Good question! The drive usually takes an hour or so if you are going to the East coast, and an hour and a half if you are going to the West coast.
So how to decide on which coast to visit?
The East coast has the famous Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. And don’t forget Ron Jon surf shop! The East coast also has waves for surfers, especially in the winter time or when a storm is coming in. There are great beaches both above and below Cocoa – the whole coast, in fact!
The West coast is calm but the beaches are a little spread out and so harder to find. In fact, the coastline gets marshy just above the Tampa area. The West coast offers some more attractions like Busch Gardens, and of course you may want to visit the lovely downtowns of Tampa and St. Petersburg.
Clearwater Beach west of Tampa proper is known for its large expanses of white sand, but it can take a bit of time to get from Tampa to Clearwater, so plan for some extra traffic to deal with. We highly recommend Fort Desoto (south of Clearwater) for its quiet beaches and history lesson all in one! In fact this picture on our website home page was taken by me at Fort Desoto!
No matter which coast you hit from your Disney area vacation rental home, be sure and pack the sunscreen and prepare to have a great time!