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The best Florida family beach resorts

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Florida is an extremely popular vacation destination for families, and it’s easy to see why: world class theme parks, beautiful all year round weather, and the most stunning beaches! If you’re planning a family beach trip to Florida, then you need to check out these Florida family beach resorts for some fantastic recommendations for where to stay!

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase an item after clicking on the link, I will receive a small commission from the sale. This is at no extra cost to you, and as always, all opinions and recommendations are my own.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort – Vero Beach

Photo courtesy of Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is located about two hours from Walt Disney World Resort on Florida’s East Coast. I actually recommend this resort a lot for families who spend a few days at Walt Disney World and then need a vacation from that vacation! This is a great add on to a Walt Disney World trip, but it also makes for a great Florida family beach resort.

Accommodations and dining

The resort is part of the Disney Vacation Club collection so not only are there standard hotel rooms, but villas to fit larger parties as well; the 2-bedroom villas sleep up to nine adults and would be great for larger families who need a little more space to spread out.

Having a villa also means you can bring your own food to cook meals if you want to save a little money, are traveling with a picky eater, or just like having home comforts in your room.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort has a casual sit down restaurant, as well as a grab and go location, a bar serving drinks and appetizers, and a market where you can pick up select sundries. If you need a greater selection of groceries, there is an Island Market about 15 minutes from the resort, and a Publix, Winn Dixie and Target about 30 minutes away.

Amenities for families

As with any Disney resort, families are really catered to here. There is a pool with a waterslide that has complimentary life vests and pool toys to rent. There is also volleyball, a pirate themed mini golf course, poolside games like table tennis, and a community hall with arts and crafts in case the weather isn’t cooperating.

You can walk directly from the resort onto the beach where there are sun loungers and umbrellas for rental as well as boogie boards, kayaks, and other beach toys. DVDs can be rented from the resort and there is a nightly campfire.

What to do in Vero Beach with kids

Vero Beach is a small town that caters more to locals than tourists, but they still have some great things to do if you’re looking to venture beyond the resort.

The beaches in Vero Beach are generally very quiet, and they’re a great place to watch sea turtles hatch in the late summer months (you can read about our experience watching sea turtles hatch in Vero Beach here).

Less than 30 minutes from Disney’s Vero Beach Resort you can find Sebastian Inlet State Park, which is our favorite Florida State Park. There is a quiet tide pool which is a great place to go snorkeling; you can see plenty of fish and you might even see green sea turtles, manatees and dolphins!

Downtown Vero Beach has fantastic restaurants. The Tides is a Trip Advisor Travel Award winning restaurant that is perfect for a special meal, Citrus Grille has fantastic ocean front views, and Red Onion Eatery makes an amazing lobster roll!

Find the best rates for Disney’s Vero Beach Resort here

TradeWinds Island Resorts – St Pete Beach

Photo courtesy of TradeWinds Island Grand Resort

St Pete Beach is one of the most popular choices for tourists looking to visit the Florida beaches, and one of the best beaches near Walt Disney World. There are miles of white sandy beaches and the calm, warm waters of the Gulf are perfect for families with young children. TradeWinds Island Resorts is our favorite place to stay in St Pete Beach!

Accommodations and dining

TradeWinds Island Resorts is actually made up of two different properties: Rum Fish Beach Resort and Island Grand. Both offer a variety of different room types with everything from standard hotel rooms to poolside or ocean front suites. You can also book 2-bedroom suites if you need a little more space.

TradeWinds Island Resorts have enough dining options on site that you really don’t need to go off property to find a great meal. Our favorite was RumFish Grill, which offers both indoor and outdoor dining; the indoor dining was our favorite with the kids thanks to the huge aquariums that took up entire walls, making it feel as though we were dining under the sea!

There are also other sit down restaurants, poolside grills, bars, grab and go locations, and room service if you just don’t feel like going out.

