26 of the best beach restaurants within driving distance of Orlando (2023)

Food + drink

Shells and sand aren't the only things you'll find on the beach; Central Florida's coasts are home to some of the best food in the state. In these restaurants by the beach, you will not only get some sun, but also every meal has a beautiful view.

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26 of the best beach restaurants within driving distance of Orlando (1)

Whisky Joes Bar & Grill
7720 W. Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa | 813-281-0770
Distance from Orlando:1 sat, 34 minute
This is the place to go if you want to take a dip in the ocean right before or after your meal. Whiskey Joes Bar & Grill is right on the water, and you can even tiptoe at the World Famous Barefoot Bar, where you can choose from 14 types of mojitos, 30 types of margaritas and more than 52 beers on tap.

Photo via tl6ufl/Instagram

26 of the best beach restaurants within driving distance of Orlando (2)

SHOR American Seafood Grill
301 South Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater | 727-373-4780
Distance from Orlando:2 hours, 5 minutes
If you're tired of resorting to tiki bars and surf shacks for beach dining, try SHOR at the Hyatt Hotel. You'll still have amazing views of the beach, but without the threat of sand blowing into your mahi mahi.

Photo via lexisatthebeach/Instagram

26 of the best beach restaurants within driving distance of Orlando (3)

Grille at Riverview
101 Flagler Ave., New Smyrna Beach | 386-428-1865
Distance from Orlando:1 sat, 3 minute
The best way to spend a sophisticated summer night on the waterfront? Dinner, dancing and dolphins.

Photo via lifessweetjourney/Instagram

26 of the best beach restaurants within driving distance of Orlando (4)

Waldo je u Driftwoodu
3150 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach | 772-231-7091
Distance from Orlando:1 hour, 48 minutes
This laid-back landmark is a favorite among locals. Located in a hotel built entirely of driftwood, Waldos offers seaside dining at poolside or ocean tables with stunning Atlantic views. Who doesn't love seeing dolphins during dinner?

Photo via seapearl427/Instagram

26 of the best beach restaurants within driving distance of Orlando (5)

Tropix Island Tiki Bar
655 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach | 727-442-7171
Distance from Orlando:2 sata
As part of the Quality Beach Resort, Tropix Island Tiki Bar is located right on the sands of Clearwater Beach. There are all kinds of bar food options, including onion rings, nachos and wraps, as well as seasonal live entertainment.

Photo via lesliebuckeye/Instagram

26 of the best beach restaurants within driving distance of Orlando (6)

Toni & Joe's Patio
309 Buenos Aires St., New Smyrna Beach | 386-427-6850
Distance from Orlando:1 sat
Guests can dine and listen to live music on the oceanfront patio at Toni & Joes Patio. A margarita and grilled mahi mahi sandwich is the perfect combination to enjoy watching a beautiful sunrise or sunset.

Photo via larabuford1/Instagram

26 of the best beach restaurants within driving distance of Orlando (7)

Tate Island Grill
500 Mandalay Ave., Clearwater Beach | 727-674-4171
Distance from Orlando:2 hours, 3 minutes
After eating a fresh salad or a hearty burger, take your cocktail to the beach and enjoy the sunset and live music by the beach fire pit.

Photo via hellobeautifuljourney/Instagram

26 of the best beach restaurants within driving distance of Orlando (8)

Shiloh steak and seafood
3665 S Washington Ave., Titusville | 321-567-3555
Distance from Orlando:48 minutes
Spend the night at Shilohs after a long day at Canaveral National Seashore. The restaurant sits on the shores of the Indian River Lagoon and has a direct view of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, meaning you might spot a rocket during your meal.

Photo via shilohstitusville/Instagram

26 of the best beach restaurants within driving distance of Orlando (9)

Squid lips
1477 Pineapple Ave., Melbourne | 321-259-3101
Distance from Orlando:1 hour, 8 minutes
At Squid Lips, the food is freshly prepared over an open oak fire. You can order a lobster and crab cake sandwich or stuffed flounder while sitting on the dock and enjoying the view of the beach.

Photo via guille_is_here/Instagram

26 of the best beach restaurants within driving distance of Orlando (10)

Unwanted raw bar and grill
747 3rd Ave., New Smyrna Beach | 386- 402-9300
Distance from Orlando:1 sat
Whether you're craving clams, oysters, crawfish or crab, Off the Hook has all the raw, steamed, locally caught seafood your heart desires.

