Beach rental?

Looking to book 3 nights at a beach house after our upcoming DW trip. We’re flying in and out of MCO. Any suggestions to narrow our search? Not familiar with FL and am sure there are debates between atlantic and gulf coasts :slight_smile:

Closest best is Cocoa Beach…we like the Destin area though…We’ve stayed at Sandestin a few times.

1 Like

Gulf side beaches. Ocean side can be okay, but there can be lots of jelly fish you have to avoid as well at times. I just felt the gulf side beaches were nicer.

How far are you willing to travel to get there? Destin supposedly has some of the nicest beaches in all of Florida, but it is a long drive. Same with heading more south, such as near Naples. The closer beaches are also the busier ones, such as those near Tampa.

I really want to do a side trip in June as well and I’m trying to figure out which beach to hit. Was strongly leaning towards Cocoa just for the convenience of driving (will just be me to drive and want to do a single - and not terribly long - day). Until I read @ryan1 and a few others’ jellyfish comments…

It sounds like people love Clearwater and some of the other beaches on the Gulf side. I have been to Destin a few times and would go back there in a heartbeat, it’s so beautiful.

Just spent a couple days in Clearwater, and it was beautiful with the clean white sand. Actual Clearwater Beach is a bit touristy and crowded, and we were only there to check out Pier 60 that had some local artisans selling their stuff, and in normal times will have more live entertainment going on. We went to Sand Key Beach which was just to the south and a little less crowded and quieter. Easy umbrella and chair rentals, a decent food truck right on the beach and all day parking for $5. Definitely a good spot, and I’m sure there’s many more like that along the gulf.

The drive over there from Orlando wasn’t terrible on I-4, only heavy traffic for 10 miles or so past WDW and then briefly as we looped around downtown Tampa.


Ahem jelly fish are in the gulf too. We had man-of-war on a beach in Destin. Oh and don’t forget about the sting ray shuffle in the gulf

You should have told me this a week ago! :grimacing: :rofl: The sunburn got us before those things did though.


I’m just staying Disney all the way and doing Vero Beach…I would give you a report but I may be too late. We are going to be at the beach Jun 9-12

Perhaps. But every time I’ve been on the Atlantic side in Florida, the beach was littered with jelly fish. (We also have friends who were just down there, and three of them got stung by jelly fish!) But when I’ve been on the Gulf side, I’ve never seen a single one. Not saying they aren’t there…just much less likely.

Destin is way too far away from Orlando.

Cocoa Beach is the closest and has more of a small town beach vibe. Clearwater has IMHO a better beach, (I like the soft white sand of the Gulf) but is much more crowded and is basically part of the Tampa/St Pete area.


Op sorry. Usually beaches have signs up w/ directions on how to do the sting ray shuffle AND on the Emerald Coast they use marine warning flags so you know when it’s unsafe and why
Florida’s Beach Warning Flag Meanings - The Breakers of Fort Walton Beach (
and down in SW FL… there are signs telling you when you are allowed to collect shells to include sand dollars.

I agree w/ you!

1 Like

If you can drive to Destin, there is a place there that does Snuba. No certifications needed. Cross between snorkeling and Scuba. Small groups stay together and there is this little boat with dangling air hoses. So you don’t wear any equipment. You also can’t go too deep, so at any time you could dump the mouthpiece and go to the surface.
I used to be a big-time scuba diver. I wanted DD to like it, so this was her introduction. They did a group of just our family and we just went where DD wanted to go. Now she wants to learn scuba!
There is a place (I think) in the Florida Keys that also does it.

ETA: The video of it is sort of funny. DD is going here and there picking up shells and stuff. I just have eyes for DD.