Vacationers visiting Orlando area beaches have their pick of where to go, because Florida is best known for its beautiful beaches. The sand between their toes and the smell of the salty sea air is a big draw for many. Five popular beaches within a 90-minute drive of Orlando figure prominently as major tourist destinations.
This beach is the most convenient and accessible of all the Orlando Area Beaches for both out-of-towners and Florida residents looking for a quick getaway. Coca Beach’s Alan Shepard Beach Park, named after the late NASA astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., is a perfect place to for the entire family. The park is near restaurants, nightclubs and entertainment, but what most people like about it are its family-friendly amenities. There’s plenty of parking, a bathhouse with outdoor showers, restrooms and picnic areas. There’s also:
• Boating and sailing
• Canoeing and kayaking
• Miniature golf
Canaveral National Seashore
This stretch of shoreline is one of the cleanest and most beautiful of the Orlando Area Beaches, because there are so many rules about what’s allowed and not allowed. The area includes Apollo, Klondike and Playa Linda beaches, but it’s not commercialized like other tourist areas. No cars are allowed on the beach, and there are no shacks to rent inflatables or inner tubes, no surf shops and no condos or motels. Its beauty is unequaled, however, and strolling or fishing along these beaches is breathtaking. Other activities include:
• Horseback riding
• Wildlife viewing
When one thinks of vacationing on the most popular of the Orlando area beaches, Daytona Beach comes to mind. It’s perfect for families because it’s a beach where you can park on the sand and spend the day surfing, swimming or looking for seashells. Lifeguards are on duty, there are age-appropriate attractions and activities for the kids, and personal watercraft and jet-boat excursions are available. For a break from the water, race fans can visit nearby Daytona International Speedway. Also try:
• Jet skiing
• Roller skating
New Smyrna Beach
Located close to Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach has been named one of the 20 Best Surf Towns by National Geographic Magazine. The area is the number one hangout for students on spring break, and if you’re looking to learn to “hang ten,” this is the place to pick up a few pointers. Another reason this 13-mile stretch is among the most popular Orlando Area Beaches is all the other attractions. There are condos, beachfront hotels, great restaurants, places to rent kayaks and experienced fishing guides who know the best places to cast off. Other things to do:
• Bird watching, observing loggerhead sea turtles
• Hiking the nature trails
• Visiting Turtle Mound, a Native American archeological site
Looking for the ultimate seaside experience? As far as Orlando Area Beaches is concerned, seeing Melbourne Beach may just make you want to move to Florida. Driving along State Route A1A brings you in, and this beach is dotted with small motels and beachfront homes. This is an almost completely private area, yet not far from family attractions like McLarty Treasure Museum. Other activities include:
Everyone needs a little downtime once in a while. The lure of the beach may be so irresistible, you may have trouble tearing yourself away when it’s time to leave. When you need to satisfy your craving for sand, saltwater and soft ocean breezes, any of these Orlando area beaches will fit the bill.
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