15 Family-Friendly Spring Break Destinations in Florida

PHOTO: A young girl enjoys her time at the airport. (photo courtesy of Vasyl Dolmatov / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
by Emily Krause
Last updated: 6:00 AM ET, Fri February 15, 2019

Family-Friendly Spring Break in Florida

It's been a long winter, and many families are hoping to escape the cold weather and monotony of everyday responsibilities to vacation in the sunny state of Florida. It can be hard to figure out which beaches are family-friendly, though, since college students are enjoying the beaches, too! Here are 15 Florida spring break destinations that are a mix of laid-back and adventurous family fun.

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is an oasis of calm amidst a sea of boisterous spring break parties. Spend your spring break hunting for shells on this barrier island, or visit the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum for a comprehensive look at why Sanibel is known for seashells. You can also enjoy the 25 miles of bike trails on the island or try your hand at water activities like kayaking and canoeing.

South Walton

Does South Walton look familiar? If so, that's because you may have seen the town of Seaside, one of its 16 beach neighborhoods, in the movie The Truman Show. The pastel buildings and Main Street, USA vibe invite you to enjoy the picture-perfect beach vacation. You can spend your days lounging on the white sand beaches and exploring Point Washington State Forest. Whether you're longing to relax or get active, South Walton has a beach neighborhood that's perfect for your family.

St. Augustine

America's Oldest City has everything a family on spring break could want. From historical spots like Castillo de San Marcos, Colonial Quarter and Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park to wide kid-friendly beaches and ocean-front splash pads, you'll never get bored in St. Augustine! Shoppers will love St. George Street, the pedestrian-only stretch of boutiques, restaurants and shops. Kids will go crazy for St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Marineland Dolphin Adventure.

New Smyrna Beach

Everyone knows Daytona Beach has been a spring break destination for decades, but few are familiar with its neighbor to the south, New Smyrna Beach. This coastal community is a hotspot for surfers and a charming getaway for families. Wander Flagler Avenue, drive your car on the beach, learn about turtle rehabilitation at the Marine Science Center, visit Smyrna Dunes Park and go shopping in the elegant Canal Street Historic District.


There's no better spot for outdoor lovers than Jupiter, Florida. You can snorkel or kayak in the lagoon at Dubois Park, learn about Florida ecology at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, hang a fishing pole in the water at Juno Beach Pier, bike around the city and take surfing lessons on the beach. Baseball fans can catch a game at Roger Dean Stadium where the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals do their spring training.


If lying on the beach isn't your main goal, you'll be pleasantly surprised by everything that Tallahassee has to offer. Visit the deceptively named Tallahassee Museum to learn about wildlife, walk nature trails, try your hand at a treetop obstacle course and experience living history. You'll discover outdoor adventure at Wakulla Springs State Park, history and culture at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum and plenty of foodie finds downtown. And if you really want to hit the beach, it's just a short drive away.

Marco Island

Close to popular beach destinations like Fort Myers and Naples, but with an accessible and family-friendly feel, Marco Island is an excellent choice for spring break with kids. You can spend long slow days on the beaches of Marco Island or head inland to tour the Everglades and visit the Botanical Gardens in Naples. Kids will love the eco-tour on the Dolphin Explorer where they can search for bottlenose dolphins.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg sits on the aptly named Sun Coast of Florida, that gorgeous area on along the Gulf of Mexico where it's almost always sunny. It's definitely a popular place for families to spend their break, but with good reason! There are family-friendly resorts where you can stay and play, lots of bike trails, the Dali Museum for art lovers and the Sunken Gardens paths for a relaxing afternoon. St. Petersburg also has one of the best beaches for kids in the country: Fort De Soto Park. Little ones will love splashing in the shallow tidal pool and climbing on the pirate ship playground.

Anna Maria Island

If it's a quiet spring break getaway you're looking for, you'll love Anna Maria Island. This 7-mile-long slice of paradise is slow island living at its finest. Its uninterrupted coastline offers views of both Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and is the perfect spot to swim, fish, paddleboard or just relax. Take the free trolley to get around the island or head inland for a Pittsburgh Pirates spring training baseball game at LECOM Park in Bradenton, just 20 minutes away.

Florida Keys

Key West may not be the most family-friendly city to spend your spring break, but there are so many other spots to explore in the Florida Keys. Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key and Tranquility Bay Beachfront Resort on Marathon Key are both perfect for a low-key good time with kids. Other than exploring Key West, you can snorkel or take glass-bottom boat tours in Key Largo, visit Robbie's Marina and feed the tarpon in Islamorada, or take a day trip by boat to explore Dry Tortugas National Park.

Flagler Beach

You won't find rowdy college parties in Flagler Beach! Just long stretches of cinnamon-colored sand and family-friendly restaurants overlooking the ocean. Hammock Beach Resort is the place to stay with golf courses, a pool with a waterslide, a lazy river, beach access and amazing views. You can partake in outdoor activities around Flagler Beach like horseback riding, stand up paddle boarding and kayaking, or just take it easy and wander the neighborhoods full of colorful shops and homes.


Sarasota is full of endless possibilities for a family spring break trip. Spend an afternoon visiting Bayfront Park where you can play in the splash pads and eat at O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Grill. Visit with wildlife at the Big Cat Habitat, explore the Sarasota Children's Garden or learn about the city's history with the circus at the Ringling Museum. The best part of visiting Sarasota, though, are the surrounding keys which are just a short drive away. Siesta Key consistently ranks among the top family-friendly beaches in the nation, so it's well worth your time to spend a day or two there.


Many families choose to spend their vacation in Orlando for the theme parks. Though Disney World is crowded this time of year, it's still the most magical place on earth. Universal Orlando is a great spot for fans of the Harry Potter series, and there is even plenty of entertainment for little kids. If you need a break from the theme parks, try the Orlando Science Center, drive to Blue Spring State Park to see the manatees or learn about alligators at Gatorland.

Delray Beach

If you've never heard of Delray Beach, it's time to put it on your radar. USA Today, The Travel Channel and Rand McNally have all rated this beachside town in Southern Florida "Most Fun Small Town." Naturally, you'll want to spend some time on the beach, but you can also visit the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens or roam the Pineapple Grove Arts District. Rent some bikes and cruise along the beach to enjoy the scenery and get some exercise.

St. George Island

For a glimpse of Florida's unspoiled natural beauty, make your way to the Forgotten Coast on the panhandle for a tranquil stay on St. George Island. Explore the dunes, marshes and campsites on the barrier island's state park or spend the day shopping at the downtown boutiques and shops. St. George Island is also known as an incredibly dog-friendly destination, so cancel that dog sitter and bring Fido along on your family's spring break!

Florida is full of warm sunny beaches that are perfect for avoiding the rowdy spring break college crowds and having some wholesome family fun.

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CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

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