As Florida enters into Phase 1 of reopening the state, many counties have also voted to reopen their beaches in some form or fashion. This is an opportunity for people to get some sunshine and fresh air, get their feet sandy, dip their toes in the water, while social distancing from other people on the beach and following other guidelines.

Find out which Florida beaches near Lakeland are currently open. Some of them are restricting parking to 2 hours, only allowing walking and swimming (no chairs or coolers), or other guidelines to be sure the beaches are being used for exercise and not social gatherings. Links are provided to check for current updates on beach status.

All beaches on our list are within a 1.5 – 2 hour drive of the Lakeland area, allowing you to visit in a single day as a day trip. There are no beaches less than a 60-minute drive, most are a minimum of 1 hour 15 minutes if there is very little traffic.

Keep in mind that beaches are likely to be extremely popular and you might drive 1+ hours to discover parking is limited or unavailable.

Editor’s Note: Florida’s Safer at Home order expired May 1 and we are currently in Phase 1 of “reopening” Florida. We recognize that this is going to be a confusing period of time with varying opinions on what people should and shouldn’t be doing. For almost 5 years, Lakeland Mom has been a reliable source of information for our community. We will continue to provide updates on the outdoor spaces and activities that are open under government guidelines. This does not constitute an endorsement or a suggestion that we jump back into a “normal” way of life. Masks are encouraged if you are out in public spaces (and required in some buildings), click here to buy masks locally.

During this time we encourage everyone to be informed and choose what they feel is best for their own family.

Pinellas County Beaches 

Beaches will open Monday, May 4, at 7 a.m. Includes Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Fort DeSoto, Indian Rocks Beach.

• Public beach visitors must adhere to CDC social distancing guidelines. Groups of more than 10 are prohibited, and people not from the same family must stay at least 6 feet apart.
• Public beach restrooms must meet CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfection.  Concessions, including snack bar and kayak and chair rentals, will remain closed pending new direction from the state regarding nonessential businesses.
• Sand Key Park, Fort De Soto Park and all of Fred Howard Park will reopen with the beaches. Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island state parks will remain closed until reopened by the state.

For more information visit the Pinellas County website.

Sarasota County Beaches 

Parking will be available at county-owned beaches starting Monday, May 4. This includes beach access locations at Siesta Key, Lido, Venice, Englewood. For a list of Sarasota Public Beaches, click here.

  • Chairs, coolers and canopies will also now be allowed, but we are asking all beachgoers to maintain social distancing and keep groups to 10 or less.
  • Concessions, playgrounds, amenities and picnic shelters will remain closed. These areas will be opened as part of Phase 3 of beach reopening. Restrooms are open.

For updates visit the Sarasota County website.

Manatee County Beaches 

Beaches will open Monday, May 4. Beachgoers are expected to observe CDC social distancing guidelines and you will be limited to two hour parking at the County’s public parking lots.

  • Public parking spots at the County’s three public beaches on Anna Maria Island will be open from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., seven days a week beginning Monday, May 4. There will be approximately 400 parking spots at Coquina Beach, 200 at Cortez Beach and space for 250 vehicles at Manatee Beach. Drivers will be allowed an available space on a first-come, first-served basis. Only the 3 public parking lots are open, cars will be towed from side streets, on-street parking, and right-of-way parking.
  • Beachgoers will have two hours of free parking each day to enjoy the beach with minimal restrictions. The limit will allow visitors to enjoy the sun, sand and water for a reasonable amount of time while allowing others to visit the beach throughout the day.
  • When they arrive, drivers will be given a two-hour parking pass and a reminder to remain a safe distance from others. Vehicles parked beyond the two-hour time limit will be subject to a parking citation and fine.
  • Typical beach activities are allowed.
  • As always, animals, alcohol, fires, glass bottles or vehicles are not allowed on County beaches anytime. Other beach gear is allowed and sunscreen is encouraged, especially for anyone who hasn’t been in the sun for several weeks.

For more information visit the Manatee County website.

Brevard County Beaches 

Includes Satellite Beach, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Cape Canaveral.

County-controlled beachside parks and beachside public parking access areas will be reopened for most beaches.

Many cities, including Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Melbourne Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic, and Melbourne are expected to announce openings of beachside parking access at a later date. Beaches are open for walking, jogging, biking, fishing, surfing and swimming, but some city beach parking lots remain closed.

This section may be outdated since there are many cities in Brevard County making individual decisions. For more information visit the Visit Space Coast Website

Volusia County Beaches 

Volusia County beaches are open as of May 2. Includes Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, and New Smyrna Beach.

Activities including sitting, sunbathing and other activities will be permitted beginning Saturday, May 2. To avoid the potential for person-to-person spread of the virus, groups on the beach are limited to a maximum of six people and groups are required to distance themselves by at least 10 feet from other groups. 

  • To prevent crowding, other than three beach vehicle ramps for handicapped access, all other beach ramps remain closed to vehicles. However, parking along county rights-of-way adjacent to the beach are open.
  • Three beach ramps are open to improve beach access for disabled persons who want to participate in permitted physical activities; ramps are Williams Avenue in Daytona Beach, Dunlawton Boulevard in Daytona Beach Shores and 3rd Avenue in New Smyrna Beach. Only vehicles with current handicapped license plates or placards will be permitted onto the beach.

For more information, visit the Volusia County website.

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