You’re in Orlando, sweating your shirt going to the parks all day and you just think that all you wanted with this heat was to be at the beach. What you probably don’t know is that Orlando is very close to many wonderful beaches, blue waters, white sands and you don’t have to take a plane to go to the Caribbean. They’re right here by car. Here are the 3 best beaches near Orlando.
The closest beach to Orlando is on the Space Coast, and is known to be the birthplace of Kelly Slater, the 8 times world champion surfer and also home to the world’s largest surf shop: Ron Jon. Surfers’ paradise, the beach of little more than 10 Km of extension has options also for families.
The water is very clean, but the sand is not white, which gives a darker tone to the sea. The beach has waves, in some parts calmer in other bigger waves. A pier with restaurants, parks with bathrooms, parking and a sidewalk near the sea in some stretches make this beach the right choice for a little escapade.
Distance: 59 miles/ 96 Km
Average Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
For more details, see the post I wrote about Cocoa Beach: Beach and Sun on the Space Coast
Chosen by TripAdvisor as one of the 25 best beaches in the world and the 6th best beach in the United States, Clearwater, which is very close to St Petersburg in Florida, is a great escape from Orlando in the Gulf of Mexico.
The water is warm, perfect for swimming and the beach has a large strip of sand. In the weekend or high season, it is possible to rent chairs and sun umbrellas on the beach and do parasailing or even water skiing. But my favourite hobby here is to stay on the beach and sunbathe, doing nothing! The beach counts areas that have bathrooms, showers and parking.
One of the attractions I like the most on the spot is Sunsets at Pier 60. Every day, artists, musicians and the general public gather at Pier 60 to wait for the sunset, which is spectacular. Live music, arts and also outdoor cinema are part of the daily activities that happen only in good weather.
Distance: 106 miles/171 Km
Average time: 1 hour 56 minutes
My favorite beach in the United States is in Sarasota, Florida, a city I lived in for a few months and is in the Gulf of Mexico. On the Tripadvisor list it ranked 10th, but for me it’s number 1. (Update: Dr. Beach chose this beach as the number 1 in the USA in 2011). It’s one of the three beaches mentioned here, the most distant from Orlando, but it’s worth the trip for me.
Besides the white, thin sand and crystal clear water, the water temperature is usually pleasant and very warm. It is the closest to the Caribbean you will find in the United States. Families, young people on vacation and retirees live on the same beach, but in different parts. The beach has a parking lot that fills up quickly at the weekend.
For a drink after the beach, the order is Daiquiri Deck with a profusion of beautiful and tanned people, in a chaotic but interesting environment.
To know more details about it, see this very detailed post: Visiting with children the number 1 beach in the United States
Distance: 139 miles/224 Km –
Average time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Did you just see what you were missing? So now there’s no excuse, when you plan your visit to Orlando, put at least one day on the trip to one of these paradises!