04/04/2016 05:27 EDT | Updated 04/05/2017 05:12 EDT

6 Destinations In Florida For The Perfect Family Vacation


Photo Credit: Traveller-Reini

Families have been flocking to Florida for sunny, warm-weather vacations for decades. After all, the state is home to the Walt Disney World Resort (among countless other theme parks), thousands of miles of white-sand beaches and wildlife refuges just waiting for families to get outside and start exploring. These six destinations across the Sunshine State are the best of the best for your 2016 family vacation.

1. Naples

Naples is a Gulf of Mexico city that offers the best of both worlds, picture-perfect beaches and a thriving cultural scene. Families can spend long days on the sugar sand beaches and nights shopping and dining in the historic downtown area. There's something for everyone in Naples, ranging from the Vanderbilt beach wildlife preserve to world-renowned golf courses and family-friendly all-inclusive resorts.

2. Sanibel Island


Photo Credit: EricRi

Venture even farther into the Gulf of Mexico to scenic Sanibel Island. This pristine barrier island is ideal for families who like to spend a lot of time in the wild.

Sanibel Island's abundance of seashells, wildlife, trails and scenic drives makes it easy to stay active while enjoying Florida's sunny skies and warm temperatures. Take a guided kayaking tour to spot manatees or hike the trails of the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge in search of gators; there's no reason to turn on the TV when you're on Sanibel Island.

3. Melbourne

Florida's Space Coast offers a more quaint atmosphere for playing on the sand and in the sea with the ones you love. Melbourne is just south of popular Cocoa Beach but far enough away for families to experience a more "local" Florida vibe. Take nighttime walks on the uncrowded beaches, explore local farmers' markets, dine at locally-famous seafood restaurants and try a family surf lesson. Melbourne is a place to discover Florida's coastal charm without the crowds.

4. Orlando


Photo Credit: Photographing Travis

Orlando is a paradise city for kids. It's one of the world's most famous places to visit theme parks, including Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure. However, adults don't have to dread visits to this city of non-stop attractions, because Disney and numerous hotel chains offer themed resorts that are geared toward entertaining kids while adults relax at the spa or by the pool.

5. Key Largo

The Florida Keys make tropical vacations more affordable. Forget about costly flights to the Caribbean, the Keys offer the towering palm trees, coral reefs and turquoise waters you're seeking without the outrageous tourist prices. Key Largo is the northernmost of Florida's Keys and is known as the diving capital of the world. However, you don't need to be an avid diver to enjoy the island town's coastal seafood restaurants, unbelievable snorkeling spots and mangrove trails that are perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding.

6. St. Petersburg


Photo Credit: thephotographymuse

St. Petersburg and nearby Clearwater are known for housing Florida's most scenic white sand beaches and turquoise Gulf of Mexico waters. The "Sunshine City" continues to land at the top of Top 10 lists for it's family-friendly beaches, bathtub-warm ocean waters and activities for all ages of visitors, ranging from jet skiing and parasailing to skimboarding, swimming and dolphin tours. An abundance of oceanfront resorts make it easy to pick accommodations that suit your family's travel needs.

Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook


How You're Throwing Money Away While Traveling