Best Family-Friendly Water Activities in The Palm Beaches

March 15, 2022

With 47 miles of coastline and a wide array of freshwater oasis, there’s no lack of water activities in The Palm Beaches!

Clear blue skies, sand in your toes, crystal clear waters and flowing palm trees: That’s the vibe here in Palm Beach County. And what makes it so alluring to tourists and locals alike is the towns proximity to the water. Whether you enjoy the exciting ocean seas rocking back and forth or the calm waters of the intracoastal (fun fact: it originally started off as a man-made lake!), there’s something for every member of the family! I’ve narrowed the scope for the top 3 family-friendly water activities and each one is unique in its own way! 


1. Peanut Island 

First up, you must consider a visit to Peanut Island, whether you’re a mainstay or tourist to West Palm Beach. This 79-acre beauty in the heart of the Lake Worth inlet was actually a dredging project dating back to 1918 and is a fan favorite of many! With a rich history, nooks, and crannies to snorkel, sunbathe and even camp, the island vibes are here and loaded with activities. Peanut Island is only accessible by boat, paddleboard, canoe, or you could probably swim across, but we wouldn’t advise that! Another option is to take the ferry, but honestly the island is best accessed by your own boat. Don’t have one? No problem! The fam and I rented a 21-footer for the day, and we had quite the blast! Not only did we dock just off Peanut Island, only to find all sorts of sea creatures (the inlet was swarming with shell crabs), but we got to coast along downtown Palm Beach, past the iconic Flagler Museum, which hits different from the other side. You could take the boat as far north as the Jupiter Inlet, but we opted to stay nearby since it was our first time. We have dreams of going back and docking for lunch! Located at the Riviera Beach Marina, Bluewater Boat Rentals made it easy and simple to enjoy a day out on the water for our family, especially for rookies like us! We can’t wait to go back soon! 

Family during the Blue Water Boat Tour


2. Love Street Jupiter Outdoor Center

New on the scene and a great way to get a quick boat fix in, is The Love Street Jupiter Outdoor Center! There’s nothing quite like the sight of the Jupiter Lighthouse, especially at sunset. This time, the boat has a captain—so you can just sit back, relax, put your feet up and enjoy the view, while letting the cool breeze hit your face! Choose from a 30 minute or 1 hour tour around the inlet that connects the ocean to the Intracoastal waterway. We opted for the 1-hour Love Boat Cruise, narrated by an experienced guide, while cruising along Fullerton Island with sweeping views of the Indian River. We saw wildlife native to Florida and enjoyed that feeling of just being on the water. You’re welcome to bring your own food and drink, or you can grab a quick bite to go from Lucky Shucks! Located just behind Joe and Charley’s new “Love Street” dock, you’re in for a real treat when you book this tour! 


3. Lake Okeechobee Boat Tour

Now for the queen jewel or should I say hidden gem?! If you haven’t taken a ride out to Lake Okeechobee, then boy are you missing out! It’s funny, because it took a little coaxing on my husband’s end to even get me to set up the trip in the first place! He’s a native to Florida and could’ve sworn as a little boy he went out on the lake with his father on a fishing trip that left a lasting impression and there was much to be explored. As much as it pains me to say, he was absolutely right! We loaded up the kids at the crack of dawn and drove about an hour to the most western part of Palm Beach County to board a boat to explore Lake O, which is totally worth the effort, I promise!  Imagine sweeping views as far as the eye can see, a lake so still, it’s as if you’re floating on air. An out of body experience in what seems like the gates of heaven opening up across a 154-mile stretch of pristine waters. Not sure if the day we chose was a slow fishing one or the lake is just that large, but it was as if we had the entire lake to ourselves. We fished, we sang, we danced, we ate, we drifted.
A pretty wild part of the trip is getting into and out of the lake itself, so kudos to my husband who isn’t truly a boater with a license, yet somehow manages to wear the captain’s hat pretty well. When you get to the entrance and exit of the lake, you have to wait your turn to enter the boat locks, there are 5 different locks across the lake, that were built for navigation and flood control purposes. The bridge operator let us in, while I gripped on to a 10-foot rope and hung on for dear life until the doors shut and then opened up on the other side of Lake O. 15-feet at its deepest and rumor has it, takes 2 days to cross, this natural beauty is a rite of passage for anyone coming to or living in Florida! Whether you have your own boat or are looking to rent one through a third party, a trip to see the expansive Lake Okeechobee is one hundred percent a must do! We made an incredible memory to last us a lifetime and can’t wait to share the experience with our friends and family! 

Family on Lake Okeechobee

If you have yet to experience life on the water in West Palm Beach, these 3 are a great place to start! All of the experiences were accommodating to our family of four with slightly younger children. So get out there and enjoy the beautiful waters of Palm Beach and remember “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor!” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Briana D'Andrea
Briana D’Andrea is a media journalist turned mommy, lifestyle & travel blogger. She runs BD Media and, a place moms can turn for inspiration on all things travel, beauty, fashion & wellness. She is married to her high school best friend and has two beautiful children. Her mission is to be the light for those around her and to partner with like minded brands and those who want to make this place better than they found it. Through her blog, podcast, Instagram @Brianadandrea and as the chapter officer for Palm Beach Blogger Union, she hopes to sprinkle some value into your life to have the confidence to be the best version of YOU.