Florida Beaches For Families: A Guide To The Sunshine State’s Best Coastal Spots By Region

Toddler girl in red floral bathing suit playing on sand at Navarre Beach, one of the best Florida beaches for families.
Photo Courtesy: Noelle MacGregor

For generations, Florida beaches have been a top destination for families looking to escape the colder northern climates. With over 825 miles of coastline and some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the world, it’s no wonder it’s often referred to as the Sunshine State! Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and soak up some rays, or you’re looking for an action-packed vacation full of swimming, surfing, and sunbathing, there’s a Florida beach perfect for your family. On this list, we’ve divided the best Florida beaches for families based on regions, from the stunning Emerald Coast to southwestern Florida and beyond. We’ve also included things to do, where to stay, and more. Here’s a guide to some of the best coastal spots in the Sunshine State by region! 

Best Northeastern Florida Beaches for Families

Northeastern Florida is home to some of the best beaches in the state for families. You’ll find plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained, as well as plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the incredible views. Here are just a few of the best northeastern Florida beaches for families!

Wondering what to pack? Use our Ultimate Beach Packing List: Essentials For Families Of All Ages!

Amelia Island

Nassau County, FL

Mother and daughter walking a horse on the beach at sunset on Amelia Island, one of the best Florida beaches for families.
Photo Courtesy: Peter W. Cross and Patrick Farrell

Amelia Island is an excellent choice for families who want to enjoy amazing beaches without the enormous crowds. Near major cities such as Jacksonville, the island has 13 miles of unspoiled beaches, plus plenty of things to do with kids outside of the beach. No wonder it’s one of the best Florida beaches for families in the northeastern part of the state! 

Fun Things to Do on Amelia Island with Kids

Families with young children will love Main Beach Park. It’s a great place to build sandcastles, paddle in the shallows, and explore the tide pools. For older kids, there’s plenty of room to run around and a nearby skate park to make friends. And when you need a break from the sun, there are plenty of shady spots to relax in. Then, bordering the island’s downtown area, you’ll also find Fernandina Beach, which features shallow water for little ones. Plus, a pirate-themed playground nearby!

Looking for a beach that’s a little more secluded? Seaside Park is located at the end of a long boardwalk, an excellent spot for fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching. Fort Clinch State Park is another excellent option for families who want to avoid crowds. Plus, there’s a historic fort right next to the beach that kids will love exploring. 

Once you’re done at the beach, appreciate Amelia Island’s scenery from Egan Creek’s Greenway, a kid-friendly loop around Egan’s Creek. Watch out for bobcats, alligators, and more wildlife along the way! Animal lovers may also fancy a visit to the Amelia Island Nature Center. Or, learn more about Amelia Island’s history at the American Beach Museum. Parents will enjoy a blast from the past at Pippi Longstocking’s House!

Where to Stay on Amelia Island with Kids

If you need somewhere to stay on Amelia Island with kids, we recommend The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island. It showcases direct access to the beach, elegant suites with separate living room areas, and both an indoor and outdoor pool. Finally, families can also stay at Omni Amelia Island. Set on the scenic Fernandina Beach, it boasts elegant, ocean-inspired rooms or larger suites with kitchenettes. There’s also an indoor and outdoor pool, a day spa, and a golf course for parents. In search of more spring break family destinations? Rent your perfect home from Vrbo now.

Ponte Vedra Beach

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Man and dog walking on the beach with the foamy wave crashing the sand at Ponte Vedra Beach, one of the best Florida beaches for families.
Photo Courtesy: CycleHere

Ponte Vedra Beach has long been a favorite amongst families due to its wide, sandy beaches that are perfect for building sandcastles and playing games. With a prime location near St. Augustine and Jacksonville, the warm Gulf waters of this upscale beach community are also calm and shallow, making them ideal for swimming and lounging in the sand.

Fun Things to Do near Ponte Vedra Beach with Kids

Mickler’s Landing Beach, a beachside park, is the main access point for Ponte Vedra Beach. Famous for its pink, coquina-sand, kids will love exploring the towering sand dunes and hunting for shark teeth, which are scattered in abundance across the shoreline. 

