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19 Beaches Near Orlando You Must Visit

19 Beaches Near Orlando You Must Visit

Looking for Beaches Near Orlando?

Florida is a peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides. That means over 1,000 miles of beautiful coastline that can be enjoyed almost any day of the year, thanks to Florida’s proximity to the equator.

Orlando is in Central Florida, so it is relatively easy to access many different beaches on both coasts. All the beaches on this list are within 2 hours drive from Orlando, some much closer and perfect for a day trip. A day trip is really necessary if you want to access a beach near Orlando as there are no beaches within the city of Orlando itself!

So, pack some sunscreen, hop in your car and let’s go visit some of the closest beaches to Orlando!

19 Beaches Near Orlando You Must Visit

1. Cocoa Beach

  • 1 hour drive from Orlando

Cocoa Beach is on the Atlantic Coast about 1 hour from Orlando. Cocoa Beach’s most well-known attraction is the Cocoa Beach Pier, which stretches 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. The pier offers different shops and restaurants to explore.

Check out the shops for beachwear and nautical souvenirs, or rent some beach essentials like umbrellas and chairs. Then, grab a bite to eat at one of the pier’s restaurants or bars. Options include both casual and upscale dining, with amazing views of the ocean overlooking the pier.

There are many fun activities you can do during your visit, like surf lessons, where you can learn all the surfing basics, and bike rentals, where you can rent a cruiser bike and pedal your way down the beach!


2. New Smyrna Beach

  • 1-hour drive from Orlando

New Smyrna Beach is another beach that is close to Orlando. Like Cocoa Beach, it is about an hour away using the most direct route.

New Smyrna has 17 miles of beautiful beaches, with great waves for all the surfers out there! There are many stretches of beach where you are permitted to drive and park after paying a parking fee.

The most popular option for driving on the beach is on Flagler Avenue. There is also a parking lot near the beach entrance if driving on the beach isn’t appealing to you. On Flagler Avenue, you will find tons of restaurants, bars, shops, and places to stay

There are rental shops where you can rent beach cruisers and golf carts to coast along the beach in style. Check out Smyrna Dunes Park, a pet-friendly option and a great photo spot, as it is located on the tip of the New Smyrna Beach peninsula. The park boasts 5 different ecosystems that you can explore via elevated boardwalks.

New Smyrna Beach

3. Apollo Beach

  • 1 hour, 30 mins  drive from Orlando

Apollo Beach is in Tampa Bay, on the gulf coast about an hour and a half from Orlando. Smaller and lesser-known than a lot of Orlando-area beaches, Apollo Beach boasts a unique experience thanks to the Big Bend Power Station: manatee viewing.

Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center is open from the beginning of November to mid-April, which is the optimal time to spot manatees in the area. The colder weather means cooler waters.

The warmer waters from the power plant attract the gentle mammals seeking refuge. The canal is a state and federally designated manatee sanctuary.

The area includes a boardwalk trail and observation tower overlooking Tampa Bay. In addition to manatees, the viewing center has partnered with the Florida Aquarium to include a touch tank of cownose rays. Check out these magnificent creatures before or after your trip down the boardwalk!

A beautiful beach and one of the best free things to do near Orlando for sure.


4. Melbourne Beach

  • 1 hour, 20 mins  drive from Orlando

Melbourne Beach is located on the Atlantic Coast, about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Orlando. Melbourne Beach has 33 miles of beaches to enjoy. It is less developed than many of its neighboring beaches, meaning pristine, sandy beaches.

Melbourne caters more to families as well, so it offers many different family-friendly options. Andretti Thrill Park offers go-kart racing, mini-golf, a ropes course, arcade games, and more!

There is also Barrier Island Center, a sanctuary that explores dynamic coastal environments and has a hiking trail that goes across the barrier island. The center also has aquariums, exhibits, and a gift shop. If you visit during the summer, consider joining on a guided sea turtle walk, which is offered in June and July.


5. Indian Harbour Beach

  • 1 hour, 20 mins drive from Orlando

Indian Harbour Beach is also about 1 hour and 20 minutes away from Orlando, just north of Melbourne. The town is smaller and lesser-known than some of the neighboring beaches, but that just adds to its charm!

Millennium Beach Park is a great option for a quiet, beautiful stretch of beach that also has picnic tables and areas to grill. Indian Harbour Beach offers paddleboarding and kayaking tours that take you to natural habitats where you may spot manatees and dolphins.

