15 things to do in Edgewater (FL)

Edgewater is a small city on the east coast of Florida. It’s a low-key destination between Daytona Beach and Cape Canaveral. Conveniently, it’s also a short drive from Orlando.

This is small town in Florida, so Edgewater is quiet and relaxing. But thanks to its prime location close to the state’s big cities, if you’re looking for something more during the day, you can easily head to the action and return to the peaceful getaway at night.

Situated along the Indus River, Edgewater provides an excellent opportunity to explore local natural attractions. Not far away, you’ll find the striking Smyrna Dunes Park and beautiful beaches along the coast.

It’s a great place to be on vacation, so to help you plan your trip, here are 15 of the best things to do in Edgewater, Florida.

1. Indus River

Indian River

The city of Edgewater lies along the Indus River, a lagoon-like waterway that begins at the Ponce de Leon Inlet in the north and is fed by the Atlantic Ocean.

Stretching more than 100 miles south of Edgewater, close to the city, you have the most idyllic views of the river.

It’s quintessentially Florida, and you’ll find walking trails and nature preserves along the Indian River, perfect for exploring. Rent a kayak, go fishing for a day, or hike along the riverbanks.

2. Ponce de Leon Bay Lighthouse and Museum

Ponce de Leon Bay Lighthouse and Museum

If you want to see where the Indus begins, head north to Ponce de Leon Bay.

Here, not only do you have uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean and the river, but also the wonderful Ponce de Leon Bay Lighthouse and Museum.

This striking red lighthouse is the tallest in Florida at 53 meters. There has been a lighthouse here since at least 1835, but the current one dates back to the late 19th century.

The lighthouse is now a National Historic Landmark. You can climb hundreds of steps along the spiral staircase to the observation deck at the top, which offers stunning views of the surrounding coastline. The lighthouse is also home to a museum detailing the impressive local history of Ponce de Leon Bay.

3. New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach

A 10-minute drive along the Indus to the city of New Smyrna Beach is a great day trip from Edgewater.

See also  15 Best Things to Do in Altamonte Springs (FL)

This is a great place to go to the beach as you can find some great sand in the city centre, along the coast and on the many barrier islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

New Smyrna Beach is a well-known surf spot and is often listed as one of the best places to surf in Florida. You’ll find surf shops and surf schools along the coast.

In addition to outdoor activities, in downtown New Smyrna Beach, you can visit art galleries and local history museums to learn more about culture and heritage.

4. Smyrna Dunes Park

Smyrna Dunes Park

On the south side of Ponce de Leon Bay, you can visit the beautiful Smyrna Dunes Park, a nature preserve dedicated to protecting the impressive local sand dunes along the coast.

In addition to enjoying views of the Atlantic Ocean and the nearby lagoon, you can hike a short two-mile boardwalk through the dunes.

This is a lovely hike that gives you the chance to immerse yourself in the local nature and even spot some of the local wildlife.

5. Bethune Beach

Bethune Beach

Bethune Beach is another great coastal area to visit when you’re in Edgewater, Florida.

Straddling the Indus River, Bethune Beach is part of the vast and beautiful Canaveral National Seashore. To get here, you need to bypass the river and lagoon all the way from Edgewater. Even if the crows fly by, the beach is only a few miles away, but the journey will take longer.

However, this does mean that Bethune Beach is a quiet and relaxing place, as it is further afield than the shores of nearby New Smyrna Beach.

6. Turtle mound

View from the turtle mound

Continue south on the coastal road from Bethune Beach and you will soon arrive at Turtle Mound.

This is one of the most interesting historical sites in the area, as the turtle mound is thought to be over 3,000 years old. This is unusual because this archaeological site was essentially used as a dump by early inhabitants of the Florida coastline.

They dumped vast quantities of shells, conch and other rubbish in the area, forming a huge mound over time, unearthing a wealth of information and artifacts – from spearheads to kitchen tools.

See also  14 Best Things to Do in Dade City (FL)

7. Cruger dePeyster Plantation Sugar Factory Ruins

sugar factory ruins

The Cruger de Peyster Plantation Sugar Factory Ruins is another fascinating historical site when you are in Edgewater.

The site, just a short drive outside the city, is the remains of an old mill used by a local sugar factory.

The factory dates back to the 1830s, but was destroyed in the Seminole War a few years later. Today, the sites are protected on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

8. Peter Wolftoth Art Gallery and Museum

Peter Wolftoth Art Gallery and Museum

Head to the Peter Wolf Toth Art Gallery and Museum in Edgewater for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience.

Peter Wolf Toth is a local artist who has been carving and mastering huge Indian statues for many years.

Carved and patterned from wood, these unique sculptures are dedicated to honoring the history and heritage of the local Indian tribes who called it Florida long before the arrival of Europeans.

9. Ashby Lake Park

Ashby Lake Park

Scenic Lake Ashby Park is a half-hour drive inland from Edgewater.

This is a great place to learn about Florida’s natural beauty, as you can enjoy the pleasant lakeside vibe and fresh air.

Take a stroll along the boardwalk that leads to the water, or bring your kayak or canoe to the water.

10. Turnbull Hammock Reserve

Turnbull Hammock Reserve

If you want to experience more of the local natural bounty then leave Edgewater to visit the Turnbull Hammock Conservation Area.

This spectacular park is a preserved wilderness area where you will find creeks, swimming holes, waterways and marshes.

11. Mosquito Lagoon

Mosquito Lagoon

Edgewater is surrounded by epic natural landscapes, but one of the best in the area is the Mosquito Lagoon.

Located in the southern part of the city, this reserve is part of a vast lagoon and waterway fed by the Indus River.

This is a great place to spot wildlife; at Mosquito Lagoon you can often see manatees frolic in the water.

12. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Head south along the Canaveral National Seashore and you’ll reach Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

See also  15 things to do in Stewart (FL)

This wondrous wilderness area has seen little development over the years, as it is effectively under the control of nearby NASA space facilities, which allow access without launch.

You can find an abundance of wildlife in the reserve – and given the area’s remoteness and sparse population, it’s thriving. There are hundreds of species of birds, large alligators, turtles, and even some manatees.

There are hiking trails, or you can explore the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge by kayak, canoe or boat to the waterways.

13. Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral

In Cape Canaveral, just a short distance from Edgewater, you can find the iconic Kennedy Space Center.

This is perhaps the most important space center in the world; this is where NASA has launched space shuttles and rockets since the 1960s.

While you’re unlikely to see the launch, you can spend the day exploring the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center. Here, you can learn about the history of NASA, the history of flight and space travel, and learn what it takes to be an astronaut.

It’s been a fascinating day from Edgewater. You can walk into old spacecraft and space shuttles, try on space suits, and do more at Kennedy Space Center.

14. Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach

Head north from Edgewater and in half an hour you can explore Daytona Beach.

This classic Florida destination is home to some of the best beaches on the East Coast. If you are a surfer, you can hang out on the beach or surf.

Daytona Beach is also home to the International Speedway, where you’ll find NASCAR headquarters.

15. Orlando

Downtown Orlando

With the city of Orlando just a short distance from Edgewater, there are so many great things to do in one of Florida’s most classic destinations.

If you’re looking for some excitement, you can spend the day visiting theme parks in the area. Ride a roller coaster at Universal Studios or explore Disney World at Walt Disney World Resort.

In Orlando, you can eat out, grab a drink downtown, shop at retail, or experience culture at galleries and museums.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Edgewater, FL
Lowest price guaranteed.