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Beaches Close to Orlando: Escape Crowds And Soak Up The Sun!

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In the middle of Florida's lively scenery, Orlando is a center for famous theme parks and a doorway to various beautiful beaches close to Orlando. In the magic of its theme parks, it's easy to forget the equally magical Atlantic coast destinations close by. Whether you prefer relaxing on sandy shores or trying exciting water sports, these coastal getaways perfectly match Orlando's lively atmosphere. This detailed guide will explore the attractive beaches a short drive from the city. Inviting you to enjoy sunny relaxation, exciting water activities, and the untouched natural beauty along Florida's coast.

Beaches Close to Orlando

Beaches Close to Orlando – Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach, a radiant spot on Florida's Atlantic Coast, invites visitors with its charming beach town vibe and vibrant coastal charm. It's the top destination on the Space Coast, seamlessly blending a relaxed atmosphere with thrilling adventures. As Orlando's closest beach, it's a convenient escape for both locals and tourists. Cocoa Beach's stunning beaches and the iconic Cocoa Beach Pier draw sunbathers, surfers, and outdoor lovers to this coastal paradise. Additionally, beyond its sun and waves, Cocoa Beach has a significant historical role as the gateway to space exploration. The nearby Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers an exploration of space wonders. A unique destination where cosmic wonders blend with beach serenity, offering an exclusive beach experience unlike any other.

Beaches Close to Orlando – Surfers Culture

In Cocoa Beach, the love for surfing draws wave riders from all over the world. It's a great place for both pros and beginners looking to catch their first wave in this town. Which also is known for a laid-back atmosphere and consistent waves. The lively beach scene offers a variety of dining options, from casual beachfront cafes to upscale seafood restaurants, catering to all tastes. Cosmic marvels meet beach serenity, crafting an exclusive coastal experience that's truly one-of-a-kind. Whether you're after an exciting adventure, a peaceful getaway, or a bit of both, Cocoa Beach showcases the perfect mix of natural beauty, outdoor fun, and cultural experiences that make the Florida coast so captivating.

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Beaches Close to Orlando – Daytona Beach

Nestled along Florida's Atlantic coastline, Daytona Beach epitomizes the perfect fusion of seaside charm, rich history, and a dynamic range of activities seamlessly woven into a vibrant tapestry of exploration. Daytona Beach is often celebrated as the “World's Most Famous Beach,” and its large stretch of compacted sand not only offers a haven for sun-seekers and beachcombers but also provides a distinctive opportunity for driving along the shore.

Yet, Daytona Beach offers a symphony of experiences that extend beyond its pristine sands. With a deep-rooted legacy in motorsports, the city boasts the iconic Daytona International Speedway, an emblem of its racing heritage. Resounding with the echoes of roaring engines, this legendary track annually hosts the celebrated Daytona 500, attracting racing aficionados from far and wide to witness the thrilling event. Amidst the hum of machines, the Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier stand as a bastion of classic coastal leisure, adorned with carnival rides, arcades, and waterfront dining.

The city's artistry shines through in its galleries and studios, blending seamlessly with its culture. With stunning sunsets and rolling waves as a backdrop, Daytona Beach combines its racing excitement with classic beachside charm. This offers a range of experiences for all types of adventurers, from thrill-seekers to those seeking relaxation.

beaches close to orlando

Beaches Close to Orlando – Clearwater Beach

Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, Clearwater Beach is a beautiful coastal destination that welcomes beach lovers to enjoy its peaceful charm. Known for its clear waters and pristine shores, Clearwater Beach showcases the calm beauty of the Gulf and captivates visitors with its tranquil allure.

Beyond the picturesque coastline, Clearwater Beach reveals a world of experiences that resonate widely. The iconic Clearwater Beach Pier beckons for calm walks and panoramic Gulf views. The beach's vibrancy harmoniously pairs with various water sports, from parasailing to jet skiing, offering an exhilarating escape into the cerulean depths. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium serves as an educational center and a sanctuary for rescued animals, including the beloved dolphin, Winter.

The local culture fits perfectly with the beach setting. The streets come alive with performers, music, and many dining choices, from beachside to seafood feasts. When the sun sets over the Gulf, Clearwater Beach becomes a magical place for evening walks and special moments. This beach paradise combines peaceful relaxation with exciting activities, creating unforgettable experiences for all who visit its welcoming shores.

Beaches Close to Orlando – Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach, nestled along Florida's Atlantic Coast, offers a blend of coastal charm and natural beauty. Known for its beautiful sandy shoreline, this beach provides an ideal backdrop for sunbathing, swimming, and strolls. The beach's gentle waves make it suitable for relaxation and water sports, including surfing.

What sets New Smyrna Beach apart is its inviting ambiance. It's a place where you can unwind and embrace the laid-back atmosphere. The town exudes a friendly, small-town charm, with a historic district filled with unique shops, galleries, and restaurants. You can explore the local culture, savor fresh seafood, and enjoy live music in this vibrant coastal community.

