The beautiful beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast are a little over an hour away by car. You can experience the casual, tropical beauty and relaxed lifestyle on the Gulf, or visit Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral or the world famous Daytona Beach on the Atlantic coast.
Daytona Beach - known as the World's Most Famous Beach
Of the 23 miles of beach, 16 miles allow driving and parking during the day and when the tide permits. Simply pack a lawn chair or blanket and cruise over to Daytona, park within feet of the water and deploy your lawn chair, sandals and suntan lotion - all while declaring this a sun and surf lovers paradise. On the flip side, if you are a nature lover or prefer a more "serene" retreat you will have to look a little further. Whether you�re cruising the boardwalk, hanging out on the pier or just kicking back with your favorite book, Daytona Beach is fun.
The Daytona Beach area is only an hour's drive from greater Orlando and even closer to St. Augustine and the Kennedy Space Center.
Directions to Daytona : From Orlando, take Interstate 4 East to Daytona
Ormond Beach - lots of options, nice beaches.
Ormond Beach has areas to suit every need. Some of the beach areas permit driving, however the northern areas do not. All offer breathtaking beauty and water related fun! It's easy to see why our beaches are considered among the best in the world. Whether your day at the beach is to relax and read a book; cast a line into the surf; build sand castles with the children; or cruise along the shoreline with the top down, Volusia County beaches can accommodate your desired experience.
New Smyrna Beach - South of Daytona - nice beaches
New Smyrna Beach boasts over 13 miles of
beautiful white sandy beach. Wide and flat with vehicle access like Daytona
but much less crowded than its northern neighbor, (75 minute drive from
Orlando) New Smyrna begins at Ponce Inlet and continues on to Canaveral
National Seashore and Apollo Beach."The World's Safest Bathing Beach" is
great entertainment in a clean, peaceful setting (sunbathing, swimming,
surfing, jet skiing,wind surfing, fishing, shell collecting).
Rich in history and sunshine, New Smyrna Beach
is often referred to as "Florida�s Original Theme Park." Bound at the
southside of the island by the pristine 57,000-acre Canaveral National
Seashore park and at the north end by Smyrna Dunes Park, with its 1.5 mile
boardwalk loop around the Inlet area, nature comes alive here. Watersports
abound, with some of the best surfing in the area and fishing that is
absolutely first-class. Palm trees border Flagler Avenue, a true seaside
beach street lined with quaint boutiques, surf shops and restaurants.
Historic Canal Street in downtown New Smyrna Beach has enjoyed a renewed
emphasis on its old town charm.
Cocoa Beach - closest beach to Orlando!
Cocoa Beach is just an hour from Orlando so it is very popular with tourists and residents alike. The beaches are not "serene" but offer a wide variety of fun with wide sands, gently sloping beaches and moderate but fun surfing and swimming waves. There are quite a few parks on the beach which offer direct access to the ocean. Most are from 2 acres to 40 acres in size and some offer picnic pavilions, surf fishing, nature trails, playgrounds and surfing or swimming. Many resorts, hotels, and restaurants adjoin the parks.
One major highlight of Cocoa Beach is the pier which stretches 840 feet over the Atlantic Ocean and is open year-round. Food and beverages are readily available, with four restaurants, souvenir shops and frequent live entertainment. From an outdoor cafe table, guests can dine and see for miles down the beach making this a great spot to view a space shuttle launch and enjoy the ocean and sunshine.
Fishing equipment can be rented nearby for the angler in the family. Dress is casual since most patrons are beachgoers still in their bathing suits. The Cocoa Beach Pier is located on the North end of Cocoa Beach off A-1-A at Meade Avenue.
Lori Wilson Park at Cocoa Beach - Located at 1500 N. Atlantic Ave.
This 32 acre oceanfront park is operated by
Brevard County and has seasonal lifeguards. Facilities include restrooms,
three pavilions along a 1,000' boardwalk, six dune crossovers, maritime
hammock, volleyball court, a playground, barbecue grills, and a 274-space
parking lot located on both the north and south sides of the park. Parking
is $1 for cars, $10 for buses. Please call (321) 455-1380
Bonsteel Park 8455 Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach is popular for surfing and shoreline fishing, this peaceful 2.34-acre community beach park is located 15-miles south of U.S. Hwy 192. Preserving the natural environment, facilities at this quiet south beach include a stabilized parking area and dune crossover.
Coconut Point Park 3535 Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach Located 5.5 miles south of U.S. Hwy 192, this 36.9-acre community beach park and sea turtle nesting site preserves the natural environment. Popular for surfing, beachcombing and fishing, the park amenities include a small pavilion, restrooms, and an outside shower. One of the 2 dune crossovers is wheelchair accessible.
Spessard Holland North Beach Park
On the beach 8 miles south of US Hwy 192, this 4.53 acre community beach park is a popular fishing site and recreation area.
