It may be known for its theme parks, however, if you want to head away from the city there are plenty of beaches near Orlando.
There are none in Orlando itself but if you’re willing to drive to the coast you’ll find some of Florida’s best beaches within easy reach.
There are so many beaches near Orlando that it can be tricky deciding which one to visit. Are you looking for the closest beach to Orlando? The best beaches for surfing? Or beaches near Orlando for families? In any case, you’re sure to find a beach that ticks all of your boxes.
The east coast is home to some of the closest beaches; these are on the Atlantic side and have bigger waves and more beachfront attractions. Beaches on this side of the state are great for swimming, watersports, and spending fun days (or nights) out. Meanwhile, the west coast offers a calm and more idyllic vibe that makes it worth the extra traveling time.
Read on for our insider’s guide to the best beaches near Orlando complete with distances, driving times, and highlights.
Beaches near Orlando
If you’re looking for the closest beach to Orlando, head to Florida’s east coast – the nearest beaches are just over an hour’s drive from Orlando. The east coast beaches are hailed as some of the very best beaches near Orlando and are popular for their lively Atlantic surf and their distinctly different personalities.
The closest beach to Orlando in miles is Daytona Beach, located around an hour’s drive northeast of Orlando. The other beaches near Orlando span from Daytona Beach southwards all the way down to Melbourne Beach just southeast of Kissimmee, and they are all within easy reach.
Want to check the weather? You can get updates on the National Weather Service website.
Read on for our handy guide, or use the menu below to skip straight to the beach you’re interested in.
Daytona is the closest beach to Orlando, it’s also known as one of the liveliest and best beaches in Florida. Daytona Beach isn’t just a beach; it’s a city packed with some of the world’s most famous resorts and attractions. Popular with race fans, friends and families alike, the region is around 23 miles of golden sandy beaches. In fact, it is arguably the best family beach near Orlando thanks to its iconic sandy stretches and plenty of entertainment available.
Looking for things to do? There’s the iconic pier and boardwalk which is packed with family-friendly entertainment. There are also an array of restaurants, bars, and arcades lining the seafront. The Daytona Beach Bandshell stages free summer concerts, and just a stone’s throw from the beach is the Daytona Lagoon splash park and entertainment center.
The beach itself has designated driving zones so you can park right on the sand which makes it extra convenient if you’re packing a picnic or some water sports equipment.
It’s an easy drive to Daytona beach from the main vacation resorts in Orlando. These communities are home to plenty of great-value condos and villas making them ideal if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, and that helps to make Daytona one of the best beaches for families near Orlando.
How far is Daytona Beach from Orlando?
Driving time from Orlando FL to Daytona Beach FL: 1 hour
Distance: 55.8 miles
Fastest route: Via I-4 E
How far is Orlando Airport to Daytona Beach?
Driving time from Orlando Florida to Daytona Beach: 1 hour and 11 minutes
Distance between Orlando and Daytona Beach: 73.7 miles
Fastest route: Via I-4 W
Is there a shuttle from Orlando Airport to Daytona Beach?
Yes, you can catch a shuttle from Orlando Airport to Daytona Beach with shuttlefare.com, with a one way fare costing $38. It may work out cheaper to hire your own car for the day. If you have a booking with us, you can talk to our travel experts to help arrange your car hire.
New Smyrna Beach
New Smyrna Beach is a fantastic drive-on Atlantic beach. This is one of the best quiet beaches near Orlando if you want some wind-down time. The quaint coastal community is located in Volusia County and is one of the oldest settlements in Florida. It boasts a traditional ‘old town’ vibe with lots of little shops and cafes, some fascinating historic sites, and miles of wide flat beaches with golden-hued sands.
Named by National Geographic as one of the best surf destinations in the world, it’s a top spot for water sports. You’ll also find the New Smyrna Beach Sugar Mill Ruins here.
How far is New Smyrna Beach from Orlando?
Driving time from Orlando Florida to New Smyrna Beach: 1 hour
Distance: 55.9 miles
Fastest route: Via I-4 E and FL-44 E
How far is Orlando Airport to New Smyrna Beach?
