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Best family beach near Orlando

Midwest
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Best family beach near Orlando

My husband and I are visiting Orlando in mid-October with kids ages 10 through 17, and grandparents. We have one "free" day planned away from the amusement parks and are considering visiting the ocean somewhere -- it doesn't matter if it's the Gulf or Atlantic coast. My kids have never been to an ocean beach before and I would like some recommendations of family-appropriate beaches to visit within 1-2 hours drive from Orlando and activities/restaurants to try. Thanks!

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Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
Brandon, Florida
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8,388 posts
1 review
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1. Re: Best family beach near Orlando

Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic coast would be your best bet. Although the Gulf beaches are a little nicer, Cocoa is plenty closer, so you wouldn't hear "are we there yet" LOL, and the kids would have a great time. Since it is only for a day you will get more beach time at Cocoa.

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Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach
Brevard County, FL
Kansas City, MO
Destination Expert
for Beach Vacations
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2. Re: Best family beach near Orlando

Clearwater or St Pete Beach are not too far from Orlando. About 2 hour drive, maybe less and the Gulf side is so much nicer than the Atlantic side. (IMHO) The water is cleaner and the surf is much more gentle than the Atlantic.

We have been to both many times and much prefer the Gulf side. However, if your kids have never been to the ocean, either side will be great for them.

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Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
Amsterdam
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212 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: Best family beach near Orlando

It's definitely worth the extra hour drive to to to the Gulf coast beaches....and hang around till sunset.....quite stunning..

England
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4. Re: Best family beach near Orlando

Whilst I agree that the sand is nicer and the sea is bluer on the Gulf Coast, if you only want a short trip away I would go to Cocoa Beach. We went there fore 1 day a few weeks ago. It took an hour to drive there. We chose a reasonably quiet spot a bit further south than the pier. There were huts on the beach where we hired sun shades and - most importantly - body boards. Our kids (2 boys, early teens) had a whale of a time riding the waves. I would say that for your kids (similar ages) they will love it.

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Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach
Brevard County, FL
Doncaster, S Yorks
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4 reviews
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5. Re: Best family beach near Orlando

Defiantly the gulf coast Beaches they are much better, if you happen to go when there is a stiff breeze you can always find sheltered beach. Not so on the Atlantic side as it is just one long strip of sand .

You should be able to drive to St Pete's Beach in an hour forty min. as it is Freeway road all the way except the last 2 miles.

I 4 to Tampa, then 275 south Bradenton, Sarasota, exit at junction 17. 2 miles to Beaches . I say "Beaches" as there are several to pick from. You can pay 35 c toll and go to Fort de Sota where you will find Americas best beach. as well as several others and park in the many car parks all day for free. then there is several to pick from in St Pete’s and all the way north.

If you decide to chose Clearwater you will have 12-15 miles of Urban roads to drive before getting to the beach. This is a shorter route but takes much longer.

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Tampa
Tampa
Florida
Bradenton
Bradenton
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Sarasota
Sarasota
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
St. Petersburg
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106 posts
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6. Re: Best family beach near Orlando

Just a note that we are having a problem with Red Tide on the Gulf Coast, so check closer to the time you are coming so as not to take that long drive and end up very disappointed. I like Cocoa Beach and the kids would probably enjoy the wave action. If you pick Cocoa, rent "Boogie Boards" for body surfing, it is lots of fun, even for the parents.

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Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach
Brevard County, FL
Doncaster, S Yorks
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4 reviews
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7. Re: Best family beach near Orlando

Tammi; Is this Red Tide caused by effulant / poullution dumped into the sea, by onshore communities or gas and oil rigs out in the gulf.

St. Petersburg
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8. Re: Best family beach near Orlando

Here is one link to an article from Wikipedia that can explain it much better than me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_tide

And here is a link to the Fish and Wildlife site:

www.floridamarine.org/features/default.asp…

white rock bc
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537 posts
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9. Re: Best family beach near Orlando

We will be in Disneyworld at the end of Nov. Will the weather be warm enough to go to either the Gulf of Atlantic at this time of year? Is there a particular area on the Gulf that we could go to for the day that had restaurants and beach rentals that could make our 1 day trip easy and convienient?

Thank you

Doncaster, S Yorks
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10. Re: Best family beach near Orlando

In November the gulf coast will be the warmest water .all along the beach side areas from St Pete's in the south and Clearwater north all these coastal communities have loads of resturaunts Dont exactly know whet you want to rent on the beach but almost everything you can find on a beach happens there. I take my own fishing gear and only need a place to sit while the fish get hungry

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