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Visit New Smyrna Beach

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A Hauntingly Good Time in New Smyrna Beach

Looking to create a memorable Halloween outing with my young family, I suspected that the New Smyrna Beach Area would be a great place to go. With its “haunted” locales, outdoor and indoor activities for all ages, great food, and, of course, miles of beach, this sunny destination was sure to be “spooktacular”!

Haunted Sites

Eldora House - New Smyrna Beach, FLFirst on our list was a stop at the Eldora State House. This imposing structure is the last remnant of the former community of Eldora, a once-thriving community founded in 1876. As we strolled around the site, under 100-year-old live oaks, with Spanish moss dripping from their boughs like a swamp creature’s beard, we could imagine hearing the blast of a steamboat’s horn as it pulled into the dock as it did back in the estate’s heyday. Inside the house, we learned more about the history of Eldora and the once-thriving port through the numerous photos and artifacts on display. 

Next, we walked down Canova Drive to Dumitt’s Tomb, the final resting place of Charles Dummit. The story has it that his father, Douglas, a sugar merchant and one of New Smyrna’s original settlers, was so distraught over losing his teenage son in a hunting accident that he had this tomb constructed right on the spot where the boy’s body was found. Over the years, the city built its streets around it, not wishing to disturb the monument.

Sugar Mill Ruins - New Smyrna Beach, FLThen, we wandered around the Sugar Mill Ruins, reveling in the spookiness of the remains of the Cruger-dePeyster Plantation. Constructed in the 19th century, the crumbling walls, built of coquina (a type of limestone composed of small shells and coral) provided plenty of opportunities for my kids to explore and dream what life was like in this once-busy mill. 

Kid-Friendly Eats

After all our exploration, it was time for some food! Uncle Chicken’s is a great place to dine with children, from their expansive menu to their whimsical surfing chicken mascot. Make sure not to order too much—the portions are huge! Plus, we wanted to save room for a visit to Zeno’s Boardwalk Sweet Shop. My husband and I opted for scoops of creamy Hershey’s ice cream, while the kids, enjoying an impromptu version of trick-or-treating, grabbed some bulk candy and taffy.

Hit the Beach

Family at New Smyrna BeachOf course, no trip to New Smyrna Beach Area is complete without getting your toes in the sand. With 17 miles of beach to choose from, we opted for the beach access at the end of the shop- and restaurant-lined Flagler Avenue. My husband and I picked up a couple of coffees to revive ourselves while the kids splashed and jumped in the waves. I could see why this town is ranked among the best surfing beaches in the country, as I watched the curls and troughs offshore.

Indoor Fun with the Kids

What’s scarier than being trapped inside with no clear exit? At least that’s what we were thinking when we entered the New Smyrna Beach Escape Room. With several themed rooms to choose from, including Houdini’s Secrets and an evil clown’s kingdom, we decided to try out our teamwork in the Murder 101 game. Working together, we solved puzzles and collected items on a scavenger hunt to emerge from captivity, victorious and free, all in one piece. Score a win for our family!

Abundant Nature

To clear our heads from the hard work we did to succeed at The Escape Room, we decided to take a relaxing cruise on the Indian River Lagoon. At the Marine Discovery Center, we boarded our boat and eagerly searched for wildlife during the two-hour journey. The excitement that erupted when we spotted a herd of manatees made our afternoon. The kids were dumbfounded when I told them that sailors once mistook these monstrous yet cuddly teddy bear–like creatures for beautiful mermaids! As we headed back to the dock, a pod of five dolphins cavorted the boat’s wake, expressing the same joy we felt after a wonderful Halloween break in the New Smyrna Beach Area.

KAYAK-BIRDS-NESTING-BO1A7594-2-minMarine Discovery Center





Bed & Breakfast Experience

At the end of this busy schedule, we found ourselves back at the Black Dolphin Inn to recuperate. This historic home, built in 1947, was once a private residence. Today, the spacious rooms with spa-inspired bathrooms provide the perfect spot to relax and take in the expansive water views. I fell asleep, already dreaming of the inn’s exquisite breakfast, featuring local products and prepared in the open kitchen—like attending a cooking show in real life. 

New Smyrna Beach Area was the perfect place to spend a Halloween visit, with a mix of kid-friendly frights, delicious food options, and breathtaking natural beauty.