Vacationing with little ones? Here are the best 30A family activities, broken down by type of activity and location.
If you’re looking for a vacation destination that’s perfect for all ages, look no further than 30A Florida.
This hidden gem of a vacation spot is nestled between Destin and Panama City Beach, both of which are among the best (and best-known) family vacation destinations in Florida. Within an hour’s drive from the Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A ultimate beach house in Inlet Beach are the waterparks and animal encounters of Destin and the kid-friendly museums and themed cruises of Panama City Beach.
Staying in 30A – one of Florida’s best-kept secrets – means you’re close enough to enjoy all the tourist attractions Destin and Panama City Beach have to offer, but you get to leave behind the crowds once the day trip is over. Once you return to your home away from home, you get to experience the laid-back beach vibes that made the locals fall in love with the Florida Panhandle. This is the real Emerald Coast, and your family is sure to love it.
Check out the Latitudes and Attitudes Guide to 30A for Families below.
Adventure, relaxation, play – families on 30A get it all when they stay with us.
From the exciting adventures of a lifetime to the small but memorable moments of simple family fun, the best family activities on 30A will make this vacation a trip your kids will never forget.
If you’ve ever been to Miami, Fort Myers, Key West, or even Panama City Beach when college students flock there for spring break, you have probably realized that not all beaches are equally family-friendly. The loud, drunken crowds of partying college kids aren’t ideal when you’re traveling with little ones.
You want to take them to a beach that’s peaceful but still exciting—where there aren’t loud crowds, but you also don’t have to worry about them being the ones disturbing the peace by making the normal level of noise that kids make when they’re playing.
The beaches of 30A Florida are the perfect fit for families like yours.
Southern Living and Travel + Leisure have highlighted the wonder of our little section of the Florida Panhandle, naming Inlet Beach among the top “beaches that look like the Caribbean” and South Walton County a “trending destination” for 2022. Read more about what they had to say.
A 30A vacation is a trip you take to the area of the Florida Panhandle that’s located along Highway 30A and the Gulf of Mexico. The beaches here are pristine, off the beaten path, and often a lot more family-friendly than what you will find in areas of the Sunshine State that are best known as party beaches.
The family-friendly 30A beach region is one of Florida’s best-kept secrets. You’ll find things to do for all ages in these charming beach towns, from designated kids’ activities to experiences that are fun for the whole family.
We may be a little biased, given the location of the Latitudes and Attitudes beach house, but we’ll make the case that Inlet Beach is the best beach on 30a for families. It’s the largest stretch of public beach in South Walton, extending over more than 13 acres.
Inlet Beach shares the same stunning scenery—crystal clear turquoise Gulf water and white sand—as its neighboring beaches. However, Inlet Beach is a little calmer, without the big, fancy weddings that are common at nearby Rosemary Beach or the bustle of life in Seacrest Beach. Parents tend to find that it’s a little easier to relax here and let the kids be kids—playing without the worry of photobombing a bride’s wedding pictures or encountering the dangers that come with larger crowds.
“Calm” doesn’t mean “boring.” Inlet Beach offers something few other 30A beaches have: its own snorkel reef. Just off the coast of the beach, close enough to paddle or swim to, Cobia Snorkel Reef has become home to sea turtles, octopi, dolphins, and all kinds of fish since it was constructed in 2017. This fish-shaped artificial reef is the perfect place for little explorers to learn to snorkel and get an up-close glimpse of the wonderful world of marine life in action.
Of course, which beach is the “best” is a matter of perception. Kids’ activities on 30A can be found in any of our unique and picturesque beach towns, and we encourage our guests to get to know each of the 30A beaches and their own unique vibes and personalities.
If you’re planning a 30A vacation with kids, you need to keep them entertained. Fortunately, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities to enjoy here on the Emerald Coast.
Here are some of the best activities for family fun 30A (and approximately how long it takes to get to them from the Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A beach house).
Just because you’re not heading to Orlando to visit one of the major theme parks that consumes your entire vacation doesn’t mean you have to skip the thrill rides completely. More than half a dozen low-key theme parks are within an hour’s drive of Latitudes and Attitudes beach house. You’ve got access to all the carousels, Ferris wheels, roller coasters, and other amusement park rides you could want.
Our location is the perfect destination for a more laidback day trip to an amusement park (the kind that won’t make you feel that you need a vacation from your vacation).
