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Combining Theme Parks & Beaches During Your Florida Vacations

Christine O'Kelly
May 8, 2008
Families love Florida vacations for either the theme parks or the beautiful beaches. Many families think they have to choose between the theme parks in Orlando vacation packages or the beaches in Florida beach vacations when visiting Florida. Actually, this is far from true!

Orlando, Florida is home to numerous theme parks, officially one of the most concentrated theme park localities in the United States. Most people don't know that while Orlando is in the middle of the State of Florida, it only takes around an hour to drive to a number of beaches.

Most Orlando vacation packages include days away from the theme parks for some relaxation on the beach. Below, you'll find details on some of the beaches near Orlando. If you are planning Florida vacations for your family, consider adding some fun on the beach to your Orlando vacation packages!

Beaches within 30 miles of Orlando

Only a 45-minute drive, Cocoa Beach is the nearest beach to Orlando. This open beach destination is simple to include in Orlando vacation packages because of conveniences like picnic tables, showers, and restrooms. The rental booth, west of Cocoa Beach Pier, rents boogie boards, beach chairs, beach umbrellas, and beach accessories, making it easy to twist theme park vacations into a Florida beach vacations.

Cocoa Beach Pier offers an incredible fishing opportunity for anglers and surfers will love the intense surf and surfing community. Playgrounds, beach volleyball courts, tennis courts, and horseshoe pits creates the prospect of fun for everyone!

The first Ron Jon's Surf Shop calls Cocoa Beach home. This huge art deco storehouse is an exciting place to shop for beach clothes, souvenirs, beach accessories, and more!

Families wanting an entertaining beach break from the theme parks will love Cocoa Beach.

Party and Tourism Beaches

About 60 miles away, Daytona Beach is the next closest beach to Orlando. Daytona Beach, one of Florida's most well-known beaches, is home to legendary Spring Break festivities and thrilling NASCAR races, including the Daytona 500. Although famous as a party beach, Daytona Beach is a great destination for families.

Full of hotels, arcades, souvenir shops, t-shirt stores, and restaurants, a trip to Daytona Beach is never boring. With 20 miles of gorgeous brown sand beaches and the picturesque Atlantic Ocean surf, Daytona Beach is one of the only beaches in the entire world allowing families to drive on the beach!

Families seeking to add an exciting beach visit to their Florida vacations will love Daytona Beach.

White Sandy Gulf Coast Beaches

Most people don't even think to consider the East Coast beaches when scheduling. However warm, calm waters and white sand beaches are plentiful on the gulf coast. Almost a two-hour drive, Clearwater Beach is about 100 miles away from Orlando and is the nearest gulf beach that families choose with Orlando vacation packages.

In reality, a barrier island close to Tampa and St. Petersburg, Clearwater Beach has won many beach awards for its breathtaking white sand beaches from Conde Nast Traveler, Florida Sports Magazine, Tampa Bay Magazine, USA TODAY, and more. Include a visit to Clearwater Beach in your vacation to enjoy the white sand, warm gulf water, and to take in the local atmosphere.

Make sure you schedule in some time so you don't miss seeing the spectacular sunset at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach. Thursdays through Mondays add a bonus to the beautiful sunset with entertaining Key West festivities, including magicians, street performers, jugglers, artists, and local peddlers. What a great way to end a day on the beach!

Families wanting a break from busy theme park daytimes and the dinner theater evenings of Orlando vacation packages will enjoy the tranquil and peaceful Clearwater Beach.

By taking the time to plan Orlando vacation packages and Florida beach vacations, families can enjoy unforgettable Florida vacations.
About the Author
Christine O'Kelly is a Florida vacations enthusiast. Always on the lookout for Orlando vacation packages , Christine compiles her findings to share with others vacationers.
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