Best Family Beach Vacation Ideas

There's nothing quite like a vacation that combines sun, sand and surf. These family-friendly beach destinations belong on your vacation short list.


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    America's Top 10 Beaches

    Clearwater Beach, Florida
    Franz Marc Frei /LOOK-foto/Getty Images

    Love beach getaways? TripAdvisor crunched the numbers on user ratings and determined that these are the best beaches in the United States. Six of these spectacular beaches are in the Sunshine State, with three in Hawaii and the remaining top pick in California.


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    The sunny Southeast is just the ticket when your crew needs a dose of Vitamin D. Here are our picks for best family beach vacations from Virginia to Florida and up the Gulf Coast.

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    Flickr Creative Commons/Don DeBold

    The Golden State's 840-mile coast line offers a lifetime of fabulous beach vacation possibilities. Read on for our roundup of best family California beach vacations.

  • 04 of 12


    Maui with Kids - Hawaii Family Vacations
    M Swiet Productions/Getty Images

    Ohana is a Hawaiian word meaning "family" and has central importance in Hawaiian life. For visitors, this means that families are welcome even at high-end luxury brand resorts. We've grouped our picks of family-friendly Hawaiian resorts by island. Many Hawaii resorts have kids' clubs, and lavish pools with slides, waterfalls, and other features—just don't expect to find all-inclusive pricing in Hawaii.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Gulf Coast

    Florida State Parks

    With its sand like powdered sugar and azure blue waters, the Gulf of Mexico offers a slew of gorgeous beach destinations from Texas to Florida. Here are our favorite Gulf Coast picks for families.

  • 06 of 12


    Beaches Boscobel. Photo courtesy of Beaches Resorts.
    Photo courtesy of Beaches Resorts.

    All-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean are extremely popular with families, who love the their easy pricing, beautiful beaches, fun watersports, and kids' programs. Here are some top suggestions for family holidays.

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    Iberostar Playa Mita

    With their tempting prices and many amenities, Mexico's all-inclusive beach resorts are a favorite vacation of families. These are some of the very best when you have kids in tow.


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    Upper Cape Cod, Massachusetts

    Quissett Beaches, Upper Cape Cod
    Quissett Harbor Preservation Trust

    The most westerly region of Cape Cod—Bourne, Sandwich, Mashpee, Falmouth, and Woods Hole—make up the Upper Cape. Life is a bit sleepier here than on the Outer Cape. The beaches are a bit calmer and prices a bit lower, too, which combine to make this an ideal getaway with kids.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Chincoteague Island, Virginia

    Bonnie Gruenberg/Wikimedia Commons

    Accessible by boat or by car off Virginia's Eastern coast over the Route 175 bridge, the small and serene Chincoteague Island is the gateway to the Assateague Island National Seashore—a nature refuge that is home of the herds of wild ponies made famous in the classic children's book Misty of Chincoteague.

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    Ogunquit, Maine

    Marginal Way - Ogunquit, Maine
    Suzanne Rowan Kelleher

    A jewel along the southern Maine coast, the pretty village of Ogunquit delights families with a stunning coastal walk, wonderful beach, saltwater taffy, lobstering cruises, and lots of unpretentious family fun.

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    Best Family Beach Near Orlando

    Photo: Suzanne Rowan Kelleher

    A reader is looking to add some beach time to a few days at Disney World. Here are the Florida beach destinations Suzanne recommends within driving distance of Orlando.

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    Best Beach in New Jersey

    Ocean City New Jersey Lifeguard Stand
    Kevin Jarrett/Flickr Creative Commons

    New Jersey has hundreds of miles of beach towns known collectively as the Jersey Shore, which offers a little something for everybody, from the bustle of Seaside Heights to the upscale Victorian splendor of Cape May. Find out the winner of New Jersey's Top 10 Beaches Contest.