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20 Best Family Beach Vacations In The USA

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Top US Beach Vacations For Families

Family vacations are something to look forward to every year. One of the best places to vacation as a family is at the beach. There are so many wonderful beaches across the United States. Experiencing the sand between your toes, hearing the crashing of waves at night, building sandcastles, and soaking in sun together as a family can be some of the most memorable moments of your year. (Not to mention relaxing!) I have gathered a list of the 20 best beach vacations for families all around the USA! I hope you can make it to one of these fabulous beaches soon!

1. Morro Strand State Beach, Ca. Right next to Morro Bay is a stretch of beach in the shadow of Morro Rock. The beach is perfect for families to enjoy a picnic and beach day before retiring back to Morro Bay and all it has to offer.

2. Hollywood, Florida The revitalization of the area is in full swing with new hotels, a boardwalk with restaurants galore, a beautiful sandy beach, and friendly people.

3. Myrtle Beach in South Carolina Visit the Atlantic Ocean in all its splendor. This famous and popular beach destination is packed with fun family activities, comfortable lodging, and amazing restaurants all around. If you have a golfer in the family, this is also a good destination to find a tee time and enjoy a picturesque round of golf. 

4. Miami, Florida Miami is known for its fun nightlife but it is also home to many family-friendly beaches in North Miami Beach.

5. Oahu Beaches, Hawaii Once the playground of Hawaiian royalty, this world-famous beach is now a gathering place for families from all over the world. The soft sand and calm waters of Waikiki make it the perfect beach for families with children of all ages. 

6. Carmel State Beach, Carmel, Ca. Carmel is known for its inventive cuisine and the vast selection of wine but the beach at the bottom of the main street is what makes it so family-friendly.

7. Santa Barbara, California This city is loaded with fabulous beaches to choose from. Enjoy the Pacific Ocean from a new point of view as most of these beaches face South instead of West. 

8. Carlsbad State Beach, Ca. Known by surfers, locals, and families everywhere as a laid-back beach, close to everything where you can stretch your feet and enjoy a famous Southern California beach day with your family.

9. Lovers Point, Pacific Grove, Ca. This sleepy little town a couple of hours south of San Francisco will win your heart.

10. Moonstone Beach, Cambria, Ca. Minutes from downtown Cambria is a beach at the end of a trail that locals take often. On the beach are little moonstones in all different colors and sizes. Perfect for the young and the young at heart.

11. The Cove Beach Cape May, New Jersey  The Cove is a laid-back beach with a community of surfers. Soft sand and picturesque waves will have you and your family relaxing in a moment. Locals say the majority of the crowds leave at 5 pm. For a special treat stay until the sun sets and enjoy the magic of the waters at night.

12. Hilton Head South Carolinian Island It may be only 12 miles by 5 miles wide, but this island is packed with adventure and stunning beaches, and fun. Surfing, swimming, eating, hiking, exploring and so much more are offered on this beautiful island.

13. Mission Beach San Diego This beach has a distinct Southern California vibe. Enjoy the quiet beach or stroll down to Belmont Park to enjoy a few roller coasters and a fun carnival atmosphere.

14. Gulf County, Fl. These white pristine beaches overlooking the Atlantic are truly breathtaking. Enjoy relaxing, family activities, and all the seafood you can imagine at the Golf Shores.

15. South Padre Island These 34 miles of uninterrupted stretches of beach live up to the saying “Everything is Bigger in Texas.” Watersports, fishing, swimming, music, and dancing can all be found on this family-friendly island. 

16. Newport Beach, Ca. Beautiful beaches everywhere you look, shopping, dining, and everything is family-friendly.

17. Ocean City, Maryland This beach destination is packed with fun events and activities to enjoy during your stay. Be sure to check their schedule of events and freebies list to get the most out of your vacation.

18. Ditch Plains Beach Montauk, New York This beach is famous for surfing and standup paddleboarding. Even if you don’t surf you can enjoy this beach, but bring your camera and catch some fantastic shots of the surfers riding the wave.

