Like most beach vacations in Florida, all we know to recognize is sand, clear waters, and sun. Oh lets not forget that Florida is the “liquid sunshine” we experience. Whether you’re bringing your family, parents, friends or yourself here, you’ll be glad that you did!

Yes, it can be scary when it comes to planning the perfect beach vacation in Florida especially with hurricane season in for the summer. But please do not worry. Just plan accordingly! Hurricane season begins in June, but most hurricanes go into full swing right around September to October. Or at least the ones I have experienced!

Lucky for you there are all sorts of beach vacations to choose from in Florida depending whether you like a fancy hotel with a beautiful beach view or just proximity to the ocean. There are plenty of places with quiet towns and not so many crowds. It is all a preference of choice!

Florida beach vacations are found Everywhere

Florida beaches vary across the entire state. Some of them are filled with full crowds and non-stop entertainment while others take on a more quieter and peaceful approach. It really is up to you to decide which type of family vacation you are looking for. There is a lot to choose from. If you are planning a vacation near Orlando, where most of the famous and popular crowded theme parks are then there is definitely beaches on both the west and east coast side of Orlando.

However, if you are looking for more of a beach vacation escape with your family, then do not hesitate to go north of Orlando (about 2 hours). Whatever you decide to choose here we will break down all the options where you can plan your perfect beach getaway.

Some Nice Family Beach Vacations to Consider

Beach destinations in Florida can be found pretty much anywhere throughout the state. Whether you look on the East Coast or West Coast you are bound to find something interesting.  

Photo by Lance Asper

A Quiet Beach or a More Crowded Beach

Daytona Beach Vs Ormond Beach

The first thing you should be asking yourself is whether you want a beach vacation that is filled with more crowds and activities or would you rather have a more quiet serene beach vacation? Once you decide what kind of beach vacation you’re looking for it is very easy to filter out the ones that you don’t.

For example, let’s say you want a beach that has more activities and a lot more people. One example, of this type of beach would be Daytona Beach found on the east coast of Florida. This beach is very popular compared to its neighboring beaches. But in comparison to them this would probably be the most popular beach to consider. This beach has a lot of crowds and sure you can definitely find a lot more shops and even a ferris wheel, but just expect it to be busy. 

After all, Daytona is the same place where they run motorbike week in October and the Indy500 races in spring! Just do your research beforehand. 

On the opposite side, you can choose a quieter beach such as its neighboring sister Ormond Beach. This  beach is much quieter place to take the perfect beach vacation getaway as it is not too far from shops and fun. If you would like to enjoy the peace and tranquility then Ormond Beach would be your place to go! There lots to enjoy here.

Pensacola Beach Vs Panama City Beach

Another popular beach to compare would be Pensacola Beach and Panama City Beach. Both of these beaches are gorgeous as they are found on the Gulf Coast of Mexico primarily on the Panhandle of Florida and there is much to see and do in both of these places. The blue waters and pristine sands are amazing!

Panama City beach is very popular with tourism and families. But come spring break, it could be a completely different scenario. 

 Trust me if you have younger children you do not want to be in Panama City Beach where the crowds are on spring break. This place can get very rowdy and boisterous, especially during spring break season where most college kids go to party.

But if you choose any other day or any other time of the season where there isn’t much going on it can actually be a very quiet nice beach vacation to consider. You can find anything from “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” museums to all sorts of mini golfing areas, and let’s not forget that gorgeous sunset that Panama City Beach is known for. 

Pensacola Beach on the other hand, is another gorgeous beach where there is still a lot to see and do. This was one of my favorite beaches to visit because of the pristine blue waters and gorgeous sandy shores. The city of Pensacola has a  beach like vibe that allows you to walk to many local beach stores and restaurants! There are so many hotels located near Pensacola Beach and it is very beautiful to visit if you’re only there for a day or even a couple of days. I was fortunate to spend three days here and it was complete bliss.

Clearwater Vs. Indian Rocks Seashore

Many people can attest that Clearwater Beach is one of the best beaches to visit Florida. That may be true, but it also has become overpopulated and very crowded with time. Many families come here to enjoy the beautiful sunsets and the very hip beach vibe town feel that comes along with it.  There is so much to enjoy near this beach and the entertainment is definitely there for you. However, from a personal choice I probably would not make Clearwater Beach my first option to visit especially with its other neighboring beaches that are just as gorgeous. 

What you can mostly see here at Clearwater Beach are lots and lots of families and all sorts of entertainment! The beach town is very nice as well and there is a lot more tourism that happens around here. With the endless options of restaurants, paddle boarding, kayaking, surfing, and shopping the options here are endless. One of the things that Clearwater is very popular for are beach weddings. The popularity of having a wedding at this place definitely ranges on the top list.  You may just see a wedding almost every week, especially if you go in the springtime.

