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New Smyrna Beach, Florida

New Smyrna Beach, Florida
City of New Smyrna Beach
New Smyrna Beach from observation deck on top of Ponce de León Inlet Light
New Smyrna Beach from observation deck on top of Ponce de León Inlet Light
Nickname(s): "Florida's Secret Pearl"
Motto: Cygnus Inter Anates
Location in Volusia County and the state of Florida
Location in Volusia County and the state of Florida
Country United States
State Florida
County Volusia
Settled 1768
Incorporated (town) 1887
Incorporated (city) 1947
 • Type Commission–Manager
 • Mayor Jim Hathaway
 • City Manager Pamela Brangaccio
 • City 37.9 sq mi (98 km2)
 • Land 34.6 sq mi (90 km2)
 • Water 3.2 sq mi (8 km2)
Elevation[2] 7 ft (2 m)
Population (2013)[3][4]
 • City 23,230
 • Density 648.4/sq mi (250.3/km2)
 • Urban 349,064
 • Metro 590,289
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code(s) 32168, 32169, 32170
Area code(s) 386
FIPS code 12-48625[3]
GNIS feature ID 0287692[2]
Website .com.cityofnsbwww

New Smyrna Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States, located on the central east coast of the state, with the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Its population was estimated to be 23,230 in 2013 by the United States Census Bureau.[5] The downtown section of the city is located on the west side of the Indian River and the Indian River Lagoon system. The Coronado Beach Bridge crosses the Intracoastal Waterway just south of Ponce de Leon Inlet, connecting the mainland with the beach on the coastal barrier island.

The surrounding area offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation: these include fishing, sailing, motorboating, golfing and hiking. Visitors participate in water sports of all kinds, including swimming, scuba diving, kitesurfing, and surfing. In July 2009, New Smyrna Beach was ranked number nine on the list of "best surf towns" in Surfer Magazine.[6] It was recognized as "one of the world's top 20 surf towns" by National Geographic Magazine.[7] in 2012.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Climate 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Education 5
    • Elementary schools 5.1
    • Middle schools 5.2
    • High schools 5.3
  • Arts 6
  • Shark attacks 7
  • Government 8
  • Notable people 9
  • Gallery 10
  • References 11
  • Further reading 12
  • External links 13


Dr. Andrew Turnbull

The area was first settled by Europeans in 1768, when Scottish physician Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a friend of James Grant, the governor of East Florida, established the colony of New Smyrna. No one had previously attempted to settle so many people at one time in a town in North America.[8]

Turnbull recruited around 1300 settlers, most of them from Minorca, Greece, or Italy. He intended for them to grow hemp, sugarcane, and indigo, as well as to produce rum. The majority of the colonists came from the island of Minorca in the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain;[9] they were of Catalan culture and language.

Although the colony produced relatively large amounts of processed indigo in its first few years of operation,[10] it eventually collapsed after suffering major losses due to insect-borne diseases and Indian raids, and growing tensions caused by mistreatment of the colonists on the part of Turnbull and his overseers.[11] The survivors, about 600 in number, marched nearly 70 miles north on the King's Road and relocated to St. Augustine,[12] where their descendants live to this day.[13] In 1783, East and West Florida were returned to the Spanish, and Turnbull abandoned his colony to retire in Charleston, South Carolina.[9][14]

The St. Photios National Shrine on St. George Street in St. Augustine honors the Greeks among the settlers of New Smyrna; they were the first Greek Orthodox followers in North America. The historical exhibit adjoining the chapel tells the story of their plight, with accompanying exhibits, and of their contributions to the city.[15][16]

Central Florida was then sparsely populated by Europeans, as it was frequently raided by Seminole Indians trying to protect their territory. United States troops fought against them in the Seminole Wars but they were never completely dislodged. During the Civil War in the 1860s, the "Stone Wharf" of New Smyrna was shelled by Union gunboats.

In 1887, when New Smyrna was incorporated, it had a population of 150. In 1892, Henry Flagler provided service to the town via his Florida East Coast Railway. This led to a rapid increase in the area's population. Its economy grew as tourism was added to its citrus and commercial fishing industries.

During Prohibition in the 1920s, the city and its river islands were popular sites for moonshine stills and hideouts for rum-runners, who came from the Bahamas through Mosquito Inlet, now Ponce de León Inlet. "New Smyrna" became "New Smyrna Beach" in 1947, when the city annexed the seaside community of Coronado Beach. Today, it is a resort town of over 20,000 permanent residents.

Like St. Augustine, established by the Spanish, New Smyrna has been under the rule of four "flags": the British, Spanish, United States (from 1821, with ratification of the Adams–Onís Treaty), and the Confederate Jack. After the end of the Civil War in 1865, it returned with Florida to the United States.

