St Ives has a total of 5 beaches, all with their own different characteristics. Porthminster Beach is ideal for young families as it tends to have gentle waves. There are a couple of beach cafes and public toilets. Porthmeor is the surf beach with larger waves. The St Ives Surf School is based here.
Carbis Bay beach is slightly further away but is about 30 minutes on foot, or a short bus/car ride away. This is also a sheltered beach and is ideal for families with lovely white sand, cafes and a water sports centre.
This small town has a sandy beach with a nearby children's play area, as well as some good pubs and cafes. It is also the access point for St Michael's Mount.
Porthcurno has a lovely white sand beach and clear blue water, and is close to an attractive section of coast path. It is also home to the Minack Theatre and the Telegraph Museum, so a day out here caters for a variety of interests.
There is some attractive scenery around Land's End and it is worth leaving the more developed area and heading either towards Sennen or around to the south towards Porthcurno to see these areas. The Land's End development includes shops, cafes, a small farm and various family activities. An alternative to driving to Land's End itself is to park at Sennen Cove where there is a lovely beach and cafe, and walk around to Land's End on the coast path. This is a relatively easy section of path and it is about 1.5 miles from Sennen to Land's End.
Paradise Park is about 10-15 minutes drive away and is a bird and wildlife sanctuary. There are regular shows including otter and penguin feeding, flying displays of birds of prey etc. There is also an indoor soft play area.
Flambards is about 30 minutes drive away and includes indoor activities as well as outdoor rollercoasters etc.
Treasure Trails provide the opportunity for families to explore places in more detail than they might usually do, and turn detective or do some spying in the process. There are trails based in St Ives, Hayle, Marazion and on the coast path between Lelant and St Ives.
See the Sport & Leisure section for details of Watersports, Golf and Go karting