10 Best Family Activities for Spring Break at the Beach

Planning your annual family trip to the beach for spring break this year? Spring break at the beach is not complete with some family fun! No matter if the kids are little or all grown up, all of our areas along the Gulf Coast have something to do for travelers of all ages. Explore our picks for the 10 best family activities for spring break at the beach below. We’re sharing our favorite activities for wherever you’re vacationing, whether you’re staying in one of our Panama City Beach vacation condos or a beachfront home in Gulf Shores. The best part is that you can book these activities directly with our Southern Perks partners and enjoy exclusive discounts at the same time.

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Southern’s Top 10 Best Family Activities for Spring Break

1. Panama City Beach

Families of all ages will love a day of play at Gulf World Marine Park. Open daily rain or shine, from 10 AM until 3 PM, you’ll have the chance to see bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, harbor seals, penguins, and more. In addition, Gulf World is home to the only collection of rough-toothed dolphins in long-term human care in North America! They’re also dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine mammals and sea turtles.

Book your Gulf World Marine Park experience here.

2. 30A

Looking for a way to relax on 30A? Book a beach bonfire with 30A Beach Bonfires. Those cool spring nights will be welcome when you’re enjoying a bonfire at the beach! They provide all supplies and even offer a s’mores package for a true campfire experience. Beach bonfires are available at all Walton County public beach access points, no matter where you stay with us on 30A.

Book your beach bonfire here.

3. Destin

Destin is home to so many fun activities, from fishing charters to snorkel excursions and pontoon boat rentals. However, it’s not a trip to Destin until you’ve seen dolphins swimming in their natural habitat! Plan to go out on a dolphin cruise with your family and watch their faces light up as they see dolphins swim right next to the boat. A trip aboard the Hannah Marie is Destin’s most popular dolphin excursion, and you are sure to have a great time!

Book your Destin dolphin cruise here.

4. Fort Walton Beach

Located just minutes from Destin, the fun in Fort Walton Beach on Okaloosa Island continues with more dolphin cruises, fishing charters, and water activities galore. For the anglers in your group, book a semi-private fishing charter for as many as 13 people with Olin Marler Charters. Not only will you set out on a cruise with some of the most knowledgeable captains in our area, but you’re guaranteed to have a great time, too!

Book your Fort Walton Beach fishing charter here.

5. Navarre Beach

Staying in Navarre Beach? Venture off the beaten path and head to Blackwater River. Canoeing, kayaking, and tubing are popular activities here. Blackwater River is one of the last true wilderness getaways in Florida; it’s a clear spring-fed water with a walking-speed current that is safe and fun for all ages. Choose a short trip (1.5-2 hours) or a longer day trip (5-6 hours). Just bring your sunscreen and a cooler for drinks and food and you’ll be all set.

Book your Blackwater River experience in Navarre Beach here.

6. Pensacola Beach

With Bay and Gulf access on Pensacola Beach, there’s no better place to venture out on a boat for the day. For a relaxing day of fun under the sun, book a pontoon boat rental in Pensacola Beach and cruise away on your very own adventure. These pontoon boat rentals are designed for as many as 12 guests and offer up to eight hours out on the water. Just stock up on sunscreen and snacks, and you’re all set!

Book your pontoon boat rental in Pensacola Beach here.

7. Perdido Key

Perdido Key’s quiet atmosphere is a perfect place for family vacations since this uncrowded stretch of beach offers everything from mid-rise condos to beautiful homes right on the water. For fun beach activities, venture into nearby Orange Beach and treat yourself to a private dolphin and sightseeing cruise. If you’re lucky, you may even see some sea turtles and native birds! This private cruise is perfect for as many as six passengers along with families with young children or infants.

Book your dolphin cruise in Perdido Key here.

8. Orange Beach

Meanwhile, for those traveling with older kids, book a parasailing tour in Orange Beach through Chute ‘Em Up. Soar 400 feet in the air above Orange Beach and take in the Gulf from a new perspective! Parasailing trips can accommodate up to three flyers and 15 passengers at a time. Photography packages are available as well!

Book your parasailing cruise in Orange Beach here.

9. Gulf Shores

There is a myriad of fun things to do on vacation in Gulf Shores, but our pick for one of the 10 best family activities for spring break is not at the beach – it’s at OWA Amusement Park in Foley. OWA is just a quick 20-minute drive away from your Gulf Shores vacation rental offers endless fun for the whole family. Over 23 attractions, incredible restaurants, and more await. You can even venture into some of OWA’s in-park shops or let the little ones cool off at the splash pad. Park admission is good for the entire day and you may even catch regular events, shows, and musical acts.

Get your tickets to OWA here.

10. Fort Morgan

Lastly, Fort Morgan’s peaceful waters make for an ideal place to experience stand-up paddleboarding. This relaxing activity is perfect for all ages and can be easily mastered, even if you have never done it before. Rent your paddleboards through our Tripshock partners and enjoy free delivery along with a paddle and lifejacket included. You’ll also receive basic instruction to help you feel comfortable on the paddleboard. Venture out into the many waters in Fort Morgan and experience the Gulf Coast like never before!

Rent your stand-up paddleboards in Fort Morgan here.

In search of more vacation inspiration?

Visit our Gulf Coast Guide to learn more about what you can do while on vacation. We’ll see you at the beach this spring!