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7 Stunning Beaches That Make Orlando a Must-Visit

Orlando is globally acclaimed as the theme park capital because of the numerous fun and excitement centers that are Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld among others that attract millions of people in a year. However, the tourist will be pleased to know that some atypical beaches in Orlando prove that there is more to this city than fun and enjoyment; there is beauty too.

These beaches appeal greatly for a break from the bustle of the parks with their lovely sugar-white sands, calm water, and plenty of seashells. Go to the beach to tan, shovel some sand, swim in the water, or just relax and listen to the waves. From big barrier islands to little local gems, these seven beaches enable Orlando to be a must-see: From secret local gems to expansive barrier islands, these seven beaches make Orlando a must-see:

1. Cocoa Beach
Only an hour’s drive from Orlando, Cocoa Beach can truly be classified as the most famed and indeed, the most popular of all the beaches in the area. The sand is very clean, tightly packed, good for any beach activity and the 3 miles of groomed shorelines offer enough space despite high traffic. Pay a visit to any of the snack bars and restaurants located on the boardwalk, or take a surfboard and have some practice in the mildly challenging waves. As always, do not leave without taking pictures beside one of the most famous settings- the Cocoa Beach Pier.

2. New Smyrna Beach
The beach has been on the list of the most beautiful beaches in Florida; it has vast and powdery golden sand with seashells spread all over it with a backing of dunes and a tree line. Come with children – this beach has zones for surfing, fishing, leisure on the coast, and many other things. It is advised to come in the early morning to have the chance to see the sandbars in the sea which are fantastic play zones for the kids on low tide.

3. Playalinda Beach
Playalinda Beach is situated in part of the Cape Canaveral National Seashore, and this beach does not have that realistic feel of civilization since it’s secluded and not commercialized at all. White sandy beaches with trails of sea oats mark the concrete-like gentle hills leading to long beach areas that seem to stretch to infinity. Besides swimming and sunbathing, there is one more attraction, which is the Playalinda beaches: good bird watching and viewing of wildlife. Be careful in the summer months when sea turtles may be nesting on the island.

4. Canaveral National Seashore
Only a few miles from Kennedy Space Center, Canaveral National Seashore is a historic wildlife area with scenic sandy beaches in the southernmost part of Florida. Stroll through nature trails through the oak hammocks and lagoons, and take a boat ride to the untamed Mosquito Lagoon area, which is perfect for fishing enthusiasts, similarly, the shores formed a curve that sometimes can produce large waves for surfing. It is also famous for rocket launches and you can arrange your visit to coincide with a rocket launch visible from the beach.

5. Winter Park Beaches
When downtown Orlando begins to feel slightly suffocating, take a momentary escape to Winter Park’s chain of lakes. Small sections of lakes Virginia, Maitland, Osceola, and other bodies of water contain more crowded “beaches’ which are not very large but contain sand, recreational amenities, and picturesque scenery. While it might be packed on any summer weekend, these urban paradises are a perfect cure for any beach withdrawal.

6. Kelly Park Rock Springs
Conveniently located an hour outside of Orlando, the 9,000-acre Kelly Park could hardly be more mythical, with its water coming directly from a natural spring and flowing into Rock Springs Run. It also has opportunities for water activities that include swimming, tubing, or even the use of a kayak as you navigate through the river surrounded by dense forest. Leinster Gardens is free to the public and the park provides additional facilities such as picnic tables, cook-out grills, and food trucks within the compound to make the park even more attractive and stunning.

7. Wekiwa Springs State Park
Lovingly nestled in Central Florida’s interior, the swimming area at Wekiwa Springs State Park has been blessed with a large natural underground spring that feeds the numerous lagoons with aqua-blue water and soft white sand bottom, or rather, a zero-entry beach. Float through the “beach” or lay back in inner tubes and observe creatures such as birds, turtles, and on rare occasions, even a manatee that feeds in the river from the St Johns River that borders the park.

Orlando might just be a landlocked city, but when beaches like these are within the city limits, who needs the ocean? It would be quite remiss to not include at least some of these natural wonders on a typical trip to the beach in Central Florida. So grab your cooler, let your skin tan with sunscreen, and never forget your camera to capture beautiful scenes. Soon you will understand why Orlando’s beaches are referred to as the best hidden treasure that augments the already great vacation destination for a theme park lover or not. Go on, feel the magic of the waves!


Are these beaches near Orlando?

Orlando is located inland, so the beaches on this list will be a day trip (usually within a 1-2 hour drive) from the city.

Are these beaches family-friendly?

The list likely includes a mix of beaches. Some might be ideal for families with calm waters and soft sand, while others might be better suited for surfers or experienced swimmers.

What amenities are available at these beaches?

Beach amenities can vary. Some might have restrooms, changing facilities, and concession stands, while others might be more natural and have minimal amenities. The provided list likely won't have specific details, so it's recommended to research each beach before your visit.

What time of year is best to visit these beaches?

Florida generally has a warm climate year-round. However, peak season (summer) can mean larger crowds and higher prices. Consider shoulder seasons (spring and fall) for potentially better weather and smaller crowds.

Do I need to rent any equipment?

This depends on your planned activities. Beach chairs, umbrellas, and water sports equipment might be available for rent at some beaches.