12 of The Best Family Beaches in Florida
The Sunshine State, Florida, is home to a vast array of remarkable beaches. With more than 800 miles of beautiful coastline, it offers an abundance of sun-soaked, sandy retreats that cater to every taste. From the bustling Atlantic Coast to the tranquil Gulf of Mexico shorelines, all the way down to the Florida Keys – there’s a beach for every family. This guide will unveil the best family beaches in Florida that offer the perfect mix of sun, surf, and family-friendly activities.
Table of Contents
- 1. Vero Beach: A Treasure Trove of Family Fun
- Beachfront Bliss
- Pirate Booty Hunting
- 2. Panama City Beach: A Perennial Favorite
- Dolphin Cruises & Shell Island Tours
- Family-friendly Entertainment
- 3. Longboat Key: Calm Beaches and Condo Comforts
- Condominium-style Resorts
- Marine Life Exploration
- 4. Cocoa Beach: Surf, Space, and Sea Turtles
- Surf Lessons and Space Launches
- Sea Turtle Walks
- 5. Amelia Island: Active Adventures
- Cycling and Downtown Exploration
- A Range of Accommodations
- 6. Clam Pass Park: Naples’ Family Favorite
- Access via Golf Cart Tram
- Kayaks, Canoes, and Beach Camping
- 7. Key Biscayne: Miami’s Mellow Beach Escape
- Historic Lighthouse and Ritz Kids Club
- Offshore Adventures
- 8. St. Pete Beach: Where City and Beach Coalesce
- Gulf-front Pools and Bikes
- Downtown Exploration
- 9. Naples: Upscale Gulf Town with Family Amenities
- In-room Glamping and Sandcastle-building
- Nearby Attractions
- 10. New Smyrna Beach: Small-town Vibe near Orlando
- Beach Cruising and River Stays
- Eco-tours and Airboat Rides
- 11. St. Augustine Beach: History and Beach Fun
- America’s Oldest City
- Gentle Waves and Ocean Hammock Park
- 12. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park: Key West’s Best Family Beach
- Picnic and Snorkeling
- Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
1. Vero Beach: A Treasure Trove of Family Fun
Vero Beach, located on Florida’s Treasure Coast, offers an ideal setting for a family vacation. Its proximity to oceanfront restaurants and attractions makes it a hit with families. You should definitely try a local meal delivery at Vero Beach while having fun in the area.
The beachfront Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa offers a range of perks including beach cruiser bikes, paddle boards, and sea kayaks. After a day building sandcastles, families can stroll to nearby restaurants like Waldo’s Restaurant, Mulligan’s Beach House, and The Lemon Tree.
Pirate Booty Hunting
In line with its Treasure Coast name, Vero Beach offers something unique – treasure hunting. Rent a metal detector from Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum and head to the sandy shorelines to look for pirate treasure.
2. Panama City Beach: A Perennial Favorite
With its serene white-sand beaches and calm waters, Panama City Beach is a much-loved destination for families.
Dolphin Cruises & Shell Island Tours
Offering sunset dolphin cruises in the Gulf of Mexico and tours to the undeveloped Shell Island, Panama City Beach provides unique experiences for the whole family.
For a more urban vibe, visit Pier Park for a range of stores, restaurants, and an IMAX movie theater.
3. Longboat Key: Calm Beaches and Condo Comforts
Located just west of downtown Sarasota on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Longboat Key offers some of the most serene beaches in the state, paired with a variety of family-friendly accommodation options.
Resorts like Sand Cay Beach Resort offer full kitchens and gulf-front barbecue areas which make family stays comfortable and convenient.
Marine Life Exploration
For a break from the beach, visit the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium to spot manatees and sea turtles.
4. Cocoa Beach: Surf, Space, and Sea Turtles
Cocoa Beach presents a unique blend of beach fun, space exploration, and wildlife.
Surf Lessons and Space Launches
The beach offers surf lessons and the opportunity to witness rocket launches at the nearby Cape Canaveral.
