Best Family Beach Vacations for Kids at Every Age

There’s a reason beach vacations are so popular among families, striking the perfect balance of activity and relaxation for grownups and little ones. From Hawaii and the Caribbean to Mexico and Thailand, these beaches are some of the best for jet-setters of all ages, thanks in part to warmer temps and calmer waters.

Family Beach Vacations

Baby Beach, Kauai. Photo by Trevor Russell

Favorite Family Beach Vacations for All Ages and Stages

Babies and Toddlers

Turks and Caicos: This group of isles south of the Bahamas technically sits in the Atlantic and not the Caribbean Sea, but you wouldn’t know it! Powdery sand, azure waters and several top-notch resorts along gorgeous Grace Bay beach, on Providenciales, make this an easy, breezy vacay for the entire family.

Baby Beach, Kauai: In Poipu on Kauai’s south side, this aptly named beach is enclosed with a bay where boulders break the surf for calm, shallow waters. Spot hermit crabs, sea slugs and other creatures in the tidepools.

Forte dei Marmi, Italy: This quaint seaside town in northern Italy has been a favorite with Tuscan families for ages, but remains mostly under the radar for U.S. travelers. Wide beaches with slow moving waves make this a great beach destination for wee ones with plenty of international flair to boot.

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Family Beach Vacations

Koh Samui, Thailand. Photo by Robin Hickmott

School-Age Kids

Florida Panhandle: The sugar-white beaches of the Florida Panhandle are often overlooked in favor of bigger-name destinations on the East Coast. Consider towns such as Destin, Seaside and Rosemary Beach, all within a short flight or couple of hours’ drive from Tallahassee. Bonus: The shores are less crowded then their eastern counterparts, and there are lots of nature experiences as well.

Thailand: Thailand is well known for its beautiful beaches, and the island of Koh Samui, just off the southeastern shore, ranks especially high. And there just happens to be a top-notch Four Seasons resort on the island, catering to families. Convenient indeed!

Tulum, Mexico: Authentic and quiet, Tulum feels like nearby Playa del Carmen and Cancun did decades ago. Enjoy the gorgeous beaches, visit the ruins, explore cenotes … you can’t go wrong.

Family Beach Vacations

Bondi Beach, Sydney. Photo by Lina Hayes

Tweens and Teens

Laguna Beach: One of California’s most famous beaches, Laguna has a laidback vibe. The cooler Pacific waters makes this  spot a good choice with older kiddos who want to try water sports. Nearby, Crystal Cove State Park is great for hiking and biking.

Bondi Beach, Sydney: With its surfing scene and prime city location, Sydney’s Bondi Beach is a destination for locals as much as it is for travelers. Sign up for surf lessons and hit the water!

Mauna Kea Beach, Big Island of Hawaii: This half-mile stretch on the Big Island’s northern shore is great for families, with small coral reefs on both sides of the beach that create an ideal spot for snorkeling. Older kids can try stand-up paddleboarding here too.

Relevant Links:

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