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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Brannon at the Beach

The Brannon Center

Location: New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Meeting Space: 10,000 square feet meeting space indoors and 1,700 square feet outdoors

Access: Orlando International Airport, Orlando Sanford International Airport, Daytona Beach International Airport; Interstate 4 and State Highway 44; Intracoastal Waterway

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Roughly 20 minutes from Daytona Beach and an hour from Orlando, New Smyrna Beach is an upscale beach town that offers access to the water, as well as a quaint downtown with retail, restaurants, entertainment and golf courses. The Brannon Center is in the heart of it all, right on the Intracoastal Waterway and two miles from the beach.

“Now that everyone is looking for different ways to engage their clients and attendees, we have lots of creative ways to host meetings that aren’t just in a ballroom,” said Brannon Center manager Shonna Green. “Since New Smyrna is a small town, we all know each other, and we have numerous vendors we work with to bundle hotels, food and beverage and activities — we create a total package based on the client’s budget and needs.”

The Brannon Center will arrange accommodations, on-site catering, dining reservations and activities, creating a custom itinerary for meeting groups.

New Smyrna Beach has three hotel properties (and a new Hyatt Place coming soon), each with a pool and beach access. They include the Springhill Suites, the Hampton Inn New Smyrna and the Best Western. The area has charming bed and breakfast options, including Victoria 1883, the Black Dolphin Inn, the Night Swan Intracoastal Bed and Breakfast, The Inn on the Avenue and Anchor Inn Bed and Breakfast.

The Brannon Center is on the Intracoastal Waterway, with easy access to Flagler Avenue, New Smyrna Beach’s commercial and entertainment district. The Brannon Center offers a roster of catering and beverage options they can help event planners navigate according to budget or taste. But there are also ample dining options just steps away.

For those looking for something beyond enjoying New Smyrna’s white sand beaches, there are plenty of opportunities for recreation on and off the water.

Meeting Spaces

The Brannon Center features 10,000 square feet of meeting space — 7,000 square feet of which is the Indian River Ballroom. Additionally, two smaller rooms for breakout sessions can be combined.

“We host a lot of meetings and conferences, so one nice amenity is we also have a green room for speakers, and our A/V is complimentary,” said Green. “If you need something extra, like live streaming, we do have a technician who can assist, but we have a simple plug-and-play system for PowerPoints, presentations and music.”

The facility also boasts a 1,700-square-foot outdoor terrace that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway that includes a dock for guest use, whether as a mode of transportation or for recreational activities.


The Brannon Center has a lengthy list of preferred caterers and beverage services for any taste and occasion, ranging from soul food to plated dinners. Off site, New Smyrna Beach offers numerous dining options just steps (or a short boat ride) away. The city doesn’t have any chain restaurants — almost all are independent and locally owned.

“We have a plethora of eating establishments here — anything you want from farm to table to Italian to seafood,” said Green. “The dining here in town is exceptional.”

Two local restaurants, Panheads Pizza and The Garlic, were featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” and cafes, bars and restaurants dot Flagler Avenue, from the Grille at Riverview offering a view of the Intracoastal Waterway to the Breakers Oceanfront Restaurant right on the beach.

Out and About

There’s plenty to do in the area surrounding the Brannon Center. Flagler Avenue is New Smyrna’s commercial district, where guests will find shops, galleries, public art and nightlife — and even a set of shuffleboard courts. There are paint-your-own pottery studios, places to rent bikes, an escape room, the Marine Discovery Center and the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.

“The Brannon Center is on Canal Street, which isn’t quite as fast paced as Flagler but is another shopping and dining area,” said Green. “We have two distinct areas for shopping, dining, and just walking around and enjoying the local Florida scene.”

New Smyrna Beach also has numerous events that take place on Flagler and Canal including festivals that focus on art, music, wine and seafood. There are three public golf courses: Hidden Lakes Golf Club, New Smyrna Golf Club and the Preserve at Turnbull Bay.

On the Water

The beach is just two miles away from the Brannon Center over the Intracoastal Waterway, where attendees can enjoy New Smyrna’s famed sugar sand beach. Sunset and cocktail cruises are popular, but attendees can engage in various activities, including kayaking, surfing, manatee-watching cruises and even searching for turtle nests as part of conservation efforts. The area’s blueways are aquatic trails, popular for standup paddleboarding and wildlife viewing.

“Some breakouts on the water include river cruises with the Marine Discovery Center, one of our partners, to do manatee or dolphin sightings or talk about the wildlife in the lagoons here,” said Green.

Attendees can also arrange fishing expeditions, then take their catch to one of several local restaurants to cook it.