Florida Road Trips With Kids: Top Destinations And Tips

by | Sep 27, 2023 | Destinations

Florida Road Trips with Kids: Top Destinations and Tips

When it comes to planning a family vacation, road trips are always a great option. And if you're looking for a destination that has something for everyone, Florida is definitely worth considering. With its beautiful beaches, theme parks, natural wonders, and historic sites, this state offers endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation. But what if you're traveling with kids? Don't worry - there are plenty of Florida road trips that are perfect for families.

One popular option is to explore the state's coastline, which stretches for more than 1,300 miles. From the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic, there are countless beaches to discover, each with its own unique charm. Whether you're looking for a quiet spot to relax or a lively beach town with plenty of activities, Florida has something for everyone. And if you're traveling with little ones, be sure to check out some of the state's family-friendly beaches, which offer gentle waves, shallow water, and plenty of amenities.

Of course, Florida is much more than just beaches. If you're interested in history and culture, there are plenty of road trips that will take you to fascinating sites and museums. And if you're traveling with kids, there are plenty of options that will keep them entertained and engaged. From the Kennedy Space Center to the Everglades, there are countless opportunities to learn and explore. So whether you're looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an educational adventure, Florida road trips with kids are sure to be a hit.

Planning Your Florida Road Trip

When planning a Florida road trip with kids, there are a few things to consider to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. As a seasoned traveler, I've road tripped through Florida multiple times and have found the following tips to be helpful:

Timing and Route

First and foremost, it's important to plan your route and timing. Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and it's important to keep in mind that summers can be hot and humid, while winters can be mild and pleasant. Consider the weather and plan your route accordingly.

If you're traveling with kids, it's also important to factor in breaks and rest stops. Plan your route with frequent stops to allow for stretching, bathroom breaks, and snacks.


When traveling with kids, it's important to have comfortable and safe accommodations. Consider booking hotels or vacation rentals that cater to families, such as those with pools, playgrounds, or other kid-friendly amenities.

It's also important to book accommodations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. This will ensure that you have a place to stay and can avoid any last-minute stress or complications.

Activities and Attractions

Florida is filled with family-friendly activities and attractions, from theme parks to beaches to wildlife parks. Research and plan ahead to ensure that you're able to visit the attractions that interest you and your family.

Consider purchasing tickets in advance to avoid long lines and save time. It's also important to budget for these activities and attractions, as they can add up quickly.

Packing and Preparing

Finally, make sure to pack and prepare for your Florida road trip with kids. Bring plenty of snacks, drinks, and entertainment for the car ride. Pack sunscreen, hats, and other sun protection for outdoor activities.

It's also important to have a first aid kit and any necessary medications on hand. And don't forget to bring a camera to capture all of the memories!

With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to planning a successful and enjoyable Florida road trip with your family.

Top Destinations

When it comes to road tripping in Florida with kids, there are plenty of amazing destinations to choose from. Here are some of my top picks:

Destin and Crystal River

Destin and Crystal River are both great options for families looking to enjoy some time on the beach and spot some manatees. In Destin, you'll find beautiful white sand beaches and plenty of water activities, while in Crystal River, you can take a guided tour to see the gentle giants up close.

Theme Parks in Orlando

Of course, no Florida road trip with kids would be complete without a visit to Orlando's theme parks. From Walt Disney World to SeaWorld and Universal Studios, there's something for everyone in Orlando.

Exploring Miami and South Beach

Miami and South Beach offer a unique blend of culture, history, and beach vibes. Take a stroll along the famous Ocean Drive, visit the Miami Children's Museum, or simply soak up the sun on the beach.

Tampa and St. Petersburg

Tampa and St. Petersburg are both great options for families looking to enjoy some outdoor activities. Visit Busch Gardens in Tampa for some thrilling rides, or check out Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg for a relaxing picnic.

The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys offer some of the most scenic and picturesque views in the state. Drive down the Overseas Highway and stop at Key West, Key Largo, or Conch Key along the way. Don't miss the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center for an educational experience.

Gulf Coast and Panhandle

The Gulf Coast and Panhandle offer some of the best beaches in the state. Clearwater, Naples, and Fort Myers are all great options for families looking to soak up the sun and enjoy some water activities. Visit the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Fort Walton Beach for an up-close encounter with marine life.

Central Florida

Central Florida is home to some of the state's most famous attractions, including the Kennedy Space Center and Daytona International Speedway. Take a hike through the Ocala National Forest or enjoy a day at the beach in Daytona.

