The smell of the salty sea air, the sound of the waves lapping on the shore, the sight of sun lovers luxuriating on by the sea- yes, these “scent-sations” are all part of the beach experiences of Florida. So, if one is planning a trip to Florida’s sandy shores, what beaches are considered the best in the state? Well, that depends on what one is looking for in regards to area activities and attractions.
After all, Florida beaches offer more than just sunbathing and swimming. Guests will also find opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving and surfing. So, before packing up and heading to Florida, be sure to know where the best beaches are for whatever activity makes one’s family energized. To help plan the trip, consider these beaches.
5 Best Florida Beaches for Family Fun
If traveling with the family and looking for beaches sure to delight the entire group, then these beaches are some of the best.
- Destin Beach, as well as area beaches such as Seaside and the nearby Pensacola Beach, is sure to be a hit with families. There are putt-putt golf locations, ice cream shops and other entertainment venues as well as miles of sandy beaches where families can re-connect with each other and with nature.
- Fort Lauderdale Family Beach is an eco-friendly beach which has earned a Blue Wave Award for its clean shores. Nearby attractions include the Museum of Science and Discovery and Flamingo Gardens.
- Cocoa Beach has long been a family favorite for enjoying the sand, surf and sun. While there, be sure to take some time to visit the Kennedy Space Center and learn about space exploration.
- Fernandina Beach is renowned for its pure white sands that have been enjoyed by its guests for many years. Today, visitors can even pitch a tent and camp out under the stars.
- Daytona Beach offers not only miles of shoreline to explore for delicate shells, but is also home to an assortment of NASCAR-related activities sure to delight racing fans of all ages.
5 Best Florida Beaches for Surfing, Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
If a day at the beach is incomplete without some high adventures, then be sure to visit at least one of these Florida beaches.
- The John Pennekamp Coral Reef is America’s first underwater park and is ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving due to its shallow water reefs and more than 50 varieties of coral.
- Fort Lauderdale is a special favorite for scuba divers as its waters can be enjoyed by divers of every experience level. The natural reef here is a 3 tiered area, making it accessible to all.
- Fort Walton is known for its glass-like waters where scuba divers and snorkelers can get a peak at the sea life below.
- New Smyrna is conveniently located just an hour’s drive from Disney World, and is known for its impressive waves and minimal undertow.
- Sebastian Inlet State Park is touted as having the best surfing on the East Coast. Guests are delighted not only by the great surfing but by the beauty of the mangrove-lined rivers nearby.
Exploring Florida’s beaches is truly one of the best ways to get in touch with one’s family while having fun in the sun. Taking a few minutes to plan a Florida beach vacation may very well be one of the best things a family can do together. So grab some flippers, a mask, sunscreen and towel then get ready to hit the beautiful beaches of Florida.
Family Spring Break in Florida
Who needs Mickey Mouse and his cartoon-character friends when you’ve got miles and miles of Florida coastline with its glorious beaches and ideal weather for visiting in March? If you don’t have your family spring break vacation plans yet, and you’d like to soak up some sunshine on your child’s school vacation, look no further than the Sunshine State.
Here are two Florida destinations to consider for your spring break family vacation:
The folks in Jacksonville like to say that their city is “Where Florida Begins.” That makes sense, since it’s the northeast corner of the state, not far from the Georgia border, plus it has a rich history. Learn about life on a cotton plantation in the 1800s at the Kingsley Plantation, on Jacksonville’s Fort George Island.
The St. Johns River runs through the heart of town, and visitors love strolling the downtown riverfront (plus the 20 miles of stunning ocean coastline). It’s a green city, too: with 57,373 acres of parks, including the 46,000-acre Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve, Jacksonville boasts the largest urban park system in the country.
For families, the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens is a big hit, with its recently opened “Range of the Jaguar” and “Savannah Plains” exhibits. Children can play at Kids Kampus, a free, 10-acre public recreational facility with loads of playground equipment and mini versions of historic local landmarks. Enjoy free samples at the gourmet chocolatier Peterbrooke, which also gives free factory tours.
Golfers are bound to find a course they like among the 72 golf courses in Jacksonville. Or they can tour they can just admire the accomplishments of those stellar players who have been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Daytona Beach had long been plagued with a reputation for rowdy, beer-guzzling, college-age spring breakers. But it’s shed that image and is now a safe, fun place for families to take young children–even during traditional college spring break times, such as mid- to end-March.
The coastal city’s slogan is “Way More than a Beach.” Although its 23 miles of gorgeous beaches are what it’s best known for, Daytona Beach also offers families a bunch of adventures and activities. Kiddos (and adults!) who love an adrenaline rush need to check out the Daytona 500 Experience at the Daytona International Speedway, which includes a NASCAR 3D Movie. The multi-faceted attraction gives visitors a journey through racing history.
Marineland is the world’s oldest “oceanarium,” dating back to 1938. Here, kids can swim with dolphins at this Dolphin Conservation Center and teens can be a “Trainer for a Day.” Another historic site in Daytona, the Angel & Phelps Chocolate Factory, has been churning out delicious treats since 1925. Join a free factory tour and try the free samples!
Of course in both Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, active families can enjoy surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and fishing in the Atlantic Ocean.