If you’re looking for things to do with kids outside of the beach, plenty of options are nearby. Visit the St. Johns County Ocean Pier, take a nature hike at Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, or take a scenic drive down A1A. Ponte Vedra Beach is also a haven for golf lovers; you’ll find plenty of courses there.

Best Northwestern Florida Beaches for Families

When it comes to the best beaches in Florida for families, the Emerald Coast definitely takes the cake. This gorgeous stretch of coastline boasts some of the most beautiful scenery and amenities in the state, and is perfectly suited for a family vacation. Keep reading to learn more! 

Destin Beach

Destin, FL

Aerial view of Destin highway leading to an island.
Photo Courtesy: Patrick Farrell

If you’re looking for the perfect beach destination to take your family to, look no further than Destin Beach! Located off Fort Walton and accessible by car or airport, this beautiful beach town situated on the Emerald Coast boasts sugar-white sands and crystal-clear waters that are sure to appeal to everyone in your family. In addition to its fantastic beaches, Destin also offers a variety of fun activities for families to enjoy both on and off the sand, from fishing to exquisite dining and more family fun. This makes it one of the best Florida beaches for families near Fort Walton! 

Fun Things to Do near Destin Beach with Kids

With twelve different access points, vacationing along this beautiful 8-mile beach will surely be a breeze. At Henderson Beach State Park, find a shallow waterfront perfect for little ones and spotting dolphins, sea turtles, or rare birds. Aside from sunbathing, hit the waves by parasailing, kayaking, and other watersports also offered in town.

Daredevil kids may love visiting Gator Beach at Fudpucker’s, a famous family-friendly restaurant hosting an interactive Alligator Game Show! For more things to do, check out the celebrated Big Kahunas Waterpark or the Track Family Recreation Center for mini-golf, go-karting, etc. Stroll through the iconic Destin Harbor Boardwalk at night for dinner and some ice cream! 

Where to Stay near Destin Beach for Families

When visiting Destin Beach, we recommend Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Here, families will find various accommodation options that will suit every vacation desire. With access to water sports, golf, shopping, and more, no one will get bored here! Plus, Embassy Suites by Hilton Destin Miramar Beach offers inexpensive, family-friendly suites with access to a private beach, pool, and made-to-order breakfast.

Also, read these 6 Best Florida Hotels With A Water Park Or Lazy River On The Gulf Coast For Families!

Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach, FL

Young boy jumping over a wave in the ocean in Panama City Carillion Beach in Florida
Photo Courtesy: Noelle MacGregor

Panama City Beach is one of the best Florida beaches for families for a reason. This beautiful beach town offers everything your family could want from a vacation, from stunning white sand beaches to exciting attractions and activities. Alongside a 27-mile shoreline, it has two state parks and delicious seafood restaurants, and it is accessible via plane or car! 

Fun Things to Do near Panama City Beach with Kids

Obviously, you can’t come to Panama City Beach without spending some time at the beach. And luckily, there are plenty of great options for families, including access points like Schooner’s or Spyglass, which are a bit more secluded for younger kids. Local joints like Ocean’s Bar and Grill along the pier serve tasty oysters, clams, and more! St. Andrews State Park also encloses a protected “kiddie pool,” and a public beach known for watersports.

To explore more uninhabited enclaves, visit Camp St. Helen State Park, featuring trails, Lake Powell, and the famous Rainbow Cottages. Plus, make time for a trip to Race City PCB. Shipwreck Island waterpark is another great option to cool down on a hot day!

Where to Stay near Panama City Beach with Kids

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Panama City Beach – Beachfront is a great home base for families wanting to explore Panama City Beach. Offering indoor and outdoor pools and beach access, families can expect a cozy stay and a complimentary hot breakfast. Or, consider Sandpiper Beacon Beach Resort, where families can choose from rooms or suites with access to an indoor lazy river ride, waterslides, and mini-golf! 

