15 Closest Beaches to Orlando You Must Visit

To all my sun and sea devotees, I want to take you around the best beaches near Orlando.

This blog is not about theme parks but about warm salty air, beaches, Gulf, gorgeous waves, untamed wilderness, unique wildlife, and pristine spots. 

Beaches Closest to Orlando

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You won’t find beaches in Orlando but within a 50 minute drive you can! The place features a laid back city atmosphere, cozy motels, good food, and a beautiful coastline.

So, let’s explore the closest beaches to Orlando for weekend plans. Also, some of these places are pocket-friendly for vacation in Florida. 

I want you to give a beautiful twist to your Orlando itinerary by visiting any of these closest beaches in Orlando.

So, let’s get wet when you’re in Orlando.

1. Cocoa Beach

Distance: 59.8 miles

Driving time: Around 1 hour

For the quintessential beach experience and enjoying Atlantic water on the east coast of Florida just south of Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach is an ideal destination. 

Not only is Cocoa Beach the nearest beach to Orlando but recognized as the surfing capital of Florida. This is the most flawless place to enjoy the peacefulness of nature!

Things to do in Cocoa Beach:

  • Come to Ron Jon Surf Shop to enrich your surfing experience in Florida
  • Learn more about surfing at Florida Surf Museum
  • Bring your partner to Cocoa Beach Pier to see the most beautiful sunset. Sometimes such free things to do in Orlando leave a residue of memories that can never be forgettable. 
  • Just come to Port Canaveral, one of the largest growing ports to enjoy the air
  • Come to Alan Shepard Park if you are planning for shopping
  • Lori Wilson Park is less crowded to spend some ideal time with yourself

Tip: Cocoa Beach is the closest beach to Kissimmee

Closest Beaches to Orlando_Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach

2. Canaveral National Seashore

Distance: 66 miles

Driving time: Around 1 hour 6 minutes

Have you ever wondered where to spot sea turtles or any endangered species? Welcome to Playalinda Beach in Canaveral National Seashore. 

Its location along Florida’s Central East Coast between Cape Canaveral and New Smyrna and strike limitation to no cars roaring down make it ideal for travelers. 

Canaveral National Seashore is one of the best beaches near Orlando on the barrier island untouched by development featuring flatwood, Broadwalk dunes and lagoons.

Things to do in Canaveral National Seashore:

  • Explore beyond Canaveral National Seashore – go to Klondike Beach, and Apollo Beach
  • Sit quietly and watch the rockets taking off from the Kennedy Space Center launch pads
  • Join the ranger group at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge to click outstanding pictures of a sea turtle laying hundreds of eggs in the sandy nest. 
  • Plan camping to spot bald eagles, manatees, peregrine falcons, and hundreds of birds. Check out these affordable best quality travel binoculars if you don’t have any.
  • Take the Scrub Ridge Trail to unwind your stress while exploring nature

Tip: Playalinda Beach is one of the well-known nude beaches in Florida, therefore, not suitable for children. 

Canaveral National Seashore
Canaveral National Seashore

3. Melbourne Beach

Distance: 76miles

Driving time: Around 1 hour 45 minutes

To breathe the light tropical breeze of Florida and walk along the untouched beaches and wet feet, Melbourne Beach is one of the best beaches near Orlando.

Just across the Indian River and Atlantic Ocean, sits this “Harbor City” which is ideal for surfing, snorkeling, walking, and jogging. The unspoiled nature is its specialty! 

Melbourne Beach’s ecosystem is so ideal that you will spot hundreds of sea turtles nesting during the season. Come to Coconut Point to spot the sea turtles. 

Things to do in Melbourne Beach:

  • If you are here in the month of April, do not miss the Melbourne Art Festival. There are many cheap things to do in Melbourne for children during this time. 
  • For a good affordable shopping experience come to the Space Coast Area.
  • Enroll yourself for the turtle walk with the Sea Turtle Preservation Society
  • Bring your family to Juan Ponce de Leon Park to enjoy the evening time.
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Tips:

  • Park your car at Curtis Byrd Park to pay no money and just walk onto the beach.
  • Melbourne Beach is the closest beach to Orlando airport
beach near Orlando_Melbourne Beach
Melbourne Beach

4. Clearwater Beach

Distance: 108miles

Driving time: Around 1 hour 45 minutes

If you are wondering about an adventurous escape in Florida, Clearwater Beach, the closest beach to Orlando on the Gulf Coast – Caladesi Island is the location.

Do you know Clearwater Beach has been voted as one of the best beaches in America by Dr Beach, USA Today, TripAdvisor, and Forbes? What’s special here?

Things to do in Clearwater Beach:

  • Take the three miles roads north from the Clearwater Beach pier to enjoy the view
  • From here you can visit Busch Gardens, Salvador Dali Museum, and Tampa’s Ybor City.
  • Enjoy a historic dinner with your partner at Columbia. I would also suggest coming to Frenchy’s Rockaway Grille
Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach

5. Daytona Beach

Distance: 55.8 miles

Driving time: Around 1 hour

Daytona Beach is the most couple-friendly beach close to Orlandopromising endless opportunities for oceanfront fun with picnics, playing, fishing, and long walks.

