Last Updated on March 31, 2024

Looking for the best beaches near Orlando Florida for families?  If so, we have you covered!
 
I love Orlando and the thing I like the most about it is that you’re just an hour or two from both coasts, so there are lots of options for fun activities nearby.
 
The best beaches near Orlando for families include Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic Coast and Clearwater Beach on the Gulf Coast.
 
Let’s dive into these beaches and more!

 

9 Best Beaches Near Orlando For Families! (Atlantic Coast)

 

 

Cocoa Beach is one of the best beaches near Orlando to visit for families

1. Cocoa Beach

 

Located just an hour’s drive east of Orlando, Cocoa Beach is a classic destination known for its wide sandy shores and consistent waves.

Families can enjoy not only the beach but also the iconic Cocoa Beach Pier, offering restaurants, shops, and even live entertainment.

Whether you’re into water sports or beachside picnics, Cocoa Beach is the most well-known spot in Florida for surfing and has plenty of parks to share a day with family. 

Where To Eat In Cocoa Beach

 
Situated just a short drive from Cocoa Beach, Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar offers waterfront dining with a diverse menu featuring seafood, steaks, and tropical drinks.
 
The lively atmosphere and beautiful views add to the overall dining experience.
 
Other restaurants in Cocoa Beach include:
 
Coconuts on the Beach:
 
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Coconuts on the Beach provides a casual beachfront dining experience.
 
Enjoy a variety of seafood options, sandwiches, and tropical drinks while soaking in the coastal atmosphere.
 
Jazzy’s Mainely Lobster and Seafood Company:
 
As the name suggests, Jazzy’s is the go-to place for lobster and seafood lovers.

Indulge in lobster rolls, clam chowder, and other New England-inspired dishes in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
 

Other Things To Do With Families In Cocoa Beach

 
Explore Ron Jon Surf Shop:

A trip to Cocoa Beach isn’t complete without visiting the world-famous Ron Jon Surf Shop.
 
Explore the massive store, pick up beach gear, and souvenirs, and even take surfing lessons for the whole family.
 
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex:
 
Just a short drive from Cocoa Beach, the Kennedy Space Center offers an immersive experience for space enthusiasts.
 
Explore the space shuttle Atlantis, visit the Rocket Garden, and participate in interactive exhibits for a day filled with educational fun.

Beaches In Cocoa Beach & Nearby

 

√ Lori Wilson Park

√ Cherie Down Park

 

 

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

2. Canaveral National Seashore

 

For a more secluded and nature-centric experience, Canaveral National Seashore is an excellent choice.

Located just over an hour from Orlando, this pristine barrier island features untouched landscapes, wildlife, and miles of unspoiled beaches—perfect for families seeking a natural escape.

Where To Eat Near Canaveral National Seashore

 
A local favorite known for its Southern-style seafood, Dixie Crossroads offers a casual atmosphere and a diverse menu featuring shrimp, fish, and other seafood delights.

The wild ocean seafood and rock shrimp are especially popular.

Other restaurants near Canaveral National Seashore include:
 
Duran Golf Club Restaurant:
 
Located a bit south of Canaveral National Seashore, Duran Golf Club Restaurant offers a scenic setting with views of the golf course.
 
The menu includes a range of dishes, from sandwiches to wraps, and the Sunday brunch is particularly popular.

El Leoncito:
 
For those craving Mexican cuisine, El Leoncito is a top choice.

This family-owned restaurant serves up delicious Mexican dishes in a festive atmosphere, and the margaritas are a hit with patrons.

Other Things To Do With Families Near Canaveral National Seashore

 
Space Coast Nature Tours: Join a guided eco-tour with Space Coast Nature Tours.

These tours may include kayaking adventures, birdwatching excursions, and wildlife encounters, providing an educational and entertaining experience for the whole family.

Exploration Tower:

Head to Cape Canaveral and visit the Exploration Tower. With exhibits on space exploration, maritime history, and the local ecosystem, it offers an interactive and educational experience.

The tower also provides stunning views of the surrounding area.

Beaches Near Canaveral National Seashore

 

√ Apollo Beach

√ Playalinda Beach

About two hours southeast of Orlando, Vero Beach offers a serene escape on the Atlantic Coast.

3. Vero Beach

 

About two hours southeast of Orlando, Vero Beach offers a serene escape on the Atlantic Coast.

