Cocoa or Daytona Beach

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by vellamint, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. vellamint

    vellamint DIS Veteran

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    Okay - we have decided NOT to travel the extra hour to go to Clearwater Beach.

    Can those in-the-know please tell me which of these two beaches are "better". Is the water/waves the same. How about the sand. Is there anything "extra" there....I think I read that Daytona has a boardwalk? Rentals of anything on the beach? There ARE bathrooms aren't there?

    I know, some silly questions but.....

    Thanking you in advance for your time.
     
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  3. nightowlky

    nightowlky <font color=navy>I should start my own Super Nanny

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    I've become less and less impressed with Daytona's Boardwalk area the last few years. They've been doing a lot of work, though, and seem to be trying to make it better. A couple of hotels have been completely redone down there and there's now a multi-level complex with shopping, restaurants, and a movie theater but the rest of the Boardwalk area seems to be getting more and more run-down each year. The restaurant on the pier isn't as good as it used to be either.

    There's plenty to do there, though. Bike rentals, ATV rentals, I think even jet ski rentals. Minigolf. Gambling cruises. Daytona Speedway.

    Can't compare to Cocoa Beach as I've never been there.
     
  4. oobidoo

    oobidoo Mouseketeer

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    A few years ago we went on down the coast a bit and stayed at Indialantic (spelling?) beach, and we were the ONLY people, besides one little old man fishing, on our stretch of beach. It was awesome! We found a couple of little hole in the wall, but VERY good places to eat, and it was relatively inexpensive. While the kids were in the pool one evening, the fisherman, who I'm sure was a local, brought a baby shark up to the pool to show them that he caught.

    Also, my DH and friend sat out on the beach and watched the sea turtles come up and lay their eggs. It was at 3 am, so the rest of us all got too tired and turned in before they made their appearance.

    If you are looking for less crowd and less thongs, there are a few quaint little beaches just a short drive from there.
     
  5. Lila95

    Lila95 Mouseketeer

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    I haven't been to Cocoa Beach, but the last time I was at Daytona it was very crowded and dirty. The area we were in even allowed cars on the beach which was a big turn off. On our upcoming trip to FL, we wanted to have family pictures done at the beach and asked the photographer where they suggested we have them done. Cocoa Beach was their first pick. She said it is very clean and not overly crowded.
     
  6. zenkatt

    zenkatt Earning my beers!!!

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    Cocoa is a much quieter beach,,yes probably cleaner and less crowded but we find it booooooring :rolleyes1 Daytona is the most famous beach in the world for a reason, theres lots of stuff to do in the area(for all ages) and i like the crowds(hey make some friends!!!) :dance3: But it's about what you are looking for.
     
  7. vellamint

    vellamint DIS Veteran

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    What is there to do on the beach besides swimming at Daytona! I think I read somewhere that you can go on a banana boat???? Is that true????

    If I am coming from Kissimmee....is there a particular street or area that I should drive too....I am not familiar with how far and wide Daytona goes.....
     
  8. nightowlky

    nightowlky <font color=navy>I should start my own Super Nanny

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    Just take I-4 North (or is it East?) and then it'll merge with I-95 (North). Get off at the Speedway exit and drive until you hit water! :teeth:

    A1A runs up and down the coastline and there are just miles of hotels. You could head south to the lighthouse at Ponce Inlet or up north past Ormond Beach to Matanzas (sp?) State Park (watch out for tons of insects). There's also Beach St. which is on the other side of the causeway. Some shopping/restaurants down there but maybe only enough to keep you busy for an hour or two. I did pick up a nice antique lamp from down there and had it shipped home.
     
  9. becca011906

    becca011906 DIS Veteran

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    we've been to cocoa beach 2 times in the past, i love it, it was very clean imo especially for hurricans to have gone through just a few weeks before we went last sept. we loved going to ron jon's and shop, it was lots of fun for the kids too. we pulled into some public acess site that was $5 to park there and NO re entry but it had bathrooms, showers (outside the bathrooms to like wash the sand off of you, the bathrooms were clean IMO. I can remember how far down it was .... i'll ask dh if he remembers if you want me too!!!
     
  10. winniethepoohsmom

    winniethepoohsmom DIS Veteran

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    We went to clearwater on one of our trips, very nice town but a further drive than we thought. We went to the west coast thinking the water might be a bit calmer than the east coast, but I would definetly try the east coast next time (more time at the beach less time driving). I have heard cocoa beach is a nice clean family beach and daytona is wilder. I do remember going as a kid and could'nt get over all the cars driving on the beach. But I would think a lot of the college kids would be heading back to school when you are going, so it may not be so crowded.
     
