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Best Beaches Near Orlando → 16 Amazing Options!

pier on a beach

Odds are you are visiting Orlando for something to do with roller coasters and thrill-seeking adventures of this nature…

After standing for hours waiting in long lines, I’m sure you could benefit from some good sunshine, sand, and sea breeze!

As a local myself, I gathered my personal experiences and made this list of the best beaches near Orlando for you. Now, all you have to worry about is getting to the beach instead of aimlessly searching for a good beach near you.  

Orlando is an awesome place to experience all sorts of beaches. While it is an inland city, it is centrally located between the East and the West Coast!

Sure, you can go to the popular beaches everyone goes to, but I’m gonna let you in on the local spots that aren’t too far away!

Here are some of the best beaches near Orlando from a local!

If you are in a hurry

Here are the best Orlando beaches!

1. Cocoa Beach – a white sandy beach

image of a white sandy beach

Located on the Space Coast; this is one of the closest beaches to Orlando. Drive for about an hour and find yourself on a beautiful beach!

Are you a surfer? This beach is well known for being an excellent surf spot. The waves are amazing! You can rent bikes and boogie boards to ride the waves, and there are plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained.

The Cocoa Beach Pier is a great experience you will not want to miss out on. This pier is a classic Cocoa Beach experience oozing with character and a unique charm.

PRO TIP: While you’re at Cocoa Beach, check out the Kennedy Space Center! You get an all-access pass with this tour, plus you’ll be taken around by a real expert!

2. Daytona Beach – a party beach

Daytona beach view

If you are looking for a secluded, tranquil, calm vibe, this may not be the beach for you!

Daytona Beach is notorious for its reputation as a party beach, so if that’s your vibe, this is definitely worth checking out. While it has the potential to be a lively beach for college students and the like, it is also a very family-friendly beach.

Daytona Beach has 23 incredible miles of sandy beach for you and the family to explore. Not to mention, the water is super turquoise and has the sweet smell of relaxation and vacation!

While you’re visiting Daytona Beach, make sure you check out the Daytona International Speedway! Home to the Daytona 500 and plenty of feats in NASCAR history. This is a great experience for NASCAR fanatics and people who love a good thrill!

Get Your Daytona Speedway Tickets

3. New Smyrna Beach – surrounded by nature

sunset at the beach

With 13 miles of gorgeous Atlantic coastline, New Smyrna Beach is one of the closest beaches to Orlando.

New Smyrna is famously a beach that many theme park tourists frequent. However, this beach is a favorite for visitors and locals as the perfect day trip to catch rays and ocean spray.

New Smyrna is one of my favorite beaches due to its close proximity and many cute little beaches surrounding central New Smyrna Beach.

NOTE: New Smyrna Beach is located on sacred indigenous land. The indigenous Timucua people created shell mounds by shelling lots of oysters and clams after hunting.

PRO TIP: Turtle Mound, located in New Smyrna Beach on the Canaveral National Seashore, is a gorgeous and sacred site where you can walk along a boardwalk of an ancient shell mound and get a view of the ocean and an inlet. I saw two manatees and plenty of wild papaya trees when I was there!

4. Ormond Beach – a quintessential beach town

aerial view over a beach

Ormond Beach is one of my absolute favorite beaches in Florida! For those of you that enjoy a tranquil beach getaway without many people around, Ormond Beach is for you.

Just north of Daytona Beach, this quaint little beach town oozes old Florida vibes in the most charming way. This is a gorgeous way to experience the Atlantic Ocean with the family. In fact, Ormond Beach is one of the best family beaches near Orlando.

This is your natural and rustic beach. Lined with stunning sand dunes and awe-inspiring beach ecology, this special beach is perfect for families, solo travelers, and nature lovers.

This beach is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Tomoka River. Granada Boulevard is also a great place to check out and find a cute restaurant to enjoy a nice meal after a day at the shores!

PRO TIP: After a day of enjoying the beach, head on over to the cute little town of Ormond Beach, filled with historical landmarks, beautiful gardens, and luxurious beach homes.

5. Flagler Beach – with beautiful golden sand

beach view and lifeguard tower

This beach will take you about an hour and a half to get to from Orlando, but it’s well worth the trip. This lovely beach lies between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine. This is an excellent stop on your way to St. Augustine!

Flagler Beach is a super fun getaway for everyone! This is another beach where you won’t have to navigate huge crowds just to get into the ocean.

The golden sands, warm and inviting seashore, and cute little town make this a lovely beach to visit. This is a great beach to relax under the sun without a whole lot of action going on in the background.

The town surrounding Flagler Beach is really charming and filled with cute little shops and restaurants. This is not your kitschy beach town! Flagler Beach is a quaint town that residents and visitors enjoy year-round.

