19 fantastic family beaches in Florida you and your kids will love

Our selection of over 15 of the best family beaches in Florida, perfect for your next beach vacation in the US!

Florida is the perfect beach vacation destination for families with kids.

Blessed with calm, blue, safe waters, white sandy beaches and palm trees, it is the beach destination you dream of in the heart of winter and a place with lots of fun things to do with kids.

Choosing the best family beach in Florida is not easy: there are so many of them, the choice is almost too vast so, we created this list!

It has a selection of great beaches in Florida for families selected for different characteristics so you know you will find a good one for you, no matter what your travel style is or the age of your kids!

In this list, we are going to look at the best Florida panhandle beaches for families, family beaches on Florida’s Gulf coast and family beaches on Florida’s Atlantic Coast and the Keys.

Safe travel planning!

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Best Florida beaches for families map

Best beaches in Florida for families with kids: our top picks

Naples, Florida – our favorite Florida beach for families with young kids

Naples is a wonderful beach vacation destination for families in Florida, a place so special it regularly ranks high as not just one of the best East Coast beaches for families but one of the best beach vacations in the whole of the US!

Naples Florida marina at sunset

It is hard to overstate how family-friendly Naples beaches are. 

Here, you have the wonderfully clear waters of Florida, soft, clean, glorious sand and tons of family activities for toddlers and older kids.

Some of the most family-friendly attractions in Naples are the Sun-n-fun lagoon (waterpark), the children’s museum, the swamp sanctuary and the fun mini-golf courses.

If your kids love to be on the water and boats, Naples is also perfect for them as here you can rent canoes and kayaks and you can also join boat tours to the area, including to the incredible Everglades, only a short car ride from here! 

Have a look at this excellent guide to the best things to do in Naples with kids: I am sure you will agree that our list of best family beaches in Florida could only start here!

Clearwater Beach, Florida – regularly mentioned as the best family-friendly beach in Florida

All roundups of the best Florida beaches for families include Clearwater beach and with good reason.

Gulf of Mexico’s Clearwater Beach one of the finest beaches on the East Coast and it is perfect for families with kids. 

clearwater beach Florida

This gorgeous beach has miles of sand to run around and build sandcastles and is lined with resorts that offer a variety of family-friendly activities that will be a blast for the whole family.

Here, you can take strolls along the pier, play in the fabulous beach playground, take wildlife tours and more adventurous kids can go jet skiing and parasailing!

Another thing that makes Clearwater Beach in Florida such a great place for a family vacation? 

The sunsets are breathtaking, the atmosphere is just right for that mix of family fun and relaxation that makes a perfect family beach destination. It is also a fantastic kid-friendly day trip from Orlando: kid-heaven and less less than 2hours away!

Stay with the kids at the pleasant Island Key family hotel, minutes from the beach, or splash out with a stay at the kid-friendly Wyndham Grand

Sand Key Park, Clearwater

Sand Key Park is immediately to the south of the main Clearwater Beach and is perfect for families who want a calmer beach atmosphere and enjoy nature.

Quieter than Clearwaters, this is a barrier island park with has lovely beach cabanas, pretty palm trees, a nice kids playground and a really nice sandy beach with lifeguards on duty – perfect for extra peace of mind!

The park has some shaded areas and a cool salt marsh with benches that are perfect for relaxing and bird-watching – bring your kids binoculars for the most fun

The park has concessions and all the facilities you may need, making it one of the easiest to enjoy and best beaches for families in Florida.

DuBois Park, Jupiter

If your kids enjoy water activities such as snorkeling and kayaking, then DoBois park in Jupiter can be the perfect Florida beach for you.

This is a fantastic beach spot for kids on Florida’s Atlantic Coast and it is perfect especially for small kids, who can enjoy safely this lagoon-style beach.

The beach is equipped with restrooms, a playground, BBQ areas (bring your own picnic) and it is great to go kayaking or body-boarding, which makes it one of the best family beaches in Florida for parents with older and active kids too.

A walk along the wooden bridge here is a popular pastime to watch the boats – the only issue you may have on this beach are the crowds: come early as it is very popular!

toddler on beach wearing sun protection clothing and sunhat

Going to the beach with a toddler? Don’t forget to check our beach essentials for toddlers – ahandy packing list for a day at the beach with all you may need to entertain your little one!

Panama City Beach, Florida – best panhandle beach for families with kids

If a trip to the ‘world’s most beautiful beach’ is on your bucket list, then Panama City Beach is the best Florida resort for you and your family. 

With miles and miles of white sand welcoming you and your kids, Panama City Beach regularly makes the list of the best panhandle beaches for families and you are sure to have a great time here.

Many things make Panama City Beach in Florida such a great place for a family vacation.

As well as playing on the sand, here you can take a sea fishing charter, try your hand at Geocaching, try the Panama City Beach Escape Rooms and you can spend time snorkeling in the calm waters of the Gulf, which are simply perfect for beginner swimmers.

The beach is surrounded by numerous family-friendly restaurants and festivals, making it one of the most family-friendly beaches on the East Coast.

