Best Family Friendly Beaches in Florida

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  • Fort De Soto Park // Florida

    Fort De Soto Park
    ©Pinellas County / CC BY

    Fort de Soto Park is more than just a beach. It is a collection of five interconnected keys (islands) just off the coast of St Petersburg in the Gulf of Mexico. The beaches of Fort de Soto constantly appear on lists of America's best beaches, even occupying the number one spot in one poll.

    This is little surprise given the beautiful natural surroundings and range of activities on offer. There are two fishing piers, a host of picnic areas, hiking trails, cycle tracks and a kayak trail around the islands. If… read more »

  • Siesta Key Beach // Florida

    Siesta Key Beach
    ©fotomak / 123RF

    Frequently cited as the USA's best beach on account of its brilliant white sand, turquoise waters and laid back feel, Siesta Key is a worthy contender for the title.

    Located on the eight mile long Gulf Coast barrier island of Siesta Key the beach here is made from some of the finest sand on the planet; 99% quartz, the white sand is apparently unusually cool and soft - good enough in fact to have been named "the whitest and finest sand in the world" at one point.

    Like many of the… read more »

  • Clearwater Beach // Florida

    Clearwater Beach
    ©Elena Petrova

    Clearwater is yet another fantastic Florida beach situated on the barrier islands of the Gulf Coast. Located on the Pinellas Peninsula this white sand beach stretches for over 3 miles (5 km) along the calm, clear blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Clearwater beach is one of Florida's best rated family beaches and there is plenty to back this up. Along with the great amenities and safe swimming there are plenty of activities going on; beach volleyball, pier fishing, cruising the Beach Walk promenade.

    At the heart of Clearwater… read more »

  • Fort Lauderdale Beach // Florida

    Fort Lauderdale Beach

    Fort Lauderdale beach is a beautiful stretch of white sand that runs alongside the crystal clear blue waters of the ocean. It is quieter than Miami, with more of a family-friendly feel than a wild college party destination. The promenade that runs behind the beach is lined with palm trees and there is always plenty going on.

    This beach at Fort Lauderdale is clean with generally calm waters that are safe for kids. Also it's a big enough beach that even in the middle of the summer you won't… read more »

  • Hollywood Beach // Florida

    Hollywood Beach

    With its gorgeous white sand reaching out to turquoise waters, Hollywood Beach is a South Florida gem. Located between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, the beach here stretches for 2.5 miles along the Atlantic Ocean. A boardwalk runs the length of the beach and is lined with all kinds of cafes, attractions and shops. If that isn't enough, then there is a trolley to take you from the beach to downtown Hollywood. It's also a great place for just sitting on the beach and people watching.

    Hollywood Beach is popular… read more »

  • Panama City Beach // Florida

    Panama City Beach

    Stretching for 27 miles, Panama City Beach has white sands that meet clear turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Along this expansive shoreline are two state parks, waterfront restaurants, and a great range of attractions. You will find scuba divers and fishermen enjoying the artificial reefs offshore, and plenty of people relaxing on the beach.

    Panama City Beach has practically every water sports you can think of, from boating to parasailing to diving and more - although the relatively sheltered waters of the Gulf don't make for great surf. You… read more »

  • Fort Zachary Taylor Beach // Florida

    Fort Zachary Taylor Beach
    ©Chris Schieman

    Set on the western tip of Key West, Fort Zachary Taylor is Florida's most southerly state park. It is also home to what is highly regarded as Key West's best beach.

    A stretch of near-white coral sand, lapped by the clear blue waters of the what feels like the Caribbean Sea make this spot is idyllic. The look is completed by a backdrop of palm trees and Australian pines, making it easy to imagine you are on a tropical island - which in fact you are!

    Beyond the shoreline the seabed can… read more »

  • Crandon Beach // Florida

    Crandon Beach

    Crandon Beach is part of Crandon Park, a former coconut plantation, in the middle of exclusive Key Biscayne barrier island. It is frequently listed as one of the Top 10 Beaches in the USA.