6. Clearwater Beach – for beautiful views

1 Best 5 star hotels in South Clearwater Beach

The Gulf Coast of Florida has a totally different vibe than the Atlantic Coast. The turquoise water and white sand beaches of Clearwater Beach are reminiscent of a tropical island in the Caribbean or even the Maldives.

Located about two hours from Orlando, this beach is worth the trip. This Gulf Coast gem is constantly voted the best beach in the United States! Not to mention, the sunsets on the West Coast are seriously unmatched!

Because this beach is in the Gulf of Mexico, the water is always calm and looks like a greenish-blue sea of glass. This award-winning beauty is comparable but ultimately pretty different from Miami Beach.

Clearwater Beach is the best place to spot dolphins and other marine life! Check out this amazing tour to spend time with some bottlenose dolphins!

Book your Clearwater Dolphin Encounter Tour here!

7. Vero Beach – a historical beach

vero beach pier

About two hours southeast of Orlando lies Vero Beach. This beautiful beach is definitely worth the trip, as this is truly a coastal gem.

Located on Florida’s Treasure Coast, this beach has a unique history. As the name suggests, this beach got its name over 300 years ago when some Spanish ships carrying pounds of treasure chests wrecked just offshore.

Treasures wash up on the shore from time to time, so keep an eye out! Vero Beach lies on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River.

Want to learn how to surf in Vero Beach? You can book your private or group surf lessons at Vero Beach here!

Book Your Surf Lessons Here

8. Sebastian Inlet State Park – where to enjoy azure waters

aerial view over  Sebastian Inlet State Park

Just under two hours from Orlando, this beach makes a lovely day trip! Sebastian Inlet State Park is one of the best beaches for families near Orlando.

The azure waters are especially clear at this beach, making it excellent for snorkeling and basking in the silken Atlantic Ocean water.

Sebastian Inlet State Park is a world-famous beach for deep-sea fishing. So if you love fishing, this is the perfect place to do so!

9. Indialantic Beach – between a lagoon and the ocean

white sand beach and weed

This Florida beach town and beach is named after its perfect location between the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. Just east of Melbourne, this gorgeous beach is 71 miles southeast of Orlando.

Located on a barrier Island, this beach is the best of both worlds. It’s perfect for relaxing under the sun, melting into the sand, and gazing at wildlife and stunning beach ecology. Here, you have the choice to hang out by a gorgeous lagoon and river or beach it up and soak up the beachy goodness.

This beach is never overly crowded, making it an excellent location for those who prefer a serene and tranquil experience at the beach without many people around and surrounded by abundant nature.

There are also restaurants within walking distance, making this beach one of the best beaches close to Orlando to just relax and spend the day at the shore.

10. Satellite Beach – great for surfing

aerial view over the beach

Just over an hour from Orlando, this beach is perfect for a day trip. Like many beaches in Florida, Satellite Beach is located on a barrier island between a river and the Atlantic Ocean.

Love to surf? This is the beach for you! If you arrive on a windy day, you have an even better chance to catch some awesome waves and hang ten!

Relax and unwind at this family-friendly beach near Orlando. Nearby, you will find Pelican Beach Park, complete with a playground perfect for the kids.

Have a furry friend? This beach also has an enclosed dog park that’s so much fun to enjoy with your furry friend!

11. Ponce Inlet – a local favourite

Ponce Inlet lighthouse

This beach is a local favorite, and I know you will love it too. Just over an hour away from Orlando, this is one of the best beaches for a quick trip to soak up some rays and waves.

Well-known for its famous surf conditions, this is a surfing mecca in Florida and a great place to learn how to surf!

This is also the perfect beach for a romantic getaway to watch the sunrise or sunset with loved ones!

PRO TIP: Winterhaven Park is a great place to go with the family. You can settle in for the day here, grill up some food, and enjoy a perfect day at the beach. There is also a lifeguard on duty making this a safe place for the family to enjoy!

12. Caladesi Island State Park – for a unique experience

aerial view over Caladesi Island State Park

Just a short ferry ride from Clearwater Beach, this is one of the most beautiful beaches near Orlando and, arguably, statewide.

This beach is well-known for being drop-dead gorgeous and incredibly abundant with nature all around. It’s generally pretty uncrowded due to the fact that it is only accessible by boat.

Caladesi Island State Park boasts expansive white sand beaches, calm turquoise waters, and enchanting mangrove forests for exploring. The Gulf Coast of Florida is also famous for its shells strewn along the shorelines! Shellers from all over the world come to visit the Gulf Coast to see the unique and one-of-a-kind shells these pristine waters have to offer.

Follow a nature trail on the island to Scharrer Homestead and enjoy a unique historical Florida experience. Or, get a private boat tour around the area and explore the island from the water!

PRO TIP: To make your trip swift and easy to Caladesi Island State Park, keep in mind it’s a bit of a walk from the ferry to the beach, so the less you have to carry, the better!