Alys Beach 

Alys Beach, FL

White sandy shore of Alys Beach with soft waves crashing.
Photo Courtesy: CycleHere

Enjoy beach living Bermuda-style with your family at Alys Beach! Famous for its elaborate white architecture and charming courtyard living, this cozy beach community occupies a scenic stretch of shoreline along Highway 30A, near South Walton

Fun Things to Do near Alys Beach with Kids

You’ll have to rent a home to access the beach here, but there are several, convenient access points at Gulf Green, Turtle Bale, and Béla Gray. Alys Beach homeowners also have exclusive access to the beach from the Alys Beach Club. On the beach, kids will love building sandcastles, swimming in the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and collecting shells. Plus, there are beach chairs, kayaks, and paddleboard rentals. And when they’re ready for a break from the sun, there are plenty of shady spots to relax with a good book or take a nap.

There are plenty of things to do off the beach, like exploring the nearby towns of Seaside and Rosemary Beach, visiting the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, or taking a scenic bike ride along 30A. The Alys Beach Nature Trail is also perfect for nature lovers of all ages, and it’s a great way to spend some time together as a family.

Navarre Beach

Pensacola Beach, FL

A father holds the hand of his toddler while walking along Navarre Beach at sunset.
Photo Courtesy: Noelle MacGregor

Plan your next family beach vacation to Navarre Beach, one of the best Florida beaches for families near Fort Walton! Located on the Panhandle, this beach is far from the maddening crowds of some other Florida shorelines, and offers plenty of activities for families with kids. 

Fun Things to Do near Navarre Beach with Kids

Here, splash in Santa Rosa Island’s calm waters on a compact shoreline, just east of Pensacola. Navarre’s Beach Pier, is also great for water sports, like paddleboards, jet skiing, or boogie boards. Then, Navarre Children’s Park offers a playground with beautiful views of the area’s landscapes, dotted with colorful houses!

Thanks to the Borrow Bin,” a toy trove near Navarre’s Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center, parents can also just relax while kids play with community beach toys. Come back to learn more about Florida’s sea turtles! At Marine Science Station, kids can also explore interactive exhibits related to ocean life. Or, visit adorable creatures like dolphins, sea lions, and seals, at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park!

Where to Stay near Navarre Beach with Kids

Nestled along a gulf-front beach, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Navarre Beach provides family suites, as well as stunning sunsets and complimentary breakfast. Here, families will also have immediate beach and pool access at one o the most kid-friendly resorts in Florida. Then, just 40 minutes from Navarre Beach, your family will delight in staying at Portofino Island Resort! With various condo options, your family can spend all day at the beach, in the pool, and making memories at Laguna’s, the nearby adventure park!

Santa Rosa Beach 

Walton County, FL

Group of teenage friends holding surfboard along the shoreline of Grayton Beach State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, one of the best Florida beaches for families.
Photo Courtesy: Peter W. Cross and Patrick Farrell

Santa Rosa Beach is undoubtedly one of the best beach destinations for families along the 30A! As one of South Walton’s biggest beach neighborhoods, it boasts a prime location on northwestern Florida’s famed Emerald Coast. And, though it may be best known for its sugar-white sand and turquoise waters, there’s so much more to this beautiful Florida beach town.

Fun Things to Do near Santa Rosa Beach with Kids

Some of the best beaches for families in Santa Rosa Beach are found at Gulf Place, Ed Walline Park, and Grayton Beach State Park. Gulf Place features a wide, sandy beach with plenty of room for families to spread out and enjoy the sun and surf. Ed Walline Park has a playground, pavilions, and picnic tables, making it a great spot for a family picnic. Grayton Beach State Park is a bit more rustic, with nature trails and dunes to explore. All three beaches have lifeguards on duty during peak swimming hours.

There are also plenty of things to do outside of the beach in Santa Rosa Beach as well. Kids will love exploring the unique shops and galleries at Gulf Place Town Center. For some active fun, rent bikes or kayaks and head out on the 19-mile Timpoochee Trail. Or, take a scenic stroll through Point Washington State Forest. And don’t forget about the famous Seaside Farmer’s Market every Saturday, where you can find fresh produce, local specialties, and handmade gifts!

Pensacola Beach

Pensacola Beach, FL

Two little girls with french braids standing in ocean off Pensacola Beach, one of the best Florida beaches for families.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Pensacola Beach

If you’re looking for the best Florida beaches for families, you can’t go wrong with Pensacola Beach. The sugar-white sands and clear Emerald waters make it a beach paradise located along the safe and shallow Santa Rosa Sound. And when you’re ready for a break from the beach, there are plenty of other activities to keep everyone happy!