Cocoa Beach Florida
Just an hour’s drive east of Kissimmee, Cocoa Beach is the closest beach to Disney World and the go-to place for swimming, shopping, and nightlife. Located on Florida’s beautiful Space Coast, it’s one of the best beaches near Orlando for families with plenty of exciting things to see and do.
This popular beach town is home to a world-famous fishing pier and the world’s largest surf shop. There are restaurants and bars galore and, if you time your visit right, you can catch a rocket launch from the Kennedy Space Center at nearby Cape Canaveral. The beach itself is a mecca for surfing and water sports. It’s also a wildlife spotter’s paradise, especially around the Thousand Islands area where you’re likely to see manatees, dolphins, and sea turtles.
How far is Cocoa Beach from Orlando Florida?
Driving time from Orlando: Just over 1 hour
Distance from Orlando FL to Cocoa Beach FL: 59.8 miles
Fastest route: Via FL-538
How far is Orlando Airport to Cocoa Beach?
Driving time from Orlando: Around 52 minutes
Distance from Orlando FL to Cocoa Beach FL: 50.7 miles
Fastest route: Via FL-538 W
Is there a shuttle from Orlando Airport to Cocoa Beach?
There is a shuttle service between Orlando Airport and Cocoa Beach, run by cocoabeachshuttle.com. It may also be worth considering hiring your own vehicle, so you have complete flexibility over where you go and when. If you have a booking with Top Villas, then be sure to get in touch with our team, who will help you arrange your car hire.
Canaveral National Seashore
Located on a barrier island between New Smyrna Beach and Cape Canaveral, this quiet 23-mile stretch of coastline is home to some of the best beaches near Orlando. You’ll find no resorts or high-rise buildings here, just miles of pristine beach and boardwalk dunes fringed with swaying palms. Even with no shops or entertainment, the region still attracts tourists who come for the stunning natural beauty.
You can swim, snorkel and sunbathe at Canaveral National Seashore, and you can spot the local wildlife to your heart’s content. At night you can join a ranger’s tour to the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge where you can see sea turtle hatchlings, manatees, and other local wildlife. And, if you visit at the right time, you can watch rockets take off from the nearby Kennedy Space Center.
How far is Canaveral National Seashore from Orlando?
Driving time from Orlando: 1 hour 15 minutes
Distance: 65.4 miles
Fastest route: Via I-4 E and FL-44E (take Apollo Visitor Center entrance)
Not only is Melbourne Beach one of the closest beaches to Orlando, but it’s also one of the most peaceful with an old-town vibe that makes it a welcome break from the vacation crowds. Situated between the Banana River, the Indian River Lagoon, and the Atlantic, this lovely Space Coast beach is a must-visit for all the family.
Little ones will love the wide sandy bays and shallow waters which are perfect for paddling. The beaches are mostly empty and rich with cinnamon-hued sand which makes them a real treat. Those who visit in the warmer months can spot manatees floating serenely in the surf and see turtles laying their eggs on the beach at night – you can find out more about the weather in Florida here.
How far is Melbourne Beach from Orlando?
Driving time from Orlando: 1 hour 20 minutes
Distance: 75.3 miles
Fastest route: Via FL-528 E
The west coast beaches
If you’re prepared for a slightly longer journey then the beaches along the west coast are well worth the extra driving time. Located along Florida’s gorgeous Gulf Coast, these are still in the ‘beaches near Orlando’ category but they boast whiter sands, calmer seas, and more idyllic surroundings than their east coast counterparts.
Voted as one of the best Gulf beaches near Orlando, Clearwater offers all the natural beauty you’d expect from the Gulf Coast. Located in Pinellas County around 2 hours west of Orlando it boasts clear waters, white sands, and a beautiful palm-fringed promenade. As it is only a two hour drive, it is perfectly reasonable to make a Clearwater Beach day trip from Orlando, as you won’t find the journey too tiring.
You can walk or cycle along the boardwalk or take a dip in the designated swim zones without worrying about boats or water skiers. Besides the beach, there is a charming town with plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants.
If you don’t fancy the drive from Orlando, there are some great places to stay along the Gulf Coast. The villas in areas like Cape Coral are all located along the waterfront and some even have their own boat docks.
How far is Clearwater Beach from Orlando?
