Top Beaches on the Space Coast

Photo by Lance Asper on Unsplash

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From north to south, there are no shortage of beach options on Florida’s space coast. Pick your pleasure and enjoy!

Florida’s Space Coast Beaches

72 miles of coastline from Canaveral National Seashore to Sebastian Inlet make this region an exciting destination for visitors from around the world.

Space Coast beaches range from undeveloped beachscapes to popular surfing and recreation sites making the region home to east central Florida’s top beaches.

Get drawn-in by the unique natural beauty, diverse ecosystems, and exciting activities of the Space Coast.

Prepare to launch your visit to east central Florida’s top beaches by clicking here.

Daytona Beach

Seeking a quick getaway, or a week of fun in the sun? Look no further than “The World’s Most Famous Beach.” With 23 miles of shoreline, Daytona Beach has something for visitors of all ages, making it one of east central Florida’s top beaches.

Just 1.5 hours from Orlando, and central on Florida’s Atlantic coast, Daytona is a bustling east coast destination. Sand and surf beckon visitors looking to relax, or to try out the waves (rental surf boards and lessons are available from various concessions).

Splash the day away at Sun Splash Park (611 South Atlantic Avenue). This family-friendly beachfront park features great ocean views, a shaded playground, picnic areas, and public restrooms.

The Main Street Pier has been a popular place for fishing and sightseeing since 1925. Music fans can catch a free concert at the historic bandshell amphitheater from May – September.

Insider tip: For easy bandshell access park at the Ocean Center garage. Walk over the Ocean Walk Shoppes crosswalk to Oceanfront Park. There you can rent a “VIP” chair for maximum concert comfort.

Bikers are always welcome in Daytona Beach. Especially each spring during Bike Week, and again each October during Biketoberfest.  These annual gatherings draw thousands of motorcycle lovers, and their bikes, to this small town and its famous beach.

If cars are more your speed, the hard-packed sand beaches of Daytona allow automobiles (in some areas). Cruise along the Atlantic shore at a mellow 10 miles-per-hour (the maximum speed allowed) for a unique beach adventure. Experience and even more laid-back ride and rent a golf cart or pedal a bike along designated areas of the shore.

Check out all the fun Daytona has to offer here.

Ponce Inlet

Ponce Lighthouse

4931 South Peninsula Drive

Step-back in history, one step at a time. Climb 203 steps, to be exact, to get to the top of Florida’s tallest lighthouse at Ponce de Leon Inlet. You’ll be rewarded with a great workout and amazing 360 degree views of the Atlantic and surrounding areas.

Bring the kiddos and enjoy some time in the playground, or the nearby Marine Science Center, or one of several casual restaurants.

Lighthouse Point Park

5000 South Atlantic Avenue

Get into, or onto, the water at Lighthouse Point Park. This 52 acre gem of a park is just south of the Lighthouse and offers easy access to the Atlantic. Swim, surf, or even try your luck at fishing off the large jetty.

Land lovers will enjoy sunbathing, long walks on the nature trails, or climbing the observation tower overlooking the Halifax River.

Hungry visitors can enjoy grilling and picnicking at one of the parks covered pavilions.

Pets will love this park too! Head over to the Halifax River side area of the inlet, just southwest of the parking area, and let your leashed canine companion explore the shore. There are rinsing stations for you and your pup.

Parking at Lighthouse Point Park is $10 per vehicle daily. Annual passes are also available.

Learn all you need for a great day along the Atlantic by clicking here.

New Smyrna Beach

The barrier island of New Smyrna Beach boasts 11 beach parks. Some are on the shores of the Indian River, and some face the Atlantic. There’s even one where dogs are as welcome as the rest of the family!

Explore NSB, as the locals call it, from the water. The region boasts nine different paddling trails from backwater to routes along the Intracoastal. Click here for details including an interactive map.

There is a vehicle entrance/parking fee for many of New Smyrna Beach parks. For more information and complete listing of parks visit here.

27th Avenue Beachfront Park

Catch a wave, or a sunrise, from this 3.4 acre oceanfront park. Recently remodeled, the park features a new, shaded, ADA accessible playground for young visitors to enjoy.

Adults can also dodge the sun under rental cabanas, or at the parks picnic shelters.

Athletic types will love the amenities at this park.  Join in a game of basketball, racquetball, or swim in the surf.

