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Apollo Beach 3 at Canaveral National Seashore. Apollo Beach is located at the northern end of Canaveral National Seashore.
The National Park Service intended to limit the use of the northern beach and force most visitors south. If you want to see the difference, compare the crowds in the Apollo Beach photos on this with those on the Playalinda Beach review .
The photos were taken one day apart from each other. For those who have never visited a National Seashore, this is a rare opportunity to spend time on a beach that is as pristine today as it was thousands of years ago.
There are no hotels, homes, restaurants, or other tourist amenities lining the shore. Large sand dunes block the view of the park road and parking areas, so once on the beach all you see is sand and surf. There are five parking areas along a 6-mile road.
Each has a boardwalk that le to the beach, and it is only on these boardwalks that visitors are allowed to access the beach.
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Saw palmettos and other brush cover the dunes at Apollo Beach. All beaches have boardwalks with a ramp at each end, making them wheelchair accessible.
However, the boardwalks end just over the dunes, so if you are in a wheelchair you must still figure out how to get to the water. The National Park Service has one beach wheelchair a wheelchair with large tires available to use free of charge. Inquire at the Apollo Beach Visitor Center.
No beach wheelchairs are available at Playalinda Beach. All boardwalks have a deck at the top with benches. These are nice for those who just want to sit up high above the ocean and take in the view. Parking Lot 1 has 85 regular spaces, plus 6 handicap and 3 RV spaces.
The other four lots only have parking for around two dozen vehicles each. In contrast, the smallest parking lot at Playlinda Beach holds 50 vehicles. Overall, Playalinda has nearly 1, parking spaces as compared to at Apollo. As for popularity, I did a head count of cars and it appears that no one beach gets a ificant amount of traffic, more or less, than any other beach, except for Beach 5 more on that latter. The quality of the beach is the same no matter where you go, so when it comes time to pick one, just find a parking spot and be done with it.
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You cannot park on the street or in the grass, so if the parking spaces are full, you must go somewhere else. This is why the crowds head to Playalinda Beach. Beach 1 is the only beach in Canaveral National Seashore with a rinse-off shower, which makes it appealing to those with kids who, along with their toys, will surely be covered in sand by the end of the day.
Each parking area has a restroom with chemical toilets. There is no running water. Mosquitoes can be very bad at the parking areas and in the restrooms, though once out on the beach the breeze keeps them away.
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Five parking lots along a six-mile road means there is a lot of space between beaches, giving those who seek solitude plenty of room to get away from the crowds that invariably set up as close to the boardwalk as possible. From my experience, you need to walk at least a quarter mile from the boardwalk to get away from most people; a half-mile walk will usually put you by yourself.
While this is not possible to do down at Playalinda because the parking areas are so close together, it is no problem at Apollo Beach. Beach 5, the very last beach on the park road, is a nude beach—yes, you heard that right! During my visit there were more cars parked at Beach 5 than at all of the other beaches combined, but the crowds are still pale in comparison to the nude beach at Playalinda.
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However, the next two parking lots at Playalinda are within walking distance of the nude beach, whereas Parking Lot 4 at Apollo is nearly two miles away, making it impracticable to use as an overflow lot for the nude beach unless you have a bike with you. A nude beach exists in a National Park because the National Park Service follows state and county laws in regards to nudity there is no federal law addressing the subject.
When the National Seashore was created inthe nude beach at Apollo was well established, and unlike at Playalinda Beach in Brevard County where nudity is technically illegal, there has never been any anti-nudity laws in Volusia County where Apollo is located. Inthe Naturist Action Committee came to an official agreement with the park Rangers at Apollo to keep their swimsuits on until yards south of the parking area, but not everyone follows the rules.
Recent August TripAdvisor reviews report plenty of nude people right by the boardwalk. I will say that most of the people I saw were aged hippies.
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Typical restroom at each parking area. Apollo Beach 3.
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