Best Family Beach Vacation Ideas

Empty table on restaurant balcony overlooking beach

Mint Images / Getty Images

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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Hotel balcony overlooking urban beach

Mint Images / Getty Images

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Beaches 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.

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