South Florida’s most beautiful and family-friendly beaches
Some of the world’s most beautiful bays, streets and even people can be found in Miami, but what about the best family-friendly beaches in Miami?
Although South Beach and Ocean Drive are widely regarded as Miami hot spots, they tend to be extremely busy and draw party crowds, especially in high-demand times of the year – which isn’t always great for young kids and families.
But don’t fret – there are still plenty of ways to enjoy a relaxing family-friendly beach vacation in Miami, at least if you’re willing to go a bit off of the beaten path.
Down to explore a bit with your family? Let’s dive right in starting with number 7!
7. South Pointe Park Beach
Let’s start with the beach closest to the hustle and bustle of Ocean Drive but far enough away to get some peace and quiet – South Pointe Park Beach.
South Pointe Park Beach is a favorite spot amongst locals.
Here’s why we love South Pointe Park Beach for Families.
- Plenty of kid-friendly amenities like a mini splash pad and play area.
- There’s a dog park for your child’s best friend.
- There’s plenty of green space to play.
- Your kids can watch the cruise ships and yachts come and go.
- The famous Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse is nearby (okay, that one is more for the parents).
It’s also a great place to go kayaking, jetskiing, playing volleyball, go paddleboarding, or just sitting and reading a book.
Restrooms and outdoor showers are available. Pets are not allowed on the beach and must be leashed while at the park unless inside the Bark Park.
Note: Parking can be hard to find and quite expensive (around $20/vehicle – welcome to Miami Beach).
6. Hobie Island Beach Park – the Windsurfer Beach
Hobie Beach, also known as Windsurfer Beach, should be at the top of your list if you want to do more than just lounge about and get a tan.
This isn’t your typical white sandy beach, but it is an ideal beach for activities.
It’s located between Brickell and Key Biscayne with a panorama view of the Miami skyline.
The shallow depth of the calm water also makes it a perfect place for beginners to try out water sports and for children to splash around.
However, while it is less busy and more family-friendly than nearby Miami Beach, there are fewer options to eat. Whiskey Joe’s is your casual dining option and/or Kaaya and Rusty Pelican are your fine dining options. With this in mind, you may want to bring your own snacks and drinks.
However, public restrooms and outdoor showers are available.
Admission to this beach is free but there is a toll fee to cross the causeway. Nearby parking runs at about $5 – $8 per vehicle.
Things to Do at Hobie Beach
Hobie Beach offers several beach and aquatic activities, such as:
- Swimming & Snorkeling
- Jet Skiing (available for rent at Miami Waterlife Tours)
- Picnicking (picnic tables and grills available)
- Kiteboarding (lessons available from South Florida Kiteboarding and WindAddict)
- Hydrofoiling (lessons available from South Florida Kiteboarding and WindAddict)
- Boat Charters & Sunset Cruises (available from WindAddict)
Note: Hobie Beach is not only kid-friendly, but also dog-friendly! So, you don’t have to be afraid to take your beloved dog with you. But bring a leash as well.
Hobie Beach is located at Old, Rickenbacker Cswy, Miami, FL 33149.
5. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is one of the most family-friendly and less jammed beaches in Miami. It features 1.25 miles of stunning sandy beaches and many amenities to make some unforgettable memories.
Why it’s one of Miami’s best beaches
Not only is it a tranquil escape from the bustling crowds but it also offers many other exciting things to do.
For instance, you can experience and explore:
- Natural beauty and cleanliness: It’s extremely clean with white sand and clear, shallow water, making it a great opportunity for taking amazing family pictures.
- Historical sites: Take a tour of the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse and the lighthouse keepers’ cottage, one of Miami-Dade County’s oldest standing structures.
- Outdoor activities: Swim, boat, scuba dive, camp, go horseback riding, sunbathe, cycle (rentals are available), walk, canoe/kayak, paddleboard, rollerblade and fish (license required).
- A variety of amenities: Want to grill? This park’s got you. It has many amenities including a playground for the kids, picnic tables, public restrooms, biking trails, rentable pavilions with grills and covered seating and even beach rentals such as chairs, umbrellas and bicycles. If you get hungry, you can visit one of the restaurants on-site: Boater’s Grill and Lighthouse Café.
Hours are 8 am til sundown 365 days a year. There is an $8 entry fee per vehicle. Pets are allowed but must be on a 6-foot leash and attended at all times.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is located at 1200 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149.
4. Crandon Park Beach
Located close to Bill Baggs Park at the entrance of Key Biscayne we also have Crandon Park.
