Best Beach Towns Near WDW

Login to post comments
28 posts / 0 new
admin's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/14/2010
Posts: 2733
Best Beach Towns Near WDW

If you wanted to combine your WDW trip with a beach vacation, which town along the coast would you choose? Any recommendations for great ambiance with good pricing?

Tony's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/23/2009
Posts: 1260

We had a day trip to Clearwater on our last WDW holiday. It has a great beach with miles of white sand and looked like a really nice beach town.
Daytona has some appeal too though as I could combine the beach part of the holiday with a visit to the race track and it's museum.

__________________

I can only please one person per day. Today isn't your day... tomorrow doesn't look good either.

LifeIsForLiving's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/06/2009
Posts: 1596

My first visit to WDW as an adult, we stayed in Ormond Beach because it was the closest waterfront resort I could get on short notice. Ormond Beach was the hot destination in Florida a hundred years ago. It stayed that way well into this century as wealthy socialites made it their choice to spend summers. These days, it's kind of an out of the way place to stay. It doesn't have the pizzazz many other Florida destinations do, but it can be a great destination and cheap. We were able to get an ocean view, literally a stones throw from the water even on relatively short notice. In the evenings, we had the beach all to ourselves - except for the sea creature that attacked me.

Geographically Ormond Beach is just north of Daytona.

milliehubbard's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/25/2009
Posts: 489

I've always like Tarpon Springs...it's still a bit "old Florida" to me. There is a really nice public park, it's a little island accessed by a causway...Fred Howard Park. I would not suggest going on a holiday though, a weekday visit would probably yield a quiet relaxing day.

http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/06_howard.htm

__________________

Resorts

2017 AKL-Jambo House (May)
2017 Old Key West (Apr)
2016 Port Orleans Riverside (Oct)-Hurricane Matthew!!
2016 Old Key West (Aug)
2016 CBR (Jul)
2016 Art of Animation (May)
2015 Ft. Wilderness Campground (Oct)
2014 Sherwood Forest RV Park (Nov)
2013 Pop Century (Jul)
2012 Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress (Jul)
2011 Radisson Lake Buena Vista (Aug)
2010 Pop Century (Nov)
2009 PO Riverside (Jul)
2008 Pop Century (Apr)
2006-2007 FL residents: Hunters Creek 8 miles from the parks!!
2005 All Star Sports (Jul)
2005 PO Riverside/CBR/CSR (Apr)
mickey

magicalkingdoms.com Ticker Free Disney Tickers

dsoup's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/11/2008
Posts: 2884

milliehubbard wrote:
I've always like Tarpon Springs...it's still a bit "old Florida" to me. There is a really nice public park, it's a little island accessed by a causway...Fred Howard Park. I would not suggest going on a holiday though, a weekday visit would probably yield a quiet relaxing day.

http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/06_howard.htm

That looks really cool Millie! Is it as quiet as it looks? I get worn out by overcrowded beaches. Is it ever busy?

milliehubbard's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/25/2009
Posts: 489

Incredibly busy on the weekends and holidays...but weekdays are pretty quiet...busier later in the day as the workday ends. Since it's not a well known "destination" beach, it's still got the old Florida charm, IMO.

__________________

Resorts

2017 AKL-Jambo House (May)
2017 Old Key West (Apr)
2016 Port Orleans Riverside (Oct)-Hurricane Matthew!!
2016 Old Key West (Aug)
2016 CBR (Jul)
2016 Art of Animation (May)
2015 Ft. Wilderness Campground (Oct)
2014 Sherwood Forest RV Park (Nov)
2013 Pop Century (Jul)
2012 Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress (Jul)
2011 Radisson Lake Buena Vista (Aug)
2010 Pop Century (Nov)
2009 PO Riverside (Jul)
2008 Pop Century (Apr)
2006-2007 FL residents: Hunters Creek 8 miles from the parks!!
2005 All Star Sports (Jul)
2005 PO Riverside/CBR/CSR (Apr)
mickey

magicalkingdoms.com Ticker Free Disney Tickers

dsoup's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/11/2008
Posts: 2884

milliehubbard wrote:
Incredibly busy on the weekends and holidays...but weekdays are pretty quiet...busier later in the day as the workday ends. Since it's not a well known "destination" beach, it's still got the old Florida charm, IMO.