Amenities for families

The resort has an amenity fee, and although I’m not usually a fan of added resort fees, this one does come with some fantastic activities for families.

The amenity fee covers beach chair rental, unlimited slides on their enormous inflatable beach slide, paddleboat rental, campfire s’mores, a touch tank experience, mini golf, beach toys, and access to the resort’s seven swimming pools – that’s right, seven pools! There is even a ‘dive-in’ movie which you can watch from one of the pools!

There’s so much to do for families there that it’s impossible for kids to get bored!

What to do in St Pete Beach with kids

With 25 miles of white sand and the calm waters of the Gulf, the beaches of St Pete Beach are where most of the tourists flock to. They’re great for families with small children looking for warmer water and gentle waves, and amenities like public restrooms, great dining, and equipment rentals mean you could pretty much spend the day there.

If you’d rather be on the water than dipping your toes into it, then St Pete Beach is also a great place to take a boat trip. The warmer waters mean you’re almost guaranteed to see dolphins splashing around, and it’s a great spot for fishing.

If the weather isn’t cooperating during your trip, take a short drive to Clearwater to visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the dolphin from the movie A Dolphin Tale. The aquarium has a variety of temporary and permanent residents (those who cannot safely be returned to the wild) and it’s fascinating to learn more about them. You can read about our experience visiting Clearwater Marine Aquarium with kids here.

Book your stay at TradeWinds Island Grand Resort here

Seaside Amelia Inn – Amelia Island

On the East coast of Florida, not far from the Georgia border, lies the sleepy barrier island of Amelia Island. This is a fantastic beach town where you’ll find far less tourists but still all of the amenities you want from a beach vacation. We take annual trips to Amelia Island and each time we stay at the Seaside Amelia Inn, one of our favorite Florida family beach resorts.

Accommodations and dining

There are a variety of rooms at the Seaside Amelia Inn, including accessible rooms and suites. The suites have a little more space with a kitchenette and sofa, and there are even ocean view suites where you can watch the sun rise over the Atlantic.

Complimentary breakfast is included in your stay, including both hot and cold options, and even made to order pancakes! There are other restaurants with a few minutes walk from the hotel as well; we really enjoyed the fresh fish at Salt Life Food Shack, and eating lunch quite literally on the beach at The Sand Bar, located right in front of the hotel.

Amenities for families

The complimentary breakfast is always such a huge plus when traveling with kids; it saves money and allows you to get a good meal in before you even pack up and leave the hotel for the day.

The hotel is also located right on the beach, with a short boardwalk taking you straight from the parking lot on to the sand. This meant when the kids had enough, or someone needed to use the bathroom, it was a really short walk to just go back to the room. When the kids were little, it was also great for nap time!

What to do in Amelia Island with kids

Amelia Island is known for its beaches, where you can find some of the prettiest shells anywhere in Florida (it’s also a great place to hunt for shark teeth!) But away from the beaches, there’s plenty of other activities to keep families busy.

Fort Clinch State Park is a fantastic place to explore. The fort itself has lots to look at, including replicas of what would have been things like soldiers kitchens, sleeping quarters, and even a jail! You can also climb up onto the walls of the fort for spectacular views out to Georgia!

You can also visit downtown Fernandina, which is a quaint little beach town with fantastic local shops and restaurants. The Book Loft is a wonderful little book store with a great collection of books for adults and kids (and a cute little train table for the kids to play while you browse!)

Some of our favorite places to eat include great drinks and fresh seafood with your feet in the sand at Slider’s Grill and amazing fish and chips at Timoti’s Seafood Shak (both of which have playgrounds for while you wait for your food!)

Read more about what to do in Amelia Island with kids here.

Book your stay at Seaside Amelia Inn here

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa – Miramar

Photo courtesy of Hilton Grand Sandestin Golf Resort & Spa

The beaches of Destin are some of the best in Florida, and although it’s a bit of a drive up to the Florida panhandle (as opposed to just hitting the Atlantic or Gulf beaches), in my opinion it’s totally worth it. Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa sits on one of the best beaches along the Florida 30A, which not only puts it in a fantastic location right on the beach, but makes for a great stop on a road trip as well.

