Hey, I know you came for the themeparks.
But Orlando has some great beaches too.
We went to Cocoa Beach area and it was great to get away from the tourist crowds and theme parks for a breath of fresh sea air.Of course we came during a weekday morning (when American kids are in school) for less crowds.
SO many shells and free fun. Relaxtion at last!
located in the cape canaveral national seashore just north of the kennedy space center is playalinda beach. this unspoiled beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the east coast of florida. on the road to the beach there are numerous wildlife viewing areas and a hiking trail. see my titusville florida pages for more information.
I go to ther Melbourne, FL area for great beaches. There are only five major hotels on miles of beach with mostly houses and condominiums. This area is very residential.
I've been going to this beach area for about a dozen years!
See my Melbourne, Florida page!!
Ok, you've spent hot, sweaty days at the parks, the kids are tired and cranky and you just want a cold beer. Do what the locals do - come to New Smyrna!
New Smryna Beach is small, uncrowded but with lots to offer. Great beach, that's never really crowded. I prefer the beaches in the south part of town because you can't drive on 'em (hate to dodge cars while playing frisbee)
The water is usually smooth enough so that even a tiny toddler can do some safe wading. But, waves big enough for surfing (ok, laugh about our waves, you guys in California - we don't have to wear wetsuits!)
There are some antique shops in the main part of town and some beachy/touristy shops down by the water (at the end of the north causeway).
About that cold beer. On AIA, beachside, there's a terrific, casual restaurant called Chases on the Beach. Voted consistenly "best burger on the beach", you can sit on a deck on the beach, eating or drinking while the kids enjoy the pool or the sandlot. After the cold beer, you can talk a walk straight from the restaurant onto the beach. If you decide to take a dip you can rinse off under the outdoor shower, rather than having to ride home with that "sandy, salty" thing going.
Every time I go to New Smyrna I'm torn - should I eat at JBs or Chases? Not that there aren't a lot of other good restaurants....
My choice: Stop at Chase's for a cold drink and walk on the beach, then head on south the couple of miles to JB's for the oysters - then back to Chase's for a burger.
No crowds. No traffic. No waiting in line. Give the parks a break and spend a day at the beach!
new smyrna beach is located about 70 miles northeast of orlando. new smyrna is one of the few beaches you can drive on in florida. in my opinion new smyrna beach is much nicer than the more famous daytona beach to the north. just south of new smyrna on US A1A is the northern entrance to the cape canaveral national seashore which offers about six miles of unspoiled beaches. see my new smyrna pages for more information.
From Orlando Resorts in Oragen County, Cocoa Beach is a day outing worth experiencing. As the waves curl and spill over onto shore, they have a brown color, thus the reference to 'cocoa' is apt. The beach is expansive, all the way from Cape Canaveral, which can be seen from anywhere on the beach, looking north. Looking souch, the beach archs and can be seen extending many miles. Only at one place, the beach access at the patio pubs, was the beach crowded. This was during spring break, and college students were sprawled tanning, with other groups of students and locals on the patio pub watching.
With camcorder in hand, I walked out on the pier later to film surfers who gathered in the early evening. Ron Jon's surf shop is the local name and place to buy your long board and water gear.
Just plain beach on the east coast in the Canaveral National Seashore. Located just north of the Kennedy Space Center. No concessions or other tacky tourist stuff. Bathroom facilities available. Be sure to bring your own refreshemtns/water/food and sunscreen. Be aware that the area north of Parking Area 13 is a long established clothing optional area.
Most don't realize that Cocoa Beach is just a 50 minute drive from the theme parks. It's a wonderful break from standing in lines and has plenty of space to take a breather from the crowds. Excellent, fresh seafood can be found in any one of the numerous beachside restraunts. I highly recommend Rusty's in Cape Canaveral at the north side of Cocoa right where the toll road hits A1A. This restraunt on the dock underwent a change about 2 years ago and no longer features hooters type waitresses so it's now more family friendly with excellent prices. Oh, and don't forget to stop in Ron John's Surfshop.
Sometimes referred to as the "Space Coast", this is one of the closest beaches to Orlando. The best way to approach it is via the same tollway that brings you from I-4 to the airport. It is a relatively quick drive to the east before you come to a causeway and you are entering the beach areas. There is typically a nominal fee for parking. Some beaches offer showers to wash yourself after a swim. You can also rent boogie boards or umbrelles in some areas. Probably, the best time to go to the beach is in the morning when it is less likely to rain than in the afternoon. There are also plenty of hotel rooms and dining opportunities in this area.
cocoa beach is about sixty miles east of orlando on the atlantic ocean. along with the beach there are numerous attractions for the tourist. see my cocoa beach pages for more information.
Cocoa Beach, was a nice local beach. No tourist traps there. It costs $3.00 in tolls to get there from Orlando and is very close to Kennedy so could be made into a Whole day trip.