Photo via buddha_and_thebeast/Instagram

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What is the closest and nicest beach to Orlando? ›

Cocoa Beach is the closest beach for Orlando residents, located a little less than an hour from Central Florida. It's well known for family fun, relaxing along the beach, a location for eco-tours or for deep-sea fishing.

What is the closest beach to Orlando driving? ›

1 | Cocoa Beach | Cocoa Beach is the closest beach to Orlando, approximately 59.8 miles to the east. This famous beach sits on the magnificent Space Coast, so named for its proximity to the iconic Kennedy Space Center and its rocket launches.

What Gulf beach is closest to Orlando? ›

The closest Gulf Coast beach to Orlando is Clearwater Beach, approximately a 2-hour drive west on the I-4; there are several other family-friendly options as you head south along the coast.

How far is it from Orlando to the beach? ›

What is the closest beach to Orlando, FL? New Smyrna is the closest beach to Orlando. The driving distance is 57 min (55,4 miles).

What is the number one most beautiful beach in Florida? ›

Siesta Key

Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Siesta Beach features 8 miles of white quartz sand and crystal-clear water, plus dining, shopping and nighttime entertainment.

What is the closest beach to Orlando on the West Side? ›

Cocoa Beach

With just an hour's drive East, this is the closest beach to Orlando. Cocoa beach is 6 miles long and less than a mile wide and offers a wide variety of action-packed fun to choose from.

What beaches in Florida can you drive on the beach? ›

Driving on the beach is now possible only in Volusia County (Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach), Nassau County (Amelia Island), and St. John's County (summer only). What is this?

Why is Vero Beach so popular? ›

Vero Beach is an incredible vacation destination located on Florida's East Coast, halfway between Melbourne and Palm Beach. It is part of Florida's Treasure Coast and has abundant outdoor attractions, citrus, and was home to the LA Dodgers for years in the past.

Is Clearwater close to Orlando? ›

The direct drive from Orlando to Clearwater is 104 mi (168 km), and should have a drive time of 1 hr 51 mins in normal traffic.

Which Florida beaches have the clearest water? ›

The Best Beaches In Florida With The Clearest Water
  • 8 Destin Beach.
  • 7 Siesta Key Beach.
  • 6 Anna Maria Island.
  • 5 Florida Keys.
  • 4 Smathers Beach.
  • 3 Jupiter.
  • 2 Biscayne Beach.
  • 1 Dry Tortugas.
May 9, 2023

Is Cocoa Beach nice? ›

Cocoa Beach is one of the nicest beach towns in Florida. It's an attractive city with many positive features, including beautiful public beaches and a historic beach boardwalk and pier. Beaches in Cocoa Beach are among the most beautiful beaches in Florida.

How long does it take to drive to the beach from Orlando? ›

The direct drive from Orlando to Daytona Beach is 56.6 mi (91 km), and should have a drive time of 1 hr 1 min in normal traffic.

What month is the hottest in Orlando Florida? ›

Hottest time in Orlando

The weather in Orlando is at its hottest from mid-June to mid-September. Temperatures average as high as 82°F (28°C) in August, with nighttime lows rarely dropping below 72°F (22°C).

What beach is closest to Disney World? ›

Another good reason to head to Cocoa Beach is that not only is it the closest beach to Disney but you'll have the chance to spot dolphins, manatees and seabirds during a family-friendly Dolphin Eco-Tour of the mangroves of the Cocoa Beach Thousand Islands.

What is the bluest beach in Florida? ›

Just east of Destin on Hwy 98, Panama City Beach marks the end of the beaches of South Walton. These beaches are widely considered to be the clearest and pure in the country. There is nearly no river runoff in the area and the St. Andrew Bay filters much of the sediment out.

What is the rich beach in Florida? ›

The richest city in Florida is Palm Beach. The median household income in Palm Beach is $169,500. It's also the Florida city with the most billionaires, with an estimated 30 billionaires living in Palm Beach as of 2022.

What beach in Florida has pink sand? ›

From the tip of South Florida, those interested in seeing one of the Caribbean's most unique beaches will be happy to know it's just a short ferry ride away. Harbour Island is perhaps one of the most well-captured pink beaches in the world and features sand in pastel hues that seem to defy all logic.