See also: New Smyrna Beach Historic District


New Smyrna Beach's motto is cygnus inter anates, which is Latin for "a swan among ducks."[17] The city is located in the so-called "Fun Coast" region of the state of Florida, a regional term created by the Daytona Beach/Halifax area Chamber of Commerce. This coincides with the local area code, 386, which spells FUN on touchtone phones. According to the United States Census Bureau, it has a total area of 37.8 square miles (98.0 km2). 34.6 square miles (89.7 km2) of it is land, and 0.31 square miles (0.8 km2) of it (8.46%) is water.[18] It is bordered by the city of Port Orange to the northwest, unincorporated Volusia County to the north, the census-designated place of Samsula-Spruce Creek to the west, and the cities of Edgewater and Bethune Beach and the Canaveral National Seashore to the south. Bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, New Smyrna Beach is on the Indian River. The city is connected to other parts of the state by Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1, State Road 44 and State Road 442.


New Smyrna Beach

Like the rest of Florida north of Lake Okeechobee, New Smyrna Beach has a humid subtropical (Köppen Cfa) climate characterized by hot, humid summers and mild, mostly dry winters. The city, like many coastal locations on the peninsula of Florida, is also home to several tropical microclimates where banana plants can grow to maturity and fruit, although they will eventually be killed by a hard freeze.[19] The rainy season lasts from April until November, and the shorter dry season, from November to March. The majority of trees are not deciduous, and do not lose their leaves in autumn. Although it can be chilly and damp during the winter, the temperatures rarely drop below freezing, and usually remain comfortable. The city has recorded snowfall only three times in its 250-year history. The summers are long and hot, with frequent severe thunderstorms in the afternoon, as central Florida is the lightning capital of North America.[20]

The USDA hardiness zone is 9b, allowing a growing season of twelve months. Weather hazards include hurricanes from June until November, and Nor'easters in the winter. Hurricane Charley exited over New Smyrna Beach on August 13, 2004, after crossing the state in a northeastern direction from its initial landfall in Punta Gorda. The storm caused extensive damage to the beachside portion of the city, and toppled many historic oak trees in the downtown area and along historic Flagler Avenue.

Climate data for New Smyrna Beach, Florida (Daytona Beach Area), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 92
Average high °F (°C) 68.7
Average low °F (°C) 47.2
Record low °F (°C) 15
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.74
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 7.5 7.3 8.2 5.8 6.8 13.3 12.8 14.0 13.5 10.6 7.7 7.5 115
Mean monthly sunshine hours 217 224 279 270 279 270 279 279 240 217 210 217 2,981
Source #1: NOAA (extremes 1937–present)[21]
Source #2: The Weather Channel[22]


Oceanside view of New Smyrna Beach

As of the census[25] of 2010, there were 22,464 people, 11,074 households, and 6,322 families residing in the city. The population density was 724.1 inhabitants per square mile (279.5/km2). There were 16,647 housing units at an average density of 491.9 per square mile (189.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.8% White, 5.9% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population.

There were 11,074 households, out of which 14.8% had own children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.1% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.9% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.01 and the average family size was 2.54.

In the city the population was spread out with 13.9% under the age of 18, 3.6% from 20 to 24, 17.9% from 25 to 44, 31.3% from 45 to 64, and 31.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 54.3 years. Females were 52.1% of the population, and males were 47.9%.

The median income for a household in the city was $49,625, and the median income for a family was $62,267. Males had a median income of $38,132 versus $32,087 for females. The per capita income for the city was $31,013. About 10.9% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.9% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.


All public education is run by Volusia County Schools.

Elementary schools

  • Chisholm Elementary
  • Coronado Beach Elementary
  • Read-Pattillo Elementary
  • Sacred Heart School (private*)

Middle schools

  • New Smyrna Beach Middle School
  • Sacred Heart School (private Catholic)

High schools


Atlantic Center for the Arts: Pabst Visitor Center and Gallery

Named one of "America's Top Small Cities for the Arts",[26] New Smyrna Beach is home to the Atlantic Center for the Arts, an artists-in-residence community and educational facility, the Harris House, the Little Theatre, and a gallery of fine arts, Arts on Douglas. Arts shows featuring visual and performing arts occur throughout the year.

