Florida Travel Blog - Destinations in Florida

Florida Travel Blog 

Travel destinations, beaches and attractions and things to do in Florida. Documented by RESIDENTS of Florida.

Make Memories – 7 Best Florida Vacation Spots for Families

Your Florida Family Vacation

Welcome to our blog post on the best Florida vacation spots for families. Whether you’re seeking sun-soaked beaches, thrilling theme parks, or fascinating nature explorations, Florida offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to the entire family. In this article, we will guide you through the top family-friendly destinations in Florida, highlighting their unique attractions and amenities.

From the iconic Walt Disney World Resort to the stunning beaches of the Gulf Coast, let’s dive into the best that Florida has to offer for families seeking an unforgettable vacation. So, pack your bags and get ready to create treasured memories in the best Florida vacation spots for families.

best Florida vacation spots for families
The theme parks like Sea World, Disney World and Universal Studios get all the publicity but Orlando has so much more to do and see.

Orlando:

Home to world-renowned theme parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando familiar to all ages. We don’t need to expand on the wonders of the fabulous parks of all types in Orlando.

However, families want more than just theme parks. Orlando is positioned in Florida to offer much more than just conglomerations of parks.

Here are the wide range of attractions in Orlando that are family-friendly.

best Florida vacation spots for families disney world
Driving through these arches into Disney World brings excitement for kids 8 to 85!
  • Where is Orlando located in Florida?

Orlando is located in the central part of the state of Florida. It is situated approximately 77 miles northeast of Tampa and about 230 miles northwest of Miami. To reach Orlando, one can travel by plane to Orlando International Airport or by car via major highways such as Interstate 4 or the Florida Turnpike. Orlando is one of the best Florida vacation spots for families with young children.

Vacation places for families
Miami waterfront is an awesome sight for people coming from international destinations.

Miami:

Miami is famous for vacationing families. One of Florida’s most popular destinations makes a great vacation option for your family. From Miami Beach to Key Biscayne, the beauty and beaches of southeast florida will suit your family. Few cities can offer the array or family attractions as Miami.

The Best Attractions for Families in Miami:

    1. Jungle Island: Interactive wildlife park
    2. Miami Children’s Museum: Hands-on exhibits for kids
    3. Miami Seaquarium: Marine life shows and exhibits
    4. Zoo Miami: Home to over 3,000 animals
    5. Crandon Park: Beach, playgrounds, and nature trails
    6. Venetian Pool: Historic swimming pool with waterfalls
    7. Frost Science Museum: Science exhibits and planetarium
    8. Miami Beach: Family-friendly beaches and water activities
    9. Everglades National Park: Wildlife tours and airboat rides
    10. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens: Historic mansion and beautiful gardens
  • Beaches Near Miami
    1. South Beach: Iconic Miami Beach is known for its vibrant atmosphere and trendy nightlife.
    2. Key Biscayne: Serene island getaway with beautiful beaches and outdoor activities.
    3. Crandon Park Beach: Family-friendly beach with picnic areas, nature trails, and a carousel.
    4. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park: Pristine beach with historic lighthouse and scenic views.
    5. Haulover Beach Park: Popular beach for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing, with a clothing-optional section.
    6. Virginia Key Beach Park: Historic beach with nature trails, picnic areas, and a popular kiteboarding spot.
Vacation spots in Florida for Families - Key Biscayne
This Key Biscayne beach is a barrier island off Miami. Note the clear waters.

Miami is located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. Situated on the Atlantic coast, it lies about 25 miles south of Fort Lauderdale and approximately 235 miles southeast of Orlando. Easily accessible by air, Miami is served by the Miami International Airport, which offers numerous domestic and international flights. Additionally, travelers can reach Miami by driving along major highways such as Interstate 95 or by taking a bus or train to the city’s central transportation hubs.

best Florida vacation spots for families Clearwater beach
Sunsets of the Florida west coast is spectacular like this one on Clearwater Beach.

Clearwater Beach:

As one of the best beaches in Florida, Clearwater Beach has been serving families for many years. There is something for all ages in Clearwater Beach. We must admit we love Clearwater Beach because we live here! We enjoy the beach for many reasons almost daily. Obviously, we think this is one of the best Florida vacation spots for families.

The Best Attractions on Clearwater Beach for Families:

Vacations for families in Florida - Clearwater Beach
Families will love the white powdery sand of Clearwater Beach.
  • Where is Clearwater Beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast

Clearwater Beach is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Situated just west of Tampa, it is known for its stunning white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters. Visitors can easily access Clearwater Beach by taking the I-275 highway south from Tampa or by flying into Tampa International Airport and driving west on the State Road 60.

things you need when flying

Get Your Guide to Clearwater Beach

Check all hotel Prices here on Trivago.

vacation in Florida for families Sanibel Island
This is what Sanibel island is all about – beaches and shell – tons of shells!