The 30A Florida region is home to amazing animals on land and in the Gulf (not to mention the animals living in our zoos and aquariums). If you’d like a close encounter with one or more of these species, consider scheduling an event with one of the following companies.
Who doesn’t have fond childhood memories of whiling away an afternoon playing pinball, Skee-Ball, and classic video games? Recreate your own youth and share the fun with your kids at one of the 10 arcades and indoor gaming establishments within an hour’s drive of Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A beach house.
Show off your creative side and make a one-of-a-kind souvenir to remember your travels to 30A with art-making classes and activities—like painting, 3D multimedia art, and glass art—guided and inspired by professionals.
The peaceful communities of 30A were practically built for bicycles. In fact, bikes are the inspiration for the name and logo of the shopping and retail center Peddlers Pavilion in nearby Seacrest. You’ll find plenty of great biking trails in 30A Florida, but certain trails are particularly family-friendly and good for children due to their fun and easy routes, scenic surroundings, access to attractions, and of course, their safe and well-maintained paths.
Note: If bringing your family’s own bikes isn’t possible, bike rentals for all ages are widely available across the beaches of 30A. If you stop to shop, dine, or explore on foot, remember to lock your bikes for your security.
Bowling has been a favorite activity for kids for generations, and it still hasn’t gone out of style. In fact, fun, themed bowling alleys in the 30A area make an afternoon spent at the bowling alley even more special. Whether you bowl a strike or a gutter ball, your whole family is sure to enjoy a game or two (or more!).
Dolphins are a perennial favorite, as playful and fun as they are sleek and graceful. Dolphin-watching tours and cruises—sometimes held on jet skis instead of traditional boats—are among the most popular activities in the area.
Fishing is a favorite activity among 30A visitors and locals alike—but not every fishing charter is suitable for children. All-day trips can be too long to hold kids’ interests, and little ones may need help to learn the fundamentals of fishing. Fishing charters that offer shorter trips and child-friendly instruction, like the ones listed below, are ideal for families traveling with children.
Go-Karts are the perfect joyride experience for kids—and, for that matter, for the whole family. Feel the wind in your hair as you zoom around traditional, elevated, and formula tracks and race your friends and family members in one-person and two-person cars. Some of the tracks in our area even offer special tracks and cars for the little ones.
Gymnastics is a serious sport, but one-off activity classes can also be a lot of fun—especially for little ones. In addition to offering ongoing classes for locals, the following gymnastics studios in our area offer special activities (and, in some cases, childcare that allows parents to enjoy a night out) for visiting little ones.
30A is the perfect place to catch a live show. Symphonies, concerts, dance performances, plays, and musicals are just some of the events that guests can attend at live theatres within an hour’s drive of our ultimate beach house. While parents should look up age recommendations for any show they are considering, there have historically been numerous family-friendly performances and events that will entertain and enthrall young audiences.
The Emerald Coast has its share of golf destinations for grownups, but kids can get in on the fun, too, at charming putt-putt courses that are sure to amuse golfers of all ages and skill levels. From perfectly manicured landscapes that tie into the natural beauty of the Florida Panhandle (plus an artificial waterfall or two) to heavily themed mini-golf courses inspired by pirates, dinosaurs, and safari animals, our area has a mini-golf course that’s sure to please your family—including indoor courses perfect for a rainy day.
If going to see the latest family film or the current blockbuster is part of your vacation tradition, you’re in luck. Movie theatres are plentiful in our area. We all know that nothing compares to seeing a movie on the big screen (just don’t forget the popcorn!). Going to the movies is also a great way to cool off after a day at the beach or to while away the occasional rainy afternoon.
Museums dedicated to science, art, history, and culture can help you expand your horizons and make learning fun. Three museums are within an hour’s drive of the Latitudes and Attitudes ultimate beach house, and half a dozen more are located within an hour-and-a-half to two hours from the rental property.
The beaches aren’t the only natural wonders our area has to offer. Explore our coastal dune lakes and observe our unique local wildlife at our amazing state parks, half a dozen of which are less than an hour’s drive from our vacation home in Inlet Beach.
