10 Wheelchair-friendly Beaches from Around the World

Now that the temperature is rising and the clouds are starting to part, it’s time to start thinking about vacation getaways again. Although beaches are always a top pick, it’s hard to know which ones are wheelchair-friendly and which ones are not.

Despite many beaches around the world claiming to be “accessible,” there are some that rise above and beyond the call with generous boardwalks, ramps, and even specialty beach wheelchair rentals.

Do you think your favorite spot made the cut?

Here is a list of 10 wheelchair-friendly beaches from around the world:

California, USA

Situated on the West Coast, the “Golden State” of California is chock-full of wheelchair-friendly beaches. With some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, areas like Santa Monica and Malibu are easily accessible due to their spanning boardwalks, beach wheelchair rentals, and ramps.

Wheelchair Friendly Beach

(Malibu Beach)

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Now heading over to the East Coast, Virginia Beach has plenty of offerings to make you consider it for your next wheelchair-friendly vacation. Along with over 100 designated parking spots for those with limited mobility, each beach access point from 1st to 58th Street features a wheelchair ramp. There are also restrooms and lodging areas for wheelchair users, as well as JT’s Grommet Island, a completely accessible oceanfront park for children with special needs.

Wheelchair Friendly Beach(Virginia Beach)

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun’s white sand and turquoise crystal-clear water make for a special vacation you’ll never forget. Lined with plenty of boardwalks, Cancun is one of the friendliest beaches in terms of accessibility. There’s also areas with private beach access for those with limited mobility.

Wheelchair Friendly Beach(Cancun)

Key Largo, Florida

Along with accessible ramps and wooden walkways, Florida’s Key Largo offers many companies that specialize in underwater experiences for disabled guests. Whether you’re interested in snorkeling, fishing, or sightseeing, these safe and fun daytrips can provide you with the experience of a lifetime. They obviously do not call it “The Sunshine State” for nothing!

Wheelchair Friendly Beach(Key Largo)

Freedom Shores, Mexico

Southeast of Mexico lies the beautiful resort of Freedom Shores. Built on Isla Aguada by a quadriplegic who was injured while serving in the Marine Corps, this four-star resort is 100% accessible to all guests. The owner dreamed of a location where those in wheelchairs could vacation in a resort-setting, and now that dream has become a luxurious reality.

Wheelchair Friendly Beach(Isla Aguada)

Hanauma Bay, Hawaii

Aloha! If you’re considering a trip to Hawaii, Hanauma Bay might just be the destination you’ve been waiting for. With all of the natural beauty you’d expect from Hawaii’s beaches, Hanauma also offers free beach wheelchairs, accessible walkways, and ADA accommodations. There are also package tours available that offer different excursions with vans and buses equipped with auto lifts.

Wheelchair Friendly Beach(Hanauma Bay)

Pattaya Beach, Thailand

Boasting the “first wheelchair-friendly hotel in Pattaya,” the A-ONE Pattaya Beach Resort in Thailand was built from scratch with accessibility in mind. Each facet of the hotel was designed to be accessible by wheelchair, even down to the seated check-in process. This resort rests on the beautiful landscape of Pattaya Beach, which is also within easy traveling distance of many local attractions.

Wheelchair Friendly Beach(Pattaya Beach)

Loutraki, Greece

If you’re seeking a truly immersive experience, Sirens Resort in Loutraki, Greece is well worth your vacation time. Along with a free beach-wheelchair provided to each guest, there is a fully-accessible beach, complete with a ramp going straight into the water! There are also paved pathways, wheelchair accessible rooms, and roll-in showers; all making it one of the top wheelchair-friendly resorts on the planet!

Wheelchair Friendly Beach(Loutraki)

Tuscany, Italy

Four beaches in Tuscany top the rest when it comes to accessibility: Alcione Beach, Bagno Auroria, Stella del Mare, and Fossa Maestra. While some locations offer wheelchair-friendly changing rooms and showers, all four are incredibly accessible due to their abundant ramps and boardwalks.

Wheelchair Friendly Beach(Stella del Mare)

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The City of Myrtle Beach is dedicated to remaining accessible to residents and visitors with limited mobility. Along with free beach-going wheelchairs for rent, any disabled visitor displaying a valid handicapped license tag or hang tag is allowed to park for free at any public-operated parking meter. There are also plenty of boardwalks, as well as 42 public beach access points which are available for full- and partial-accessibility.

Wheelchair Friendly Beach(Myrtle Beach)

Did your favorite wheelchair-friendly beach not make the list? Perhaps you’d like to tell others about another great location.

Leave a comment below and promote your favorite wheelchair-friendly beach spot!



Hanauma Bay Beach Park, Hawaii Accessibility




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Comments (7)

  1. M  May 23, 2017

    I dont know when penang beach malaysia will have a ramp for wheel chair bound people. Its devastating to see someone who once surfed the waves , can’t even touch the water anymore!

  2. Erika  January 10, 2016

    I think beaches with boardwalks and pier that go over ocean helps us enjoy the ocean. Some California beaches like Seal, Huntington, Newport and Laguna do that.

    1. Brian Havens  January 11, 2016

      We agree, Erika! There should be more boardwalks and piers at the beach; they’re great for people of all abilities.

      Thanks for your suggestions!

  3. Jed McCabe  January 10, 2016

    I’ve booked for Punta Cana in the Dom Republic this year and it is supposed to have a wheelchair friendly beach there. Have you any input on this?

    1. Brian Havens  January 11, 2016

      That sounds like an amazing vacation! There are a lot of wheelchair-accessible resorts in Punta Cana, as well as access points at the beach. From the comments I’ve seen online, Punta Cana sounds like a very wheelchair-friendly beach.

      Let us know how your trip goes!

  4. Home Care Pulse  June 2, 2015

    Wow, I’m ready to hit the beach. It’s hard to find beaches that are comfortably wheelchair accessible. This is a great guide for anyone in a wheelchair who doesn’t want to miss out on a fun summer beach trip.

    1. Brian Havens  July 6, 2015

      Thanks for reading! Finding a beach that’s wheelchair accessible can be trying at times but it’s good to know if you look hard enough there’s plenty out there!