The USA is home to some of the best family beach destinations that offer a perfect blend of sun, sand, and fun-filled activities for all ages. A great family beach destination should have kid-friendly lodging, safe and affordable options, and plenty of land-based attractions to explore when you need a break from the water. In this article, we’ll highlight the best beaches in the USA for families that will make your next trip unforgettable.
Best Beaches in the USA for Families
Let’s look into the details of the best beaches in the USA for families!
1- Long Beach
Long Beach, located on Washington State’s southwest coast, is a fantastic beach destination for families. The beach is 28 miles long and is known as the “World’s Longest Beach.” Kite Flying is the most popular activity here.
It hosts the internationally-renowned Washington State International Kite Festival every August, which draws visitors from across the globe. You can also visit the World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame. Along with kite flying, there are carnival rides, games, bumper cars, and a carousel to enjoy.
2- Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a family beach trip that doesn’t involve swimming. Even during summer, the weather stays cool and wet, but the beach is full of wildlife. The beach is located 90 minutes from Portland, and it’s home to spectacular rock formations that host various bird species like puffins, bald eagles, and cormorants.
During low tide, pools filled with starfish, anemones, and other fascinating creatures will delight and entertain your family. Your kids will love exploring the rocky coastline, looking for discoveries in the tide pools, and watching the birds soar overhead.
3- Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach is one of the top beaches for families, with 23 miles of sand on Florida’s east coast. Visitors can choose from Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, or Ponce Inlet or sample them all. In addition to relaxing on the beach, families can enjoy a range of activities, including speed boating, strolling the iconic boardwalk, or catching the Daytona Tortugas playing a minor league baseball game.
It is also home to the Daytona International Speedway, where visitors can tour the track or attend races and other events. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder Daytona Beach is dubbed the “world’s most famous beach.”
4- Cape May
Cape May, New Jersey, may not have miles of beaches like some other destinations, but it makes up for it with charm and family-friendly activities. Known as the country’s oldest seaside resort, Cape May boasts less than three miles of beaches that offer a range of fun activities such as surfing, skimboarding, sand sculpting, kayaking, and volleyball.
Steger and 2nd Avenue beaches have volleyball nets for public use. The island’s small size creates a cozy and familiar atmosphere for visitors. Away from the beach, there are many attractions, including the Cape May Lighthouse, the Emlen Physick Estate, and the Cape May County Zoo. Don’t forget to check out the Victorian architecture that gives the town its unique character.
5- Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach, located in Southern California, is an ideal beach for families. Even though surfing is popular in Southern California, Laguna Beach has several sections on its seven-mile coastline with calm waters perfect for families. Families can visit Main Beach to enjoy the playground, restrooms, lifeguards, and volleyball courts, which Olympians frequent.
For those who want to learn to surf, Thalia Street Beach is the perfect spot for beginner surfers. Teens who dream of catching the perfect wave will love this beach. Laguna Beach is also a great destination for families who love art. The town has several art galleries and boasts a thriving arts community. The Laguna Art Museum is an excellent place to visit and see a collection of California art.
6- Goose Rocks Beach
Kennebunkport, Maine, may not be the first place that comes to mind when considering family beach vacations, but it’s a hidden gem. Goose Rocks Beach is a three-mile-long beach with calm waters thanks to the barrier reef that protects it. Families can play in the waves, build sandcastles, and go beachcombing for treasures.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Kids and adults alike can learn about lobster fishing by taking a hands-on boat tour aboard the Rugosa. And if you’re lucky, you might even taste a fresh catch. Other activities include hiking, kayaking, and exploring the charming seaside town of Kennebunkport, which has many restaurants and shops.
7- Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach, located in Virginia, has many attractions that families can enjoy together, including an aquarium, indoor skydiving, mini-golf, and a three-mile boardwalk. However, the city also boasts fantastic beaches that families should enjoy. Whether you want to take in the Atlantic Ocean or prefer to splash in the calmer waters of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach has it all.
The bay’s beaches, such as Chic’s Beach, are perfect for younger kids as they have calm waters. And, for those who prefer the open ocean, there are plenty of beaches with Atlantic-fronted views, like Sandbridge Beach.
8- Gulf Shores and Orange Beach
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, located in Alabama, are known for their Southern charm and friendly atmosphere, making them great destinations for families. The 32 miles of sugary sand beaches offer many activities for all ages.
Adults can enjoy championship golf courses while children can have fun at amusement parks. Families can also explore the 6,000-acre Gulf State Park, which provides public beach access, hiking, biking, fishing, and even Segway tours. The Gulf State Park also has plenty of picnic areas, playgrounds, and nature trails to keep everyone entertained.
9- Seaside Beach
Seaside is a great beach town for families, and it’s just an hour’s drive from Portland on the northern Oregon coast. The beach is three miles long and offers many activities, such as sandcastle building and surfing. There’s also a 1.5-mile-long promenade that’s perfect for walking and cycling.
Moreover, you can rent electric bikes or double and triple Surreys from outfitters. You can see harbor seals performing tricks to get visitors to toss a fish their way. There’s also a touch tank where you can feel prickly sea urchins, starfish, anemones, and more. You’ll find an arcade, many souvenir shops, and restaurants downtown.
10- Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head, South Carolina, is a perfect beach destination for families looking to slow down and enjoy activities on and off the sand. Coligny Beach is the most popular, with plenty of facilities, including beachside bars, umbrella and chair rentals, and a lifeguard during the summer.
You can also enjoy scenic hikes and wildlife watching at the 4,000-acre Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, home to red foxes, white-tailed deer, alligators, and more than 250 species of birds. If you love lighthouses, there’s one to climb and outstanding golf courses for adults. Bike riding on the sand is also famous, and rentals are available if you don’t have a bike.
From east to west, the USA offers a wide range of beaches for families with different activities and features to suit every family’s needs. Whether you want to relax on the white sand or explore marine life, the beaches mentioned in this guide offer unforgettable experiences that will create memories for a lifetime. So pack your bags, grab the sunscreen, and head to the best beaches for an enjoyable family vacation.
FAQs on Best Beaches in the USA for Families
Virginia Beach is an excellent option for families with young children. With calm waters and plenty of family-friendly attractions like the aquarium, mini-golf, and indoor skydiving center, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Coronado Beach in San Diego is a popular west coast destination for families. The beach is wide and flat, making it perfect for kids to run and play. There are also several nearby attractions, including the San Diego Zoo and Legoland.
Yes, many family-friendly beaches allow pets. Some popular options include Dog Beach in San Diego and Huntington Dog Beach in Orange County.
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