Bask in the Sun All Year Long: Your Guide to the Best Wheelchair Accessible Beaches in the US

wheelchair accessible beaches

Isn’t going to the beach everyone’s favorite activity? Undoubtedly, there’s something magical about the warm beach and the cold ocean, and that’s true at any age.

But like many other things for wheelchair users, moving your wheelchair on sand can be challenging.

Sounds sad, doesn’t it? Well, wait a minute, as the good news is that the number of locations that are wheelchair accessible is growing rapidly in the United States. Thanks to developments like beach rugs and scooters, there has been a recent drive to make more beaches accessible to people with mobility impairments.

If you’re considering a beach vacation and need a reliable mobility solution, check out our guide on the best mobility scooter for travel. These scooters can make your beach trip more enjoyable and hassle-free.

Beach Wheelchairs

As most conventional wheelchairs cannot navigate a sandy beach, and beach wheelchairs are available for rent. 

These are designed for use on the beach and typically feature extra-wide tires that can easily cover the sandy surface without getting stuck. People typically need someone to push them, but some places have automated seats that the user can push.

Typically, beach chairs can be rented from lifeguards or entrance beach kiosks. Still, some are also handled by concessionaires, such as 1800 Wheelchairs, which also sell the Mobi-Chair for floating, and the Pigleo Tilt-In-Space Stroller

Beach Wheelchair Travel Tips

Many factors should be considered when choosing a location accessible to people using wheelchairs, position, terrain, and access to free parking. Some beaches are more convenient to visit than others.

Here are some things to consider when picking a beach for vacation:

  • Before planning a seaside getaway, know what to expect regarding terrain, temperature, and waves.
  • You can also get wheelchair-accessible beaches and surf training by contacting local swimming facilities. Lessons tailored to wheelchairs are typically available at swimming facilities.
  • Be sure the beach you pick has facilities for people using beach wheelchairs, such as matting flooring and shuttles from the parking area.
  • Always check for surrounding hotels, cabins, and cruise ships that offer accessible accommodations with amenities like roll-in showers or baths, stairs, and lifts.
  • When going out into the water, it’s essential to take safety measures. Learn your limits, strengths, and how to manage yourself in the ocean safely.

This video also shares how a wheelchair works on a beach.

Justin Siebert, a wheelchair user, shared his experience renting a wheelchair for free. 

14 Fantastic Wheelchair-Accessible Beaches In The U.S

Wheelchair-bound or otherwise sensory-challenged travelers have special needs that must be met to have a positive and enriching vacation experience.

Fortunately, there are wheelchair-accessible beaches in key locations throughout the United States, each providing a welcoming environment. Read on to find out which U.S. states offer the best accessibility to beachgoers who rely on wheelchairs.

Miami beach parking

Wheelchair-bound or otherwise sensory-challenged travelers have special needs that must be met to have a positive and enriching vacation experience.

Fortunately, there are wheelchair-accessible beaches in key locations throughout the United States, each providing a welcoming environment. Read on to find out which U.S. states offer the best accessibility to beachgoers who rely on wheelchairs.

Wheelchair-accessible beaches in Hawaii

The city and county of Hawaii have a complete website (, especially for wheelchair accessibility. The OuterSpacial app also provides additional information about Hawaii’s recreational areas. Outdoor activities accessible for people with mobility, hearing, or vision impairments can be easily found using the app’s built-in search criteria.

Ala Moana Beach Park, Honolulu, HI

Ala Moana Beach Park in Honolulu, Hawaii, has many attractions. The beach is made up of powdery, silky sand and crystal-clear water.

Many businesses sell everything you need for a day in the sun, including beach chairs, mats, blankets, diving gear, surfboards, and more. Soderholm Mobility offers handicap-accessible vehicle rentals that can get you to the shore so you can enjoy your exotic vacation.

Al Moana beach

Corey O, a C5 quadriplegic, shares his experience of going to Ala Moana Beach and the procedure of how he got the beach wheelchair.

Hanauma Bay, HI

Hanauma Bay Beach, meaning “Curved Beach” in Hawaiian, stretches out for 1,800 feet. Even though it is at the bottom of a cliff made when an old volcano collapses, it is still one of the more accessible beaches in Hawaii.

The entry fee includes using the tram from the border to the shore. Wheelchairs are provided at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the seashore shop.

A ramped shuttle provides access to and from the shore, and visitors can easily reach all beach services using wheelchairs. The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is only accessible with a prior reservation

Geoffrey M., who visited the beach, was surprised and told more than four different people about their beach wheelchairs. Beautiful buildings blend into fabulous surroundings. Free, secure transport to the lower level and back up, accessible beach wheelchair. A must-do adventure indeed.

Hanauma Bay HI

Kailua Beach, HI

Kailua Beach is just a short route from Honolulu, another of Hawaii’s most wheelchair-accessible beaches.

Beach wheelchairs are available at Kailua Beach, but they must be booked at least one day in advance by contacting 808-768-8980 to speak with someone from the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Waikiki Beach and Fort DeRussy are just a few other Oahu sites that welcome visitors with disabilities.

Beaches in Florida

In 2012, Florida was home to four of the top 10 most popular U.S. beaches, with an estimated 810 million trips to the state’s sandy shores. The state also has some fantastic wheelchair-accessible beaches.

Panama City Beach, FL

Florida’s beaches are renowned for their attractiveness, and Panama City’s coastlines are no exception.

In Panama City, Florida, two “Mobi-mats” have been put down to make it easier for people who use wheelchairs or have trouble moving around to get to the beach. Additionally, several Mobi-Chair movable wheelchairs are available, allowing users not only access to the beach but also the opportunity to spend time in the water., a beach wheelchair rental company, can also rent you some.

David Thomas, a 36-year-old wheelchair user, visited Panam City Beach and shared his experience.

