With 1,350 miles of sunny shoreline, Florida is blessed with a myriad of wow-factor beaches bursting with family fun.
1/9 Siesta Beach
The vast Siesta Beach on Siesta Key in Sarasota has shallow waters, layers of white quartz – which stays cooler than sand, rarely burning little feet, and daily lifeguard protection. After a fiery sunset, families can even play on the sand in the moonlight, the sand is so reflective or join the Sunday drumming circle. Little ones can let loose in the new state of the art playground to the rear of the sands and older kids can let off steam on the volleyball courts, part of a US$21 million landscaping renovation that also includes a lookout terrace and picnic tables. Half-day kids summer camps are also available in sand sculpting, beach volleyball and junior lifeguarding.
Top beach adventure: Take to the water and learn how to sail with a number of local companies in Siesta Beach.
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2/9 Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach is known for its powdery soft sand, as well as its clear shallow water, always a pleasant temperature for little ones and never too rough. Stroll north and you come to the wilder Caladesi Beach with its kayaking and canoe trails through the mangroves or head to nearby Fort De Soto with its sandbar creating a natural kiddie pool.
Top beach adventure: Take a high-flying parasailing trip above the crystal blue water and maybe spot some dolphins.
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3/9 Sanibel and Captiva
The sheltered waters of the Gulf of Mexico make for gentler coastal action and a haven for families with young kids. Sanibel’s Bowman’s Beach is renown as a top spot for kids to search for seashells. And the theme continues on neighbouring Captiva, where soft Captiva Beach yields sand dollars, though it’s illegal to take live ones.
Top beach adventure: Go fishing from Sanibel Fishing Pier located bayside of the Sanibel Lighthouse.
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4/9 Panama City Beach
Located in northwest Florida this hidden gem offers 27 miles of silky sand, miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as emerald green waters that flow in from the Gulf, giving this area its nickname of The Emerald Coast.
Top beach adventure: Ahoy! Join a Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise where kids can be a pirate for a day.
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5/9 Daytona Beach
Daytona isn’t just a beach, there are dozens of legendary attractions that make this the perfect family holiday. From the 23 miles of sandy beaches, to the Daytona International Speedway and newly opened shopping centre and lively restaurant hub of One Daytona, there’s something for every age.
Top beach adventure: Surf lessons are huge on Daytona Beach. Bond with your kids as you take to the waves with your board.
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6/9 Fort Lauderdale Beach
Fort Lauderdale Beach boasts more than seven miles of gorgeous sand. Beach goers can go wind surfing, jet skiing and snorkeling or just sit back, relax and take in the ocean breeze. Opposite, this famous coastline is lined with shops, restaurants and cafes.
Top beach adventure: Join the locals in a game of beach volleyball.
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7/9 South Beach Miami
South Beach Miami, the iconic Atlantic beach with its Art Deco cool and colourful lifeguard stands, may be famous for its high life, but’s also a thrilling place for families with its high octane vibe.
Top beach adventure: Rent a DecoBike for the day and cycle the length of the beach boardwalk, taking in views of the beach and cityscape.
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8/9 Florida Keys and Key West
Head to the tip of America for some subtropical beach fun. Think palm-lined streets, tin-roofed conch houses including Earnest Hemingway’s pad, fishing, diving and famous fiery sunsets that sink into the Gulf every evening.
Top beach adventure: Snorkeling in warm tropical waters surrounded by colourful fish on the only living coral barrier reef in North America.
Find out more about visiting Florida Keys and Key West
9/9 Grayton Beach
This protected state park beach in northwest Florida is home to sugar-white sand and emerald green water backed by large sand dunes.
Top beach adventure: Camp in the wonderful state park right by the Gulf of Mexico shoreline, tidal lakes and freshwater ponds.