Beaches Near Disney World and Orlando
When families are coming to Orlando, Fl, everyone knows their first plan is to visit some of the great amusement parks that are available. I mean, they’re honestly the best in the southeast and the family always has a great time. However, a lot of families love the beach too and Orlando is in a prime location for visiting some of Florida’s best beaches too! Of course, most people want to spend their beach day, at the beach, not driving all the way there just to hangout for less time than you were driving. The Atlantic offers some of the best beaches in Florida, and are home to the closest beaches to Orlando. But sometimes, you might want to feel the water of the Gulf of Mexico. Both sides have their perks, and that’s why I’m going to tell you about the closest and best beaches on either side.
Atlantic Beaches Near Orlando
The closest beaches on the Atlantic side are New Smyrna Beach, Cocoa Beach, and Daytona Beach. I’m sure you all have heard of Daytona and maybe some of you have even heard of Cocoa Beach, but I doubt many people have heard of New Smyrna Beach. These are all great beaches and each of them have their pros and cons. One pro for all of them is that they’re only about an hour away from Orlando, depending on where you are located and traffic. I can normally make it in under an hour even! So these are great beaches for a quick day trip!
Gulf of Mexico Beaches Near Orlando
The closest beach to Orlando on the Gulf Side is Clearwater Beach. This is about a 2 hour drive southwest of Orlando. Still a very beautiful beach, but is that extra hour really worth it? Keep scrolling to find out!
While every one of these beaches offers places purchase beach gear, its much more cost efficient to buy a lot of it online before you come to the beach. The stores on the beach usually hike up the prices because they know they have a monopoly on the beach! Heard of tourist trap? Anyways, these are some essential beach items I always have and links to where you can buy them!!:
New Smyrna Beach
This is a picture of a portion of Flagler Avenue at New Smyrna Beach! NSB is a great beach to go to with the family or with anyone for that matter. It’s one of my favorite beaches in Florida and the main reason for that is the fact that you can DRIVE on the beach. Yup, this is one of the very few beaches that let you drive on it. It’s a $10 dollar fee, but it’s definitely worth it to get close to the beach without having to drag all of your things down a long boardwalk. After you’re done, there’s plenty of shops on Flagler Avenue to walk around and then you might even want to rent a moped. It’s always a blast and only $20 dollars for the hour!
Above is a picture of the Cocoa Beach Pier. Cocoa Beach is a great place to go as well. It has a lot of hotels and condos and plenty of things to do. There are some free parking lots and some paid parking lots. Cocoa Beach is a little more relaxed than Daytona Beach, but I still think of it as more of a touristy beach. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you won’t have to look far for a Walgreens or grocery store alike. A couple of the main Cocoa Beach Accesses is Jetty Park(entrance fee but great view), Cherie Downs Park(free parking), and Lori Wilson Park(Free parking and great place).
Daytona Beach, World’s Famous Beach as you can see above. Daytona is an awesome beach and has held their reputation for it for quite some time. Of course, I’d definitely watch out for Spring Break or Bike Week, things can get pretty crazy here during those times. So if you’re looking to relax a little more than party, definitely check the dates for these events or just check out my other beaches! Or if you’re looking to party, I’d book your hotel early. Anyways, this is another beach that you can actually drive on which is a great privilege. They’re a little more particular about where you can drive, but you can drive on it nonetheless. There is plenty to do on the beach and just like most beaches you can rent chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards, surfboards, and even bicycles! There’s definitely nothing like biking on the beach. Its Very Relaxing!
Clearwater Beach (Gulf Side)
Clearwater beach is about a 2 hour drive from Orlando, Fl. It’s on a small island but that does not mean it lacks things to do. It has plenty of great restaurants, hotels, and shopping areas. I always park at the pier( you have to pay to park), but when you park there, you’re very close to the public beach and you’re walking distance from many restaurants. The sand is much whiter on the Gulf Side than the Atlantic Side and much softer. This is the main difference between the two coasts.