Florida is full of sunshine, a variety of entertainment, and beautiful beaches. We were looking for a great vacation spot for the 4th of July week. In the past, we would sometimes go to Galveston over the 4th of July holiday. We would drive the 5-6 hours it would take to get there. Since we are no longer living in Texas, we needed to find a closer location.
Our family was searching for a beach that would be family friendly and not too crowded. After researching, we settled on Indian Rocks Beach. Indian Rocks Beach is about a 30 minute drive from the bigger cities of St. Petersburg and Tampa.
We chose to drive with the kids instead of fly. My mom and her boyfriend would be joining us from Texas, so they decided to fly. Overall, it was a 7 hour drive without stops. You know with kids, there were multiple stops. Especially with a daughter who HATES riding in the car!
Check out our article on Best Activities For Kids While Travelling.
Here is my review of our Indian Rocks Beach family vacation.
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This was going to be a family vacation with our family plus my mom and her boyfriend. We needed a place that would accommodate all six of us. We chose to stay in a Airbnb, rather than a hotel. This would give us more flexibility, considering we had our two children with us. The price was very reasonable, especially since it was a holiday week.
The Airbnb was right on the beach, so no driving required. The place was very nice and clean. A pool and hot tub were also on the property. This particular Airbnb provided some kitchen utensils and cookware for making your own meals.
Also included in the condo were some lawn chairs and beach toys for the kids. We brought our own canopy for the beach, but definitely ended up using the chairs provided.
We loved this condo and would definitely stay there again. The only issue we had was parking. There was only one spot available for each condo. Normally, this would not be a problem, but since we had two cars, it was a bit of an issue. The number of guest spots for the second car was limited.
There are so many different activities available in the Indian Rocks Beach area. It is easy to find activities that are family friendly as well.
We spent most of our time at the beach. The beach was mostly clean and not too crowded. There were days that the storms rolled through and the wind was strong. It even blew our canopy over and down the beach a couple of times!
Since we had the kids, we decided to check out the Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve. There are plenty of trails to explore, along with a butterfly garden. The kids enjoyed walking around and we were all tired after the walk. We happened to go on a day that the other attractions in the preserve were closed, so it was not too crowded. It was definitely a wonderful family friendly attraction that allowed for some outdoor time and exercise.
If you like golf, check out Largo Golf Course. Personally, I am not a golfer, but the other members of my family enjoyed this course. You can book the tee times easily online.
Although we did not go here, there is also a mini-golf course called Smugglers Cove. We decided it would be too hard to keep my daughter entertained here, so saved this for next time.
Splash Harbour Water Park has water slides, kids splash areas, and a wave pool.
Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise offers a family friendly pirate cruise out of the nearby Clearwater Beach Marina.
One of my absolute favorite restaurants to eat at was P.J.’s Oyster Bar. Everyone was able to find something they liked. My favorite was the coconut shrimp. We ended up eating here three times while we were there, just because it was so good. There is both indoor and patio seating available. The patio is covered, so it does not get unbearably hot if you are eating outside.
We also ate at The Original Crabby Bill’s. While the food was good, I was disappointed that the outdoor section was not covered. It was extremely hot and we were all a bit miserable and sweaty after sitting outside. If you decide to eat here, I would suggest the shrimp and sausage pasta.
If you are looking to enjoy a treat, try Tropical Ice Cream and Coffee. They have a selection of over 70 different ice cream flavors to choose from.
The final restaurant we ate at was Groupers on the Gulf. This restaurant had good reviews, so we decided to check it out. It was a very casual atmosphere that offered seafood and classic American options. I ended up eating the grilled cheese with chips on the side. Overall, the food was not bad, but it was not my favorite restaurant of the trip.
I highly recommend using a canopy on the beach because the Florida sun is extremely hot. Most importantly, please wear sunscreen! I am an avid sunscreen user for myself and the kids, since we have super pale skin and easily burn. All of us still got burned. I even somehow got a slight burn just sitting in the shade! I am not even sure how that happened!
My son got a pretty bad burn that blistered and I felt awful for him. My husband wanted to take him to the emergency room to get checked out. Fortunately, there was a children’s hospital nearby, so we took him in. He was ordered to stay out of the sun the rest of the time. This happened on day 2, so we did our best to not let it dampen his fun.
We had to alternate going down to the beach and staying with my son. Although he had to stay indoors for most of the day, we took him out at night after the sun had gone down. That way, he was still able to play in the water and enjoy time on the beach.
I would highly recommend a family vacation to Indian Rocks Beach. There are so many different kid-friendly things to do and great restaurants to eat at. The beach is clean and not overly crowded. Please consider it for your next family beach vacation!
If you are looking for more kid-friendly trip ideas, check out our post on our Day Trip To Kennesaw Mountain National Park.