Florida is the perfect place for family vacations. After all, there are so many fun things to do in the Sunshine State, no matter who you’re traveling with. Yet, one of the most difficult parts of planning a vacation is choosing where in Florida you want to go.
So, here are 13 of the best locations for Florida family vacations. You won’t want to miss out on these tropical destinations!
#1 – Orlando
Orlando is certainly the most visited area of Florida because it’s surrounded by tourist attractions. However, it’s rare that tourists visit downtown Orlando, but instead, they spend their time at Disney World, Universal Studios, and International Drive. You could spend your entire trip at an amusement park, or you could explore many of the smaller attractions, including mini golf courses, dinner theaters, rides, shopping centers, museums, and many walking trails. It’s impossible to be bored in Orlando, so you can never take too many family trips there!
#2 – Amelia Island
Amelia Island is a lesser known area of Florida, but it’s still worth a family trip. It has 13 miles of calm beaches, giving it a much different pace than Orlando. It’s also much less crowded than the more popular beach areas. It has a historic feel, with an adorable town, a few museums, and lots of trails to explore. Guests love to partake in activities like horseback riding, a cruise tour, and kayaking. It’s the perfect destination for a peaceful family experience.
#3 – Clearwater
Clearwater is home to one of Florida’s most beautiful beaches, complete with white sand and blue water. Clearwater Beach is unique because it’s on an island-like part of Florida, so there can be a lot of traffic as you’re coming and going. Along the beach, there are plenty of shops, outdoor dining options, and charming hotels and resorts. Some favorite activities in Clearwater include sunset cruises, indoor surfing, miniature golf, dolphin watching, kayaking, shows, and more. Plus, it has some of the most beautiful views for family photos.
#4 – Florida Keys
The Florida Keys, including Key Largo all the way to Key West, are connected by a road on the southern end of Florida. They feel so far away from the rest of the state, but they’re still just as charming and exciting. There’s lots to do on the water at these islands, including boat tours, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and jet skiing. There are also plenty of nature trails, shops, museums, and other unique attractions. Of course, it’s hard to resist a day at the beach as well. The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, the Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary, and Big Pine Key are just some attractions where you can see a wide variety of animals.
#5 – Tampa
Tampa is one of the best Florida family vacations because it has plenty of attractions that kids will adore. It’s known for theme parks like Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, Legoland, and Dinosaur World. There’s also a zoo, aquarium, and children’s museum too. In addition to the many family-oriented activities, downtown Tampa is a beautiful city to explore. It has many trails beside the water, along with some playgrounds for kids to stop at. It’s a little less chaotic than Orlando, which is why families with younger children often favor it.
#6 – Sanibel Island
Like Amelia Island, Sanibel Island is another lesser known Florida destination. It has plenty of beautiful beach areas, which are much less busy than what you’d expect in other areas of Florida. In addition to lounging on the shore, you can also go swimming, snorkeling, or cycling near the beach. The beach goes on for about 15 miles, and there’s also a historic town area with shops, museums, and trails. A boardwalk through the wetlands is one of the coolest spots for families to explore.
#7 – Crystal River
Crystal River is a quieter area of Florida, but it’s a favorite place for animal lovers. There are lots of manatee tours, where guests can get opportunities to get up close to gentle, wild manatees. However, it’s best if you visit during the cooler months, since it’s easier to spot manatees during that time. While there aren’t a ton of other attractions near Crystal River, there are plenty of hotel options, along with waterfront dining.
#8 – Miami
Miami is one of the most popular cities in Florida. While it’s known for having great bars and nightclubs, it still has plenty of family-friendly activities too. It has many beaches and pools for all ages to take advantage of. It also has an aquarium, zoo, and children’s museum. Like all areas of Florida, it even has plenty of nature spaces to explore as well. So, there’s a lot more to Miami than meets the eye.
#9 – Everglades National Park
If you want your kids to learn lots about nature, then the Everglades National Park is perfect. It has over 1.5 million acres of wetlands, and plenty of opportunities for tourists to explore. You can walk on various trails, go on air boat tours, or stop by visitor centers to learn a little more about the park. Some areas of the park are only accessible by boat, while others are only accessible by bike or foot. So, the Everglades is a great place to satisfy your need for adventure.
#10 – St. Augustine
St. Augustine is one of the oldest cities in the country. Thus, it has lots of historical charm. Parents love seeing the historic buildings and landmarks, but there’s still lots for kids to enjoy. Many young visitors adore the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum, which has plenty of pirate-themed activities and a dinner experience. For nature-loving families, there are outdoor trails to explore, where you’ll see animals like dolphins, manatees, and native birds. Visiting St. Augustine is a great opportunity to learn some history while still being amazed by beautiful sights.
#11 – Fort Lauderdale
Since it’s so close to Miami, Fort Lauderdale is often overlooked. Yet, it still has fantastic beaches and resorts that families won’t want to miss. Some families love to simply hang out by the beach while others like to partake in activities like snorkeling, jet skiing, and paddle boarding. Plus, all ages can’t resist a beautiful sightseeing cruise during their visit. You’ll even find plenty of shops, restaurants, and museums in the city, so there’s something for the whole family to enjoy!
#12 – St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is a city near Tampa and Clearwater. It’s full of history, nature, and fun activities. Many kids are amused by the Salvador Dali Museum, the Great Explorations Children’s Museum, and the Sunken Gardens. If you explore near St. Pete Beach, you’ll find lots to look at, including shops, restaurants, markets, live music, and other events. It’s often overlooked by the other big cities, but it has the perfect mix between busy streets and relaxing vibes.
#13 – Destin
Destin’s clear sands and relaxed atmosphere make it one of the best destinations for Florida family vacations. You could spend an entire day relaxing by the water, or you could listen to your adventurous side by visiting the Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park. It’s the perfect place for water activities, like water slides and a lazy river. Some other favorite activities include hiking trails, dolphin viewing, and pirate-themed cruises.
Florida is a dream destination for those visiting and for many families who live there. So, consider one of these 13 Florida locations for one of your next family vacations. Whether you’re looking for relaxing beaches, busy cities, or thrilling amusement parks, this warm, sunny state has it all!
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