Located halfway between Lakeland and Orlando, Davenport is experiencing a population boom. It’s the 2nd fastest growing town in the state.
To experience Florida’s famous beaches, people who stay in Davenport will have to drive for well over an hour. However, the great news is that both Atlantic and Gulf beaches are an equal distance away, so the choice is practically endless.
Whether you want to see rockets launch while sipping Piña Coladas, surf the Atlantic, or see manatees in the Gulf, there are plenty of options.
Check out what Davenport has to offer!
Beaches near Davenport:
- Cocoa Beach
- Tables Beach
- Hightower Beach
- South Beach Park
- Playalinda Beach
- New Smyrna Beach
- Clearwater Beach
- Saint Pete Beach
- Honeymoon Island State Park
- Indian Rocks Beach
- Archibald Beach Park
- Caladesi Island State Park
- Fort DeSoto Park
- Howard Park Beach
- Sunset Beach
- Manatee Public Beach
- Lithia Springs Park
- Max Beach
- Anclote Key Preserve State Park
1. Cocoa Beach
- Distance from Davenport: 84 miles (1hr 35min)
- Activities: swimming, boating, sightseeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing
- Amenities: fishing pier, umbrellas, chairs, golf course, parking
There are many notable sites on Florida’s Space Coast. However, none sticks out like Cocoa Beach. Perhaps it could be the reason it is regarded as a quintessential oceanfront. And luckily, it’s the nearest Atlantic beach to Davenport.
There are endless ways to enjoy this gem. Think of swimming, paddleboarding, eco-touring kayak adventures, and deep-sea fishing.
Speaking of fishing, Cocoa Beach boasts a monumental fishing pier that extends 800 feet into the Atlantic Ocean.
Sun and fun activities aside, there’s the history of Kennedy Space Center you may want to learn about. If you are lucky, you might just witness a rocket lift-off.
Shopping centers, golf courses, and dining spots abound – it’s a must-visit spot.
2. Tables Beach
- Distance from Davenport: 88 miles (1hr 40min)
- Activities: swimming, surfing, picnicking, watching rockets launch
- Amenities: picnic tables, parking, pavilion, showers, restrooms
Tables Beach is an underrated waterfront stretch on the east coast of Florida. For that reason alone, you are likely to experience so much peace and quiet here compared to some noisy spots like Daytona Beach or Cocoa Beach.
Its proximity to Patrick Space Force base means you will catch some occasional military aircraft sightings. The ocean water is ideal for swimming and surfing. There is no shade, so carry your sunscreen, as the sun can get brutal at times.
Despite being a public facility, Tables Beach is clean, with lots of free parking and basic amenities, but there are no lifeguards. It’s a good idea to carry some water, drinks, and snacks.
3. Hightower Beach
- Distance from Davenport: 91 miles (1hr 35min)
- Activities: swimming, surfing, picnicking, sightseeing
- Amenities: boardwalk, pavilion, restrooms, showers, shelters
Hightower Beach is another splendid waterfront haven, especially for those seeking exclusivity. Its relaxing vibe aside, the waves at this establishment are fairly strong, and you’ll find lots of surfers tackling them.
Because of the robust waves, this beach might not appeal to families with children. Nevertheless, there’ll be more to do, from sightseeing on the short boardwalk or indulging in photography sessions.
The silky-smooth sands and unique dune formations make Hightower Beach a picnic paradise. The parking space is nice but too small. Luckily, there is more overflow parking across the street from the beach.
4. South Beach Park
- Distance from Davenport: 102 miles (2hr 10min)
- Activities: swimming, volleyball, shelling
- Amenities: lifeguards, walking trails, boardwalk, restrooms, volleyball court, pavilion, grills, vending machines
Still have an appetite for Atlantic Ocean-based beaches? Another coastline pearl bordered by glitzy hotels is South Beach Park at Vero Beach. So impeccably maintained is this spot that you would think it barely receives visitors.
There are several boardwalks, and some of them have thick canopies of wood over them, creating a convenient cover from the sun as you walk towards the beach. Within the tangled trees, you can see birds and other wild animals darting about.
South Beach Park is a charming spot and a dream for water lovers. You can swim in the crystal clear blue waters, build sand castles or even wander around just for the views.
5. Playalinda Beach
- Distance from Davenport: 88 miles (1hr 40min)
- Activities: swimming, fishing, picnicking, sunbathing, kayaking, watching rockets launch
- Amenities: parking, bathroom, restroom
Playalinda Beach could easily be the most exciting choice on this list. First, this beach is extremely close to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, and you can actually see the station’s launching pads. So on a good day, while tanning on the sands here, you could see a rocket launch into space.
