Your family unanimously agreed to take a Florida getaway, but now comes one of the hardest parts: determining where you’ll stay in between all that fun.
Why not a beach resort? The activities and amenities available for your family to partake in will make your vacation that much more special, and some are even all-inclusive, so dining and itineraries are taken care of.
Here are 11 of my favorites to consider.
Lake Buena Vista
Is this the year your family takes that long-talked-about getaway to Walt Disney World in Orlando? Staying at a Disney resort might be costly, but its convenience can’t be beat, especially when it’s the Disney’s Beach Club Resort!
The New England stylings of this hotel is part of its magic and only the start. The surrounding Crescent Lake is explorable via rented powerboat. You can also boat your way to Disney’s Hollywood Studios or walk to Epcot.
Ride the Disney Skyliner gondola to and from the nearby Disney parks, but don’t spend all your time there. You’ll want to stay and play, as Disney’s Beach Club Resort offers themed swimming pools for kids, starlight movies after dark, Beach Club Beach s’mores and campfire activities, and sports from fishing to volleyball.
Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf, with its Fantasia inspiration, is fun for the whole family, and the Lafferty Fun Arcade has a mix of modern and old-school games that parents and kids will enjoy. The spirit of friendly competition will certainly be alive here.
The dining at Disney is always unforgettable, which extends to this resort. Cape May Café serves breakfast and dinner, Beaches & Cream Soda Shop will become the kids’ new obsession, and the Beach Club Marketplace offers around-the-clock meals (including Mickey waffles!).
You can also sit down to a meal at Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar & Grill, the Ale & Compass Restaurant, the Yachtsman Steakhouse, and more.
The rooms and suites offer resort and garden views, spaciousness, and modern luxury. Some rooms have the space for up to five with one king-sized bed and one day bed or two queens and one day bed.
Hollywood Beach, FL
The Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort calls itself “Destination Paradise,” and I’m quite hard-pressed to disagree with that assertion.
Leave your worries thousands of miles behind as you and your family hang 10 on the FlowRider, paddleboard, or kayak against the backdrop of a dreamy sunrise. You can also play at the pool or beach and enjoy live entertainment after nightfall.
You’re only steps away from the Boardwalk with attractions, food, and shopping. You can also partner with a concierge to plan a boat tour or fishing charter.
The Parakeet Kids Club is available for morning and afternoon, all-day, or overnight sessions. Kids can join in on the fun while Mom and Dad take a mini getaway by themselves.
Your darling guest room bedecked with beachy vibes and décor will put you in that no-worrying state of mind.
All guest suites and rooms include standard lounge chairs, work desks, plush bedding, a full or Juliet balcony, and room service.
Don’t go before you’ve had a bite to eat. The range of restaurants here means there’s something for everybody. Try JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, LandShark Bar & Grill, 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill, and the famed Margaritaville restaurant.
R&R reigns at The Breakers Palm Beach, a beachside resort for families of all sizes.
You’ll never be far from a body of water here, as the resort has six whirlpool spas and four pools. You’re also near Palm Beach, so whether you prefer salty or chlorinated water, you can have it.
The Beach Club near the Ocean Lawn and Ponce Promenade has yet more pools, four in all. The selection of bungalows, bars, and restaurants also makes this spot a must-visit.
There’s more to do than sit at the pool all day, of course. The Breakers Palm Beach gives guests premier access to watersport rentals, including equipment for boogie boarding, inner tubing, surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Rent bikes for the family courtesy of the hotel, take golf lessons as a group (then practice on the nine-hole course), play on the outdoor basketball court, and stay cool in an arcade with dozens of modern and classic titles. The arcade is also where a video game lounge is with all the latest consoles.
Retreat to a suite. The Royal Poinciana Suite is 1,250 square feet and offers four Juliet balconies, one-and-a-half bathrooms, ocean views, dining and living areas overlooking the sea, and a personal concierge.
All rooms at The Breakers Palm Beach include luxury duvets and linens, custom furnishings, private oceanfront Beach Club access, indoor-outdoor spa access, and daily resort calendars.
Select from 10 sumptuous restaurants at the resort, filling your tummy full of seafood, fine Italian food, or steak. In-room dining is also available.
Try to swing a Sunday brunch at The Breakers if you can. The Circle is the place to be as you chow down on carved beef tenderloin, baby lamb chops, a raw bar with sushi, seasonal stone crab, oysters, jumbo shrimp, Maine lobster, caviar, pasta, omelets, eggs, and Belgian waffles.
Oh, and did I mention you can select from over 30 desserts? The menu may say brunch, but you might not want to eat again for the rest of the day! Reservations are required.
Located on its own slice of Floridian heaven, Amelia Island is the home of the beloved Omni Amelia Island resort, creating an atmosphere conducive to your best family getaway yet.
Rent a Segway, and you’re off! The Segway tours are offered daily, and golf carts, jogging strollers, baby trailers, and tag-along bikes are welcome to join.