Accommodations and dining

The rooms at this resort range from the standard hotel rooms to larger suites, with the family parlor suites being especially popular with families due to their larger size. All hotel rooms have a private balcony (which is really nice considering the views right over the beach and the ocean!) and if you’re traveling with a baby or toddler, cribs and high chairs are available for the room.

If you’re looking for onsite dining, then there are a wide variety of options available (seven, to be exact – plus room service!) The most prestigious is Seagar’s Steak and Seafood, which is Destin’s only AAA Four-diamond steakhouse. It serves USDA Prime Black Diamond steaks and over 600 labels as part of its wine collection. While it’s perhaps not the obvious choice for a meal with kids, it would make for the perfect parents night out!

Other options include a beachfront restaurant, a sushi bar, and a poolside market where you can pick up grab and go items.

Amenities for families

This resort comes with a ton of amenities to make a family beach vacation easier. There are little things like beach chairs and umbrellas on the beach, to big things like day and night kids activity programs. They also offer childcare services (so you can enjoy that Prime Black Diamond steak from Seagar’s!), kid-friendly restaurants with great kids options on the menu, and even suites with bunk beds!

The resort also features indoor and outdoor pools, bike riding, beach volleyball, and tennis, so there’s plenty to keep the kids occupied if they get bored of those amazing beaches!

What to do in Sandestin with kids

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa is the largest full service beachfront resort in Northwest Florida, so there’s really no need to ever leave the resort! But if you do want to explore the area, there’s plenty to do.

Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park was named one of America’s top water parks by the Travel Channel, so it’s a pretty safe bet when it comes to aquatic fun! The park has over 40 different rides, slides, water play areas, and pools, plus a sky coaster and a mini golf course!

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is great if you’re looking for a more nature-inspired activity. Rent a kayak or SUP to paddle on the coastal dune lakes, or rent a bike to explore the Great Florida Birding Trail. This is also a great place to hit the beach away from the crowds; there are 3.2 miles of secluded beaches!

Book your stay at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa here

Islander Resort – Islamorada

Photo courtesy of Islander Resort

Set on 24 tropical acres, Islander Resort on Islamorada in the Florida Keys is a tropical paradise. The resort stretches from the bay to the ocean overlooking Islamorada’s largest beachfront, which makes it perfect as a Florida family beach resort!

Accommodations and dining

With rooms on both the oceanside and the bayside, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to location, but also in the size of the rooms.

Oceanside rooms are standard hotel rooms with either a king or two queen beds, and each comes with a private screened lanai (there are also specialty suites available). Bayside Villas are perfect for families as they offer two-bedroom townhome style accommodations with gourmet kitchens and private decks.

There are a couple of options for onsite dining: Tides Beachside Bar and Grill, and Elements Lounge and Restaurant. Both of these offer breakfast, lunch and dinner so there’s no need to go offsite if you don’t want to. If you do choose to venture out, there are plenty of other local restaurants to choose from.

Amenities for families

Islander Resort has plenty to do to keep everyone in the family busy. With two saltwater pools and a kids splash pad for the little ones, a butterfly garden, outdoor beach games, basketball, volleyball, bicycles, paddleboards, kayaks and snorkel gear, everyone will find activities to keep them occupied.

What to do in the Florida Keys with kids

The Florida Keys are the perfect place for a family vacation and Islamorada provides a great base to explore them. Whether it’s snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of Key Largo, or sitting on the beach in Bahia Honda State Park, or spending the perfect weekend in Key West, driving through the Keys makes for an amazing family vacation.

If you have a little more time and want to see as much as possible, I’d really recommend a Miami to Florida road trip with some amazing stops along the way!

