Florida’s Best Family-Friendly Beachside Destinations

A Note –

Oh my gosh, I’m so excited to have Sarah guest posting on the blog today, y’all are in for a real treat! To be honest with you I can’t even remember how or when Sarah and I met for the first time, I just feel like we’ve known each other since the beginning of time. She’s one of the kindest women on the internet and a total must follow! I’ve enjoyed her content for years and love that I can also call her a real life friend. I’m forever inspired by Sarah’s genuine excitement for life and Southern Coastal style and I know you will be too!

So without further ado, let’s get into all things Florida travel with the women who has all the best tips, tricks, and recommendations…

Florida’s Best Family-Friendly Beachside Destinations

Guest Post By: Sarah Tucker
creator of Sarah Tucker

Hi Everyone!  I am so excited to be here today as Ashley is spending time with her precious newborn blonde baby boy. I live in Palmetto Florida (about two hours southwest of Ashley) with my husband, two sons, and our Boston terrier. I started my own blog when we were first married twelve years ago living abroad in Switzerland.

Travel has always been what I’m especially interested in and also a big priority in our life. When I first had my oldest son John, nine years ago, we took our first trip to Gasparilla Inn at just shy of a month, then Mexico at three months, and Europe at six months. Traveling, with or without kids, can come with hiccups, but we think it’s always been worth it.

While they may not remember much from those early travels, we do, and we cherish those memories. Now that they are older, they have become great little explorers. We even spent a month in Spain in 2019 for a Spanish Immersion school, and are doing so again this summer!

I think the biggest tip I have about traveling with kids is keeping your perspective in check. What a beautiful thing it is to be able to travel with family! You can find all of my family travel here.

Since Ashley and I are both in Florida, I thought I’d share some of my favorite family friendly beach destinations here in Florida. Enjoy!

Boca Grande

First up is my all time favorite, The Gasparilla Inn on Boca Grande. They’ve recently done an amazing beach club renovation, but even before then, it was (and will always be) my favorite spot. I grew up going to this charming island on the Southwest Florida coast, and it’s grown but the old Florida charm remains. What I love about it for families is how small the island is, so it’s easy to get acquainted and navigate.

First thing first, you need to get a golf cart. It’s the mode of choice on the island, and will get you everywhere you want to go. From the lighthouse, banyan street, Whidden’s marina, to the beach club – you can scoot around on the golf cart. Driving or biking around is one of my favorite things to do there.  The architecture is beautiful around every corner, and the natural beauty is everywhere. While there is no kids club per se, If you need a babysitter one night for a parents night out, you can reach out to the front desk and they will pair you with someone qualified. Make sure to check out the gorgeous open air library, Johann Fust Library, where you can attend story time or check out some books. My kids still love story time there!

Anna Maria Island

Next up is Anna Maria Island. We live about 30 minutes from the island, and I grew up a few minutes away. I’ve seen so much growth here in my lifetime, but I do get why—the beaches are beautiful!  I recommend getting a house through AMI Locals or staying at the Bali Hai Beach resort. I have a round-up of a few of my favorite AMI Locals rentals here.

Once you’re there get a Moke from Beach Bums AMI, and have a beach set up for an extra special treat by Beach Suites AMI. My favorite places to eat are Graze Street AMI, Poppo’s Tacos, The Donut Experiment, Rod and Reel pier, and The Waterfront. It’s also worth the trip to the fishing village of Cortez, Fl to eat at Starfish Co.

Amelia Island

One spot I often recommend is Amelia Island. The landscape also reminds me of Sea Island or Kidawah, with all of the tree canopies and marsh lands. We have stayed at both the Omni and the Ritz, and we’ve found both to be wonderful. 

My favorite thing to do on Amelia is take a bike ride at Fort Clinch State Park or visit Boneyard Beach to look for shark teeth. The charming downtown is filled with fun shops and great restaurants. Loved Le Clos!

Palm Beach

For the last couple years we’ve enjoyed a summer trip to Palm Beach as a family. We always stay at the Eau Palm Beach which has a lot of programming for kids. The Breakers does as well if you are looking for something closer to town on PB. 

We like to book a fishing trip with the family. The royal poinciana plaza is a fun spot where you can grab tacos or a fancier dinner, grab ice cream, do a little shopping, and also let the kids play in the open green space in the center.

Marco Island

Marco Island is another family friendly spot to consider. You have huge white sandy beaches, and incredible sunsets. One of my favorite things to do is take the shelling and dolphin excursion. The shelling is incredible!

We’ve stayed at JW Marriott Marco Island, and have enjoyed it each time. They have the Tiki Tribe for kids, which my boys have always enjoyed. We use that time to enjoy their beautiful spa. 


Sarah Tucker

creator of Sarah Tucker

Thank you, Sarah, for all your fabulous travel tips! I need to book a Florida family staycation asap!


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