You can also check out the Florida Tech Botanical Garden, which consists of 15 acres of tropical plants and trees. The garden also includes stunning trails and natural water features.

Or check out the unique McLarty Treasure Museum, a museum dedicated to the treasure hunters that have been searching for 11 Spanish Galleons and other treasures that were lost at sea during a storm off the coast of Florida in 1715.

Indian Harbour Beach

Indian Harbour Beach/ Flickr

6. Satellite Beach

  • 1 hour drive from Orlando

Satellite Beach is another wonderful option about an hour away from Orlando. It is just south of Cocoa Beach and is known for its beautiful beach parks, like Pelican Beach Park and Hightower Beach Park, both of which offer well-maintained stretches of beach and clean public facilities.

Samson’s Island is another place to check out, a 52-acre nature park with nature trails that are great for hiking or bird watching. The island also has canoe and kayak trails winding throughout the park.

Satellite Beach also has a great variety of locally-owned dining destinations. Breakfast at Lily’s is an affordable, casual restaurant with delicious breakfast, brunch, and lunch options. Or check out The Green Turtle, a great choice for deli or café options.

Satellite Beach

Satellite Beach/ Flickr

7. Ambersand Beach

  • 1 hour, 30 mins drive from Orlando

Ambersand Beach is about 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Orlando. It is an unguarded section of beach located within the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, a 20-mile section of coastline that was established as a refuge in 1991 to protect loggerhead and green sea turtles.

There are a variety of trails and wildlife sanctuaries you can access from Ambersand Beach. It is also a great place to go on self-guided sea turtle walks. During hatching season, quieter, less developed beaches like this one are optimal places for sea turtles to nest and lay their eggs.

Locals have described these moonlit walks on the beach to watch sea turtles make their way into the ocean for the first time as awe-inspiring. Consider leaving the beaten path and checking it out!


8. Daytona Beach

  • 1 hour drive from Orlando

Daytona Beach is another popular option from Orlando, as it is only an hour’s drive away and offers many different amenities and activities in addition to its beautiful beaches.

Just north of New Smyrna Beach, Daytona has 23 miles of white sand beaches and tons of different things to do for every visitor. There are sections of the beach where cars are permitted to drive, and for travelers with disabilities, there are beach wheelchairs that you can check out at no charge.

The city is well known for the Daytona International Speedway, which hosts large racing events like the Daytona 500, a NASCAR Cup Series race. Golf and fishing are popular, as well as water sports like surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and parasailing. Some fun family activities include zip-lining, bowling, and Segway tours on the beach.

If you’re looking to unwind away from the beach, pamper yourself at a spa or check out one of Daytona’s museums, like the Museum of Arts & Science.

Step away from the hustle and bustle by visiting a nature trail. Daytona offers many different trails for hikers. The diverse local ecosystems mean you have your choice between hiking in forests, prairies, springs, dunes, beaches, and more! If you work up an appetite, check out some of Daytona’s restaurants, which offer both casual and fine dining. Waterfront options allow you to dine with a gorgeous view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach/ Flickr

9.  Clearwater Beach

  • 2 hour drive from Orlando

Clearwater Beach is another popular destination from Orlando, about a 2-hour drive away. Clearwater Beach is located on the Gulf Coast, west of Tampa.

Known for its warm waters and beautiful beaches, Clearwater is a great place for watching the sunset on the beach. There are a lot of different activities for everyone here. Some popular options include boating, fishing, and golfing.

There are different art galleries and museums to peruse. Families will enjoy the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of sick and injured marine animals. Some of the animals you may see at the aquarium include sea turtles, otters, and dolphins.

There is also Pier 60, a popular spot for fishing. It is a recreational park that includes pavilions and a shop for fishing supplies, souvenirs, and snacks. From 6-9 pm each night, the location hosts Sunsets at Pier 60, an event with a variety of crafts and entertainment to pair with a gorgeous Clearwater sunset.

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach/ Flickr

10. Canaveral National Seashore

  • 1 hour drive from Orlando

Canaveral National Seashore is about an hour away from Orlando, situated north of Cocoa Beach and south of New Smyrna Beach, Canaveral National Seashore is the longest stretch of undeveloped Atlantic coastline in Florida.