Spessard Holland South Beach Park
Add Holman Stadium, the 6,500 seat Spring Training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Disney's Vero Beach Resort (where the Magic of Disney meets the Beauty of the Beach), and a host of museums, theatres, restaurants, night spots, and shopping areas and you have the makings of a great vacation.
No Florida vacation is complete without a trip to the beach, and no other beachfront resort can deliver the Disney-inspired family fun that you'll find at Disney's Vero Beach Resort. Don't be fooled by all the fun and sun, this is one beautiful Disney property and is directly ON Vero Beach.
Nestled on a sun-drenched beach midway between Cape Canaveral and West Palm Beach, discover Disney hospitality with a splash of oceanfront fun on Florida's famed Atlantic coast. Let your kids slip down Pirate's Plunge, a 163-foot spiral water slide, or splash with them on the Pirate Ship wet-deck. There are no limits to the recreational opportunites and fun days. Swim in the Atlantic, play mini-golf, rent a hobie cat, roast a marshmallow at a seaside campfire, massages, 7 mile bike trail, the nearby golf courses! I should mention that this is one of my favorite Disney Resorts and one of Floridas best beaches (quiet) Disney's Vero Beach Resort. The Disney folks will pamper you at this wonderful beach resort. Just a 2 hour drive from Orlando and relatively serene and quiet the setting is magical and the service is legendary.
Round Island Park
Clearwater Beach Florida
Clearwater is a quiet Florida city with a community spirit that always seems to have something going on. In fact, the entire county of Pinellas seems to have this spirit. Its many public parks and outdoor festivals are a treat to residents and visitors alike.
Clearwater is connected to the barrier island of Clearwater Beach to the west via a two mile nicely landscaped causeway which includes a walking and biking path. From here you can experience beaches, beaches and more beaches. A string of barrier islands with fine white sand beaches line the Gulf of Mexico along the Pinellas coast. They start with renowned Clearwater Beach to the north and parade south with Sand Key Park , Indian Rocks Beach , Madeira Beach , St. Pete Beach , Pass-a-Grille and Fort de Soto Park .
Clearwater Beach has an excellent marina where one can find numerous charter, party and rental boats for fishing, sailing, cruising, para-sailing, and dolphin watching. Half-day and full-day fishing trips are available. The marina also berths a large number of private boats and has transient slippage for visiting boaters.
St Petersburg Beach
St. Petersburg and its surrounding area has a
wonderful dual personality. On its west side facing the Gulf of Mexico is
St. Petersburg Beach and a series of beautiful, sister city beaches
stretching north along the coast. On its opposite side facing Tampa Bay is
downtown St. Petersburg - the cultural center of this area. Both
personalities of the St. Petersburg area have much to offer.
Downtown St. Petersburg is a revitalized blend of luscious parks and impressive architecture that come together into a very pleasant city environment. One could easily enjoy a warm sunny day simply strolling through this area.
Fort De Soto State Park is a 900-acre park
that has seven miles of beaches, two fishing piers, a bike and walking
trail, picnic and camping facilities, and a historic fort for which the park
is named. Visitors can stroll through Fort De Soto which was built during
the Spanish-American war. Immediately adjacent to the fort is a fishing pier
that extends for hundreds of feet into the Gulf. The pier overlooks the Gulf
of Mexico, Tampa Bay and Egmont Key .
Johns Pass Village at Madeira Beach is a rustic boardwalk community with restaurants, bars, shops and boat rental facilities. The village overlooks Johns Pass on the inside of the pass that leads to the Gulf of Mexico. Those with an interest in boating could watch the comings and goings of private and commercial boats through this narrow pass for hours.
The Pinellas Trail is paved trail for walking, jogging, biking and roller blading. This 34 mile trail stretches from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs.
For professional sports enthusiasts, the area is a veritable paradise. Major League Baseball team Tampa Bay Devil Rays play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg from April to September. Across Tampa Bay, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL football team play at the Raymond James Stadium during the season from August to January. The Tampa Bay Lightning National Hockey League team play to the Ice Palace from October to April.
Panama City Beach
Beach is a beach resort town in the Panhandle of Florida. Its primary
industry is tourism. Visitors come here for its magnificent beaches with
their emerald-green seas. The area is popular with the young, particularly
college students looking for a break, and can become quite active during its
peak season in the summer.
Along the Gulf coast are numerous hotels and resorts, many quite reasonably priced, where you can walk right out to the beach without the need to cross roads or travel. Further to the west the area is less busy for those who enjoy a more relaxed environment.
The beaches are among the best in Florida with nearly 20 miles of fine sugar-white sand, relatively warm and generally calm seas. In the summer the water is often crystal clear with a beautiful emerald-green hue. From the beaches one can simply enjoy sun-bathing and swimming or partake in more adventurous activity with the available parasailing rides, jet skis, catamarans, and seaplane rides. Boating excursions are also available for sight-seeing, dolphin watching, fishing, snorkeling, and diving.
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