Family-Friendly Getaway for Summer: The Palm Beaches, Florida
Summer vacation planning is in full swing, and while some of us like to retreat to a spot cooler than our backyard, many like to embrace the heat and sunshine full force, especially when you have summer-loving kids in tow. If surfing, sand, and sailing are priorities on your vacation wish list this year and you don’t want to trek out of the country, then hop on over to sunny South Florida for a Caribbean-like vacation that is family- (and wallet) friendly!
Welcome to Palm Beach County!
Palm Beach County, Florida not only boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes and scenery in the southern US, but also has a great selection of luxurious resort accommodations for families big and small, as well as a plethora of family-friendly activities to keep everyone happy. Located on the southeast border of Florida along the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, this area is perfect for vacationing families who love the heat and sunshine, but want to keep their passports at home. Traveling to Palm Beach in the summer will definitely keep you warm (so drink up!), but it won’t scorch your wallets, as vacationing here in the summer provides you with off-season rates and availability, so you’re able to enjoy amazing stays at otherwise pricey resorts for a great deal!
We’re letting you dip your toes into the Palm Beach area by giving you a traveler’s look into some of the best places to stay, things to do, and restaurants to eat at, from one end of the county to the other.
Where To Stay
Boca Raton Resort & Club | Boca Beach Club
In Boca Raton, Florida (at the southern most point of Palm Beach County) there’s no better place to spend a week or more for the summer than at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. This historic, sophisticated, and gorgeous resort gives you plenty to look at and do, provides the perfect amount of activities and events for the kiddos, and allows you many options of award-winning places to eat at, all in one place, so there’s no need to leave the resort if you don’t want to! Park your car for the week and unpack in Floridian paradise.
From the soft pink stucco exterior to the intricate molding and chandelier interior, this Mediterranean inspired resort is exquisite in the beautiful details that make up its design. You’ll find hundreds of palms and rare trees dotting the resort grounds, with bubbling decorative tiled fountains and modern sculptures placed throughout. With tiny lizards darting in and out of the well manicured shrubs, your kids will love this natural playground and you’ll appreciate the sereneness and beauty of your surroundings.
The guest rooms are simple and modern in design, with crisp white classiness that makes falling asleep at night an easy feat. There are bungalow suites available on the secluded golf course area of the resort that are perfect for hosting families for a week or more, each with a full kitchen and lots of space for pack n plays and moody teenagers.
Once you’ve checked in and you’ve helped yourself to a glass of citrus flavored water, slip on your suit and head over to the pool. Sandwiched between the famous Flow House and the boat slips, you have a wonderful view no matter which way you look. Rent a cabana for the day, which is ideal for napping a sun drunk toddler or giving your sports obsessed husband his outlet (yes, there’s a large screen TV in each cabana!).
With a wide range of kid-friendly activities available exclusively for club members and resort guests through the Quest Club, you can rest assured that your kids are safe, happy, and being entertained as you’re soaking at the spa and your husband is teeing off. Summer camps, hourly childcare, and access to the Rec-Deck, Nature Deck, and TechSpot are just a few of the kid-friendly activity options available.
Stay at either the Boca Raton Resort & Club, nestled along the Intracoastal Waterway or the Boca Beach Club, home to a spectacular oceanfront view. With just a short bus or boat ride apart from each other, by staying at either place, you can enjoy all the amenities of both, opening up your vacationing options even further!
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
In Manalapan, Florida (further north in Palm Beach County) the exquisite Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa sits oceanside with a stunning view of the Atlantic, and offers a wide range of adult and kid-friendly activities, from spa treatments and water sports to kid’s karaoke and build-your-own-stuffed-animal, making it a great place for the whole family to vacation at this summer.
And it wouldn’t be a complete family vacation without Fido tagging along, so feel free to load up your four legged friend in the van, because he’s more than welcome at this dog-friendly resort.
This beautiful resort with its intimate private beach is tucked among a lush garden of palm trees, pristinely manicured lawns, and feels more like an island escape than a Florida getaway. Relax on the lounge chairs by the pool, the plush sofas on the shaded terrace, or around the stunning fire pit chatting with newfound friends or your all-of-a-sudden super talkative teen.
