Best Beaches an Hour or Less Away from Central Florida

With spring semester about to end for children and students alike, many will be flocking to the beach in true Floridian fashion. While Central Florida itself isn’t sitting next to the shore, several great beaches are within an hour’s drive. Take a peek at this list to see your options for your future beach day this summer.

  1. Lake Sybelia Beach Park

Sitting right on the shore of Lake Sybelia, this beach park is located in Maitland and is only a few streets down from Art & History Museums of Maitland, a museum peppered with historical buildings and an outdoor garden. With mild waters and clean, quiet surroundings, this beach park makes it easy for those in Central Florida to enjoy a beach day right in their own backyards. As a public lake, water sports such as boating and jet skiing are encouraged.

  1. New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach can be considered Daytona’s slightly underrated sister. Sitting just south of Daytona, New Smyrna Beach is a surf hub known for its beaches, including nearby Canaveral National Seashore. Along with beaches, the city itself has a robust downtown area with an area called Canal Street where one can find cafés, restaurants, art galleries and shops.

  1. Wilbur Beach

Those from Port Orange will already know about this beautiful beach complete with always-appreciated free parking and showers. With the soft, white sand and clean surroundings thanks to the many trash cans and recycling bins on the beach, Wilbur Beach will always make for a great beach day experience. The wooden boardwalk will take you right down to the shimmering shoreline.

  1. Cocoa Beach

Just like New Smyrna Beach, Cocoa Beach is a city containing a number of beaches and surf attractions. Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier and Cocoa Beach Pier provide a look over the vast, blue ocean with plenty of lunchtime options in the form of restaurants and  vendors. As a city with close relations to the nearby space centers – Cocoa Beach is only 30-35 minutes away from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex – you can hop on a bus or drive to the center and switch from fun in the sun to a tour that’s simply out of this world.

  1. Lakefront Beach

While called a “beach,” Lakefront Beach is actually the site of a Lakefront Park sitting right on the shores of East Lake Tohopekaliga. Also surrounded by St. Cloud, Central Floridians will be happy to learn that visiting this beach is complete with a pier for boats and pavilions for picnics or even catching some shade from the sun. As a matter of fact, you can do whatever your heart desires here: go swimming, participate in water sports, sail a boat, walk a dog, hold a picnic or even just have a relaxing stroll. Seafood restaurants are sprinkled throughout the park for an easy and accessible lunch, and there’s a small splash zone for children.


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Written by Maya James

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