Located on the northernmost section of Canaveral National Seashore is Apollo Beach. This natural and undeveloped coastal area which is accessed from New Smyrna Beach is one of two beaches managed by the park service in the area. Playalinda Beach is also part of the Canaveral National Seashore and is the southernmost of these two public beaches. The beautiful shoreline along both beaches boast some of the least developed and natural shoreline available in the state.
Strolling along the shoreline or inland ecosystems provide abundant opportunities for the naturalist adventure seeker. The inland lagoon and waterways support a diverse population of local wildlife and a vast array of Florida native species along with migratory birds can be spotted from the parking areas provided along the roadway. Roadside stopping is not permitted, so visitors should plan to utilize these parking lots for photographic opportunities in the area.
The natural characteristic of this beach includes limited facilities and amenities available. Toilets available at the parking areas provide no running water and there are no showers available in this park. Boardwalks to the beach are provided and occasionally closed due to maintenance concerns. There is a small fishing platform on the Lagoon side of the park near Eldora provided for anglers in addition to the miles of shoreline for off shore fishing. Fishing regulations are enforced, so be sure to check with local authorities or tackle shops for further information.
Eldora and Turtle Mound are popular destinations for visitors seeking to explore some of the history of the area. Eldora is often considered the best remaining example of earlier life along the Mosquito Lagoon. Turtle Mound is an impressive example of Native American shell mounds and one of the largest on the Florida East Coast. These archaeological sites and the many paths inland provide off beach activities to round out and enhance visitors’ experience in this unique coastal getaway.
Visitors to this National Park should be aware that the southernmost area of the beach; adjacent to the last parking area, (as well as the northernmost area of Playalinda Beach) are commonly utilized by naturist (as opposed to “naturalist”) enthusiasts. While local and state laws govern nudity in public areas, the regulation of this national park is largely performed by park officials and there are no federal laws related to this controversial activity.
Whereas state and local law enforcement do not seek to expend a great deal of resources to enforce local nudity ordinances, it is common to encounter individuals in both of these areas enjoying the beach unclothed. Obscene acts or activity is not tolerated and should be reported to park officials if observed, but one should be prepared when traveling along the shore in these areas to observe a “clothing optional” lifestyle.
Links and information beneficial to your enjoyment of this key coastal area are provided below: