Closest beach to Orlando


Cocoa Beach

 Scene from Cocoa Beach, Florida


Cocoa Beach is a one-hour drive to the east of Orlando, Florida. You’ll want to take the State Road 528 toll road across the state to the beaches. SR 528 is a nearly ramrod straight 54 mile toll road between Orlando and Cape Canaveral.

S.R. 528 used to be known as the “Beeline Express,” but is now called the “Beachline Express.” Be sure to bring cash for the tolls. There are several toll booths along the road, ranging in price from 75 cents to a dollar for passenger cars. Traffic is light to moderate. It’s a scenic drive. You’ll see lots of birds, some cows, perhaps even some deer along the roadway. I often see wild turkeys along the road.

As you near the Atlantic Coast, SR 528 will put you directly on Highway A1A. You’ll cross two bridges and arrive in the City of Cape Canaveral. A1A will curve south and take you right into Cocoa Beach. In Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach, A1A does not follow along the ocean side for much of its length. In fact, in northern Cocoa Beach and in Cape Canaveral, the main road that parallels the ocean is Ridgeway, which becomes Ocean Blvd south of the Cocoa Beach Pier, while A1A goes through the commercial district.

Note: SR 520 also will take you into Cocoa Beach, but resist the temptation to use it unless you want to spend your time sitting at a multitude of traffic lights in downtown Cocoa.

Here are the best public beaches in Cocoa Beach, and my personal recommendations.