Last Updated on June 6, 2024

Orlando might be located in central Florida, but sun-seekers don’t need to look far for sandy shores. 

Just an hour’s drive from the city, visitors can find some of Florida’s most beautiful beaches on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. 

These nearby beaches provide a perfect escape from the bustling attractions of Orlando.

Cocoa Beach, sitting to the east, is renowned for its surfing culture and laid-back vibe.

For those preferring softer, white sands, Clearwater Beach on the west coast offers stunning sunsets and calm, clear waters.

Each beach destination brings its own unique charm and activities, ensuring there’s something for everyone looking to enjoy the coastal beauty near Orlando.

 

 

Top Beaches Near Orlando

Orlando, although landlocked, is a short drive from some of Florida’s most beautiful beaches.

These destinations offer sun, sand, and unique experiences perfect for day trips or weekend getaways.

tourists and locals swimming in the beach on a sunny day at Cocoa Beach pier in Florida

Cocoa Beach Pier

Cocoa Beach Pier, about an hour’s drive from Orlando, is known for its surf-friendly waves and lively atmosphere.

The pier extends 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean and hosts a variety of restaurants, shops, and bars.

Surfing: Cocoa Beach is well-known for its surfing conditions and is the surfing capital of the southern U.S.!

Amenities: The pier offers fishing gear rentals and beach volleyball courts.

Family-Friendly: Ideal for families, with nearby parks and picnic spots.

beachfront hotels with sun loungers and beach umbrellas in the shore of Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach combines motorsports with beach relaxation.

Located approximately 60 miles from Orlando, it features over 20 miles of hard-packed sand ideal for driving, cycling, and various beach activities.

Motorsports: Home to Daytona International Speedway.

Activities: Offers parasailing, jet-ski rentals, and banana boat rides.

Events: Frequent festivals and concerts make this beach a lively escape.

James Lee Park is a great place to take in a Destin sunset.

New Smyrna Beach

South of Daytona, New Smyrna Beach is quieter but equally appealing.

It boasts a vibrant arts scene and offers 13 miles of sandy shores.

Arts and Culture: Numerous galleries and arts festivals.

Surfing: Known for its great surf breaks.

Wildlife: Dolphin and manatee sightings are common.

Embark on an airboat adventure around Orlando, Book the 👉 One-Hour Airboat Ride Near Orlando!

 

 

Playalinda Beach

For a more natural beach experience, head to Playalinda Beach within Canaveral National Seashore.

It’s about an hour’s drive from Orlando and offers a pristine, undeveloped shoreline.

Nature: Undisturbed habitats and abundant wildlife.

Activities: Popular for fishing, bird-watching, and beachcombing.

Nudist-Friendly: A section of the beach is clothing-optional.

For a more secluded and nature-centric experience, Canaveral National Seashore is an excellent choice located just over an hour from Orlando

Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore, located on a barrier island, offers 24 miles of undeveloped coastline.

This protected area is perfect for nature lovers.

Scenic Views: Dunes, lagoons, and historic sites provide a picturesque setting.

Wildlife: Habitats for sea turtles, manatees, and numerous bird species.

Trails: Several hiking trails are available for those looking to explore further.

Want to experience an amazing space exploration adventure in Cape Canaveral? Book the Kennedy Space Center Cape Canaveral Admission! 🚀

 

 

aerial view of Clearwater Public Beach in Florida

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach is famous for its white sandy beaches and clear gulf waters.

It’s located about two hours west of Orlando.

Aquatic Activities: Jet-skiing, paddleboarding, and waterfront dining.

Marine Life: Visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home to rescued sea animals.

Family Attractions: Pier 60 offers nightly sunset celebrations and entertainment.

St Pete Beach

St Pete Beach is known for its laid-back vibe and soft, sandy shores.

Situated on Florida’s Gulf Coast, it’s about 2 hours from Orlando.

Historic Hotels: The Don CeSar Hotel is an iconic landmark.

Water Sports: Parasailing, snorkeling, and dolphin tours are popular.

Nightlife: Beach bars and live music venues offer vibrant nightlife.

Siesta Key Beach lifeguard station

Siesta Beach

Siesta Beach is renowned for its quartz-crystal sand, giving it a powdery, white texture.

Located about two hours from Orlando, it’s a favorite among people just wanting to relax on the sand, and families.

Sand Quality: Voted one of the best beaches in the U.S. for its fine, white sand.

Facilities: Boardwalks, picnic areas, and playgrounds make it very accessible.

Water Activities: Calm waters are perfect for swimming and paddleboarding.

aerial view of Lido Beach in Sarasota Florida

Lido Beach

Lido Beach, located in Sarasota, provides a more tranquil beach experience. It’s a two-hour drive from Orlando.

Shopping and Dining: Nearby St. Armands Circle boasts eclectic shops and eateries.

Relaxed Atmosphere: Less crowded than many other Gulf Coast beaches.  It’s also one of my favorite places to catch the sunset.

Nature Trails: Explore the nearby South Lido Park’s trails and kayak through mangroves.

Avoid the crowds with a self-guided safari drive in Orlando. 👉 Check out the Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari and Gator Park Admission! 🦒

 

 

Manatee Beach Anna Maria Island

Manatee Beach on Anna Maria Island offers a relaxed, old-Florida beach vibe, located about two hours from Orlando.

Beach Amenities: Equipped with picnic tables, showers, and a café.

Wildlife Watching: Keep an eye out for manatees, which the beach is named after.

Sunsets: Known for spectacular sunset views, popular with beachgoers and photographers alike.

Spend a day with the manatees in Central Florida with this tour 👉 Manatee Swim and Wildlife Park with Upgrade Options from Orlando!

 

 

 

 

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the best beaches around Orlando Florida USA

 

 

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Booking a last-minute trip to Orlando?  

If so, we have you covered.  Here are some top recommended tours and experiences!

Top Tours in Orlando

Everglades Airboat and Wild Florida Tour (Florida Wildlife Tour With Optional Lunch)

Glass Bottom Guided Kayak Eco Tour (2-Hour Tour Perfect for Nature Lovers!)

Kennedy Space Center Adventure with Transport (Enjoy NASA’s Kennedy Space Center)

Helicopter Night Tour (Scenic Helicopter Flight Over Orlando’s Theme Parks)

Manatee Adventure, Everglades Style Airboat (With Lunch, Wildlife Park, And Transport)

Top Hotels In Orlando

Marriott’s Cypress Harbour Villas (Perfect For Couples)

Ette Luxury Hotel & Spa – (High-Rated Luxury Hotel)

Barefoot Suite By Capital Vacations – (Budget Apartment In Plaza Boulevard)

Buena Vista Suites Orlando – (High Rated Hotel Near Walt Disney Resort)

 Looking To Get Around In Orlando

Check out rental car rates here! 🚗