The Best 5 Beaches Near Orlando, Florida

Orlando, the amusement park hub of Central Florida, wants beaches, not diversions. Take a break from roller coasters on Florida’s golden sands and head east or west from Orlando to the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf Coast for some of the best beaches around Orlando.

Here are some of the best beaches near Orlando, from laid-back beach burgs where you can take surf lessons or lounge on the sand to beachside parks with camping and water activities.

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach, 65 miles east of the theme parks, is notable for several reasons. The Space Coast has regular commercial rocket launches from Cape Canaveral. The Falcon Heavy might fly over when you’re walking on the beach or going to the supermarket.

The Best 5 Beaches Near Orlando, Florida

Cocoa Beach is famous among surfers because Kelly Slater learned to surf the gentle waves there as a kid. There are many surf shops, including the Ron Jon Surf Shop, that can teach you how to paddle and ride down the line.

Driving south from Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier quietens the sands. Beach Place Guesthouses in South Cocoa Beach offers oceanfront apartment-style accommodations with a resident parrot, loaner surfboards, and hammocks under palms.

New Smyrna Beach

The Best 5 Beaches Near Orlando, Florida

Another favorite Atlantic Ocean beach near Orlando is 71 miles northeast of Walt Disney World. Some of New Smyrna Beach’s vast sands are so hard-packed they can be driven on for a daily fee, if you want to park your car and spend the day on the sand. Luckily, parts of the beach are traffic-free, if that’s not your paradise.

For a charming motel on the Indian River minutes from the beach, try the Black Dolphin Inn. The villa-style bed and breakfast with 14 rooms features a riverside dock for another spectacular Florida sunset. JB’s Fish Camp, a New Smyrna Beach institution since the 1970s, offers kayaking, paddleboarding, and waterside dining.

Vero Beach

The Best 5 Beaches Near Orlando, Florida

From Orlando, 102 miles southeast of the theme parks, Vero Beach on Florida’s Treasure Coast is a longer drive. Your efforts will be rewarded with bluer Atlantic Ocean seas than up north. Stay at Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa, Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, or The Historic Driftwood Resort to be on the beach and within walking distance of downtown Vero Beach’s quaint eateries, beach bars, and boutiques.

Fun fact: After storms, local treasure hunters used metal detectors to comb Vero Beach and Sebastian Inlet for wealth from the 1715 Treasure Fleet, Spanish galleons that were downed offshore here on their route back to Spain. Visit the McLarty Treasure Museum to learn about the history and view some of the wealth found on these shores.

Barbeque Beach

The Best 5 Beaches Near Orlando, Florida

Visit Florida’s Gulf Coast and beaches, which are frequently voted the nation’s best, 100 miles southwest of Orlando. Pass-a-Grille Beach, at the southern end of St. Pete Beach, is a local secret for its powdery sands, wildflower-filled dunes, and gentle Gulf of Mexico seas.

Fishermen may have grilled their catch on Passe-aux-Grilleurs Beach in the 19th century, hence its French name. Red, White & Booze on the waterfront serves the day’s catch and the best margaritas in town. Staying overnight? The beautiful boutique hotel Berkeley Beach Club is within walking distance of the beach. Its rooftop bar serves oysters while watching the sunset.

Indian Shores, Indian Rocks Beach

The Best 5 Beaches Near Orlando, Florida

Between St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast, tranquil Indian Shores and Indian Rocks Beach offer a lovely day excursion from Orlando (100 miles east). Walk down the sugar-fine sands to reach the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary, a free wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary beyond the dunes that restores Florida birds including ospreys, pelicans, and owls.

Legacy Vacation Resort Indian Shores, waterfront on Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, includes condo-style accommodations, a grilling area, a pool, and a water-view deck two minutes from the beach.


Escape the thrill of Orlando’s theme parks and discover the serene beaches nearby. Cocoa Beach offers surf culture and rocket launches, while New Smyrna Beach provides traffic-free expanses and charming motels. Vero Beach on the Treasure Coast boasts blue Atlantic seas and historic charm. Gulf Coast gems include Pass-a-Grille Beach and tranquil Indian Shores, offering diverse coastal experiences just a short drive from Orlando.


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