It seems like the little (and not-so-little) ones never get tired of the slides, swings, monkey bars, seesaws, climbers, jungle gyms, and all the other playground equipment around them. Playing at the playground is a simple but timeless activity, one that appears in cherished memories even years later. When your kids need to burn off some energy during vacation, take them to one of the numerous playgrounds—nearly 20 of which are within an hour’s drive of our ultimate beach house.
A roller-skating rink may seem like a blast from parents’ past (remember skating parties when you were in school?), but kids today still love the magical feeling of gliding along at top speed. Strap your skates on and hit the rink—this one is fun for the whole family.
Little ones clamoring for a souvenir? There are plenty of local retailers that cater to kids within a short drive (some, within a short walk) from the Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A beach house. Whether you’re looking for a cuddly new friend to snuggle with, the latest kids’ fashions, whimsical novelties, or candies and other sweet confections, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in the shops of 30A Florida.
Tennis is one of the best sports to play on vacation. You don’t need tons of gear or a whole crew to play. It’s less leisurely than golf, allowing you to still work up a sweat, yet it’s a sport that promotes relaxation. When you want to incorporate tennis into your vacation, you’re in luck. You’ll find tennis courts at four parks, clubs, and sports complexes nearby, one just minutes away from the Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A beach house.
Themed cruises take a boating exploration of the Gulf and its surrounding waters—bays, harbors, and passes—to the next level. You’ll find pirate-themed cruises in two major cities, each within an hour’s drive of our ultimate vacation rental home. Both pirate-themed cruise companies offer a range of activities for little ones, such as sword fighting, treasure hunting, face painting, singing, and dancing.
If you want to see all there is to see of our amazing natural ecosystems, include an eco-tour on your itinerary. Kayaking, paddling, and snorkeling are some of the fun options to consider.
Take their vacation to new heights and bounce into fun at one of the local trampoline parks.
You already have convenient beach access to the Gulf and your own private 50-foot pool at Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A, but kids know there’s nothing like a day at a waterpark. Slip, slide, and float along at one (or more) of the three fantastic waterparks just a short drive from your home away from home.
Watersports on 30A range from the serene, like kayaking, to the adrenaline-fueled, like parasailing and waterskiing. Go parasailing or rent WaveRunners and Jet Skis, pontoon boats (including some with built-in waterslides), kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards, and more to make your 30A vacation even more memorable.
For an unbeatable view and a thrilling adrenaline rush, consider ziplining your way around the Emerald Coast or exploring the treetops on a ropes course. Most ziplines and ropes courses have minimum height requirements that small children may not meet, so these activities are best for older kids (not to mention adults!).
Our scenic setting is home to an array of animals—some cute, some fierce, some exotic, but all fascinating—on land and in the Gulf and coastal dune lakes. There are numerous zoos, parks and wildlife refuges close to our ultimate beach house.
If you’re looking for something that’s fun and fantastical but also educational, step into the Wonderworks “amusement park for the mind.” Just a 24-minute drive from the Latitudes and Attitudes beach house, this blend of recreation park and museum is something else entirely, full of hands-on activities in the categories of extreme weather, space discovery, physical challenge, light and sound, imagination lab and wonder art gallery. Adults love it as much as the kids do, especially when you’re looking for an inside activity. You’ll recognize Wonderworks instantly—just look for the upside-down building and make your way through the “inversion tunnel” and inside this interactive experience.
For families, 30A is a dream destination. Your kids will love it, and you’ll feel good about the real quality time and the once-in-a-lifetime memories you’re making.
Each of our beach communities along 30A has its own unique charm. Here are the best kids’ activities in each community.
You don’t have to go far from your home away from home at Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A to find fun activities for the kiddos. Aside from the on-site pool and games, some of the best kids’ activities near Inlet Beach, FL, are Camp Helen State Park and Cobia Snorkel Reef.
Absolutely. Kids and adults alike love the natural surroundings of Inlet Beach. Parents like that this family-friendly area isn’t a crazy party beach where children would be exposed to wild antics and inappropriate behavior. The Cobia Snorkel Reef is a major attraction that appeals to all ages and is located just minutes from our ultimate beach house rental.
Next door in Rosemary Beach, the most fun activities for kids (besides the beach itself, of course) are playing on the playground at St. Augustine Park and playing tennis at the Rosemary Beach Racquet Club. A trip to Gigi’s Fabulous Kids’ Fashions and Toys is sure to put a smile on your little one’s face. It’s the perfect place to pick up a souvenir they’ll treasure for years to come or the perfect outfit for your vacation plans.
