Discover the Best Family-Friendly Beaches for Unforgettable Vacations

2023-10-11 00:35:26 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Looking for the perfect destination for a fun-filled family beach getaway? Look no further! We have compiled a list of the best family-friendly beaches across the globe, from the breathtaking shores of Oahu, Hawaii to the pristine sands of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Whether you prefer the sun-kissed beaches of Florida or the picturesque landscapes of Washington state, this article will take you on a journey to the most incredible sandy retreats where memories are made. So, pack your sunscreen and get ready to explore the top beach destinations that will make your family vacation truly unforgettable.

Oahu, Hawaii

Known for its lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and exciting outdoor activities, Oahu is an excellent choice for a family vacation in Hawaii. There are plenty of things to do, whether you want to try surfing, outrigger canoeing, or horseback riding, or simply relax on the sandy shores.

Where to stay in Oahu:

Families love Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu. With seven beaches, pools for both adults and children, hiking trails, hula lessons, and lūʻaus, there's plenty to keep everyone entertained. The only challenge might be convincing the kids to leave the resort!

Maui, Hawaii

If you're planning a trip to Hawaii, make sure to include a stop in Maui. Known as the "Valley Isle," this island offers over 30 miles of beautiful beaches with white, black, and red sands. Families can visit Baldwin State Park, which has a special "baby beach" on a lagoon, or Launiupoko Beach Park, which features a pool created by a natural rock wall. Older kids will enjoy snorkeling at Kaanapali Beach.

Destin, Florida

Situated in the panhandle of Florida, Destin is a popular destination for family-friendly beach getaways. Henderson Beach State Park and James Lee Park offer pristine white sands and clear green waters, as well as playgrounds, picnic areas, and bathrooms. In addition to beach activities, families can enjoy attractions like dolphin cruises, a zoo, and a water park.

Miami, Florida

While Miami is often associated with its vibrant nightlife, it also has plenty to offer for families traveling with children. The famous beach stretching from 1st to 25th Street is a top attraction, and there are also kid-friendly destinations such as the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science and Puttshack, a high-tech mini-golf course. With direct flights available from many US cities, it's no wonder that Miami is a popular choice for family vacations.

Where to stay in Miami:

Loews Miami Beach Hotel is an excellent option for families, boasting an impressive kids' club with a lifeguard hut playscape, crafts, scavenger hunts, and pizza-making classes. The hotel also offers direct beach access, swimming pools, and connecting rooms.

Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia Island, located just 30 minutes from the Jacksonville Airport, provides a more laid-back beach experience compared to other Florida destinations. With 13 miles of uncrowded and unspoiled beaches, families can enjoy nature exploration and spot native wildlife. The island's historic downtown center also offers top-notch restaurants and music festivals.

Daytona Beach, Florida

Known as the "world's most famous beach," Daytona Beach offers 23 miles of sandy shoreline on Florida's east coast. Families can choose from multiple beaches, including Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, and Ponce Inlet. There are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy, such as speedboating, strolling the iconic boardwalk, and watching minor league baseball games at Daytona Tortugas.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

For many families, a trip to the Outer Banks is an annual tradition that everyone looks forward to. Whether you prefer relaxing on the beach or engaging in water-based activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, and skimboarding, there's something for everyone. Don't miss the opportunity to explore Pine Island Sanctuary and see the wild horses on off-road tours.

Where to stay in Outer Banks:

Sanderling Resort offers a prime location, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound. With three pools, private beach access, and an on-site adventure concierge, this resort is a fantastic base for families.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is a fantastic destination for families, with its beautiful beach stretching for over a mile. Kids will love attractions like the SkyWheel observation ride, while parents can enjoy exploring the surrounding 60 miles of uninterrupted coastline. Surfside Beach, with its lifeguards, daily cleaning crew, and facilities, is highly recommended for families.

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Located just 20 miles south of Charleston, Kiawah Island offers ten miles of sandy beaches, parks, and trails for hiking and biking. Golf enthusiasts will be pleased to find five championship courses. Families can enjoy a day of golfing followed by a nature walk in Marsh Island Park, where they may spot birds, butterflies, and even alligators.

Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, Alabama

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, known for their Southern hospitality and down-home vibe, offer 32 miles of sugar-like sand beaches. Adults can enjoy championship golf courses, while kids can have fun at the amusement parks. The 6,000-acre Gulf State Park provides additional activities such as fishing, hiking, biking, and Segway tours.

Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May may have less than three miles of beaches, but it offers a charming destination for families. In addition to swimming, kids can try surfing, skimboarding, and sand sculpting. Kayaking and volleyball are also popular activities. Enjoy dining at restaurants located right on the sand, and don't forget to purchase beach tags during the summer months.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket Island, located south of Cape Cod, is a relaxed and picturesque getaway for families. The Children's Beach provides a safe area for kids to play in the gentle surf, while Ice Cream and Critter cruises offer unique experiences. Families can explore the island by bike, as it is the preferred mode of transportation, and enjoy the low-key island vibes.