The Atlantic Coast

The Atlantic Coast offers a different kind of beach experience, with destinations like Vero Beach, Amelia Island, and St. Augustine. Visit the South Florida Museum in Bradenton for a unique educational experience.

South Florida

South Florida is home to some of the state's most beautiful beaches, including Miami Beach and the popular South Beach.

Overall, Florida offers a wide variety of destinations for families looking to enjoy a road trip with their kids. From beaches and theme parks to outdoor activities and educational experiences, there's truly something for everyone in the Sunshine State.

Activities for Kids

As a parent, I know how important it is to keep the kids entertained during a road trip. Luckily, Florida has plenty of activities for kids of all ages. Here are some of my top picks:


Florida is famous for its beaches, and for good reason. With miles of soft sand and crystal-clear water, the beaches are a perfect place to spend a day with the family. Some of my favorite beaches for kids include Clearwater Beach, Siesta Key Beach, and Cocoa Beach.

Water Parks

Florida is also home to some of the best water parks in the world. From thrilling slides to lazy rivers, there is something for everyone. Some of the most popular water parks include Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Universal's Volcano Bay, and Wet 'n Wild.


Florida is known for its entertainment, and there is no shortage of things to do with the family. From theme parks to live shows, there is something for everyone. Some of my favorite entertainment options include Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld.

Boat Tours

Florida is surrounded by water, and there are plenty of boat tours available for families. From dolphin watching to sunset cruises, there is something for everyone. Some of the most popular boat tours include the Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Key Largo and the Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Tour in Panama City Beach.


Alligators are a common sight in Florida, and there are plenty of opportunities to see them up close. Some of the most popular alligator attractions include the Everglades Alligator Farm, Gatorland, and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.


The Everglades is a unique ecosystem that is home to a variety of wildlife. There are plenty of opportunities to explore the Everglades, from airboat tours to hiking trails. Some of the most popular attractions in the Everglades include the Shark Valley Tram Tour and the Anhinga Trail.

Miniature Golf

Miniature golf is a classic family activity, and Florida has plenty of courses to choose from. Some of the most popular miniature golf courses include Congo River Golf, Pirate's Island Adventure Golf, and Adventure Landing.

Amusement Parks

Florida is home to some of the best amusement parks in the world. From roller coasters to water rides, there is something for everyone. Some of the most popular amusement parks include Busch Gardens, LEGOLAND, and Fun Spot America.


Florida's beaches are also a great place to go shelling. With a little patience and some luck, you can find all kinds of shells. Some of the best shelling beaches include Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, and Marco Island.

US Route 1

US Route 1 is a scenic highway that runs along Florida's east coast. With plenty of attractions and beautiful views, it's a great way to see the state. Some of the most popular stops along US Route 1 include the Kennedy Space Center, the Daytona International Speedway, and the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

In conclusion, Florida has plenty of activities for kids of all ages. Whether you're looking for beaches, water parks, or boat tours, there is something for everyone. So pack your bags and hit the road with the family for an unforgettable Florida road trip.

Where to Stay

When it comes to planning a Florida road trip with kids, choosing the right accommodation is key. After all, you'll need a comfortable place to rest after a long day of exploring. Here are some options to consider:


Florida is home to many resorts that cater to families. These resorts often offer a range of amenities and activities to keep everyone entertained. Some of the top resorts for families include:

  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
  • The St Regis Bal Harbour Resort
  • The Breakers Palm Beach
  • 1 Hotel South Beach

These resorts offer everything from kids' clubs and pools to beach access and on-site restaurants. However, keep in mind that they can be pricey.

Family Vacation Rentals

Another option to consider is renting a vacation home or condo. This can be a more affordable option, especially if you're traveling with a large group. Vacation rentals often come equipped with kitchens, which can be a great way to save money on meals.

Some popular vacation rental sites include Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway. Just be sure to read reviews and do your research to ensure you're booking a reputable property.

Budget Hotels

If you're looking to save money on accommodations, there are plenty of budget-friendly hotels throughout Florida. These hotels may not have all the bells and whistles of a resort, but they can still provide a comfortable place to stay.

Some budget-friendly hotel chains to consider include Motel 6, Super 8, and Red Roof Inn. Just be sure to read reviews and check the hotel's location to ensure it's in a safe area.

No matter where you choose to stay, be sure to book in advance to ensure availability. And don't forget to factor in the cost of accommodations when budgeting for your Florida road trip with kids.

Food and Dining

When it comes to food and dining on a Florida road trip with kids, there are plenty of options to choose from. From seafood to Cuban cuisine, there is something to satisfy every palate.