This seashore is managed and protected by the U.S. National Park Service. The land consists of different habitats, including dunes and lagoons that are home to a variety of plants and animals. There are designated fishing areas and hiking trails to explore. Kayaking is permitted in Mosquito Lagoon, which comprises 2/3 of Canaveral Lakeshore. Kennedy Space Center isn’t too far away, making this park a great spot to watch NASA rocket launches.

Playalinda Beach offers the closest view for rocket launches. You will want to arrive a few hours before a launch to secure a good viewing spot that will allow you to experience one of the unique, awe-inspiring sights the Space Coast is known for.

Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore/ Flickr

11.  Vero Beach

  • 1 hour, 30 min drive from Orlando

Vero Beach is about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Orlando. It is located on the Atlantic Coast, south of Melbourne Beach. Vero Beach is known as a smaller, peaceful section of the coastline. Check out South Beach, a well-maintained beach with amenities that include paved parking, restrooms, showers, and lifeguards on duty during the day.

Vero Beach is also known for its wide variety of shopping options. There are many places to choose from Main Street Vero Beach, the downtown historic district. If you are looking for some deep discounts, check out the Vero Beach Outlets, which has many brand-name shops.

If you are want to unwind, you can always check out one of Vero Beach’s resorts and spas, where you can get massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and more! There are also different museums, art galleries, and parks to visit that will keep you entertained in Vero Beach.


Sharon Avila / Facebook

12.  Port Canaveral

  • 1 hour drive from Orlando

Port Canaveral is another area that is a close drive from Orlando. About an hour away, Port Canaveral is just north of Cocoa Beach and south of the Canaveral National Seashore.

Jetty Park Beach is a popular option in Port Canaveral because of its ample public parking, facilities, and lifeguards on duty year-round. Jetty Park has a large air-conditioned pavilion that sells snacks, lunch, and ice cream, so you don’t have to venture far to get a quick bite to eat.

The park has a large fishing pier where you may even catch views of dolphins and turtles. You don’t have to bring your own beach set-up here, because the park rents out beach chairs and umbrellas, as well as recreational items like paddleboards, boogie boards, and kayaks.

Due to its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center, Port Canaveral is another ideal location if you are looking to watch a rocket launch during your visit to the Space Coast.

Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral/ Flickr

13.  St. Augustine Beach

  • 1 hour 30 drive from Orlando

St. Augustine Beach is about 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Orlando. North of Daytona Beach, St. Augustine Beach is an expansive, hard-packed sand beach that is a popular option for a variety of water sports.

The beach draws skimboarders, boogie boarders, surfers, paddle boarders, and kiteboarders. If you don’t have your own equipment, you can always rent it from a local shop! They offer rentals and purchases of equipment, as well as bathing suits and or beachwear.

St. Augustine Beach has designated areas where you can drive on the beach and it is also dog-friendly if you keep your furry friend leashed. The area has plenty of shopping and dining options that are walkable from the beach. Check out the distinctive and informative St. Augustine Surf Culture & History Museum, which provides a look at how the surf became an important part of St. Augustine’s history.

St. Augustine Beach

St. Augustine Beach/ Flickr

14.  Ponte Vedra Beach

  • 2 hour drive from Orlando

Ponte Vedra Beach is 2 hours away from Orlando. Just north of St. Augustine Beach, Ponte Vedra is known as a golfing destination. The PGA Tour and The Players Championship are played at TPC Sawgrass, a world-class golf club.

As for the beach, Mickler’s Landing is a unique beachfront park. This public beach is a favorite due to its pink coquina sand. The beach is also dog-friendly if they are leashed. Off the beaten path, you can visit Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, a marine sanctuary dedicated to the conservation of natural biodiversity.

The reserve has over 9 miles of nature trails for hiking and biking. You can also rent kayaks and paddleboards from an outpost located within the reserve. Check out the GTM Visitor Education Center, where you can see some of the work and research that is being conducted in the sanctuary, like monitoring oysters and the tortoise population.

The center offers tours, exhibits, and aquariums, all dedicated to the land and animals that live on and around the research reserve.

Ponte Vedra Beach

Ponte Vedra Beach/ Flickr

15. Madeira Beach

  • 2 hour drive from Orlando

Madeira Beach is about a 2-hour drive from Orlando. Located south of Clearwater Beach, Madeira Beach is a great option to check out on the Gulf Coast. Between the larger cities of Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Madeira Beach offers a more small-town feel than the two surrounding beaches, stretching only 2.5 miles.

