Walt Disney World is a magical destination that offers fun-filled adventures for multi-generational family reunions, but sometimes you’re looking for a change of scenery. Especially in the heat of summer, long days at the Magic Kingdom or Epcot Center wear on everyone’s patience. While WDW’s water parks offer some reprieve, you’re still in the confines of the theme parks.
Luckily you don’t have to go too far to find a beautiful beach. Florida is home to some of the best beaches in the world, and many of them are just a short drive from Walt Disney World. In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 family-friendly beaches near Walt Disney World that offer activities for kids and grandparents.
Located just 62 miles east of Walt Disney World, Cocoa Beach is a popular destination for families looking for a beach day. This 6-mile long beach offers soft sand, gentle waves, and a pier that’s perfect for fishing and strolling. If you have kids who are interested in space, you can also visit the nearby Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Here, you can learn about NASA’s space program and see rockets and other space artifacts up close.
Clearwater Beach is located about 90 miles west of Walt Disney World and is known for its white sand beaches and clear waters. This beach offers a wide range of activities for families, including parasailing, jet skiing, and dolphin watching. There’s also a playground and a pier that’s perfect for fishing. If you’re looking for a break from the sun, you can visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Winter, the famous dolphin from the movie “Dolphin Tale.” Tampa is also just a short drive away which offers a plethora of dining and entertainment options.
Siesta Key Beach
Sarasota boasts many fine beaches including Lido and Longboat, but Siesta Key Beach is its most famous. Located roughly 120 miles southwest of Walt Disney World, it is known for its powdery white sand that’s cool to the touch. This beach is perfect for families with young children as the water is shallow and calm. Siesta Key Beach also offers a playground, volleyball courts, and picnic areas. If you have grandparents in your group, they’ll enjoy the beautiful views and the opportunity to relax in the shade.
New Smyrna Beach
Located just 70 miles northeast of Walt Disney World, New Smyrna Beach is a laid-back destination that’s perfect for families who want to escape the crowds. This beach is known for its beautiful sand dunes and natural wildlife, including sea turtles and dolphins. Families can enjoy surfing, fishing, and kayaking. If you’re looking for a break from the sun, you can visit the Marine Discovery Center to learn about the local ecosystem and take a boat tour.
St. Pete Beach
St. Pete Beach is located about 95 miles west of Walt Disney World and is known for its soft white sand and warm waters. Families can enjoy swimming, boating, and snorkeling. There’s also a playground and a concession stand. If you have grandparents in your group, they’ll enjoy the beautiful views and the opportunity to relax in the shade. After a day at the beach, you can visit the nearby Salvador Dali Museum to see some of the artist’s most famous works.
You’re Not Far from a Family-Friendly Beach
If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World, don’t miss the opportunity to explore some of Florida’s beautiful beaches. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back day in the sun or an adventurous day of water sports, there’s a beach near Walt Disney World that’s perfect for your family. Cocoa Beach, Clearwater Beach, Siesta Key Beach, New Smyrna Beach, and St. Pete Beach all offer family-friendly activities for kids and grandparents. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect beach for your family group adventure.