Are you looking for the best wheelchair-accessible beach vacations? During the hot summer days, there’s nothing better than relaxing on the sand and enjoying the breeze and the serene waters. But when you’re in a wheelchair or have a physical disability, it can be tricky to travel with a power chair or manual one. Fortunately, we’re here to narrow down your choices with our top 5 best wheelchair accessible beach vacations.
#1 Mission Beach, California
Many of the amazing San Diego, California beaches have accessible features, but Mission Beach is the best one for people with disabilities. It has manual and power beach wheelchairs so that people with disabilities can navigate the sand easily or get in the water. And an accessible mat is located in front of the main lifeguard tower. You can get a beach wheelchair from the lifeguard station for free on a first-come, first-served basis. But someone will have to push the manual chair to the water. Mission Beach also has accessible bathrooms, accessible picnic tables (at the south end), and accessible parking at Belmond Park, San Fernando Place, and Pacific Drive.
#2 Gulf Shores, Alabama
Another beautiful beach, perfect for people in wheelchairs, is Gulf Shores, Alabama. It impresses with its concrete promenade and 200-foot AccessMat, running from the sidewalk to the water. Thanks to this AccessMat, you don’t need to rent a special wheelchair to enjoy the shore or the sands. But if you wish to get in the water, you can rent manual wheelchairs easily. Moreover, Gulf Shores has handicap-accessible beach houses with ADA-compliant bedrooms, an accessible restroom, and roll-in showers. Best of all, Gulf Shores has plenty of wheelchair-accessible attractions and facilities, such as the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, Gulf State Park, and Gulf Coast Zoo.
#3 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach in South Carolina is among the best wheelchair accessible beach vacations where you can spend your holiday enjoying miles of coastline and crystal-clear waters. Wheelchairs are free on a first-come, first-served basis. These wheelchairs have balloon tires and seat belts for safety and can be reserved and delivered to your location. But you’ll have to call to reserve the chair and provide photo identification. And as their website specifies, “wheelchairs are not available after 5 p.m.” Moreover, you have over 40 accessible beach access points, which are fully accessible or have a wheelchair access ramp. You can also park for free if you have an official handicapped tag or placard. And you can count on accessible transportation because all city buses can accommodate wheelchairs and service animals.
#4 Virginia Beach, VA
If you’re going for sandy beaches with plenty of accessible features, you won’t be disappointed with Virginia Beach and its wheelchair accessibility. The popular Virginia Boardwalk is a wheelchair-friendly path that gives you an excellent view of the beachfront. It’s also great for shopping, dining, and entertainment, and you can get to the beachfront from the walkway on every street from 2nd to 40th. Free all-terrain wheelchairs are available along the boardwalk on a first-come, first-reserved basis. You’ll find them on 24th and 17th street in a storage container. Guests with disabilities will also appreciate the wheelchair ramps, accessible parking lots (up to four hours of free parking), and accessible restrooms. You can also visit Grommet Island Park, which is full of accessible activities for people with disabilities.
#5 Pensacola, Florida
Until recently, Pensacola, Florida wasn’t a very wheelchair-friendly travel destination. But thanks to Mobi-Mats, its white-sand beaches are among the best wheelchair accessible beach vacations. Thanks to their non-slip covering, Mobi-Mats provide a stable surface for all types of wheelchairs and other mobility devices. They’re available for five beaches (Casino, Park West North, Moms, Baby, and Boardwalk), and you can rent power or manual wheelchairs easily. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have accessible bathrooms around the beachfront. On the other hand, you get free parking.
- Where Can I Go on Holiday with a Wheelchair?
You can go on holiday with your manual or power wheelchair to almost any accessible travel destination in the world. Talk to an accessible travel agent to find more information.
- Are There Wheelchairs for the Beach?
Yes, there are wheelchairs designed for beaches. Unlike standard manual and electric wheelchairs, they have large, all-terrain tires to ensure a smooth ride and prevent sinking. Most beach chairs also require a caregiver to push the chair forward, but some models are self-propelling.
- How Can Handicap People Get on the Beach?
Most beaches have accessible features, such as wheelchair ramps, accessible walkways, beach mats, and accessible facilities. A manual/power wheelchair free of charge is also available for use on most public beaches. But you may have to call to reserve it.
Finding the best wheelchair accessible destinations isn’t as hard as it used to be because vacation sites are constantly improving to ensure they’re ADA-compliant. But among all available locations in the USA, these five beaches stand with their wheelchair-friendly features, atmosphere, and entertainment opportunities. So, we hope you’ll give these 5 best wheelchair accessible beach vacations a try and have fun at their sandy beaches!