The resort also leads nature tours, teaching the whole family about the wonders of Amelia Island. You will experience delights such as wildflower and crabbing tours.
Heron’s Cove Adventure Golf is a perfect way to spend an afternoon, and Adventure Tours adjoin nicely. You can ride aquatic vessels like paddleboards on this sunset wildlife tour.
The resort pool with a splash pad is a great spot for kids to cool off, and you can always soak in Amelia Island’s beaches. The private beach access your stay grants you includes 3.5 miles of white sands and a calming sea without the crowds.
Over 400 rooms have ocean views with balconies overlooking the blue, rolling waters. The furnished balcony gives you a great place to end your evenings as a family.
Beachy, nautical décor throughout, a mini fridge, a sound machine that plays over a dozen sounds to facilitate better sleep, a work desk, and a 65-inch television round out the room features you’ll adore.
Your taste buds are in for a treat. Sample fresh American flavors at Bob’s Steak & Chop House, savor the tastes of the Mediterranean at Verandah, dress casually and eat seafood at Oceanside, and dine on tacos at Paloma & Pico.
The Marsh View Bar and Grill has juicy burgers the kids will go for if they’re picky eaters.
Fort Myers Beach
Families come together more easily at a place like the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina. Perhaps it’s the amenities like the Octopool with its pop-up grill for lunch, drinks, and snacks. Maybe it’s the 12-acre private beach that’s utterly perfect.
The Octopool is the home of daily family events, which begin at noon and then again at 4 p.m. Create special crafts, draw sidewalk chalk art, meet and greet with a resort mascot, or play pool volleyball. There’s always something exciting happening!
Talk to your concierge, as they can surely set up once-in-a-lifetime activities like guided fishing trips, sailing and boat rentals and instruction, and WaveRunner rides to meet dolphins splashing in the Gulf.
All that fun can sure make a family hungry, right? Jack’s Restaurant serves breakfast daily from 7:30 to 11 a.m., including sweet and savory options.
The Poolside Bites include kid-friendly options such as hot dogs, burgers, Mediterranean grilled chicken sandwiches, seared ahi tuna, Caesar chicken wraps, and tuna salads.
The Captiva Villas are my favorite accommodation here, but you’re free to choose your own. The villa includes one bedroom and two queen-sized beds, but you can also change the configuration to one king-sized bed and loungers.
This room for four is 656 square feet with open dining and living spaces, a washer and dryer, ceiling fans, Chromecast streaming, a walk-in shower, a sleeper sofa, and a kitchen with granite countertops and top-notch appliances.
Your stay includes self-parking, Wi-Fi, and breakfast for the family at Jack’s.
St. Pete Beach
The Island Grand, a TradeWinds Beach Resort, is the ideal spot to let go of your troubles and live the island life for as long as time allows. This adorable hotel overlooking the sea will excite the whole family for your vacation.
Island Grand has 28 acres of private beachfront access leading to an award-winning beach. You can also soak in five pools, rent one of 450 cabanas, ride a three-story waterslide, play at the floating water park, or rent a paddleboat.
The fun continues! Rent an Aquabana and chill on the water, play a game of pickleball on the brand-new court, make s’mores around a campfire after the sun goes down, and participate in poolside crafts.
Surf Wipeout is an inflatable surfing simulator that your little ones will love. The High Tide Water Slide is 200 feet long and also inflatable.
The kids will also adore playing at the new SunSetter Game Zone, a hangout area with games like Connect-4, oversized Jenga, foosball, and ping-pong.
Resort happenings regularly provide a fresh wave of entertainment, so no two days at this resort are anything alike.
Families can gather together for a meal at the RumFish Grill with its fresh-caught seafood, casual meals with a beach deck view at Flying Bridge, meals around the clock at the Gulfside Grill, and delicious Italian eats at the Palm Court Italian Grill.
Your private villa might include courtyard access or balcony views. Some of the villas are even poolside, so you can easily take a dip with the family whenever you wish! I love how the hotels here can accommodate up to six people.
A luxe experience unlike any other in Fort Lauderdale, the Pelican Grand Beach Resort features 500 feet of private beach you and your family can explore any and every day you’re here.
Check the daily events calendar, as there’s always something engaging to do if you look hard enough. For instance, you can enjoy live music, entertainment, performances, scavenger hunts, and even a lazy river race in the summertime.
Answer when the sea calls your name by renting a paddleboard, boogie board, boat, surfboard, and more.
The Pompano Dive Center will teach your family how to see the ocean blue from deep into its depths, and you can also rent water trampolines, which will be a blast.
The Funky Fish Ocean Camp is a kids’ program that will take them underwater to see starfish and so much more!
The finest amenities await at the Pelican Grand Beach Resort. A Coastal Suite is over 200 square feet and fully furnished with a loveseat sofa bed and balcony. The bathroom has a dual vanity and rainfall shower, and you can even ask for a tub if that’s how the kiddos prefer to bathe.