Miami Beach, Florida

Just across Biscayne Bay from the city of Miami is the small island of Miami Beach, which separates the Atlantic Ocean from the bay.

They have Mobi-Mat paths and offer free rentals of manual and motorized beach wheelchairs; one can swap their own wheelchair at Beach Patrol (1001 Ocean Drive) and South Pointe Park.

To bring handicapped people, veterans, children with special needs, and the elderly to Miami Beach, the Sabrina Cohen Foundation started the free Adaptive Beach Days program in 2016, which seemed to be very helpful.

The video shows Richard, a paraplegic, using the accessible electric beach wheelchair facility in Miami Beach.

Key Largo, FL

Sunbathing on the shore, swimming in clean seas, and fishing are just a few of the popular activities in Key Largo, a place known for its distinct environment and well known for its wheelchair-accessible beaches.

Even a large number of Key Largo’s restaurants, both interior and exterior, are accessible to wheelchair users.

A main attraction is Captain Mick’s Water Adventures. Owner and polio sufferer Mick Nealey takes customers on fishing, viewing, and diving trips available by boat.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Florida is home to many excellent beaches, and Clearwater Beach is widely regarded as among the finest. It’s no surprise that this location has repeatedly been voted the finest coastline in the country by respected media outlets.

Beach access can be had from either Pier 60 or the sidewalk that parallels the shore. Free electric beach wheelchairs are provided if you roll around in the sand. They are first -come, first- served at the lifeguard stand by Pier 60.

An electric beach wheelchair can be rented from Sand Helper if you’d prefer your independence to the free beach wheelchairs provided by them.

Mare C, commented on a forum that she had a girl’s weekend with three girls in wheelchairs.  The service was excellent, and the chairs were in great shape. 

Beaches in California

Many of the best sites in the United States can be found in California: even the California Coastal Commission maps and lists all the places. Surfers, snorkelers, and swimmers come from far and wide to enjoy the beautiful coastlines and fun aquatic sports.

Santa Monica, California

If you’re a wheelchair user, the Santa Monica Pier is the perfect place to enjoy shopping, grab a bite to eat, and then chill on the beach! The entertainment area on the pier adds to the harbor’s length of around 1,600 feet, ensuring that you will never be bored.

The Annenberg Community Beach House has one free beach wheelchair available on a first-come, first-served basis, and Perry’s Cafe provides manual and motorized beach wheelchairs as well.

You can have even more enjoyment in Santa Monica by going to the North Beach Playground. The playground was designed with people of all abilities in mind, including sensory play components, barrier-free apparatus, and accessible surfaces.

Mission Beach

Mission Beach is one of the most popular San Diego beaches among people with disabilities, and it is just one of many that offer accessible facilities.

Beach wheelchairs, both conventional and powered, are available on a first-come, first-served basis so that wheelchair users can quickly move around on the beach and in the ocean.  Scootaround also rents out more powerful wheelchairs all over San Diego for those who require them.  

Oceanside City Beach and Pier

With a length of 1,942 feet, the historic Oceanside Pier is one of the enormous wood piers on the West Coast of the United States. You can see surfers out in the water, cheer on fishermen bringing in their catch, and even eat at the famous Ruby’s Diner at the very end of the shore.

International surfing contests, canoe sports, and endurance events draw a large crowd to the beach and town almost year-round.

The beach is one of the few in California that offers free power beach wheelchairs and manual beach wheelchairs to those with limited mobility.

Other Wheelchair Accessible Beach

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Cherry Grove Pier

Myrtle Beach, one of the most visited American beaches, has made significant efforts to accommodate people with disabilities.

As part of an effort to welcome all visitors, there are more than two dozen ways to get to the beach, and all cars with permitted tags can park for free at any public meter near the beach.

Beech wheelchairs for use on Myrtle Beach are provided free of charge, though they are limited, and tourists are encouraged to arrive early to secure one.

The local Ilderton Conversion Company also rents out automobiles, making transportation much more convenient.

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores, Alabama, a city on the Gulf Coast, has become a popular location for people who use beach wheelchairs to enjoy the shore.

The four accessible entry mats serve this purpose, with three located at the Gulf Place door and one more accessible walkway at the East Gulf Place entrance. AccessMats go about 350 feet from the shore, letting people in wheelchairs use their own manual or motorized wheelchairs to get to the beach.

Beach’N Buggy’s and Beach Power Rentals are two places tourists can hire powered beach wheelchairs.

Virginia Beach, VA

The beach in Virginia is well-liked because of how easily it can be reached. There are 100 handicapped parking spaces, a staircase to the coastline, handicapped-accessible bathrooms, and an ADA-compliant playground for kids.

There are beach wheelchairs available for free on a first-come, first-served basis during tourist season. Grommet Island Park, at the very end of the boardwalk, is home to an accessible beach park for kids, one of the first of its kind in the United States for accessible and fun activities.

Bradford Beach, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Bradford Beach is a tropical paradise in Wisconsin, tucked away on the shores of Lake Michigan. It is another wheelchair-accessible beach with a 100-foot long, 8-foot wide concrete slope.

This beach is equipped with four free beach wheelchairs for those who need them, and getting there is a breeze thanks to MobilityWorks, which is conveniently located nearby.


Many beaches in the United States are equipped to handle your needs so that you can take part in all the fun that beachgoing is known for. You can also speak with a person from your accessibility resources, who can provide details about which area venues can meet your specific needs.

Before You Go

The USA is one of the most disabled friendly countries in the world. You can still check Google for them if you don’t see any wheelchair-accessible beaches near you. Also, one should strongly consider scheduling their trips through a company that caters to those with greater mobility requirements. Here are many more useful tips and guides for wheelchair travel for beach lovers planning a trip!