UPDATED: October 2023. Have you heard of Kissimmee Florida? You are probably thinking it’s in the middle of the state, how can there be beaches near Kissimmee Florida?
First, though, let’s talk about how to say this city name. When I first read the highway sign on the turnpike on our first trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, I thought what is that city?
I pronounced it Kiss-A-Me. The correct pronunciation is ki -SIM-ee. Many Florida cities are named after Indian tribes and words. This is one.
There are more than 12 Indian tribes in the Sunshine State. We know how to pronounce Kissimmee, but where is it?
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Where is Kissimmee?
Kissimmee is south of Orlando which is a short drive away. Geographic latitude 28.2921° N, 81.4077° W.
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If you plan to fly into the Sunshine State, Orlando International Airport is approximately a 30-minute drive from Kissimmee. In my opinion, it is a prime location for a Disney World or Universal Studio vacation.
You can drive into Orlando and hit the water parks and water slides or enjoy the day at a theme park. Then return to Kissimmee, which is much less expensive for accommodations.
On our first Magic Kingdom trip, we actually stayed in a hotel in Kissimmee because it was much less expensive than Orlando near the parks.
From Southern Florida, you would take the turnpike north. And from Northern Florida, it would be I-75 South to the Florida Turnpike or I-95 South to I-4 to the Florida Turnpike.
All roads lead to the center of the state.
What is in Kissimmee?
In addition to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, and the other theme parks in the happiest place in the United States, there are plenty of fun things to do in Kissimmee.
I have a few favorites that are a very close drive east from Kissimmee. One of our favorites is to walk around Old Town. Enjoy the rides including the Ferris wheel and then grab dinner.
If the weather is warm, Kissimmee Lakefront Splash Parks and let the kids play outdoors and burn off some energy.
Then before taking your day trip to one of Florida’s beaches on either side of the state, take in a few museums and state parks in the area.
Even better? You can get a nice rental home or hotel room that costs significantly less than in Orlando. I’ll post the mobile apps below to help you.
Check rates and availability for the top hotels in Kissimmee: Best Hotels Kissimmee Florida
Is There A Beach In Kissimmee? What Are the best beaches? How Far Away Are the Beaches?
As far as beaches, beaches as in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico? There are none. You have to drive to either coast.
But don’t worry, the closest beaches are only an hour away. I will put the links for the best beaches within an hour below to make it easy for you to plan.
I have also added vacation home or hotels that are beachfront next to each destination. This way you can easily stay on the beach at least one night. So worth it.
We will start with Atlantic Coast Beaches first then Gulf of Mexico Beaches will follow. From Orlando, hop on the Beachline Expressway (528) heading east, and you can have your pick of beaches to enjoy.
Atlantic Coast Beaches Near Kissimmee Florida
I have a few favorites that are a very close drive east from Kissimmee. These are the top picks.
South and east of Kissimmee, Vero Beach is a hidden treasure. It always surprises me when folks tell me they have never heard of Vero Beach.
Vero Beach is about 1.5 hours away from Kissimmee and perfect for those who like a quieter beach to relax on.
There are quite a few beachfront parks with restrooms, volleyball courts, and picnic tables to grab a snack or lunch before returning to the beach.
Check rates and availability here: Vero Beach Vacation Rentals
Sebastian Inlet State Park, Melbourne
Just north of Vero Beach, you will find Sebastian Inlet State Park in the city of Melbourne. This park is located on the tip of two barrier islands which makes it the perfect place for wildlife viewing.
Depending on the time of year, you may see juvenile sea turtles, manatees, dolphins, and even Right Whales which are an endangered species.
The Right Whales are fairly close to the coastline during the months of January and February.
Starting with the world’s most famous beach, Daytona Beach. One of the most popular beaches for spring break but also a great choice for the whole family.
If you love racing, you will want to make time to visit the Daytona 500 International Race Track. Even if there is not a race while you’re visiting, be sure to take the time and enjoy a tour. It was so much larger than I thought.
After that, head over to the beautiful beaches where you can actually drive on the beach if you have a four-wheel drive vehicle. Do not attempt this is your vehicle is not 4WD.