Fun Things to Do near Pensacola Beach with Kids

First, dip your toes in sugar-white sand on Quietwater, a tranquil enclave to spot wildlife like hermit crabs, loggerhead turtles, and seagulls. Businesses along Little Sabine Bay also provide rentals for kayaking, wave running, and paddle boats. Big Lagoon State Park offers complete immersion in nature across acres of natural saltwater marshes and oak trees.

Kids can zip line at Adventures Unlimited for a more action-packed day! To dive into Pensacola’s history, visit Historic Pensacola, Europe’s first U.S. settlement. The Wentworth and Naval Aviation Museum are both open to the public. And don’t forget to take a stroll along the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk to discover boutiques, restaurants, and live performances! 

Where to Stay near Pensacola Beach with Kids

Located near the beach, families looking for a hot breakfast and no-frills rooms should consider Residence Inn by Marriott, Pensacola Medical Center/Pensacola International Airport. Plus, it’s located close to the airport and pet-friendly! Or, treat your kids to the time of their life at Portofino Island Resort, one of the most kid-friendly hotels in Florida! Select the beach condo that suits your family’s needs and prepare for endless family fun on the beach or relaxing poolside. Plus, Laguna’s adventure park provides families with plenty of fun in the sun.

Fort Walton Beach

Fort Walton Beach, FL

Photo Courtesy: Patrick Farrell and Peter W. Cross

Fort Walton Beach is one of the best Florida beaches for families! Located between Pensacola and Panama City, this small beach town on Florida’s Panhandle has beautiful white sand and clear blue waters, making it perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and playing in the waves. 

Fun Things to Do near Fort Walton Beach with Kids

Families can access the beach through the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island, which is also a fantastic place to eat, play, and shop. Kids can play in the sand, splash in the water, or make new friends with a volleyball game on the public courts. Afterward, stroll down the boardwalk to grab lunch or ice cream. Just a bit west of the boardwalk, families can also visit John Beasley Park. It features lifeguards, a stretch of soft, golden sand, and picnic pavilions. The city boasts free community events all summer, like Wednesday night fireworks! 

Some of the best things to do in Fort Walton Beach with kids include visiting Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, which features dolphin shows, penguin feedings, stingray encounters, and more. For a bit of a history lesson, check out Indian Temple Mound Museum or the Air Force Armament Museum

Best Beaches in Central East Florida for Families

When it comes to finding the perfect beach for your family, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. Central East Florida is home to some of the state’s best beaches, each with unique character and charm. Here’s a look at what each beach has to offer!

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach, FL

A couple riding bikes along the Daytona Beach shore.
Photo Courtesy: 500PX

Daytona Beach is one of the best Florida beaches for families. Located on the Atlantic Coast in Central East Florida, it has everything you need for a perfect beach, beautiful weather, great beaches, and plenty of things to do. And, of course, it’s also home to the Daytona 500!

Fun Things to Do near Daytona Beach with Kids

It’s easy to understand why Daytona Beach is consistently ranked as one of the best Florida beaches for families. The wide, sandy beaches are perfect for building sandcastles and playing in the waves, and there are plenty of beachside restaurants and bars where you can grab a bite or a drink in between swimming and sunbathing. Most families spend their time on the main beach, Daytona Beach, but there are also many other access points to Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, and Ponce Inlet. Kids who want some water fun without the sand will also love how Daytona Beach boasts so many fun water parks, including Daytona Lagoon and Sun Splash Park

There are also lots of fun things to do in Daytona Beach, from visiting the Daytona International Speedway to renting a bike and taking a ride on the iconic Daytona Beach Boardwalk. Kids will love grabbing some food and checking out the rides at the Daytona Boardwalk Amusement Park! Then, go fishing off the pier, explore nature trails, or check out the many restaurants and shops in the area. And if you’re looking for even more family-friendly activities, nearby Orlando is just a short drive away.    