Rosemary Beach is very child-friendly—so much so that children sometimes describe the area as “magical.” During the summer season, Rosemary Beach hosts frequent kid-friendly events like concerts and other live entertainment, outdoor movies, face painting, and arts and crafts opportunities.
Peddlers Pavilion is one of our favorite destinations in Seacrest Beach to recommend to families with kids. The fun and unique boutiques that make up this little shopping village don’t just appeal to little ones; they bring out the inner child in all of us—especially The Sweet Peddler. Just minutes away is another kids’ favorite shopping destination, Gigi’s STELLAR tweens.
Sharing the same spectacular natural scenery as the other beach towns of 30A plus boasting Peddlers Pavilion, Seacrest Beach is a child-friendly destination for shopping and plenty of kid-approved treats—doughnuts, cupcakes, and more.
Fonville Park, the gorgeous Alys Beach playground, is just minutes from the Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A beach house and is a great opportunity for lively little ones to burn off some of that boundless energy. We also recommend checking out the events, including kid-friendly movies and live shows at the Alys Beach Amphitheater.
Alys Beach is extremely child friendly. This completely walkable beach town is perfect for exploration on foot or by bicycle.
If you’re visiting Seaside during your stay at Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A, we highly recommend that you plan to catch some live entertainment at The REP Repertory Theatre or the Seaside Amphitheater. The two Seaside shopping destinations that are the biggest hits with young travelers are the Seaside Farmers Market and Duckies Shop of Fun.
Yes, Seaside is an excellent beach for families with children, and you don’t have to take our word for it. Travel + Leisure once named Seaside, FL, the “Best Beach on Earth for Families.”
If your family wants to explore the beach communities of 30A Florida a little more, consider visiting Grayton Beach, about a 15- to 20-minute drive from the Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A ultimate beach house. Expose your artistic side by making art at The Shard Shop or Rock Paper Scissors. Go fishing with Not A Dog Charters or get a fish’s-eye view of what’s beneath the beautiful Gulf water with an excursion with Dive30A Snorkel Tours. Grayton Beach State Park (technically located in Santa Rosa Beach), with its nationally ranked beaches and coastal dune lake Western Lake, is worth a visit.
Grayton Beach, FL, is an excellent place for families to visit—clean, with minimal crowds and dozens of fun activities for families.
Santa Rosa Beach offers everything from boating and fishing charters to state parks, nature tours, and surf and waterski schools—all within a half-hour’s drive of the Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A beach house.
Get up close and personal with marine life at 30A Sea-life Discovery Center or reel in some fish with Captain Phil’s Charters or Fishy Booty Charters. Pick up some new skills at Austin Magee’s Surf School or Pickos Waterski School. If you need gear—from paddleboards to luxury double-decker pontoons—rental services like Gulf Wind Paddle & Surf, Reef Beach Services and Rentals, 30A Ocean, and 30a Pontoon Rental have got you covered.
Get a glimpse of nature by visiting parks and preserves like Deer Lake State Park, Grayton Beach State Park and Topsail Beach State Preserve. Immerse yourself in our coastal dune lakes and turquoise Gulf water on a guided tour with Paddle The Bay 30A, Adventure 30A Paddle Tours, or 30A Backwater Tours.
Let the little ones burn off some energy at the playgrounds at Padgett Park, Helen McCall Park, or Cessna Landing or at US Gold Gymnastics and Cheerleading’s Kids’ Day Out and Kids’ Night Out events. Refuel with a treat from Sweet Henrietta’s.
World-famous yet wonderfully small and laid-back, the community of Santa Rosa Beach is ideal for families who want to stay away from overcrowded beaches.
Highlights include The Track Recreation Center amusement park and go-kart racing track, Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park, animal encounters at Fudpucker’s Gator Beach and Destin Snorkel, bowling alleys Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl and Hurricane Lanes, and cruises Southern Star Dolphin Cruise and Buccaneer Pirate Cruise.
Destin is a nice place to visit for a day trip, but you’ll be glad to escape from the crowds and the noise when it’s time to go back to your home away from home at the Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A beach house.