Sanibel Island:

Sanibel is known as the “Shell Capital of the World”. Shells wash up daily on the expansive beaches. Families who love shelling and beautiful beach islands will enjoy Sanibel Island and don’t forget Fort Myers is just minutes away.

island vacations for families Sanibel island
The lighthouse on Sanibel Island is just one of the things to explore.
  • Best Places to Stay on Sanibel Island for Families
    1. Sundial Beach Resort & Spa: Family-friendly amenities and beachfront location.
    2. Sanibel Inn: Affordable accommodations with a pool and easy beach access.
    3. West Wind Inn: Kid-friendly resort with spacious rooms and a pool.
    4. Island Inn: Historic property with beachfront cottages and a pool.
    5. South Seas Island Resort: Extensive amenities, including pools, golf, and water sports. This is on Captiva Island and a great place our family loves.
    6. Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa: Waterfront resort with a variety of family activities. Also on Captiva.
    7. Sanibel Moorings: Condo-style accommodations with access to a private beach.
  • Where is Sanibel Island in Florida
  • Sanibel Island is located in Lee County near Fort Myers. Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, it is accessible by taking the Sanibel Causeway from mainland Florida. This barrier island is known for its beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and shell-filled shores, making it a popular destination for tourists and nature enthusiasts alike.
best vacation spots in Florida for families
One of the historical sights to tour is the Oldest School House in America in St. Augustine.

St. Augustine:

America’s oldest city, offering a unique blend of history and family-friendly attractions. From Atlantic beaches to historic places dating back to the 1600’s, St. Augustine will fascinate your entire family. This is one of our family’s favorite vacation destinations in Florida. One of the best Florida vacation spots for families while children are in the history learning stages of their education.

Florida vacation places for families St. Augustine
Fort Castillo San de Marcos in St. Augustine is one of the Spanish built structure to tour in St. Augustine.

St. Augustine is located on the northeastern coast of Florida. To reach St. Augustine, you can take Interstate 95 and exit onto State Road 16, which leads directly into the city. Alternatively, you can also fly into Jacksonville International Airport, which is approximately 50 miles north of St. Augustine, and then take a rental car or a shuttle service to reach the city.

Get Your Guide to St. Augustine

Florida Keys for a family vacation sunset
The Florida Keys offer stunning views. Sunsets and the miles of clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico offer many photographic opportunities.

The Florida Keys:

The Florida Keys are a national treasure. These naturally stunning islands are situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, making for memorable scenes. Even more attractive are the clear water beaches along the islands.

  • The Best Attractions in the Florida Keys for Families
      1. Bahia Honda State Park: Enjoy pristine beaches and go snorkeling or kayaking in crystal-clear waters.
      2. Dolphin Research Center: Interact with dolphins and learn about marine conservation efforts.
      3. Dry Tortugas National Park: Take a ferry from Key West to this remote island paradise and explore the historic Fort Jefferson.
      4. Theater of the Sea: Watch captivating marine shows and swim with dolphins and sea lions.
      5. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: Dive or snorkel in the only living coral reef in the continental United States.
      6. Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters: Get up close with marine life through interactive exhibits and animal encounters.
      7. Harry S. Truman Little White House: Visit the winter White House of President Truman in Key West and learn about its historical significance.
      8. Key Largo: Discover the underwater world through diving, snorkeling, and glass-bottom boat tours.
      9. Islamorada: Enjoy fishing, water sports, and visit the Theater of the Sea for family-friendly entertainment.
Best family vacations in the Florida Keys
The shores and beaches of Sunset Key in the Florida Keys. This small island off Key West offers family-size cottages for vacations.

The Florida Keys are a unique cluster of islands located off the southern coast of Florida. They stretch for about 120 miles and are connected to mainland Florida via the Overseas Highway, also known as US Highway 1. This scenic route offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, making the journey to the Florida Keys an enjoyable experience. Whether traveling by car or by bus, visitors can easily access the Florida Keys and explore the stunning beauty and laid-back charm of this tropical paradise.

Family vacations in Destin Beaches
The beaches of Destin Florida are long, sandy and offer clear Gulf waters. There are many rental cottages along the shores.

Destin:

Destin, Florida is an ideal family vacation destination for several reasons. Firstly, it boasts stunning white sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, providing a picturesque setting for endless family fun and relaxation. Additionally, Destin offers a wide range of family-friendly activities and attractions, including water sports, amusement parks, and nature parks, ensuring there is something enjoyable for all ages. Lastly, the city’s abundance of family-oriented accommodations and dining options make it convenient and comfortable for families to stay and explore.
 
