When planning an end-of-year solo getaway, I was looking for a destination where I could relax before the holidays, as well as hopefully pick up some unique gifts for family and friends. The New Smyrna Beach Area has plenty of shops, and being by the sea, I figured the seasonal hubbub would be less stressful than at home. Would this trip fulfill my goals of relaxing and shopping?
The Iconic Flagler Avenue
I started the morning with a stroll down Flagler Avenue, the sound of the surf serenading me as the shopkeepers opened their doors for the day. Stepping into Clean Karma Jewelry, I could practically feel my yoga-loving niece guiding me to the chakra bracelets arranged near the register—she’ll love the smooth semi-precious stones around her wrist. I also picked up a soothing beach scene print in Fernandez Photography & Fine Arts that will be perfect for my husband’s home office. I’m off to a great start! Maybe I will be able to finish off my gift list in the New Smyrna Beach Area after all.
Third Avenue, the "Eat Street"
Staying on the barrier island side of town, I turned down Third Avenue. After selecting a vibrant T-shirt for my nephew in the Red Dog Surf Shop, I took some time to check out the menus of the various restaurants along this stretch, looking for dinner ideas for the evening. Good thing I’m here for more than one night because it’s difficult to choose from the numerous tantalizing options to choose from on “Eat Street,” as this road is known by locals.
An Open-air Shopping Center in Florida
Even the shops at The Pavilion at Port Orange were a pleasant surprise. The open-air experience was so inviting and enjoyable, compared to the closed-in malls back in the North at this time of year. Plus, because it was a Saturday, my visit coincided with the weekly farmers market. I wandered among the stalls, reveling in the local produce, artisan wares, and gourmet food vendors, all while enjoying some live music and the blissful ocean breezes.
The Charming Historic District: Canal Street
Back on the mainland side of New Smyrna Beach, I took my time browsing the shops and galleries along Canal Street. The murals found throughout this historic district remind visitors of the area’s seaside location, particularly the gulls, pelicans, dolphins, and surfers crashing through the wall at The Hub on Canal. Through the window of LuSea Boutique, a cute, flouncy dress in a print designed by Smith & Quinn caught my eye—the perfect gift for my sister, who loves a colorful, casual vibe. I perused the numerous infused oils and salts in The Galley, finally choosing a sampler pack for my best friend, who loves all things culinary. Across the street, in Wild Oats and Billy Goats, I picked up a pair of artisan-made earrings for myself—I deserve a treat after finishing my gift list!
With my success in filling my bag of presents and relaxing my soul in this magical destination, making a visit to the New Smyrna Beach Area an annual holiday shopping experience will be the perfect gift to myself.