    The white sandy beach is truly idyllic, facing east and protected from the rough surf by an offshore sandbar. This allows the Atlantic waves to break gently along the shores of this 5-mile-long barrier island which backs onto Biscayne Bay. The clear blue waters are ideal for wading and swimming but the park does not permit any… read more »

  • Cocoa Beach // Florida

    Cocoa Beach
    ©Rusty Clark

    This six-mile long stretch of biscuit-coloured sand sits at the heart of Florida's Space Coast. It's well known for its watersports scene, with surfers flocking from far and wide to ride the waves here - it's even where 11-time surfing world champion Kelly Slater learned his craft. 

    Cocoa Beach is also home to the world's biggest surf shop, Ron Jon's and you'll find surf schools are dotted along the beach. If you prefer something a little more laidback when the waves aren't up, there's paddleboarding and kayaking on the cards too.

    And… read more »

  • New Smyrna Beach // Florida

    New Smyrna Beach

    You'll find the pearl-white sands of New Smyrna Beach just 15 miles south of the better known Daytona Beach, on Florida's East Coast.

    The 17-mile strip of sand is a big hit with surfers, thanks to its plentiful wave breaks, with both amateurs and experts taking to the waters here.

    In fact, it's been named as one of the top 20 surf towns anywhere in the word by National Geographic. A word of warning though - it's also been unofficially called the shark bite capital of the worldread more »

  • Bowman's Beach Park // Florida

    Bowman's Beach Park
    ©Mark Sherman

    Several miles in length, Bowman's Beach sits on the Gulf of Mexico on the southern shores of Florida's Sanibel Island. Situated on one of the quieter parts of island, with just one main road heading north, Bowman's Beach is close to both JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the lagoon-like waters of Clam Bayou.

    Roughly ten minutes on foot from the nearest car park, the path leads through the grassy scrub to white sands which incorporate a fitness trail, children's playground, portable toilets and picnic tables alongside public barbeque grills.

    Open… read more »

  • Daytona Beach // Florida

    Daytona Beach
    ©Paul Brennan

    This waterfront city on Florida's Fun Coast is probably best known for its international speedway circuit, where NASCAR'S most famous race, the Daytona 500, takes place every year.

    But for beach fans, it's the 23 mile stretch of soft white sands that keeps them coming back. At low tide, the shoreline expands to a width of nearly 500ft, so there's plenty of space to spread out and catch some rays in the sunshine state, without feeling on top of people.

    As with most of the beaches on Florida's East Coast, there's… read more »

  • Pensacola Beach // Florida

    Pensacola Beach
    ©Fede Casanova

    Stretching for several miles along the state's Gulf of Mexico coastline, Pensacola Beach forms the main proportion of Santa Rosa Island. A barrier island approximately 40 miles in length but just a couple of hundred yards wide, it can be subdivided into a number of different beaches and conservation areas. It is connected by road bridges to mainland Florida at various points.

    The most popular entry point is probably the bridge that brings visitors to the parking spaces and crisp white sands of Casino Beach, part of Pensacola Beach so named… read more »

  • Grayton Beach // Florida

    Grayton Beach

    Located on the Florida Panhandle, Grayton Beach faces south into the crystalline waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A Blue Wave beach (similar to the better-known Blue Flag scheme in Europe), it is a delightful strip of level white sand. The beach is part of a historic coastal village of the same name, and via its grid of streets, with Grayton Beach State Park.

    A popular spot year-round, Gulf of Mexico fishing charters launching directly from Grayton are common, in addition to the chance to try your hand at sailing or… read more »

  • Johnson Beach National Seashore // Florida

    Johnson Beach National Seashore

    Johnson Beach sits at the center of Perdido Key, a barrier island which spans the Florida / Alabama border. 

    The beach has a lifeguard service, plenty of facilities and a parking lot, all of which makes it ideal for families. Along with a host of water based activities there are also a number of hiking trails here best of which is the Discovery Nature Trail. This raised wooden boardwalk winds through dunes the dunes and pine woods for around half a mile.

    The naming of the beach is for Rosamond Johnson.… read more »