One must-try dish in Florida is the famous Key Lime Pie. Made with key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and a graham cracker crust, this dessert is a staple in the state. Be sure to try it at one of the many restaurants that offer it, and don't forget to let your kids have a taste too!

Seafood is also a must-try in Florida, with fresh catches like grouper, snapper, and shrimp available at many restaurants. For a more casual dining experience, check out one of the many seafood shacks along the coast. They offer a laid-back atmosphere and fresh seafood at affordable prices.

If you're looking for something more exotic, try some Cuban cuisine. Florida has a large Cuban population, and their influence can be seen in the food. Try a Cuban sandwich, made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, or try some ropa vieja, a shredded beef dish served with rice and beans.

Overall, Florida has a diverse and delicious food scene that is sure to satisfy everyone in the family. Just be sure to try some Key Lime Pie while you're there!

Educational Opportunities

As a parent, I always look for opportunities to combine fun and education when planning a family road trip. Luckily, Florida has plenty of options for families who want to learn while they explore. Here are some educational opportunities to consider:

National Naval Aviation Museum

Located in Pensacola, the National Naval Aviation Museum is an excellent destination for families interested in military and aerospace history. The museum offers a Flight to Excellence (FTE) educational field trip that includes educational IMAX movies and Teachers' Walking Tour guides. This is a great opportunity for kids to learn about aviation and the role of the military in our country's history.

Kennedy Space Center

Another educational destination in Florida is the Kennedy Space Center. This historic site offers a wide range of educational opportunities, including tours, exhibits, and interactive experiences. Kids can learn about space exploration and the history of NASA, as well as see real spacecraft and rockets up close.

Historic St. Augustine

For families interested in history, St. Augustine is a must-visit destination. This city is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States, and it offers a wealth of historical sites and museums to explore. Kids can learn about the Spanish colonial period, the American Revolution, and more.

Everglades National Park

The Everglades National Park is a unique destination that offers a wide range of educational opportunities for families. Kids can learn about the importance of wetlands and the animals that call them home, as well as the history of the area and the challenges facing the ecosystem today. The park offers guided tours, educational exhibits, and more.

Fort Matanzas National Monument

Located near St. Augustine, the Fort Matanzas National Monument is a historic site that offers a glimpse into Florida's colonial past. Kids can learn about the Spanish occupation of Florida and the role of the fort in protecting the area from invasion. The site offers guided tours and educational exhibits.

Overall, Florida offers a wealth of educational opportunities for families on a road trip. Whether you're interested in history, science, or nature, there's something for everyone to learn and explore.

Safety Tips

As a parent, safety is always a top priority when traveling with kids. Here are some tips to keep in mind for a safe and enjoyable road trip in Florida.

Buckle Up

Make sure everyone in the car is wearing their seatbelt at all times, including children in car seats or booster seats. It's the law in Florida, and it's the best way to protect yourself and your kids in case of an accident.

Stay Hydrated

Florida can get hot and humid, especially during the summer months. Make sure to bring plenty of water for everyone in the car and take breaks to hydrate throughout the day. Dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, and other health issues.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are essential items to pack for a Florida road trip. The sun can be intense, even on cloudy days, and it's important to protect your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays.

Watch Out for Wildlife

Florida is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, sharks, and stingrays. While the chances of encountering these animals on a road trip are slim, it's still important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when necessary. Avoid swimming in areas marked as unsafe, and never feed or approach wild animals.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Accidents and emergencies can happen, so it's important to be prepared. Make sure to have a first aid kit in the car, along with a flashlight, extra batteries, and a map in case you lose cell phone service. It's also a good idea to have a roadside assistance plan in case of a flat tire or other car troubles.

By following these safety tips, you can have a fun and worry-free road trip with your kids in Florida.


In conclusion, Florida is an excellent road trip destination for families with kids. With its beautiful beaches, theme parks, natural wonders, and historic sites, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're looking for relaxation or celebration, Florida has it all.

If you're looking for a more laid-back vacation, consider visiting one of Florida's many beaches. Daytona Beach on the east coast and Clearwater Beach on the west coast are both great options for families with kids. You can spend your days lounging on the beach, building sandcastles, and playing in the waves.

If you're looking for more excitement, head to Orlando to visit Walt Disney World or Universal Studios. These theme parks offer endless fun for kids and adults alike. You can ride roller coasters, meet your favorite characters, and enjoy live shows and parades.

For a more adventurous experience, take an airboat ride through the Everglades to see the wildlife. You can also visit Babcock Wilderness Adventures or the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge to see more of Florida's natural beauty.

Overall, Florida is a great destination for families with kids. With so many activities and attractions to choose from, you're sure to have a memorable vacation.