Closest Beach?


We want to go to a beach when we are there is a couple of weeks. What beaches have you gone to? How long was the drive? Was it a nice beach?

We have driven to Daytona Beach before but I was wondering if there are any better beaches to spend a day at.



I think Cocoa beach is much better than Daytona. I was not impressed:) Also, a friend of mine goes to Sanibel Island beach every year. I think it is in the general area but you will have to check. I am sure you will get a lot of responses but check tripadvisor too. They have ratings.
Good Luck!


Thanks Zoey


We’ve been to Clearwater which is beautiful too. It is about a 45 minute drive down Route 4. Straight shot!


What are you looking for in a beach? Camping and recreation? Seclusion as well as beauty in nature? Something hip? There are many fantastic choices here in FL…

Fort De Soto Park (campgrounds, rustic beaches, kayaking, fishing, and oh yeah, a cool Fort to explore thats supposedly “haunted”. Its a recreational dream and it’s only an hour and a half to a two hour drive from O-Town)

Sanibel and Captiva (which is by far my favorite beach in all of North America and its perhaps a three hour drive or so as well. If you look around online, you can fine some sweet cottages right on the beach in Captiva.)

Navarre Beach (gorgeous white powdery sands w/dunes and it’s also an amazing example of how destructive a hurricane can be if you travel from Navarre towards Pensacola Beach beach side… You would have to “travel” a ways to get here but if you have the time, this is an amazing area)

Miami Beach

Clearwater Beach (hour and a half)

All of the gulf beaches are, IMO, some of the best in the US. The sand, the brilliantly orange and pink skies during a sun set…

Seriously, you can’t beat it.


[QUOTE=papa bear;1082696]

All of the gulf beaches are, IMO, some of the best in the US. The sand, the brilliantly orange and pink skies during a sun set…

Seriously, you can’t beat it.[/QUOTE]

And for this we are jealous here in La and Tx as we get all the trash and oil wash up in the gulf while y’all get all the beautiful fun in the sun :laugh::laugh::laugh:


Thanks everyone

We are looking for a beach not too far that we can drive to to spend a day away from the parks. I dont think we want a three hour drive (six hours round trip is too much).

Which is better, the Gulf or Atlantic?


The Gulf is beautiful but then again I have never been on the Atlantic side.

FYI, when we flew, we would fly into Tampa which is only about 45 minutes away from WDW and Clearwater is not too far from there.

Pick a few beaches and do a Mapquest from where you are staying to the beach you choose. That may narrow it down for you as to where to go.


I know this is going to sound a dumb question. But we’ve always wanted to go to a beach whilst we were in Florida, so the above info is so useful to us. But, can I ask, is it safe to swim in the oceans there? I love to swim in the ocean in Europe and sometimes in England too if the sea’s not too cold, but then we don’t have any predators (i.e sharks) in our waters- how about in the Florida oceans?


While the beaches on the East coast are nice, the best of the best in the US is right here on the Gulf of Mexico.

As I mentioned, the white powdery sands are fantastic, you face west, so the sun sets on the water in lieu of behind you, plus the closest beach from WDW is probably a 70 - 90 minute drive depending on traffic.

A beach on the East Coast is probably 30 minutes closer so if you don’t care about the beach itself, then head out over in that direction. But if you want to see a spectacular beach, then add the 60 minutes round trip and head over to a Gulf beach.

I-4 to I275S will drop you off anywhere from Clearwater Beach to Ft Desoto with everything in between (Treasure Island, St Pete Beach, etc…).

And Dixie, it is safe to swim in the waters. But like anything in this world, you are entering into the marine lifes territory… So make sure to shuffle your feet to avoid a stingray, jellyfish can sting, and yes, there is the threat of a shark… But they don’t like “human” flesh…

And here in FL, on land, we have to avoid snakes, panthers, gators, bee stings, wasps, etc… So it’s not really any different whether or not you’re in the water or on land… :slight_smile:


[QUOTE=papa bear;1082768]and yes, there is the threat of a shark… But they don’t like “human” flesh…

Unless you just ate a Snickers. Like the commercial says, sharks like peanut butter.


We always do Cocoa Beach and it’s relatively close.


Cocoa Beach is the closest, about 45 mins from WDW. We’ve been many times and it’s a nice beach. Lori Wilson Park is a great place to park and it’s free. It also offers restrooms/changing room and outside shower as well as picnic tables and a playground.


Another vote for Cocoa Beach


I just noticed you will be there for TWO WHOLE WEEKS?
Wow! I would totally suggest taking Papa Bear’s suggestion and adding a full day or two at the nicer beaches being you have so much time. They really are beautiful!
Have fun!


We will be there for two weeks but the first week I dont know how much time we will have because my daughter is playig softball in the World Series at Wide World of Sports. I dont think I would have time for a couple of days away from the Mouse.