Get some sand between your toes at these Central Florida beaches

These are the best beaches a short drive from Orlando

Get some sand between your toes at these Central Florida beaches
Siesta Key Beach | photo via Adobe

OK, we admit it — one thing Orlando doesn't have is oceanfront. When the summer comes, we want to float in the waves and soak up the rays just like anybody else, so here's a list of our favorite beaches, plus the time it takes to get there from here.

Anastasia State Park

2 hours away

Home to more than 1,600 acres of beaches, marshes, maritime hammocks and sand dunes, this state park has something for everybody.

Anna Maria Island

3 hours away

Despite only being seven miles long, this beach town is a Florida favorite. With plenty of restaurants and beach spots to watch the sun go down, Anna Maria Island is a must-visit.

Avalon State Park

2 hours away

Endangered sea turtles call this beach their home, but snorkelers and kayakers can appreciate them from a comfortable distance.

Blowing Rocks Preserve

2 hours, 30 minutes away

This barrier island is known for its rocky shoreline and water-gushing rocks, which can send the seawater up to 50 feet high.

Boneyard Beach

2 hours, 30 minutes

Along Boneyard Beach, you'll see massive driftwood trees scattered along the shore. It's the perfect spot for a picture or watching the crashing waves.

Caladesi Island State Park

3 hours away

Although this beach is only reachable by boat, the scenic views are worth it. Visitors can walk along the beach, kayak through a mangrove forest, or take a nature trail hike.

Canaveral National Seashore

1 hour, 30 minutes away

This undeveloped shoreline is home to thousands of plants and animals. Keep in mind there's a $20 vehicle entrance fee.

Cayo Costa State Park

4 hours away

Only accessible by boat or kayak, this untouched beach is the perfect spot for bird-watching and bicycling trails. Visitors can take a ferry from several of the mainland locations.

Clearwater Beach

4 hours away

This small, classic beach town is known for its pristine sands and delicious restaurants.

Cocoa Beach

1 hour away

Cocoa Beach is home to four parks, all of which have a beach access point. The parks have plenty of picnic tables, plus showers to help wash off the sand.

Coral Cove Park

2 hours, 30 minutes away

This beach features plenty of spots to grill, fish and kayak. Stick around to enjoy a colorful sunset after a long beach day.

Daytona Beach

1 hour away

With 23 miles of white beaches to relax on, there's plenty of space to take a break from reality.

Delray Beach

2 hours, 45 minutes away

Delray Beach is known as "Florida's village by the sea," because there are plenty of restaurants and shops to explore after a sunny day on the sand.

Flagler Beach

1 hour, 15 minutes away

Take a walk on the Flagler Beach Municipal Pier. It's the perfect spot for fishing, eating, or just taking in the ocean breeze.

Fort de Soto Park

3 hours away

This beach is the perfect spot to bring four-legged family members with its two fenced park areas near the beach. Large and small dogs are welcome!

Indialantic Beach

1 hour, 30 minutes away

Explore a spacious white-sand seashore during the day, and at night, check out Indialantic's guided bioluminescence nature tour.

Juno Beach

2 hours, 30 minutes away

Enjoy a walk on the beach or on the Juno Beach Pier. The pier offers 990 feet of saltwater fishing and snack bars.

Longboat Key

3 hours away

Longboat Key's 12 miles of beaches are perfect for relaxing and enjoying the ocean breeze. Check out their kayak tours for possible dolphin or sea turtle sightings.

Lover's Key

4 hours away

Known for its beachside weddings, this barrier island is perfect for exploring other things as well. There are plenty of canals, lagoons and trails to enjoy.

Melbourne Beach

1 hour away

Take a trip to Brevard County's oldest beach community. Although it's known for its great fishing, Melbourne Beach is also home to the second-largest colony of sea turtle nesting areas in the Northern hemisphere.

New Smyrna Beach

1 hour away

New Smyrna is known for its surfing and 17 miles of white beaches, but if you happen to bring along any four-legged friends, there's a dog beach not too far away. The town itself is home to several excellent restaurants and art galleries.

Ormond Beach

1 hour away

Ormond Beach's compact white sand is perfect for walking on. After a stroll on the beach, check out a guided kayaking tour.

Pass-a-Grille Beach

2 hours, 30 minutes

There's plenty to do at this historic beach, whether it be watching dolphins, snorkeling or shelling. Make sure to stick around for the nightly sunset bell ringing.

Ponce Inlet

1 hour away

Pay a visit to Florida's tallest lighthouse, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse. Visitors are just 203 steps away from a perfect ocean view.

Satellite Beach

1 hour away

Enjoy a beach day in Florida's safest city. Kayaks are available for rent, but if flipping over every 10 minutes isn't your thing, take a stroll through the Joy & Gordon Patterson Botanical Garden.

Sebastian Inlet State Park

1 hour, 45 minutes away

Surfers worldwide know Sebastian Inlet for its "First Peak" and "Monster Hole," but the inlet's calmer waters are perfect for watching sea turtle nests or collecting seashells.

Siesta Key Beach

3 hours away

With its soft, silky, quartz-white sand, Siesta Key is a must-visit for Florida beachgoers. Whether it's beach yoga, parasailing, sipping frozen daiquiris or simply relaxing, there's plenty to do at this renowned beach.

St. Pete Beach

2 hours, 40 minutes away

With an average of 361 days of sunshine per year, this laid-back beach town is guaranteed to be the ideal spot for a beach vacation.

Treasure Island Beach

2 hours, 45 minutes away

It's a barrier island that sure is a treasure — ba-dum-tss. Enjoy Treasure Island's uncrowded white beaches and clear waters.

Vero Beach

1 hour, 40 minutes away

Vero Beach is known for its nature walks and water sports. Kayak rentals, fishing charters and airboat adventures are just a walk away.

About The Authors

Chloe Greenberg

Chloe Greenberg is the Digital Content Editor for Orlando Weekly.

Reina Nieves

Reina Nieves is Orlando Weekly's intern for the spring 2023 semester.
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