Florida 8 MINS READ

The 10 Best Beaches Near Orlando, Florida

The 10 Best Beaches Near Orlando, Florida

Florida 8 MINS READ
Two girls running on the Clearwater Beach, in Florida, on a sunny day.

World-class theme parks continue to be the driving force that attracts visitors to Orlando, but what many don’t know is that the city also offers — to both travelers and locals — the opportunity to discover some of Florida’s most spellbinding beaches.

So, if you need a short break from the city’s fun-filled attractions, say no more. We’ve gathered a list of the 10 best beaches near Orlando that will captivate you with their swinging palm trees, gin-clear waters, and magnificent sunsets.

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The 10 Closest Beaches To Orlando, Florida

Canaveral National Seashore

Morning in Cape Canaveral National Seashore in Florida.

Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River, the Canaveral National Seashore offers visitors the opportunity to experience nature in a unique, primitive setting. The park comprises 58,000 acres of unspoiled natural wonders, including 24 miles of beaches, dunes, mangrove wetlands, and a portion of the Mosquito Lagoon.

Boasting one of the longest stretches of pristine coastline in the United States, the Canaveral National Seashore is home to Apollo Beach, Klondike Beach, and Playalinda Beach, making it the ultimate destination for those seeking to enjoy a wonderful vacation by the ocean.

Distance From Orlando: 49,2 miles/ 56 minutes

Find Places To Stay Near The Canaveral National Seashore, Florida

New Smyrna Beach

Top view aerial photograph of waves in New Smyrna Beach, Florida

New Smyrna Beach is the star attraction of Volusia County. Gloriously placed on Florida’s Central Atlantic Coast, this coastal town spoils visitors with a 17-mile stretch of white sandy beaches, including a 184-acre inlet park — the Symra Dunes Park —, where pets are allowed to play.

New Smyrna Beach also has a variety of lush parks and trails, amazing seafood restaurants, shops, and art galleries.

Distance From Orlando: 55,4 miles/ 59 minutes

Find Places To Stay In New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach along the Atlantic Sea, Florida aerial view.

Consistently ranked as one of the top kid-friendly Florida vacations, and one of the best budget beach breaks in the United States, Daytona Beach is a must-visit for anyone that’s in Orlando.

A vibrant city flanked on Florida’s Atlantic coast, Daytona boasts 23 miles of idyllic beaches that are a wonderland for watersports. Activities on offer include surfing, kayaking, and parasailing. 

Visitors looking for some gentler options can simply lay on the soft sand, and lounge on the beach while listening to the relaxing sound of the crashing waves.

And there’s more to Daytona than world-class beaches. This coastal city also boasts a bustling Boardwalk & Pier filled with family-friendly entertainment (including a fun-filled arcade), several golf courses, and inland parks.

Sports lovers can’t pass up the chance to also visit the Daytona International Speedway, where they’ll drive a NASCAR race car by themselves!

Distance From Orlando: 57 miles/ 1 h

Find Places To Stay In Daytona Beach, Florida

Cocoa Beach

The Cocoa Beach Pier at sunset, in Florida.

Cocoa Beach is a spellbinding destination known for its clean, wide beach with golden-hued sand. Nicknamed “the quintessential beach town”, Cocoa boasts an inviting atmosphere, and a variety of family-friendly attractions, including a scenic pier (Cocoa Beach Pier), fun segway tours, and a skate park, and breezy outdoor restaurants with gorgeous Ocean views.

Thanks to its calm, consistent waves, and shallow waters, Cocoa Beach is a coveted surfing destination. There, you’ll find the iconic Ron Jon Surf Shop, the world’s largest surf shop, and the Florida Surf Museum, a must for those seeking to learn more about the unique history and culture of surfing on the East Coast.

Distance From Orlando: 59,8 miles / 1 h 7 min

Find Places To Stay In Cocoa Beach, Florida

Ponce Inlet

Ponce Inlet: Beautiful aerial view of the oceanic bay at Ponce Inlet, Florida..

Just south of Daytona Beach lies Ponce Inlet, an atmospheric beach town known for being home to Florida’s tallest lighthouse.

Flaunting an irresistible small-town atmosphere, this serene destination also harbors an award-winning beach that stretches nearly four miles to the mouth of the inlet. 

The beach has welcoming soft sand that is perfect for chill sunbathers, and world-class waves, making it one of the best surf destinations in Florida.

Visitors can also take advantage of the flat and wide sand stretch to indulge in activities such as walking, jogging, and shelling.

Tip: Be sure you don’t miss the show-stopping sunset at the Ponce Inlet beach.

Distance From Orlando: 63,7 miles / 1 h 9 min

Find Places To Stay In The Ponce Inlet

St. Augustine Beach

St. Augustine Pier, Florida.

Located on Florida’s Historic Coast, San Augustine Beach has got it all. Its wide expanse of shoreline makes it a perfect spot for a scenic bicycle ride, and the waves attract visitors seeking to indulge in thrilling activities like surfing, and paddle boarding.

When not enjoying the beach, visitors can take the opportunity to indulge in fresh seafood in one of the tropical seaside restaurants, and hop on Old Trolley tours to explore this history-filled city  — self-proclaimed as the oldest in the United States —and visit the iconic St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum.

Distance From Orlando: 103,6 miles / 1 h 36 min

Find Places To Stay Near St. Augustine, Florida

Clearwater Beach

Lifeguard tower on Beautiful Clearwater beach with white sand in Florida USA.