Caladesi Island State Park
Located just north of Clearwater Beach, Caladesi Island is one of the few completely natural islands along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Its powdery beaches are perfect for sunbathing, strolling, or just sitting and relaxing while the little ones build sandcastles. If you fancy a bit of wildlife spotting there’s a 3-mile walking trail through the dunes. You can also take the designated kayak trail around the island’s scenic bays and mangroves.
Picnic tables and shelters are located around the beach. There’s also a marina with electric and water hook-ups, as well as a snack bar and a souvenir shop. You can get to Caladesi Island by boat or ferry from Honeymoon Island State Park at the northern end of Clearwater Beach.
How far is Caladesi Island from Orlando?
Situated on a barrier island not far from St Petersburg, Treasure Island boasts miles of white sand, warm gentle waters, and a laid-back ‘Old Florida’ atmosphere. You can take a walk along the paved beach trail between the ocean and the sand dunes to the beach recreation center, home to a 9-hole golf course and numerous tennis courts.
There is a multitude of water sports on offer including fishing, jet skiing, and sailing. The beach also has a vibrant nightlife scene with restaurants and bars lining the streets adjacent to the sand. Treasure Island has many awards bestowed upon it including ‘largest white sand beach on the Gulf Coast’ and ‘the best beach near Orlando with white sand’.
How far is Treasure Island from Orlando?
Just a short drive south of Sarasota on the Siesta Key barrier island is family-friendly Siesta Beach. The powdery sand here is the nearly pure quartz crystal, and the clear turquoise water attracts throngs of swimmers and snorkelers. It’s no wonder this place has won numerous ‘best beach’ accolades including Trip Advisor’s best beach in the US.
The kid-friendly shallows and full-time lifeguards make it ideal for families. Opportunities also abound for the active set with kite-surfing, biking, and beach volleyball particularly popular. Amenities include picnic tables and grills, restrooms and showers, volleyball courts, tennis courts, and a few kids’ playgrounds.
Away from the beach is Siesta Key Village with its colorful shops, restaurants, and ice cream parlors. There are a handful of other attractions including a marine laboratory and aquarium, a number of caves and lagoons, and 50 miles of pretty canals and waterways.
How far is Siesta Beach from Orlando?
Pine Island Florida
Part fishing village, part artist’s enclave, Pine Island is a world apart from anywhere on the mainland.
Located just a few miles from Cape Coral and around 3 hours from Orlando, it has a quiet main town and a handful of super-quiet beach bays. The town has mostly escaped any modern development so there are no busy resorts, just a handful of brightly colored buildings that house shops, restaurants, markets, and art galleries.
There aren’t many beaches on Pine Island, but there are a handful of small bays where you can spend the day feeling as if you’re on your very own desert island.
How far is Pine Island Florida from Orlando?
Driving time from Orlando to Pine Island: 3 hours 15 minutes
Distance: 202 miles
Route: Via I-4 and I-75 S
More beaches near Orlando of note
Though the following beaches don’t make our best of the best list, they are also worth considering if you want more choices, are looking for something a little bit different, or don’t mind traveling a little bit further.
Vero Beach is in and of itself a small city, with a collection of beautiful beaches located on a barrier Island, facing across the Atlantic. South Beach Park in particular offers luscious sandy stretches. The area is best known for its variety of water sports, as well as its golf, fishing, and extra entertainment facilities such as museums.
How far is Vero Beach from Orlando?
Driving time from Orlando FL to Vero Beach FL: 1 hour 41 minutes
Distance: 105 miles
Route: Via E State Rd 60 E
How far is Orlando Airport to Vero Beach?
Driving time from Orlando Airport to Vero Beach: 1 hour 29 minutes
Distance: 98.8 miles
Route: Via FL-528 E
West Palm Beach
This stunning area is definitely worth a mention if you don’t traveling a little bit further South in order to enjoy picturesque scenery, glittering waters and warm, golden sand. Though West Palm Beach itself is a city, it offers up a whole host of sandy stretches, including Lake Worth, Peanut Island which is famous for its snorkeling, and Juno Beach, where people gather nightly to take in the incredible sunsets.
How far is West Palm Beach from Orlando?
