Orlando in Florida is one of the most exciting holiday destinations, especially for Londoners who are seeking sunshine and adventure. It’s home to Disney World, the Kennedy Space Centre, Universal Studios, and lots of other incredible theme parks and water parks.
However, what does Orlando have to offer when it’s time for a break from the crowds and excitement? It is in the middle of Florida without a coastline, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include a day trip or 2 out to the ocean.
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Many places in Orlando are less than an hour from the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf Coast, but you need to know which are the best beaches to head to.
Where to Stay – Orlando or the Gulf Coast?
Both the Gulf Coast and Orlando provide excellent Florida holidays, and there is a wide range of luxury villas in both locations. While Orlando is packed with adrenaline and adventure right on your doorstep, the Gulf Coast offers a more relaxed atmosphere with gorgeous beaches and breathtaking sunsets. You’ll also find hundreds of golf courses in both areas. However, if you want to combine the best of both by staying in Orlando but with relatively easy access to a beach so you can recharge the batteries, here are 7 of the best to consider.
1# Daytona Beach
The Daytona Beach area is famous for the international speedway track, but it also has a drive-on beach which is open to the public. Through the summer you can also enjoy concerts as well as great food and drink on Beach Street.
image source (Photo Credit : wfla )
2# New Smyrna Beach
The locals refer to this beach as ‘NSB,’ and it’s one of the closest at just an hour’s drive. There are some great bars and restaurants on Canal Street, from fresh seafood to delicious ice cream.
image source (Photo Credit : vrbo)
3# Clearwater Beach
Water sports fans should head to Clearwater Beach on the Gulf Coast, where you’ll find parasailing and jet skiing on the beautiful waters, but the area is also well-known for the Clearwater Aquarium and the Beach Walk promenade which offers accommodation and entertainment.
The Canaveral National Seashore is a National Park and is the longest natural beach on the east coast. It’s one of the calmer beaches in the area, so it’s perfect for sunbathing and relaxation, and you might just be able to swim with dolphins and turtles if you’re lucky.
5# Cocoa Beach
Just an hour from the middle of Orlando, Cocoa Beach is ideal for water sports, including world-class surfing as well as sea fishing. It’s also referred to as the ‘Space Coast’ as it’s very close to the Kennedy Space Centre.
6# Sebastian Inlet State Park
The Sebastian State Inlet Park hosts the Florida Pro Surf contest every year, so it’s a must-visit for surfing enthusiasts. Alternatively, there are also plenty of museums around and the beautiful nature of the Hammock Trail if you prefer a hike.
7# Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
Washington Oaks Garden State Park is quite different from other beaches in Florida as there are lots of rocky boulders rather than stretches of endless sand. It also features stunning gardens and citrus groves across 425 acres.