If it’s possible, the interior of the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa might even be more breathtakingly beautiful than the outside. With a mixture of luxurious high-class decor in the lobby and modern, bright prints and colors throughout the halls and guest rooms, this resort boasts beauty in many different ways, pleasing the eyes for every member of the family, no matter their age.
As you walk down the geometrical carpeted hallway pass the bright teal and white doors to your own room for the week, you’ll feel both refreshed and excited. When you enter your room, you’ll be greeted by bold, bright designs, patterns, and textures that play against each other in the most harmonious way (not to mention the complimentary beach bag and flip flops that you get to wear throughout the resort and take home with you).
The guest rooms were given makeovers by designer Jonathan Adler just last year, so as your toddler admires the huge neon yellow parrot print in the bathroom and you lust over the wallpapered walls, you’ll love knowing that your family gets to stay in a newly designed and fresh room that everyone will have a hard time leaving.
With several dining options right on the resort grounds, and a Club Level access option, you’ll be able to eat magnificent food around the clock all day long, along with impeccable service.
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa may have one of the best children’s resort club programs we’ve ever seen. With the Aquanuts and Coast areas available for kids ages 5 through teens, there’s something for every kid to enjoy that is guaranteed to keep them entertained for hours on end. Rock walls, a pirate ship, a performing stage with beanbag audience seating, a massive dressing up room and play salon, DJ and karaoke area, and computer station are just a handful of the options available for kid-friendly entertainment that is safe and adult-free, leaving everyone to go their separate ways for a few hours each day, which we must admit is sometimes the only way to make a family vacation successful!
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa
Singer Island in Northern Palm Beach County is home to the uber kid-friendly Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa. Situated on a beautiful private beach that is one of the widest in all of Florida, there are countless activities for both adults and kids to partake in if they are staying here for their summer family vacation.
The lobby and interior is spacious and inviting, with high ceilings and lots of plush seating. This resort is small enough to be able to maneuver everywhere you need to go without feeling lost and turned around as in some larger resorts, which is good for being able to keep a close eye on your kids.
Outdoors you will find a beautiful mosaic tiled waterfall beside plenty of comfortable seating, gorgeous views of the stunning Atlantic Ocean, and two fabulous pools with cabanas available for rent. Adults can take advantage of the infinity pool with an ocean view while the kids splash away in the larger pool on the opposite side of the resort, that is complete with a smaller baby area, a massive waterfall, and a water slide, all tucked amongst palm trees, large natural rocks, and lush greenery.
Every guest room in the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is suite-style, making it ideal for families. There is a kitchen, living room, and of course bedrooms and bathrooms, providing plenty of space for pack n plays, sleeping bags, and mountains of luggage. Of course the icing on the cake is the included washer and dryer that is located inside the room. That’s every mother’s dream for summer vacationing with kids in tow!
The Kid’s Club at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa provides a fun and supervised area for kids ages 4-12 to explore the beach, play in the air-conditioned play room, or partake in the daily scheduled activities that include anything from metal detecting treasure hunts, to making jewelry, to water balloon games and tie dying t-shirts!
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
What To Do
If you’re staying near Boca Raton or at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, take the family out to Mizner Park one afternoon or evening. Only a short drive away, this outdoor plaza features the best in Boca Raton shopping, dining, and entertainment. Tucked amongst towering palm trees and lush landscaping, the soft pink buildings hold everything from children’s apparel, home decor shops, and shoe stores, to a movie theater, amphitheater, lots of delicious restaurants, and even the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
There’s something for every member of the family to enjoy, so take the dog out for a walk, let the kids run around and get some exercise, pop your head into a few shops, and let Dad sit on a bench admiring the fancy sports cars that line the streets.
at the Boca Beach Club
If you’re staying at either the Boca Raton Resort & Club or the Boca Beach Club, be sure to head on down to the Boca Beach Club’s private beach for surfing lessons, paddle boarding, jet skiing, skim boarding, and more. Whether you sign up for private lessons, a surf clinic, or just show up for some low key water sports, which may include simply letting your toddler float on a boogie board, you’ll be able to spend quality time with your family while you all soak in the sun and sand together.