Driving time from Orlando FL to West Palm Beach FL: 2 hours 29 minutes
Distance: 170 miles
Route: Via I-95 S
St Pete Beach
Another incredible city with a brilliant offering of stunning beaches, St Pete Beach is set on a barrier island, ringed by some of the most beautiful hotels in Florida. There are plenty of things to do here besides the beaches as well, including a Historical Museum and a 1917 church.
How far is St Pete Beach from Orlando?
Driving time from Orlando to St Pete Beach: 1 hour 50 minutes
Distance: 114 miles
Route: Via I-4 W
Located extremely close to the aforementioned West Palm Beach, we also have the similarly named Palm Beach. It is much-loved and visited thanks to its beautiful beaches, especially the long stretch of the Palm Beach Municipal Beach, where you could easily wile away a whole day. You will also find Worth Avenue close to the beaches, which offers up upscale dining and shopping, as well as galleries ripe for your perusal.#
How far is Palm Beach from Orlando?
Driving time from Orlando to Palm Beach: 2 hours 32 minutes
Distance: 170 miles
Route: Via Florida’s Turnpike
Heading Northeast from the city, and you will reach Ormond Beach, a close neighbor of the popular Daytona Beach. Like it’s neighbor, Ormond offers laid-back, stunning beaches with glistening waters. You can also pay a visit to the nearby Tomoka State Park.
How far is Ormond Beach from Orlando?
Driving time from Orlando to Ormand Beach: 57 minutes
Distance: 61.4 miles
Route: Via I-4 E
ALmost directly East of Orlando, you will find Satellite Beach, which is located very close by to the popular Cocoa Beach. It is a popular place to visit thanks to its extraordinarily long sandy stretches with rustic, natural atmospheres, and the choppy waves of the Atlantic.
How far is Satellite Beach from Orlando?
Driving time from Orlando to Satellite Beach: 1 hour 5 minutes
Distance: 67.6 miles
Route: Via FL-528 E
Is there a shuttle from Orlando Airport to Satellite Beach?
There are indeed shuttles available with shuttledirect.com. However, as it is a fair distance from the airport, it might work out more convenient and economical to hire a vehicle of your own to make the journey, and to keep for the rest of your vacation. If you have booked your vacation home with us, be sure to get in contact with the team for assistance in organizing your car hire.
Frequently asked questions about beaches in Orlando
Which is the best beach near Orlando?
There is no ‘best beach near Orlando’ as it all comes down to your own personal preferences. If you’re looking for the closest beach then places like Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach are ideal. If you prefer your beaches a bit quieter then opt for New Smyrna Becah or the Canaveral National Seashore. The best beaches with white sand are over on the west coast. And if you want a beach that’s more like your own private desert island, then the bays around Pine Island are where to head.
Is there a dog friendly beach near Orlando FL?
Yes, the best dog beach near Orlando is considered to be Canova Beach Park, which is around an hour and fifteen minute drive towards the Southeast of the city. However all dogs must stay on their leashes whilst at Canova Beach Park. You can also visit Pass A Grille Dog Beach which is around two hours from Orlando, and in which you can take your dog off its leash, as well as Picnic Island Beach Dog Park, which is an off-leash location around an hour and three quarter drive away, and that is protected with a fence so you can relax as your four-legged pal has the time of its life.
Are there beaches near Disney World Orlando, Florida?
Although there isn’t a beach in Orlando near Disney World, there are plenty towards the East of Orlando that are very easy to get to if you are vacationing to the Disney parks. The closest beach to Orlando, and therefore Disney World, is Cocoa Beach, also considered one of the best beaches near Orlando. It is a short 1 hour journey by road, so very easy to get to in a morning or afternoon after exploring the magical parks.
Is there a beach near Orlando Universal Studios?
The closest beach to Orlando Universal Studios is the same as the closest beach to Disney World – Cocoa beach, which is around an hour’s drive away.
Where to stay for the beaches of Orlando
Top Villas offers a wide range of accommodation not far from Florida’s best beaches. Book with us and not only will you get beautiful accommodation at great prices, but you’ll also benefit from round-the-clock customer service plus access to a wide range of travel extras such as car hire, attraction tickets or help with arranging a special experience.
How to book
Follow our simple online booking process and you can secure your dream vacation home instantly without any phone calls or fuss. It’s easy to check availability, get a quote, and book instantly online. Alternatively, submit an enquiry and we’ll get straight back to you.