For nature enthusiasts, nearby parks such as the Canaveral National Seashore not only offer opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and experiencing Florida's natural beauty but also provide a perfect retreat to reconnect with the environment. Water lovers can venture out on kayak or paddleboard excursions or relax in the tranquil environment of the Indian River Lagoon.

New Smyrna Beach seamlessly combines relaxation, outdoor adventure, and cultural exploration, making it a well-rounded gem on Florida's Atlantic Coast.

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Melbourne Beach

Melbourne Beach, nestled on Florida's Atlantic Coast, is a serene coastal haven where natural beauty and tranquility converge. This charming beach town offers a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle.

The main feature of Melbourne Beach is its pristine shoreline. Soft sands invite strolls, and clear waters beckon for swimming, creating a serene setting for beachgoers. The tranquil ambiance, furthermore, makes it an excellent spot for unwinding under the warm Florida sun.

Outdoor lovers can explore the nearby Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, which serves as a sanctuary for nesting sea turtles. Additionally, nature lovers can enjoy kayaking and birdwatching on the barrier islands.

In addition, Melbourne Beach also offers a glimpse into history with its charming historic district. Melbourne Beach embodies the spirit of a quiet coastal retreat, inviting you to discover its serene charm and natural beauty.

Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore, found on Florida's east coast, beautifully combines natural wonders with intriguing history. Stretching along the Atlantic shoreline, this protected area showcases the harmony between human heritage and the environment.

It's not just a pristine beach destination; moreover, it's a sanctuary for various wildlife, including nesting sea turtles and shorebirds. The surrounding lagoon is perfect for outdoor kayaking, fishing, and birdwatching enthusiasts.

Yet, what truly makes Canaveral National Seashore unique is its historical significance. It has sites linked to Native American habitation, early European exploration, and even NASA's space exploration history. Apollo Beach, for instance, played a role in NASA's space launches. It offers an intriguing blend of modern technology and the natural world. This combination of history and natural beauty makes Canaveral an engaging destination for those seeking a historical and ecological experience.

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Pete Beach

So, let's talk about St. Pete Beach. This gem on Florida's Gulf Coast blends a relaxed beach vibe with seriously lively attractions. You've got those soft, powdery sands and crystal-clear waters that scream relaxation. But don't be fooled; there's a lot more going on.

Now, beyond just laying out on the beach, which is fantastic, St. Pete Beach has this whole artsy side, too. Check out Corey Avenue, a district filled with excellent shops, galleries, and local spots, bringing a true sense of community. But hey, if you're looking for a bit more action, water sports are a big thing here. Jet skiing, paddleboarding, even parasailing – take your pick and get that adrenaline going. And let's not forget fishing. Some charters take you out into the Gulf, where the fish are biting.

And the food, oh man, the food. Seafood joints, cozy cafes, and upscale dining – they've got it all covered. Now, the sunset scene is something special, too. As the day winds down, the beach lights up with a different kind of energy – perfect for a romantic stroll or just relaxing with some beachfront entertainment.

All in all, St. Pete Beach has this knack for giving you both relaxation and excitement, offering a perfect blend of leisure and adventure. It's like the best of both worlds. So, if you're up for some serious beach vibes and much more, St. Pete Beach could be the ideal destination for you.

Flagler Beach

Flagler Beach, located on Florida's Atlantic Coast, is like that hidden gem you stumble upon and instantly fall in love with. It has that classic beach town vibe, a relaxed atmosphere, and a sense of community.

Now, let's talk about the beach itself. The sands are golden, and the waters are inviting – perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or just walking along the shoreline. And if you're into fishing, the Flagler Beach Pier is a hotspot for casting your line and maybe catching dinner.

What sets Flagler Beach apart is its low-key charm. It's not overly crowded, making it feel like your little slice of paradise. There are local shops and restaurants along A1A to get a taste of the area's personality. And it's not just about the beach – nearby state parks like Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area offer hiking trails and wildlife viewing.

Flagler Beach is the kind of place where you can unwind and recharge your batteries. So, if you're looking for a quiet, beautiful beach spot with a touch of old Florida, this might be your ideal destination.

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Vero Beach

Vero Beach, nestled along Florida's Treasure Coast, represents a charming seaside escape that epitomizes laid-back luxury and celebrates the surrounding natural beauty. This place has a distinctive vibe – it's both relaxed and refined.

First, the beach is pristine, with soft, white sand and clear blue waters. It's perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or taking long walks along the shore. Enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing opportunities if you love watersports in this vibrant destination with ideal wave conditions.

Vero Beach also boasts a vibrant arts scene, with galleries, theaters, and cultural events that add a touch of sophistication to the area. The Riverside Theatre, for example, hosts performances and Broadway shows that you wouldn't expect in a small beach town.

Dining in Vero Beach is a treat. From seafood shacks to upscale restaurants, the culinary scene here is diverse and delicious. And remember the farmers' markets where you can sample local delicacies.

