Aerial drone image of hotels and resorts on St Pete Petersburg Beach Florida USA

7 of the best beaches near Orlando

Florida’s 825 miles of sandy beaches are ideal for all types of beach lovers. But if you are visiting the theme parks of Orlando and want to escape to the beach for a few hours, which ones are the closest? Whether you are looking for a romantic spot for a hand-in-hand stroll, an epic place to catch some waves or a family-friendly destination, here are some of the best beaches near Orlando.

7 of the best beaches near Orlando

1. Vero Beach

Vero Beach, along the Atlantic Coast, is a small city with big beautiful beaches. It is located less than a two-hour drive from Orlando. It is an ideal destination for beach lovers who also enjoy art as there are loads of little galleries to visit. There is a 400-foot-long boardwalk which is perfect for strolling. There are great views from here of the ocean, and if you look down, you might see some manatees splashing around below.

2. Cocoa Beach

If you like to surf, you have to go to Cocoa Beach. This is one of the most popular surf spots in all of Florida. During the year, several surfing competitions take place on the beach. Located just one hour away, it’s one of the closest beaches to Orlando. If you like to shop whilst at the beach, you can do so in the famous Ron Jon Surf Shop – the largest surf shop in the world.

3. Clearwater Beach

When it comes to the best beaches in Florida and the best beaches along the Gulf coast, they don’t get much better than Clearwater. It is two and a half hour’s drive from Orlando, but the trip is worth it. There is a reason it is one of Florida’s most popular beaches. Its blindingly-white powdery soft sand and tranquil, blue water are idyllic for sunbathing and enjoying watersports, for instance, jet-skiing and stand-up paddleboarding.

4. St Pete Beach

Just 2 hours southwest of Orlando is stunning St. Pete Beach. Here, pristine swaths of white sand and crystal clear waters draw the crowds who make the most of the glorious setting and take to see-through kayaks to explore the vibrant underwater land. Dolphin-watching tours are also very popular here. Make sure you check out the 1928 landmark, pink Moorish-style Don CeSar Hotel that looms over the shore.

Aerial drone image of hotels and resorts on St Pete Petersburg Beach Florida USA

5. Ponte Vedra

Just two hours north of Orlando is Ponte Vedra, which golf fans will know for hosting the PGA Tour at the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. Ponte Vedra Beach is a blend of laid-back luxury and natural beauty; million-dollar homes line the stunningly beautiful white sand beach. This is where the rich and famous come to sunbathe.

best beaches near Orlando

6. Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach, just two hours north of Orlando, is a favourite spot with college-aged crowds due to its proximity to the University of North Florida. Situated on Florida’s “First Coast,” Jacksonville Beach has vast stretches of gorgeous sand and its famous pier is perfect for fishing and sweeping ocean views. There are also boatloads of water activities to do in the area.

best beaches near Orlando

7. Indialantic Beach

Located about a one-hour drive southeast of Orlando, Indialantic Beach is a small beach town nestled between Satellite Beach and Melbourne Beach on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. It is about twenty minutes from Cocoa Beach. This beach has a great beach break and a beautiful boardwalk from which to view it. It is a very popular spot for surfing in Florida.

best beaches near Orlando

Melanie May

Melanie is an intrepid solo traveller, endlessly curious about people, places and food. She is a fan of slow travel and loves exploring the world by mouth, discovering a culture through its food. Having backpacked her way around the world she turned her wanderlust into a career and is now a full-time travel writer.

View stories