Cocoa Beach 

Cocoa Beach, FL

A seagull flies overhead at Cocoa Beach on a sunny day.
Photo Courtesy: Stacy Hilton

Looking for the perfect beach vacation for your family? Look no further than Cocoa Beach, Florida! An hour’s drive east of Orlando on Florida’s beautiful Space Coast, this sandy paradise offers everything families need for an unforgettable beach getaway, from incredible beaches to exciting attractions. 

Fun Things to Do near Cocoa Beach with Kids

Cocoa Beach has several options for beach access, including four oceanfront parks. Alan Shepard Park is one of the most popular, with plenty of parking spots and places to grab food nearby. Sidney Fisher Park is also a family favorite due to its picnic pavilions and playground. Other options include Lori Wilson Park and Robert P. Murkshe Memorial Park. When hungry, stroll down the 80s-style Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier, featuring restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops. 

Plus, Cocoa Beach has many things to do beyond just lounging on the sand. Visit Ron Jon Surf Shop and the Florida Surf Museum, tour the nearby NASA Kennedy Space Center, or explore one of the many nature trails. Kids will especially enjoy seeing all the remarkable fossils at The Dinosaur Store

Best Beaches in Southeastern Florida for Families

Looking for the perfect beach to take your family on vacation? Check out southeastern Florida! With its warm weather, beautiful sandy beaches, and abundant activities, southeastern Florida is perfect for a family vacation. And of all the beaches in southeastern Florida, Delray Beach is the best for families. Keep reading to find out more! 

Delray Beach

Palm Beach County, FL

A woman walks across the sand with a paddleboard at Delray Beach.
Photo Courtesy: Peter W. Cross

Delray Beach is often considered one of the best Florida beaches for families, and it’s easy to see why! It’s centrally located in Palm Beach County, near major cities such as Palm Beach, making it an excellent option for those visiting from other parts of the state. This small seaside city also boasts sparkling white sand and clear blue waters, ideal for little ones to explore. And there are plenty of things to do outside the beach, from museums and art galleries to outdoor activities like hiking and biking. 

Fun Things to Do near Delray Beach with Kids

As one of the only downtown areas in Florida located right on the ocean, Delray Beach offers families a mix of culture and outdoor activities. Spend your afternoons lounging on Delray Beach Municipal Beach, which features wide shores with soft sand and cabana rentals. Plus, you can access it via the pedestrian-friendly Atlantic Avenue, where you’ll find shops, restaurants, and more. Further south, families can swim, shell, or build sandcastles at Anchor Park and Atlantic Dunes Park.

Beyond the beach, families can explore downtown Delray for a taste of city life. Art lovers will be impressed by all the public art and galleries in the Pineapple Grove Arts District, plus there’s the nearby Cornell Art Museum. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot turtles, birds, and alligators at Wakodahatchee Wetlands

Best Beaches in Central West Florida for Families

With its endless sunshine and warm weather, it’s no wonder Florida is a top vacation destination for families. And what better way to enjoy the Sunshine State than by spending a day at the beach? Central West Florida offers some of the best beaches in the state for families, with plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. Here are some specific options! 

Siesta Key Beach

Sarasota, FL

A yellow lifeguard post facing the sunset at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota County, one of the best Florida beaches for families.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Sarasota County

Siesta Key Beach is the perfect place for a family beach vacation in Florida! Occupying three miles of white-quartz shoreline in Sarasota, this world-famous beach is consistently ranked as one of the top beaches in the country, and for good reason – it’s absolutely breathtaking! 

Fun Things to Do near Siesta Key Beach with Kids

Kids will love building sandcastles and playing in the waves, while adults can relax on the soft white sand or take a dip in the crystal-clear waters. For a family lunch, Siesta Beach also has picnic tables. Plus, there’s a tennis court and a playground to keep little ones occupied. Water sports range from kayaking to parasailing. Siesta Key is also famous for dolphin and whale spotting, which you can book locally to get a closer glimpse! A free trolley service provides trips from Siesta Key Village to Turtle Beach with many additional stops. 

Outside of the beach area, families can also explore Siesta Key Village, a boulevard lined with boutiques, restaurants, and ice cream shops. On Sundays, visit the Siesta Key Farmers Market for fresh produce, seasonal goods, and cute trinkets. Each week in Siesta Key also ends with an interactive drum circle – a dance party filled with props like hula hoops, instruments, and more!  

