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Old 07-14-2012, 01:23 AM   #1
butterflygirl3
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Beaches around Disney

Hello, we are driving to Disney World the end of September. Are there any beaches on the way or slightly off course from st. louis, mo to Orlando? And how far out of the way would it be? Thanks for all the help
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:43 PM   #2
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Hello, we are driving to Disney World the end of September. Are there any beaches on the way or slightly off course from st. louis, mo to Orlando? And how far out of the way would it be? Thanks for all the help
I'm also driving to Disney from NJ on 7/24/12 and we are planning to go to the beach. Daytona Beach is on the way to Orlando and it is about 1.5 hour away from Disney area.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:35 PM   #3
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Do you travel down I-75 from St Louis?

If so, best bet would be Clearwater Beach. Just go right at the fork of I-75 and the Florida Turnpike instead of left. When you get close to Tampa, follow the signs. When you're done at the beach, it's roughly 1 1/2 hours straight east to Orlando.

Many people, including my family, prefer the Gulf beaches to those on the east coast. Particularly if you have any children, they seem safer to me because you can go a long way out before the water gets very deep. Even without kids, the white sands of the Gulf beaches are much better for walking.

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Old 07-14-2012, 04:13 PM   #4
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Do you travel down I-75 from St Louis?

If so, best bet would be Clearwater Beach. Just go right at the fork of I-75 and the Florida Turnpike instead of left. When you get close to Tampa, follow the signs. When you're done at the beach, it's roughly 1 1/2 hours straight east to Orlando.

Many people, including my family, prefer the Gulf beaches to those on the east coast. Particularly if you have any children, they seem safer to me because you can go a long way out before the water gets very deep. Even without kids, the white sands of the Gulf beaches are much better for walking.

Sheila
We also love Clearwater. In fact DH & I plan on retiring there someday (too many years from now - unfortunately!) The water is so - well - clear! The sand is great. My kids love it and ask to go every trip now. I would highly recommend it over beaches on the Atlantic side.
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:37 PM   #5
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We'll be driving through in late November so are not expecting us or the kids to swim (too cold) so the st augustine beach looks like the least out-of-the-way for us. Beautiful beach.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:39 AM   #6
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We'll be driving through in late November so are not expecting us or the kids to swim (too cold) so the st augustine beach looks like the least out-of-the-way for us. Beautiful beach.
The St Augustine beaches are nice. The last couple of times we've visited the town, however, the traffic was awful and parking not to be found. We wound up leaving without even stopping.

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Old 07-15-2012, 12:07 PM   #7
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Coming from Missouri, if you drive through the Florida Panhandle, there are some beautiful beaches there, as well as further south on the Gulf of Mexico side. The water action is milder there. Panama City Beach is one I always see in the Top 10 lists.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:38 PM   #8
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We also love Clearwater. In fact DH & I plan on retiring there someday (too many years from now - unfortunately!) The water is so - well - clear! The sand is great. My kids love it and ask to go every trip now. I would highly recommend it over beaches on the Atlantic side.
Is there a lot of public parking/public access beaches?

Can you direct me to some, if possible?
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:13 PM   #9
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I'm tempted to try Clearwater on our trip. I've been to Sarasota Beach which was beautiful, but I want to try something new this time. It was a bit difficult to find parking at Sarasota as well.
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MickeyMouseFanNJ

I'm also driving to Disney from NJ on 7/24/12 and we are planning to go to the beach. Daytona Beach is on the way to Orlando and it is about 1.5 hour away from Disney area.
This poster is from NJ, probably used to Atlantic Ocean beaches.
The east coast beaches have their charm too, especially to those of us used to ocean beaches. I agree that the gulf coast beaches are nice and probably more to the liking of those not used to ocean beaches.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:38 PM   #11
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^ I agree. Growing up on the East Coast (NC), the Gulf is like a big bathtub to me. Pretty, but a little boring compared to the eastern beaches (JMHO)

However, now that I've lived in TN for 7 years, most folks around here go to Destin and Panama City Beach which would add a couple of hours or so to the trip, depending on how you went.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:36 AM   #12
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I'm also driving to Disney from NJ on 7/24/12 and we are planning to go to the beach. Daytona Beach is on the way to Orlando and it is about 1.5 hour away from Disney area.
I've found Daytona Beach very crowded and touristy, and very hard to park at! If you're coming down the east coast, hop onto A1A when you get into Florida between St. Augustine and Daytona. There are many places to get onto the beach all along that hwy... with small parking areas in front of the walkways. You'll have a nice quiet spot all to yourself,or very few people. When you're done you can get back onto 95 the rest of the way to Orlando.
We usually take A1A all the way up the coast going home to PA. We love to stop at different beaches and towns along the way. We love Amelia Island/Fenandina Beach

We also like Cocoa Beach, though further south than you need to go. We pass the more touristy area by about 1/2 a mile, and park on the metered side streets. Way less crowded and never had a problem parking. We go there when we need a down day from the parks.

We used to fly every year, but for the passed 3 years we have been driving to save money. We've ever had more fun! So many places to stop and see if you have the time. I'm lucky in that I don't work during the summer, so we always have lots of time.

Have fun!
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:50 AM   #13
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Is there a lot of public parking/public access beaches?

Can you direct me to some, if possible?
There are public parking places for the beach all along the main street (sorry can't remember the name right now.) They are very eay to find and clearly marked. Some have meters and some do not.

Check out these links
http://www.clearwater-fl.com/info/ab...hy/beaches.asp
http://www.visitclearwaterflorida.co...formation.aspx
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:03 AM   #14
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One unique thing about Daytona, if you want to park for the day - you can actually park/drive ON the beach, esp if you have four wheel drive.

If you want to do a quick overnight, the Hampton Inn is quite nice.
Parts of Daytona are not super nice, but the Hampton Inn is in a decent section.

There's also great seafood place in Port Orange called "Boondocks" It's a bit rustic, but the food is great! Go early to avoid a long table wait. If you do wait, sit out back by the marina. They serve more than seafood, but the seafood is really great.

I also second that St. Augutione is a neat area. I've never actually spent a day at the 'beach' there, there's too many other unique things in St. Augustine.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:58 PM   #15
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One unique thing about Daytona, if you want to park for the day - you can actually park/drive ON the beach, esp if you have four wheel drive.
Yes, and a number of people (including some small children) have beet hit by these cars.
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