They did a good job with the photography in the pictures. It makes it look like I'd have the whole place to myself. Do you know if there are good vacation home rentals nearby?

milliehubbard's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/25/2009
Posts: 489

dsoup wrote:
milliehubbard wrote:
Incredibly busy on the weekends and holidays...but weekdays are pretty quiet...busier later in the day as the workday ends. Since it's not a well known "destination" beach, it's still got the old Florida charm, IMO.

They did a good job with the photography in the pictures. It makes it look like I'd have the whole place to myself. Do you know if there are good vacation home rentals nearby?



Not sure, I would imagine that there would be some...just not something I was in need of...living in the state in all. We had family friends living the Palm Harbor area and my sense was that it was more a residential community rather than touristy but then, it's Florida, there are vacation rentals everywhere!!

__________________

Resorts

2017 AKL-Jambo House (May)
2017 Old Key West (Apr)
2016 Port Orleans Riverside (Oct)-Hurricane Matthew!!
2016 Old Key West (Aug)
2016 CBR (Jul)
2016 Art of Animation (May)
2015 Ft. Wilderness Campground (Oct)
2014 Sherwood Forest RV Park (Nov)
2013 Pop Century (Jul)
2012 Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress (Jul)
2011 Radisson Lake Buena Vista (Aug)
2010 Pop Century (Nov)
2009 PO Riverside (Jul)
2008 Pop Century (Apr)
2006-2007 FL residents: Hunters Creek 8 miles from the parks!!
2005 All Star Sports (Jul)
2005 PO Riverside/CBR/CSR (Apr)
mickey

magicalkingdoms.com Ticker Free Disney Tickers

Annie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/20/2008
Posts: 1610

LifeIsForLiving wrote:
In the evenings, we had the beach all to ourselves - except for the sea creature that attacked me.

Now that sounds like a good story! Do tell!

Vettelover's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/28/2009
Posts: 4656

Annie wrote:
LifeIsForLiving wrote:
In the evenings, we had the beach all to ourselves - except for the sea creature that attacked me.

Now that sounds like a good story! Do tell!


Should we be playing the theme from "JAWS". eek

__________________

Bella's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/11/2010
Posts: 3886

Dh and I did a Cocoa Beach/Disney trip one year that was great! We hit Cocoa for four days then Disney for five. I really liked Cocoa..it was nice and quiet. Our hotel was right on the water. We are used to Myrtle Beach that is packed from morning to night..it was a nice change of pace. Next time we might try a Gulf town just to change it up.

__________________

mickey Bella


LifeIsForLiving's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/06/2009
Posts: 1596

Annie wrote:
LifeIsForLiving wrote:
In the evenings, we had the beach all to ourselves - except for the sea creature that attacked me.

Now that sounds like a good story! Do tell!

Glad you asked laugh First let me say, I did not exhaustively plan everything then as I do now. This was largely due to the fact that with the PD, I never had more than a couple months notice. If I got lucky I might have three months, if not it may have been only month or less. As a consequence I was not in a frame of mind (or frame of time for that matter) to plan all the minutia. I did take care of the things I felt were necessary like lodging and a rough order to visit the parks. One of the things I did try to obtain in advance were water shoes. Lucky me, it was summer and I could not find them ANYWHERE. Even the crappy ones at the drugstore were mostly sold out. I would occasionally find one pair, or one shoe, in a child's size. After searching and searching, I decided 'Hey, we're going to a beach town in FL in the summer. Surely I'll be able to find them there'. Nope; we looked for some time the day we got there and found none.

Being from Southern California, I have been to the beach more times than
I can count. As the son of a surfer, I learned early the DO's and
DON'T's of beach fun. One of those is to drag your feet (or shuffle)
along the sea floor. This is so that you don't step on something that
is likely to ruin your day (stingrays, stonefish, etc. - depending on
your location). I did some research about the sea life on the east
coast of Florida before I left and didn't find too much to be concerned
about.