Pro Tip: While Siesta Key beach is excellent for kids, it’s also known to occasionally carry dangerous rip currents.

Where to Stay Near Siesta Key with Kids

For oceanfront living, we recommend booking Hyatt Residence Club Sarasota, Siesta Key Beach, while visiting Siesta Key. This family-friendly Florida resort offers two- to four-bedroom condos, ideal for families who want to spread out. Or, try Siesta Key Beachside Villas, which offers no-frills amenities and studio or multi-room condos steps from the beach.

Check out parasailing at Siesta Key Beach through Tripadvisor here!

Anna-Maria Island

Manatee County, FL

A man paddleboards in the ocean off-shore from Anna-Maria Island at sunset.
Photo Courtesy: Maurice Rivenbark

Enjoy the idyllic wonders of the Gulf Coast when you plan a seaside escape to Anna-Maria Island, one of the best Florida beaches for families on the Gulf Coast! Around 20 minutes from Bradenton and an hour from Tampa, this seven-mile strip sits separate from Florida’s mainland for secluded family fun! With crystal clear waters and sugar-white sand, it’s no wonder this island is a popular destination for all ages. 

Fun Things to Do near Anna-Maria Island with Kids

There are lots of beaches spread throughout the island, such as Coquina, Holmes, or Manatee, which feature calm waters, picnic areas, and other kid-friendly amenities. Teens will love more active water sports and kayak eco-tours. Book a tour to spot local wildlife like dolphins or whales. Larger areas, like Bayfront or Manatee Park, also boast public beaches, playgrounds, and other facilities. Families can even find shops to rent beach chairs or purchase new beach toys.

Afterward, stroll restaurants, and boutiques, or spot birds along the famous Anna Maria City Pier, a 700-foot-long historic landmark. For a more old-Florida-style experience, the nearby Bridge Street Pier is also a great place to grab sweets. If you’re a donut lover, don’t miss dessert at The Donut Experiment!

Where to Stay on Anna-Maria Island for Families

If you need somewhere to stay on Anna-Maria Island with kids, consider Tortuga Beach Resort, offering everything from standard rooms to 3-bedroom condos. Plus, you can claim complimentary beach chairs, towels, and umbrellas for long days on the beach! Anna Maria Beach Resort also offers the ideal location for exploring the island, relaxing on the beach, and enjoying various family-friendly activities. In fact, you’ll be able to rent beach cabanas and chairs, as well as access the on-site island trolley stop!

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach, FL

Little boy with blue hat sitting on beach surrounded by toys in Clearwater Beach in Florida
Photo Courtesy: Heather McQuillen

There are few better places to enjoy quality family time than Clearwater Beach. As one of the best beaches for kids in Florida, it offers plenty of activities and attractions that the whole family can enjoy together, from swimming and sunbathing to building sandcastles and exploring the rockpools. Plus, it’s only a short drive from Tampa and St. Petersburg

Fun Things to Do near Clearwater Beach with Kids

Clearwater Beach boasts scenic sunsets, miles of sugar sand, and family-friendly entertainment. The beach also offers umbrellas and chairs to rent, so even if it’s crowded, you’ll still find space to relax! Eco-tours are popular here, too, given the area’s abundance of dolphins, shells, and other marine life. For more extreme sports, older kids can rent jet skis, parasails, or snorkeling gear! You’ll also love the small-town ambiance in Clearwater’s village and along Pier 60, where you’ll find the legendary Frenchy’s South Beach eatery

Or, venture to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to meet local celebrities Winter and Hope from Dolphin Tale! Then, families can attend the nightly Sunset Festival. The four-hour extravaganza showcases musicians, street performers, and even some pirates! 

Check out Dolphin Exploration, Sunset Tours, and other things to do at Clearwater Beach with Getyourguide here!

Where to Stay near Clearwater Beach with Kids

Sandpearl Resort offers families the option of standard rooms or suites in Clearwater. Plus, you’ll have access to a white-sand beach, pool, and Kids Club. 