Shark attacks

According to the International Shark Attack File maintained by the University of Florida, in 2007 Volusia County had more confirmed shark bites than any other region in the world.[27] Experts from the University have referred to the county as having the "dubious distinction as the world's shark bite capital".[28] The trend continued in 2008, during which time the town broke its own record, with 24 shark bites.[29] An Orlando Sentinel photographer shot a picture of a four-foot spinner shark jumping over a surfer, a reversal of "jumping the shark".[30][31]


Elected city government officials include:

  • James W. "Jim" Hathaway – Mayor
  • Judy Reiker – Zone 1 Commissioner
  • Jake Sachs – Zone 2 Commissioner
  • Jason McGuirk – Zone 3 Commissioner
  • Kirk Jones – Zone 4 Commissioner

Notable people



  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  2. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  3. ^ a b "Quickfacts".  
  4. ^ Urbanized Areas, 2010. United States Census Bureau. 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
  5. ^ "New Smyrna Beach (city), Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, State & County QuickFacts. Retrieved December 2014. 
  6. ^ Surfer. "Best Surf Towns: No. 9 New Smyrna, Florida". Surfer Magazine. GrindMedia. Archived from the original on March 28, 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013. Smyrna Inlet is easily the most consistent break along Florida’s 1,200+ miles of surfable coastline, and likely the most performance-friendly. 
  7. ^ National Geographic Magazine. "World's 20 Best Surf Towns". National Geographic Adventure Trips. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Kenneth Henry Beeson (March 30, 2006). Fromajadas And Indigo: The Minorcan Colony in Florida. The History Press. p. 42.  
  9. ^ a b Jane G. Landers (2000). Colonial Plantations and Economy in Florida. University Press of Florida. pp. 41–42.  
  10. ^ James W. Raab (5 November 2007). Spain, Britain and the American Revolution in Florida, 1763-1783. McFarland. pp. 53–54.  
  11. ^ Bernard Romans (1776). A concise natural history of East and West-Florida. p. 270. 
  12. ^ Federal Writers' Project (1939). Florida: A Guide to the Southern-Most State. US History Publishers. p. 543.  
  13. ^ Patricia C. Griffin, Mullet on the Beach: The Minorcans of Florida, 1768-1788 (1991)
  14. ^ Roger Grange, "Saving Eighteenth-Century New Smyrnea: Public Archaeology in Action." Present Pasts vol 3 #1 (2011). online
  15. ^ "The Saint Photios Greek Orthodox Chapel". St. Photios National Shrine. Archived from the original on Dec 2, 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  16. ^ Peter C. Moskos; Charles C. Moskos (27 November 2013). Greek Americans: Struggle and Success. Transaction Publishers. p. 16.  
  17. ^ "Classical Latin: CYGNUS INTER ANATES". Latin R. English translations of common Latin phrases... 
  18. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): New Smyrna Beach city, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  19. ^ Steve Glassman (2009). Florida in the Popular Imagination: Essays on the Cultural Landscape of the Sunshine StateNew+Smyrna+Beach" . McFarland & Company. p. 60.  
  20. ^ National Park Service. "Fire Management" (PDF). Canaveral National Seashore. U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data".  
  22. ^ "Monthly Averages for New Smyrna Beach, FL". Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  23. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  25. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  26. ^ "Surfscape Contemporary Dance Theatre". New Smyrna Beach Observer. October 13, 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  27. ^ ISAF 2007 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary (2007). "Death Total Lowest In Two Decades". International Shark Attack File. Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. Archived from the original on October 7, 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  28. ^ Cathy Keen; George Burgess (12 February 2008). "Human deaths from shark attacks hit 20-year low last year" (PDF). University of Florida News. University of Florida. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 4, 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2013. Within Florida, Volusia County continued its dubious distinction as the world’s shark bite capital with 17 incidents, its highest yearly total since 2002, Burgess said. 
  29. ^ Ludmilla Lelis (February 20, 2009). "Volusia again claims shark-bite record". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on March 1, 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  30. ^ Ramsess, Akili C. (June 25, 2011), "Shark jumps over surfer at New Smyrna Beach", Florida360 ( 
  31. ^ Steinmetz, Katy (June 28, 2011), "Amazing Video: 'Spinner' Shark Flies Over Surfer", Newsfeed (Time), retrieved June 28, 2011 

Further reading

  • Grange, Roger. "Saving Eighteenth-Century New Smyrnea: Public Archaeology in Action." Present Pasts vol 3 #1 (2011). online
  • Panagopoulos, Epaminondas P. "The Background of the Greek Settlers in the New Smyrna Colony." Florida Historical Quarterly 35.2 (1956): 95-115. in JSTOR
  • Panagopoulos, Epaminondas P. New Smyrna: An Eighteenth Century Greek Odyssey (University of Florida Press, 1966)

External links

  • Official website
  • New Smyrna Beach Public Library
  • New Smyrna Beach Museum of History
  • Atlantic Center for the Arts
  • New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau, official tourism information
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