  11. Cdn Friends of Pooh

    Cdn Friends of Pooh Certified Mousejunkie

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    We've been to both Cocoa and Daytona and much prefer Cocoa. As previously mentioned Daytona is getting very run down and dirty.
     
  12. drp4video

    drp4video DIS Veteran

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    I am debating this as well. DD and I were to go to St Pete's beach on the gulf the end of May, but my dad passed away, so we canceled. Now we are going August 15-19, and don't want to drive to the gulf so we are thinking Daytona or cocoa, (then WDW August 19-22 of course). DD is almost 19, and I am, well, never mind, lol, but not sure if she would want to be seen with me at Daytona. But also not sure that she won't be bored crazy at Cocoa beach. It seems there is more to do at Daytona.

    The purpose of this trip is the beach for her, but worry she will be bored especially at night.

    Any good hotel recommendations at either place?
     
  13. BurkeTribe

    BurkeTribe Freak for stress-free fun

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    I would suggest not booking ahead of time in Daytona (except for Bike Week, Black College Week, Spring Break, or a NASCAR race). Instead, I would suggest just driving down Atlantic Avenue and seeing which motel looks best to you. Closer to Main Street / Pier might be better.

    Personally I would probably choose a clean beachside smaller "Mom and Pop" like the Cardinal (search for "Cardinal"and "Daytona" to find their site) or similar, or a clean small-midsize corporate hotel.
    (but note, my info is pre-hurricanes, so much may have changed with many motels down there).
     
  14. sweetheart2576

    sweetheart2576 Disney Fanatic

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    if you plan on spending the night I suggest ocean walk resort. www.oceanwalk.com

    We love it here. Very clean, close to pier, washer/dryer in rooms. For august it is running 127 for an oceanfront hotel. just look under hot deals. lazy river, pool with slide, kiddie waterplay area, indoor minigolf, daily activities etc....
     
  15. drp4video

    drp4video DIS Veteran

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    wow that looks awesome, didn't see it in the AAA book. I think I might stay there...just have to decide on the room size for me and DD, age 18..not sure an ocean view is needed, but think an studio effeciency might be too small, and we need two beds. THanks I am checking this out!
     
  16. drp4video

    drp4video DIS Veteran

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    xcept now my daughter says she hates crowds and wants a cleaner beach, so I guess it is back to Cocoa..lol
     
  17. SRRN

    SRRN Mouseketeer

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    It would depend on what you're looking for...quiet-Cocoa.
    If you're looking for a little piazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-Daytona!!!!!
     
  18. Snoopymom

    Snoopymom DIS Veteran

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    Here's some info I've posted a bunch of times now. Maybe it will help. Also, I left St Augustine there in case you're interested. I haven't been to Cocoa beach, but Bernards ia an excellent restuarant.
    http://www.BERNARDSSURF.COM/


    Daytona Beach

    We've only been during off season, but we went during Memorial Day week this year and it wasn't really crowded, but there was a lot going on with people para sailing and bungee bouncing or whatever it's called on the pier, nice Summer beach vibe.


    For hotels, I'd ONLY recommend the Hilton
    http://www.daytonahilton.com/contactus.htm

    and the Ocean Walk Resort, which has 2 indoor pools and the outdoor pool has a lazy river, a slide and a great kiddie pool with it's own slides and tunnels, etc. (We're staying 3 nights during Thanksgiving week for the Turkey Run car show, I can't wait!)
    http://www.oceanwalk.com/

    which has the Ocean Walk village connected to it with restaurants, a Bubba Gumps, a mexican place, and a movie theater. It's so nice to have everything within walking distance.
    http://www.oceanwalkvillage.com/home.html

    The speedway is fun. It has been awhile, but we loved taking the tour where you get to go on the track and walk on the bank
    http://www.daytonaintlspeedway.com/

    The Marine Science Center is a neat little place, only takes an hour or two and it's like $5 to get in. It's right next to the lighthouse.
    http://echotourism.com/msc/

    The lighthouse at Ponce Inlet is neat
    http://www.ponceinlet.org/

    and there is a nice restaurant there called Down the Hatch where you can watch sailboats and the most beautiful sun sets and another called The Inlet Harbor
    http://www.inletharbor.com/