After a day in the World, we came back to the hotel at maybe nine in the evening. Since the night was young, we thought it would be a good idea to play in the ocean a while before bed. There was no one else on the beach and it was mere steps from our door. Didn't take long to throw our bathing suits on and head out. Once our toes hit the sand, we lit up like children. We instantly forgot how exhausted we were and got to playing. Little did I know, we were not alone *DUNT DUNT DUUUUUNNNNN*. Seriously though, not having water shoes turned out to bite me (or sting me, I'm not sure which). Not long after getting in the water and 'frolicking' a bit I felt something latch onto my foot. Whatever it was, it went about three quarters the width of my foot along the bottom and in the same place along the top. It scared me so bad I screamed like a girl and ran out of the water, which prompted my girlfriend at the time to do the same. Even in that crisis situation, I did think to myself it was pretty funny she screamed and ran too having no idea why. We ran/limped back to the room where I began to assess the situation. Having EMS training, I immediately inspected the wound and began watching for signs of a serious problem (like anaphylaxis). One of the most important factors in this situation is to quickly try to identify the culprit to determine the proper course of action. Once I determined my condition was stable (ergo, would not require emergency transport), I called directly into the local ER - as who would better know about local poisonous/dangerous wildlife. With the help of the ER staff, I was able to determine as long as my condition was stable I could continue the vacation as planned. There was excruciating pain and some local swelling but nothing more. The rest of the vacation was thankfully less eventful than that first night.

To this day, I don't know what it was that "got me". The affected area was linear in nature (straight across) with what looked like regularly spaced individual puncture marks along the top and bottom of my foot. Given the aforementioned, I don't think it could possibly have been a bite. I still have little scars to remind me of the venomous mystery sea creature.

bali's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/20/2008
Posts: 3444

FASCINATING! How long until you could really walk without pain again? Now I have to go research Florida sea creatures to explore what it could have been! How could it not be a bite if there were puncture wounds? Wow.... Creepy!!!

__________________


May 2008 CSR mickey

LifeIsForLiving's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/06/2009
Posts: 1596

It hurt for weeks, but I was able to get around fine. The 'injury' was in a straight line across my foot with only one row of what appeared to be puncture wounds spaced less than an inch apart. I thought at the time it could have been a big angry crab or something, but that would not explain the swelling or persistent pain.

Haven't thought about it in a long time; I'm going to look for the scars when I get home.

Bella's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/11/2010
Posts: 3886

eek eek eek eek

That story makes me never want to go into the ocean again.

Ack!!!! I can't even imagine what that could have been..maybe like a water snake or an eel?

__________________

mickey Bella


LifeIsForLiving's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/06/2009
Posts: 1596

Whatever it was, it sucked.

LifeIsForLiving's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/06/2009
Posts: 1596

You guys got me wondering now. Did some research, gleaned some valuable information but I'm still not sure. I was thinking it could have been some member of the phylum cnidaria (such as a jellyfish) but it seems such envenomations usually produce a rash encompassing the entire area that was contacted. In my case there were only the individual puncture marks and the inflammation stemming from those. That makes me think it may have been some sort of scorpionfish (the family that includes the deadly lionfish). I'm going to do some serious research...I want to know.

Tony's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/23/2009
Posts: 1260

LifeIsForLiving wrote:
I'm going to do some serious research...I want to know.

After that story, so do I Smile

__________________

I can only please one person per day. Today isn't your day... tomorrow doesn't look good either.

dsoup's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/11/2008
Posts: 2884

I was scared it was going to be still latched onto your foot when you got out. Somehow that would have made it worse in my mind.

LifeIsForLiving's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/06/2009
Posts: 1596

I've taken to contacting people with letters after their name sarcastic Hopefully we'll have an answer before long.

Offline
Joined: 02/15/2010
Posts: 50

admin wrote:
If you wanted to combine your WDW trip with a beach vacation, which town along the coast would you choose? Any recommendations for great ambiance with good pricing?

