From Sunbathing to Surfing: 13 of the Best Beaches Near Orlando

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Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.

If you’re on the hunt for the best beaches near Orlando, you’ve come to the right place. Get ready to embark on a coastal journey, exploring the lapping waves, salty breezes, and warm sands of Florida’s finest retreats. Whether you’re a relaxer, adventurer, or explorer, these 13 beaches promise an unforgettable coastal escape.

Cocoa Beach


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Cocoa Beach, an hour from Orlando, is an affordable vacation spot rooted in Florida’s coast. Discover wildlife eco-tours, engage with history at the Kennedy Space Center, or try deep-sea fishing for thrilling experiences. Relax at the beachside cafes as the day concludes, then wake up to a breathtaking sunrise on the beach, preparing for another beautiful day in paradise!

Daytona Beach


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While it may be renowned for its spring break festivities and adrenaline-charged race cars, Daytona Beach, a scenic 60-mile drive from Orlando, also lays claim to quieter summer charms. From evenings filled with diverse musical performances at the bandshell to a lively boardwalk teeming with fun activities, and ample eateries for those mid-day cravings, Daytona Beach serves up a rich palette of experiences.

Clearwater Beach


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Clearwater Beach, a barrier island resort on Florida’s Gulf coast, is renowned for its extensive white sandy beaches. This top-rated destination, complete with a full marina, is full of activities including boat tours, parasailing, and miniature golf. Pier 60, a hub for beachgoers, adds to its allure, guaranteeing memorable experiences for those who seek the best of beach and leisure.

Flagler Beach


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Situated comfortably between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, Flagler Beach stands out with its easy-going atmosphere, retro style, and pet-friendly accommodations. Offering six miles of serene shoreline, surfable waves, and ocean-view dining, this beach also houses lush parks, diverse shops, and numerous fishing locations. Visitors can enjoy live music from rooftop restaurants, explore trails, or simply spend a day shelling at the charming Gamble Rogers State Recreation Area.

Vero Beach


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As a haven for golf, water sports, and fishing, Vero Beach offers the best of Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Boasting 26 miles of serene beaches and a rich arts scene, Vero Beach ensures a perfect balance between relaxation and exploration. The city invites visitors to kayak in the Indian River Lagoon, stroll through the scenic McKee Botanical Garden, or enjoy live performances, cementing its status as an ideal vacation destination.

New Smyrna Beach


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Just an hour’s drive from Orlando, New Smyrna Beach is a paradise for watersports enthusiasts, boasting 17 miles of white sandy beaches and some of Florida’s best surfing spots. Its proximity to the New Smyrna Speedway lends it a distinctive appeal for racing fans. Filled with history, art galleries, unique boutiques, and numerous outdoor activities, this pet-friendly destination offers a balanced blend of leisure and adventure.

Jacksonville Beach


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Jacksonville Beach, found on Florida’s Northeast coast, offers a harmonious blend of relaxation and adventure. Just 140 miles from Orlando, this family-friendly destination captivates with its sun-kissed beaches, water activities, and opportunities for spotting dolphins and sea turtles. The city’s diverse accommodations, vibrant commercial areas, and cultural attractions like the art market and museum, ensure an enriching vacation for all.

Canaveral National Seashore


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The Canaveral National Seashore is a pristine natural sanctuary, only 40 miles from Orlando. Spanning 24 miles of untouched beaches, dunes, and mangrove wetlands between New Smyrna Beach and Titusville, it’s an idyllic backdrop for fishing and bird-watching. Anglers can reel in a diverse catch from the shores or the Mosquito Lagoon, while nature enthusiasts can explore the diverse flora and fauna throughout the seashore.

Indialantic Beach


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Located 73 miles southeast of Orlando, Indialantic Beach offers a nostalgic glimpse of classic surf culture. Its idyllic location, reminiscent of the ’50s and ’60s surf movies, is a hotspot for quintessential beach activities – from shelling to body surfing. A trip to this island haven, dotted with appealing dining options like Long Doggers and Nini’s Cuban Cuisine, makes it more than worth the hour-long drive from Orlando.

St. Pete Beach


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St. Pete Beach, just 115 miles from Orlando, pairs award-winning beaches with the historical grandeur of the Don CeSar resort. The beach town, nestled on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, offers ample sunshine (361 days on average) alongside an array of art galleries, shops, and restaurants. With its close proximity to St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Tampa, as well as stunning sunrise and sunset views, it caters to both laid-back beach loungers and avid attraction seekers.

Pass-a-Grille Beach


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Travel 100 miles southwest of Orlando to discover Pass-a-Grille Beach, a local secret on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Celebrated for its pristine sands, flower-laden dunes, and gentle waters, this beach, at St. Pete Beach’s southern end, takes its name from a time when fishermen grilled their catch on these sands. Today, the tradition continues with fresh seafood at Red, White & Booze, while the nearby Berkeley Beach Club offers a chic stay, stunning sunsets, and oysters at their rooftop bar.

St. Augustine Beach


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Home to glistening waterfronts, St. Augustine Beach forms a vibrant part of the nation’s oldest city, just two hours from Orlando. Besides sunbathing on the sand, visitors can delve into history at Castillo de San Marcos, soak up city views from the St. Augustine Lighthouse, or tantalize their taste buds at A1A Burrito Works. Those with a four-wheel drive can even enjoy the unique experience of driving onto the beach at various access points.

Ponte Vedra Beach


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Ponte Vedra Beach, a short two-hour journey from Orlando, offers a blend of leisure and excitement. Known for hosting the prestigious PGA Tour, it is a paradise for golf enthusiasts. Beyond the fairways, guests can engage in unique beach activities like searching for shark teeth, marveling at the luxurious homes and hotels lining the beachfront, and savoring the area’s numerous breweries and exceptional restaurants.

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