Sunshine on Demand: Best Family Beaches in Miami in 2024


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Planning the ultimate family beach escape? 

Look no further than the best family beaches in Miami, where sunshine and sandy adventures await you all year round! 

From building epic sandcastles to splashing in calm waters, I’ll share my insider tips on finding the perfect spot for your crew. 

As a frequent Miami visitor with family in tow, I’ve got the scoop on where to find kid-friendly amenities, cool hidden gems, and insider tips that’ll make your beach trip a total breeze. 

Prepare to soak up the sun and make memories with your little ones!

Map with the Best Family Beaches in Miami

Best Beaches in Miami for Families

Crandon Park Beach

The Family-Friendly Favorite: This Key Biscayne gem offers a winning mix of calm, shallow waters (perfect for little ones!), shady palm trees, and space to spread out.


  • Picnic areas with barbecue grills (pack a lunch!)
  • Plenty of parking ($5 weekdays, $7 weekends)
  • Public restrooms
  • Lifeguards on duty

Fun Beyond the Sand

  • Rent paddleboards or canoes for an on-the-water adventure.
  • Got older kids? This is a prime kite-surfing spot.
  • Explore the gardens near the south parking lot – look for birds and maybe even a croc or two!
Palm trees and a tranquil beach

Insider Tips

  • Arrive early on weekends, as this popular spot fills up.
  • Watch out for seaweed and jellyfish, depending on the season.
  • Bring your own beach chair if you want to avoid rental fees.

What Parents Love

  • Soft sand, gorgeous views, and way quieter than Miami Beach!
  • Kids loved splashing in the shallows and building sandcastles under the palm trees.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Bill Baggs is located in Key Biscayne, just a short drive south of Miami.


History & Adventure in One: Explore the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse (Florida’s oldest standing structure!) and enjoy a beautiful beach day. The perfect combo for curious kids and parents alike.

What to Expect

  • Stunning clear waters and a less crowded beach.
  • Climb the lighthouse for amazing views (check tour times).
  • Wildlife spotting! Look out for manatees and a wide variety of birds.
  • Admission: $8 per vehicle (includes up to 8 people & lighthouse access)

Kid-Friendly Activities

  • Swimming and beach play
  • Lighthouse exploration (with restrictions – see below)
  • Nature walks and wildlife spotting

Insider Tips

  • This is a popular destination that can get crowded during weekends. Try to visit during weekdays instead.
  • Lighthouse tours have restrictions: no strollers, kids under 42 inches, and closed-toed shoes are advised.
  • This is a prime wildlife spotting location – keep those little eyes peeled!
  • Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the scenic surroundings.

What Parents Love

  • History and a beautiful beach day all in one.
  • You can get lucky enough and see a manatee! It will be unforgettable for the whole family.

North Beach Oceanside Park

One of the best family beaches in Miami, featuring a vibrant purple and orange lifeguard stand with a red flag, against a backdrop of the ocean and cloudy skies, suggesting a lively yet serene beach atmosphere perfect for family outings. Pin

Enjoy a clean, well-maintained park with a perfect mix of beach access and amenities to make your day hassle-free.


  • Restrooms & showers
  • Drinking fountains
  • Picnic areas with BBQ grills
  • Playground
  • Dog-friendly areas
  • Easy Access: There is plenty of street parking with convenient payment options (ParkMobile app).
  • Bonus Features: Look out for squirrels and raccoons on a nature walk, or try out the newly renovated exercise equipment!

Insider Tips:

  • Less crowded than South Beach, making it a great escape for families.
  • Bring charcoal if you’re planning a BBQ – perfect for lunch with a view.
  • Keep those little eyes peeled for playful wildlife!

What Parents Love:

  • Spacious, clean, and you have everything needed for a perfect beach day with your kids.
  • Dogs can enjoy the designated dog park area – happy pup, happy parents!

South Pointe Park Beach


A Relaxing Family Escape: Ditch the South Beach crowds and head to South Pointe for a laid-back beach day with the family. Enjoy beautiful white sand, clear water, and a fun playground right nearby!

What to Expect:

  • Spacious beach, less crowded than South Beach
  • Pier with stunning views of cruise ships and the Miami skyline
  • Large playground (including a splash pad water play area!)
  • Picnic tables
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Bring Your Own: No food or drinks are sold on the beach, so pack a picnic lunch and plenty of water.