This beach also has a park theme with lush green vegetation framing its edges. There’s a fairly long boardwalk that leads to the sandy shores. You can stand on it to revel in the magnificent views of the ocean, wildlife, birds, and the nearby space center.
Another intriguing aspect of Playalinda Beach is the nude sunbathing section near the very end. To access this fine establishment, you need either a daily, yearly, or lifetime pass. So if you plan on visiting this oceanfront more than once, then consider going for the yearly pass.
6. New Smyrna Beach
- Distance from Davenport: 89 miles (1hr 45min)
- Activities: surfing, fishing, swimming
- Amenities: parking, lifeguard
One of Florida’s can’t-miss holiday beaches is New Smyrna Beach. Unlike others on this list, this one is surrounded by multiple bubbly antique shops, restaurants, apartment rentals, and hotels, making it an appealing coastline destination for family holidays.
This stretch of coastline has excellent waves, and anyone who is into surfing will definitely be looking forward to great times. There are also several convenient fishing and swimming areas with good accessibility.
Surfers and swimmers can catch glimpses of sharks at New Smyrna Beach. It is best not to venture too deep into the ocean and have a shark tracker app installed on your phone.
Parking is a bit limited. But when you can’t find one, they’ll let you park right on the beach but at a fee.
7. Clearwater Beach
- Distance from Davenport: 88 miles (1hr 45min)
- Activities: boating, swimming, kayaking, fishing, jet-skiing, paddle boarding, shell hunting, snorkeling
- Amenities: umbrellas, reclined chairs, volleyball courts, parking space, showers, rentals
One of Florida’s finest and biggest beaches worth exploring is Clearwater Beach. This gem is always abuzz with activity 24/7 and, therefore, is a top choice for vacation and family trips.
Any water activity you can think of takes place on this trendy shoreline. You can dive into its emerald-colored water or simply enjoy a walk across the sugary white sandy coastline.
Not only is Clearwater Beach a stone’s throw distance from restaurants and hotels. It’s also close to water sports rentals like boats, canoes, and kayaks. There are plenty of umbrella shades to rest under as you watch tourists going by.
Besides its blue waters and sugar-white sands, this spot is also popularly known for having one of the longest fishing piers from where you can fish or enjoy tranquil sunset moments. At night, many bars along the coast remain open for business.
The beach is usually abuzz with private boat tours. You can hire one to ride across the extensive coastline and other close-by zones to catch magnificent dolphin views. There is also rich marine life to observe, such as stingrays and manatees.
As one of the busiest beaches in the area, there is always a lifeguard on duty all year round. And every once in a while, you might be lucky to indulge yourself in lively performances from street artists amongst other special event celebrations.
8. Saint Pete Beach
- Distance from Davenport: 93 miles (1hr 45min)
- Activities: swimming, volleyball, sunset viewing, boogie boarding
- Amenities: umbrellas, reclined chairs, volleyball courts, parking space, showers, restrooms
If you are looking for a coastal destination abuzz with activities, you better check out Saint Pete Beach.
As one of the heavily frequented tourist destinations, you will always find families taking a dive in its emerald-green waters or walking around on its soft sands.
Tripadvisor placed Saint Pete Beach in the top spot as US’ best beach in 2021. That should not come as a surprise given its laid-back yet fun-filled atmosphere.
Close to it is the historical Don CeSar resort, Postcard Inn for live music sessions, museums, multiple bars for bar-hopping lovers, as well as great shopping centers and places to eat and stay.
There is a long string of umbrellas dotting the shoreline for after-swim resting sessions. So if you are looking for a beach that is close to the town, this should definitely come at the top of your list.
9. Honeymoon Island State Park
- Distance from Davenport: 92 miles (1hr 50min)
- Activities: paddle sports, swimming, fishing, biking, nature walking, picnicking, hiking, surfing
- Amenities: trails, playgrounds, picnic tables, showers
Combining an island, a park, and a beach experience all at once, Honeymoon Island State Park is supremely magical. Like Clearwater Beach, it’s also one of the most-lively beaches in Florida for family vacations and fishing expeditions.
The spot has over four miles of a wonderful beach to explore. A walk through one of the trails leads straight into one of the few remaining virgin pine forests on the island. If you turn your head towards the sky, you’ll see many bird species flapping around.
There are many cool swimming spots on Honeymoon Island. It is also popularly known for harboring the mightiest fish species like snook, kingfish, ladyfish, and many others.
