Are you trying to figure out, What is the best beach close to Disney World? Trust me, I understand your curiosity.
When you’ve been to Disney World a couple of times (or a couple hundred times), you start wondering what lies outside those hallowed gates.
And then it strikes you– you’re in sunny Florida! There are so many beaches you could begin walking blindly in any direction and happen upon one! (Well… almost)
But you don’t want to go to just any beach on your Disneycation. You want to go to the BEST BEACH around!
That’s when you google: “best beach close to Disney World’ (because let’s be honest you don’t want to stray that far from the mothership).
And that’s probably how you found this article. So welcome, fellow Disney travelers!
I shall show you the place(s) where you can rest your weary feet and get that tan on! Below is a list of the 9 best beaches close to Disney World. Go on, have a peek. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
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9. Sebastian Inlet, Space Coast of Florida
Disney World is not the only place you can have magical adventures!
If you’re the outdoorsy type and love exploring the ocean, then Sebastian Inlet is the place for you!
It’s got everything– fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling and yes, even surfing. You can even take it up a notch by setting up camp there for a small fee of $28 per night (not including tax).
But the most compelling reason for you to do any of these activities is the view. Breathtaking doesn’t come close to describing the white sands and stunning blue water with smooth pebbles decorating the bottom.
All of this just 79 miles (or about 2 hours) away from Disney World!
Hipster Power Tip: Now that a park service has been opened up near it, you can also explore Sebastian Inlet via boat!
8. Satellite Beach, Florida
A city which is 30% water? SIGN ME UP!
With the Indian River on one side and the Atlantic ocean on the other, Satellite Beach is almost an island. A magnificent island with lush greenery, pale sands and glorious fauna, that is.
Whether hiking at Samson Island’s Nature Preserve is on the cards, kayaking at St John’s River Experience, or just splashing about Pelican Beach, Satellite Beach has something to offer you.
If you’re a real marine life geek, make the drive to the Manatee Sanctuary Park in Cape Canaveral and pay a visit to the rare, majestic creatures that dwell there. Making it the best beach close to Disney for a day trip.
Whatever it is that you choose to do, Satellite Beach is the perfect small town for it! And it’s only an hour and 10 minutes away from Walt Disney World!
Hipster Power Tip: Don’t forget to try Da Kine Diego’s Insane Burritos here! It is as delicious as the name promises and super-close to the beach!
7. Melbourne Beach, Florida
Named after a city where sophistication, taste and poise is valued above all, Melbourne Beach is a haven for the artsy ThemeParkHipsters who also enjoy the sun.
It’s famous for hosting the annual Independent Filmmaker’s Festival, Arts Festival, Aviation Day and even the famed Oktoberfest.
But if that’s not what you’re into, that’s okay!
Melbourne Beach is, after all, a beach! You can snorkel, surf or go fishing. The beach boasts miles and miles of white, unspoiled sand. Get your tan on while admiring the cornflower blue ocean– it’s only an hour and 20 minutes away!
Hipster Power Tip:If you’ve never visited the Kennedy Space Center, then this is your chance! It’s only a short drive away from Melbourne Beach!
6. Vero Beach, Florida
If you’re looking for a rest after all the excitement of Disney World, Vero Beach is the beach for you!
Sure you can jump into the ocean, do crazy water sports and end the day with a round of golf.
But if you’re looking for that elusive peace and quiet, Vero beach has got that too. With its nature tours, art galleries, museums and quaint parks, there’s something for everyone here.
Plus, the food options are great! The small downtown historic shopping area is the perfect spot to wind down after a day of exploration. Watch the sunset as you try cuisines from far-away lands.
The magic of Disney still lingers, even though it’s an hour and 35 minutes away! You can even stay at the Disney Vacation Club resort in Vero Beach. Keeping the charm of the parks with you.
Hipster Power Tip: If you’re exploring the little rivers by the parks, look out for beautiful manatees!
5. Siesta Beach, Florida
Siesta Beach, true to its name, is the perfect spot to forget all your worries and cannonball into the gloriously warm water.
Welcome to the home of relaxation galore! With its famous quartz sand that almost melts away at your feet to the sterling blue waters, Siesta Beach is nothing short of an island paradise. No wonders it’s won the #1 Beach in the US award, not once but twice!
But gorgeous beaches aside, there’s a lot more you can do here– especially at night. The nightlife of the island is very colorful and vibrant. But if you’re the quiet kind, there’s a variety of hotels and resorts that offer great dinner packages!
While it is a 2 hour drive, I would argue that the journey is totally worth it!
Hipster Power Tip: If you want to travel easily around this 8-mile island, just take the free trolley that runs through it!
4. Fort De Soto Park: St. Petersburg, Florida
Now that we’re on the other side of this list, it’s getting competitive. I mean how can you beat a vacation spot named Siesta?
Well, clearly, you haven’t been to Fort De Soto Beach yet!
It’s a park/beach/island/paradise nestled between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico– just an hour and 40 minutes away from Disney World.
Here, you can live your best vacation life in your loudest Hawaiian shirt– go fishing or camping if you’re the outdoorsy type.