Panama City Beach is one of Florida’s best beaches for families and if you go there for your next beach vacation, you will definitely see why it is considered one of the best beaches in America!

Amelia Island, Florida – Fantastic family beach on Florida’s Atlantic coast

Amelia Island is one of the best family beaches on Florida’s Atlantic Coast and a perfect East Coast family beach getaway. 

It is on the northernmost stretch of the Florida coast and has a lot to offer to families. 

The beaches of course, with white and compact sand (fun fact: in some areas, 4×4 can drive on the beach here, fun to see!), but there are also fun activities off the sand.

In Amelia Island kids can explore Fort Clinch State Park, a historic fort that also has bike trails and hiking opportunities and you have plenty of options to go kayaking on Florida’s calm waters, perfect for active kids!

girl wearing her pink rash guard playing with beach toys and pebbles

Top tip! Don’t forget to equip your kid with a rash guard! They are invaluable to keep them sun safe while enjoying the best family beaches in Florida.

St Augustine’s Beach

St Augustine is known as America’s oldest town but it is also a wonderful Florida beach for kids.

Wooden boardwalk leading to the sandy beach at the Atlantic Ocean in St. Augustine, Florida in Anastasia State Park, right before sunset with the colorful cloudy sky over the rolling waves.

The sand here is soft and wonderful and the calm waters of this area are perfect for splashing and try bodyboarding, ideal for budding swimmers and bodyboarders!

As well as long days on the beach, Saint Augustine also offers a plethora of family-friendly attractions and things to do for kids.

Some of the most fun at any age are a visit to Alligator Farm, discovering St Augustine’s colonial center, a visit to Fort Castillo de San Marcos, a boat trips and a pirate museum!

The flat geography of St Augustine means that there are plenty of cycling opportunities, so you can work out an appetite before enjoying the many family-friendly restaurants and dining options in town. 

Siesta Key Sarasota – probably the best Florida beach for toddlers!

Sarasota is located of Florida’s Gulf Coast and it is a fantastic Florida beach for families who are looking for the quintessential white-sand Florida beach experience.

Turquoise water in Siesta Key beach. Florida, USA

The beach in Siesta key is made of granulated quartz which makes it very light in color, super soft, and a little cooler on the skin – basically a perfect beach for toddlers and their cherub feet!

The area is well equipped will all you may need including an ice cream shop, volleyball courts, and a playground and it is a perfect beach vacation spot for kids and adults alike.

Cocoa Beach, Florida – great Florida beach for kids who want to learn to surf

Cocoa beach is one of the best beaches on the Florida East Coast for kids who want to learn to surf since the waves are perfect for beginners. 

In terms of beaches, Cocoa Beach has the wonderful sand and waters you expect from a family beach vacation in Florida but it also has something more: the proximity to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center.

Family attractions in Cocoa beach include the Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures, the fabulous pier and miniature golf – perfect space coast destination for families with kids!

Stay with the kids at then family-friendly Best Western Cocoa Beach for a beachfront location 

Key West – fantastic Florida beach for families who love snorkeling

Key West is one of the best-known places in Florida, famous for fantastic snorkeling and diving opportunities but it is also a great Florida beach destination for families with kids!

Key West Florida. Main Beach, South Beach. USA

For a day on the ocean, you can choose between several great family-friendly beaches such as the beautiful Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, South Beach and Higgs beach.

Blessed with clear waters, pretty palm trees and beachfront restaurants, they are perfect for parents and kids alike.

Away from the beach, there is also plenty to do in Key West for kids.

The Key West Aquarium is fun, the overseas highway is sure to get a wow from everyone in the family and the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory center is supposed to be great for kids although I’ll admit – having a terrible phobia for butterflies, this one is not for me!

kids wearing water shoes on the beach

Top tip: equip your kids with water shoes to avoid unpleasant foot injuries. Find our favorite swimming and water shoes for kids here.

Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach is located in Estero island and it is a perfect beach vacation in Florida for families who want small-town charm and a quiet atmosphere.

Florida Fort Myers Pier beach in USA

The beach here offers no less than 7 miles of pristine sand and beautiful water where kids can splash, swim, or go snorkeling or fishing.

The shores here degrade gently, which makes it perfect for small swimmers and you find yourself in a great position to also explore Captiva and Sanibel islands, if you like to change beach frequently.

In terms of things to do, kids will love the local tourist train, explore the Imaginarium hands-on museum and aquarium, play mini-golf, ride the local mini train and bike to their heart content.

With so many things to do, it is easy to see why For Meyers is one of the best beaches in Florida!

Captiva island

One of the best Florida beaches for families with kids is Captiva Island, famous for its large, beautiful beach and quiet, laid-back atmosphere.

Captiva island beach has wonderful soft sand, calm waters perfect for going paddling and it is also fantastic for wildlife watching since here you can see dolphins and manatees.

One thing Captiva Island stands out for is its immense quantity of shells: over 250 species of shells can be found here and, because of them, it is considered one of the best places in the work for shelling which can be super fun for kids!