Sea Turtle Walks
During the summer months, families can witness sea turtles nesting at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
5. Amelia Island: Active Adventures
Located just north of Jacksonville, Amelia Island offers a plethora of activities for active families.
Cycling and Downtown Exploration
With 23 miles of dedicated cycling lanes, families can explore the remote beaches of Fort Clinch State Park and the picturesque downtown Fernandina Beach.
A Range of Accommodations
From the luxurious oceanfront Ritz-Carlton to the conveniently located SpringHill Suites Amelia Island, accommodations are varied and cater to different needs.
6. Clam Pass Park: Naples’ Family Favorite
Known for its picturesque and calm sands, Clam Pass Park is a favorite among families visiting Naples.
Access via Golf Cart Tram
Access to the beach is made easy with a complimentary golf cart tram ride along a shaded boardwalk.
Kayaks, Canoes, and Beach Camping
Families can rent kayaks or canoes to explore the mangroves or simply set up camp on the sand for a fun-filled beach day.
7. Key Biscayne: Miami’s Mellow Beach Escape
If you’re looking for a mellower beach within striking distance of downtown Miami, Key Biscayne is the spot.
Historic Lighthouse and Ritz Kids Club
The Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park offers a historic lighthouse and the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne offers a fun-filled Ritz Kids club.
Venture offshore into Biscayne National Park for snorkeling excursions and family-friendly boat trips.
8. St. Pete Beach: Where City and Beach Coalesce
St. Pete Beach, located in the Tampa Bay area, offers the perfect blend of city life and beach relaxation.
Gulf-front Pools and Bikes
Stay at The Don CeSar and enjoy the hotel’s free bikes and two gulf-front pools.
Explore the nearby downtown St. Pete where the St. Pete Pier offers a marine-themed playground and a rooftop tiki bar restaurant.
9. Naples: Upscale Gulf Town with Family Amenities
Naples is a wonderful family beach destination known for its upscale ambiance and family-friendly amenities.
In-room Glamping and Sandcastle-building
LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort offers in-room glamping set-ups and sandcastle-building toys for kids.
Visit the nearby Naples Train Museum, historic Naples Pier, or Naples Zoo for a break from the beach.
10. New Smyrna Beach: Small-town Vibe near Orlando
For a beach vacation with a pleasant small-town vibe, head to New Smyrna Beach.
Beach Cruising and River Stays
This beach is perfect for a casual beach cruiser ride and offers a variety of accommodations along the Indian River.
Eco-tours and Airboat Rides
Off-the-beach activities include airboat tours along the St. Johns River and eco-tours to spot manatees and dolphins.
11. St. Augustine Beach: History and Beach Fun
St. Augustine Beach offers a unique blend of history and fabulous beach activities.
America’s Oldest City
Explore America’s oldest city, St. Augustine, and its majestic fort, the Castillo de San Marcos.
Gentle Waves and Ocean Hammock Park
St. Augustine Beach offers gentle waves for beginner surfers and the beautiful Ocean Hammock Park for family exploration.
12. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park: Key West’s Best Family Beach
One of the best family beaches in the Florida Keys is located in Key West at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.
Picnic and Snorkeling
Pack a picnic and your snorkeling gear to enjoy Key West’s best swimming beach.
Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
The nearby Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is a great family stop to learn more about local habitats and creatures.
From the treasure hunting adventures at Vero Beach to the historic charm of St. Augustine Beach, the best family beaches in Florida offer an array of experiences that cater to every family’s preferences. Whether you prefer a bustling beachfront with numerous attractions or a secluded sandy escape, you’re guaranteed to find your perfect beach destination in the Sunshine State.
Whether you’re planning a short getaway or a lengthy vacation, keep in mind that these beaches are just a handful of the family-friendly beaches in Florida. With so many options, you’re sure to find the perfect beach that ticks all your boxes, making your family vacation a memorable one. From the best family beaches in the Florida Gulf Coast to the best family beaches in South Florida, the Sunshine State has it all.
So pack your beach bags, load up on sunscreen, and get ready for a fun-filled beach vacation at the best beaches in Florida for a family vacation. Florida’s welcoming shores are waiting for you!