Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Melbourne, FL to New Smyrna Beach, FL

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 We left Melbourne, FL around 8:40 AM heading to New Smyrna Beach, FL. The temperatures were in the high 70s with winds SW 15 - 20. Skies are sunny with an overcast with intermittent rain drops. We have 73 miles to travel today. We will be staying at New Smyrna Beach City Marina. The location is right in the town.
A house on the water.
Small Town Charm New Smyrna had a sordid beginning as a plantation begun by a Scotsman named Dr. Andrew Turnbull. Believing people from the Mediterranean climates could better adjust to the Florida heat, in 1763 Turnbull recruited 1,255 settlers from Greece, Corsica, Italy, and Mallorca to work more than 100,000 acres. He named his settlement after the home of his Turkish wife. Among Turnbull's first acts was instituting an Egyptian agricultural system of draining and irrigation, a process that has devastating effects today. Disease, harsh treatment, and lack of supplies exacerbated by the Revolutionary War reduced the population to 600. In 1777, the settlement was declared a failure. Turnbull sailed away, leaving the settlers behind. Most walked to St. Augustine, where they were released from indenture. Today New Smyrna is a great small town. There is well controlled development on its 19.5 square miles, including a 13.2 mile stretch of beach. Modern New Smyrna owes much to the late sculptress Doris Leeper. She spearheaded the founding of the Atlantic Center for the Arts, now a world renown artists in residence program, as well as a current preservation and wetlands acquisition effort. Because of Leeper, the visual and performing arts have a permanent place, and the town consistently makes the list of "Best Small Art Towns in America." After arriving at New Smyrna Beach Municipal Marina we washed down the boat and then walked into the historic downtown.
New Smyrna Municipal Marina
A beautiful home in historic downtown.
Kevin had an old fashioned chocolate malt at Little's Drugstore. We took a cab later in the evening to Flagler Street and ate at the Grille at Riverview. Riverview is on the water and has a hotel and spa. We had wonderful mahi dinners.

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