Sanibel

Sanibel is another fantastic family beach in Florida with plenty on offer for kids of all ages.

Easy to reach from Fort Myers, Sanibel is a gulf coast barrier island and it is perfect if you want to avoid high-rise buildings, something we consider pretty special!

The island has fantastic beaches with the calm waters of the gulf, perfect for beginner swimmers, and it also has plenty of fun to offer away from the beach such as plenty of biking trails, go dolphin spotting, kayak through a mangrove swamp or visit a lighthouse.

beach picnic food

We love beach picnics: if you do too, find here our favorite beach snacks and make ahead meals perfect for day on the sand

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a fantastic urban beach and one of the best beaches in Florida for families who want a good variety of activities at their fingertips.

Aerial view of Fort Lauderdale Beachi n Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

In Fort Lauderdale, families can enjoy the long beach, swim and enjoy the boardwalks rollerblading or relax at one of the many restaurants available.

For days when you feel adventurous, you can rent kayaks, get a surfing lesson, go on a pirate cruise, have indoor fun at Funderdome entertainment center and even get an airboat ride in the Florida Everglades!

Daytona Beach – great beach in Florida for older kids who love tons of entertainment

If you are looking for a Florida beach destination for older kids who love to have entertainment on their doorstep, then you should look into Daytona Beach.

As well as a wonderful sandy and large beach with plenty of opportunities for family picnics, here they will find tons of arcade games and fun entertainment along the Daytona Beach pier, a favorite with teenagers.

If they love watersports, they will be able to rent jet skis, have a blast ad Daytona Lagoon waterpark and also experience Dayton International Speedway, something car-loving teens will adore.

basically, the perfect Florida beach for families with kids who, no matter what will not just enjoy a lazy afternoon on the beach but want options!

close up of cooler bag carried on the beach by men in yellow shorts

Get ready for long lazy days on the beach with this selection of great coolers for the beach, with space for the food for the whole family!

Madeira Beach

Madeira Beach is a fantastic family-friendly beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast close to Tampa and St Petersburg.

The beach here is golden and wonderful and there are plenty of things to do for kids such as mini-golf, parasailing and kayaking.

Biking is also popular here and lots of fun for kids of all ages.

If adventurous kids will find plenty to do on Madeira beach, the same can be said for toddlers.

Madeira beach is toddler friendly, with soft sand and beautiful warm waters and in town, you have a fantastic pirate themed-playground with lots of space to run and play.

Deerfield Beach

Deerfield Beach is one of the best beaches in Florida for families, a family-friendly vacation destination with lots on offer for kids and adults alike.

One of the best family beaches on Florida’s Atlantic coast, Deerfield beach has a fantastic sandy beach, lots of opportunities for water sports such stand-up paddle boarding and surfing, Red reef park, great location for safe snorkeling and swimming with a lifeguard is on duty, and the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, where you can visit a turtle rehabilitation facility!

colorful beach bag for moms with towels and sand toy

Top tip for stylish mamas: get a sensible beach bag to hold all our family stuff – find some pretty and comfortable beach bags for mamas here.

Fort de Soto Park – perfect Florida beach for families who love nature

Fort de Soto is one of the best Florida beaches for families who love nature.

As well as beautiful sand, which is a constant in this list of the best beaches in Florida for families, Fort de Soto is known for having lots of pretty hiking trails, lovely biking opportunities and fantastic waterfront camping opportunities perfect for outdoorsy families!

The Northern beach here is perfect for families with small kids since it has delightful sand and the pirate ship playground and while the overall park feels wonderful and secluded, it is also well equipped with concessions and shops so you know you will find all you may need here!

summer baby carrier

Tips for families with babies! A summer carrier is invaluable to keep you and baby cool and safe in hot weather, the beach and even in water! Find here a selection of summer baby carriers and water carriers we love.

Destin beaches

The city of Destin is famous for fishing however, it is also a fantastic destination if you just want to have fun on the sand!

The beaches of Destin are white and soft and they are made of sand that doesn’t get too hot in the sun, meaning they are perfect for the delicate skin of toddlers especially.

Henderson Beach State Park has fine sand, scenic coastline and picnic areas, and if you want to explore the area, you can go to Crab Island where you can also rent jet ski and water trampolines.

Pensacola beach

Pensacola Beach is a barrier island south of Pensacola and it is one of the best panhandle beaches for families who are looking for a relaxing vacation.

Pensacola beach is famous for white-sand beaches and clean waters and also has a nice boardwalk that is pleasant for a family walk.

From here, it is ie easy to catch a dolphin-watching cruise and you can enjoy water fishing, surfing, and sailing. Nature-loving families can also enjoy the Footprints in the sand eco-trail that is a fantastic place to spot Turtles, birds, and crabs!

I hope you enjoyed this selection of some of the best family beaches in Florida for kids and it inspired you to go visit!

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Image of blue waters and white beach in Florida with wooden pier and text: 19 fantastic Florida beaches for families with kids

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