Book your stay at Islander Resort here

South Seas Island Resort – Captiva

Image courtesy of South Seas Island Resort

Captiva Island has been one of my favorite places to visit in Florida since I moved here. An island not far from Fort Myers on the Florida Gulf Coast, Captiva is well known for its beautiful white sandy beaches, incredible pastel colored shells, and spectacular sunsets.

Captiva Island isn’t as touristy as some of the other parts of the Gulf coast so if you’re looking for a quieter Florida family beach resort, then this is probably a good choice.

South Seas Island Resort is a charming, old-Florida style resort surrounded by a 330-acre nature preserve so it’s also a perfect place to spot some of Florida’s fantastic marine life.

Accommodations and dining

Accommodations at this resort really do have something to suit everyone. You can choose from the Harbourside Hotel or vacation villas that come in every shape and size, sleeping up to 10 people in some cases.

Harbourside Hotel has both standard rooms and suites with marina or ocean views and these would be a great option for a smaller family just looking to use the room as a base.

If you choose the vacation villas, then you can actually pick the exact space you’d like. There are options for those who want their own private pool, or want to be right on the beach, or just want to be far away from it all. These villas would be great for larger families, those traveling with friends, or those on a multigenerational family trip.

Amenities for families

There are so many activities at this resort specifically designed with families in mind, you won’t know where to start! There is a beautiful beachside pool with water slides, as well as a 2-mile stretch of beach where you can hunt for those famous seashells.

If you have more active family members, you can rent a SUP or kayak to explore that amazing marine sanctuary to see if you can spot the local dolphins and manatees. You can even go parasailing!

If you’d rather be in the water than on top of it, then Sanibel Sea School Day Camp is the perfect place to start. Specializing in field based ocean education, the camp for kids ages 6-13 covers topics such as dolphins, crabs, and sea turtles. You could also join a marine science educator for a beach walk to discover more about the wildlife you might come across.

There are a host of other family activities at the resort, and even specific programs for toddlers and teens.

What to do on Captiva Island with kids

You really don’t need to leave the resort at South Seas Island Resort to see the best of what Captiva Island has to offer. The stunning beaches with all of the shells and the incredible marine preserve with all manner of Florida sea life are perfect places for families to spend a Florida beach vacation.

If you do however want to experience more of the area, then it’s worth visiting neighboring island of Sanibel. There are beautiful beaches here, as well as Old Town Sanibel and the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village.

Book your stay at South Seas Island Resort here

The Resort at Longboat Key Club – Longboat Key

Photo courtesy of Longboat Key Club

Named one of the top 500 properties in the world (in the world!) in 2021 by Travel + Leisure and nominated for a 2021 Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Award, this property is definitely something special. Family friendly luxury in a tropical setting, The Resort at Longboat Key is a AAA Four Diamond destination that offers everything you would want from a Florida beach vacation.

Accommodations and dining

The rooms here, which include standard rooms as well as multi-room suites, have either lagoon, golf course, or beachfront views. The resort recently went through a complete refurbishment of the rooms as well as the common areas, so everything is brand new and in fantastic shape!

There are six different dining experiences available to the resort. Their newest restaurant, Latitudes, focuses on locally harvested seafood and Florida-sourced ingredients, Portofino overlooks the marina and features Italian cuisine, and The Tavern offers a farm to table experience with a constantly changing seasonal menu.

Amenities for families

The Resort at Longboat Key Club has a huge heated pool, meaning even in Florida’s rare chilly weather, you’ll be able to take a dip with even the littlest members of the family (or if your kids are like mine and swim in any weather, you won’t freeze to death going in with them!)

The resort also has a full service beachfront, meaning they provide pretty much anything you might need at the beach. Food and drinks are available from Barefoot’s Bar and Grill, and can even be delivered straight to your beach chairs so you don’t need to pack the kids up and move them.

You can also rent umbrellas, kayaks, bicycles, paddleboards, and even private cabanas.

