Some may think that you need to go to one of the Florida coasts to experience the beach while visiting Orlando but those people have never been to Saint Cloud, Florida (see picture above) or Moss Park in Orlando. If you want to make the 45-60 minute drive to the east coast, you can check out our guide to Cocoa Beach here, but there are several great beach spots and natural springs around the city of Orlando to take in without the need to drive very far in your car. This is our guide to the best Inland Beaches and Natural Springs in Orlando.
Best Inland Beaches in Orlando
The best inland beach in Orlando is on the shores of East Lake Tohopekaliga in Saint Cloud, Florida (see picture above). This sandy white beach has as nice of sand as any of the other beaches on the coast and has a splash pad park off to the side for your children to splash around in (see video below). There is also a Crabby Bill’s Seafood restaurant at the marina that is a very popular seafood restaurant chain out of Tampa, with the St Cloud restaurant being the only location in Orlando. A great time to visit the beach in St Cloud is on the 4th of July when you can lay on the beach and listen to live music and watch fireworks that you can read about here.
Although St Cloud may sound like a great distance for many locals in Orlando, the beach is about a 10 to 15 minute drive from Lake Nona High School and the Medical City in east Orlando down Narcoossee Road and we definitely recommend checking it out if you have never been.
St Cloud Lakefront Park and Beach Video
Moss Park Public Beach
Staying on the east side of town, our second recommendation for inland beaches in Orlando is at Moss Park in the Lake Nona area. Long before Lake Nona was a sprawling golf community and medical city, Moss Park has been a fixture in Orange County along the shores of Lake Mary Jane. At Moss Park Beach, you can play volleyball and swim in the lake. Picnic areas and a very nice playground is located at Moss Park as well. There is a small admission price for each car that is $3 per vehicle for 1-2 people and $5 per vehicle for 3-8 people.
Moss Park Public Beach Video
Winter Park Public Beach
The closest beach to Downtown Orlando is in Winter Park, Florida on the campus of Rollins College. The beach is located on Lake Virginia at Dinky Dock Park and is pointed out during the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour.
Winter Park Public Beach Video
Clementine’s Beach at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground
We know that Disney World has two very popular water parks in Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach and also some sandy beaches at some of the deluxe resorts on property but Clementine’s Beach at the Fort Wilderness Campground is the only beach that feels like a real beach.
A favorite for many travelers visiting the beach at Fort Wilderness is swinging on the hammocks and watching the free Electrical Water Pageant show from the shore at night. With swimming no longer allowed at Clementine’s Beach and the River Country Water Park official closed forever, Disney needs to follow Saint Cloud’s lead and put in one of those splash parks that they have implemented at their Caribbean Beach and Grand Floridian Resorts for the kids to play and splash around in while mom and dad relax.
Contact Fort Wilderness at 407-824-2900 for more information.
Clementine’s Beach Video
Natural Lazy River and Swimming at Kelly Park in Apopka
If swimming or inner-tubing down a natural lazy river is more your thing than lounging around on a beach, than Rock Springs at Kelly Park in Apopka may have what you are looking for. Guests can get an inner-tube at Kelly Park and float mildly down Rock Springs. Thereis also a place for swimming and snorkeling in the natural and very clear spring. Admission is $3 per vehicle for 1-2 people and $5 per vehicle for 3-8 people.
Kelly Park Video
Snorkeling and Swimming at Wekiwa Springs State Park
The famous springs and park in Apopka, Florida is pronounced and spelled Wekiwa whereas the river that many come to canoe or kayak down is called Wekiva. Either way, swimming and snorkeling at Wekiwa Springs State Park and renting a canoe to go down the Wekiva River is a very popular thing to do for locals and tourist during spring break and the summer season. Along the Wekiva River, you will pass by Florida’s natural settings and wildlife along with the very-lively Wekiva Island that you can read about here. Admission for the park is $4.00 for a single occupant or $6 for vehicles with 2 to 8 people.
Wekiwa Springs State Park Swimming Video
Wekiwa Springs State Park Snorkeling Video
Fleet Peeples Dog Park in Winter Park
Our final entry is neither a beach or a natural spring for people but rather the best beach (if you want to call it that) for your dog to run around unleashed with other dogs at Lake Baldwin where Winter Park meets Baldwin Park. Fleet Peeples Park is the only place that we know about in Orlando that combines the fun of a dog park in a setting where fido can go play in the water with other dogs (see video below).
Fleet Peeples Park Video
Orlando Inland Beaches and Natural Springs Map
View Orlando Inland Beaches and Natural Springs in a larger map