Top 8 Beaches Close to Orlando

    By Lauren Tjaden

    No visit to Orlando is complete without a trip to the seashore. And, fortunately, great beaches on the Atlantic are only about an hour away from the City Beautiful.They possess distinctly different personalities, so whatever your mood, you’re sure to find beaches near Orlando that are perfect for you.

    These beaches close to Orlando are listed from north to south. 

    Ponce Inlet

    Ponce Inlet

    - Lauren Tjaden

    beaches near orlando

    Cocoa Beach area

    - Lauren Tjaden

    1. Daytona Beach

    This spirited city is famed for cars, racing, arts, culture and heritage. Tradition demands you roll down your car windows and cruise the hard-packed sands of its beach. Not only is it one of the closest beaches to Orlando, it's also one of the most popular.

    But you can do it all in Daytona: enjoy watersports, motorcycle racing, kart racing, deep sea fishing and golfing, plus world-class dining and shopping.

    Make sure to investigate its legendary pier, and don’t forget to zoom over to Daytona International Speedway. If you want to spend a night or two at the beach, this destination is ideal because it offers an abundance of accommodations right on the Atlantic.  

    (58 minutes / 53.81 miles from Orlando)

    2. Ponce Inlet

    Ponce Inlet features a wide beach, thick with sand you can drive on, watersports that include parasailing, jet skiing, fishing and renting a speedboat, and even a handsome lighthouse – Florida’s tallest – that challenges you to climb it.

    If you have an aversion to high rises and crowds but love adventure, nature and awe-inspiring beauty, this getaway beach near Orlando is for you.  

    (1 hour 8 minutes / 61.60 miles from Orlando)

    3. New Smyrna Beach

    The very definition of a perfect day trip from Orlando, this charming enclave is renowned for its surfing, but that’s just the tip of the sandbar.

    You can cruise its hard-packed sand in your car until you find the perfect spot for your beach towel.

    Enjoy an array of watersports or fabulous fishing, or just kick back by the waves. Save some energy to discover its quirky shops and vibrant arts community. And don’t miss digging into a generous burger or fresh seafood at Breakers, an open-air restaurant located smack-dab on the beach.

    (1 hour 3 minutes / 55.66 miles from Orlando)

    New Smyrna Beach, called NSB by locals

    New Smyrna Beach, called NSB by locals

    beaches close to orlando

    View of Canaveral National Seashore

    cocoa_beach_area_beaches_credit_lauren_tjaden (9)
    closest beaches to orlando

    Quiet and peaceful Melbourne beach coastline


    4. Canaveral National Seashore

    Picture impressive dunes giving way to vast sweeps of empty sand, the music of the surf and wind and nothing more, and you’ll have Canaveral National Seashore about right.

    This utterly tranquil escape, and one of the top beaches near Orlando, boasts the longest expanse of pristine shore in Florida. Fish, swim, go hiking, or just unwind on the beach. Make sure to bring snacks, bottled water, sunscreen and insect repellent since you won’t find them in the park.

    (1 hour 15 minutes / 64.55 miles to north entrance from Orlando)

    5. Cocoa Beach

    For the quintessential Florida beach experience, escape to popular Cocoa Beach. Make sure to explore its 800-foot pier, a historical landmark boasting five restaurants, four bars, gift shops, fishing, and free live musical entertainment. 

    Indulge in parasailing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, or learn to surf on its gentle waves. Save time to discover the Ron Jon Surf Shop. It’s the world's largest surf shop, encompassing 52,000 square feet chock-full of beach gear.

    (1 hour 9 minutes / 59.57 miles from Orlando)

    6. - 8. Satellite Beach, Melbourne Beach and Indialantic

    If you want to visit a trio of the closest beaches to Orlando, this area is a great choice. The small towns of Satellite Beach, Melbourne Beach and Indialantic feel like old-time Florida, devoid of crowds, T-shirt shops and pretention.

    Nestled between the Banana River, the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic, these Space Coast destinations are brimming with nature, water sports and outdoor recreation of all kinds, never mind generous, mostly-empty beaches rich with cinnamon-hued sand.

    A turtle-walk with the Sea Turtle Preservation Society is a not-to-be-missed treat.

    (1 hour 13 minutes / 67.35 miles; 1 hour 21 minutes / 74.11 miles; and 1 hour 25 minutes / 75.96 miles from Orlando, respectively)

    * Estimated driving times and distances are according to Mapquest

    All photos by Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA


    Sunset on New Smyrna Beach

    Sunset on New Smyrna Beach