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Beaches around Disney

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by butterflygirl3, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. butterflygirl3

    butterflygirl3 Mouseketeer

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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 :)
     
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  3. MickeyMouseFanNJ

    MickeyMouseFanNJ Earning My Ears

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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.
     
  4. swilshire

    swilshire DIS Veteran

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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
     
  5. HayGan

    HayGan We could all use some pixie dust now and then :)<b

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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.
     
  6. Sunnywho

    Sunnywho DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  7. swilshire

    swilshire DIS Veteran

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    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.

    Sheila
     
  8. AJKMOM

    AJKMOM DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  9. alice99

    alice99 DIS Veteran

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    Is there a lot of public parking/public access beaches?

    Can you direct me to some, if possible?
     
  10. GirlDreamer

    GirlDreamer DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  11. NJRRK

    NJRRK DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  12. ready2vacation

    ready2vacation Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  13. Anc96

    Anc96 DIS Veteran

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    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!
     
  14. HayGan

    HayGan We could all use some pixie dust now and then :)<b

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  15. mickeyluv'r

    mickeyluv'r DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  16. Orlando Vic

    Orlando Vic Mouseketeer

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    Yes, and a number of people (including some small children) have beet hit by these cars.
     
  17. butterflygirl3

    butterflygirl3 Mouseketeer

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    OP here - thank you for all the tips!!! My hubby and I were talking about a beach day on the way down and he said, "I will have to research it to see what I can come up with!" I said, "Don't worry about it, I will ask on my disboards, they will help us!!! " And you didn't let me down :) Thanks so much!!!
     
  18. butterflygirl3

    butterflygirl3 Mouseketeer

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    So, I want to take my kids to the beautiful soft sandy beach, look for seashells, build sandcastles and jump in the waves. Which beach am I wanting? Or is it out there? :) Forgive me if I sound like in a fantasy world I haven't been to the beach in over 15 years. :)
     
  19. alice99

    alice99 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks so much for the great link! I will be visiting Clearwater this August!

    I think Gulf Beaches are better for what you are looking for. there are parks attached to some of these beaches, for grilling , hanging out.
    I haven't been to a Gulf beach in 15 years myself, but with small kids I'd head to the Gulf instead of to the Ocean.
    The BIG waves are on the Ocean side, like Cocoa Beach or Daytona Beach.
     
  20. mickeyluv'r

    mickeyluv'r DIS Veteran

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    I've actually never been to the FL Gulf coast, to be fair, or at least not since I was very young, but I've been to other bay areas and lakes. To me, it's not a real beach unless there are real waves. A big part of the beach is hearing the sound of surf.

    Yes, you have to be careful with small kids at any beach, but especially ones where they allow cars. As far as I've seen though, the vehicles stay in a single lane/zone, and the blankets stay in another. But if I had toddlers, Daytona might not be my first pick for a week long visit.

    The resort I mentioned also has a beautiful beach view pool. So that's the best of both worlds. You can go down on the sand for a bit, hit the surf, then head up by the pool.
     
  21. alice99

    alice99 DIS Veteran

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    If I was going to an east coast/Atlantic beach I personally would choose Cocoa Beach, definitely over Daytona Beach.
     

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