With 17 miles of white sand and beautiful blue waters, New Smyrna Beach, located on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, is a prime spot for families wanting to plan a getaway this spring. And with so many kid-friendly attractions, camps, and free activities, they’ll want to do more than just build sandcastles and splash in the surf (although we love that too!). Take a peek at some of the fun:
Marine Discovery Center: 5-Day Spring Adventure Camp (March 18-22) With pontoon rides, fishing, and arts and crafts, the kids will be too busy having fun to notice they’re learning about New Smyrna Beach’s wildlife and environment.
The Hub on Canal: Art Fun 4 Kids with Heather Pastor (March 13, April 10) Kiddos can channel their inner Van Gogh with an art class at The Hub on Canal. Instructor Heather Pastor teaches about famous artists, then children create their own masterpieces with a variety of mediums.
Surfin’ NSB: Ride the Waves: Little thrill-seekers will love a private family surf lesson from the pros at Surfin’ NSB. An instructor will bring boards right to your hotel or condo, so all you need to do is walk out onto the sand.
Turtle Mound River Tours: Set sail on a two-hour narrated tour of the Indian River Lagoon for a chance to see dolphins, manatees, and incredible views of Canaveral National Seashore.
New Smyrna Museum of History: Encourage a love for learning by exploring NSB’s interesting past through cool artifacts, models, and photographs. Kids will love the vintage boards and other local memorabilia in the surfing exhibit. Parents will love that it’s free admission.
Fishing Charters: Reel in the fun on the Indian River Lagoon with a local guide, like Captain Drew Cavanaugh of Florida Inshore Fishing Charters. From hauling in a prize catch to close-up views of local wildlife, a charter is a perfect way to spend a day on the water.
New Smyrna Speedway: Zoom zoom! Watch as stockcars and trucks vie for a spot at the finish line. Races are held weekly and children 11 and under are free.
New Smyrna Beach Escape Room: Older kids and teens will love this combo scavenger hunt and puzzle-solving activity. Participants attempt to escape from a locked room by deciphering riddles and puzzles. Choose from themes like “Alien Autopsy” and “Houdini’s Secrets.”
About the New Smyrna Beach Area
The New Smyrna Beach area includes the communities of New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, Oak Hill, Osteen and Port Orange in east Central Florida. New Smyrna Beach is an eclectic mix of old and new; of subtle sophistication and bohemian soul that is as “real” as Florida gets. It occupies a notable place in history as the second oldest city in Florida, site of the largest single attempt at British colonization in the new world. In 2018, New Smyrna Beach celebrated its 250th birthday. The city’s barrier island is recognized worldwide for its incredible surf with Surfer magazine recently touting it one of the “Best Surf Towns in America” and National Geographic magazine including it in its “World’s Top 20 Surf Towns”. Accommodations range from charming bed and breakfast inns to family-size condominium units and oceanfront hotels. Natural attractions include 17 miles of sandy beaches from Ponce de Leon Inlet to Canaveral National Seashore and North America’s most diverse estuary – the Indian River Lagoon. Two distinct downtowns along Flagler Avenue and Canal Street and connected via the Waterfront Loop welcome visitors with independent restaurants, unique shops, artisanal coffee shops and art galleries.
For more information, please visit www.VisitNSBfl.com or call 386-428-1600. Follow @NewSmyrnaBeach1 on Twitter, Facebook.com/VisitNewSmyrnaBeach or @visitnewsmyrnabeach on Instagram for the latest news. Download the free New Smyrna Beach Mobile App for iPhone and Android to receive this information on-the-go.
ANTIGUA YACHT CLUB, PIGEON POINT BEACH & FALMOUTH HARBOUR
We spent the afternoon wandering around the east side of Falmouth Harbour, discovering Flatties Flame Grill (the burger here was amazing! Sorry we ate too fast for pictures!), Grabbed a cold one and some chief supplies a.k.a. Citronella candles and matches at English Harbour Gas Station and made sure to wander around the pier at Antigua Yacht Club Marina.
After time well spent exploring we headed a few minutes walk to Pigeon Point Beach. This beach is lined with trees, some of them poisonous but don’t worry they have signs pointing them out. As you walk through the trees you will come to a small beach with beautiful sand and stunningly clear waters that is surrounded by hills that beg for an Instagram shot. We very much enjoyed our time in the water here, the beach is peaceful and tucked away, perfect for a romantic afternoon.
Last month we had the pleasure of vacationing in Montego Bay, Jamaica for our good friend’s wedding. My husband has been to the island six times before this trip and I always heckled him for going to the same place over and over…. Until I went myself. I can see why he keeps coming back! We LOVED Jamaica!
