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Daytona vs cocoa beaches

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Oklahoma City...
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Daytona vs cocoa beaches

Can anyone tell me which beach is more famly friendly, fun, less jellyfish, clean... What are your experiences? We have 1 day to play at the beach. The first and maybe last time to experience it. A mom and her 12 yr old son. Going first week of May 2013.

Boston...
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1. Re: Daytona vs cocoa beaches

I would not go to Daytona because I hate the idea of cars driving on the beach. Cars belong on roads

Vero Beach, Florida
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2. Re: Daytona vs cocoa beaches

The jellyfish and portuguese man-of-war (technically not a jellyfish) are unpredictable. Last summer was good, the summer before, horrible, complete with species we seldom see.

May is early for jellies.

The Daytona Beach area includes several somewhat different communities. The beaches (driving on the beach, beach patrol, lifeguards) are run by the county, which also has excellent beachfront parks with family-style restroom/changing rooms). The City of Daytona Beach has problems with rundown housing (what should be a desirable, upscale neighborhood at the central beach is instead a slum). Daytona Beach Shores to the south and Ormond Beach to the north are in better shape.

You might think of New Smyrna Beach, south of Daytona. It's a rather low-key town. You could perhaps spend a bit of time at the north end of town, at the inlet, watching the surfers.

volusia.org/services/…

Cocoa Beach and adjoining Cape Canaveral are mainly residential, but with lots of weekend visitors from Orlando, so there's garish tee-shirt shops, the two monster surf shops, smaller surf shops, etc. The best bets in parks include Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral (unlike the inlet at New Smyrna, Jetty Park is lacking in surf). Here's their remarkably useless website and a more useful one from Port Canaveral:

http://www.jettypark.org

www.portcanaveral.com/recreation/beaches.php

Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach. It's large and well-run:

brevardcounty.us/ParksRecreation/…LoriWilson

Tavares, Florida
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3. Re: Daytona vs cocoa beaches

I would choose Daytona for the hard packed sand. Rent bikes or a quadrunner which are available at stands on the beach. Since you are spending one day, you can park on the beach if you choose an area where cars are allowed, or choose one of the beachside parks like Sunsplash to park for the day. Enjoy whatever your decision is!!!

Metro Orlando
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4. Re: Daytona vs cocoa beaches

I'd suggest Daytona as well, especially since it has a pretty good variety of beach settings. With that in mind, what are you looking for in a beach?

The Daytona area has 26 miles of beach, 50 if you count New Smyrna. Areas range from the built up Coney Island type boardwalk area to the sleepy somewhat desolate Ponce Inlet. Driving on the beach makes access way easier, but isn't available if the tide is high or the surf is particularly rough. There are also wide stretches of traffic free beaches, which I don't agree with but are there none-the-less.

I would suggest swimming near a lifeguard even when the water doesn't look that rough. Currents pull people who aren't paying attention out to deeper water on a fairly regular basis. Wherever you stop you can ask the lifeguard what's going on in that area so you're better prepared. Most of the the sleepier areas don't have lifeguards, but some at least have them on the weekends.

Boston...
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5. Re: Daytona vs cocoa beaches

"There are also wide stretches of traffic free beaches, which I don't agree with but are there none-the-less"

You don't agree with beach areas that are free of cars and traffic? Do tell.... WHY?????

Tavares, Florida
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6. Re: Daytona vs cocoa beaches

Carmela, have you ever been to Daytona? I would not call the cars on the beach as "traffic" most of the time. Spring break and some weekends, other times it can be busy however it is not traffic like on a road going 35 and up.

Metro Orlando
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7. Re: Daytona vs cocoa beaches

Driving on the beach brings unmatched access to everybody, not just rich folks with the cash to own beachfront property or stay in the pricey hotels. Yes, there are beach access points, but they're widely spaced and normally just set up for the locals, effectively making the beaches in those areas private.

If you dislike driving on the beach, feel free to use the other 1100 or so miles of it, at least the areas you can get to.

Edited: 10:45 am, March 26, 2013
Cocoa Beach, Florida
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8. Re: Daytona vs cocoa beaches

If you do go to Cocoa Beach / Cape Canaveral, the best beach is Lori Wilson Park, right on A1A. The parking is free and there are good facilities there. Other good choices for family include: Jetty Park, Cocoa Beach Pier, Shepard Park, and Fischer Park, but they all have parking fees. These beaches are about 45 minutes from east Orlando, or an hour from the WDW gates.

The public beaches run about six miles north from downtown Cocoa Beach, and about half of that is low-density development with shops, restaurants, and hotels. The beaches south of downtown and the beaches north near the port and space center tend to be more residential. Cars are not allowed on the beaches, but there is frequent public access crossover even in residential areas, and many areas have some free parking.

The overall atmosphere is family-friendly, small-town and laid-back, although on warm weekends, certain beaches do become crowded with people from Orlando. However, it's always easy to find an uncrowded beach.

For the ultimate in uncrowded, you could try the pristine Playalinda Beach at the Cape Canaveral National Seashore. That beach is sandwiched between the ocean and lagoon, something like a desert island, but -- other than parking and restrooms -- there is absolutely no development allowed, so you need to take everything you'll need.

Boston...
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9. Re: Daytona vs cocoa beaches

@ NO_Member_Name,

I am all for good beach access, but I don't think that has to mean driving cars right on to the beach. Most public beaches have adequate parking available. In fact, public beaches in Florida are far more accessible than many beaches around here. Here you will pay $25 to park your car for the day at the Cape Ann beaches, which is why we usually go up to Hampton Beach in NH.

I think cars on the beach is trashy, smelly, and dangerous. The beach should be a place you can go with your family and not have to worry about your kids getting run over...or have to hear revving engines and smell exhaust fumes.

Keep nature on the beach and cars on the highway

Orlando
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10. Re: Daytona vs cocoa beaches

One day, I would pick Cocoa. Go to one of the parks and stay away from the Ron Jon area where it tends to get crowded. I tend to feel more at ease in Cocoa Beach rather than Daytona. There are quieter areas south of town.

If you choose to go to Daytona, I would go toward the Daytona Shores and Ponce Inlet areas.

If you want to drive a bit, go further north to the Ormond by the Sea area or on the Gulf coast at Honeymoon Island or Ft DeSoto.

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