Crandon Park’s 2-mile beach is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. The island is home to a variety of rarer flora and fauna including hawks, sea turtles, herons, ospreys and more.
We love Crandon Park Beach for its:
- Pristine sand and calm water
- Winding promenade
- Convenient concession stands
- Picnic areas (with tables and grills)
- Convenient parking
- Proximity to the Crandon Family Amusement Center
- Kitesurfing & windsurfing scene (rentals and lessons available on site)
- Golf and tennis facilities
Crandon is also home to an offshore sandbar.
Crandon Park is open from Sunrise-Sunset seven days a week. Parking is $5 on weekdays and $7 on weekends.
3. Hollywood Beach & Boardwalk
If you’re looking for more of a classic, idyllic beach in Florida with some fun things to do afterward, this is one of Florida’s top picks and one of my personal favorite beaches too! There are plenty of places to eat and drink, as well as plenty of opportunities to soak up the rays.
But be warned, this beach can be more crowded than some of the others on this list.
The biggest thing that sets Hollywood Beach apart from other beaches is the 2.5-mile-long pedestrian promenade, trafficked by hundreds of joggers, bikers and rollerblades as well as casual walkers on the daily.
Plus there’s no shortage of restaurants, shops and boutique hotels – it’s a favorite spot amongst locals and was voted as one of America’s Best Beach Boardwalks by Travel + Leisure Magazine.
Note: Dogs are only allowed on Hollywood Beach between Pershing and Custer Streets (Dog Beach). Dog Beach is free and open 7-days a week from sunrise to sunset.
Why Hollywood Beach is the best beach between Miami and Fort Lauderdale Beach
Next to calm and clear water, where kids can swim, there’s also a play area to enjoy.
Further, it also features:
- Bike paths
- Picnic areas
- Volleyball courts
- Public showers and rinse stations
- Hollywood Beach Theatre with live music on select nights
Tip: Take the Hollywood Sun Shuttle to downtown for a complete Hollywood experience for only $1 per person.
Hollywood Beach is located at 101 S Broadwalk #3501, Hollywood, FL 33019.
2. Virginia Key Beach Park
In addition to being a lovely and family-friendly place to spend time, this beach area is also historically significant for its involvement in the fight for civil rights and its proximity to the Miami Seaquarium and the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
With stunning views of the Miami skyline and the Atlantic Ocean, if you were wondering which part of Miami has the clearest water – this is it!
Why Virginia Key Beach is the best family-friendly beach
The beach itself offers:
- A seasonal concession stand
- Free park eco-history tours (Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10 am and 2 pm)
- Picnic areas
- Pavillion rentals
- Tent rentals
- Rides for kids (a mini train and a carousel)
- Family-friendly events and festival
- Tiny home-style daily beach cabin rentals (available on weekends and holidays)
- Disc golf course (9-holes)
- Nature trails
The park is open every day from 7 am to sunset, 7 days a week. However, the park closes on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
There is a $5 vehicle entry fee Monday – Thursday and an $8 entry fee Friday – Sunday. That entry fee goes up to $10 for holidays. RV’s & Buses pay $20.
Note: Dogs are not allowed inside the park. Neither is fishing.
Virginia Key Beach’s address is 4020 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, FL 33149.
1. North Shore Open Space Park
The North Shore Open Space Park features a calm stretch of beach and a variety of family-friendly attractions. It’s a popular spot for locals because it’s a calm and less crowded beach in North Miami.
Why North Shore Open Space Park is the best family-friendly beach
While all of Miami’s beaches are stunning, this particular one is especially well-suited for families.
Why it stands out:
- It features a quiet and relaxed atmosphere (especially for Miami!)
- The water and sand are cleaner
- It’s a favorite spot amongst the locals (always a good sign)
- There are plenty of playgrounds and picnic areas
- There are lots of trees and plenty of shade
- Nature lovers will enjoy the walking trails nearby
- There are also tennis courts in the nearby North Shore Park Tennis Center
Tip: Make sure to check for seasonal changes and events before your visit!
North Shore Open Space Park is located at 8328 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141.
Last thoughts for the best beaches in Miami
While Miami is home to some of the world’s greatest beaches and a plethora of attractions, the city’s notorious nightlife means that not all of them are suitable for children.
Nonetheless, there are a great number of family-friendly beaches that are sure to provide a lot of quality time and hence lifelong memories. What are your favorite family-friendly beaches in and around Miami? Let us know in the comments below.