Top 18 Kid-Friendly Beaches in Florida for Fun Family Vacations

If you’re planning a family vacation to Florida, you’re in luck because the Sunshine State has some of the best beaches in the country. With crystal-clear waters, soft sand, and sunshine, Florida’s beaches are perfect for families with kids of all ages. Whether you’re looking for a quiet relaxing spot or a beach with plenty of activities, you’ll find it in Florida.

When it comes to the best beaches for kids in Florida, there are plenty of options! Some popular beaches include Siesta Key Beach, Clearwater Beach, and Cocoa Beach. These beaches offer something for everyone, from calm waters perfect for swimming to playgrounds and picnic areas for the little ones.

But with so many beaches, how do you know which one is right for your family? In this article, we’ll look at some of the best Florida beaches and what makes them so special. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a week-long vacation, you will surely find a beach that your whole family will love.

Best Beaches for Kids in Florida

Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, and it’s a great place to take your kids for a fun-filled vacation. With so many beaches to choose from, deciding which is best for your family can be hard. Here are some of the best beaches for kids in Florida:

Gulf Islands National Seashore

1. Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National Seashore is a great destination for families with kids. The waters are calm and the sand is soft, making it a perfect spot for building sandcastles and playing in the water.

Gulf Islands National Seashore has several beautiful beaches where children can play in the sand, swim in the Gulf of Mexico, and participate in various water activities such as snorkeling and kayaking.

The beaches here are home to various wildlife, including dolphins, sea turtles, and many species of birds. Children will love spotting these animals in their natural habitat!

Related: 27 Unforgettable Things to do in Central Florida

Lifeguard tower on beautiful Clearwater Beach

2. Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach is another great option for families with kids. The beach is known for its calm waters and soft sand, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water. Plenty of activities are available, such as parasailing, jet skiing, and dolphin-watching tours.

Families love to visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, an aquarium dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating marine animals and educating the public about marine life and conservation.

Related: 10 Charming Small Towns in Central Florida You’ll Love

The white sand at Siesta Key Beach

3. Siesta Key Beach

Located along the Gulf of Mexico, Siesta Key Beach is known for its soft, white sand and calm waters, making it a great spot for families with young children.

Siesta Key Beach is perfect for building sandcastles with its soft, powdery sand. Your kids can spend hours creating their own masterpieces using buckets, shovels, and other beach toys.

The Gulf of Mexico waters are warm and inviting, making it an ideal spot for children to splash around and have fun. Make sure to bring floaties!

people relaxing on the beach in Cocoa Beach, Florida
Beachgoers enjoying Cocoa Beach

4. Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is a great destination for families with kids who love to surf. The beach is known for its great waves, and there are plenty of surf shops where you can rent equipment and take lessons.

The Kennedy Space Center, located nearby, is a great museum for kids to explore. It offers various exhibits, displays, and interactive experiences that give visitors an engaging and distinctive perspective on current and historic space exploration.

Related: 7 Epic Things to do in Orlando, Florida (from a Local)

Aeriel view of Pensacola Beach

5. Pensacola Beach

Pensacola Beach is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its clear waters and plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and diving.

Pensacola Beach has a long and beautiful coastline with soft white sand and clear blue waters, making it perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and playing beach games like frisbee, volleyball, and soccer.

The Pensacola Beach Boardwalk is a popular destination with plenty of family-friendly activities, including an arcade, a playground, and a splash pad for younger children.

Beach on Amelia Island in Northern Florida along the Atlantic Ocean

6. Amelia Island

Amelia Island is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its calm waters and soft sand, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water.

Several waterways around Amelia Island are perfect for kayaking and canoeing. Kids can paddle along the coast, explore the marshes, and see local wildlife up close.

Located in Fernandina Beach, the Pirate Playground is a fun and imaginative playground with a pirate theme. Kids can climb, slide, and swing on the pirate ship, play games, and make new friends.

Related: 12 Most Secluded Beaches in Florida You Need to Visit

7. Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its calm waters and soft sand, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water. Plenty of activities are available, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing.

8. Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its calm waters and soft sand, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water.

For car-loving kids, a visit to the Daytona International Speedway is a must. They can take a tour of the track, see the museum, and learn about the history of auto racing.

Daytona Lagoon Waterpark is a fun water park that features waterslides, wave pools, and a lazy river. It’s a great place to cool off on a hot day.

The Daytona Beach Boardwalk is a popular destination with plenty of family-friendly activities, including an amusement park, arcade, and several shops and restaurants.

