The Best Florida Resorts For Family Holidays
Florida has to be one of the very best destinations in the world for family holidays. Florida’s top family resorts have programs designed for children of all ages. Some of the more popular activities are instruction in water sports such as snorkelling, waterskiing, windsurfing and sailing – others offer coaching in tennis and golf. For younger children, the resorts organise special days around a theme, with crafts, activities and games. The programs are often part of your holiday package, but some resorts charge an additional amount per day for each activity.
The Northeast Coast
Set on lovely Amelia Island, Amelia Island Plantation, covers 1350 acres, with winding roads and paths that meander through natural woodlands. Here you’ll find Kids’ Camps, and a Teen Explorers program that offers tennis and golf clinics, arts and crafts, and field trips, plus a highly popular games room.
The giant 2400-acre Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort has many activities for kids: sailing, tennis, kayaking, golf, and the Jolee Island Nature Park with pirate-ship playground. Watersports include body surfing, with complimentary boogie boards. Programs include day and night activities for teens and a water park.
The 800-room Nickelodeon Family Suites, located within five minutes of Disney World in Orlando, will be a big hit with your kids. The resort’s pool is actually a water park, and a complimentary nine-hole miniature golf course, several basketball courts, and a state-of-the-art theatre are all geared for family fun.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort has the relaxed feel of a brightly coloured island village – a perfect setting for a moderately priced family holiday. Parrot Cay, a one-acre adventure island built in the middle of a lake, is a play area for children, connected to the lakeshore by footbridges. A wide variety of eating options will satisfy the fussiest eaters. Another exceptional accommodation option for Disney World visitors, the new All-Star Music Resort Family Suites are particularly inexpensive and family-friendly. They sleep a family of six and offer two full baths and a kitchenette with microwave and refrigerator.
At Universal Studios Florida, you can choose from three luxury resort hotels: Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, and Portofino Bay Hotel. Here you are within easy reach of Universal’s theme parks, their Wet ’n Wild water park, themed restaurants, entertainment complex and a 20-screen movie theatre.
On the central west coast, The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort, a five-star resort, on Longboat Key, was named the 5th Best Family Resort in the United State by Child magazine in 2006. The complimentary children’s programs include a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities.
The Southeast Coast
Located on the St. Lucie River, the Club Med Sandpiper has a great ambiance and its outstanding programs include waterskiing and wakeboarding, inline skating, tennis and golf, plus a circus school, complete with flying trapeze. The Breakers, at Palm Beach, is particularly suited for families. Children 17 and under stay for free, and kids from 3–12 can attend the Coconut Crew Interactive Camp for a fun day of tennis, golf, arts and crafts, lawn hockey, or swimming. The family entertainment centre includes a toddlers’ room, a computer X-box room, and Italian restaurant.
The Southwest Coast
Noted for its Victorian style, with big verandas and wicker rockers on the porch, Sanibel Harbor Resort and Spa is a top-rated 80-acre oceanfront resort that overlooks Sanibel and Captiva islands. There is a Kids Club for ages 5–12. At the South Seas Resort on Captive Island, you can paddle a kayak, canoe or rent a Hobie; try the fishing, parasailing and body boarding at the beach; bike or jog; join in the Fun Factory kids’ programs, and there are excellent teen and family activities.