Top 5 Wheelchair Accessible Beaches

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Taking a trip to the beach is one of my favorite things to do in the summer. Beaches are a fun and exciting experience for people of all ages–with sun, sand, and waves creating the perfect backdrop for a relaxing afternoon. However, for those with different abilities, it’s important to know that beaches are not out of your reach, you just have to know where to go. I have compiled the top wheelchair-accessible beaches in the U.S., just in time for summer break:

California Beaches

The gorgeous coastline stretches over 800 miles, and there is almost an endless supply of beaches. The Pacific ocean not only offers breathtaking views, but many of the public access beaches in California offer free sand-friendly wheelchairs. You can also find wheelchair friendly parking at most beaches with public parking. With plenty of options to keep you occupied, California makes for an excellent vacation. Head to San Diego or check out the beaches in Orange County, just don’t forget your sunscreen!

The Carolinas

The Carolina’s offer many charming vacation spots along their coastlines, and plenty of accessibility. South Carolina’s ever-popular Myrtle Beach has tons of access points as well as borrowable beach-friendly chairs. But be aware these are first come first served and they are limited in quantity. Up in North Carolina, check out beaches in the Outer Banks region, like the beautiful Kitty Hawk or Nags Head. If you’re lucky you might get to see wild horses running along the sand. Here you can also find free wheelchairs, but they are rented directly from the Fire Departments in the area.

Michigan

Inland, you can find another amazing vacation spot on the shore of Lake Michigan. A great spot to start is the Stearns Park Beach in Ludington. Here you can remain in your own wheelchair while exploring from the fifth most accessible walkway in the nation. The walkway offers access to the water’s edge from the north and access to the pier from the south. This location is versatile as it offers camp vibe in the woodlands as well as breezy ocean views. Overall, a win-win for everyone.

Hawaiian Beaches

Have your heart set on a tropical location? Hanauma Bay on the island of Oahu is a must see. Ride down to the beach on their shuttle for just $1 or do take the short drive on your own and start having the time of your life. This is another spot on our list that offers free wheelchairs that you can check out, making it even more of a dream. The photos online simply don’t do this wonder justice so get out there and book your tickets now.

Florida Beaches

Florida has always been a great family vacation destination. With plentiful resorts in locations like Fort Walton, Key Largo, and Panama city all within driving distance, Florida truly has it all. Round out your trip with a day out on a chartered boat, or explore their world-famous fishing. You certainly won’t run out of activities here. The only downside is that their rentable wheelchairs come at a price, so be prepared with your own or be ready to put down some money. 


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  1. Beach wheelchairs at all Florida State Parks are free, although admission to the parks is not. Unfortunately the beach wheelchairs are also quite heavy and hard to push….. We need to bring along a young healthy body-builder as an aide. 🙂