Besides fishing and watersports, you can opt to ride a bike or explore walking trails that connect to other unspoiled islands like Caladesi.
It’s common to see visitors taking a walk on the island’s vast, sugar-white sandy shorelines. And when it’s time to relax, there are a couple of shops for coffee, ice cream, and food.
10. Indian Rocks Beach
- Distance from Davenport: 90 miles (1hr 50min)
- Activities: swimming, picnicking, sunset watching
- Amenities: parking lot, showers, restroom
Indian Rocks Beach will make you want to spend countless hours idling on its lovely sandy shore. Sitting close to Clearwater, this gem suits those who want to be close to city restaurants, bars, and accommodation facilities.
The most alluring aspect of Indian Rocks Beach is its wide stretch of the ocean coast and its soft, lustrous sand. Here, you can swim, watch the dolphins surf the Gulf waters, as well as put your sand-castle-building skills to the test.
There’s a mini-golf pit, a bird sanctuary for injured feathery friends, and parking spaces. Many other outstanding beaches lie next to it, in case you feel like “beach-hopping.”
11. Archibald Beach Park
- Distance from Davenport: 90 miles (1hr 45min)
- Activities: swimming, collecting sea shells, picnicking
- Amenities: picnic areas, restroom, parking, outdoor showers, volleyball courts
Archibald Beach Park may not be the most popular, but its majesty still inches close to some of the top choices in Florida. This is a clean beach with well-kept shores that don’t have seaweed or sharp rocks.
Being adjacent to the city of Madeira Beach, you will feel its vibrant vibe, especially on holidays when it is abuzz with tourists.
This beach is special in that it houses all the essential watersports amenities, and it also sits next to luxurious resorts like Holiday Isles or Shoreline Islands Resorts.
Swimming aside, this earthly haven is punctuated with gently swaying palm trees and other coastal vegetation.
There are mats to help those in wheelchairs access the beach with ease, too.
12. Caladesi Island State Park
- Distance from Davenport: 90 miles (1hr 50min)
- Activities: Kayaking, canoeing, nature walking, paddling, swimming, boating, hiking, picnicking
- Amenities: marina, playgrounds, picnic tables, kayak launch, showers
Caladesi Island State Park is a barrier island park located north of Clearwater. Accessible by boat or a ferry from Dunedin, it makes for an excellent adventure.
For many years, the facility has appeared at the top of many lists as one of the best beaches in the country. As of 2022, Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman (Dr. Beach) ranks it as the second-best.
There are many reasons why people flock to Caladesi Island State Park. Perhaps the most important ones are its mild weather and rental amenities.
This beach’s sparkling waters make fishing and swimming pleasant and fun. And at a small fee, you can enjoy boat, canoe, and paddle board rides with friends and family.
Caladesi Island State Park is an excellent gateway for nature walks. Unlike others with only boardwalk trails, this one includes canoe and kayak trails that cut through mangroves.
While on your seaside trails, you’ll be able to see Blue Herons and other bird species roaming around. There are also a few wildlife animals hiding in the thick mangrove trees.
What’s more, Caladesi Island State Park has best-in-class amenities. There are concession stands and a cafe for meals, snacks, and drinks.
13. Fort DeSoto Park
- Distance from Davenport: 97 miles (1hr 45min)
- Activities: canoeing, kayaking, fishing, boating, camping, swimming
- Amenities: campgrounds, fishing spots, showers, lifeguard, boat ramp, concessions, watersport equipment
With a 4.8 rating on Google and multiple heart-warming reviews, there’s no doubt that Fort DeSoto Park is one of nature’s most wonderful creations.
Ever since 2009, this park’s emerald blue waters, soft sands, and shady pines have brought joy to many beachgoers.
Nestled within five islands, this park has a great history to it. It served as a defense fort during the Spanish-American war. You can explore the fort’s jail cells and canons which will definitely evoke some thoughts or make you grateful for the peace.
The most appealing aspect of Fort DeSoto Park is its beach and the enchanting lush green surrounding.
Its pristine waters are ideal for swimming, fishing as well as seashells collecting. This unspoiled island paradise is also home to dolphins, manatees, and other wildlife and sea creatures.
14. Howard Park Beach
- Distance from Davenport: 99 miles (2 hr)
- Activities: swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, biking, windsurfing, kite surfing
- Amenities: picnic shelters, softball field, butterfly garden, parking, sun shades
Do you intend to spend a whole day at a beach and not lack something new to do? If that’s the case, then Howard Park Beach should be your number one priority. It’s part of a larger Fred Howard Park with all its playgrounds, outfitters, and rentals.