Also, it is known as “the World’s Most Famous Beach” for its white sugary sand. You will find people surfing, jet skiing, parasailing, playing volleyball, or surfing. 

If you are athletic, I would recommend you to visit Ormond Beach in Michael Crotty Bicentennial Park. You are free to play football, soccer, and more. A lot of fun!

Things to do in Daytona Beach:

  • Go surfing at Daytona Beach. It’s all worth it!
  • There are many funfair games, dining and shopping centers
  • Go to the Daytona International Speedway to witness the legendary pier
  • Run to Lighthouse Point Park and Smyrna Dunes Park to enjoy the tropical air
Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach

6. Flagler Beach

Distance: 76.6 miles

Driving time: Around 1.5 hours

Flagler Beach is a clean uncluttered sandy beach on State Road A1A featuring warm water, curling waves, golden sands, emerald clear water, and endless ocean views.  

Flagler Beach is one of the closest beaches to Orlando to spot mangroves and other tropical forest species. Remember, here you will find a very less crowd and no hotels.

Things to do in Flagler Beach:

  • Once you are here, you have the golden opportunity to explore – Silverlake Park, Wadsworth Park, Veterans Park, and Wickline Park. 
  • In the evening, come to Flager Beach Municipal Pier to hang out and watch the sun setting down.
  • Find your way to Flager Avenue for exploring restaurants, bars, beach shops and galleries.

Tip: In May, it’s better to avoid coming to the beach as turtles are hatching

Flagler Beach
Flagler Beach

7. New Smyrna Beach

Distance: 55.4 miles

Driving time: Around 1 hour

If you are searching for the closest beach to Orlando for a day trip, what can be better than New Smyrna? It is such a quiet residential place in Florida.

The laid-back atmosphere with golden-hued sands and welcoming personality makes it the most family-friendly destination in Florida. Also, it is dog friendly!

New Smyrna Beach has been topped as one of the 20 best surfing beaches in the world. So, you have a high chance to catch an exciting surfing tournament.

Things to do in New Smyrna Beach:

  • Witness history in front of your eyes at New Smyrna Beach Sugar Mill.
  • Explore the quaint cafes and restaurants at the historic downtown
  • Let your child make the epic sandcastle by the New Smyrna Beach
  • Near the beach, there is the Daytona Beach Bandshell where you can enjoy free summer concerts.
  • By the time of sunset, spot the various bird species, gorgeous painted skies, and sparkling water.

Tips:

  • You might go to 27th Avenue Beach or north to Ponce Inlet to surf, but be very careful. First, the sand is soft which is a problem and there are sharks too.
  • Park your car along the Flager avenue
New Smyrna Beach
New Smyrna Beach

8. Madeira Beach

Distance: 111 miles

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Driving time: Around 2 hours

Welcome to the slice of paradise, just west of St. Petersburg sits Madeira Beach, the best day trip destination from Orlando. You will love strolling along the water.

It is also known as Mad Beach which is famous for its Boardwalk, John’s Pass Village, Gulf beaches, and fishing spots. Here you will find a lot of retired people residing

Also, there is a small snack shack right on the beach making it perfect to treat your empty tummy and eyes at the same time! Just enjoy the vibe. Sit, eat and walk at Mad Beach.

Things to do in Madeira Beach:

  • Get access to Gulf Boulevard to swim in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Take the dolphin-watching cruise and see the marine life
  • Explore Alligator Wildlife Discovery Center at John’s Pass. Treat yourself at Bamboo Beach Bar
  • 10 miles away from Mad Beach sits St. Pete Pier. You can come here to enjoy street performances and try more street foods.

9. Anastasia State Park

Distance: 106miles

Driving time: Around 1 hour 40 minutes

You can enjoy the dream beach vacation story at Anastasia Island near St. Augustine which has 42 miles of gorgeous coastline. 

However, this is not one of the beaches closest to Orlando but a great place for boogie boarders, skimboarders, surfers, paddleboarders, and kiteboarders. 

Things to do in Anastasia State Park:

  • At Anastasia State Park, you have to go shelling
  • Go to Matanzas Inlet to enjoy the white sand beaches
  • Explore and click photos of the sand dunes and marshes. You can go hiking. 
  • If you want to get married in a different setup –book Anastasia State Park
  • Have delicious food at Sunset Grille or the Salt Life Food Shack

Please Note: You have to pay $8 per car to enter the park

Anastasia State Park
Anastasia State Park

10. Vero Beach 

Distance: 106miles

Driving time: Around 1.5 hour 

Southeast of Orlando sits Vero Beach, one of the pristine sandy beaches to witness the best sunrise and sunset views. Also, from here South Beach is just a few Km away.

If you are coming between May to October, get ready to spot the turtle’s hatching eggs. At Vero Beach, remember to have dinner at Kountry Kitchen With Love.

Things to do in Vero Beach:

  • Plan a trip to Hutchinson Island which is another must-visit place in Florida
  • Stay a plan at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
  • Go to the famous 8-acre Jaycee Park for walking. 
  • You can also go to Oceanside Park which is also called Round Island Beach Park if you are planning a picnic with your friends. 