Clearwater beach is a sparkling gem sandwiched between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Regarded as one of the best beaches in the United States, Clearwater dazzles with its sugar-white sand and crystal clear shallow waters that are perfect for swimming. 

Other recreational activities that are popular on the beach include scenic boat rides, fishing, parasailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Thanks to its inviting atmosphere, Clearwater is a great weekend getaway to visit with the kids. Family-friendly attractions around the beach include the palm-lined Beach Walk Promenade, the Pier 60, featuring one of the largest beach playgrounds on the Gulf, and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is home to several rescued animals — from dolphins to sea turtles.

Distance From Orlando: 107,9 miles/ 1 h 50 min

Find Places To Stay In Clearwater Beach, Florida

Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi Island State Park In Florida.

Accessible by a 20-minute ferry ride from Honeymoon Island, the Caladesi Island State Park is one of the few untouched islands along the Gulf Coast. The park is known for its immense natural beauty, and the park treats visitors to a medley of spellbinding features, including pristine beaches, a bayside mangrove forest, nature trails, dunes, and swinging palm trees.

With soft white sand and emerald-green waters, the beach at Caladesi Island provides a gorgeous setting for swimming, sunbathing, shelling, and simply relaxing among nature.

Distance From Orlando: 109,8 miles/ 1 h 53 min

Find Places To Stay Near The Caladesi Island State Park, Florida

Honeymoon Island State Park

Honeymoon Island State Park, Florida, USA.

The Honeymoon Island provides a place of beauty and tranquility as an escape from the everyday pressures of life. Boasting 385 acres of land, the park has more than four miles of beach with swimming areas, aside from a designated Dog Beach, where dogs on 6-foot leashes are welcome.

Other worth-enjoying activities include hiking the Osprey Trail, which takes adventurers to discover one of the few remaining South Florida virgin slash pine stands, bicycling, and wildlife viewing, as the park is home to many nesting birds, aside from gopher tortoises and armadillos.

Distance From Orlando: 112 miles / 2 h 2 min

Find Places To Stay Near The Honeymoon Island State Park, Florida

Fort de Soto Park

Seagulls flying over the beach in Fort de Soto Park beach, Tampa, Florida, USA

Visited by almost 3 million people every year, Fort De Soto Park covers 1,136 acres on the Gulf of Mexico and is made up of five interconnected islands (keys). The park is the largest within the Pinellas County Park System and flaunts one of the most stunning beaches in Florida with almost 3 miles of white sand and idyllic blue-green waters.

Fort de Soto, by the way, has the only park where dogs are allowed on the beach in a designated area.

Aside from world-class beach fun, the park also has a seven-mile paved trail and namesake fort that offers the most sweeping views of the local natural features. Plus, Fort de Soto’s rich ecosystem is inhabited by more than 328 species of birds, making it a prime spot for wildlife viewing.

Distance From Orlando: 117,5 miles/ 1 h 56 min

Find Places To Stay Near The Fort De Soto Park, Florida

FAQs

What is the closest beach to Orlando, FL?

New Smyrna is the closest beach to Orlando. The driving distance is 57 min (55,4 miles).

How far is Orlando to the nearest beach?

Orlando is located 55,4 miles from New Smyrna, its nearest beach.

Are there good beaches near Orlando?

There are several amazing beaches near Orlando, catering to every travel style and budget. From family-friendly destinations to budget beach breaks, there’s something for everyone.

What is the best beach to visit near Orlando?

The 10 best beaches closest to Orlando are:

  • Daytona Beach;
  • Ponce Inlet;
  • Cocoa Beach;
  • New Smyrna Beach;
  • Caladesi Island State Park;
  • Canaveral National Seashore;
  • Clearwater Beach;
  • Fort de Soto Park;
  • Honeymoon Island State Park;
  • St Augustine Beach.

Is Cocoa or Clearwater Beach better?

Both beaches are great, so when it comes to choosing which one to visit, it all depends on what you are looking for. While Cocoa Beach is a surfing hot spot thanks to its world-class waves, Clearwater is a sought-after destination for families due to its kid-friendly attractions.

What beach is better Cocoa Beach or Daytona Beach?

Boasting a variety of family-friendly attractions, soft stretches of sand, and plenty of opportunities for water sports, both beaches are worth visiting.

How far is Orlando from the Atlantic Ocean?

The Atlantic coast is just an hour’s drive from Orlando.

Can you see the ocean from Orlando?

The closest beaches to Orlando can be found on the east coast about an hour away from the city. This means you can’t see the ocean from Orlando.

What is the closest beach to Universal Studios Orlando?

Daytona Beach is the closest beach to Universal Studios Florida. The distance is 58 miles. Another beach located close to Universal is Cocoa Beach, and the driving distance between both is 62 miles.

What is the closest beach to the Orlando Airport?

Cocoa Beach is the closest beach to Orlando airport. The driving distance is 50 min (50,7 miles).

Are there any beaches near Kissimmee Florida?

Kissimmee is located about an hour from each coast, meaning you’ll have no trouble finding amazing beaches around the city. Some of the best are Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach, and Clearwater Beach.

How far is Kissimmee from the nearest beach?

The closest beach to Kissimmee, FL, is Cocoa Beach. The distance is 1 h 10 min (65,2 miles).

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