New Smyrna Beach vs. Daytona Beach: Which City Is Right For You?

new smyrna beach vs. daytona beach

If you’re like most Floridians, chances are there’s something about coastal living that appeals to you. Maybe it’s the relaxing that comes from a day in the sun or perhaps it’s memories of Spring Break. Either way, you’re ready to move to the beach—Volusia Country to be specific. But choosing which beachside town to call home may be more difficult than deciding to move.

New Smyrna Beach or Daytona Beach?

Both beachside towns are close to Orlando (so you can still take advantage of all that Central Florida has to offer). Both have oceanfront, riverfront (along the Intercoastal), and inland living options. Both even allow beach driving (in certain areas).

So, let’s break down which one is right for you.

Living in Daytona Beach vs. New Smyrna Beach

When moving somewhere new, the first thing most people look at is the job market. Both Daytona and New Smyrna offer much in the way of tourism and hospitality jobs, with Daytona having an advantage.

Being slightly less of a tourist destination means New Smyrna Beach has a slightly lower cost of living than Daytona, though both are below the national and state average. It also means a smaller population, so traffic is less of an issue.


New Smyrna Beach Weather vs. Daytona Beach Weather

Weather is one of the best things both New Smyrna and Daytona have to offer their residents. You can expect long, hot summers and a year-round wet climate. The ocean breeze however cools things down considerably.

With their close proximity, you won’t see much of a difference between the two when it comes to the weather. July and August are hot, hot, hot while winter weather in December and January usually hovers around 50 degrees.


Things to Do in Daytona Beach vs. New Smyrna Beach

Daytona Beach is known as the “World’s Most Famous Beach,” thanks to the eight million Spring breakers, NASCAR fans, and beach lovers who visit each year. With big-time events year-round (Spring Break, Biketoberfest, and any race week), there is always something to see and do in Daytona.

During the rest of the year, the Volusia Mall, Daytona Boardwalk & Pier, Riverfront Shops, and the Flea & Farmer’s Market ensure that there’s somewhere to go when (make that “if”) you get sick of the shore. Much like living in Orlando, settling down in a tourist mecca like Daytona means there’s no shortage of things to do.

On the other hand, New Smyrna Beach has a quieter, more “local” feel. Fellow Central Floridians love to head to the less-crowded beaches here, but the area is still relatively unknown among out-of-state tourists. But that doesn’t stop publications like Surfer Magazine or National Geographic from ranking New Smyrna Beach as one of the country’s best surfing towns. Move over, Ron Jon’s!

While there are still plenty of places to do some shopping or people watching, they tend to be quieter than the hustle and bustle of Daytona. Which—if you’ve had enough of I-4 traffic and I-drive tourists—may be exactly what you’re looking for.

One last thing to keep in mind: The distance from New Smyrna Beach to Daytona Beach is only about 15 miles. So if you settle down in one city, you can still enjoy everything the other one has to offer whenever you want.

The Ponce Inlet in New Smyrna Beach.

What Are the Beaches Like in New Smyrna vs. Daytona?

New Smyrna is famous for its 17-mile stretch of white, sandy beaches. And if you’re a surfer, you can catch some the Atlantic Coast’s best waves without worrying about crashing into too many fellow surfers. Fishing enthusiasts also love New Smyrna for its many freshwater and saltwater fishing spots.

Keep in mind, New Smyrna Beach is the shark-bite capital of the world, so when you’re in the water, always stay alert.

When you hit the beach in Daytona, you’ll get similar beautiful white sand and great waves for surfing, but you’ll also get plenty of competition from fellow beachgoers.

Again, because the going from New Smyrna to Dayton Beach isn’t a long haul, the beaches will be fairly similar.


Daytona Beach vs. New Smyrna Beach, Which One Is Right For You?A decision sig with a double sided arrow.

Still not sure which city appeals to you? We get it. After all, you’re not just picking a vacation spot; you’re picking a home! Take this quick quiz to see which city is best for you.

I consider myself an…
a) extrovert
b) introvert
Not sure? Take this quiz to find out.

Both are awful, but if I had to choose, I would rather…
a) get stuck in a traffic jam for an hour
b) have absolutely nothing to do on a Saturday night

My favorite hangout in Central Florida is…
a) Downtown or the theme parks. That’s where all the fun is!
b) Winter Park or Sanford. It’s quieter and quaint, but I love it!

I absolutely hate…
a) not having enough time to get everything done
b) having too much to do in the first place

A perfect day in Orlando looks like…
a) going to a theme park with friends followed by drinks Downtown
b) walking around Lake Eola followed by a trip to the Orlando Art Museum

Mostly a’s: You love nightlife, spending time with friends, and seeing the world. Daytona Beach sounds like a perfect fit for you!

Mostly b’s: You prefer calm and quiet (nothing wrong with that!) and appreciate life’s simple pleasures. Looks like New Smyrna Beach is calling your name!


One last question you can ask yourself is, “Why am I leaving Orlando (or your current home)?” If you are eager to get away from the hustle and bustle that tourists bring, New Smyrna Beach is the best option for you. If you think you’ll miss all the events, attractions, and nightlife, Daytona Beach sounds like a perfect fit!

Regardless of which city you choose, Cento Family Moving & Storage can help you get there. (Hey, if we can orchestrate a cross-country move to Hawaii, Volusia County is no problem at all!)

Get in touch today or get a free, instant quote on your move and find out why Cento Moving has been a top ranked local Orlando moving company year in and year out..


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