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The best Florida family beach destinations for when spring break returns

By Neil Gladstone, Oyster.com on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Although Florida is currently closed to nonessential travel, it won't be that way forever. Florida has more than 600 miles of beaches. Chances are at least one section of the sandy stretch around the edge of the Sunshine State will make your family happy. But every brood has different spring break priorities. Maybe your perfect tanning spot needs to be near a theme park, or chock-full of reasonably priced family restaurants, or kissed by clear blue, soothing waves. Here's where to go for Florida family spring break when it's safe to visit.

Fort De Soto Park

Located about 14 miles southwest of St. Petersburg, Fort De Soto Park is spread out over five small islands connected by bridges and causeways. These west coast keys have everything you'd want in a beach getaway: Three miles of beach, two swim centers, two fishing piers, and seven miles of trails - no motor vehicles allowed. There's marine life and wildlife to peep on those walks, including 328 bird species and a loggerhead sea turtle refuge. The 1,100 acres even include some notable history, as Native Americans inhabited the land around 1,000 A.D. and Union troops built fortifications on the islands during the Civil War to help with the blockade of Tampa Bay.

Families who camp can reserve a space to stay overnight, and the facilities include restrooms, grills and washing machines. Boaters should take advantage of the one of the park's 11 docks.

Singer Island

While Singer Island is located in a ritzy neighborhood - just a short ride from West Palm Beach - it has beautiful, wallet-friendly places where the whole family can enjoy the sun. MacArthur Park includes a beach as well as several designated sections preserving natural wildlife and plants. Ocean Reef Park is usually uncrowded in the morning and has picnic areas and a kids' playground. Singer Island is also a launching pad for deep sea fishing trips and snorkel tours. If you like water sports, you can rent a kayak, Jet Ski, paddleboard or even a hydroflying jetpack (it's like having two firehoses attached your feet, but in a fun way).

 

Siesta Key

While most beaches are covered in sand made of pulverized coral, the fine powder on Siesta Beach is quartz. The mineral traveled down hillsides via rivers, eventually being deposited on Florida's western shore. And that material change makes a big difference. Unlike coral, the reflective powder (which feels like flour) quartz keeps cool even on piping hot days.

The quartz sand, turquoise waters and numerous amenities make Siesta Beach a consistent top choice for families. In addition to a free parking lot large enough for 1,000 cars, the beach also features several restaurants. The Sunday night drum circle that brings together several generations of people in search of a good beat.

The Siesta Key area also has two other notable beaches and a small village. Crescent Beach, south of Siesta Beach, has one small public access point and caters to local resort-goers. Turtle Beach is preferred by beachgoers looking for a more secluded option, and is better for older kids and adults. There are also fewer amenities. A little ways from the beach, Siesta Key village has numerous fun seafood restaurants and cute shops.

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