Florida has plenty of options to offer families, from its world-famous beaches to its top-tier amusement parks. Many families choose to stay in a resort to make their home away from home as comfortable as possible when they come back from a day of seeing the sights. Some of these resorts can be attractions themselves, featuring pools and water rides that rival some of the water parks in the state.
Central Florida is the home to Disney, Universal Studios and other top theme parks. It's no surprise that the resorts in the area feature over-the-top amenities that could rival them. At Disney's Vero Beach Resort, just south of the main park on the east coast, kids can swim in a pool shaped like Mickey Mouse or shoot down the two-story, 163-foot spiral slide known as "The Pirate's Plunge." Smaller kids may enjoy playing in the pirate-themed splash pad and play area, which features water cannons, a pirate ship and a mini slide. At Ocean Walk Resort in Daytona Beach, families can get away from spring break crowds and spend time at one of the two indoor or three outdoor pools. A water slide, lazy river and aquatic playground are just some of the amenities.
Tampa Bay Area
Off the west coast of Florida, the Tampa Bay area feels like an enclave from the hustle and bustle of the other tourist areas. Beaches feature beautiful, clear blue waters, and the crowds are not as heavy. At Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, kids can enjoy six pools, including one known as "The Loch Ness Monster," which features a 15-foot waterfall, two sand "beaches," water slides, and a plunge pool with bubbling jets and fountains. At Hammock Beach in Palm Coast, kids can float down a lazy river, shoot down a twisting slide or build sandcastles by the pool. There is also a zero-entry beach pool.
South Florida includes some of the state's most popular beaches, where the rich and famous go to sunbathe and lounge on the decks of their yachts. Families can retreat to one of the luxurious resorts, and kids can enjoy splashing around in one of the loaded pool areas. At Turnberry Isle in Miami, kids can float down the 1,600-foot lazy river, shoot down the 35-foot-high slide into the splash pool or swim in the heated pool. A toddler pool is available for the little ones. Further south in the Keys, Hawk's Cay offers a number of options for families. The Pirate Ship Pool features a large pirate ship play structure with slides and splash zones. The Resort Pool is a large pool for open swimming, but it features family games and entertainment. The Saltwater Lagoon is an enclosed space in which kids and families can snorkel, look for sea turtles or paddle in tiki boats.
The Florida Panhandle
Florida is known as the Sunshine State for a reason. Sun seekers can enjoy the beaches even further north. At The Palms of Destin, kids can swim in Destin's largest lagoon pool -- an 11,000-square-foot, zero-entry pool with five dancing waterfalls. The resort also has a large heated pool and a splash zone for smaller children. At the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa, parents can enjoy 18 holes, while kids can enjoy swimming in one of the four heated pools, including a designated family pool that includes family-friendly games.
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