Florida Beaches

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by jshowe, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. jshowe

    jshowe Earning My Ears

    Jan 25, 2004
    We are headed to WDW the first week of April.

    We are considering taking a day to head over to the ocean and check out a decent beach. Anyone have any suggestions as to good places to go ? It is DH, myself, and DD-13 and DD-16. We usually just like to hang out in the sun for a while, play on the beach, and tour local shops/restaurants etc.

    we have decided to head to the Atlantic side and not the Gulf side.

    any suggestions ?
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  3. arthur06

    arthur06 DDC #689

    Oct 26, 2008
    I am not an expert on the Atlantic side at all (we have only been to Cape Canaveral and Daytona), so if you decide on the Gulf I could offer more suggestions...

    I would recommend Siesta Key... Go over to Tampa, go over the Sunshine Bridge, drive down the coast and hit Siesta Key. A bunch of fun beach shops and restaurants. I would also suggest a restaurant called Yoders.


    It is probably the best meal you will have! The beach is like baby powder. I strongly urge you to consider this!
  4. DanaAustinChelsea

    DanaAustinChelsea DIS Veteran

    Apr 29, 2008
    I second the Gulf side! It's gorgeous :love:
  5. Wadecool

    Wadecool DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    The beaches on the Atlantic do not even come close to the Gulf! Check out St Pete Beach.
  6. chris31997

    chris31997 Disney Kid at Heart

    Dec 9, 2010
    I agree with what other people have said. The gulf beaches are the prettiest and nicest. I might be a little biast being from that side of FL. :rotfl: If you are looking for character you can check out Daytona. Not sure if you can still drive on the beach, it has been a few years. New Symerna, St Augustine(think historic) are right around there also. Can't really recommend too much.
  7. Orlando Vic

    Orlando Vic Mouseketeer

    Jan 28, 2009
    I must agree that the Gulf beaches are nicer.

    If you are determined to go to the Atlantic side, a very good beach (near St. Augustine) is Crescent Beach, mid-way between Palm Coast and St. Augustine Beach. Here is an area map: http://www.beacherslodge.com/images/content/mapofstaugustine.pdf It is also off the radar of most visitors to Central Florida, so you won't hear much buzz about it.

    I personally don't care for Daytona Beach. It has hard-packed sand (i.e. uncomfortable to lie on) and allows cars to drive by. I do not find this relaxing at all. Also, last year, two small children were struck and killed (in two separate accidents) by moving vehicles on the beach.

    I don't care for New Smyrna Beach either. You also have cars driving on the beach. Just Google "shark bite capitol of the world" and see what you get. The answer: New Smyrna Beach. Now, it's true that there have been no life-threatening injuries there - mostly surfers getting bitten on the leg or foot. But, I don't need that at all.

    Cocoa Beach is nearby and family-friendly. Check out Lori Wilson Park: http://www.beachhunter.net/cocoa-beach/lori-wilson-park.htm
  8. arthur06

    arthur06 DDC #689

    Oct 26, 2008
    Have you reconsidered the Gulf side yet?
  9. John Tag

    John Tag Mouseketeer

    Feb 28, 2011
    We did Daytona Beach lastyear after our Disney trip. WE had a great time, Beach was clean and lots to do in the area. They had very cool laydown bikes to ride the beach, 4 wheelers ect. Our kids had a blast there.
  10. Goofy_Disney_Dad

    Goofy_Disney_Dad Can go Grumpy on occasion too...

    May 26, 2010
    Just got back a few days ago from a trip and we went to Cocoa Beach for a day and I recommend it highly. We did Clearwater beach on the gulf side a couple years ago and I honestly don't see a big difference for a simple day trip.

    I think we enjoy Cocoa Beach because it didn't seem as crowded and busy as Clearwater did.

    Just my opinion. Decision is yours...
  11. LovinPooh

    LovinPooh DIS Veteran

    Jun 23, 2008
    We loved Daytona Beach. Parked the car on the beach for $5 and was all set. Loved it! Clean and beautiful.
    I had considered Johns Pass on Gulf side. Have heard its grogeous over there. We just decided to go with East coast.
  12. BeckyKay

    BeckyKay Disney Darling

    Mar 15, 2011
    Emerald Coast all the way!! I used to live moments from the beach in South Florida. When my husband was in Flight school, we discovered (for us) the Emerald Coast. Now, it is an annual vacation spot. We just moved less than an hour away from the Emerald Coast :)
  13. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone DIS Veteran

    Apr 29, 2009
    Atlantic beaches are nice, but not as nice as the Gulf coast beaches. I would want to warn you about the under-toe on the Atlantic side, make sure you understand what it is and how to get out if you get into it. Also make sure everyone is a strong swimmer for this day at the beach. My suggestions for a gulf beach day would be
    Long Boat Key, check out the sand dollar bar and restaurant
    Sand Key Park, which is really clearwater, It is just not the main beach, then you could check out all the shops and restaurants, Gators on the pass is a great family restaurant on Johns pass, some shops on each side of the pass.
    Fort Desoto great beach there is a old fort to explore, nice bath house. Take a picnic lunch there are several sandwich shop along the way.

    Also if you want to get off the beaten path - check out Florida on a tank full - these are day trips of a tank out gas.

    No matter what you do, please remember to take only memories and leave only footprints.

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