Preserving Nature

What's unique about Vero Beach is its commitment to preserving nature. Just offshore, the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge was the country's first national wildlife refuge. It's a fantastic spot for birdwatching and learning about local ecosystems.

Overall, Vero Beach offers a blend of relaxation, culture, and natural beauty that's hard to beat. It's a hidden gem on Florida's east coast, perfect for those who appreciate the finer things in a beachy, laid-back setting.

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Ormond Beach

A Coastal Gem with a Rich History

Ormond Beach, located on Florida's Atlantic Coast, is a charming coastal town combining natural beauty and a rich historical heritage. Nestled just north of Daytona Beach, this area offers a captivating blend of relaxation and cultural exploration.

One of Ormond Beach's defining features is its pristine sandy shoreline, stretching miles along the Atlantic Ocean. This beach paradise provides an idyllic setting for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. The warm Florida sun and refreshing sea breezes create an inviting atmosphere year-round.

But Ormond Beach isn't just about the beach; it's also where history comes alive. The town profoundly connects to the early days of automobile racing with its annual “Birthplace of Speed” events celebrating racing pioneers. The Ormond Scenic Loop & Trail, a designated National Scenic Byway, showcases the area's natural beauty and historic sites, making it perfect for scenic drives and exploration.

Natural Wonders and Outdoor Adventures

Ormond Beach boasts a wealth of natural wonders and outdoor activities. Bulow Creek State Park, nearby, is a haven for hikers, paddlers, and birdwatchers, with its ancient live oak trees and scenic waterways. The Halifax River, which runs through the area, offers boating, fishing, and kayaking opportunities.

For those who love a round of golf, Ormond Beach features world-class golf courses set against stunning backdrops. The warm climate makes outdoor activities enjoyable year-round, making it a prime destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

In essence, Ormond Beach is a place where the allure of the coast meets the richness of history. Whether you're seeking relaxation on pristine shores, exploring the town's heritage, or immersing yourself in outdoor adventures, Ormond Beach invites you to experience the best of Florida's Atlantic Coast in a charming and culturally rich setting.

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Closest Beach

The closest beach to Orlando is Cocoa Beach. Located on Florida's east coast, Cocoa Beach is about an hour's drive from downtown Orlando, making it a popular day trip destination for tourists and locals. This beach town offers a beautiful stretch of sandy shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean, making it a convenient escape for those looking to enjoy the sun, surf, and seaside atmosphere without venturing too far from Orlando's attractions. In addition to its scenic beach, Cocoa Beach is also known for the iconic Cocoa Beach Pier, which features restaurants, shops, and entertainment options, adding to the overall appeal of this coastal destination. The beautiful scenery and activities make Cocoa Beach one of the best beaches near Orlando, with only about an hour's drive. 

Caladesi Island State Park

Pristine Barrier Island Escape

Caladesi Island State Park, situated on Florida's Gulf Coast, is a hidden gem that provides a serene and natural escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This barrier island, located just north of Clearwater Beach, is celebrated for its unspoiled beauty and abundant wildlife.

Visitors embark on a brief ferry ride from Honeymoon Island State Park to access Caladesi Island, creating an initial sense of adventure and seclusion. Upon arrival, guests find themselves enveloped in a lush natural landscape, including mangroves and pine forests, with a pristine white sandy beach extending for miles along the Gulf of Mexico.

Caladesi Island caters to nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers, offering hiking trails that wind through the island's interior. Birdwatching is a popular pastime, with opportunities to spot various shorebirds and seabirds in their natural habitat. Additionally, kayaking through the tranquil waters of the mangrove tunnels is a favorite activity, while the island's marina accommodates boating enthusiasts.

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A Commitment to Preservation

What truly distinguishes Caladesi Island is its unwavering dedication to preservation. It consistently ranks among the top beaches in the United States due to its pristine condition and unspoiled natural beauty. In a refreshing departure from typical beach destinations, you won't encounter high-rise buildings, bustling shops, or restaurants on Caladesi Island, preserving the island's serene and untouched character.

Caladesi Island State Park offers a rare opportunity to immerse oneself in the Gulf Coast's splendor in a setting that feels blissfully remote yet easily accessible. Whether you seek a tranquil nature-focused retreat or a chance to explore a pristine barrier island, Caladesi Island beckons as a hidden paradise waiting to be discovered.


In conclusion, Orlando, often celebrated for its theme parks and entertainment, offers a surprising variety of beach destinations just a short drive away. Whether you're seeking the laid-back charm of Cocoa Beach, the vibrant energy of Daytona Beach, or the tranquil beauty of New Smyrna Beach, there's a coastal escape to suit every taste. The pristine shores, warm waters, and diverse activities these beaches offer provide a perfect complement to Orlando's bustling attractions. So, whether you're planning a day trip or an extended beach vacation, Orlando's proximity to these coastal gems makes it an ideal starting point for exploring Florida's beautiful Atlantic and Gulf Coastlines.

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