Monterey, California

Monterey, a city and county combination, offers family-friendly beaches amidst its stunning natural beauty. McAbee Beach is perfect for kayaking, and it's conveniently located near the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row. Monterey State Beach, consisting of three separate beaches, is ideal for families, thanks to its protected sand shelf that keeps the waves calm.

Laguna Beach, California

Laguna Beach surprises visitors with its calm-water sections along its seven miles of coastline. Main Beach is a popular spot with restrooms, lifeguards, a playground, and volleyball courts. Thalia Street Beach is great for beginner surfers, making it an excellent choice for teens who want to learn how to ride the waves.

San Diego, California

San Diego is a paradise for families, with its 70 miles of coastline. La Jolla Shores, known for its gentle waves, is ideal for kids, while Coronado Beach offers wide white sands for kite flying and volleyball. Families can also visit attractions like SeaWorld and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

Ocean City, Maryland

Ocean City, located on the East Coast, is a popular destination for family vacations. With 10 miles of well-maintained beaches, families can enjoy fishing, surfing, kayaking, and more. The area also hosts free events during the summer months, including fireworks and movie showings. Don't miss the three-mile boardwalk, lined with arcades, rides, and shops.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach is home to a variety of family attractions, including an aquarium, indoor skydiving, mini golf, and a three-mile boardwalk. The city offers both Atlantic-fronted and Chesapeake-facing beaches, giving families the opportunity to experience both bodies of water. The bay's beaches, such as Chic's Beach, are particularly suitable for younger kids due to their calm waters.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach provides a unique beach experience, as it offers wildlife sightings rather than intense water activities. Visitors can enjoy the cool and wet weather while observing bird species like puffins, bald eagles, and cormorants. At low tide, the tide pools fill with starfish, anemones, and other fascinating creatures.

Jekyll Island, Georgia

Jekyll Island, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia, features 10 miles of shoreline, including the stunning Driftwood Beach. Families can spend time on the beach or engage in activities such as dolphin cruises, visiting a waterpark, horseback riding tours, and biking on paved trails.

Grand Haven, Michigan

Located along Lake Michigan, Grand Haven offers beautiful sandy beaches. Grand Haven State Park is a popular destination with its lovely beach and lively boardwalk lined with businesses. Families can also visit North Beach Park, which is quieter and provides an excellent swimming beach for families.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana offers a perfect beach vacation for families. From catching rays and splashing in the water to building sandcastles and leisurely seaside strolls, there's plenty for everyone to enjoy. Numerous all-inclusive resorts cater to families, such as Club Med Punta Cana, which features outdoor pools, a circus school, a kids' club, family rooms, and babysitting services.


Anguilla, known for its romantic escapes, is also a wonderful destination for families. The long sandy beaches with calm waters provide a picturesque and safe environment for kids to play while parents relax. Restaurants right on the beach offer fresh seafood, live music, and a laid-back island atmosphere. Luxury family-friendly resorts are available for accommodation.


Fiji may require a long journey to reach, but it rewards families with its blue skies, sandy beaches, and tropical vibes. Snorkeling in protected coral reefs allows for a glimpse of the incredible underwater world. Immersive experiences bring Fijian culture to life for both kids and adults.

Where to stay in Fiji:

VOMO Island Fiji is a luxury all-inclusive resort that offers maximum value for families. Accommodations, meals, drinks, and edu-travel activities are all included in the rate. Families can also take advantage of complimentary babysitting services, ensuring a relaxing and enjoyable stay.

Edmonds, Washington

Located just 17 miles from Seattle, Edmonds offers a peaceful beach getaway. Marina Beach Park, with its stunning views, playground, and volleyball facilities, is a favorite among families. Olympic Beach, situated at the foot of the Edmonds Public Fishing Pier, features picnic tables, a viewing scope, and a kayak launch. Naturalists are available during the summer to explain marine critters to the whole family.

In conclusion, from the exotic shores of Oahu and Maui in Hawaii to the sunny beaches of Destin and Miami in Florida, we have explored the top family-friendly beach destinations across the United States and beyond. Whether you're seeking a laid-back seaside escape or an action-packed adventure, these diverse locales offer something for everyone. From the charming coastal towns of Cape May and Nantucket to the picturesque beauty of Laguna Beach and Monterey, you can create lifelong memories with your loved ones. So pack your bags, grab your swimsuits, and get ready for a sun-soaked vacation filled with laughter, relaxation, and endless fun at one of these best family-friendly beaches.

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