Known for its uncrowded beaches, families can enjoy a peaceful day by the ocean, explore nature reserves, and visit the Vero Beach Museum of Art for a cultural touch.

Where To Eat In Vero Beach

 

Overlooking the ocean, Mulligan’s is a casual and family-friendly spot. With a diverse menu featuring seafood, burgers, and tropical drinks, it’s a great place for a laid-back meal.

Other restaurants in Vero Beach include:

CJ Cannon’s Restaurant and Lounge:
 
CJ Cannon’s is a family-friendly restaurant known for its American cuisine and diverse menu.
 
From salads to steaks, there’s something for everyone in the family. The casual and welcoming atmosphere makes it suitable for all ages.
 
The Tides:

For a more upscale family dining experience, The Tides offers a seafood-focused menu with a touch of Southern flair.

The outdoor seating overlooking the water adds to the charm.

Other Things To Do With Families Near Vero Beach

 

McKee Botanical Garden:

Explore the lush landscapes of McKee Botanical Garden. This botanical oasis features tropical plants, water lilies, and picturesque walking paths.

The Children’s Garden offers interactive exhibits and activities for kids.

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge:
 
Discover the nation’s first National Wildlife Refuge at Pelican Island. Take a stroll on the nature trails and spot various bird species.
 
It’s a peaceful and educational outing for the family.

Vero Beach Airboat Tours:

Embark on an airboat tour of the Indian River Lagoon.

Glide through the mangroves and waterways, spotting wildlife such as dolphins, manatees, and various bird species. It’s a thrilling adventure for all ages.

Beaches Near Vero Beach

 

√ Humiston Beach Park

√ Pepper Park Beach

Approximately 90 minutes northeast of Orlando, New Smyrna Beach is a charming haven for families seeking a more relaxed atmosphere.

4. New Smyrna Beach

 

Approximately 90 minutes northeast of Orlando, New Smyrna Beach is a charming haven for families seeking a more relaxed atmosphere.

With its small-town vibe, art galleries, and pristine beaches, this destination is perfect for those looking to unwind.

The relatively calm waters make it an ideal spot for families with younger children. 

Where To Eat In New Smyrna Beach

 
Located on the waters of the Indian River Lagoon, JB’s Fish Camp offers a casual and family-friendly atmosphere.

Enjoy seafood dishes, burgers, and the picturesque views.

Other restaurants in New Smyrna Beach include:
 
Beachside Tavern:

Beachside Tavern is a casual spot with a family-friendly vibe.
 
The menu includes burgers, sandwiches, and salads, and there’s often live music for added entertainment.

The Breakers Restaurant:

A local favorite, The Breakers Restaurant offers a diverse menu with a focus on fresh seafood.

The outdoor seating area is perfect for families looking to enjoy the sea breeze.

 

Other Things To Do Near New Smyrna Beach

 
Smyrna Dunes Park:
 
Explore Smyrna Dunes Park, a natural park with elevated boardwalks that provide stunning views of the ocean, Ponce Inlet, and the Indian River.
 
Hike along the trails, spot wildlife, and take in the panoramic scenery.
 
Marine Discovery Center:

Located in nearby Ponce Inlet, the Marine Discovery Center offers educational programs, eco-tours, and exhibits focused on the local marine environment.
 
It’s a great spot for families and nature enthusiasts.

Beaches Near New Smyrna Beach

 

√ Flagler Avenue Beachfront Park

√  Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park

 

 

Known for its hard-packed sands that allow cars to drive on the beach, Daytona Beach is about an hour northeast of Orlando.

 5. Daytona Beach

 

Known for its hard-packed sands that allow cars to drive on the beach, Daytona Beach is about an hour northeast of Orlando.

Families can revel in the excitement of beachside races, explore the boardwalk, or simply soak up the sun.

The family-friendly atmosphere and various attractions make Daytona Beach a must-visit.

 

Where To Eat In Daytona Beach

 
Situated right on the beach, Ocean Deck is a popular spot for families. The menu features seafood, burgers, and sandwiches.

The outdoor seating area provides a casual and laid-back setting.

Other restaurants in Daytona Beach include:
 
Our Deck Down Under:

Our Deck Down Under is a waterfront restaurant with a casual atmosphere.
 
The menu features seafood, sandwiches, and burgers, and the outdoor deck is a great place to enjoy the views.