Is Cocoa Beach water clear? ›

Water color depends on many weather factors (wind, clouds, churning up of the water brings bottom particles up), so...in general it's nice dark blue to turquoise in color, and semi clear at the shore/sand intersection.

How far is Kissimmee from the beach? ›

How far is Kissimmee, Florida, from a beach? You can find a sandy paradise at Discovery Cove, about 40 minutes away. The closest beaches along the ocean are Cocoa and Daytona Beach, each about 90 minutes away.

How far is Disney from the beach? ›

Disney World is not too far away from the beach. The closest Atlantic Coast beach is about 64 miles and a 1-hour drive. The closest Gulf Coast beach is about a 1.5-hour drive.

Can I sleep in my car at the beach in Florida? ›

The Law on Sleeping in Your Car in Florida

There is no federal law that prohibits motorists from sleeping inside their vehicle. However, in Florida, drivers are only allowed to sleep inside their vehicle for a maximum of three hours. You are not allowed to park overnight and sleep in your vehicle.

Should I drive my car on the beach? ›

Your car's interior may also suffer from people bringing sand in. More than just an annoyance, sand can scrape and destroy fabric and leather seats, seriously diminishing the resale value of your car. Avoid driving on the beach when possible. It sure is fun, but it's bad for the beach and bad for your car.

How much does it cost to drive on Daytona Beach? ›

The beach is open to vehicles from 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. or sundown whichever is earlier from May 1 through October 31, and between sunrise to sunset from November 1 to April 30, tides permitting. There is a year-round $20 per day per vehicle access fee to drive on the beach; this includes one same-day re-entry.

What celebrity lives in Vero Beach? ›

Many famous people have invested their time and energy in Vero Beach. We can cite Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson, Jay Leno, Jennifer Lopez, and Taylor Swift.

Can you swim in the ocean at Vero Beach? ›

Beaches. Vero Beach has some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast. You can go swimming, boogie boarding or relax on the beach.

How many millionaires live in Vero Beach? ›

Known as the “Hamptons of the South,” Vero Beach has the fourth highest concentration of wealthy households in the country, with 14% of its residents being millionaires.

Why is Clearwater Beach famous? ›

Clearwater Beach is famous for its white sands and clear blue waters on the Gulf Coast. Both the beaches in Clearwater Beach and the sunset out at the pier make this part of Florida a must-see. There are numerous beach activities to enjoy on this barrier island, such as swimming, boating, fishing, and kayaking.

How far is Cocoa Beach from Disney? ›

Cocoa Beach is about 70 miles from Disney and takes just around an hour to get to. I recommend leaving Disney around 7:30 AM this will allow you to avoid the Orlando rush hour. You will also arrive at the perfect time to grab breakfast or brunch at one of the many fantastic restaurants in the area.

Are there tolls between Orlando and Clearwater? ›

Are There Tolls From Orlando To Clearwater? Yes, you will hit toll roads on both routes to Clearwater on I-4 Express. You can plan ahead with the Florida Interstate toll calculator.

What beach has the most turquoise water in Florida? ›

Destin is commonly awarded as having the best blue water in Florida however the entire Emerald Coast has similar coloring. Destin has the clearest water due to its proximity to Choctawhatchee Bay.

Which ocean is better in Florida? ›

The only debate worth having is which side of Florida has the best beaches. The Atlantic coast has plenty to offer in the way of water sports. They get the better waves and, thus, some greater action. Florida's Gulf Coast, however, is responsible for those visions of smooth, sandy beaches and crystal, clear water.

Why is Cocoa Beach so famous? ›

Cocoa Beach is rich in surf history including producing the 11-time world surfing champion, Kelly Slater. Point of interest: Check out the world's largest surf shop and other area attractions. Check out the world's largest surf shop and other area attractions.

Why is Cocoa Beach so cheap? ›

With perfect weather all year round and no state income taxes, Florida is a great place to relocate to if you want a more affordable place to live in. This is why a lot of people from the higher cost of living areas like California and New York are leaving these states in droves and moving to Florida.

Is it OK to swim in Cocoa Beach? ›

— A Swim Advisory has been issued for the following beach based on the criteria for fecal indicator bacteria: Cocoa Beach Pier.

Which coast of Florida is prettier? ›

Florida's Gulf Coast, specifically the Suncoast, has the nicest beaches in Florida with its white sand beaches and crystal blue water.