Howard Park Beach is connected to the mainland via a mile-long causeway with plenty of parking for taking in the views.
Once here, there is plenty to do, from swimming, kayaking, and fishing, to wind and kite surfing. There are a few picnic spots with plenty more at the main park.
Food trucks jet in every once in a while during the day, but it’s advisable to pack a few snacks just in case.
15. Sunset Beach
- Distance from Davenport: 97 miles (1hr 55min)
- Activities: swimming, boating, sunset watching
- Amenities: boat ramp, boardwalk, shaded pavilion, showers
Peace. Serenity. Contentment. These are the feelings you are going to experience if you happen to visit Sunset beach in Tarpon Springs.
As the name implies, this is one of the best spots to catch the sunset as it recedes below the ocean waters creating a strikingly magical contrast both in the water and the luminous sky.
This beach is pristine and very quiet, except during spring when the season starts.
The boat ramp for small craft and the sheltered waters of Sant Joseph Sound make it an ideal spot for kayaking, paddleboarding, and other watersports.
Sunset Beach doesn’t have ample parking. Nevertheless, it’s great for swimming, boating, and sunset watching.
16. Manatee Public Beach
- Distance from Davenport: 105 miles (1hr 55min)
- Activities: picnicking, swimming, kayaking, biking, volleyball
- Amenities: playground, picnic tables, restroom, volleyball net
Manatee Public Beach is located on Anna Maria Island at the entrance to Tampa Bay. It’s known for crystal clear water, sugar-like sand, and a selection of local cafes and restaurants.
This beach is a top spot amongst both locals and tourists. As such you need to arrive early in order to secure parking space, as it gets really busy when the season is on.
A playground, a volleyball net, and a tiki bar are all the amenities here, but what else can you wish for on a relaxing beach?
17. Lithia Springs Park
- Distance from Davenport: 60 miles (1hr 15min)
- Activities: swimming, camping, fishing, kayaking, canoeing
- Amenities: camping facilities, showers, tables, chairs
Lithia Springs Park is a dashing little hole in Lithia. Tucked away in a conservation park, this outdoor retreat will fill the appetite of any discerning water lover.
The pack is encapsulated in a thick canopy of lush green trees and coastal vegetation that paint magnificent scenery. The sound of birds, critters, and the refreshing springs will make you want to visit this quiet spot repeatedly.
Its arresting beauty aside, Lithia Springs Park has ample resting spots, playgrounds, camping areas, and nature trails. The water here is crystal clear such that you can catch a view of fish gliding about lazily.
Granted, it’s not an ocean beach but a refreshing swimming hole, nevertheless. And its biggest advantage is that it’s much closer than saltwater beaches.
18. Max Beach
- Distance from Davenport: 17 miles (30 min)
- Activities: jet skiing, swimming, volleyball, picnicking, boating, paddling, fishing
- Amenities: bathrooms, picnic tables, volleyball pitch, boat ramp
Max beach is one of the shortest drives from Davenport and therefore appealing to those who want a nearer beach retreat.
Nestled on the edges of Lake Ariana, this serene gem is packed with fun and activities. To begin with, it has a volleyball pitch, swings, and a fishing pier wide enough for peaceful sunset moments.
The surrounding is sprawled with green grass and a few palm trees that make Max beach stunning. There’s a pavilion, complete with chairs, tables, and a grilling zone for barbecues, too.
19. Anclote Key Preserve State Park
- Distance from Davenport: 94 miles (1hr 50min)
- Activities: bird watching, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, camping
- Amenities: restrooms, primitive campgrounds
Located near Tarpon Springs, Anclote Key Preserve State Park has a gorgeous shore that you can explore in the much-famed Gulf of Mexico. The park is one of the hidden gems with a laid-back, 403-acre beach.
Unlike most beaches, this one comprises four amazing islands-Three Rooker Island, North Anclote Bar, Anclote Key, and South Anclote Bar. Basically, you’ll have quite a lot to explore.
If you are into birding, this beach should be at the top of your list. It has a whopping 43+ bird species to spot. That includes bald eagles, piping plovers, oystercatcher, and many more.
However, there is no lifeguard on duty, so be sure to look out for yourself, friends, and family members. Paddleboarding, snorkeling, and boating are common activities on the island.
What’s more, there’s also a historic lighthouse on the island that dates back to 1887. Adjacent to it lies perfect camping spots, making for a primitive but unique camping experience.
Although Anclote Key Preserve State Park is free to the public, it’s a boat-in location that you can’t access by car. Several ferries run from Tarpon Springs, so even getting here is an adventure.
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