Closest beach to Orlando

 

Alan Shephard Park

 Beach umbrellas at Alan Shepherd Park, Cocoa Beach, FL

 

GPS coordinates: 28.357595, -80.605202

Directions: This excellent 3 block long public beach park is located at the east end of State Road 520 (Cocoa Beach Causeway) on Ocean Beach Blvd. From the south end of Shephard Park, a two block walk on Marion Lane will take you to Ron Jon’s Surf Shop.

Hours: Park closes at dark.

In my opinion, unless you specifically want to do some serious fishing or are seeking the pier scene, or unless you can’t bring yourself to pay for parking, then Alan Shephard Park is the top choice for a day trip to Cocoa Beach.

Alan Shepherd Park beach, Cocoa Beach, FL

Parking: There is a fee to park your car at Shephard Park which generally ranges from $7 on weekdays to $10 on weekends and holidays. You may find an attendant to accept payment or you may have to pay a machine. (Note: once you leave the park you cannot re-enter without paying the fee again).

ADA Access

Handicap parking spaces are provided close to the wheelchair accessible dune crossover. I’m not aware of any availability of beach wheelchairs.

 

ADA access parking spots at Alan Shepherd Park, Cocoa Beach, FL

 

Amenities:

  • Lifeguards year-round, 10am to 5pm.
  • Covered Picnic tables.
  • Restrooms and outdoor rinse-off showers.
  • Paid parking for more than 300 vehicles. No buses or overnight parking permitted.
  • Beach equipment rental vendors on the beach: chairs and umbrellas, surfboards, cabanas, bodyboards. Rented equipment must be returned by 5:30 pm. Also, equipment rentals nearby at Ron Jon's and Cocoa Beach Surf Company.
  • Restaurants: There are two restaurants on the beach park property--Captain J's Seafood Bar and Grill, and the Sandbar Sports Grill. Beer is served.

Rules:

  • Alcoholic beverages are allowed on the beach as long as they are not in glass containers. Glass is not allowed on the beach.
  • Animals are not allowed out on the beach.

Dune walkover at Alan Shepherd Park

 

Surfing culture on Cocoa Beach, FL

Beach vendors on Alan Shephard beach, Cocoa Beach, FL

Beach vendor signs on Alan Shephard Beach

Sandbar Sports Grille at Alan Shephard Park, Cocoa Beach, FL

Boardwalk at Alan Shephard Park, Cocoa Beach, FL

Beach crowd at Alan Shephard Park, Cocoa Beach, FL