Insider Tips:

  • Rent bikes and explore the scenic boardwalk.
  • Get there early on weekends to snag a good parking spot.
  • Watch the sunset from the pier – a magical family experience!
South Pointe Beach

What Parents Love:

  • Very nice playground with a splash pad area.
  • It is a beautiful spot to watch the cruise ships, and it is not as crowded as other Miami beaches.

Virginia Key Beach Park

A Beach with History & Hidden Gems: Escape to this peaceful park with a fascinating past! Discover beautiful views, bike trails, and a unique beach experience the kids will love exploring.

What to Expect:

  • Beautiful white sand and shallow waters perfect for wading
  • Picnic areas and playgrounds
  • Bike trails for all levels
  • Water sports rentals (PADL)
  • A few food trucks (note: can be noisy)
  • Important Note: No lifeguards on duty. Swim with caution.

Insider Tips:

  • Pack those water shoes! Rocks and shells line the shore.
  • Visit early morning for the most peaceful experience.
  • Don’t forget insect repellent – those mosquitoes can be fierce!

What Parents Love:

  • Kids love searching for shells and exploring the tide pools.
  • A hidden gem! Less crowded and a great place to try paddleboarding as a family.

Hobie Island Beach Park

A Hidden Gem for Relaxed Beach Days: Also known as Windsurfer Beach, this calm, family-friendly spot offers shady areas and clear water. Conveniently located near Brickell and Downtown Miami, it’s the perfect escape from the bustle of the city.

What to Expect:

  • Shallow waters, great for little ones to splash
  • Shady trees for relaxing out of the sun
  • Free restrooms
  • Dog-friendly (keep an eye on your snacks!)
  • You need to pay a toll to cross the causeway over to the beach.
  • The Tricky Part: Parking is limited! Arrive early or be prepared to search for a spot.
Clear and tranquil water perfect for families

Insider Tips:

  • Go early (or late afternoon) to beat the parking rush.
  • Pack a picnic – not much food is available nearby.
  • Keep those eyes peeled for playful dolphins!

What Parents Love:

  • Toddlers love building sandcastles in the shade and watching the dogs play in the surf.
  • Such a relaxing spot compared to the busier beaches

Matheson Hammock Park Beach & Marina

Perfect for Toddlers & Parents Seeking Peace: This man-made atoll pool offers calm waters ideal for young children and a relaxing day out.

What to Expect:

  • A shallow, enclosed beach area (perfect for the littlest ones)
  • Lifeguards on duty
  • Restrooms, showers, and changing rooms
  • On-site restaurant
  • Kayak/paddleboard rentals available nearby

Insider Tips:

  • Arrive early, especially on weekends, as this spot is popular.
  • Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy alongside the lagoon.
  • Older kids might enjoy exploring the bike trails!

What Parents Love:

  • Toddlers can splash around safely in the calm water!
  • The restaurant is a great option to have lunch with a view.

Oleta River State Park

Adventure & Tranquility: Explore scenic trails, kayak through mangroves, and discover a calm, kid-friendly beach – all in one park!

What to Expect:

  • Entrance fee: $6 per vehicle
  • Kayak and paddleboard rentals
  • Bike trails
  • Shelters for picnics and gatherings
  • A small beach area (note: water can feel ‘slimy’ at certain times of year)

Insider Tips:

  • Best for older kids and active families, not ideal for toddlers who love sand play.
  • Visit on weekdays to avoid crowds.
  • Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the scenic surroundings.

What Parents Love:

  • “Kayaking through the mangroves was unforgettable, and the kids loved spotting wildlife.”
  • “A great place to get outdoors and try something new as a family – we all rented bikes!”

Haulover Beach Park

A Spacious & Versatile Beach Experience: This large park has it all! Wide sandy beaches, picnic areas, dog-friendly spots, and even a nude beach section (clearly marked).

What to Expect:

  • Metered parking with a convenient app option.
  • Clean restrooms and showers
  • Bike rentals
  • Picnic areas with grills (first-come, first-served)
  • Lifeguards on duty
  • Check their calendar for fun events like kite festivals and food trucks!

Insider Tips:

  • Go on weekdays for a quieter experience. Weekends get busy!
  • Tuesdays are perfect: beach time followed by the nearby food truck event.
  • The nude beach section is clearly marked, making it easy to avoid if that’s not your family’s style.