With more than a dozen highly recommended watersports companies, Destin is an excellent place to try out parasailing, waterskiing, paddleboarding, and other watersports, including the HydroJet, billed as the “world’s largest Jet-Ski” (suitable for kids ages 5 and up).
The closest major city to our location in Inlet Beach, FL, is Panama City Beach. You’ll find more than 50 great, kid-friendly activities located in Panama City Beach within a half-hour’s drive of the Latitudes and Attitudes on 30A beach house.
If amusement parks are up your alley, check out Swampy Jack’s Wongo Adventure, XD Darkride Experience, SkyWheel Panama City Beach, Race City, Indy Speedway, or Emerald Falls Family Recreation Center. Other favorite destinations for families craving a little bit of adventure include Shipwreck Island Waterpark, the Wonderworks “amusement park for the mind,” and ziplining and ropes courses like The SkyTrail at SkyWheel Panama City Beach and Wonder Works Ropes Course.
If your kids are desperate to swim with dolphins—or perhaps even hold a kangaroo—make time during your trip for animal encounters offered by Gulf World Marine Park, ZooWorld Panama City Beach, Shell Island Boat Rentals and Tours Blue Dolphin Snorkeling, Water Planet, or Dolphin And Snorkel Tours Inc.
You’ll find half a dozen opportunities each for activities like dolphin watching cruises, watersports, and miniature golf, as well as several arcades and go-kart racing tracks. Check out museums like Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and the Museum of Man in the Sea. Little buccaneers love the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise, and Gulf World Marine Park and ZooWorld Zoological Conservatory are fun for the whole family.
Sampling the best local cuisine an area has to offer is one of the best things about going on vacation. Our spectacular region is home to dozens of restaurants with outstanding food for every palate. Whether your kids are little foodies or picky eaters, you’ll find options for everyone at the best family-friendly restaurants on 30A, including:
Kids (and kids at heart) are sure to be impressed with the candy, ice cream, baked goods, and other sweet treats found throughout the 30A region of Florida. Whether you want to start your day with doughnuts or stay up late and go out for dessert, you’ll find delectable goodies at destinations like:
A 30A family vacation is the kind of trip you will remember for a lifetime. If you find that you always kick yourself after a vacation is over for not taking enough pictures – or if you’re always the one stuck behind the camera, so you never appear in the photos – consider hiring one of the many outstanding professional 30A photographers for a family photo shoot at the beach or poolside.
Keep things fun and casual for a quick photo shoot that doesn’t monopolize your day, and you’ll end up with one-of-a-kind photos that your family will look back on for years to come.
For the kids, a vacation without playtime isn’t a vacation at all. Throughout our beautiful region of the Florida Panhandle, you’ll find plenty of places where the little ones can burn off some of that seemingly boundless energy, let their imaginations run wild, and just have fun.
Get ready to hear them say, “Best day ever!” after spending time playing at trampoline parks, water parks and amusement parks, zipline courses, and more. Don’t forget the hands-on activities at museums and the art-making courses that are sure to bring out your little artist’s crafty side.
Sometimes the best things in life are the simple things. Reminisce about your own childhood while taking a family trip to an arcade or bowling alley. Trips to the free playgrounds in Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Panama City Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach, Destin, and Fort Walton Beach – some of which are just minutes away from our ultimate beach house rental – fit seamlessly into your vacation plans.
We all wish for perfect weather on our vacations, but sometimes reality rains on our parade – literally. Although the soft, sugar-white sand and clear turquoise waters may have brought you to the Emerald Coast, there’s still plenty of fun to be had even when the weather won’t cooperate.
Florida has the distinction of being one of the states in the U.S. that receives the most rain, and the warm summer months are particularly rainy. Being stuck indoors with a house full of kids may not feel like much of a vacation, but rainstorms and thunderstorms in the Sunshine State are usually short-lived enough that they won’t interfere with your itinerary. On the off chance that a day of your vacation is a total washout, though, turn to some of our favorite indoor destinations and experiences for fun that will soon get the whole family’s minds off of the rain.
What can families do on a rainy day visiting 30A Florida?
The Latitudes and Attitudes ultimate beach house in Inlet Beach is an ideal place for families, especially get-togethers of multiple generations or several families with kids.
Families love staying at the Latitudes and Attitudes beach house, close to all the fun but quiet enough that you won’t have to worry about late-night partying keeping the kids up past bedtime.