Updated: Mar 30
Crab Island draws thousands of visitors every year to its emerald waters throughout the year. From bachelorette parties to family reunions, college spring breakers to retirees, you can find every segment of humanity enjoying the mild waters. But with so many things going on and so many different people boating in and, parents often wonder "is Crab Island family friendly?".
First thing first, we want to clarify that Crab Island is only accessible by boat. There is no safe way to get you and your family out to the sand bar without a boat. Luckily, there are amazing boat rental options (such as 30A Pontoon Rental) that can get you set up for an awesome day on the water.
One of the best things about Crab Island is how safe the waters are. Water is 1 to 4 feet and is crystal clear so that even if a little one jumps overboard without permission or water wings, you can see exactly where they are and easily grab them up. This is huge for parents where water visibility reduces a lot of obvious stress. This water depth and clearness is great for pontoons with slides and floating pads as kids are visible at all times.
Obviously towards the edges there are strong currents, but in the middle of the sandbar, waters bob gently with little to no current. The lack of current means your kids can flop onto a float and remain in essentially the same spot the whole time. And even if a slight current tries to bob your kid away, they' have to float very far to get themselves into even a slightly dangerous area of water.
LATE AFTERNOON CURRENTS
Current picks up in the afternoons around 3:00-4:00, so we recommend families with smaller children go between 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
THE CROWD-Is it family friendly?
So Crab Island is safe for kids, but how is the crowd? If you poll Crab Island devotee's, it really comes down to who you park your boat next to that will determine whether or not you have a good day on the water. General rules of etiquette should apply to the other boaters, so they would turn down obscene music and refrain from using strong profanity. However, we all know that we can't always expect respectful behavior from fellow vacationers. We suggest attempting to anchor near to boats that also have young children or who are not engaging in ruckus behavior. Luckily, the mega-partiers tend to cluster together near the tiki boats so just avoid those clumps and you should be good to go!
WHAT TIME IS CRAB ISLAND MORE FAMILY FRIENDLY?
Crab Island is much like a restaurant that turns into a bar at night. The later you go, the less family friendly it is. Again, we recommend going early in the morning and leaving before 2:30 or 3:00.
There are also other areas just North West of the bridge on Okaloosa Island where you can park the boat. 30a Pontoon Rental doesn't allow you to beach the boat, but you can drop anchor and play in this area. It's super safe and still crystal clear blue waters.
In conclusion, we think Crab Island is a great place to spend a day with the kids! With mindful boat neighbors, you are guaranteed a safe and relaxing day of splashing in the sun. And with a double decker pontoon with waterslide, you're kids will burn up all their energy while making memories to last a lifetime!
** For all your Crab Island boating needs, visit www.30apontoon.com for 150hp and 200hp pontoons, including Double-Deckers with waterslides. Call to book: (850) 220-6400 **
30a Pontoon Rental also offers Yacht Charters and Fishing Charters. Visit ww.30ayachtcharters.com