Or you might enjoy something a little more strenuous like canoeing, kayaking or biking to explore this little piece of sandy heaven.
During sunset, you can duck into the magnificent ruins of historical forts. An escape from life never felt so real.
Hipster Power Tip:If you want to take the whole ‘getaway’ experience up a notch, catch the ferry to Egmont Key and explore its secluded beaches, quaint lighthouse and historic ruins! If you’re lucky, you might even see dolphins on the way there!
3. Clearwater Beach, Florida
Twice named the ‘Best Beach in Florida’, Clearwater Beach has made its way into our Top Three!
Just the place to kick your feet up after the exciting but exhausting trip to Disney World. Clearwater Beach the beach version of a hammock!
You can go all out with the Calypso Queen Tropical Party Buffet Cruise after a day in the sun. Or you can relax in the lap of nature, quietly observing the turtles, or if you’re more daring, have an encounter with the dolphins on an adventure tour!
It’s crystal-clear, shallow waters are ideal for lazy paddling and observing schools of fish flint around.
Just an hour and 35 minutes from Disney World, this beach is pure tropical bliss.
Hipster Power Tip: Clearwater Beach is known for its great dining options, so do take a moment from your tropical vacation to scout for good dining options!
2. Honeymoon Island State Park, Florida
Romantic. Pristine. Pure.
These are one of the many words used to describe Honeymoon Island State Park over the years.
It’s one of those places. Places where you feel like you have stepped through the veil that separates reality from your dreams.
So, walk or kayak along the untouched sands and rolling water, gather your thoughts and take deep breaths of salty air. This is a wild oasis that holds you close, allowing you to rediscover yourself.
Just an hour and a half away from Disney World, this is the reset button you’re looking for.
Hipster Power Tip: Honeymoon Island and it’s sister Caladesi, once separated by a hurricane, are a shell’s throw away from each other. Don’t forget to pay both of them a visit if you’ve got time!
1. Jupiter Beach, Florida
If you’re looking to stay in the Magic Kingdom just a while longer but also need a beachy vacation, head over to Jupiter Beach!
I promise the magic will stay with you! Welcome to one of USA’s Happiest Seaside Towns!
If you’re looking for the beach that has it all– stunning vistas, tons of wildlife, live concerts, scuba-diving, and lip-smacking food– Jupiter Beach is your best bet!
You can splash about in the palm-lined beaches or go on the turtle hatchling walk (it’s adorable!), then visit the Roger Dean Stadium where both Florida Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals come for Spring Training!
Not a sports fan? That’s okay!
You can paddle along the Loxahatchee River or kayak on the beach. There’s a place where you can hike and bike on the beach trails. You can also have a picnic in the glorious Dubois Park. Making it the best beach close to Disney.
The possibilities are endless– and totally worth the 2 hour 20 minutes drive down there!
Hipster Power Tip: The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse is a must-see if you visit this beach. Apart from the stunning views, the boardwalk and observatory are rife with opportunities for spotting local wildlife.
What to Know Before Your Walt Disney World Vacation
Now that you know what the beach close to Disney World is, let’s go through a few things you should know before your trip.
What is the closest beach to Disney World?
Cocoa beach is the closest beach to Disney World and is just over an hour away. It’s on the Space Coast of Florida and is beautiful in its own right, but unfortunately did not make the cut for our list.
How far is Disney World from the ocean?
Disney World is approximately 70 miles away from the Atlantic Ocean.
Are the beaches you mentioned better than Cocoa Beach?
Yes definitely! The beaches I talk about in this article are safer and calmer. They are also full of fun activities and wildlife! Who says going to the beach is only about the sand and sea?
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Top Florida Beach Tips for Your Disney Vacation
1. Plan Your Pitstops
The last thing you want on vacation is to be stranded in the middle of an isolated road. Scout the nearest gas stations so you can refill gas, take a toilet break and grab something to eat!
2. Always Confirm Accommodations
Don’t expect to show up and have a room waiting for you. Always book in advance because nothing ruins a vacation faster than having to sleep on your suitcase in the car.
Remember, the early bird gets the worm!
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3. Pack for the Detour
Stuff like sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and bathing suits are often neglected when you’re planning a trip to Disney World. So if you even have the slightest intent of visiting a beach later, make sure to pack ALL your beach gear.
Some of these beaches are awesome spots for surfing, so you may also want to have a plan for finding a surfboard for your trip!
Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!
Final Thoughts on the Best Beach Close to Disney
And with that, this extensive list comes to an end!
Disney World is (and this is the undisputed opinion on this blog) one of the best places on Earth. But sometimes you do need to just get away from all the excitement and revisit the simple things in life.
Small beach towns like the ones we’ve talked about are perfect for such a retreat!
For a solo ThemeParkHipster such as yourself, this may give you valuable time to get away from all the hustle and bustle and rediscover yourself.
I know it did that for me. So, all the best on your beachy adventure!
What’s the best beach close to Disney to you? Leave your answer down below in the comments section!
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
UP NEXT: 41 Spectacular Things to Do in Orlando for Adults
(Original Article Date: July 2, 2021/Updated by Editor on June 17, 2022)