10 Best Family-Friendly Beaches in Florida

Mother and two children walk on the beach during a vibrant colorful sunset
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When most travelers think about Florida, they think about the sprawling beaches that cover the coast of the Sunshine State. In fact, there are 825 miles of beautiful sandy shores to explore in Florida. Each of the beautiful beaches in Florida has a different vibe, though many are family-friendly and free to enjoy.

If you’re planning a trip to Florida with your kids in tow, keep reading to find out what beaches are the best for families, and what there is to see and do around the stunning coastlines.

01 of 10

St. Augustine Beach

Sunrise over a life guard tower in st. augustine
Arthur Taylor / Getty Images
St Augustine Beach, FL 32080, USA

Just a few miles from the heart of the historic district of the nation’s oldest city is St. Augustine Beach. Not only is this stretch of sand beautiful, but it’s also one of the only beaches in the state that you can drive on in certain areas. If you aren’t keen on driving on the beach, there are plenty of walkable access points to get to the sand. Along the beach, there are picnic areas, a sand volleyball court, and plenty of local restaurants to enjoy. Spring and summer at St. Augustine Beach are exceptionally busy because of the nearby colleges on break, so be sure to get to the beach early for a good spot.

02 of 10

Siesta Key Beach

Coast Guard Beach house and beach, Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida, USA
Pola Damonte via Getty Images / Getty Images
948 Beach Rd, Sarasota, FL 34242, USA
Phone +1 941-861-5000

Siesta Key Beach is just minutes from downtown Sarasota but feels like a world away from the hustle of the city. The white sand beaches and crystal clear waters lure in families who want to spend a day near the ocean. At the end of Siesta Key Beach, where it turns into Crescent Beach, you’ll find Point of Rocks, where an abundance of coral and marine life can be found. If you’re planning a trip to Siesta Key, be sure to visit Mote Marine, an aquarium where everyone in the family can learn about the resident manatees, otters, and sharks that call the nearby waters home.

03 of 10

Cocoa Beach

Rear View Of People With Surfboards Walking At Beach Against Blue Sky On Sunny Day
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Cocoa Beach, FL 32931, USA

Surf culture is a big part of the beach experience at Cocoa Beach near central Florida. Every day, families are out on the beaches surfing together or watching their kids—including those not from the area—get lessons from the local instructors. For even more surf fun, the Florida Surf Museum is close to the beach and worth checking out after a morning cruise along the waves. Kids will also enjoy The Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures, where they can get up close to fossils and other artifacts.

04 of 10

Fernandina Beach

Fernandina Beach Amelia Island Florida
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Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, USA

Just off the coast of north Florida near the Georgia border is Fernandina Beach. Every year, thousands of people swarm the area during the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, where you can try shrimp in about as many ways as Bubba from "Forrest Gump" rambles off in the film. The stretches of sand around Main Beach Park are desirable for families since there is also a playground and a large lawn area for picnics and playing games together.

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05 of 10

South Beach

Family enjoying time together on the beach on summer vacation.
MargaretW / Getty Images
South Beach, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA

When you think of South Beach, you might think of the nightclubs and iconic buildings with Art Deco designs—and while those things are out there for you to explore, South Beach is also a great family location. There are plenty of hotels that dot the beach, some of which have almost direct beach access. All along the wide beach are colorful lifeguard stands, so you know your kids are being watched extra close in the water. And South Beach is great for finding pieces of washed-up coral or watching cruise ships pull out of Port Miami every afternoon, too.

06 of 10

Delray Beach

Aerial drone photo Delray Beach Florida reopening during Coronavirus Covid 19 pandemic
felixmizioznikov / Getty Images
Delray Beach, FL, USA

One of the cutest beach towns on the east coast of Florida is Delray Beach, where shopping and dining line the streets just off the shoreline. The quintessential beach town has a large stretch of sand where families can do everything from boogie board in the ocean to building sand castles on the shore. After the sun sets, head to the nearby Delray Beach Market for a tasty meal, or enjoy the local arts scene with live music and art exhibitions around the city.

07 of 10

St. Pete Beach

Boy walking along the beach at sunset
Erica Finstad / Getty Images
St Pete Beach, FL, USA

Along one of the barrier islands of St. Petersburg, families can enjoy St. Pete Beach. The beautiful resort town has a relaxed family-friendly feel that’s slightly more elevated than the neighboring Clearwater Beach area. The bright white beaches and emerald green waters are great for swimming and lounging in the warm Florida sun. Of course, no visit to St. Pete Beach is complete without taking a family photo (or booking a stay, for that matter) at the Don CeSar Hotel, with its iconic pink building. On weekends, walk through the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum, which is located in a historic 1917 church and has postcards and other artifacts from the area.

08 of 10

Melbourne Beach

Boat Piers on the Indian River - Melbourne Beach FL at dusk
mbell / Getty Images
Melbourne Beach, FL, USA

Located off highway A1A, which runs parallel to many of Florida’s east coast beaches, is Melbourne Beach. The family-friendly beach is known for its fishing and surfing. Kids will also enjoy trying to spot marine life like dolphins and stingrays from the pier. From May to October, just after sunset, you can scour the beach to watch sea turtles come ashore—from a safe distance—and watch them lay their eggs. Families will want to make their way to Barrier Island Sanctuary, where interactive exhibits offer adults and children the opportunity to take part in activities like guided hikes.

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09 of 10

Fort Walton Beach

Dad and daughter fishing and throwing flying disc for dog, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA
Romona Robbins Photography / Getty Images
Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA

With a mild climate in the winter and hot summer days, Fort Walton Beach is a fantastic spot for family vacations any time of year. The green ocean and white sand lure families with typically calm waters and panoramic views of the beach. Besides the sun and surf, the area has plenty to offer for families, like the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, where everyone is encouraged to interact with nature and animals by feeding turtles, having stingrays glide under their hands, or meeting the resident sea lions.

10 of 10

Daytona Beach

Father Daughter on Surfboard
Pam McLean / Getty Images
Daytona Beach, FL, USA

While Daytona Beach may be mostly known for its spring break parties, almost every other time of the year, the beach is incredibly family-friendly. The beach is the main draw to the area, with miles of sandy shores, plenty of sunshine, and a typical light breeze that often catches kites and kiteboarders. Just off the sand is the Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier, where restaurants are plentiful, carnival games are ready for you to take a shot at, and a giant Ferris wheel will take your family up over the city and beach for a view worth traveling for.

Article Sources
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  1. Florida Department of Environmental Protection. "Florida Coastal Access Guide." Accessed December 15, 2022.

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10 Best Family-Friendly Beaches in Florida