THE DIGS: HYATT ZILARA ROSE HALL, MOBAY
Saint Lucia Offers Special Valentine’s Day Promotions
Castries, Saint Lucia (February 5th, 2018) - For romance, rejuvenation or adventure and so much more, travelers can enjoy an unrivaled experience in Saint Lucia. The island boasts some of the most stunning scenery in the Caribbean from unspoiled rainforests and idyllic bays to beautiful palm-fringed beaches and, of course, the iconic and magical Piton Mountains. As well as its golden beaches and tranquil spas, Saint Lucia offers an abundance of activities including zip-lining, snorkeling and Segway tours. The island packs a lot into its size; it’s just 27 miles long and 14 miles wide and offers a wide range of award-winning diverse accommodation from boutique hotels and all-inclusive resorts through to spacious villas and luxury retreats. Lauded by the World Travel Awards as the World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination nine times, Saint Lucia boasts the ultimate romantic settings imaginable. No other island in the world is so completely dedicated to couples in love which makes Saint Lucia the perfect destination to celebrate Valentine’s Day with loved ones.
Below is a roundup of Valentine’s Day special offers from hotels on the island:
Capella Marigot Bay & Resort
Calabash Cove Resort & Spa
February Is for Lovers
Valentine’s Special 2018
Serenity at Coconut Bay
Grand Romance Package
The Harbor Club
Red Heart Month
The Landings Resort & Spa
February Is For Lovers
St. James’s Club Morgan Bay
Ready for Romance?
Stonefield Villa Resort
St. Lucia Romance Package
Ti Kaye Resort & Spa
20% Winter Warmer
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort
Romance Package (All Inclusive)
About Saint Lucia
One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies' Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the Eastern Caribbean archipelago. The "Helen of the West Indies," Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - a tropical rainforest and one of the world's few drive-in volcanoes. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Soleil Saint Lucia Summer Festival. Saint Lucia's wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties. Saint Lucia is also home to world class cruise and yachting facilities. The island is continually recognized as one of the leading Wedding and Honeymoon destinations worldwide.
Last month we had the privilege of vacationing with friends in Curacao, part of the ABC Islands. We were absolutely blown away by the stunning waters, beautiful reefs, friendliest people and most delicious food; one of the highlights of the trip was an awesome, 3-hour, snorkeling tour with Myronchi Trip!
Myron, Waldemir, Kenji and their partnered boat captain, Edwin of At Sea Curacao, were not only welcoming, hospitable and gracious but they blew us all away with their extensive knowledge and passion for Curacao and its waters.
The crew put all of my snorkel skills to shame as they effortlessly and gracefully guided us beneath the surface. All three of the Myronchi Trip crew joined our group as we explored the water, explaining the names of the sea life, their functions, the history of the island and waters we were surrounded by. We even got to hold a soft, sea urchin!
Their endearing love for all things under the sea was not only compelling, but also created a genuine need to return to Curacao; it is without a doubt one of the most (if not the most) incredible places we have ever been.
Myronchi Trip has two important goals:
THESE PHOTOS ARE PROPERTY OF MYRONCHI TRIP, AT SEA CURAÇAO + CHICAGO HOUSEWIVES
Edwin, our amazing captain from At Sea Curaçao, ensured our experience was safe and fun! His boat, Dí Luca, was originally a lifeboat from a large ship and cannot be capsized.
Dí Luca's generous width makes room for a relaxing seating area, communal table and shade, topped off with a grill to boot! His grilled pita sandwiches are the perfect ending to a morning or afternoon of snorkeling! Delish!
Travelers know that romance is best celebrated all year long, not just one day in February. In fact, in 2016, “Couples & Romance” ranked among the top 10 travel interest searches on TravelLeaders.com:
Given the popularity of interests focused on couples-related vacations, here are Travel Leaders’ top recommended beach and island destinations for planning a romantic getaway.
Hawaii. “Hawaii is a beautiful destination with so many opportunities to experience romance, no matter what that means to you,” said Debbie Isom, a Travel Leaders travel agent in Bloomington, Indiana. “This tropical location, accessible without the need of a passport, is a wonderful getaway for those who appreciate ecotourism and natural beauty. A particular romantic spot is the Na Pali coast – one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world.
Mexico. From Cabo San Lucas to the Riviera Maya, add some romance with a trip to Mexico. “Visit one of 10 Secrets Resorts throughout Mexico for the ultimate spicy getaway with authentic award-winning Mexican foods and the ultimate in romantic vibes throughout the all-inclusive, adult-only properties,” advised Alex Trettin of Travel Leaders in Tacoma, Washington. “Secrets Cabo is a romantic weekend getaway accessible within just a few hours from any southern or western state. For something a little off the beaten path, visit Huatulco or Secrets Aura Cozumel.
St. Lucia. “Everything from the dramatic Piton Mountains in the west to the quintessentially Caribbean white sand beaches by luxury resorts makes the island of St. Lucia scream romance,” said Fort Worth, Texas-based Travel Leaders travel agent Sandy Duvall. “If you’d like a more secluded getaway, there are fabulous resorts all over St. Lucia’s eastern coast. Nothing beats a tropical getaway.”