St. Pete Beach

St. Pete Beach, FL

A couple walks hand-in-hand along the St. Pete Beach at sunset, one of the best Florida beaches for families.
Photo Courtesy: VISIT FLORIDA

St. Pete Beach consistently ranks high when choosing the best Florida beaches for families! This beautiful beach community is located on a barrier island off the west coast of Florida, just south of Tampa and St. Petersburg. It’s known for its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and excellent family-friendly amenities.

Fun Things to Do near St. Pete Beach with Kids

From building sandcastles and splashing in the waves to playing tennis or exploring nearby parks, there’s something for everyone at the various beach access points. Spa Beach and North Shore Beach are two of the most popular ones due to their location in the heart of downtown.

Families can also explore the nearby St. Pete Pier when staying at these beaches or try renting watercraft to explore. Ft. DeSoto Beach also has county campgrounds, miles of nature trails and canoe trails, an 800-foot boat launch, fishing piers, picnic pavilions with grills, and a historic fort. Maximo Beach also has three boat ramps, a nature boardwalk, two beachside playgrounds, miles of bike and nature trails, an 18-hole disc golf course, and plenty of shade trees on a 70-acre archaeological site.

If you’re looking for some fun nightlife or dining options, Downtown St. Petersburg is just a short drive away. Kids who are art lovers may also fancy a visit to the Salvador Dali Museum, where they’ll be impressed by the glass building and fun structures like melting clock benches! 

Where to Stay Near St. Pete Beach with Kids

We have plenty of options if you’re looking for somewhere to stay near St. Pete Beach with kids. Check out The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, featuring tasteful rooms, a complimentary fitness class, and a waterfront location featuring a private marina. Finally, The Don CeSar offers another family-friendly option with standard rooms, suites, or nearby residence-inspired suites – all with immediate private beach access.

Indian Rocks Beach

Indian Rocks Beach, FL

Silhouette of a young boy standing on Indian Rocks Beach at sunset.
Photo Courtesy: Mick Haupt

A laidback family vacation awaits at Indian Rocks Beach! Around 45 minutes away from Tampa and 30 minutes from St. Petersburg, this world-famous beach is located on Florida’s glittering Gulf Coast. It offers everything that families could ever want in a beach vacation destination. 

Fun Things to Do near Indian Rocks Beach with Kids

With over three miles of gorgeous shoreline, the city has 27 beach access points along Gulf Boulevard. Even if you’re not staying at a beachfront property, there are still places where you can enter. Since Indian Rocks Beach is known for its gentle waves and calm waters, it’s also a great place for kids to play and explore. Plus, there’s a playground and picnic area, making it a great spot for a family day out.

Boat, kayak, and paddleboard rentals are also available if you want to explore the area, or you can even go fishing. And, since the beach is so long, it’s easy to walk for miles looking for shells and spotting dolphins. If you have time, stop at the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary to spot some wildlife. Or, take kids to Splash Harbour Water Park to enjoy the array of attractions!  

Best Southwestern Florida Beaches for Families

Florida is well-known for its beautiful beaches, and the southwestern part of the state is no exception. From Naples Beach to Marco Island, here are our favorite southwestern Florida beaches for families! 

READ NEXT: 6 Best Florida Hotels With A Water Park Or Lazy River On The Gulf Coast For Families

Naples Beach

Naples, FL

A young boy plays in the sand on a beach near Naples, along side him is a puple bucket and yellow shovel for building sand castles.
Photo Courtesy: Angie Reedy

Naples Beach is another one of the best Florida beaches for families on the Gulf of Mexico! Known as the “Paradise Coast,” this laid-back area is reachable by Amtrak, airport, or car ride from nearby Fort Myers. It’s especially ideal for younger kids, since it’s known for its white sand and gentle waves.

Fun Things to Do near Naples Beach with Kids

Straight from a postcard, Barefoot Beach Preserve offers turtle spotting, soft white sand, and shallow waters for little kids. Lowdermilk Park, a beachfront park with two playgrounds, volleyball courts, and a concession stand, is also popular with all ages!

