travel

Travel: Best Florida Beaches for Families

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One thing about living on a peninsula surrounded by water is that I have had years to explore the numerous beaches throughout Florida. And now as a parent of a rambunctious toddler who thinks she is a fish, I have spent the last few summers looking at our state’s beautiful beaches with a new eye—the eye of a parent looking for a great day at the beach. This experience, combined with my over 25 years of Florida living, has helped me craft my list of Best Florida Beaches for Families.

Best Florida Beaches for Families

Best Picnic Beach

Jetty Park in Cocoa Beach, on the east coast of Florida, was always where my family went to watch the Space Shuttle launch when we were children. But now, even with that era gone, Jetty Park continues to be a great camping and picnic beach with tons of pavilions, places for grilling, and a family-friendly, deep beach.

Best Natural Beach

The Canaveral National Seashore is true, unspoiled nature located between Titusville and New Smyrna Beach on the east coast. There are no buildings, no vendors … nothing but true, unspoiled Florida beaches nestled along the portion of Florida’s coast held sacred during the space era. The drive to the beach makes you feel like you are taking a trip back in time to a more natural, untamed Florida. (But, rest assured, there is a bathroom.)

Best Quick Trip Beach

Honeymoon Island is located on Florida’s West Coast, just north of Clearwater (near Tampa). It is a beautiful state park with all the food and facility amenities a family needs, making it easy to visit on a whim. The beautiful, crystal clear gulf coast waters make this destination perfect for shell hunting (even for most squeamish family members), since you can see right down to the sand while you play in the ocean.

Best Serene Beach

Amelia Island is a favorite couples getaway, but with gorgeous family resorts and rentals available on this northeast Florida beach, it is also perfect for families. The beach is developed just enough to provide wonderful amenities, as well as fun historic areas, while still feeling serene, quiet and relaxing.

Best Overall Beach

This should say “best overall beaches” because I cannot pick my favorite South Walton beach on Florida’s Panhandle. My husband introduced me to South Walton when we were dating years ago, and somehow I get him to take us there almost every year for a week of beautiful beaches, great food, and family events. There are 15 beaches in South Walton, ranging from the traditional, laid-back beach community of Grayton Beach, to the beautiful Seaside (remember The Truman Show? It was shot there). South Walton is a top-notch destination for a week away at the beach—there are different types of rentals for any family size and, I promise, every single restaurant accommodates children. You can find a family event every single night of the week during high season.

All in all, Florida has so many beaches that this list can not possibly cover every single one. But regardless of which family beach trip you choose, go with fun in mind and sunscreen in hand.

Where do you and your family like to vacation during the summer?

 

Nicknamed “Julia Child” at a young age, Julia Montgomery Stewart is most at home in the kitchen—cooking for her family of three and experimenting with new ways to eat real, whole foods.  Outside the home, Julia is a consummate event planner, and spent the first ten years of her career as a publicist before expanding her portfolio of talents with the launch of livepretty.com in 2010 with her family. Live Pretty is a lifestyle blog dedicated to family, food, and entertaining, with a special focus on sharing both the extraordinary and everyday moments of our lives.

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