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6 new Accessible Beaches to Add to Your Summer List

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Relaxing Cabana on Beach in USA

A couple of years ago, I put together a list of accessible beaches along the central east coast of the U.S.. I was pleased to find that there were beach wheelchairs available in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Many beaches also had accessible restrooms, and some had even installed mobi-mats for easy access to the ocean.

This year, I went through to update the list and was pleased to find incredible progress in the realm of beach accessibility. I’m not sure how many of the beaches were newly accessible versus how many had finally been added to websites, but I added almost 20 new accessible beaches! Wahoo!

Here are some great finds that are new this year!

Carolina Beach, North Carolina

Thanks to an organization Called Island Women and the Beach Bound Project, ten beach wheelchairs have been added to the Carolina Beach area. Carolina Beach has 1,800 square feet of wheelchair accessible beachfront along with 20 total beach wheelchairs. They’re available for pick up at different locations along the beach. You can find the details for reserving your chair here. During the summer months, the beach also has beach accessible mats. The mats are located between Pavilion Ave South and Cape Fear Blvd at the boardwalk. The beach also has multiple access ramps, and handicap parking options.

Anclote River Park, Florida

Have you heard of Anclote River? I hadn’t, which made it that much more exciting – it’s not just the big tourist hubs that are making a change! Anclote River is home to a gorgeous park and local gathering place. The new beach mats just add to the appeal of the quiet beach with a fishing pier, boat ramps, and picnic pavilions. There are handicap parking spaces right by the mat entrance and parking is free.

Isle of Palms, South Carolina

The city of Isle of Palms introduced beach wheelchairs last year. This South Carolina beach, just outside of Charleston, is known for it’s top resorts and beautiful beaches. They’re also in the process of extending all of their beach mats to continue to improve accessibility. The wheelchairs are free to use after completing a form and dropping it off at the Public Safety Building. They’ll make a copy of your license and then you can pick up a chair at the Fire Department Apparatus Bay.

Plattsburgh Beach, New York

New York’s city beaches have been upping their game when it comes to accessibility. Plattsburgh is just one example. Thanks to a generous donation from the Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary, the beach now has two beach wheelchairs.

Miami Beach, Florida

Ok, Miami Beach has been accessible for a long time… but it just got even better! New this year are power beach wheelchairs! They’re free to use and can be picked up from a number of beach locations. Miami is a family favorite with Mobi-mats, swim ropes, accessible restrooms, splash pads, and an accessible pier. These power chairs just sweeten the deal!

St. Pete and Pinellas County, Florida

This is the one I’m most excited about, because we spend a lot of time in St. Pete for Jaden’s intensive physical therapy sessions at All Childrens. Pinellas County launched their accessible beach initiative five years ago. Each year new beach mats arrive, adding to the number of accessible beaches in Pinellas. There are a handful of new ones this year! Check out a map of the new mat locations, along with parking and general beach information, here.

Clearwater Beach (an accessible beach), in Pinellas County, is known for the most beautiful sunsets in the world, but the rest of the region is just as stunning! Florida has more accessible beaches than anywhere we’ve found.

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