Costa Rica. “If you want an intimate setting for just you and your sweetheart, a sparkling champagne toast and a candlelight dinner for two under the stars on a white, soft sandy beach in Costa Rica, with a gentle breeze will create a wonderful memory,” said Jaime Buss, Travel Leaders, Woodbury, Minnesota.
New Zealand. “Head to New Zealand and drive across the famous Ninety Mile Beach, or go yachting along any one of New Zealand’s picturesque coastlines,” advised Debbie Sebastian, a Kiwi Specialist from Travel Leaders in Danville, Kentucky. “The scenery is picture perfect no matter where you are and what you do on the island, because in New Zealand, from sunrise to sunset, you create your own love story.”
French Polynesia. “You will fall in love all over again as you fall in love with Tahiti and these other awe-inspiring little islands, atolls and motus,” exclaimed Teresa Scannell, a Travel Leaders agent in Mesa, Arizona. “Bora Bora is breathtaking, but if you want to disconnect from the world and focus on each other, then try a hidden gem like Le Tahaa or Vahine Island.”
What do you do when the weather starts to turn cold and all of your friends are going to a conference in Negril, Jamaica? You join them, of course!
For a second year in a row, I was fortunate to be invited to the 2017 Social Media on the Sand Conference that was hosted at Beaches Resorts in Negril. It's a wonderful opportunity to connect with some of the best bloggers and brands from across the country -- all while enjoying the paradise that Beaches Resorts offer!
Beaches Resort in Negril is a family-friendly all inclusive resort located about an hour from Montego Bay. The resort boasts 9 restaurants and 6 bars... including 2 swim up! There's also a water park, spa, night club, kids club, and diving center. It was perfectly situated in Negril -- which known for it's 7 miles of beaches and picturesque views.
During one of our conference sessions, we had an opportunity to participate in a day of philanthropy with the local schools. Through the Sandals Foundation, we took part in a campaign called "Pack with a Purpose." While still in the US, all of the bloggers were sent empty backpacks and were asked to fill them with school supplies to support the local children in Negril.
We took our donations directly to the locals and spent the day one-on-one with students reading and engaging in their daily activities. I was partnered with a sweet little boy named Jayden. We were doing an activity where he was sharing what he wanted to be when he grew up --- he told me he wanted to be a drummer. I thought it was super cute because my son used to always say he wanted to be a drummer in a band when he grew up. But, jayden said, "no, I'm going to play the drums for you!" and later, after our projects were done, his class sang a few songs and Jayden lead the beat with the drums. So precious!
The folks at Sandals Foundation give back to many islands in the Caribbean -- and since Hurricane Matthew hit (just before our arrival), they are doing fundraising for schools in The Bahamas. If you'd like to participate, you can go to this Go Fund Me link: www.gofundme.com/beachesmoms. You can leave a note in your comment that you are donating on behalf of Housewives in the City! All of the bloggers are coming together to raise funds! One of the brands that was at the conference, School Specialty, will match the donations dollar for dollar up to $10,000!
Later in the week, we ended up leaving the resort with a group of 10 other folks from the conference to visit the "world famous" Rick's Cafe for some sunset cliff diving. If you're in Negril, you have to check it out. The drinks were good, the crowd was a full of energy -- but to top it off, the sunset and view is absolutely gorgeous.
I totally surprised myself by jumping! BUT... when it's SUPER HOT and SUPER HUMID... getting over the fear of that jump was a necessity!
Looking for a great beach getaway in New Jersey? Check out Allie's recent trip to Sea Isle City and her top highlights after visiting for a third year in a row.
- A new appreciation for the bay. We wound up taking walks each morning the rest of the week to a cute little spot we found off of 79th St. (bay-side) that had benches that overlooked the water. I'm already missing watching the boats breeze by on the water. So peaceful!
- Adventure to Stone Harbor. This was my first time driving through Avalon and seeing Stone Harbor... so beautiful! I was surprised at how residential these areas looked, but loved the small-town shore vibe. In Stone Harbor, we walked around the town a bit and popped into some of the local shops. Stopped into Paisley Christmas Shoppe and I found an adorable ornament to remember the trip by.
- We went to Carmen's Seafood Restaurant where every seat is al fresco dining on their covered porch that overlooks the bay/docks. It was the epitome of a beach restaurant, and I loved it.
- Live Music at Kix McNutley's. After we grabbed our drinks from Doc's, we walked over to one of five bars that Kix McNutley's offers. We joined the crowd in singing along to "Sweet Caroline", and when Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" came on Dan kindly escorted me to the dance floor (it's my jam).
Looking for a new destination for a girls getaway, couples retreat, or family vacation?
Check out where we've been!