Book Your Private Boat Tour Here!

13. Melbourne Beach – to get away from the crowds

Melbourne Beach pier entrance

On Florida’s beloved Atlantic Coast, about an hour and a half away from Orlando, lies Melbourne Beach.

If you are looking for the best beaches for couples near Orlando, this is the place for you! Nestled between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean on a stunning barrier island, this is one of the most relaxing and romantic beaches on this list.

This is the beach for you if you are looking for a self-care day, a romantic getaway with your partner, or just to be one with nature. You won’t find loads of crowds here at this beach! In fact, it is very mellow and perfect for those who don’t enjoy crowded and kitschy beaches.

PRO TIP: If you happen to be in Melbourne Beach around Christmas, this is one of the best Christmas towns in Florida! They have an awe-inspiring annual Melbourne Light Parade that’s a super fun treat for the family and Christmas enthusiasts!

14. Honeymoon Island State Park – a romantic escape

Kayaks and a surf board on a sandy beach

Now, this beach is a bit of a drive, as it is near the Tampa area. However, for all those lovebirds out there, this is definitely worth checking out.

There is a reason why this gorgeous destination is called Honeymoon Island State Park. It is one of the most romantic places in Florida and is an absolute oasis begging to be explored by lovers!

Even if you are single, traveling to this beach and state park is the perfect way to enjoy self-love and fall in love with yourself!

Here you can escape the fast-paced city life and unwind on the Gulf Coast shores while feeling nature’s embrace.

Honeymoon Island State Park also features a 3-mile winding trail through one of the state’s last untouched and endangered slash pines forests. Here you can see ospreys flying overhead, armadillos and gopher tortoises enjoying the pine forest, and lots of breathtaking wildlife.

Head on over to the Rotary Centennial Nature Center to learn about the park’s natural history! This is one of the best beaches for couples near Orlando.

15. St. Augustine Beach – for the history

St. Augustine Beach lighthouse

42 miles of soft white sand beaches are perfect for swimming and lounging. St. Augustine Beach is one of the best beaches near Orlando.

Looking for a family-friendly spot to go fishing, enjoy the horizon from a pier, go for a swim, and go body boarding? St. Augustine Beach is the perfect spot for all sorts of water activities.

This is also one of the oldest cities in the United States, so it is well worth making a day out of it and exploring some historical sites in St. Augustine.

Enjoy a day trip to one of the oldest cities in the US, and enjoy the beach while you’re at it!

16. Fort De Soto Beach – surrounded by mangroves

diverse crowd of fishermen, swimmers and sunbathers take to the beach

This is one of the best beaches in Florida. Located near St. Petersburg, this beach boasts 1,136 mangrove forests, keys, and wetlands. The drive will take about two hours from Orlando.

Fort De Soto Beach is home to some of the most pristine and untouched beaches in Florida!

The wildlife is abundant at this beach, so even if you go alone, you will never really be alone. You can expect to see dolphins, manatees, all sorts of birds, loggerhead turtles, sea turtles, and more!

PRO TIP: This beach is dog friendly! Bring your furry friend along and create some unforgettable memories with Fido!

🤩 Range of activities: Large
👪 Family-friendly score: High
🚶🏽‍♂️ Best free activity: Turtle Mound
🕺 Nightlife: Daytona Beach
🥟 Best beach activity Surf Lessons

FAQs about Best Beaches Near Orlando

aerial view over Orlando beach

🌴What are the best beaches in Orlando for families?

Some of the best beaches near Orlando for families are Satellite Beach, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne Beach, and Vero Beach!

🚗 How far is Orlando from the beach?

Orlando is about 45 minutes to an hour from the closest beaches. However, if you don’t mind traveling a bit further, some incredible Gulf Coast beaches are waiting for you about 2 hours away!

🏖️ What are the best beaches in Florida?

The best beaches in Florida are Clearwater Beach, Fort De Soto, Caladesi Island, New Smyrna Beach, Ponce Inlet, and Siesta Key!

🧭 What is the closest beach to Orlando?

The closest beach to Orlando is Cocoa Beach! Plus, while you’re there, you can visit the Kennedy Space Center for an amazing day trip!

Conclusion

sunset at the beach

There you have it! A list of some of the best beaches near Orlando from a local! This list has something for everyone, the solo traveler, the natural beach lover, couples, families, and people who love your classic beach activities.

Although Orlando is somewhat inland, it is conveniently located between the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf Coast. The options are endless between the freshwater springs surrounding Orlando and the central location between both coasts of Florida.

These are some of my absolute favorite beaches in Orlando. I hope you enjoyed this list and get to experience some rays and waves at the perfect beach for you!

With love and gratitude,

Amira G.


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view over the beach near Orlando

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pier at night

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