When you’re visiting Orlando, there are tons of things to do. You’re close to amusement parks, shopping centers, fine dining and more.
Luckily, when you want to get away from it all, there are also beaches galore. Even if you have reserved rooms for a Disney World vacation, take some time to explore the many beaches around Orlando by hitting some of the hidden gems in the area.
Image via Flickr by Ines Yeh
Daytona Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the area. About 56 miles from Orlando, this beach offers fun in the sun for the whole family. Unless you’re looking for huge crowds and crazy parties, try to avoid this beach during spring break. Daytona is a popular senior trip destination for rowdy college kids looking to catch some waves. The rest of the year, you can easily find boat and water ski rentals, or simply get some sun relaxing on the beach.
New Smyrna Beach
Only 55 miles from Orlando, you’ll find another vista of sand and sea shells known as New Smyrna Beach. Even the locals love this stretch of sand, as it’s voted one of the best beaches by Orlando locals every year. If you’re trying to get away from the hustle and bustle of the amusement parks and crazy rush hour traffic, this beach is one of the best getaways you’ll find. If you’re looking to stay the night, there are many hotels in the area.
St. Augustine Beach
While St. Augustine Beach is further away than some of the others at 103 miles from Orlando, it’s a fun option to explore. Not only are you going to see the beautiful white sandy beaches, but you’ll also experience the historical Spanish Colonial town of St. Augustine. Spend your days laying on the beach and your nights exploring the quaint restaurants in town. Don’t forget to take a ghost tour, as St. Augustine is said to be one of Florida’s most haunted cities.
At nearly a two-hour drive, or 108 miles from Orlando, Clearwater Beach is a quiet and relaxed beach-lover’s dream. Rated #1 Beach in America in 2013, Clearwater has something for everyone. With the refreshing Gulf of Mexico gently crashing onto the shore and restaurants like Frenchy’s overlooking the sunset, this beach brings in visitors from all over the state. Near the pier, you can partake in parasailing, paddle boarding, and other water related activities. Clearwater also offers a number of clubs, bars, and other late-night activities for those who are looking for some fun after the sun goes down.
Cocoa Beach is only about 60 miles from the city and is considered one of the best beaches near Orlando. The beach has an amazing view of The Kennedy Space Center, allowing visitors to see an occasional rocket launch. There’s something for everyone to enjoy at this location. Explore the salt water on a deep sea fishing expedition, one of the many water-based attractions at Cocoa Beach, or simply indulge in a good book while letting the waves crash into your lawn chair. During the week, this is one of the most relaxed and quiet beaches in the area.
Going to Orlando doesn’t mean that you have to fill your time completely with amusement parks and lavish night clubs. Instead, take the time to sit back and relax in the sun. The beautiful beaches in the area are a huge draw to many travelers. Check out one on your next trip to see why.