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Old 05-02-2013, 10:04 AM   #1
Mersmom98
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Day at the beach

I am headed to Mickey's house in July with my dh and our 5 kids (4 teens and 1 toddler). We are renting a car and would like to take one day to go to the beach. We live near Galveston, but my kids have never seen clear water before. Which beach would you recommend for a day trip?
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:36 AM   #2
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I am headed to Mickey's house in July with my dh and our 5 kids (4 teens and 1 toddler). We are renting a car and would like to take one day to go to the beach. We live near Galveston, but my kids have never seen clear water before. Which beach would you recommend for a day trip?
The standard answer would be to go to Cocoa Beach (probably the closest one geographically), and there you could also check out Ron Jon's Surf Shop, which is a tourist attraction in and of itself. The sand there is a light brown color, but generally smooth and easy to walk on for the kids.

I admit a personal bias since I grew up on the other side of the Florida on the Gulf Coast, but unless you like colder water and bigger waves, I prefer those beaches on the West side of the state, which is really not that much further of a drive. Clearwater Beach has great fine quartz white sand that barely sticks to your skin - the waves here are generally smaller and the water is much warmer.

My favorite beach, though, is Sarasota's Siesta Key. Dr. Beach voted it the best beach in the country a few years ago.

http://www.drbeach.org/top10beaches.htm

That is going to be an almost 2 hour drive from Orlando though, so probably a bit long for a day trip.

One last thought - you might want to check the red-tide warnings before you get in the car and drive somewhere. The NOAA has a warning system in place that you can check on line:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/hab/

Whatever you do, enjoy and have fun.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:19 AM   #3
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With teens I would head to the East Coast. They will love Ron Jons, the waves, boogey boarding, watching surfers, etc. Your kids have seen the Gulf now time to show them an ocean. It is a totally different experience. Check out the beach at the pier, Erna Nixon Park, or even come farther South to the Melbourne area. Here (the Space Coast) except for in city parks in a couple places, the parking is free. All county beach accesses or parks are free. No private beaches even at the hotels. The county parks all have restrooms/changing areas and many have food stands. The beaches are never crowded since we have 72 miles of beach to explore.

Remember all water is clear, it is just the position of the sun,clouds, and the bottom that gives free flowing water a color. The East coast water has all the colors depending on the day and time you are there.

We rarely have a red tide on the East Coast near Cocoa Beach. Can only remember once in the 38 years I have lived on the Space Coast.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:45 AM   #4
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Thanks so much for the responses! Sounds like we may head East.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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With teens I would head to the East Coast. They will love Ron Jons, the waves, boogey boarding, watching surfers, etc. Your kids have seen the Gulf now time to show them an ocean. It is a totally different experience. Check out the beach at the pier, Erna Nixon Park, or even come farther South to the Melbourne area. Here (the Space Coast) except for in city parks in a couple places, the parking is free. All county beach accesses or parks are free. No private beaches even at the hotels. The county parks all have restrooms/changing areas and many have food stands. The beaches are never crowded since we have 72 miles of beach to explore.

Remember all water is clear, it is just the position of the sun,clouds, and the bottom that gives free flowing water a color. The East coast water has all the colors depending on the day and time you are there.

We rarely have a red tide on the East Coast near Cocoa Beach. Can only remember once in the 38 years I have lived on the Space Coast.
What a great promo for the Cocoa Beach area .

We have a beach day slated for our August trip. I am particularly excited about it, as I've never seen the ocean before (in photos, of course, but not in person). We have decided on Cocoa Beach as DS is eager to visit Ron Jon's, but everyone seems to frown on Cocoa when compared to Clearwater. Your post has got us excited again!
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:32 AM   #6
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Thx rbflmom!!!

We also have a beach day planned and after reading tons of info decided on Cocoa Beach. You have reassured me that I made a good decision for my group. We plan to leave Bonnet Creek about 7AM and get there by 8:30ish and leave by 1PM. We still want to enjoy the late afternoon and evening at Epcot plus we have 5 o'clock ADRs are Kouzzina's.


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Old 05-05-2013, 12:53 PM   #7
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Thx rbflmom!!!

We also have a beach day planned and after reading tons of info decided on Cocoa Beach. You have reassured me that I made a good decision for my group. We plan to leave Bonnet Creek about 7AM and get there by 8:30ish and leave by 1PM. We still want to enjoy the late afternoon and evening at Epcot plus we have 5 o'clock ADRs are Kouzzina's.


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If you do want white sands instead of our regular sand, Ponce Inlet beaches have the white sand. There is also a light house that you can tour for something like $5. It does not take a whole lot longer to get there. I have some pictures on the Florida Forum of City-Data message boards if you want to see what the East Coast looks like. Not sure if I have Cocoa Beach, but will check and add some if not.
Have fun....just a FYI when my nephews stay at Disney with their kids and come spend the day at the beach-they never return when they plan. The kids have so much fun they stay on the beach till dark, then eat here on the beach, and then hit the shops after supper, getting back to Orlando area around d Midnight. Last year one nephew did both coasts.The kids(15,11,and 6) were bored in Naples and St. Pete and spent more time in the room playing games than on the beach but had a blast on the East coast.
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