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Vacation Planning Tips & Tricks Discuss Anyone recommend the nice clean beach with some local fun activities for the family. in the Vacation Planning forums; We are going next month (January-2010), for 11 days to Disney trip and were thinking of doing a day to the beach and if we like it spend the night ...
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    williams is offline C-Ticket Holder
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    Anyone recommend the nice clean beach with some local fun activities for the family.

    We are going next month (January-2010), for 11 days to Disney trip and were thinking of doing a day to the beach and if we like it spend the night even. Basically just a nice clean beach with some local fun activities for the family to do. Any help would be appreciated.


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  2. #2
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    Re: Anyone recommend the nice clean beach with some local fun activities for the fami

    Good news, the Space Coast has great beaches. Heading straight east on 528 from Orlando (if you take I4 N/E from the WDW area you can jump on 528 in short order) will get you to my favorite beaches in the world. Take the highway to A1A and head south. Intermediately you will be in the Cape Canaveral area (where NASA launches the shuttle and other projects) and there are some nice beaches to be had in that area. Heading further south by a bit gets you to Cocoa Beach, much of which has a great 'old Florida' look and feel to it and you can check out the famous (though now, less quaint) Ron Johns Surf Shop. Keep going south and you will find Patrick AFB/Satellite Beach (say hi to Genie and Major Nelson) and a few miles more Melbourne. Melbourne is more commercialized but nothing like the madness of many SoFla beaches. It has more activities and resorts than most of the other areas mentioned.

    My preference is either Cocoa Beach, or an area intermediately north of Melbourne Beach called Indiatlantic Beach. Indiatlantic will allow you to have some nice quiet beach time but be right down the road from the conveniences of Melbourne.

    It probably sounds like I just drove you all the way down the coast, but really, its probably only 15 miles from 528 and A1A to Melbourne, and the whole drive along the coast is beautiful, loaded with 'Florida' things and confusion free. Plenty of places to pull over to enjoy small shops, quiet beaches, etc.

    Are you planning on spending a night on the beach? Theres no shortage of hotels but my preference is to find the small places along A1A (esp near Indiatlantic) that look like they have been there since the 50's. Often painted pink or coral you can often find older folks that have run these places forever that, in the off season may rent a small apartment style unit directly on the beach for $100 or less a night.

    Now if you want to go for the Gulf Coast I am way less helpful. Sorry if that was long winded, I love that area. Any other questions?

  3. #3
    GIOny's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone recommend the nice clean beach with some local fun activities for the fami

    We also go to Cocoa Beach area and enjoyed it although I haven't been in a couple years. It's the closest beach to Disney.
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    Re: Anyone recommend the nice clean beach with some local fun activities for the fami

    I loved going to Cocoa Beach, watching the ships come in and out of the port and going to Kennedy space center! Love the area!
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    Re: Anyone recommend the nice clean beach with some local fun activities for the fami

    Cocoa Beach was a nice area. Tampa also has some great beaches. Don't forget that any natural (not on crappy lake water) beach is going to be out on the coast, usually about an hour's drive from Central Florida.

    With all of the great advice people have left above, do keep in mind that January is touch-and-go in Florida, especially Central. I was there in January a few years ago and they were in the middle of a deep freeze. I don't know what the weather is like at the coasts, but check it out before you build this in as such a major part of the trip! Just in case.
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  6. #6
    tizzo is offline E-Ticket Holder
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    Re: Anyone recommend the nice clean beach with some local fun activities for the fami

    Weather is generally warmer at the coasts than the interior, just like anywhere else.

    For example, the highs here on the east coast will be in the 50s all week, as opposed to Orlando's 40s!

    We in Brevard County appreciate the plug, by the way, johnatthebar! As for activities other than the beach itself, for which it will just be too cold this week at least, there are a couple of miniature golf courses in the Cocoa Beach area. There's Jetty Park at Port Canaveral, which sits on the inlet the cruise ships pass through on their way in or out. You can watch several of them set sail in succession weekly, I believe Saturdays starting around 4PM. There's probably another time and day when you can watch them come back in. Great place to watch shuttle launches too, for future reference. There are a lot of restaurants at the port as well.

    You didn't mention what makeup of your group, but for adults there is currently one floating casino line, Sun Cruz, operating out of the port, although I've seen local news in the past month about how they're teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, so you should call them to make sure they're sailing on the date you're interested in. Admission is free, as is food (which is only so-so). No gambling until you're 3 miles out, but then they have everything you'd find in a Vegas or Atlantic City casino, including slots and table games (unlike most Indian Reservation casinos, which I believe in Florida are restricted to only slot machines and other automated games like video poker). They usually run (or used to run) two cruises a day, an afternoon leaving around 11AM and and evening leaving around 7PM, lasting for 4-5 hours. Though admission is free, you're supposed to make reservations. I've never tried to get on without a reservation, so I don't know what that would be like. You just call and they'll take the number and names of your party and give you a confirmation number. I know they bring people in on busses, but I don't know where they run, but parking is free and there's plenty of it.

    Also, not exactly on the beach, but only about 10 minutes or so from the Indialantic area is the Brevard Zoo. Smallish zoo but some neat stuff there, including an interactive giraffe exhibit where you can pet and feed the animals, a free-flight aviary where you can feed lorikeets, and a new children's area with a petting zoo and a bunch of other interactive stuff. It's practically in my back yard and we bring all our visiting relatives there and they all seem to like it, and repeat visitors always want to return.

    Anyway, let me know if you want more info.
    Last edited by tizzo; 01-04-2010 at 09:01 AM.

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