It is known for John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk, which features a variety of shops and restaurants and a waterfront boardwalk. Check out the Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center, which hosts many different animals and marine life while educating the public about these animals and their environment.

Dolphin Quest offers dolphin cruise tours that are eco-friendly and allow you to see wild dolphins in their natural habitats. There are many dining options on John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk. Whether you are looking for a quick-service restaurant or fine dining or a delicious scoop of ice cream, you will find that and more!

Madeira Beach

Madeira Beach/ Flickr

16. St. Pete Beach

  • 1 hour, 50 mins drive from Orlando

St. Pete Beach is also about 1 hour and 50 minutes from Orlando. Just south of Madeira Beach, St. Pete Beach is west of the city of St. Petersburg and has the longest stretch of undeveloped public beach in the area, making it a popular destination for water sports activities.

Kiteboarding, windsurfing, parasailing, and paddleboarding are all sports that are enjoyed here. Upham Beach is a great option for a day at the beach, as it has parking and facilities on site.

When you get hungry, check out Seaside Grill, located right on the beach. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch. If you keep walking south on the beach, you will reach a collection of hotels and restaurants. The nearby Tradewinds Island Grand resort sells day passes that allow you to treat yourself to pools, a beach cabana, and more!

St. Pete Beach

St. Pete Beach/ Flickr

17.  Flagler Beach

  • 1 hour, 20 mins drive from Orlando

Flagler Beach is about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Orlando. North of Daytona Beach, Flagler Beach is known for its eclectic shops, surfing, and fishing pier.

History buffs will love the Flagler Beach Historical Museum, with includes established collections from pre-historic times to recent history. Golfers should check out Tee Times U.S.A., where they can play a round of golf on a pristine golf course.

Creatives will love the Gallery of Local Art. Bulow Creek Paddling Trail offers the chance to hop in a kayak and explore the local coastal marsh. Flagler Beach is a small town that seems to have something for everybody!

Flagler Beach

Flagler Beach/ Flickr

18. Jacksonville Beach

  • 2 hour, 15 mins drive from Orlando

Jacksonville Beach is about 2 hours and 15 minutes from Orlando. Our northernmost Atlantic Coast option, Jacksonville Beach is just north of Ponte Verda Beach.

East of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach has 22 miles of public, pet-friendly beaches. There is also a selection of seafood restaurants and surf shops.

Check out a rental shop for beach chairs, umbrellas, bikes, surfboards, and more! Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is a great option that includes a beach, lake, campground, and over 20 miles of trails for hiking and biking. Or go on a kayaking excursion on the St. Johns River, which allows a great vantage point for many different aspects of Florida wildlife.

Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach/ Flickr

19. Anastasia State Park

  • 1 hour, 45 mins drive from Orlando

Anastasia State Park is about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Orlando. Anastasia State Park is just north of St. Augustine Beach on the Atlantic Coast and is known for its white-sand beaches, tidal marshes, and sand dunes.

Anastasia State Park includes 1,600 acres of protected land. There is plenty of wildlife to observe, whether it be from the beach or a hiking trail, or from the water via canoe or kayak.

There are many different activities to enjoy at this state park, such as birdwatching, bicycling, or fishing. There is also a campground with plenty of sites for tents and RVs. The park has a lot to offer and is a local favorite!

Anastasia State Park

Anastasia State Park/ Flickr


Does Orlando have beaches?

Orlando itself is not on the coast, so there aren’t any beaches there. It is about one hour away from the Atlantic Coast and about an hour and a half away from the Gulf Coast. Though Orlando does not have any beaches itself, its central location in the state means that there are a variety of different beaches that are an easy drive away!

Which is the closest beach to Orlando?

The closest beach to Orlando is Cocoa Beach, which is located approximately 60 miles away and about an hour’s drive using the fastest route.

Though, the neighboring beaches of New Smyrna, Satellite, Daytona, Canaveral National Seashore, and Port Canaveral are all about an hour’s drive away as well.

What is the closest Gulf Beach to Orlando? Clearwater Beach is the nearest decent gulf beach from Orlando.

Which is the prettiest beach near Orlando?

The prettiest beach near Orlando would also be Cocoa Beach, in our opinion but the beaches are all really lovely and the best beach is really a personal preference.


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