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nice family beaches driving distance from orlando?

Flushing, NY
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nice family beaches driving distance from orlando?

hi there. we're planning to take our little ones to Disneyworld and I'd like to visit a nice family friendly beach...east or west of Orlando is fine..whatever is recommended, we're more than willing to take the drive.

any help would be much appreciated.

thanks in advance

Kissimmee Florida
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1. Re: nice family beaches driving distance from orlando?

Pattyny,

I have not posted this in a while. It might help you choose.

If you are staying in the WDW area the difference in driving time between the east coast beaches and the west coast beaches is insignificant. Cocoa is the closest beach to Orlando, but you are not in Orlando. You are west of Orlando by between ten and twenty miles.

In the last several months my wife and I have visited Lido Key near Sarasota, Caladesi Island near Tarpon Springs, John U LLoyd State Park near Ft. Lauderdale, Jetty Park near Port Canaveral, Fort De Soto State Park near St. Petersburgh, Golden Sands Beach near Vero Beach, Sebastian Inlet and Spesser Holland Beach near Melbourne.

There are many exquisite beaches on both coasts. I prefer the west coast beaches.

Driving time from 192 and I-4 was two hours to Lido Key, an hour forty five to both Caladesi and Fort De Soto. Driving time to Spesser Holland is an hour and a half. Driving time to Vero is two hours. Driving time to both Cocoa and and Jetty Park will be about an hour and a half. To get to Jetty Park take 528 east until it turns into A1A. Follow the signs for Port Canaveral Cruise ship terminal B. Pass the Sterling and Sun Cruz terminals and Jetty Park is straight ahead.

It really all depends on what you want in a beach. If you like cold water, rough waves, surfing and coarse yellow sand, go to the east coast. Jetty Park is something of an exception in an east coast beach in that the sand is white. If you like warm water, gentle waves and soft white sand go to the west coast. The warm Florida sun will be the same wherever you go, but if that is all you really need, the hotel pool is easier.

If you want to be "in with the in crowd" go to Daytona and you can dodge the cars on the beach. In my humble opinion, cars belong in parking lots and not on the beach. Obviously I am a minority in that opinion, but it is what it is. If you do go to Daytona, you should check out the little museum at the race track on your way home.

If you are more interested in shopping than swimming, I would recommend Cocoa Beach and Daytona on the East coast or Madeira Beach and Clearwater on the west. Of course for truly "high end" shopping there is St Armand's Circle in Sarasota. You can drop the shoppers off there and proceed the half mile to Lido Key.

If you want to snorkel, go to the Keys. The only snorkeling I have done in the Keys is off a boat from Key Largo. I have enjoyed it both times we went. One of my colleagues is an avid snorkeler and recommends the snorkeling tours operating out of Marathon and Key West as well.

For further reading I recommend:

…about.com/od/beache1/ss/beachplanner.htm

www.awesomeflorida.com/florida-beaches.htm

…state.fl.us/environment/community/aquatic/b…

http://www.drbeach.org/

http://www.floridastateparks.org/

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/parks/

http://www.floridaparks.com/

As a footnote, to put things into perspective, my two favorites of all the beaches I have visited are Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman and Pinel Island in St. Maartin. Seven Mile Beach has the same yellow sand as Florida east coast beaches, but much clearer and warmer water and snorkeling is right off the shore. Pinel Island has the white sand of Florida west coast beaches and calmer waters with snorkeling close by.

CTR

Warwickshire
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2. Re: nice family beaches driving distance from orlando?

There is a lovely family beach at Kissimmee Lakeside. It is a manmade beach and is always full of families. There are bbq's there with shaded tables too and a nice restaurant called crabby Bills (I think that's it's name).

For the kids the water is shallow and they can paddle. There is also a children's play area where water falls out of buckets, spurts up through the ground etc. the toilet blocks are clean and it seems a great place without having to drive more than an hour for the beaches.

Kissimmee Florida
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3. Re: nice family beaches driving distance from orlando?

Viporlandovillsa is correct.

I generally assume people want salt water beaches.

To get to the Kissimmee lakefront from WDW take Highway 192 to 17-92 also known as Main street and also known as the Orange Blossom Trail. The road will make a forty five degree right turn. Make a left on either Monument or Rose. When you get to the lake turn right. The park will be on your left. The closest restaurant is Signature by the Lake.

St Cloud also has a nice beach on their lake. Take 192 to St Cloud. Make any left after Poffenbaugh Ford. You will run into the lakefront. The closest restaurant is Crabby Bill's.

CTR

St. Joseph, Mo
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4. Re: nice family beaches driving distance from orlando?

Just returned from Orlando. We decided on Clearwater Beach. It took us about 1 hr 45 min. We were there during Spring Break and the Clearwater Public Beach was very croweded and No Parking. They directed us to Sand Key Beach just down the road. It was a very nice place--just what we were looking for. You could rent cabanas for the day, there was a bathrooms and a small concession area. Plenty of space to spread out. If you have small children, I would definately bring water shoes/sandels. The beach is loaded with small shells that hurt your feet. I was expecting soft white sand, it is white but Not soft. The ocean has gentle waves, which might be better than the Atlantic for small children.

Kissimmee Florida
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5. Re: nice family beaches driving distance from orlando?

pattyny,

I drove by the Kissimme Lakefront today. There is no swimming beach. St Cloud has the swimming beach.

There are boat ramps and fishing piers as well as picnic tables and chelters, but no swimming.

CTR

6. Re: nice family beaches driving distance from orlando?

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