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Top 11 Family-Friendly Vacation Destinations in Florida

Heading to Florida with the family? While Orlando typically gets all the attention as the top destination for family fun, the Sunshine State has a handful of other fantastic vacation destinations that are just as exciting for the entire family, minus all the crowds. Plan your next family getaway at one of the top family-friendly destinations in Florida and experience thrilling indoor and outdoor activities that don’t involve the Mouse.

St. Petersburg Clearwater beach, Florida
Credit: Clearwater beach, Florida by © Mariakray | Dreamstime.com

St. Petersburg

The kids will love the St. Pete area, as there’s a long list of natural attractions to enjoy. Families can enjoy swimming and kayaking in Fort De Soto Park or try skimboarding at St. Pete Beach. Visit the Dali museum for an educational look at Surrealism or take a day trip to a secluded Caladesi Island.

Sanibel Island Bowman's beach at Sanibel Island
Credit: Bowman's beach at Sanibel Island by Andriy Blokhin/shutterstock.com

Sanibel Island

For a more laid-back family vacation, Sanibel Island has some of the best shelling in Florida. Bike through J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, venture out to Captiva Island, or spot manatees at nearby Lovers Key State Park.

Fort Lauderdale Butterfly World
Credit: Butterfly World by butterflyworld.com

Fort Lauderdale

Previously a spring break destination, Fort Lauderdale has a plethora of family activities outside of its stunning beaches. Kids will love the interactive exhibits at the Museum of Discovery and Science, and nearby Butterfly World, the largest butterfly house in the world, is another fun spot to check out.

St. George Island St. George Island
Credit: St. George Island by Florida Fish and Wildlife via Flickr

St. George Island

A quiet getaway is what you’ll find on the sugary white sands of St. George Island, where you can climb the historic Lighthouse, take a breezy bike ride through the trails, or go on a guided boat dolphin tour.

Pensacola Pensacola Beach
Credit: Pensacola Beach by Matt Deavenport via Flickr


Families who enjoy history will love a visit to the historical Fort Pickens or the National Naval Aviation Museum. Take a stroll along the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier or head to Big Lagoon State Park for swimming, canoeing, and diverse wildlife.

Tampa ZooTampa at Lowry Park
Credit: ZooTampa at Lowry Park by ZooTampa at Lowry Park


Thrill-seeking families will love the roller coasters and animal encounters at Busch Gardens or a canoe trip down the Hillsborough River. Take part in the water activities at Clearwater Beach, visit ZooTampa at Lowry Park or take a trip to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.

Destin Destin, Florida
Credit: Destin, Florida by bigstock.com


Located on Florida’s Emerald Coast, Destin is a fantastic family destination. Fishing is #1 here, but kids can also enjoy water activities on the pristine beaches. Stroll the Destin Harbor Boardwalk or jump on inflatable slides at nearby Crab Island Water Park.

The Florida Keys Key West

The Florida Keys

Water-loving families will enjoy fishing, diving, and snorkeling in the Florida Keys. For a day inside, head to the Key West Shipwreck Museum to hear unique stories of the 400 shipwrecks along Florida’s coast.

Miami South Beach Miami, Florida
Credit: South Beach Miami, Florida by bigstock.com


While Miami is known for its nightlife, it is surprisingly also a great destination for kids. You will be spoiled for choice with activities such as the Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Miami Science Museum, Jungle Island, and the famous Venetian Pool.

Sarasota There's lots to do in the beautiful city of Sarasota including the Ringling Bros. Circus Museum.
Credit: There's lots to do in the beautiful city of Sarasota including the Ringling Bros. Circus Museum. by bigstockphoto.com


Nature-loving families will appreciate the options in Sarasota. Families can scout for sand dollars on Siesta Key beach, take a kayak tour of South Lido Nature Park, or marvel at aquatic life at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

St. Augustine St. Augustine, Florida
Credit: St. Augustine, Florida by bigstock.com

St. Augustine

Kids will be delighted to explore the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in the United States or the colonial-era Castillo de San Marcos fort. Interact with history on the Colonial Quarter with live re-enactments or get up close and personal at Alligator Farm.

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