Families can mix up their itinerary outside Naples Beach by visiting places like the Naples Botanical Garden or the Naples Zoo to see local wildlife. Or, explore a public beach with wildlife and water sports, Clam Pass Park, or drive farther to Everglades National Park. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to find something fun and unique! By evening, however, don’t forget to head back to the Naples Pier to watch boats zip past a beautiful sunset. 

Read our list of 11 Amazing Things to Do in Naples with Kids!

Where to Stay near Naples Beach for Families

Looking for a hotel in Naples for families? For a beachfront option directly in Naples, families love Naples Grande Beach Resort, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, or Hilton Naples. For more suggestions, check out our list of the 12 best hotels in Naples for families!

Nearby Bonita Springs offers one of the best Florida resorts with a baby club: Hyatt Regency Coconut Point. Only 30 minutes drive from Naples Beach, you will have access to a lazy river and five waterslides, while also benefiting from the proximity to Naples! 

READ NEXT: 12 Hotels In Naples For Families That Are Sure To Make Everyone Happy

Marco Island

Collier County, FL

Two children laying face down in clear ocean water in Naples Marco Island, one of the best Florida beaches for families.
Photo Courtesy: Kritika Storer

Looking for the best Florida beaches for families near Naples? Look no further than Marco Island! Accessible via the mainland from Naples, this beautiful barrier island paradise is perfect for a family vacation, offering plenty of things to do both in and out of the water.

Fun Things to Do near Marco Island with Kids

Here, you’ll find two public beaches to visit: Tigertail Beach and South Beach. Both are fantastic, family-friendly options with soft sand and clear water, offering multiple access points throughout the island. However, South Beach tends to be a bit more crowded, while Tigertail Beach boasts some more facilities. For example, at Tigertail Beach, families can rent paddleboards or kayaks and explore the tidal lagoon. 

Looking for more things to do on Marco Island with kids? Families can explore miles of nature trails, go shelling, or even ride on a glass-bottom boat tour. And don’t forget about all the delicious seafood restaurants! 

Where to Stay on Marco Island with Kids

If you need somewhere to stay on Marco Island with kids, you’re in the right place! Kids will love living the island life at JW Marriott Marco Island. Here, you’ll discover a wide array of kid-friendly amenities and easy access to the beach.

Sanibel Island 

Sanibel, FL

A happy swimming toddler reaching his hands out toward the ocean on Sanibel Beach, one of the best Florida beaches for families.
Photo Courtesy: 500PX

There’s nothing quite like a family beach vacation to Sanibel Island! The salty air, waves crashing on the shore, and the sand between your toes all make for cherished memories. Tucked in Florida’s West coast just a short drive from Fort Myers, this natural oasis showcases white sand beaches, gentle waves, and its namesake landmark, the Sanibel Lighthouse.

Fun Things to Do near Sanibel Island with Kids

Spend your days at the kid-friendly Bowman’s Beach, which also has a sizable playground and extra privacy from crowds. It’s also great for shell collectors, as kids can pick unique shells of all shapes and sizes. Active families can also traverse miles of paved bike trails spanning the island. Or, hit the water in a canoe, paddleboat, or pontoon to explore Tarpon Bay!

Sanibel Island’s seclusion from mainland Florida also provides a home for various exotic wildlife, which you can learn more about at sanctuaries like the J.N Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. No matter how you spend your days, sunsets are when Sanibel Island truly comes alive. Visit the lighthouse for an incredible panorama over the horizon! 

Pro Tip: Those planning to visit Sanibel should be cautious of its abundant “no-see-ums” insect population around dawn and dusk.

Where to Stay on Sanibel Island for Families

There are plenty of places to stay on Sanibel Island for families. We recommend the Island Inn, Sanibel. This gulf-front property offers standard rooms, as well as family suites and cottages. Or, consider South Seas Island Resort, which offers beach access and a nature reserve, home to resident dolphins and manatees. Finally, Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa is situated between Pine Island Sound and stunning gulf waters, offering endless views of both. 

Happy Travels!

We hope you liked this list of Florida Beaches For Families: A Guide To The Sunshine State’s Best Coastal Spots By Region! From the Emerald Coast to central Florida, there are plenty of places to play in the sand, soak up the sun, and enjoy more family fun. Enjoy your family beach vacation to Florida! 

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision. 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.


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