25 Best Family Beach Vacations in the US

For many families, summer would not be complete without a trip to the beach, so we asked our fellow travel writers to share their favorite family friendly beach vacations in the US, and we were overwhelmed by the variety of beaches they had to share. Not a single repetition in the bunch! Whether your family likes to collect shells, mingle with the wildlife, or take long rides on the boardwalk, each one of these beaches has something different to offer. This post covers the best family beach vacations in the US, from the east to the west, and each one is unique!

Best US Beach Vacations for Families-Kids Are A Trip

Best Beach Vacations in the US for Families

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Fun Family Beach Vacation on the East Coast

The best family beach vacations along the east coast usually include beaches in Massachusetts, South Carolina, and the Hamptons, so it was nice to find other favorite east coast beaches to add to the list. Here are the ones they found most appealing:

Family Friendly Beaches East Coast

The Simple Proof has the perfect plan for a weekend in Martha’s Vineyard. Read about this bucolic island of country roads, quiet beaches, and roadside farm stands.

More Than Main Street had trouble choosing a favorite, so she shared the 20+ best family beaches on the East Coast.

Family Vacation Critic makes us feel like the beaches in Maine are underrated. Even though the water is chilly, they say Maine has some of the cleanest and most family friendly beaches around. Choose one of these family beaches in Maine for your next family getaway. Here are 5 Maine beaches to add to your family’s radar.

Kids Unplugged makes an argument for why Stone Harbor is the perfect New Jersey beach.

Mother of All Trips loves visiting the Delaware beaches with kids and shares her tips for seeing the shore. She says “the beaches in the First State consistently rank among the nation’s cleanest and the towns that line them offer not only some of the best restaurants in Delaware but a variety of outdoor and historic activities.”

Stone Harbor New Jersey Beach for Kids-Kids Unplugged
Stone Harbor, New Jersey
Photo credit: Kids Unplugged

Best Beaches in the Carolinas and Georgia

Two Moms A Little Time and a Keyboard loves the surf, sand, and sea creatures at the Wilmington, North Carolina beaches. These Carolina beaches are gorgeous, clean, and free!

Tips for Family Trips gives a list of tips for planning a beach vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. These barrier islands offer every imaginable water sport, including kite surfing, jet skiing, parasailing, and scuba diving.

Our contributor Sherry of Travel Plans in Mom Hands shares the best things to do in Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach has something for everyone with its variety of beaches and on shore entertainment.

We 3 Travel shares an awesome guide to Georgia’s Jekyll Island beaches. While Luxe Recess says the beaches on Little St. Simons island are empty and loaded with seashells. Who wouldn’t love that? And don’t miss these other fun things to do with kids on St. Simons Island.

Best Florida Beaches for Families

Mickler's Beach near Jacksonville-The Travel Inspired Living
Mickler’s Beach near Jacksonville
Photo credit: Travel Inspired Living

It was obvious from the responses received that people love Florida beaches. From its small islands to family friendly beaches, the Sunshine State really does offer some of the finest beaches in the south.

The Wandering Rumpus says Anna Maria Island beach in Florida is the perfect escape.

Tips for Family Trips says one of the best family friendly beaches in Florida is Clearwater Beach. They love everything from the sugar sand beaches to the free family events.

Luxe Recess loves Captiva and the South Seas Island Resort for families. Kids can enjoy off shore sailing school and dolphin cruises in the area when they are done with the beach.

Trekaroo loves Florida’s Sanibel Island beaches which are perfect for shelling. Sanibel Island is known as one of the best shelling locations in the world. And here are more reasons to visit the beaches of Sanibel.

Captiva Beach in Florida-Kids Are A Trip

Families Go Travel loves the beaches of Florida’s Paradise Coast, especially the Marco Island beaches.

Travel Inspired Living enjoys the sea shell lined shores of Mickler’s Beach near Jacksonville. It’s also an awesome spot for surfing and fishing.

How to Survive Life in the Suburbs loves the uniqueness of Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs. It has quintessential shells, palm trees, and shells, but it’s different than other Florida beaches!

Our contributor Heidi loves the white sand beaches of Sandestin and says it’s one of the best family beaches in Florida.

365 Family Travel recommends their favorite Florida beaches. They share seventeen of their favorites for families.

Best Beaches in the Midwest

Most people forget about Midwest beaches, and that’s really a shame. The shorelines of the Great Lakes are lined with sand dunes, pebbles, forests, and quaint towns, and really shouldn’t be missed.