Hotels close to New Smyrna Beach

9. New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach is a great destination for families with kids who love to surf. The beach is known for its great waves, and there are plenty of surf shops where you can rent equipment and take lessons. Plenty of other activities are available, such as kayaking, fishing, and biking.

Fort Walton Beach

10. Fort Walton Beach

Fort Walton Beach is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its calm waters and soft sand, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water. Plenty of activities are available, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing.

Sand dunes in Panama City Beach

11. Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its calm waters and soft sand, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water. Plenty of activities are available, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing.

Pier Park is an outdoor shopping and entertainment center. There are shops, restaurants, a movie theater, and even a miniature golf course. It’s a great place to spend the day shopping or playing. You can also take advantage of the nearby beach activities, such as parasailing, jet skiing, and dolphin-watching tours.

Venice Beach on the Gulf of Mexico

12. Venice Beach

Venice Beach is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its calm waters and soft sand, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water. Plenty of activities are available, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing.

Venice is a great place for shelling enthusiasts, as you can easily find fossilized shark teeth by sifting through the sand!

Shady wooded tent campsite in Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, Florida

13. Fort de Soto Park

Fort de Soto Park is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its calm waters and soft sand, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water. Many activities are available, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, camping, bird watching, and fishing.

Fort De Soto Park is a great place to visit if you’re looking for beautiful beaches in Florida. The sand is soft and sugary, the water is warm and clear, and the sunsets are amazing. SheBuysTravel writer Terri Marshall loves this beach.

The North Beach has a large lagoon that is protected by a sandbar, so the water doesn’t get deeper than three feet. It’s a perfect spot to take young children for a swim.

Related: 25 Best Things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida

14. Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its calm waters and soft sand, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water. Plenty of activities are available, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, fishing and shell collecting.

If you’re looking for a tranquil family outing, visit Anna Maria town on the island’s north side and close to Bean Point. When the weather is calm, you can enjoy the Caribbean-like atmosphere with crystal-clear teal water and beige sand. My family and I had an amazing time floating around on a noodle and snorkeling in search of fish in the clear waters. Spending a day here is a fantastic idea.

Related: 10 Warmest Beaches in Florida in the Winter Months

15. Destin

Destin is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its soft white sand and crystal clear waters, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water. Plenty of activities are available, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, parasailing, jet skiing and fishing. 

Destin is also known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”, with several fishing charters available to help you catch the big one. Be sure to check out the popular attraction of Gator Beach where you can feed and get an up close look at some of Florida’s own alligators. Destin is a great place for families to explore and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Sunrise at Fort Lauderdale Beach

16. Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale Beach is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its wide, soft sand and clear blue waters, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water.

Famous lighthouse at Cape Florida in the south end of Key Biscayne, Miami

17. Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its clear waters and white sand, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water.

Many parks on the island are suitable for families. One is Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, which has hiking trails, a lighthouse, and a beautiful beach. Another great option is Crandon Park, which has a beach, playgrounds, and a carousel.

Tiger Beach on Marco Island

18. Marco Island

Marco Island is a great destination for families with kids who love to explore. The beach is known for its soft sand and crystal-clear waters, making it a great spot for swimming and playing in the water.

The best part about Marco Island is the abundance of wildlife. From dolphins to manatees, there are plenty of opportunities to spot some incredible creatures in their natural habitat. The beach also offers up some great shelling opportunities and if you’re lucky, you might even find some sharks teeth!

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for fun and relaxing family beach vacation, Florida has many wonderful choices! There are many water activities to enjoy, from water parks to snorkeling and boat tours, that you can enjoy with your kids. Whether looking for a quiet, secluded beach or a bustling, family-friendly spot, Florida has something for everyone.

Remember always to prioritize safety when visiting the beach with your little ones. Keep an eye on them always, and ensure they’re wearing sunscreen and staying hydrated.

If you want a more active beach day, try water sports like kayaking or paddleboarding. Many beaches offer rentals and lessons, so trying something new is easy.

Don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks and drinks, and bring some beach toys and games to keep the kids entertained. And most importantly, have fun! Exploring Florida’s beautiful beaches with your family will create lasting memories you’ll cherish for years.

Nicole Mickle

Born and raised in Orlando, Nicole is a seasoned real estate agent with over 20 years of experience in the sunny city of Orlando, Florida. Along with her extensive knowledge of the local real estate market, Nicole has a passion for educating others about the Florida lifestyle. Through her blog, Florida Homes and Living, Nicole shares insights on everything from the best neighborhoods to buy a home to the top local attractions and events. Whether you're a longtime resident or a newcomer to the Sunshine State, Nicole is happy to welcome you to Florida.

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