I’ll start by mentioning the different markets of New Smyrna Beachside. In most property searches you will find only 3 different areas named: North Beach, Central Beach, and South Beach. I, however, maintain that there are 4 areas because “Central Beach” groups together two very different portions of the beach. They not only differ in value but in overall character and amenities. Therefore I will be citing 4 areas of beachside: North Beach, Central Beach, Number Streets/Saxon, and South Beach.
I’ll begin with North Beach which has long since been the highest demanded neighborhood for NSB locals. Until about 10 years ago there was only one high rise condo on the very north end of the inlet, but Minorca was added to the Inlet Condo against the wishes of many preservationists and is now the luxury condo of North Beach. You will see a wide array of home styles on North Beach, from extremely large ocean and river front modern homes to small periwinkle block homes on Beacon Street. There are only a handful of homes on North Beach that have yet to be either added onto or remodeled. I consider North Beach the surfers paradise of NSB. Home values are historically higher in this area than any other area of beachside.
Central Beach is the latest and greatest beachside area, for locals and investors/vacationers alike. The short walk to the restaurants of Flagler Avenue, as well as, close proximity to both bridges and the beach have all contributed to Central Beaches success. What had been an neighborhood of mostly 2/1 and 3/2 periwinkle homes has seen a huge amount of new construction, investor remodels/flips, and new construction. This area is quaint, accessible, has beach access at the end of almost every E/W street, and best of all walking distance to all the NSB lifestyle has to offer. We have seen a huge increase in prices in this area because it has come into such high demand. You’ll see a lot of golf cart and bicycle travel. The beach tends to be the most crowded from Crawford to 3rd Ave, mostly because the day trippers congregate around the Flagler Avenue beach ramp. If you’re a surfer, sometimes this neighborhood can be tough in the summer because the beach from Esther to 3rd is designated a swim area and is “soft top” only. You may not ride fiberglass or epoxy surf or paddle boards from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Although on the more crowded side, the beach in this area has what I consider that absolute best beach wagons in NSB. If you love burgers, hot dogs, and boiled peanuts this is the place to be on a beach day.
The numbers streets and Saxon Drive are the area south of 3rd Avenue, where Horton turns into Saxon south to the merge of Saxon and S Atlantic. Saxon Drive is very different on the east side versus the west side. If your home is on the west side you are more than likely on a canal, some of which, lead to the intracoastal waterway. The farther north on Saxon, the narrower and more shallow the canal, and fewer outlets. As you get farther south, the canals become motor navigable. The number streets and east side of Saxon are the most prominent area for older concrete periwinkle block 2/1’s. This area has maintained a much lower price point than Central and North Beach. Because 3rd Ave/A1A turn into 4 lanes through this portion of the beach, the vast majority of number street residents must cross at a cross walk for safety during peak season. The off season is relatively easy to cross at any street and all streets have a beach access. The east side of A1A contains Hill St., an ocean front dirt road, mixed with homes, duplexes, and condos. The number streets have seen a lot of new construction in recent years and you will find several streets with large newer homes and almost no 50’s-70’s homes. Just past 27th, but still between Saxon and A1A, you get to Silver Sands. This area is nice and quiet, many homes were built in the 80’s-2000’s. A1A is also back to 2 lanes, so crossing to the beach is easy, although beach access points are slightly more sparse. The main access is Hiles Blvd for most of the neighborhood, and folks in Sea Woods subdivision and on the north end use Mathews Ave and Oyster Quay for easy access, along with a few other walkable public accesses but parking is limited. This area has a significant amount of condos on the east side of A1A and is probably the most demanded in terms of condos closer to town on the non drive beach which begins at 27th.
Finally we get to the south end, Bethune Beach. The beach characteristics change significantly on the south end. The sand changes from white powdery sand to orange shelly sand mixed with white sand and a very sloped beach as you approach the dunes. It exudes a “private beach” feel although public accesses are very easy to come by. Buyers can get a much larger home for their money in Bethune. Most of the homes are built on stilts and have roof top decks to enjoy estuary and ocean peaks. Bethune’s main drawback is it’s distance from amenities (roughly 7 minutes to Flagler Avenue). If you live in Bethune, your walk to the beach is less than 5 minutes no matter what street you’re on. The island gets much thinner as you head south toward Canaveral National Seashore.
I hope this helped explain the areas on beachside in a little more detail. If you have additional questions or comments on the areas feel free to share. I did not cover the different condo areas but look for a new post with that info in the future.