Beyond the Beach: 

  • Haulover Skatepark:  Thrill-seeking kids will love this free skatepark! It’s a great place to skateboard, rollerblade, or bike. Expect crowds at peak times, but the friendly atmosphere and diverse crowd make it a unique experience.

What Parents Love:

  • There is so much space to spread out without bumping into anyone!
  • Dogs get a designated dog beach area.

Bal Harbour Beach

A Spacious & Relaxing Gem: Discover a less-crowded beach perfect for swimming, long walks (with or without your furry friend!), biking, and even a bit of snorkeling.

What to Expect:

  • Dog-friendly areas
  • Showers
  • Metered parking (arrive early to snag a spot!)
  • Enjoy the scenic, paved walking/biking path that stretches along the coast.

Insider Tip

  • For prime snorkeling, head to the area with rocks near the Ritz!

What Parents Love:

  • There is so much space to spread out and enjoy the beautiful water without the South Beach crowds.
  • The paved path is perfect for strollers.

Sunny Isles Beach

A Quieter Getaway with Beautiful Views: Escape the crowds and enjoy clear waters and soft sand. Look out for those fishing off the pier and the backdrop of luxury condos!

What to Expect:

  • Can be less crowded than other beaches, especially during the week
  • Clear, calm waters great for swimming
  • A fishing pier with a restaurant (shoes required)
  • Some reviewers mention less-than-ideal sand conditions or occasional smells at certain times of year.

Insider Tips:

  • Go early to snag a good spot, especially on weekends.
  • Check current conditions before visiting (via recent reviews or the city website) in case the sand or water quality is affected by the season.
  • Enjoy the nearby restaurants after your beach day.

What Parents Love:

  • Kids can watch the fishermen on the pier.

Beyond the Sand: Miami Fun for the Whole Family

Miami offers more than just beautiful beaches! Here are a couple of exciting spots to add to your family adventure:

Our Favorite Museums in Miami for Young Kids

Miami Children’s Museum

Perfect for your little explorers, this museum is packed with interactive exhibits and creative play zones. Kids love the hands-on activities and themed events, making it a great escape from the sun (or rain!).

  • Ages: Best for ages 2-6, but still has fun for younger and older kids too.
  • Highlights: Interactive areas, creative play, themed events
  • Insider Tip Check their calendar for special activity days and free admission times.
  • Parking: $2 per hour
Exterior view of the Miami Children's Museum, The Potamkin Family Building, featuring vibrant yellow and orange walls under a clear blue sky. A large red sculpture resembling a curled-up figure is placed near trees on the sidewalk. Pin

Frost Science Museum 

Spark curiosity and wonder with the Frost Science Museum’s incredible aquarium, planetarium, and hands-on science exhibits.  Located downtown, it presents a great learning experience with stunning views of the city from 6th floor sun deck.

  • Ages: Appeals to all ages, with amazing exhibits for every interest
  • Highlights: Aquarium, planetarium, hands-on science
  • Insider Tip: Book tickets online in advance, especially on weekends.
  • Parking: $18 flat rate
Three children from behind, standing in front of a large aquarium window, mesmerized by a variety of fish and a single shark swimming in the clear blue water. Pin

Tips for your museum visits:

  • Plan Ahead: Check museum websites for operating hours and special exhibits.
  • Bring Snacks: Indoor play can lead to hungry tummies! Be sure to check the museums’ policies on outside food and drinks.
  • Find free activities in Miami by checking our guide, which includes the dates of museums offering free entry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Miami safe for swimming with kids?

Miami beaches generally have lifeguards on duty, making them safer for families. However, it’s always important to supervise children closely around water. Remember to check for any beach advisories regarding water quality or jellyfish presence before your visit.

What’s the best time of year to visit?

Spring (March-May): Warm weather without the peak summer crowds or humidity.
Fall (September-November): The water is still warm, and the summer rush is over.
Avoid peak seasons: Summer brings big crowds, and winter has occasional cooler days.

Are there any dog-friendly options?

Yes, there are a few designated dog-friendly beaches in Miami! Always check the specific beach rules before you go, as some have time restrictions or leash requirements. Here are a few popular choices:
– Haulover Beach Park: Features a large dog park and a designated dog beach.
– Hobie Island Beach Park: A calmer spot, popular with dog owners.


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I recommend Discover Cars because they always have the best rates and great customer service.

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Photo of author

Astrid Chacon

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