Obviously the Florida sun is hot during the summer, so be prepared to surf the day away by packing extra sunscreen, a hat with ties, and cheap sunglasses. Pick up a Surf Boca rashguard in the gift shop before heading out on the water to protect your skin from the sun and to make surfing more comfortable, not to mention stylish!
at the Boca Raton Resort & Club
For guests of the Boca Raton Resort & Club and Boca Beach Club, the new Flowrider is a family-friendly activity that you and your kids will have a blast partaking in! Best for older children, teenagers, and adults, this surf simulator is only one of three in the whole state of Florida, and the only one in Florida considered a Flow House (which consists of a Flowrider and eatery combo).
Ride the waves in a controlled, yet accurate environment for hours of water fun! Rent a cabana right next to the Flowrider for the day so mom can relax in the shade while she watches her kids and husband hang ten. When the waves wipe everyone out, take a break by eating some casual California cuisine at the Flowrider’s eatery Shaka Bar & Grill, then hit the water again.
If you didn’t already pick up a Surf Boca rashguard for beach surfing lessons, you’ll definitely want one now, especially if you plan on flowriding in a bikini top!
Mizner’s Quest Treasure Hunt and Tour
at the Boca Raton Resort & Club
Upon check in at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, every kid gets a Quest Club Treasure Hunt Map and pink crayon encased in a clear holder and lanyard. This free activity is perfect for families who want to explore the resort and learn more about this historic landmark, and it’s great for kids who love adventures!
Simply open up the map and spend a couple of hours walking around the beautiful resort, finding 17 Points of Discovery highlighted with Mizner’s Quest plaques. The map has a matching puzzle piece that goes with the piece on each plaque, so line up the puzzle pieces and rub over them with the crayon until the map is completed.
Fun for both kids and parents, you’ll end up learning a lot, and you’ll get to know the 356-acre resort like the back of your hand, which can come in handy for picking a place to eat or finding a bathroom at a moment’s notice!
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
Everglades Airboat Ride
at the Sawgrass Recreation Park
In Weston, Florida, at the Sawgrass Recreation Park, you can hop on board an airboat for an adventurous and educational tour of part of the Everglades that span an almost 4 million acre area. During the tour, you’ll catch glimpses of wild alligators, an assortment of fish, turtles, snakes, and more as you glide effortlessly over the shallow water and grasses. Perfect for the whole family, you can all enjoy pointing out alligator sightings and learning how Native Americans once survived in this area by utilizing the grasses in creative and life sustaining ways.
Spend a morning in Palm Beach County on an Everglades Airboat Ride, but come prepared to brave the adventure! Ear plugs are provided as the boat can be a bit loud, life jackets are available for smaller kids, and be sure to bring sunscreen, water, and a hat that ties under the chin. There’s even a photographer who will take your picture on the boat and you can purchase it afterwards for a family memory that will last forever!
Lion Country Safari
In lovely Loxahatchee, Florida there is a safari that kids and adults alike will love going on, as everyone enjoys seeing giraffes, zebras, and lions up close and personal (at least behind fences and in the safety of your car). The Lion Country Safari is a drive-thru safari where a vast assortment of over 900 animals await you to admire their beauty and exoticness.
After you’ve driven through the African safari lands, hop out of the car and enter the walk-thru amusement park. Full of rides, a waterpark, eateries, shopping, animal encounters and feedings, and much more, you can spend a whole afternoon of family fun at the Lion Country Safari!
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary
Jupiter, Florida hosts the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a non-profit animal rescue that protects and conserves Florida’s wildlife and natural resources. Spend an afternoon walking through the trails at the free admission sanctuary admiring an assortment of birds, panthers, bears, reptiles, and more.
Kids love zoos and animals, so this is a great activity to both satisfy their animal sightings while also teaching them the importance of rescuing and protecting animals. Located around the trails are donation boxes, so dig through your pockets for spare change and allow your children to drop in the coins, which makes both them, you, and the animals a bit happier!
Loggerhead Marine Life Center
In Juno Beach, Florida the Loggerhead Marine Life Center brings in families all day long to admire the amazing sea turtles that reside at the center. In large pools there are big and small sea turtles that delight both kids and adults. This non-profit, free admission center has a veterinary clinic, children’s research station, an indoor area with fish tanks and educational activities as well as an impressive gift shop, and an outdoor play area with larger than life sting rays, turtles, and starfish for climbing on.
Sea turtles are well protected in the Palm Beach area by hotels and residents, and the Loggerhead Marine Life Center makes sure that there is continued protection for these precious creatures.