Smyrna Dunes Park

2995 North Peninsula Avenue, New Smyrna Beach

Surrounded by water on three sides, this 184 acre inlet park has something for everyone, and their dogs! Featuring over two miles of wide, ADA accessible boardwalks, visitors can explore five different Florida ecosystems.

Climb the observation tower for breathtaking views of nearby Ponce Inlet lighthouse and the ocean. Check out surfers enjoying some of the coast’s best waves. Head out over the Indian River on the 300 foot long ADA accessible fishing pier.

Try your luck with your own bait and tackle (no concession is available here). Or just take in the view of the Indian River. For information on fishing licenses and regulations click here.

Bring your leashed pet pals to this dog-friendly beach park. Take your canine companion for a stroll along the elevated 1.4 mile boardwalk. Dogs are allowed on the walkway only before 10:00 a.m. However, you can spend the rest of the day with your pup at the inlet-side dog beach.

There is a fee for vehicles entering the park, but not for visitors who bicycle or walk in. Get all the info  you need to enjoy your time at Smyrna Dunes here.

Canaveral National Seashore


A variety of adventure awaits you at this vast National Seashore. 58,000 acres along the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean make this one of east central Florida’s top beaches.

This recreational paradise has something for every visitor. A variety of natural and cultural resources will make this a memorable beach experience.

Rent a kayak or canoe and explore the open lagoon, coastal hammock, or offshore waters.  Tour the barrier island via guided horseback (available for rental if you don’t want to pack your own horse!). Jump into the surf on a board, or to swim. Relax with a fishing rod, or just watching the many birds that visit this sanctuary.

Aspiring astronauts will enjoy the Apollo District Visitor Center within the park. The Center at 7611 South Atlantic Avenue is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

There is a vehicle entrance fee for autos and motorcycles. Daily or weekly passes are available for purchase. For park information visit here.

Insider tips: Rainy season is May to October and brings high water levels. Mosquito levels increase, wildlife viewing decreases. Cell phone reception is spotty here. However, public wifi is available at the Visitor Center. Public restrooms are available, but are port-a-potty style.

Playalinda Beach

Located within Canaveral National Seashore, remote Playalinda Beach offers relaxation with unspoiled dunes and rolling surf.

The majority of this remote beach is, well, just “another day at the beach.” However, drive 4 miles to the final parking area, lot 13, to experience the region’s only clothing optional beach. There are no age restrictions here, so don’t be surprised to see families of all ages enjoying a very natural experience.

Insider tips: This is a remote area. Bring in all water and supplies. Do not count on cellular access or wifi.

Cocoa Beach’s Westgate Beach Pier

401 Meade Avenue

You might not find a genie in a bottle, but you can easily catch a beautiful sunrise at Cocoa Beach. Amazing scenery and great surf make this one of east central Florida’s top beaches.

Cocoa’s Westgate Beach Pier has been a family favorite for over half a century. Enjoy a day of fishing, shopping, live entertainment, or just sightseeing along the 800 foot pier. Likewise, get your wish for a fantastic meal granted any one of dozens of area restaurants.

Cocoa Beach’s beachfront offer amenities for visitors of all ages and activity levels. Join in the adventure of daily surf lessons (from concessions near the pier). Strike-up a game of volleyball on one of several sandy courts. Take the kiddos to the playground. Relax-the-day away with your toes in the sand.

Starting making your wish list for a great Cocoa Beach visit here.

Canova Beach Park

3299 North Highway A1A, Indiantlantic

Canova Beach Park is fun for the entire family – even your fur babies! Bring your leashed four-legged family member to this dog-friendly beach!

Explore over nine acres of prime Atlantic shoreline. Grab your surf or skim board to enjoy the breaking waves. Take a break at the small, shaded pavilion or a picnic area (bring your own barbecue supplies and use one of the park’s grills!).

Rinse off at one of the freshwater stations before you head on to your next adventure. There are several dog-friendly restaurants and cafes in the area.

Insider tip: The access ramp for Canova Dog Beach is to the right of the public restroom at the free parking area.

Plan your day at the beach here.

Out of this World Adventure

Florida’s east central top beaches might be close in proximity, but worlds apart when it comes to experiences. With a wide range of options to choose from, you’re sure to create lifelong memories along the Space Coast.

While in the area, check out other great landmarks, click here.

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july, 2024

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