 My next question would be: would you rather have a beach that has a lot of people or would you rather have a quieter beach? Both would give you the same tranquility and peace you need for that perfect beach vacation! Clearwater Beach is very popular there is no doubt about that! And yes it is a gorgeous beach and very popular among many families. But let’s not forget there are others!

On the other hand, its neighboring sister known as Indian Rocks Seashore is mostly a hidden gem. Sure, this beach may not have the luxurious feel of a crazy beach vacation, but it has every essential thing you may need for your perfect beach vacation. If you are into a more quieter and tranquil Beach vacation then definitely choose Indian Rocks Seashore. There is more to this beach then people realized or even know. It definitely has become a more quieter beach and you can avoid the craziness that you would find in Clearwater Beach. In addition,  if you choose to visit one of the famous beach towns of Clearwater Beach the driving distance is not too far.

Finally, many locals who live around this area actually prefer Indian Rocks Seashore over Clearwater Beach. Both are gorgeous beaches and if you can you can visit both! But whichever you choose in the end, you will not be disappointed. There is something for everyone here. 

Quiet Beaches to have a family fun filled beach vacation

Quieter and tranquil serene beaches actually do exist in Florida, you just have to know which ones you want and why. Many people choose more crowded ones just because there is a lot to do and see, but don’t be fooled into thinking that tranquil beaches have nothing. I love both quiet and not so quiet beaches so I would highly recommend visit these in the order listed. 

  1. Indian Rocks Seashore
  2. Clearwater Beach
  3. Ormond Beach
  4. Daytona Beach
  5. Pensacola Beach
  6. Panama City

Okay sometimes I realize that your trip is more about your children or other people you bring than it is about you getting the perfect beach vacation and that’s okay. Lucky for you if Walt Disney World and Universal is your number one destination to visit followed by a nice beach vacation, then your in luck. You’ll be happy to hear that they are very close beaches near these attractions. Orlando is centered mostly in the center of Florida, here you can find the seven close beaches near Disney World and Universal. They are perfectly within driving distance and definitely regarded as the most popular to see.

If you would like to learn more about where to find these beaches then definitely check out the article here.

How to Plan for a Family Beach Destination in Florida

Yes we will all need to pack for beach weather and for non beach weather. Do not forget that Florida is known as the “liquid sunshine state”. For those who do not know, Florida has a very tropical weather, especially in the summer months. You’ll be surprised that it could be bright and sunny one minute while the next can suddenly be thunder storming cats and dogs. And yes this does happen at the beaches as well. 

So in order to pack for the perfect beach vacation in Florida you must have to take into account the certain basics plus more. Especially if you have children, don’t forget to pack those snacks, a lot of children can get very hangry when they don’t have what they need to keep them full. If you’re planning on taking some healthy beach vacations then be sure to check out my article called healthy snacks for your beach vacations right here

However do not forget to take an essential packing list and to add a couple things along with it. Other things I recommend are listed below just to prepare you for that perfect Florida beach vacation. Check it out below. 

Add these to your beach essentials packing list:

  • Bug spray- I’ve been bitten countless times in Florida especially on the beaches. Trust me you don’t want to take some bug bites home as memories of Florida
  • A poncho! This has saved me more times than I can recall; definitely make this priority
  • Extra shoes: because your only pair may get wet
  • Flip Flops – I always remember walking around in flip-flops when it was very hot and storming. The best part was that your tennis shoes did not get wet.
  • Extra towels 

Conclusion

The best beach vacations in Florida for your family or for yourself can be fun especially when you come prepared and know exactly what to expect! You’ll be surprised how many people do not realize that Florida is not just sunshine, but also a lot of rain, especially during the summer months. Regardless of the crazy weather patterns it is a very fun and tropical place to visit especially if you’re looking for that perfect family beach vacation. 

There are plenty of places I recommend and many more that that I have yet to explore. A couple of my favorite are listed above. This includes things like Indian Rocks Seashore,  Clearwater Beach, Pensacola Beach, Panama City Beach and even somewhere like St Augustine Beach.

There are plenty of places and beaches to check out in Florida. Living in Florida was a beach paradise with the humidity and tropical weather! If you ever decide to check out the popular beaches of this place then be sure you come prepared! 

Florida beach vacations are super fun!  I just wish I would spend a couple more days longer soaking in the sun and the rain in Florida. It is gorgeous and beautiful and so worthwhile to visit!

If you are not used to the Florida weather I strongly recommend that you prepare ahead of time and bring the essentials you need so that the liquid sunshine will not catch you by surprise along with other surprises! 

Have you ever been to Florida? What beaches have you visited?