Favorite Day-trip Beaches (click for complete post)

Favorite Day-trip Beaches (click for complete post)

*Ormond (Andy Romano Beach, just north of Daytona; Atlantic ocean 1 hr 15 min):  FREE parking with great facilities for families!  Shaded picnic tables, kids' playground & splash pad, large CLEAN bathrooms, snack bar, lifeguard on duty, bigger waves/breakers, firmer sand.  Our favorite for the Atlantic side.

*Daytona  (1 hr 10 min):  Hip scene with great boardwalk shopping and restaurants, bigger Atlantic waves/breakers.  Head south of Daytona on I-95 to exit 256 toward Port Orange for quiter beaches to the north, and public beaches to the south. 

*Cocoa (Lori Wilson Park, 1 hr 15 min): FREE parking with simple bathrooms.  Big Atlantic waves with lifeguard, surfers, and fun swim shops.  Sometimes we see turtles on the dunes here.

*Sand Key (Gulf; 1 hr 30 min): We skip through Clearwater city, which is more crowded, but has some great restaurants, shopping, and boat tours.  Follow the main drag through Clearwater, south to Sand Key public beach.   Warmer water, minimal waves/breakers-safer for younger children, softer sand, gather seashells.  We've seen dolphins here later in the day!  [Avoid travelling to/from here during rush hour traffic times!!!]

*Indian Rocks (Gulf; 1 hr 30 min):  Lots of public beaches along this area, but parking is very limited with multiple options of only 10 or so parking spots each.  More crowded, soft sand, warm water, no waves/breakers, and bathtub-like ocean with 2-4 feet shallow area for a good distance.  Our favorite on the Gulf side!