The Closest Beaches to Disney World and Orlando Shown on a Map

The Closest Beaches to Disney World

The closest beach to Disney World is Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach is on the Atlantic coast and is approximately 70 miles from the Orlando area. It is a little over an hour’s drive. That being said, there are plenty of other beaches that are within a two-hour drive of Disney World that are worth exploring.

I’ve written before about why I love a combination park/beach vacation. One that we like to take often is to go to the parks in Disney World (whether one or all) and then go to the beach to relax and recover.  But when deciding on what beach to go to, you may want to know what beach is closest to Disney World. We will take a look at several beaches and how far they are from the Orlando area.

Closest Beaches to Disney World

How far is Disney from the ocean? 

The short answer is about 70 miles or so. If you are staying in Orlando, but you want to spend a day at the ocean, then this is definitely doable.  

If you would prefer to split your vacation time between the parks and the beach like my family often likes to do, then here are some great options for beaches that are closest to Walt Disney World.

I personally prefer the Gulf Coast beaches to the Atlantic Coast beaches, but I think all of the following are great options. The popular choices below are ordered according to distance from Walt Disney World and the Orlando area.

All distances and drive time, I got from Google Maps. Disney World is an expansive place so that the miles will vary depending on your starting point within Walt Disney World.

For purposes of determining these distances, I entered Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL, as the starting location (shown as Point A on the map). I entered the name of the beach (with no specific place at that beach) for the ending site (shown as Point B on the map). This will at least give you a general idea of the distances. You can see the map below.

Cocoa Beach

Drive 71 mi, 1 hour, 14 minutes

If you want the beach that is literally the shortest distance, then you will want to consider Cocoa Beach. This beach is an excellent option because it is only a little over an hour’s drive from Disney World and the Orlando area. It is just 71 miles from Disney World.  

Some facts and benefits of Cocoa Beach are:

  • It is on the Atlantic Coast.
  • Cocoa Beach has four (4) parks with beach access.
  • Cape Canaveral is just 5 miles away from Cocoa Beach.
  • Kennedy Space Center is just 15 miles away, and that means there are lots of other things for kids and adults to do nearby, which makes Cocoa Beach an attractive option for families.
  • Cocoa Beach is known for small, consistent waves that are good for learning to surf.

Daytona Beach

Drive 78 mi, 1 hour, 22 minutes

Daytona Beach is the next closest beach to Disney World. It is roughly 78 miles or so from Disney World. It is about an hour and twenty minutes to an hour and a half drive. We have stayed in Daytona Beach and taken a tour of the Daytona Internation Speedway. It was a delightful experience. Some of the facts and benefits of the Daytona Beach area:

  • It is on the Atlantic Coast.
  • Daytona International Speedway is located just about 6 miles from the beach.  They provide tours on certain days that are great for both kids and adults, making Daytona Beach also an attractive option for families.
  • Daytona Beach is known for having 23 miles of hard-packed sand, and driving on the beach is permitted in some areas.

New Smyrna Beach

Drive 78 mi, 1 hour, 23 minutes

New Smyrna Beach is just below Daytona Beach, and according to Google maps is also 78 miles or so from Disney World. It is roughly an hour and a half drive. Some interesting things to know about New Smyrna Beach are:

  • It is on the Atlantic Coast.
  • New Smyrna Beach is known as a favorite among locals (or people from Orlando).
  • Like Daytona Beach, driving on the beach is allowed in specific locations.

Clearwater Beach, Treasure Island and St. Pete Beach

Clearwater Beach: Drive 94 mi, 1 hour, 39 minutes

Treasure Island: Drive 98 mi, 1 hour, 38 minutes

St. Pete Beach: Drive 98 mi, 1 hour, 38 minutes

These beaches are all located close together, so I have combined them so as not to repeat myself. We stayed in Treasure Island for one of our park/beach vacations, and the beach is one of my favorites. We also stayed at Clearwater Beach, and although the beach was beautiful and the water warm, it was very crowded compared to Treasure Island.

Clearwater Beach is located about 94 miles from Walt Disney World, and it is about an hour and a 39-minute drive. This makes it the closest gulf coast beach according to distance from the Orlando area.

Just south of Clearwater Beach is Treasure Island Beach. Treasure Island is about 98 miles from Disney World and takes roughly the same amount of time to get there as it does Clearwater Beach (1 hour and 38 minutes). Just south of Treasure Island is St. Pete Beach. St. Pete Beach is also roughly 98 miles from Disney World and the Orlando area and is 15 miles from Clearwater Beach.  

Some things to know about Clearwater Beach, Treasure Island and St. Pete Beach are:

  • These beaches are on the Gulf Coast.
  • They are all known for their soft white sand.
  • Located just 1.5 miles from Clearwater Beach is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is the home of the dolphin “Winter,” the star of the popular Dolphin Tale movies. Thus, Clearwater Beach is also an excellent choice for families.

I’d also like to note that Busch Gardens, Tampa is about an hour and a half drive from Clearwater. That makes it a nice day trip if you want to have a park/beach vacation.  

Vero Beach

Drive 108 mi, 1 hour, 55 minutes

Vero Beach is approximately 108 miles from Disney World. It is about an hour and a fifty-five-minute drive. Some things to know about Vero Beach are:

  • It is on the Atlantic Coast.
  • It is home to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, a Disney Vacation Club Resort.
  • Vero Beach is part of a region known as the Treasure Coast.
  • Vero Beach is known for its golf, water sports, and fishing.

Siesta Key Beach

Drive 124 mi, 1 hour, 58 minutes

Siesta Key Beach is located approximately 124 miles from Disney World and is just under a two-hour drive. This would make it a little harder (but not impossible) to do in a day from Disney World, but if you are splitting up your vacation between the parks and beach, this is a great option. I have included it here because it is one of my favorites and worth the extra drive, in my opinion.

  • It is on the Gulf Coast.
  • Siesta Beach is known for its quartz-white sand and turquoise waters.
  • Siesta Key Beach Park provides main beach access along with several other public beach access points.

So, in summary, If you are looking for strictly the closest beach to Disney World, Cocoa Beach is your best bet.  

I prefer the Gulf Coast beaches for their calmer waters and white sand. Although the Gulf Coast beaches may not be that much farther distance-wise, there is also the traffic factor. In my experience, the traffic is worse, getting to the Gulf Coast beaches. So time-wise, you are probably better off going to the Atlantic Coast.  

If you have the time, any one of the beaches here gets excellent reviews from Tripadvisor. They all averaged about 4.5 out of 5. Enjoy your park/beach vacation! Other beaches are within 2 hours of Disney World and the Orlando area that are not listed here. If you have been to one, let me know about it in the comments!

If you are planning a trip to Disney World, make sure you read 5 Disney trip planning tips you must know! This quick article will help to make your trip so much more enjoyable.

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