Brickyard Lounge and Grill:

A sports-themed restaurant, Brickyard Lounge and Grill offers a family-friendly environment with a menu that includes burgers, sandwiches, and comfort food.

 

Other Things To Do In Daytona Beach & Nearby

 

Daytona Beach Zipline Adventure:

Experience the exhilaration of the Daytona Beach Zipline Adventure.
 
Soar over the Daytona International Speedway and enjoy a unique perspective of the area.
 
Sun Splash Park:

Cool off at Sun Splash Park, a beachfront park with water fountains, play areas, and picnic spots.
 
It’s a fantastic place for kids to splash around and have a good time.

Beaches In Daytona Beach & Nearby

 

√ Frank Rendon Park

√ Ormond Public Beach Access

 

 

Best Gulf Coast Beaches For Families Near Orlando 

 

Clearwater Beach is one of the best beaches for families near Orlando on the Gulf Coast.

6. Clearwater Beach

 

For a change of scenery, head to Clearwater Beach on the Gulf Coast, approximately a two-hour drive from Orlando.

Known for its powdery white sands and clear blue waters, this beach boasts a family-friendly atmosphere with activities like volleyball, dolphin watching, and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Where To Eat In Clearwater Beach

 
My favorite restaurant in Clearwater Beach is Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill which is right on the beach!
 
With oceanfront views and tropical drinks, it’s a perfect place to dine right before or after a day at the beach.
 
They specialize in oysters if you like seafood, but also have plenty of options for the kids.

Other restaurants in Clearwater Beach include:
 
Clear Sky Cafe:

Clear Sky Cafe is a popular spot for breakfast and brunch with a diverse menu that includes creative twists on classic dishes.
 
The outdoor seating area is perfect for enjoying the Florida sunshine.

Crabby’s Dockside:

Crabby’s Dockside is a waterfront restaurant known for its seafood dishes and vibrant atmosphere. The expansive outdoor deck provides a great setting for enjoying a meal by the water.
 

Other Things To Do In Clearwater Beach & Nearby

 
Pier 60:

Visit Pier 60, a popular spot for family fun. Experience the nightly Sunset Festival featuring street performers, artisans, and a beautiful sunset over the Gulf.

The pier is also a great place for fishing and strolling.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium:

Explore the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home to Winter the Dolphin (from the movie Dolphin Tale).

The aquarium focuses on marine life rescue and rehabilitation, offering an educational and interactive experience for the whole family

Dolphin Tours:

Embark on a dolphin-watching tour. Several tour operators in the area offer boat trips to see dolphins in their natural habitat.

It’s a fun and educational experience for kids and adults alike.

While Siesta Key is a bit of a drive, approximately two and a half hours southwest of Orlando, it's worth the journey.

7. Siesta Beach 

 

While Siesta Key is a bit of a drive, approximately two and a half hours southwest of Orlando, it’s worth the journey.

With its award-winning, powdery white quartz sand, Siesta Key Beach is consistently ranked among the best in the U.S.

The calm waters and family-friendly amenities make it an ideal spot for a day of sun and fun.

Where To Eat Near Siesta Beach

 
My favorite restaurant is located in Siesta Key Village called Siesta Key Oyster Bar, where they specialize in, you guessed it: oysters!
 
But they also have plenty of other options, seafood, burgers, quesadillas, and more.   Plus, they have daily live music here.
 
Other restaurants in Siesta Key include:
 
Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar:
 
Daiquiri Deck is a vibrant spot known for its frozen daiquiris, seafood, and casual beach atmosphere.
 
The outdoor deck is a popular spot for enjoying drinks and live music.
 
Ophelia’s on the Bay:

Ophelia’s on the Bay offers waterfront dining with panoramic views of Little Sarasota Bay. The menu features a variety of seafood and continental cuisine.
 
Another Broken Egg Cafe:

A popular breakfast and brunch spot, Another Broken Egg Cafe offers a diverse menu with creative twists on classic dishes. Enjoy a relaxed morning on the island.
 

Other Things To Do In Siesta Key


St. Armands Circle:
 
Head to nearby St. Armands Circle for upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment.
 
The area offers a sophisticated atmosphere with a variety of boutiques and restaurants.
 
Siesta Key Village:
 
Visit Siesta Key Village, a lively area with shops, restaurants, and nightlife. Explore boutiques, grab a snack, or enjoy live music in the evening.

