of History, housed in the post office building which was erected in 1923, opened its doors 20 years ago; and The Hub on Canal, which offers art exhibits displaying the work of over 80 talented artists and hosts art workshops for artists of every level.

What hasn’t changed is that New Smyrna Beach is also (and will always be) home to a vast ecosystem spanning our state parks and waterways including the ocean, rivers, lagoons and inlets and providing safe haven to more than 400 species of wildlife in one of North America’s most diverse estuaries. The historic treasures in New Smyrna Beach, such as the Turtle Mound Historic Site and Sugar Mill Ruins will also always grace this great place; and it is certain that tons of boat tours and fishing charters will continue to set sail and that our multitude of festivals and amazing events will keep getting bigger and better with every year.