Cape San Blas offers miles of beautiful beaches and innumerable opportunities for unhurried adventures. You and your kids can comb the shores for treasures, splash in the gentle surf, and bury your feet in the soft, white sand. Picture their faces as they move to the beat of horse hooves on the damp sand, paddle in their kayaks, or enjoy the quiet wavering of sea grass beneath their snorkel masks. After you’ve found your Cape San Blas vacation rental, here’s a list of the top 12 things to do with your kids.

1. Ride Horses on the Beach

For a kid, it just doesn’t get any better than combining a beach vacation with horseback riding. Two-Bit Stable offers guided beach rides on Cape San Blas next to the beautiful waves of the gulf in a tranquil, relaxing atmosphere. You’re welcome to carry along a camera to capture some memories of your family enjoying beautiful horses, pristine beaches, and the gentle breeze wafting off the waters. Two-Bit Stable offers professional photography packages to help you recall your special beach ride with your kids.

2. Try Surf Fishing

The youngest anglers in your family can fish in the surf and enjoy getting wet at the same time using spin-casting rods with weighted lines. You can show them how to anchor their rods or let them hold their rigs. Dip nets into the shallow waters close to the shore, where your kids can scoop up small fish and release them.

3. Go Beachcombing and Shelling

To get some free souvenirs, spend some time beachcombing and shelling along the beaches of Cape San Blas. There, you’ll find unique driftwood, sea glass, and beautiful seashells. Locals say that the best spots for shelling are the stump hole or the elbow of the cape, especially after storms. If you venture into the St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, head to the St. Joseph Bay shoreline, which also has some beautiful shells.

4. Climb the Cape San Blas Lighthouse Tower

Visitors must climb 131 steps to reach the top of the Cape San Blas Lighthouse, which stands 101 feet tall. If your kids have the energy to burn, this is a fun and educational way to spend an afternoon. Erected in 1847, the original lighthouse fell during a storm in 1851. The current lighthouse was rebuilt in 1885 and remained in service until 1996. The keeper’s cottage includes a gift shop on the first floor. A museum on the second floor commemorates the lives of the keepers throughout the decades.

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5. Build Sand Castles

Imagine stepping out the back door of your Cape San Blas vacation rental and racing the kids down to the water’s edge. After splashing around a bit, help the kids build a sandcastle. Find some pretty seashells to decorate the castle once you’re done the building. While the kids add the finishing touches on your creation, you can relax on your beach towel and work on your sun tan.

6. Drop in on Some Seahorses

If your kids can swim, a three-hour snorkeling trip in St. Joseph Bay with Seahorse Water Safaris might just make this trip the vacation expedition of a lifetime. Tour guides will take you to seagrass beds, where you can wade and snorkel to discover starfish, octopi, horseshoe crabs, sand dollars, and seahorses. It’s a hands-on experience, during which you’re allowed to catch the little creatures for a closer look and then release them. Along the way, you may see dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles, and different types of fish. The safari includes masks, snorkels, and fins. Bring your own snacks, drinks, towels, and sunscreen.

7. Take a Dolphin Cruise

If seeing dolphins is a priority, step aboard a charter boat for a two-hour dolphin cruise with Forgotten Coast Adventures. This eco-cruise captures mother nature in all of her glory and introduces your family to the dolphin families that live in the Gulf of Mexico. Dolphins typically play in the wake of the boat and come close enough for you to get a good photo. You can also capture your kids’ reactions as you encounter these amazing sea creatures.

8. Sing Around a Beach Bonfire

Grab some marshmallows and enjoy a beach bonfire. This is a great way to enjoy a beach sunset and share some magical moments with your kids. Children love hearing stories during bonfires, so consider brushing up on your repertoire. If you have a guitar player in the group, enjoy a fun family sing-a-long while sitting around the fire.

9. Hit the Bike Trails

Whether your kids are big enough to ride bikes or small enough for bike carts, the Loggerhead Run Bike Trail features 8 miles of scenic views along Cape San Blas for them to enjoy. The bike trails are flat and smooth, making them perfect for sightseeing and exploring. Scallop Cove rents bikes and kiddie karts for half-day, all-day, and multiple-day use.

10. Play in the Park

T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park offers picnic tables, grills, some trails, and a playground. You and your family can swim and sunbathe along more than 9 miles of white beaches on the sparkling blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You can take the kids snorkeling in the gulf, go fishing, or look for scallops. You can also launch a small boat into the bay and enjoy the water all day.

11. Frolic in the Sand and Sea

Parents and kids can take turns burying each other in the sand. Afterward, you can race the kids into the waves and frolic around, splashing and giggling together like there’s no tomorrow. Even when you’re ready to relax in your beach chair, the kids are sure to keep the adventure going for quite some time. Scallop Cove serves hand-dipped ice cream cones, which provides a cool, refreshing end to a perfect beach day.

12. Paddle a Tandem Kayak

Slip into something comfortable—say, a tandem kayak—and enjoy a leisurely guided tour of St. Joseph Bay with a Happy Ours Kayak & Bike Outpost tour guide. Your child can sit in front of you and learn how to use the paddle while learning about the inhabitants of the bay and marshes. As your kayak glides through the water, look for dolphins, turtles, and manta rays. In the marshes, you might spot an endangered red wolf, sambar deer, ducks, bald eagles, or wild pigs.

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