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
Where To Eat
In the heart of Boca Raton, located at Mizner Park, is the famous Max’s Grille. For 20 years this modern American bistro restaurant has remained a favorite for both residents and guests of the Boca Raton area. With modern, contemporary decor and a stunning menu with reasonable prices, this is the perfect casual dining place to take your family for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Choose buttery noodles from the kid’s menu for your tot, share the Spicy Hong Kong Lettuce Wraps with the table, indulge in the special Mussel and Mahi Spaghetti, and finish the meal with a light and refreshing sorbet in a praline basket. Don’t forget to check out the impressive wine, beer, and cocktail list for the adults that are making this vacation possible!
Shaka Bar & Grill
at the Boca Raton Resort & Club
If you’re staying at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, then you’ve probably already run into this gem of an eatery! Part of the Flow House, the new Shaka Bar & Grill sits between the pool and the Flowrider, making it a super convenient place to grab a bite between wading and riding. This California themed bar & grill offers a delicious assortment of light beach food and yummy drinks.
You must try the Grilled Mexican Style Street Corn that not only tastes great, but the presentation is super fun! For fruit lovers, the Seasonal Fruit starter is a refreshing and fun way to enjoy a range of tropical tasting fruits, with the fruit cut into “sticks” and served alongside a sweet chili dipping sauce. Grab a salad, taco, or burger and be sure to add a drink to your order, because you can’t really enjoy being poolside without a frozen Shakacolada in hand.
You’re on vacation, so treat the whole family to snow cones for dessert, from special alcoholic flavors to a chocolate monkey, cotton candy, or watermelon splash for the younger crowd.
at the Boca Raton Resort & Club
Inside the Boca Raton Resort & Club sits Serendipity, a colorful and fun place inspired by the iconic New York restaurant. This is a candy shop, gift shop, ice cream store, coffee bar, and sandwich shop all rolled into one funky area, complete with an array of Tiffany-style lamps hanging from the ceiling and Art Nouveau fabric walls.
This is a great place for the kids to grab a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, mom to enjoy an iced coffee, and dad to gobble up a cheddar bacon hot dog!
at the Boca Raton Resort & Club
At the top of the Boca Raton Resort & Club tower, on the 27th floor, resides The Blue, a New American restaurant serving up local, seasonal seafood, sophisticated cocktails, and breathtaking sunset views of the Intracoastal Waterway, Atlantic Ocean, and Palm Beach County. Enjoy the clean lines, modern decor, and deep blue set against stark white, for a sophisticated coastal inspired feel.
Some favorites on the menu include the Deviled Eggs starter, that include pickled beet and fennel eggs (yes, they are bright purple and delicious!), the Lobster Toast, and of course the Chef’s Seafood Tower Claw Bar.
Don’t shy away from bringing your kids to dinner at this fine-dining restaurant, as there are plenty of mocktails to be had, crab cracking to enjoy, and boat sightings to entertain them.
at the Boca Raton Resort & Club
For guests of the Boca Raton Resort & Spa, Palm Court is the place to wake up and enjoy a feast for breakfast. Centrally located in the resort, Palm Court is nestled indoors among palm trees and shrubbery, with deep blue and white plush sofas, and a stunning high glassed ceiling representative of the iconic palm trees that bathe Palm Beach County.
There is basically everything that your palate desires, from a full breakfast buffet complete with hot entrees, such as the delicious Eggs Benedict, a fruit assortment, cereals, baked goods, delectable cheeses and smoked salmon, an omelet bar and much more. Tucked next to the omelet bar is where you can find masses of children as they order their mini Belgian waffles, and then top them off with whipped cream, sprinkles, M&Ms, Nutella, mini chocolate chips, and fruit (if you’re lucky). Hey, it’s vacation mom!
Palm Court is not only a great family-friendly breakfast place, it’s also used as a hang out common area during the day and evening; a place to sit and relax in the air conditioning while drinking a chocolate milk or a specialty cocktail.
at the Boca Raton Resort & Club
Located inside the Boca Raton Resort & Spa is Lucca, a Tuscan inspired, modern Mediterranean restaurant with a great view of the Intracoastal Waterway. The moody dim lighting accompanies the open arched kitchen with a stunning mosaic tile wall and hand blown Murano chandeliers hang delicately from the high ceiling.