What to do in Sarasota with kids

Sarasota has plenty to keep families with kids of all ages occupied.

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium offered shark feeding sessions in their 135,000 gallon tank where you can watch the trainers feed them as you learn more about their diet, and why they eat some fish but not others. They also offer seasonal exhibits and boat tours out onto the water.

Tree Umph Adventure Course offers a fantastic treetop aerial course for kids ages 7 and up where they can fly, swing and climb over a course the size of 10 football fields!

Selby Botanical Gardens not only feature beautiful flowers and tropical waterfalls, but a kids corner complete with scavenger hunt, books, and crafts.

If you’re looking for a playground, then the Circus Playground at Payne Park is one of the most epic playgrounds out there! There is also a skate park, café, and amphitheater.

Book your stay at The Resort at Longboat Key Club here

Naples Grand Beach Resort – Naples

Photo courtesy of Naples Grand Beach Resort

Naples Grand Beach Resort sits on the warm waters of the Gulf. A combination of luxury, comfort and relaxation, this is a perfect Florida family beach resort.

Accommodations and dining

The rooms at Naples Grand Beach Resort offer a variety of views, including coastal, gulf, and city views with double balconies so you can see different sides of the city of Naples! There are also larger suites if you need a bit more space.

There are also different dining options to choose from, depending on what you’re looking for. The Catch of the Pelican offers fresh fish straight from the Gulf, Rhode’s End features beach front dining if you’d like to eat overlooking the ocean, and the Gulf Coast Pool Bar offers more casual options.

There is also an Spressi Marketplace, which offers grab and go breakfast, lunch and dinner if you want to take something to go. It also features an Italian coffee bar and best of all, 14 flavors of gelato!

Amenities for families

There are three different pools to choose from at the resort: the Mangrove Pool, the Hibiscus Hideaway, or the Palm Terrace Pool. The Mangrove pool is perfect for families, which a zero entry for little ones to play, and a 100-foot twisting water slide for older kids.

The resort also offers three miles of white, sandy beach. The beach can be accessed from a 5-minute private tram ride, or a 15 minute stroll (perfect for putting a little one to sleep!) Beach chairs are included in the resort fee, and umbrellas are available for rent.

What to do in Naples with kids

There is plenty to do in Naples with kids. Despite its reputation for attracting a slightly older clientele, the area is great for families as well!

Naples Zoo is a nationally accredited zoo that is the perfect place to visit with kids. You can feed giraffes, take a primate expedition cruise, watch an alligator feeding, and see animals from all over the world.

The Children’s Museum of Naples was the first children’s museum in Southwest Florida, and is perfect for younger children. Exciting, hands on exhibits include an art studio, a building workshop, an inventor’s lab, and a journey through the Everglades. There are also seasonal exhibits.

Naples also has a pretty great water park, Sun’n’Fun Lagoon, with water slides, a lazy river, and areas just for babies and toddlers. Operating hours vary and the park can close due to inclement weather so just double check it’s going to be sunny before visiting.

Read through this post for more ideas on what to do in Naples with kids and recommendations for other beautiful hotels on the beach in Naples.

Book your stay at Naples Grand Beach Resort here

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort – Marco Island

Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Marco Island

With three miles of private beach, 12 restaurants to choose from, and two championship golf courses, this resort has something for everyone in the family! Marco Island is one of my favorite places to visit in Florida and this is one of our favorite resorts!

Accommodations and dining

Guest rooms at this resort include options for Gulf, pool, or tropical views, and feature large, spacious balconies. There are also larger suites with amazing views out over the ocean.

With 12 (12!) restaurants to choose from, there will be something for everyone at the resort. Think Florida lobster eggs benedict from Maia, heart-fired pizza from 400 Pazzi’s, and dinner with panoramic views of the Gulf at Tesoro.