Beaches In Siesta Key & Nearby

 

√ Turtle Beach

√ Lido Beach

 

A bit farther away, around two and a half hours west of Orlando, Anna Maria Island offers a tranquil retreat from the city.

8. Anna Maria Island

 

A bit farther away, around two and a half hours west of Orlando, Anna Maria Island offers a tranquil retreat from the city.

Families can enjoy the Old-Florida charm, explore the historic city of Anna Maria, and indulge in water sports or a relaxing day by the Gulf of Mexico.

Where To Eat In Anna Maria Island 

 

Located at the end of a historic pier, Rod & Reel Pier Restaurant provides a classic Florida seafood experience.

Enjoy fresh catches while overlooking the water and the iconic Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Other restaurants in Anna Maria Island include:

The Donut Experiment:

 
Create your own custom-made donuts with various toppings and flavors, making it a fun and delicious experience for the whole family.

Anna Maria Oyster Bar:

  1. Anna Maria Oyster Bar, with locations on the mainland and Anna Maria Island, is known for its seafood, especially oysters.

The casual setting and outdoor seating make it a popular choice for families.

Other Things To Do In Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria City Pier:

Walk along the historic Anna Maria City Pier. Enjoy the views of Tampa Bay, and stop at the restaurant for a meal or snack with a waterfront view.

Trolley Tour:

Hop on the free Island Trolley that runs the length of the island.

It’s a convenient way to explore different areas, and you can hop on and off at various stops.

Sunset at the Beach:

Witness a spectacular sunset on the beach. Find a cozy spot and enjoy the breathtaking views as the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico.

Historic Bridge Street:

Visit Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach, where you’ll find shops, restaurants, and the historic Bridge Street Pier.
 
It’s a lively area with a mix of old Florida charm and modern amenities.
 
Check out this post on 15 Unforgettable Things To Do In Anna Maria Island!

 

 

Beaches In Anna Maria Island

 
√ Coquina Beach
 
√ Cortez Beach
 
√ Bradenton Beach
 
√ Manatee Public Beach
 
√ Bayfront Park
 
√ Bean Point
 

 

 

When it comes to planning a family-friendly beach vacation near Orlando, St. Pete Beach emerges as a top contender.

9. St Pete Beach

 

When it comes to planning a family-friendly beach vacation near Orlando, St. Pete Beach emerges as a top contender.

Nestled on the stunning Gulf Coast of Florida, St. Pete Beach offers a perfect blend of sun-soaked shores, diverse activities, and a relaxed atmosphere.

All this and great food in the area make it an ideal destination for families seeking a memorable getaway.

Where To Eat In St Pete Beach

If you like seafood, then you’ll enjoy my favorite restaurant in St. Pete Beach.

Shells Seafood Restaurant offers a casual dining experience with a focus on seafood favorites like crab, shrimp, and fish.

The family-friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices make it a popular choice.

Other restaurants in St Pete Beach include: 

 
Jimmy B’s Beach Bar:
 
Located at the iconic St. Pete Beach Sirata Beach Resort, Jimmy B’s Beach Bar offers a casual beachside experience.
 
Enjoy live music, tropical drinks, and a menu featuring burgers, seafood, and more.

Mad Fish:

Mad Fish is a contemporary seafood restaurant offering a mix of global flavors.

The menu includes sushi, seafood tacos, and creative dishes prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients.

 

Other Things To Do In St Pete Beach:

 

Pass-A-Grille Beach:

Explore the charming Pass-a-Grille Historic District, known for its quaint streets, historic architecture, and beachside shops.

Stroll along 8th Avenue for boutiques, cafes, and art galleries.

John’s Pass Boardwalk:

Just a short drive away, John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk in nearby Madeira Beach offer shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Explore the boardwalk, indulge in ice cream, and browse the unique shops.

Beaches In St Pete Beach & Nearby

 

√ Treasure Island 

√ Pass-A-Grille Beach 

√ St Pete County Beach Park

 

Final Thoughts: 9 Best Beaches Near Orlando For Families

 

While Orlando is synonymous with theme parks and attractions, its proximity to some of Florida’s most stunning beaches makes it an ideal destination for families seeking a diverse vacation experience.

From the Atlantic to the Gulf Coast, these nine beaches offer sun, sea, and endless opportunities for family fun.

So get ready to create unforgettable memories along Florida’s picturesque coastlines.

 

 

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