    There is a chocolate factory, but we've never been.
    http://www.angellandphelps.com/


    We love to just walk around the board walk, eat taffy, ride the bumper cars, the sky lift, play in the arcades and sit on the pier at the outdoor restaurant. It has that tacky old carnival feel to it, but it's fun. There's music on the weekends at the BandShell next to the pier, but we've always missed it.
    http://virtualvolusia.com/Pier1.html
    http://www.bandshell.org/

    There is a new water park that we haven't been to yet
    http://daytonalagoon.com/

    There's also a dog track. When we go with extended family, the guys like to get together and go. It's a little seedy, LOL.
    http://www.dbkennelclub.com/information.htm

    Our favorite restaurant is the Ocean Deck. It has a great view of the ocean.
    http://www.oceandeck.com/

    The Oyster Pub is a sports bar, great for snacks, and if you're looking for somewhere to watch your "can't miss" football game. (They have a room and big screen just for Steelers fans, it's a blast!) The website is usually messed up
    http://www.oysterpub.com/

    For breakfast Steve's Famous Diner is good, and Billy's Tap Room is awesome, a little pricey but worth it and Aunt Catfishs is Southern style comfort food, kid friendly type of place.

    http://www.billys-tap.com/
    http://www.auntcatfish.com/




    St Augustine

    Besides the guided city tours, haunted tours and the "oldest" school, house, jail...everything tours, LOL, and the great shopping in the quaint stores along the cobble stone streets, we've done

    The Alligator Farm which is fun. We liked Gator Land in Orlando a little more.
    http://www.alligatorfarm.com/

    We've done this chocolate factory tour. It's free and only takes about 45 minutes.
    http://www.whetstonechocolates.com/

    Loved this winery. They had some wonderful homemade grape juice for the kids too.
    http://www.sansebastianwinery.com/

    We haven't taken the lighthouse tour yet, but it looks like one of the most picturesque ones.
    http://www.staugustinelighthouse.com/

    Marine Land is now closed, and that's a good thing. Hopefully they will refurbish it. It has a lot of neat history, but it was not worth the money.

    This cruise was a blast. We saw some dolphins and the captain let ds steer the boat for quite awhile.
    http://www.scenic-cruise.com/

    There are tons of neat little restaurants in town, but one of our favorites is Harry's, it's a lot like Pat O'Brian's. We like to sit in the courtyard.
    http://www.hookedonharrys.com/

    Creekside Dinery has great seafood and a nice outside deck with a fire pit. Owned by the same people as Salt Water Cowboys, but this place seems a little less touristy.
    http://www.creeksidedinery.com/rest.html

    The Oasis is a casual place, good for breakfast
    http://www.worldfamousoasis.com/

    The Sunset Grill is pretty good
    http://www.sunsetgrillea1a.com/

    My favorite is The Beachcomer, which doesn't have a website, but it's an itty bitty barefoot picnic table type of place right on the beach, and it's a fun place to get some oysters or peel and eat shrimp.

    My in-laws just moved from there and we used to stay with them, so I can't really recommend a hotel. There are some great looking B&B's in the heart of the city, but if you wanted to stay on the beach, I'd recommend a condo. It seems like most of the hotels are across the street from the beach. We did stay at Anastasia condos once and they were nice.
    http://www.staugustine.com/visit/ac...s/lodging.shtml


    Have fun planning!
     
  19. Snoopymom

    Snoopymom DIS Veteran

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    Some pics of Daytona

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. KLAIT

    KLAIT DIS Veteran

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    Definately Cocoa Beach for us. Much cleaner and not nearly as busy as Daytona. Like one of the posters said, cars running up and down the beach. Didn't care for it
     
  21. Lcm2108

    Lcm2108 Mouseketeer

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    I like Cocoa myself---closer and quieter.

    Another option would be New Smyrna. Cars are allowed in some places and it is between Cocoa and Daytona. It is 12 miles from Daytona if you could drive across the lagoon/jetty thing. There is even a dog beach at New Smyrna.

    I think I prefer New Smyrna to both as we don't have to "haul" our gear (umbrella, chairs, beach bag, etc.). We just open the vehicle, take it out with no hauling! We even leave the cooler in the vehicle as we are parked right there.

    OK. Now I'm having beach withdrawals.....

    Lisa
     

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