The closest (best) beaches from Orlando

21stamps

Well-Known Member
Cocoa Beach and New Smyrna Beach are the best beaches close to WDW, but I vote for Siesta Key. It is about an hour and forty-five minutes away, but it is one of the beat beaches in the country.

I second this.

The east coast does have better beaches than the west imo, but not that far north.

Siesta Key would definitely be my choice between any Atlantic or Gulf beach in that part of Florida.
 

Snake

Member
Advertisement
No better place to talk about it than here. I'll be there in October, a time when it is still hot in central Florida. One day I wouldn't mind going over to the beach. I haven't swam in the Atlantic since I was 10. What is the best beach on the east coast? A decent, but not too crazy traffic area. I am guessing the coast is about an hour away from Orlando. In 2012 we were in Southern California and visited Laguna, Santa Monica, etc. Lots of good beaches over there. Are any like that on the coast close to Orlando? Fort Lauderdale and Miami would be too far for my liking. I am thinking of just a day trip, even a partial day trip. Is Daytona alright?
Thats easy, daytona beach, I-5 its about 50 miles away, speed limit gets up to 70 mph, so it can easliy turn into 40 min drive. A1A has tons of beach, some busy, but you travel 5- 10 miles north or south on A1A and you can find empty beach. Oh and great seafood place in daytona, gotta go to Aunt Catfishes. Great food!
 

Surfin' Tuna

Well-Known Member
The closest/easiest is for sure Cocoa Beach, since it you can take 528 and avoid almost all traffic heading out of WDW. It is not much of a destination, but it would work for a walk or swim in the ocean day with limited driving. If you're willing to invest the time and energy, everyone is correct with the west coast beaches being better. If I was 20 years younger Daytona would be a contender, but I am not - so it is not. If you are really thinking of 2 days of beach, I would go somewhere on the west coast and spend the night there. There are plenty of places to disconnect and unwind. I try to go over there for a weekend a few times a year to do just that.
 

BuddyThomas

Well-Known Member
St. Pete Beach is the winner for me. Water is clear and beaches are amazing. Was just there. Have fun, whatever you do. :)
May 2018.jpg
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
On the Gulf Coast I am seeing St. Pete's as a favorite?
I've been up and down both sides and for best beaches, especially with kids, is the St. Pete Clearwater area. The beaches are nicer, tons of shells for the kids to find, the water is a lot clearer and calmer. The drive from Disney is super easy and isn't very long.
 

bh_trade

Member
Atlantic coast = meh, Gulf coast is much, much prettier! Drive a tad further south than the typical Clearwater/St. Pete and you will find gorgeous Siesta Key beach with limited crowds
 

Big Phil

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thank you everyone for these options. Choices are good and I might have a couple of days to do each coast. We'll see. Okay serious question, the odd time I'll hear about a crocodile in the water. Any issue with this in the ocean?
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Thank you everyone for these options. Choices are good and I might have a couple of days to do each coast. We'll see. Okay serious question, the odd time I'll hear about a crocodile in the water. Any issue with this in the ocean?
American crocodiles live on the southern tip of the peninsula with only rare sightings so far north.

American alligators will go in brackish water, but don’t really like saltwater.
 

Big Phil

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
American crocodiles live on the southern tip of the peninsula with only rare sightings so far north.

American alligators will go in brackish water, but don’t really like saltwater.

That's what I always thought too. By "southern tip" where are you referring to again?
 

larryz

Today's Maytag Repairman
Premium Member
Another vote for Canaveral National Seashore. It's remote enough to be fairly empty, yet developed enough to be convenient, and it's on a REAL ocean. The Gulf of Mexico in summer is like a bathtub to me...
 

Big Phil

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
St. Pete's looks absolutely beautiful and blue. Shades of Dominican and Cuba for me. Just lovely. I think I might be able to squeeze a couple of days (one on each coast) while I am down there. While I know the Gulf is very warm water my question is how cold/warm would the Atlantic be in late September at this point?
 

NickMaio

Well-Known Member
Anna Maria Island is what I recommend and it is an hour and 45 min drive from the parks with no traffic. It is old Florida without all the high rise hotels and packed beaches. I would stay away from Clearwater and St. Pete beach. Treasure Island and Redington are an options as well but your still dealing with traffic on Gulf Blvd but the beaches are big so there is plenty of room. Ft. De Soto is nice but it is limited in size since you want to be on the North Beach and you need to get there early enough to snag a good spot or you have to walk a pretty far distance to find a spot and it sucks if you have a bunch of stuff. I live 10 mins from AMI and grew up on the Pinellas beaches.
We were just there for 2 weeks. After 1 week in Orlando.
Amazing beach. Not crowded at all.
We even came back to springs and Epcot for the day and drove back during the night.
Anna Maria...... Lots of old Florida charm.
 

Big Phil

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Atlantic coast = meh, Gulf coast is much, much prettier! Drive a tad further south than the typical Clearwater/St. Pete and you will find gorgeous Siesta Key beach with limited crowds

For sure, that goes without saying the Gulf is prettier. Might check that out too if we have time, and we should. Is the beach cold on the Atlantic side in September/October? I can't imagine it being cold that far south. I know the Gulf is warm regardless.
 
Top Bottom