5 Fabulous Florida Family Beaches

By: Lauren Tjaden

From bustling Daytona Beach to charming Siesta Key, these Sunshine State destinations have at least one thing in common: The whole gang will love them.

Fabulous family-friendly beach getaways share some qualities.

The shores are gradually sloping so your little ones can wade in and out of the water easily and the waters are shallow.

They feature ample restrooms and showers as well as attentive life guards.

They offer plenty to do for everyone from tiny tots and teens to mom and dad.

And it’s as obvious as fins on a fish that affordable accommodations are a must.

These Florida beaches offer all of this and more. Read on to see which ones sound like your family’s perfect cup of sunshine.

Clearwater Beach

Lively Clearwater Beach on the Central West coast greets you with parasailing adventures rides on Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise and stunning views from Pier 60. Its luscious sugar-sand and clear shallow waters make for the perfect family playground. Plus it’s a great place for mom and dad to relax. Nightly sunset celebrations at Pier 60 countless water sports and family-friendly resorts promise to keep your whole crew entertained.

While you’re in the area make sure to splash over to Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Winter the Dolphin star of the movie Dolphin Tale

Siesta Key

Farther south on the Gulf award-winning Siesta Key boasts activities like water sports snorkeling and beach volleyball; a charming village brimming with affordable restaurants and shops; and the convenience of a trolley. Erin Duggan communications director for the Sarasota CVB says “Siesta Key is a great spot for families because it offers such a variety of things to do right at their fingertips.”

The beach itself is spectacular. It features a concession stand picnic facilities rentals and a playground. The water is calm clear and emerald-hued and the sand is 99 percent pure quartz crystals making it one of softest coolest whitest beaches your toes will ever encounter.

Amelia Island

In northeast Florida historic Amelia Island is a laid-back destination that boasts miles of wide quiet Atlantic beaches. The whole gang will love kayaking the pristine waters horseback riding on the beach and discovering history first-hand at Fort Clinch State Park. Accommodations range from affordable hotels to quaint B&Bs to upscale resorts. As Gil Langley president and CEO of the Amelia Island TDC points out “Both the Ritz-Carlton and Omni Amelia Island Plantation offer amazing children’s programs giving parents quality guilt-free time to explore on their own.”

Make sure to visit Fernandina Beach’s unique shops and eateries. And don’t leave without indulging your sweet tooth at Fernandina’s Fantastic Fudge.

Panama City Beach

This vibrant affordable northwest Florida destination is home to 27 miles of stunning white-sand beaches which mean there’s a Gulf-front room with your family’s name on it. President and CEO of the Panama City Beach CVB Dan Rowe says “We offer something for everyone – from our array of family-friendly restaurants and enriching eco-adventures to exhilarating water sports and interactive attractions.”

There’s more: Pier Park offers a staggering 1 million square feet of shopping and entertainment including the kid-friendly Miracle Strip at Pier Park featuring classic amusement park rides and a butterfly garden. Plus the city’s event calendar is overflowing with family-friendly happenings.

Daytona Beach

The family atmosphere of this famed Central Florida destination is just as exciting as its car racing tradition. Throw your gear in the car and drive out to snag your perfect beach spot. Or opt for the car-free beach. Recreational vendors are often located right on the beach making for ultimate convenience. As Daytona Beach CVB spokeswoman Lori Campbell Baker says “They offer everything from snacks to sunscreen and experiences that include bicycle scooter boogie board and ATV rentals and even surfing lessons.”

Other family favorites include the Daytona Lagoon water park the Marine Science Center Ponce Inlet Lighthouse & Museum -- and of course  Daytona International Speedway.

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners

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Anonymous March 27, 2014 9:42 PM
how much is it
Florida does have fabulous beaches! Try Flagler Beach....nestled in between Daytona Beach & St. Augustine Beach, Flagler Beach offers some of the best surfing and surf fishing in Florida! North Atlantic Right Whales in the winter & sea turtles all summer. Gamble Rogers State Park at the south end of the beach offers kayaking & fishing along with many interesting & informative seminars on our seaside life. Nearby golfing & tennis are available as well. Fabulous restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream parlors & lounges line the beach complete with live music venues. A quaint & charming beach side town perfect for giving yourself a much needed break!
beautiful florida
Nice beaches. I have been to all, albeit very briefly. Growing up in SoFla, Crandon and Cape Florida were favorite family beaches.