5 Florida resorts for families that aren't Disney

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01 of 05

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort

Courtesy Singer Island Resort

When one thinks of kid-friendly Florida, Palm Beach rarely makes it to the top of the list. But my little ones and I have managed to find a few spots on the genteel coast that are relaxing and remarkably family-friendly. The four-diamond Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is one. The oceanfront resort is outfitted with stylish condo-style suites that include full-size kitchens and plenty of space to spread out. Add to that two pools (including a lagoon pool with a water slide) and a high-end restaurant that will keep food-obsessed parents interested, and you've got a pleasing weekend getaway. Situated on a gorgeous barrier island between Jupiter and Palm Beach, the resort is a great vacation destination -- and the perfect place to reconnect with family while basking in all that's great about this upscale enclave. 

02 of 05

Turnberry Isle Resort

Floats in a lazy river

Courtesy of JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Rest & Spa

We've got five words for you: longest lazy river in Miami. Yes, this luxe five-star with a pedigreed golf course, two celeb-chef restaurants (helmed by chefs Scott Conant and Michael Mina, respectively) and an elegant spa also features an amazing pool complex with a meandering lazy river, a water slide and waterfalls. 

Turnberry Isle Resort is not a beach resort, rather it's a ten minute drive over the causeway, but if you're traveling with kids you'll hardly miss the sand and sea. There's plenty for the little ones to do on property including watching exotic koi fish feedings in the mornings, kids cooking classes, a great kids club and - if you feel the need to leave this sprawling resort - it's a short walk across the street to one of the biggest shopping malls in the Miami-Dade area. 

03 of 05

1 Hotel South Beach

Aerial view of the pool and beach at 1 hotel south beach

The 1 Hotel South Beach has a strong eco-luxe game with posh touches like organic linens, a farm-to-table restaurant by celeb Chef Tom Colicchio and a fleet of Tesla electric vehicles but we were so impressed with their great kids program called Seedlings with a rock-climbing wall, science-y activities and movie nights. Add to that a posh pool area with comfy cabanas and healthy eats for kids and you've got a stellar family-friendly spot in South Beach. 

Activities at Seedlings include:

  • My Nature Walk
  • Bird Seeder Feeder
  • Seashell Art
  • Fun in the Sun Competition
  • Kids Can Cook
  • Seedlings Plant Seeds
  • Movie Days
  • Collaboration with the Philip & Patricia Frost Science Museum (on select dates) for fun and unique activities

Kids will also get a kick out of the complimentary fruit station in the lobby with fresh, organic produce (lychees, tangerines, plums) and yogi moms will appreciate the free Sunday morning yoga on the rooftop pool deck (using a complimentary in-room yoga mat).

04 of 05

Sunset Key Guest Cottages

Pool lined with palm trees and lounge chairs

 Courtesy Sunset Key Cottages

Sunset Key Cottages have family-sized cottages, making it a true home away from home. The one to four bedroom cottages include fully equipped kitchens for quick meal preparation, snacks and drinks for the whole family, which may be pre-stocked prior to your arrival. We stayed in an immaculate two-story four-bedroom cottage with vaulted ceilings, Hamptons-esque furniture, and plenty of room to spread out. Further proof that is was a little slice of paradise: a private plunge pool on our veranda and the beach just steps away.

The four-bedroom cottages sleep up to eight people an are ideal for families. Every morning we woke up to a basket of fresh-baked goods and at night turn down service included stocking the fridge with gourmet orange juice, a thoughtful touch. 

The resort is affiliated with the Westin Key West, with which it shares some features, such as the fitness center and the restaurants (read our review of the Westin Key West), and given its secluded location and family-friendly atmosphere it's probably one of the best upscale spots to vacation with kids in Key West

Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05

Acqualina Resort and Spa

Aerial view of lounge chairs on the lawn and the beach.

 Courtesy of Acqualina Resort and Spa

The Acqualina may be the right hotel for you if:

  • You want to enjoy Florida’s beaches in a quiet and serene locale.
  • Your hotel room must be big, with an ocean view.
  • Your vacation always includes a trip to the on-premises spa.
  • You’re bringing kids and need a pool and outdoor activities that can occupy hours.

When the 51-story resort with its Mediterranean revival architecture and massive clock tower opened in 2005 it was the swankiest spot north of South Beach with Baroque fountains and marble-and–gold leaf columns in the public areas evoking an opulent Venetian palace. Ten years on it has managed to maintain its reputation with gracious service, impeccable grounds and plush rooms. 

Affluent families know that this is one of the best spots to hunker down for a getaway with the kids. Kid-friendly amenities include a gelato bar off the lobby and a marine biology-based kids program. There's also a green lawn flanking the beach where families can play soccer or beachside basketball. And pool attendants have a cache of inflatable pool toys that they graciously inflate and dole out to little ones. 

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