This isn’t just a beachy locale. The stories of Florida’s early Black settlement makes it easy for kids to brush up on their Black history. Spend a day hanging out at 100-year-old Jackie Robinson Ballpark, or explore historic pathways that celebrate such figures as Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of Bethune-Cookman University, and Rose Marie Bryon, a teacher and minister who reared 30 foster children.
Busch Gardens or Clearwater Beach may be the first stops for thrill seekers. But then you can experience the thrill of history with a trip off the beaten path to explore sacred slave burial grounds at Historic Oaklawn Cemetery and other rich Black legacies in one of Florida’s major cities.
Discover more about the deep legacy of free blacks in the city where a Spanish explorer brought nearly 100 Africans to settle. Today, it’s home to a vast amount of both age-old and modern-day attractions, including the home-cooked eats of historical Black neighborhood Belmont-Devilliers the Naval Aviation Museum, and The Pensacola Beach Boardwalk lined with souvenir shops and kid-appropriate festivals.
Fort Walton Beach
Fort Walton Beach is rightly famous for its sugar-white sand beaches. You’ll also enjoy amusement parks and history known to this location. From the Gulfarium’s exotic sea animals to this city’s neighboring Okaloosa Island, filled with historical African-American landmarks, there will be nonstop smiles at this beautiful destination.
Well’s Built Museum of African American History & Culture resides in a restored hotel that once served Black icons during segregation, including Ella Fitzgerald. In nearby Eatonville, the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts celebrates the life and works of the famous author. Orlando also offers delicious African-inspired eateries like Chef Eddie’s, one of Orlando’s largest Black-owned restaurants For an outdoorsy adventure, try Tree Trek Adventure Park.
Flock to this Emerald Coast locale to soak up fun in the area’s parks, all offering toes-in-the-sand perfection. Later, you and the family can make a splash at Big Kahuna Water and Adventure Park, or learn to catch your dinner in this world-famous fishing village.
St. Pete- Clearwater
At this city’s stop on Florida’s African-American History Trail you’ll learn about people and places that influenced the city’s development – from the first pioneers in 1868 through the Civil Rights era. But this city isn’t just known for its rich history. Take the little ones down to explore 35 miles of Gulf of Mexico beaches from Fort DeSoto in the south to Clearwater Beach. The whole gang can catch some tasty seafood dishes in this Gulf Coast city and snorkel with dolphins – memories they’ll love to share.
This popular hotspot is more than nightlife and beach bods. After chowing down at one of the many Haitian restaurants in this city you and the fam can discover Afro-Caribbean culture at the Haitian Heritage Museum and Little Haiti Cultural Complex. You’ll also want to cool out at a family-friendly waterpark like Paradise Cove for splashy, day-long lounging.
Add a little Bahamian charm to your family fun by visiting Key West. And all of the Florida Keys are overflowing with botanical scenery, lively sounds of Junkanoo and a wide range of rich, conch-based cuisine. Grab a margarita with your better half once the kids are sound asleep.