Amenities for families

This is a great resort for families, with so many things to keep everyone busy. There are two different pools to choose from, and the resort’s private beach is just steps away. The water on the Gulf is perfect for kids and having a private beach means no crowds to battle with!

New gastro-pub 10K Alley not only features delicious food, but a bowling alley, mini golf, pool tables, and a whole gaming emporium (families will probably be more comfortable here during the day than in the evenings).

What to do in Marco Island with kids

One of the first places you should go in Marco Island is the famous Tigertail Beach. The main part of the beach is similar to other Florida beaches; sun umbrellas and a playground and a snack bar.

But then you cross over a lagoon (which you do on foot – water can be waist high and the floor is kind of muddy and squishy) to a completely undeveloped stretch of beach with nothing but hundreds of shells to collect and dolphins swimming off shore.

Obviously trying to cross a lagoon with kids and all of your beach gear isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely worth it (and people around you will help if they can!) It’s a beautiful place to be to see natural Florida just a few steps from civilization.

Briggs Nature Center is another fantastic place to explore. There is a boardwalk for a self-guided tour to see wildlife like alligators, turtles, birds, snakes, and other Florida natives in their natural habitats.

Book your stay at JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort here

Loews Miami Beach Hotel – Miami South Beach

Photo courtesy of Loews Miami Beach Hotel

Loews Miami Beach has a pretty amazing location right on South Beach in the heart of the Art Deco District (one of my favorite parts of Miami!) The resort is chic without being stuffy, and is a perfect Florida family beach resort!

Accommodations and dining

This resort isn’t a huge, sprawling resort like some of the others recommended, but in this case it’s quality over quantity. The amenities here are really at another level, such as the professional hairdryers and luxury hair products from Julien Farel and luxury robes by Chadsworth & Haig.

You can also request to stay in the iconic Art Deco St Moritz building, a famous piece of Miami Beach history. These rooms not only feature art deco style furnishings and art work, but they’re in the same building as the kids club, which is super convenient.

The resort features two restaurants (Preston’s Market is open for breakfast only, but Lure Fishbar is perfectly family friendly, even for a signature restaurant) as well as a pool bar and grill and a coffee bar.

All restaurants offer kids menus as well as coloring placemats and crayons to keep little ones busy. You can even request headphones and an iPad loaded with things to keep them occupied while you enjoy your meal.

If you’re looking for more dining options, then the many restaurants of Miami Beach are within walking distance; I’d recommend walking away from the beach and back towards Washington Avenue for the most options.

Amenities for families

One of the best amenities for families at this resort is the SOBE Kids Club, which offers half day and full day programs for kids ages 4-12 (there are also hourly rates available). With things like guided pizza making classes, scavenger hunts, treasure dives, as well as arts and crafts and video games, there’s something for everyone.

If your kids are a little older, there is a rec room for tweens and teens in the St Moritz Tower where they can play arcade games and relax away from mom and dad for a while.

The oceanfront pool features a zero entry which is perfect for little ones, and there’s a shaded sand pit right on the shore to keep them cool while they build sandcastles.

Kids treatments are also offered at the spa if your little one needs some pampering after a long day at the beach!

What to do in Miami with kids

Although it has a bit of a reputation for being a party city, Miami can be really family friendly if you know where to go and what to do.

South Beach can be crowded and not always totally family friendly, but South Pointe Park all the way at the end of South Beach is much quieter and better for families. Matheson Hammock Park also has a great stretch of sand to play with much calmer waters.

While you’re in Miami I’d also recommend seeing Wynwood Walls, where artists from around the world have come to create fantastic pieces of art using the walls as their blank canvases. You can walk through on your own, or take a guided tour to learn more about the artists.

Frost Science Museum not only features fantastic interactive exhibits, but also a planetarium and a 3-level aquarium. You could easily spend a whole day here exploring everything the museum has to offer, and it’s a great rainy day activity.

Book your stay at Loews Miami Beach Hotel here

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