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Florida's Beaches - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Places to Visit

Florida is blessed with many excellent beaches and visiting one can be inexpensive and make a pleasant change from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks.
The sun-kissed sands are an excellent place to top-up your tan and recharge your batteries!

Listed below are a few of the best known and most popular beaches.

THE ATLANTIC COAST

Cocoa Beach is one of Florida’s famous party beaches and as the closest seaside town to Orlando, approximately 50 miles east, it naturally attracts lots of day visitors. Cocoa Beach is also extremely popular with anglers. A trip to Cocoa Beach takes about an hour via the Beeline Expressway.

Daytona Beach is one of America’s best known seaside resorts and has 23 miles of long, broad sandy beach. Daytona is famous as the setting for a number of land speed records and cars are still allowed on the sands today, but nowadays speeds are limited to 10mph.These days it’s a modern, cheap and cheerful sort of place but there is enough faded grandeur around to bring a strong sense of nostalgia for childhood holidays spent in similar resorts.

Although swimming is generally safe and the sands are perfect for making the most ornate sandcastles, the Atlantic waters can be cold and rough in the winter months so visitors are encouraged to swim and play under the watchful eye of the local lifeguards. Daytona Beach is approximately 55 miles northeast of Orlando and can be reached in about 1½ hours via the I-4.

THE GULF COAST

Gulf coast beaches tend to be far more attractive than those on the Atlantic and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico are generally warm and gentle by comparison.

Approximately 100 miles from Orlando, Clearwater and St Petersburg beaches are part of the 28-mile strip of clean, safe, white sands that make up the famed Pinellas Suncoast. These beaches can be reached in about 2 hours.

Clearwater Beach has been named the top city beach in the Gulf region on a number of occasions. Pier 60 Park features a family recreation complex on Clearwater's expansive beach with covered playgrounds, fishing and concessions. The “Sunsets at Pier 60” festival features music, entertainment and a beautiful Gulf of Mexico sunset throughout the year.

For even better beaches, head a little further south to Sarasota, 127 miles southwest of Orlando, where the soft, round, white grains of sugar-like sand provide some of the best sunbathing in the whole state.

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Page added on: 27 November 2005
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