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The Palm Beaches is home to multiple beaches that both able-bodied visitors and wheelchair users can enjoy.
Beaches are relaxing, but frequently considered inaccessible to wheelchair users. Without beach wheelchairs and rubberized access mats on the sand, going to the beach may seem impossible to those with disabilities. Unfortunately, many beaches around the world are still off-limits to wheelchair users, but thankfully, the opposite is true in The Palm Beaches.
If you dream of rolling on the sand, feeling the ocean breeze in your hair, and relaxing to the fullest extent possible, check out one or all of these wheelchair-accessible beaches the next time you are in The Palm Beaches.
Located in the city of Boca Raton is South Inlet Park, an off-the-beaten-path park that is rarely crowded with beachgoers. This is a beautiful and relaxed oceanfront park that includes a nice, sandy beach, multiple barbecue pits, picnic areas, and a playground. This is a perfect spot to bring the family and spend the entire day, as there is truly something for everyone to enjoy. The park’s manual beach wheelchair is free to use and is available by contacting a lifeguard on a first-come, first-served basis.
Whether you want to see the dunes, roll on the sand in a beach wheelchair, or take in the ocean views in your own wheelchair, Atlantic Dunes Park in Delray Beach has options available. Wheelchair users can enjoy a boardwalk and a 300-foot, hard-packed nature trail through the dunes. Additionally, manual beach wheelchairs are available until 5 p.m. daily. They are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are completely free to use, but visitors are kindly asked to use the beach wheelchairs for no longer than two hours at a time to give everyone an opportunity to get on the sand. These manual beach wheelchairs cannot go in the water. A Mobi-Mat is also available at Atlantic Dunes Park. At approximately 50-feet-long, it gives wheelchair users the ability to get near the water while staying in their own wheelchair.
Accessibility at Oceanfront Park is also spectacular. This park in the Boynton Beach community of Ocean Ridge has two manual beach wheelchairs available on a first-come, first-served basis from the lifeguard station. In addition to beach wheelchairs, there is also a Mobi-Mat here. Thanks to the mat, wheelchair users can get fairly close to the water without needing to transfer into a beach wheelchair. Aside from rolling up and down the beach, visitors can also enjoy a variety of other amenities at Oceanfront Park. There are picnic tables and grills available if you want to cookout, or if you’d rather not cook, the on-site Turtle Cafe has food for sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
Riviera Beach Marina Village is a destination in itself, complete with eco-tour opportunities and year-round special events. It’s adjacent to the waterfront Bicentennial Park, which offers a small beach, children’s splash park, concession stand, and, for wheelchair users looking for a beach day, remarkable accessibility. To start, a Mobi-Mat beach access mat on the sand allows visitors to roll on the sand in their own everyday wheelchair. The Mobi-Mat is 5-feet-wide and extends all the way from the sidewalk to down near the water. As if that isn’t cool enough, two amphibious beach wheelchairs are available at Bicentennial Park. With these special beach wheelchairs, you can actually float in the water while feeling the breeze. To use one of the amphibious beach wheelchairs during your visit, call 561-707-9015 before you arrive and let them know when you will be there. The beach wheelchairs are available until 6 p.m. every day.
Phil Foster Park can be found on an Intracoastal island in tropical Riviera Beach. This park boasts a small but amazing beach with calm, relaxing waters and hard-packed sand for easy maneuvering. Manual beach wheelchairs can be used at no cost by contacting the lifeguard on duty. This spectacular park also has an underwater snorkeling trail that visitors rave about, fishing areas, and a playground for children that want to get off the sand for a while.
Ocean Reef Park is also in Riviera Beach, just a little over a mile from Phil Foster Park. To enjoy the beauty of this fantastic park, you can stroll the boardwalk that includes a gradual slope to the beach. Picnic areas and grills are also available for some summertime – or pretty much anytime in South Florida – fun. If you are an early riser, Ocean Reef Park also makes for the perfect spot for a picturesque sunrise. As with other parks in The Palm Beaches, manual beach wheelchairs are available here by contacting the lifeguard on duty.
R.G. Kreusler Park, located in Palm Beach just north of Lake Worth Beach, has more than four acres of beach to enjoy and is one of the most accommodating locations in The Palm Beaches. Manual beach wheelchairs are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis. To let the lifeguards know that you’d like to use one, just call the Ocean Rescue headquarters at 561-629-8770. They will bring the beach wheelchair to you upon arrival. Accessible parking spots are available, and there is also an accessible path to the beach from the parking lot.
Carlin Park, located in Jupiter, is a spectacularly large park with multiple recreation facilities, picnic areas, and pavilions. There is also a cafe here and grills are available for use. Your family can spend the day here enjoying the beautiful beach, as well as the Seabreeze Amphitheater that features live music and hosts special events throughout the year. For wheelchair users, the beach can be accessed from the ramp on the north end of Carlin Park and by requesting a free manual beach wheelchair from a lifeguard on duty.
Also in Jupiter, Ocean Cay Park features a large beachfront that is tucked just below the dunes. There is plenty of open grassy space and lush foliage that gives it a secluded and cozy feeling. Ocean Cay Park provides wheelchair-accessible accommodations with a ramp to the beach and the availability of a manual beach wheelchair. The lifeguard on duty will be happy to provide you with the chair so that you can fully enjoy your day at the beach with your family and friends.
DuBois Park is another of Jupiter’s amazing parks and perhaps the most wheelchair-friendly. If you are looking for a wonderful view of the iconic red Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, this is the place to be. DuBois Park is large in size and sits right at the mouth of Jupiter Inlet. Wheelchair users are able to stroll across the sand by borrowing one of the manual beach wheelchairs, located by contacting the lifeguard on duty. There is also a small section of Mobi Mat at Jupiter Inlet that is about 27 feet long. An additional 100 to125 feet of Mobi Mat should be coming soon. Due to beach erosion, the Mobi Mat sometimes has to be rolled up and removed for safety precautions, but a small section of it is available year-round. The rubberized mat allows easy access for walkers and rollers alike to access the beach from a smoother surface.
The Palm Beaches has so many amazing parks and multiple options for fun in the sand. With any questions that you may have about accessibility at the above beaches, you can contact the friendly staff of South Ocean Lifeguards at 561-629-8770 or the North District Beaches at 561-694-7483. While the manual beach wheelchairs are given out on a first-come, first-served basis, if you call beforehand and let them know when you’ll need a chair, they will try their best to have one available for you.
In addition to the complimentary manual beach wheelchairs at all six of the beaches mentioned above, motorized beach wheelchairs are available to rent within The Palm Beaches as well. Sand Helper has motorized beach wheelchairs for rent at the rate of about $200 per day, but the price does get cheaper if you book multiple days. A seven-day rental, for example, is $400 total, so you may as well extend your stay in The Palm Beaches and take full advantage of it.
In The Palm Beaches, the weather’s great any time of year, and the sparkling waters and smooth sands are ready to welcome you. Start planning your beach vacation now and rest assured that this is a remarkable destination for people of all abilities.
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