Visiting Florida’s East Coast Beaches

New Smyrna Beach
Image via Wikipedia

Many people head south to Florida this time of year.  At least in my area of New England they do.  When I lived in Florida, every spring was interrupted by relatives who invaded my life with their vacation plans of heading to Disney (of course) and the beaches.  And they always wanted us to tag along.  In fact, if you live in Florida, you know what I mean when I say that your home becomes a hotel for the people visiting from the north.  Mostly I didn’t mind, and living in the sunshine year round made it difficult to relate to their sun and warm weather cravings, so we did the beaches and that was always fun.  (More fun than Disney in my opinion).  Who can go to the beach and not have fun?

April is the month that the weather (nights mainly) stay warm enough for the pools and oceans to warm enough to be swimable.  I am talking about the central Florida weather, because Florida is a huge state and has a variety of climates from the panhandle to the Keys.  I lived in central Florida and from April to October we visited the beach to swim.

Although Daytona Beach is well known (picture below), our favorite beach by far was in New Smyrna.  It is easy to get to since Rt. 44 turns into A1A and that dumps you right onto it.  It’s a popular place and we would try to get there early in the day to get a good spot to park (parking is right on the beach and on busy days you may not find a spot).  We also watched the tide reports and went during low tide if possible since that gives you more beach to keep the kids away from traffic.

florida coastline
Florida East Coast, Daytona Beach

Another beach that we would go to was Bethune Beach.  It is south of New Smyrna and there is no driving on the beach.  It was much less crowded but there were reasons for that.  First, it was a longer drive.   After reaching the New Smyrna beach on-ramp you turn and head south on A1A for a long drive.  It’s the only way to reach Bethune Beach.    You park and have to carry all your gear down onto the sand and then of course you have to carry it all back up when you leave.  There are no lifeguards (at least there weren’t when we would go).

Visiting the beach is wonderful and even when it’s full of people, it’s very relaxing and beautiful.  Be sure to rent some boogie boards because they are a blast.  Vacationing on the beach is even better because then you get to go out and walk in the evening when the tourists, cars and crowds have left.  Now I’ve made myself homesick for the beach.

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