Enjoy a delicious Italian family dinner that evokes both laughter and fine wine. Mom and Dad can help themselves to a glass from the award-winning wine list, while the kids order an authentic mini pizza and color with the fun triangular shaped crayons and coloring sheets that are provided. Enjoy appetizers family-style, antipasti dishes, pizzettas, and pastas for an inventive Tuscan taste.
After the kids are stuffed with pasta and pizza, tease them with the Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Fonduta, that comes complete with housemade marshmallows, brownies, blondies, pistachio madeleines, and strawberries and bananas.
at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa
3800 Ocean lives inside the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, and brings you a delicious made-from-scratch “collective kitchen” experience as well as beautiful oceanfront views. You’re able to dine on a wide variety of different cuisines, from South Florida’s bounty of crops to the regional flavors inspired by each chef, taken from New England, Mexico, Jamaica, and Long Island. There should be something to please everyone in your family, for both breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
The beautiful modern decor and open airy atmosphere is the perfect setting for the magnificent backdrop that 3800 Ocean boasts. While you dine on the Garlic-Thyme Lamb Flatbread Wrap or the Grilled Chicken Breast “Pretzel Club”, the deep blue ocean, bleached white sand, and magnificent palms provide a peaceful place to rest your eyes.
End your meal with a classic kid favorite, ice cream and cookies. Choose from a wide ice cream selection, have them warm up a chocolate cookie, and enjoy the perfect ending to a beautiful vacation day.
at the Eau Resort & Spa
Situated oceanside at the beautiful Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, Breeze is the perfect place to go when the water play has made your stomach start rumbling. As you sit poolside or at the outdoor bar, you can order light fare and refreshing cocktails, such as gourmet burgers, seafood, and delectable salads. The Atlantic Ocean is just steps away, so as you dine on a mouthwatering watermelon, beet, and feta salad and a feast of lobster, crab, and mussels, you can enjoy watching the waves break and the salty air sweep over your face.
As dusk approaches, order Breeze’s signature S’mores platter, complete with monogrammed chocolates and skewers. Roast your marshmallows over the tableside fire heaters or at the terrace deck’s fire pit for a family-friendly, reminiscent, and classic dessert course.
In Jupiter, Florida there is a restaurant that transports you into an authentic Floridian paradise, complete with palm and banyan trees galore, luscious landscaping, cheeky huts, waterfront location, stone pathways and bridges, and fresh seafood straight from the native waters of Florida. Guanabanas is the ultimate dining experience that is completely family-friendly in more ways than one!
This 100% open-air restaurant and bar sits alongside the Jupiter River where you can watch paddle boarders navigate the waters while you dine on locally sourced, straight from Florida seafood, enjoy live music, and bask under the misters that help keep you cool in the Florida heat.
Old Key Lime House
Located in Lantana, Florida the Old Key Lime House has sat here for years pleasing their customers with great food and great views, earning the title of Florida’s oldest waterfront restaurant. This family-owned and operated restaurant is fun and bright from the outside to the inside, featuring a large welcoming shark on the front patio, a lobster tank in the lobby, open air dining under a huge tiki hut, and beach-themed decor that the whole family will love. Sit dockside while you watch boats come in and out, enjoying the cool breezes, refreshing drinks, and stunning Florida sunset.
While you’re dining on fresh fish and island cuisine, sipping on a Rum Runner, and admiring the Old Key Lime House’s signature boat, your kids can take a break from eating their mac and cheese and play in the Kids Zone play area. Located right next to the dining area, this fenced in, mulched and palm covered outdoor space has lots of toys, play kitchens, and slides, perfect for giving kids a space to run around.
Palm Beach County, Florida has so much to offer in the way of family-friendliness that it’s a great spot to vacation at this summer. Pack up the family, hit the road or the sky, and make this summer break one to remember! Maybe you want to make the Palm Beach area home or a second home? Check out West Palm Beach real estate.
There’s so much fun to discover in Palm Beach we couldn’t possibly cover it all, so for more details and information about this family-friendly summer destination, be sure to check out Discover the Palm Beaches, Florida.
Photo Credits: Dani
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Dani lives in North Carolina with her two preschoolers. She is a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom who loves to clean and organize anything and everything. Her happiness is found in Jesus, days at the spa, and combating dark chocolate peanut butter cups with everyday workouts at the gym. She owns a wedding, lifestyle, and freelance photography business, Dani Nicole Photography.