I have witnessed many cars stuck on the beach. Wind down in the evening with some great food, beverages, and even live music. Definitely a top pick and a great place easy to get to.
New Smyrna Beach
After my last visit to New Smyrna Beach, it has moved way up on my favorite beach list. Miles of beaches to walk during the day and then within walking distance of your hotel or vacation rental, are dinner, drinks, shops, and more.
Literally, park your car and don’t get back in until you’re ready to leave. Love the small town vibe.
Cape Canaveral and the Canaveral National Seashore
This area is the perfect place for nature lovers. Enjoy nature trails, miles of amazing beaches, and marine life including rays, dolphins, and more. Watch for loggerhead turtles as they nest in this area of Florida.
Check rates and availability for the top hotels in Kissimmee: Best Hotels Kissimmee Florida
This is a great family beach vacation destination. Enjoy a two-fer by hitting Port Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
So much to see and do on this barrier island literally less than an hour away from the theme parks in Orlando.
I love Flagler Beach and have spent several outings at Flagler Beach Municipal Pier. There are some great restaurants there.
This beach too offers miles of Atlantic Shoreline to explore while not being as crowded as the top beaches above. It is farther south, however, than Daytona and NSB.
Also, farther south the above beaches and one of the best Florida Beaches is Cocoa Beach and the fun Cocoa Beach Pier. This beach is a great pick for those who like a more active Florida vacation.
Lori Wilson Park, a Brevard County park, is a great place for a family day at the beach. Restrooms, showers, and a dog park too.
Enjoy water sports such as swimming, snorkeling and even try your luck at surfing. There are surf schools in the Cocoa Beach area to help you get started.
One more to mention before switching to the West Central Gulf of Mexico side of the state is St. Augustine. I don’t consider this one very close to Kissimmee, but I know folks will ask about it.
One of the nicest Atlantic Beaches with so much amazing history. It’s worth a drive just to see the Fort. The drive, though, is two hours which is why I am listing it last.
Would I make the time? Absolutely. But if you are on a long weekend getaway, this destination may be a bit far.
Gulf Coast Beaches Near Kissimmee Florida
Let’s move over to the West Coast of Florida and the many wonderful miles of sandy white beaches.
If you want white sand beaches, this is the side of the state you will want to visit. The majority of the closest beaches will be in Pinellas County.
Beautiful Clearwater Beach is appropriately named. Palm trees, clear water and white sand beaches as far as the eye can see.
This beach though is also more than an hour drive from Kissimmee. But it’s worth it.
A top holiday destination because of the great beaches. If you will be in Florida for more than a long weekend, definitely put this great spot on your list. This is another area you will want to watch for sea turtles.
Also, over two hours away by car is Treasure Island. But it’s one of the best places with soft sand and plenty of things to do. I am listing it though because it is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway.
Sunset cruises. Vacation homes with a hot tub or swimming pool. And plenty of fantastic restaurants, bars, and entertainment. You will enjoy an adult-only vacation jam-packed with fun things to do in Treasure Island.
St. Petersburg is a bit under 2.5-hour drive from Kissimmee, but I feel it is a better place than others in the area for a beach getaway.
Plenty of sand, sun, and clear water to enjoy. It is also nearby Tampa and Tampa Bay which means you could fly out of Tampa/St. Pete Airport versus driving back to the center of the state. A little planning can get you a great vacation.
Other Nearby Beaches:
Two more I wanted to add to this list. Caladesi Beach as well as Anna Maria Island are two of the most beautiful beaches in Florida.
Caladesi Island and Caladesi Beach. Roughly 10 minutes from Clearwater Beach. Enjoy a day in the State Park. Pack your lunch as there are plenty of picnic areas.
Anna Maria Island. In Manatee County south of the above beaches, you will find Anna Maria Island. The only reason I am mentioning it is that it is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Gulf Coast.
Quick links to the Best Beaches Close to Kissimmee On The Atlantic Coast
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Denise Sanger lives a life split between her love for fitness and her passion for travel particularly to the BEACH. Denise also has a love of marketing and lives in beautiful Suwannee County, Florida. You can find out more about Denise here: About Denise