10 reasons why The Palm Beaches should be your next Florida holiday

Last updated 31st January 2024

If you’re looking for an out of the ordinary Florida holiday, you need to know more about The Palm Beaches.


The Wishing Tree, West Palm Beach

Known as the gentler side of Florida, The Palm Beaches are where 47 miles of gorgeous shoreline has everything apart from crowds. It’s also famous as America’s First Resort Destination™ so you won’t be short of great places to stay from grand hotels to charming beach houses. And although you may not have heard of this part of Florida yet, it’s surprisingly easy to reach: direct UK flights to Miami take around 9 hours and The Palm Beaches are just 50 miles north of Miami Airport. But all this good news aside, it’s the amount of fun potential here that will really thrill your kids, here’s a hint of what they can look forward to, all year round.


Rapids Water Park, Riviera Beach

Rapids Water Park, Riviera Beach

South Florida’s largest waterpark is at home in The Palm Beaches. Covering an immense 35-acres, Rapids Water Park is the only one in the state to feature a duelling water coaster. Although, if that’s not your thing there are more than 40 other rides, slides, tipping buckets, downhill racers, 7-storey drops and wave pools to try instead.

Young surfers keen to skill build on this Florida holiday, will be delighted to find a FlowRider at Rapids. And your littlest thrill-seekers can look forward to plenty of splash around fun that’s just the right size for them too. Then, when it’s time for a bit of downtime, the park’s lazy river runs for an amazing quarter of a mile and there are cool cabanas to rent as well – only perfect for families.


Shark Wake Park, West Palm Beach

Shark Wake Park, West Palm Beach

Welcome to the wake park where younger kids aren’t standing on the side line watching older ones having all the fun. Shark Wake Park is made for everyone, or at least everyone who loves the water and playing in the sun.

Big thrills come from two full-size cable wake parks for wakeboarding and kneeboarding. Then, just as exciting but on a different scale, there’s the largest floating waterpark on the east coast. The park also has a snack bar for essential re-fuelling or just catching a breath and a cool drink. Plus, all the staff are fully trained and great with kids, so you’re in good hands. Did we mention parents can get in on the action here too?


Arcade excitement, Fun Depot, Lake Worth

Fun Depot, Lake Worth

Too young to drive? That doesn’t stop kids racing round the go-kart track at Fun Depot. In fact, real driving is pretty boring compared to this half-mile speedway of curves, twists and turns where they get to take the training wheels off and let loose.

Although, that’s just a hint of the fun at Fun Depot. As well as go-karts, there’s a riotous family games arcade with everything from video games and virtual reality to mini-bowling. And if you really want to up the competitive spirit, face-off with your kids at Laser Force, the 4,000 square foot laser tag arena.


Learning is fun at Cox Science Center and Aquarium

Cox Science Center and Aquarium, West Palm Beach

The Palm Beaches have more than their fair share of wildlife in the wild.  However, at Cox Science Center & Aquarium it couldn’t be easier to to get up close to fascinating creatures and learn about phenomenal natural wonders.

The 10,000 gallon Aquarium of the Atlantic gives kids a rare glimpse of what lies beneath the waters that make a Florida holiday such fun. The Everglades is up for exploring through interactive exhibits. And the Center is also home to the only public planetarium in The Palm Beaches; regular shows are a must-do for star struck kids.

An early childhood playground allows younger visitors to explore in their own safe space . Although, if you all want to play together, The Conservation Course has to be one of the most original games of mini-golf ever.


A magical moment at Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Juno Beach

The Palm Beaches are one of the world’s most important turtle nesting areas. Visit between March and October and there’s a good chance of glimpsing this natural wonder on many peaceful beaches. However, if your Florida holiday doesn’t coincide with turtle season, you’ll find the very next best thing at Juno Beach.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center is dedicated to ocean conservation, research and education, with a strong focus on protecting sea turtles. Children will be thrilled to see turtles up close enough to get a selfie with them, and the on-site sea turtle hospital could turn out to be the thing they never stop talking about back home. The center is free to visit and also has a lovely gift shop, as well as an aquarium.


Lion Country Safari, Loxahatchee

Lion Country Safari, Loxahatchee

The Palm Beaches even add full-scale game-drives to your Florida holiday. In fact, Lion Country Safari is the largest drive-through safari in the entire state. Follow the four mile route through the habitats of 900 free roaming wild animals and you’ll see some of the largest herds of rhino, giraffe and zebra in North America. Lions are in residence here too, of course. And if you need a recommendation, USA Today named Lion Country Safari one of the Top 10 US Safari Parks 2023.


Kayaking is just one easy family adventure in The Palm Beaches

Kayaking Riverbend Park, Jupiter

When The Palm Beaches promise you the gentler side of Florida, they don’t just mean quieter beaches. In fact, you’ll find peaceful places to explore all over like the beautiful Loxahatchee River which winds through Riverbend Park in Jupiter. This National Wild and Scenic River is an incredible place to adventure with kids and because the kayaking is easy to moderate, you can enjoy the natural beauty at your own pace.

But, keep your eyes peeled, local wildlife likes these tranquil waters too. Kayaks and life vests are available to hire from Riverbend Rentals and, if you want to learn as you paddle, book one of the park’s excellent guided kayaking tours.


Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach

Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is where to explore more than 8,000 works at Norton Museum of Art. This astonishing gallery is even more remarkable when you discover it grew from a collection of paintings bought to decorate the Norton’s private home in the early 20th century. Today it’s one of the finest museums in the country with a world class range of art and a reputation for encouraging new talent and hosting international exhibitions: British artist Jenny Saville and sculptor, Phyllida Barlow have both had solo shows here.

Sound a bit high-brow for kids? Not even close. This wonderful museum stays true to its roots with regular family programmes, child-friendly events, activities designed just for creative teens and also by creating a beautiful, inclusive space which might be home to masterpieces by the likes of Jackson Pollok, but never feels anything less than inviting to wander around and discover, whatever age you are.


Dubois Beach Park, Jupiter

The Palm Beaches Beach Parks

As well as 30 uncrowded beaches and 47 miles of pristine coast, The Palm Beaches also give you the freedom of 29 beach parks. If you’ve had a Florida holiday before you might be familiar with the idea, although the way beach parks are done here will delight you. Some, like Peanut Island, you can even reach by fun water taxi, or kayak there yourself. Try Coral Cove Park for its famously clear snorkelling waters. Or head to Spanish River Park to wander the nature trails through remarkable dunes. And if you want to tick a beautiful barrier island off your to-do list, John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is the place to do that.


Viewing platform, Manatee Lagoon, Riviera Beach

Manatee Lagoon, West Palm Beach

Spotting manatee has to be one of the highlights of any Florida holiday. But trust The Palm Beaches to make it just a little bit easier and more fun to see these gentle, miraculous creatures up close.

Manatee Lagoon in West Palm Beach has a viewing area where you can watch manatee basking, interacting and generally just being amazing. If kids want to know more about these legendary Floridians, join one of the daily tours with Manatee Masters who guide you round the lagoon, teach you about the local eco-systems and fill you in on everything there is to know about manatee from mermaid legends to hard facts.

Now you know what your kids will love, visit The Palm Beaches Florida for everything you need to plan your next family holiday.