11. Ormond Beach

Distance: 61.5 miles

Driving time: Around 1 hour and seven minutes

One of the beautiful neighbors of Daytona Beach is Ormond Beach, sitting on Florida’s eastern coast full of small-town charm and scenic beauty. 

This treasure is home to Tomoka State Park and an ideal location for car racing. From here you get a majestic view of Halifax River.

Things to do in Ormond Beach:

  • Witness the majestic Ormond Beach’s Central Park featuring canals, ponds, and pathways
  • Come to see the home of John Addison at Addison Blockhouse Historic State Park
  • In the evening come to Ormond Beach’s Bulow Creek State Park to spot local plans and animals blooming
  • Click a photo under the canopied palm forest lining along the Tomoka River

12. Caladesi Island

Distance: 110 miles

Driving time: Around 2 hours

Just 20 minutes ferry ride from Honeymoon Island and north of Clearwater Beach sits Caladesi Island. This is the closest beach to Orlando to explore the white sand.

Here you can see Gopher tortoises burrowing behind the dunes, palm trees swaying shore birds chirping happily, and the beach sprinkling with sand dollars. 

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Things to do on Caladesi Island:

  • Walk along the boat docks, enjoy the Vitamin D, and just do nothing but spend the day leisurely
  • Go snorkeling at Main Beach
  • You can hike through the mangrove swamps, and salt marshes, and down to the beach enjoying the ecosystem.
Caladesi Island
Caladesi Island

13. Treasure Island

Distance: 15.2 miles

Driving time: Around 2 hours

The mild climate, warm weather, clean waves, pristine sand, and cleanliness, make Treasure Island an ideal destination to soak in the sunlight, swim and walk.

Also, its location bordered by Treasure Island Beach Trail makes it ideal for families to bring their children and enjoy the gentle water and walk without fear.

Things to do on Treasure Island:

  • Grab the opportunity to see dolphins and manatees swimming against the setting sun at Sunset Vista Trailhead Park
  • Rent a boat and visit Boca Ciega Bay Aquatic Preserve
  • Dine the finest top-quality seafood at Middle Grounds Grill
  • Enjoy the refreshing breeze while doing yoga on the beach
Treasure Island
Treasure Island

14. Fort De Soto Park

Distance: 118 miles

Driving time: Around 2 hours

The stunning white sand, clear water, laid-back atmosphere, and paradisiacal location make Fort De Soto Park one of the most renowned beaches across the globe.

Here you will find hammocks tied up where you can swing as much as you want enjoying the tropical breeze. Also, you can spot more than 300 species of birds.

In 2009, Fort De Soto Park was ranked as America’s Best Beach by TripAdvisor. In 2014, USA Today ranked it as the World’s Largest Online Travel Community and Best Beach for Families. 

Things to do in Fort De Soto Park:

  • If you love fishing then come to this popular Florida fishing pier
  • Do not miss the historic Fort de Soto which is made up of mortar battery cannons and coquina shells
  • Explore St. Christopher Key, Madelaine Key, Mullet Key, Main Island, Bonne Fortune Key, and St. Jean Key
Fort De Soto Park
Fort De Soto Park

15. Sebastian Inlet State Park

Distance: 90.5 miles

Driving time: Around 2 hours

Sebastian Inlet State Park is a lovely offbeat beach spot for beach lovers. You can surf, kayak, stroll along the village, hike, play, and just spend your weekend doing nothing much.

Bring your beach cooler, soak the beach air and see your children making sand castles, surfing, or playing in the water.

I would recommend you to choose the RV camping sites for camping at night. Give your night a different dimension – star gazing, and nature. 

Conclusion

These are the lists of 15 of the closest beaches to Orlando where you can enjoy the sun, waves, and peaceful environment. If you want to add a twist to your day trip in Orlando, choosing the Gulf can be far better to escape crowds in the theme park and enjoy the lap of nature.

Read Next: 10 Fun & Free Things To Do In Orlando You Shouldn’t Miss

FAQ – Closest Beaches to Orlando

1. How far is the nearest beach from Orlando Florida?

A: Cocoa Beach is the nearest beach to Orlando sitting just 60 miles away. Located in Central Florida it is just 45 minutes away from the Orlando International Airport. 

2. Which beach is closest to Disney World?

A: From Disney World, you can visit New Smyrna Beach, Cocoa Beach, Canaveral National Seashore, Clearwater Beach, Vero Beach, and Daytona Beach. 

3. What is the closest Gulf coast beach to Orlando?

A: Clearwater Beach is 108 miles west of Orlando which is approx. a 2-hour drive from Orlando. It is closest to the Gulf and the most family-friendly beach in Florida. 

4. How far apart are Daytona and Orlando?

A: Daytona Beach is 55 miles away from Orlando taking an hour to reach by driving. 

5. Is there any shuttle from Disney to Cocoa Beach?

A: Yes, there is the Cocoa Beach Shuttle which operates professionally on time taking visitors from Disney to Cocoa Beach and vice versa. 

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