  • The Best Attractions in Destin Florida
    1. Henderson Beach State Park: Beautiful white sand beaches and nature trails.
    2. Destin Harbor Boardwalk: Waterfront promenade with shops, restaurants, and entertainment. This is our favorite place in Destin. You can walk the half-mile stretch of shops, attractions, restaurants and water sports acticities
    3. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park: Interactive marine exhibits and dolphin shows.
    4. Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park: Water slides, wave pools, and mini-golf.
    5. Crab Island: Popular sandbar for boating, swimming, and floating parties.
    6. The Track: Go-karts, bumper boats, and arcade games for family fun.
    7. Destin History and Fishing Museum: Learn about the area’s fishing heritage.
    8. Village of Baytowne Wharf: Shopping, dining, and entertainment in a charming setting.
Destin family vacations - crab island
Crab Island is one of the many places for families to enjoy on the water in Destin.
  • Best Places to Stay in Destin
    1. Henderson Beach Resort – Family-friendly amenities, beachfront location
    2. Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort – Variety of activities for all ages, golf courses
    3. The Palms of Destin Resort – Spacious accommodations, pool area for kids
    4. Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village – Waterfront location, close to attractions
    5. Tops’l Beach and Racquet Resort – Tennis courts, beach access, and pools
    6. The Island by Hotel RL – On-site water park, family suites available
    7. Seascape Golf, Beach, and Tennis Resort – Golf courses, beach access, and tennis courts
    8. Sterling Sands Resort – Gulf-front location, fully equipped kitchens in units
  • Where is Destin Located in Florida

Destin, Florida is conveniently located along the beautiful Emerald Coast, making it easily accessible for visitors. Situated in the northwest part of the state known as the Panhandle, Destin can be reached by major highways such as Interstate 10 and US Highway 98. Whether traveling by car or bus, these well-connected routes provide a smooth journey to this popular vacation destination.

Disney World may be the most visited attraction in Florida but there is much more to do throughout
Disney World may be the most visited attraction in Florida but there is much to do and see throughout the state.

Best Practices When Planning a Trip To Florida

Planning a trip to Florida involves a few key considerations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

1. Weather: Florida’s weather can be unpredictable. Check the forecast before your trip and pack accordingly. Summers are hot and humid, while winters are milder but can still be warm. Be prepared for rain showers, especially during the summer months.

2. Seasonal Trends: Consider the time of year you’re planning to visit. Summer tends to be peak tourist season due to school vacations and milder weather in other parts of the country. Prices for accommodations and attractions may be higher during this time. Conversely, you may find better deals and fewer crowds during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall).

Best Vacation spots in Florida for families facts you need to know
Facts About Florida Travel

3. Attractions and Activities: Research the attractions and activities you’re interested in ahead of time. Florida offers a wide range of options, from theme parks in Orlando to beaches along the coast and natural parks like the Everglades. Plan your itinerary based on your interests and allocate enough time for each activity.

4. Transportation: Determine the most convenient mode of transportation for your trip. If you’re flying into Florida, consider which airport is closest to your destination. Renting a car may be necessary for exploring beyond major cities and theme park areas.

5. Accommodations: Book your accommodations in advance, especially if you’re traveling during peak season. Florida has a variety of lodging options, including hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, and campgrounds. Choose accommodations that suit your budget and preferences. Many booking sites have very liberal cancellation policies like Booking.com and Trivago.

6. Budgeting: Create a budget for your trip, taking into account expenses such as transportation, accommodations, meals, attraction tickets, and souvenirs. Look for discounts and deals to save money on attractions and activities.

7. Health and Safety: Stay informed about any health advisories or safety precautions in place, especially if you’re traveling during a public health crisis or extreme weather events. Pack essential items like sunscreen, insect repellent, and any necessary medications.

8. Packing List: Make a packing list based on the activities you’ll be doing and the places you’ll be visiting. Essentials may include comfortable clothing, swimwear, walking shoes, a hat, sunglasses, a reusable water bottle, and a camera. Get your Florida packing list here.

9. Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself against unexpected events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage.

10. Flexibility: While planning is important, remain flexible during your trip. Unexpected delays or changes may occur, so be prepared to adapt your itinerary as needed.

By following these best practices, you can plan a memorable and stress-free trip to Florida.

Best Spots in Florida for a Family Vacation - family beach
Put your family on a beach in Florida. Start planning and dreaming today.

Final Notes on the Best Florida Vacation Spots for Families

Florida offers a plethora of amazing vacation spots for families. From the magical world of Disney in Orlando to the sterling crystal white beaches of Clearwater Beach and the wild adventures in the Everglades near Miami, there is something for everyone.

The diverse range of activities and attractions, coupled with the family-friendly atmosphere, make Florida an ideal choice for your next getaway. So, start planning your trip and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones. For more tips and recommendations, make sure to visit Florida Travel Blog for trip planning and packing. Happy travels!

More from Florida Travel Blog

Book your entire trip with one of these money saving partners!


Advertisements
Cruise Critic See the world for less Start saving your ideas
Florida Travel Blog
Join our Mailing list!

Get all our latest posts and our monthly Florida Travel Newsletter with the latest posts and Florida Travel News.