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Beaches Near Orlando

Dayton
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Beaches Near Orlando

We are going to Orlando Sept 13-17. I am renting a car and was thinking about driving to the coast and visiting a beach for a day or two.

What is a good beach to visit that is a reasonable distance (2 hours) from Orlando? Is September still beach weather in Florida? Is mid September usually crowded in Orlando? I thought this would be a good time since most kids start back to school late August and I thought not a lot of people would be pulling their kids out of school so soon for a vacation.

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Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
Florida
Florida
United States
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Cocoa Beach, Florida
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872 posts
4 reviews
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1. Re: Beaches Near Orlando

Best beach is Cocoa Beach, 45 minutes east of Orlando. Just take SR528 east, that turns into A1A. A1A runs through Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach has plenty of shopping, restaurants, sun, relaxation, and, of course, surf!

September is still beach weather, although not quite as warm as July.

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Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach
Brevard County, FL
Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach
3,261 Reviews
Cocoa Beach, FL
Dayton
4 posts
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2. Re: Beaches Near Orlando

I lived in Fort Walton / Destin area as a kid and the beaches there were awesome. I remember walking for what seemed like miles across snow white sand and hiking up mountain high sand dunes to get to the water. The pictures I see of Cocoa beach look more like Virginia/Jersey beaches to me. They could just be bad pictures. I am looking for a beach near Orlando (within 2 hours) with white sand, high dunes, and clear water.

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Fort Walton Beach
Fort Walton Beach
Florida Panhandle, FL
Destin
Destin
Florida Panhandle, FL
Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach
Brevard County, FL
Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
Cocoa Beach, Florida
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872 posts
4 reviews
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3. Re: Beaches Near Orlando

Well, Cocoa Beach's water isn't as clear as the Gulf coast, and the sand isn't as white, either. But it's still a nice beach.

You might be interested in Gulf coast beaches, like St. Pete beach, or the north beach at Fort DeSoto in Pinellas county. It's one of the highest rated beaches in the US. It's a little more than a two hour drive from Orlando, though.

www.pinellascounty.org/park/05_Ft_DeSoto.htm

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Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach
Brevard County, FL
Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
Bedfordshire
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406 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Beaches Near Orlando

Hi

My boyfriend and I normally go in october and like clearwater. It was a nice beach, plenty of watersports and little shops around. You can also go on boat trips there and watch the dolphins swim in the waves of the boat.

Orlando, Fl
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63 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: Beaches Near Orlando

Ok, I'm with you on the dunes thing. I grew up in Jupiter (northern Palm Beach County) where the beaches are kept relatively in their natural state. Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach disgust me - driving on the beach and hotels everywhere...yuck.

Unfortunately for you, no beach on the East coast of FL will give you that white sand and the vast span of beach to the water. I am told that New Smyrna (which is also less than 2 hours from Orlando) is a bit better. I believe it is still a bit touristy and built up, but less so. I think I have been once, but I can't quite remember. You might try going to New Smyrna and then driving south a bit to the non touristy areas. You could try the same thing with Daytona Beach. Take I-4 East out to Daytona and then head north a bit. Ormond Beach is a bit nicer and Flagler Beach is supposed to be nice and more natural. I keep meaning to try Flagler, but it is closer to that 2 hour mark and I usually just go for the day so I don't like to drive more than a little over an hour (so I'm usually stuck with Cocoa or Ormond).

You could try the gulf side, but it will likely take you longer to get there due to the traffic going from Orlando to Tampa. Fort DeSoto is over that way and was voted the best beach recently (not sure what poll this was). People rave about Clearwater Beach, but it is pretty touristy like Cocoa.

September will be less crowded. In the summer, not only do you have the vacationing families, but you have the local teenagers and young families out there also since school is out. September will be much better.

It is definitely beach weather. Still very hot. It can be rainy, so hopefully it isn't rainy on the day you want to hit the beach. Often the weather will say it is going to be rainy though and then it is nice all day with maybe some rain in the late afternoon. It is also still hurricane season, but you can't predict those things any sooner than 2-3 days out, so don't let that stop you.

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Jupiter
Jupiter
Florida
Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach
Brevard County, FL
Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
Tampa
Tampa
Florida
Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach
10,246 Reviews
Clearwater, FL
Surrey, UK
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977 posts
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6. Re: Beaches Near Orlando

Clearwater 2.5 hours drive down I-4 West for most part of the way, is a great beach.

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7. Re: Beaches Near Orlando

My old friend, we knew you'd be back.

Tampa, Florida
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1,454 posts
17 reviews
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8. Re: Beaches Near Orlando

I favor Fort DeSoto, about 2 hours, Beautiful natural Gulf Coast beach, clear aqua blue waters, and very peaceful in certain areas...tru florida(no buildings, hotels, etc.).

I-4 West to 275 South to Pinellas BayWay West. Beaches are still hot in September.

Memphis, TN
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52 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Beaches Near Orlando

We did the same kind of thing last year at the end of July. We rented a convertible which the kids (and me) loved driving along the coast. I can't remember how far we drove, but after four days in Orlando, we drove east to Hammock Beach and spent four days there. We stayed the the Club at Hammock Beach. It was beautiful. We took a day trip to St. Augustine. I wish we had spent more of our time on the beach instead of Orlando.

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Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
Hammock Beach Resort
Hammock Beach Resort
1,692 Reviews
Palm Coast, FL
St. Petersburg
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106 posts
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10. Re: Beaches Near Orlando

A lot has to do with what you enjoy. Cocoa has the surf action for surfing, boogie boarding, or body surfing. St. Petersburg and surrounding beaches have little or no waves. September is a good time to be in Florida in general. You are coming a week after Labor Day, so crowds and the hotel rates will be down for sure. The water temperature will be warm enough still for you.

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Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach
Brevard County, FL
Florida
Florida
United States