With over 360 miles of coastline, Florida is a beach-lover’s paradise. Some of these beaches are best suited to party-goers, while others are geared to families. What makes a family-friendly beach? Shallow water for little ones to swim in, playgrounds or splash pads for the kids, picnic areas or restaurants, restrooms, and additional activities to keep everyone entertained.
We’ve compiled a list of eight of the best family friendly beaches in Florida. From Key West to St. Augustine and many places in between, these beaches have something to offer for all members of the family! Whether you want to swim, snorkel, kayak, or sunbathe, you’re sure to find a beach that’s just right.
Crandon Park Beach
Children and parents will love this beach located near Key Biscayne. Calm, shallow waters are perfect for kids to swim in along this two-mile-long stretch of shore. Visitors may see herons and sea turtles while exploring the soft sandy beach. When the sun is too hot, cool down under the shady palm trees. You can also rent an umbrella, chairs, and bikes here.
Lifeguards are present at the beach and there are restrooms and showers available to use. Take advantage of the barbecues and sheltered picnic spots to enjoy lunch at the beach. The 800-acre park includes a nature center that the kids will love exploring. Plenty of parking is available at this uncrowded beach.
Matheson Hammock Park
Located south of Coral Gables, this 630-acre park includes a beach that is popular with the locals. Overlooking Biscayne Bay, the beach offers stunning views. Young children will enjoy swimming in the shallow atoll pool and using the playground. Rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard to enjoy the water here.
Plenty of shade can be found on the beach as there are many palm trees. Visitors can enjoy cycling on the bike trails or walking along the nature trails in the park. This is a popular area for bird-watching with many species spending time by the water. In addition to barbecues and picnic areas, there is also a restaurant and snack bar on the beach.
South Pointe Park Beach
This beach in Miami offers everything a family needs to enjoy their day. Children can swim in the water or play at the splash pad playground. There are trails for walking, biking, or rollerblading as well as a volleyball court. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the pier or come early to watch the sunrise. The views from the beach are stunning.
Have lunch at the restaurant or make use of the barbecues and picnic areas. There are plenty of palm trees for shade as well as umbrella and chair rentals available. Lifeguards keep watch on the beach ensuring the safety of all visitors. Enjoy kayaking or visit the fishing area where many locals spend time. There is also an off-leash dog park for four-legged visitors.
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park Beach
Located in Key West, this beach is located inside a 54-acre park. History buffs will enjoy visiting this historic monument to learn about Civil War history. There is plenty of wildlife to see at the beach whether you prefer bird-watching or searching for fish while snorkeling. You can rent fins and a snorkel mask, as well as chairs and umbrellas.
This beach is a fantastic location to watch the sunset. There are picnic spots to have lunch at as well as a cafe that is open daily. Nature trails offer excellent hiking and biking opportunities and there are gardens in the park to enjoy. Showers and restrooms are available at the beach.
St. Augustine Beach
Located about 50 miles south of Jacksonville, St. Augustine beach is a great choice for families. Enjoy the wide beach with soft, white sand. Bring an umbrella or rent one at the beach as there is very little shade available. Kids will enjoy the splash pad, volleyball court, and exploring the area for sea turtles.
Plenty of amenities are available at this beach including restaurants to have lunch at and lots of parking nearby. Lifeguards are present to ensure everyone’s safety. Take a walk down to the pier to do some fishing or relax in the sand with a good book and soak up some sun.
Lighthouse Beach Park
This beautiful beach on the northeast tip of Sanibel Island makes a wonderful destination for families and children. The beach is large but not crowded. Children will enjoy the abundance of shells available in the water. Early morning visitors will witness the seabirds enjoying a feast of oysters and clams on the sand.
The clear, shallow water is lovely for swimming, though there are no lifeguards on this beach. There are sheltered picnic areas and barbecues available to enjoy your lunch. Visit the fishing pier or bring your dog along for a walk on the pet-friendly nature trails.
Caladesi Island State Park Beach
This quiet and secluded beach is located along the Gulf Coast. It is accessible only by boat which is a fun trip in itself. Families will enjoy the abundance of wildlife including herons, osprey, and cormorants. Kids will have a good time searching for shells in the sand and water.
This beach offers excellent swimming for children. Visitors can also try kayaking around the natural island. Explore the nature trails or try your hand at fishing. Picnic areas are available along with a cafe that is open daily.
Located in Islamorada, this beach was named for local environmentalist Anne Eaton. Featuring very shallow water and a sandy beach, this is a nice spot for wading with young children. Your dog is also welcome at this beach so long as it remains leashed.
A highlight of this beach is the 1300-foot boardwalk that winds through the mangroves. There are covered picnic areas available to have lunch at as well as restrooms at the beach. Parents will enjoy the free parking while children will get a kick out of the iguanas and birds nearby.