If you want to spend WDW trip with a beach site so in my point of view, Disney Vero beach resort is one of the best options, where you can enjoy the family holidays in peaceful atmosphere and with reasonable accommodation price. Everything is accessible easily; great amenities, delicious foods variety and hospitable staff make your stay more comfortable. We stayed there several times and truly love this Disney's property.

Best Regards,

cdub's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/20/2008
Posts: 3220

LifeIsForLiving wrote:
I've taken to contacting people with letters after their name sarcastic Hopefully we'll have an answer before long.

Have you noticed yourself gaining any superpowers?

LifeIsForLiving's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/06/2009
Posts: 1596

So I contacted some prominent scientists in the field and ultimately found the likely culprit. Working through it with the research scientists at the Smithsonian Marine Station (at Fort Pierce, FL) we determined it was most likely a member of the Scorpaenidae family. This would include the stonefish, lionfish, et al. The genera that include various species of lionfish are found in deeper water so in all likelihood it was a member of the stonefish genus. All signs, including my reaction to the venom point there. Thankfully I had the wherewithal to run my foot under hot water, as this destroys the protein-based neurotoxin. Had I soaked my foot longer, I may not have had any lingering effects at all. In any case I was fortunate to not fare worse.

Back to the original topic, I think to get the most out of a Disney/beach vacation you'd need at least a ten days to two weeks. That way you could spend part of the time at the beach, then part of the time at WDW without skimping or feeling rushed. I like the idea of staying at Disney Vero Beach, but I'm sure there are lots of good options.

Bella's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/11/2010
Posts: 3886

You seem like you were pretty calm about all that going on!!

Here is what I would have been doing had ANY sort of sea creature latched itself on to my foot... yeah All common sense would have totally LEFT the building.

__________________

mickey Bella


LifeIsForLiving's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/06/2009
Posts: 1596

LOL, well I did run screaming from the water.

admin's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/14/2010
Posts: 2733

LifeIsForLiving wrote:
So I contacted some prominent scientists in the field and ultimately found the likely culprit. Working through it with the research scientists at the Smithsonian Marine Station (at Fort Pierce, FL) we determined it was most likely a member of the Scorpaenidae family. This would include the stonefish, lionfish, et al. The genera that include various species of lionfish are found in deeper water so in all likelihood it was a member of the stonefish genus. All signs, including my reaction to the venom point there. Thankfully I had the wherewithal to run my foot under hot water, as this destroys the protein-based neurotoxin. Had I soaked my foot longer, I may not have had any lingering effects at all. In any case I was fortunate to not fare worse.

Fascinating! Thanks for doing the research to find out what it was!

I was just in the ocean in Maine doing some paddleboarding and couldn't stop thinking about your experience! Tried to keep my feet off the gound Wink

LifeIsForLiving's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/06/2009
Posts: 1596

Well, hopefully, I took it in the foot so you don't have to:)

Lizzy_B's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/25/2010
Posts: 3246

Scary venemous sea creatures aside...I'm partial to the Daytona area. Lots of beach, stretching from Ormond to Ponce Inlet, and Ponce has an incredibly beautiful restored old lighthouse. Actually, I should start a thread about that...

The other cool thing about Daytona is that there is both on-beach parking for daytrippers, and lots of free off-beach parking. Now, full disclosure: I grew up vacationing on DB, and most of my family lives there now, so the cars don't bother me; it's just part of DB, and you accept it, and you're careful when crossing the traffic lanes, finding a place to put your chair, etc. But some people (i.e. my husband) are not happy with the "drive on the beach" thing.

Just my two cents about the other coast, too...the Gulf is beautiful, but can be flatter. The water is def clearer, though...at least usually. Clearwater looks lovely, but I was really surprised (again, on a daytrip) to find that there is no free parking. Anywhere. Honeymoon Beach, a state park a little north of Clearwater is GORGEOUS though. We've talked about going back there. But I've never stayed overnite.

__________________