Road Trips for Families kicks off the best in the Midwest with their 5 favorite beaches in Door County, Wisconsin including our favorite, Schoolhouse Beach.

Nate and Rachael explain why the best beach isn’t necessarily on the ocean, and share their tips for visiting the Indiana Dunes.

Midwest Beaches-with-Kids-Schoolhouse-Beach-Kids-Are-A-Trip
Schoolhouse Beach has some of the clearest water you will ever see!

Travel Inspired Living visits one of the longest beaches on Lake Erie, Headlands Beach State Park, and tells why it’s a must visit.

The Wandering Educators shares the Top 10 Beach Towns of Michigan’s Sunset Coast, and makes me want to visit each and every one.

One Beach in Texas Families will Love

Not really Midwest, but not too far away, Tips for Family Trips shares 10 fun things to do in Galveston, Texas and why you’ll love their 32 miles of beaches!

Favorite Beaches on the West Coast

The Pacific Ocean also has beautiful beaches, and they’re not just in California. These are some of the best California beaches, but there are others in Oregon and Washington too.

Family friendly California beaches

Luxe Recess loves the Shore Hotel in Santa Monica and thinks it is the perfect hotel close to Santa Monica Beach and pier.

We love San Diego beaches and share our favorite San Diego family beaches.

The Simple Proof shares the best beaches in Big Sur with kids you won’t want to miss.

Best beaches in the Pacific Northwest

Long Beach Washington-Wild Tales Of
Long Beach, Washington
Photo credit: Wild Tales Of

Mommy Travels writes about all the fun to be had in Newport, Oregon including beaches, accommodations, and places to refuel.

Wild Tales Of… discovered some unusual creatures at Long Beach in Washington and lived to tell about it. LOL

Thrifty NW Mom has the low down on the four best beaches in Olympic National Park in Washington state.

I always knew everyone had their opinion on the best beaches for kids in the US, but I never knew everyone’s choices would be so diverse. All of these family beach vacations look fantastic and they only make me want to travel more and explore the fun family beach vacations we have in the United States.

If you’re looking for beaches around the world for families, you’ll want to read this article. We also have places in Key West to check out. And just in case you were counting, we might have a few more than 25 picks, we just couldn’t choose.

Don’t miss these other spring break ideas or winter getaways for families.

Awesome US Beaches for Family Vacation

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18 Comments

  1. I second stone harbor in NJ! It’s a great kept secret (or at least it WAS!!) 🙂 🙂 Wild wood is another great Jersey beach, if only for the boardwalk (and also for the calm waves that are perfect for littles!) 🙂

  2. Too funny Michelle! Looks like the secret is out! Love the Wildwood suggestion. Passing it along to others on the east coast!

  3. LOVE this post, Kirsten! Such an awesome resource. Who knew there were so many fantastic beaches? I’m so glad to have a go-to beach guide. Thanks so much for curating this list!

  4. Michelle, so funny! My cousin was so upset when I wrote that post. I think Stone Harbor is still one of the Jersey Shore’s best-kept secrets. Most people will continue down the parkway to the Wildwoods and Cape May 😉

  5. Thanks Gina! I hope some of them are close enough to you so you can explore some new beaches this summer! Have a great weekend!

  6. I’m from the midwest and am so excited we were represented. Door County, Wisconsin is truly beautiful…not just in summer but also in the fall when all the leaves change.

  7. Caryn, don’t you just love Door County. It’s one of those great places that very few people outside the midwest seem to know about. We’ve been there without kids, but I’m dying to take them back. I think they would love it. Maybe we’ll try it this fall. I bet it’s beautiful.

  8. I have got to check out these Florida beaches! We’ve only been to Cocoa Beach and loved it, but the rest sound just as spectacular.

  9. Great list! Thank you so much for linking up to Merry Monday this week! I am sharing your post today on Pinterest! We hope to see you next week for another great party! Have a great week!
    Best,
    Kim

  10. Thank you for sharing (and contributing). It was amazing to see everyone’s favorites and not have any duplicates in the bunch. May your summer bring you plenty of time to head to the beach!

  11. Thanks a bunch, I appreciate your sharing on Pinterest. I love joining your party every week.

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