While family travel can be anything but relaxing, a beach vacation is a tried-and-true winner for kid-friendly fun and stress-free logistics. The joy here is in the simplicity: Families can leave their structured daily routines behind in favor of waking up to sea views from their beachfront lodging, hours spent building sandcastles, listening to children giggle as they splash in the waves, and dining while watching the sun dip below the horizon.
We love adding some bucket-list activities to a beach vacation, like a helicopter tour in Hawaii, swimming with manatees in Florida, a trip to Disneyland in Southern California, whale watching in Maine or schooner boat rides in the Caribbean. It gives everyone enough variety without the trip feeling like a sightseeing slog.
Let us help you choose a kid-friendly beach resort; we can narrow down options based on your top priorities, like a quality kids’ club, convenient airport access and spacious room configurations. Book through us to secure extra perks like a late check-out so you can savor your last day in paradise.
Here are 11 of the best destinations with kids to consider for your family’s next beach vacation:
The beaches here appeal to families in a variety of ways. Some have calmer waters where you can snorkel without fear of large breaks. Others, like Baldwin Beach, have larger waves to please surfers and boogie boarders. You can even spot humpback whales from the shore during certain seasons.
The development of several marquee luxury beach resorts on Turks & Caicos means families are discovering the incredible appeal of this Caribbean island: its stunning azure-blue water. Fortunately these resorts keep families top of mind, so there are plenty of activities onsite besides staring at the amazing views.
San Diego has long been a winner on the family vacation scene, with its theme parks, zoos and museums. But it also works as a beach getaway, and Coronado Beach is the most spectacular stretch of sand in the area. In winter, the holiday decorations and activities are robust, meaning this destination works across seasons.
This island is the solution to the quintessential Greece dilemma: Families don’t want to travel all that way only to sit on a beach and miss out on the incredible history and culture. But Greece’s spectacular beaches are why people come in the first place. In Crete, you can easily experience both.
This gentle, sloping beach means the water is quite shallow for hundreds of yards, making it ideal for parents of young children worried about safety. Older children will enjoy sea kayaking and other watersports. Charleston is just quick drive away, giving city lovers an option to consider for a day trip.
One of the premier beach destinations in southeast Asia, Phuket offers a nice selection of family-friendly beach resorts to choose from. We love that you can mix in cultural experiences in Phuket, too, like traditional long-tail boat rides.
Some of the most spectacular sandy beaches on the planet are found on this iconic island. The surf here is great for older kids, enabling boogie boarding and surfing. And like nearly all locations in Hawaii, the beaches are public, meaning you can seek out new spots each day of the trip.
It can be tricky to find sandy beaches in Europe, where rocky coastline and pebbled shores are more common, particularly in Italy. But Forte dei Marmi is a longtime Ciao Bambino favorite for its sand, gentle waters and beach clubs that provide a high level of service. When deciding what to pack, don’t forget an empty suitcase so you can hit some of the designer shops that line the promenade.
This barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast is notable not just for its upscale atmosphere, but also for its extensive variety of shells that make beachcombing entertaining for kids. The dozens of miles of bike paths make transportation around the island part of the fun, too.
Spain and France might be more popular European beach destinations, but many families in the know prefer southern Portugal. Prices are a bit lower and more importantly, crowds are smaller here, especially in the summer high season. Kid-friendly resorts in this region were built exclusively with families in mind, not as an afterthought.
One of our pro travel tips is to start your Australian vacation enjoying a few days at Sydney’s Bondi Beach. The fresh air will help you kick the jet lag and give everyone some rejuvenating downtime after that long flight to build up their energy for the adventures ahead.
For most families, their biggest priority on vacation is to reconnect with each other, away from all of life’s distractions. There’s no better place to focus on the ones you love most and make memories than the beach, where the waves truly wash your worries away.
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