Dining in? The Pelican Grand Beach Resort has options. Bring the restaurant to you with in-room dining, request an intimate private dining experience, or visit establishments like The Emporium, OK2 Lounge, and Ocean2000.
What are you in the mood to eat? Ocean2000 features lobster bisque, house-made bread, grilled octopus, and crab and lobster cakes as appetizers.
Sample the raw bar, order a fresh salad, or try an ocean-caught favorite like shrimp and scallop scampi, cedar plank salmon, or seafood risotto.
You’re living on island time at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando. Conveniently located from the Universal Resort, this beach paradise is a great alternative if you want to get closer to nature but still ride all the roller coasters.
Your stay grants you early park admission to Universal’s Volcano Bay and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Your family can also take free shuttles or water taxis to and from the hotel at no extra charge.
Get on more of the must-ride attractions with Universal Express Unlimited rides at Universal’s Island of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.
The accommodations at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort are unreal. Enjoy spacious family rooms with 300-thread-count cotton bed linens, smart technology, On Demand movies, a mini fridge, a flat-screen HDTV, and in-room dining.
So, what’s to eat? Get a taste of Caribbean cuisine at onsite restaurants like the family-friendly, grab-and-go New Dutch Trading Co. or the sit-down Strong Water Tavern and Amatista Cookhouse.
Drhum Club Kantine has tropical eats and drinks on the menu amidst a fire pit.
Are you still looking for more? No problem! The resort-style pool has a sand beach, a water slide, a hot tub, and a kid’s play area, complete with water jets. Check the pool for daily activities led by hotel staff, like splash contests and hula hoop wars.
Overlooking the alluring Gulf of Mexico, Lido Beach Resort in Sarasota promises unforgettable family experiences during your stay.
Perhaps you’ll start your morning by strolling along the private white beach that’s a very exclusive 300 feet.
You could watch views of the Gulf while in one of the resort’s two pools or experience the best of Sarasota at nearby aquariums, museums, and gardens.
The villas, suites, and rooms here have been recently renovated to deliver even better service. The Tiki Tower family room with a standard view includes one king-sized bed and two bunks.
It’s 325 square feet and has a bathroom large enough for families to enjoy privacy, as it requires outside entry. A microwave and mini fridge allow you to store your leftovers so you can eat them again when your belly begins rumbling.
The seafood offered at this resort is some of the best in Florida, as it’s caught directly from the Gulf. Drift Kitchen & Bar might be all the way on the eighth floor, but it’s worth traversing to see its 180-degree Gulf of Mexico views.
The Tiki Bar is pure island vibes and has a rich selection of handcrafted appetizers, salads, and sandwiches. You can also request in-room dining.
Linger a little longer at Marco Island’s JW Marriott, a family-friendly resort overlooking the Gulf of Mexico that will allow you to experience the finer things in life.
For instance, you can rent a premium beach chair, cabana, or beach chickee hut with food and beverages. You can also make a splash by kayaking, paddleboarding, or riding your own Yamaha Waverunner (well, maybe when the kids are older).
Take your vacation further by renting a boat and exploring the Everglades, or get your hands on a fishing charter.
The kids will not want to miss the 10K Alley, a bar/gaming arcade with games, bowling, and mini golf. The spot serves dinner.
Other exceptional dining options include the steakhouse Ario, the Mediterranean outdoor spot Tesoro (with views of the Gulf of Mexico), American breakfast foods at Maia, beachside eats at Quinn’s on the Beach, Italian dining at 400 Pazi’s, sushi and Asian at Korals Sushi & Cocktail Lobby Bar, and light bites at Café San Marco.
The rooms here feel nothing short of legendary, with panoramic oceanfront views from the windows that nearly touch the ceiling all the way to the floor. You can even book a room with beachside access!
Planning a family vacation to Florida is easier with generous amenities like those at the Isla Bella Beach Resort. Take advantage of complimentary biking, bocce, beach yoga, stargazing, giant chess, hammocks, cornhole, mini golf, and oceanfront pools.
If you don’t mind the additional fees, Isla Bella Beach Resort also offers poolside loungers, daybeds, standup paddleboards, and kayaks.
The experiences calendar here is always full to the brim, so in case you’re looking for something else to do around Florida, you needn’t search far.
You can even let Isla Bella take care of all your dining needs. Mahina is a Polynesian restaurant with entrancing Hawaiian flavors. The Beach Bar + Resort Pool offers outdoor dining, so you can feel that Florida breeze!
The Marketplace Café is the place to be for a casual and sunny atmosphere, yummy breakfasts, and mouthwatering desserts.
Two-bedroom guestrooms should suffice for most families, but suites are also available if you find yourself longing for more space.
The suites include an outdoor living area with second or third-floor ocean views and two bathrooms with deluxe amenities.