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View Full Version : Spending a "day at the beach" while at WDW?


moopdog
05-25-2008, 07:31 AM
How feasible is this? Is there one near-by (within an hour or so). Are they public? Where to park & change for the day? Any info would be GREAT!! :cutie:

Jeanne B
05-25-2008, 07:44 AM
We've done a day trip from Orlando to Daytona in the past, we spent a few hours touring the Daytona Speedway and then we spent a couple of hours on Daytona beach (we rented some sort of buggy and drove up and down the beach, it was fun!!). I don't remember what it cost to park on the beach, seems like it was $10-15 and I don't recall the drive being much more than an hour from Orlando.

powellrj
05-25-2008, 08:03 AM
we do cocoa beach when we go to Orlando. Its only about an hour away. They have metered parking and it isn't very much and its almost right on the beach. We also like to visit the Ron Jon shop when we go.

2goofycampers
05-25-2008, 08:27 AM
on cocoa beach there are also public bathrooms and changing rooms and outside showers to rinse off.

Kickapoo Joie Juice
05-25-2008, 09:34 AM
I prefer the gulf side beaches to the atlantic side beaches. A little farther away, but the sand is way better and the surf tends to be calm and the water clear. There are probably some Tampa locals on the board who can give you better info.

Our preference is to do a beach vaca OR a disney vaca, not to try and mix them because we end up spending too much time in the car. Maybe check out the water parks at Disney instead?

traces7
05-25-2008, 12:31 PM
We went to Cocoa Beach when we went to Disney in Oct. 2006. It's about an hour drive. We went to Lori Wilson State Park in Cocoa Beach. It was really nice. We wanted to see the Atlantic Ocean for the 1st time! :)

kccmommy
05-25-2008, 01:11 PM
I asked this same question when we went a few years ago. There were several responses that said to drive to the gulf side and go to Clearwater beach. The drive was not far, and it was a beautiful beach. Lots of shells for the kids to find.

Aliceacc
05-25-2008, 01:38 PM
It's about an hour to Cape Canaveral, due east. An incredibly easy drive, and there's both the beach and the space center.

Belle5
05-25-2008, 01:39 PM
The gulf side is twice the drive but more than worth it. Beautiful white sandy beaches... Cocoa beach has more of a brown pebbly look to it if I remember correctly. I have promised my four year old that we would go to a beach when we are at WDW so it looks like we'll be making the drive again, too. It is really not a bad drive. Years later, you don't remember the drive--just the fun and beauty of it all--plus you have great photos!

Aliceacc
05-25-2008, 01:41 PM
Ah, but if you've never seen the OCEAN, you need to go east. Particularly if you can get the day before or after a storm when the waves are at their finest. It doesn't make for great swimming, but I could sit and stare at it for hours (and before I had kids, that was one of my favorite pasttimes.)

dreamergirl78
05-25-2008, 01:43 PM
I would head towards Tampa, go across thebridge an hit the beaches by Clearwater. They are beyond beautiful! Lots of great little places to eat there too. If you got up early you could easily make it a day trip. HAVE FUN!!!

c88fly
05-25-2008, 04:03 PM
We do just the opposite. We go to Daytona Beach each year for the race and drive to Orlando 2 or 3 times during the week and hit the parks. Very easy commute. Just an hour or so, all interstate. We've been to the Gulf oceans and the Atlantic oceans, and Daytona is always the most beautiful! :thumbsup2

Adi12982
05-25-2008, 08:32 PM
We tend to go to Typhoon Lagoon while there - tropical beach setting without the 2+hour round trip. . . though it is probably unfair since I am from Miami. . . but I really prefer Typhoon Lagoon while at WDW, especially with the price of gas and all that. . .

moopdog
05-26-2008, 06:53 AM
Thanks to all. Now, we've been to the Atlantic all our lives, but mostly the Maryland, NJ, Virginia areas. So, going to the Gulf IS a consideration for us. But to be honest, I'm mostly looking for the quickest drive to the cleanest/quietest (meaning less people, not quieter waves) beach. Not too interested in the best or the extra stuff - just need a quick drive, water & sand, a place to park & a place to change our clothes! Our Disney trip is eliminated our annual ocean trip this year - so this beach day is for Mommy! Also the reason why a water park won't do it for me , it has to be the beach.

So - which place delivers? Thanks again, I'm getting excited realizing this is an option!!

micki7337
05-26-2008, 07:44 AM
you could always do the beach club beach and just relax on the sand there. we have done that. So no need to leave WDW :)

powellrj
05-26-2008, 09:33 AM
My first thought was Cocoa Beach because thats where we usually go, but thinking back, my favorite one is New Smyrna. Its closer than the others and we really enjoyed it. The reason we have been going to Cocoa Beach is because the kids like to go to the Ron Jonn shop.

Here is a link http://volusia.org/BEACH/smyrna.htm

PatriciaH
05-26-2008, 09:41 AM
I don't like the East Coast beaches as much but they are closer. The West Coast has much nicer water/sand. Coco is about 1 hour and Clearwater is 1 & 1/2-2. Here is Honeymoon Island State Park about 1 hr and 45 minuted from WDW.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o263/luvthatmousephotos/IMG_2867.jpg

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o263/luvthatmousephotos/IMG_2909.jpg

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o263/luvthatmousephotos/IMG_2906.jpg

spalady
05-26-2008, 10:36 AM
We are thinking of stopping at one of the beaches for a night stay as we drive down to Disney and I was thinking of beeing about 1 1/2 hour away so the ride isn't to long and we can have a full day in disney and not be so tired from driving hours and hours.

leahjade
05-26-2008, 03:25 PM
We've done Cocoa Beach and Daytona. Didn't care much for Daytona - the beach wasn't as nice and it was a longer drive. Liked Cocoa Beach and the kids loved Ron Jon's Surf Shop.

traces7
05-27-2008, 08:14 PM
Thanks to all. Now, we've been to the Atlantic all our lives, but mostly the Maryland, NJ, Virginia areas. So, going to the Gulf IS a consideration for us. But to be honest, I'm mostly looking for the quickest drive to the cleanest/quietest (meaning less people, not quieter waves) beach. Not too interested in the best or the extra stuff - just need a quick drive, water & sand, a place to park & a place to change our clothes! Our Disney trip is eliminated our annual ocean trip this year - so this beach day is for Mommy! Also the reason why a water park won't do it for me , it has to be the beach.

So - which place delivers? Thanks again, I'm getting excited realizing this is an option!!

I still say go to Cocoa Beach and Lori Wilson State Park. It was clean and not very crowded when we went (in Oct). And only an hour drive. We really loved it! :)

momxx5
05-27-2008, 08:48 PM
This may sound crazy, but to me a day a Tropical Lagoon is like a separate vacation. I just get lost in the sand, sunshine and water. It is relaxing and a great down day.
I really feel like we got a tropical vacation within a vacation.