What is the most laid back beach in Florida? ›

Key Biscayne beachfront in Florida on a sunny day. With a population of 15,547, Key Biscayne is widely known as one of the most scenic and laid back Florida beach towns.

What is the prettiest beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida? ›

Pete, Fl. Saint Petersburg Beach was ranked as the #1 best beach in the United States and the #5 best beach in the world by TripAdvisor. It's near the mouth of Tampa Bay, making it a short boat ride to Tampa and Clearwater. It's a quick day trip to Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

How far is Disney from the beach in Florida? ›

How Far from Disney is the Closest Beach? The closest beach to Disney World is Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach is about 70 minutes away from Disney World and will be the closest choice for a day trip when visiting Disney World.

What towns are between Orlando and Cocoa Beach? ›

The top cities between Cocoa Beach and Orlando are Titusville, Kissimmee, Melbourne, DeLand, Cape Canaveral, Winter Park, and Clermont. Titusville is the most popular city on the route — it's less than an hour from Cocoa Beach and less than an hour from Orlando.

Is there a shuttle from Orlando to the beach? ›

Cocoa Beach Shuttle is central Florida's premier professional transportation service connecting Orlando International Airport, the cruise ships of Port Canaveral, the Cocoa Beach area, theme parks and the rest of central Florida.

What month is hurricane season in Orlando? ›

But along with that comes tropical storms. Hurricane season is officially June 1st to November 20th. From mid August to mid October is the highest risk.

What is Orlando's rainiest month? ›

The wettest month is August with 85 mm of rain over 9 days.

What is the rainiest month in Florida? ›

July through early September is when the rainy season peaks. While the overall threat for severe weather diminishes, heavy rainfall and seasonal river flooding remain significant hazards, along with frequent lightning.

What is the best beach to stay at when going to Disney? ›

The closest beaches to Disney World are Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Canaveral National Seashore, and Cocoa Beach, all on the Atlantic coast (East). Each is about the same driving distance from Disney World, with Daytona Beach sitting just over an hour to the northeast, just above Cape Canaveral.

Which side of Florida has warmer water? ›

During the cooler months, the farther south you go, the warmer it will be. Fort Lauderdale, Miami, the Keys, Marco Island and Naples will have the warmest water during the winter. During the summer months, the Gulf of Mexico will be five or more degrees warmer than the Atlantic Ocean.

Is Cocoa Beach or Daytona Beach better? ›

Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach are prime Florida destinations but have unique attractions and features to consider. Most tourists agree Cocoa Beach is more "chill" and family-friendly, while Daytona Beach can get a bit rowdier with partiers and NASCAR fans.

Is Clearwater Florida worth visiting? ›

Clearwater Beach is famous for its white sands and clear blue waters on the Gulf Coast. Both the beaches in Clearwater Beach and the sunset out at the pier make this part of Florida a must-see.

Where is the clearest water in Florida? ›

The area from Destin, Florida to Panama City, Florida is known to have the clearest water in Florida. This area has been awarded the Blue Wave Beach Award for clarity, water quality, and beauty.

Why is Daytona Beach so famous? ›

Made famous for its wide beach and smooth, hard-packed sands, Daytona Beach became widely known in the early 1900s for high-speed automobile testing, and later, racing. This made the beach a mecca for racing enthusiasts.

Is there a pink sand beach in Florida? ›

From the tip of South Florida, those interested in seeing one of the Caribbean's most unique beaches will be happy to know it's just a short ferry ride away. Harbour Island is perhaps one of the most well-captured pink beaches in the world and features sand in pastel hues that seem to defy all logic.

Is St Pete or Clearwater better? ›

If your vacation plans are largely centered around the resort and beach time, Clearwater would be the clear choice. Clearwater Beach has more to do within walking distance with easy accessibility on the promenade. If you are looking to explore, St Pete Beach has better accessibility to Tampa and downtown St Petersburg.

Is Key West or Clearwater better? ›

The common agreement among travelers:

Clearwater has a better beach, Key West has a better overall view and selection of activities. The price is about the same depending on where you stay and what you do in both places, with Key West coming in slightly under budget more often than Clearwater.

What is the least crowded beach in Cocoa Beach? ›

Canaveral National Seashore, Playalinda Beach

It's one of the most beautiful, quiet beaches in Cocoa Beach to spend your time. The beachfront here is a secluded 24-mile stretch where sea and space meet.


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