19. Ft. Lauderdale 23 miles of sunny beachfront fun. The soft surf of this beach makes a perfect family spot. Many hotels, restaurants, and attractions are located within walking distance. 

20. Laguna Beach Located midway between Los Angeles and San Diego this 7-mile beach is a wonderful family vacation destination. Nature and art enthusiasts will love the natural habitats and gorgeous views in Laguna Beach.

Where is your favorite beach destination?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • I love off of Cape Cod, which is THE place to go to the beach if you live on the upper east coast.

  • It’s so cool that there are a lot of beaches that have activities for families or kids. Beaches are awesome, although I normally pick the ones that aren’t too crowded.

  • I haven’t been to any of these but would love to check them out. I live in NJ and do know that we have lots of great beaches so am not surprised to see the one in Cape May on this type of list.

  • I’ve been wanting to go to Myrtle Beach for quite some time. I had a co-worker who used to live close to it and was always telling me how fabulous it is, so now it’s on my radar!

  • You do have some beautiful beaches in the States and I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few on your list. Santa Barbara is a favourite of mine. Afraid I was a bit baffled by Venice Beach. The people there seemed crazy! There was a turbaned man on rollerskates playing a banjo that chased people and a naked bloke riding a bike without a saddle. Crazy!

  • So many great beaches! I’d love to visit Ft. Lauderdale and Sanibel Island. I think I would spend all my days gathering shells when visiting Sanibel island 🙂

  • This is great to know! I live in Canada and haven’t ever been to a beach in the USA so I’d never know about any of them. I want to start traveling more, and visiting all these different places so this will be helpful!

  • This is a really great variety to choose from. My family loves spending time at the beach. It is such a peaceful place and perfect for having lots of fun or relaxation.

  • I’m ready to hop a plane right now. From this list, no matter which direction I would go, there is a fantastic vacation waiting (the benefit of being in a land locked state in the middle of the country I suppose)!

  • I have a niece living in Santa Barbara, and just went to visit her. It’s such a fun town! I could definitely see myself living there.

  • I don’t have a favorite but I do like your list. I have been to a few of them… any beach is a good one to me since I live in the midwest:)

  • Wow. A great list of beaches. I have never heard of the one in Georgia. I will put it on my list.

  • I’ve been to Florida coast beaches, Texas inland beaches, Oklahoma inland beaches, Michigan inland beaches and coastal beaches. All of them are beautiful and adventurous in their own way. But, my favorite is a small town in MI called East Tawas. I spent many nights there through my life. So many memories.

  • I loved Emerald Isle in North Carolina. I used to go fishing there and it was always the best spot.

    Myrtle Beach is okay, gotta be careful there. They try to push drugs on you, especially at night.

    I also enjoyed Daytona Beach in Fl.

    But my absolute favorite beaches were in Jamaica and Mexico. The water is so blue and the sand is white. You can even see the bottom of the ocean.

  • Myrtle Beach was my family vacation spot for over 15 years. We stayed at the same hotel and went to the same places every year. It brings me wonderful memories when we go back.

  • New York’s BEST KEPT SECRET…….FIRE ISLAND LONG ISLAND…..Incredibly beautiful beaches lots of fun bars restaurants, boating,jet skiing, surfing, bike riding, sunsets…all on a private island with rental houses that have tons of amenities….There are several towns for all walks of life to name a few Ocean Bay Park (good for young partiers home of the legendary Rocket Fuel drink) Cherry Grove (Mainly Gay community with tons of fun bars parties home of the Cherry Grove “Queen” competition) Kismet (great for families with children) Ocean Beach (tons of bars restaurants entertainment bands dj’s good for families & singles) All towns are beach front and bay front to the Atlantic Ocean…Ferries take you to Fire Island from the main land of Bayshore Long Island or Sayville Long Island. greatest part NO CARS ALLOWED this island is CAR FREE ZONE!!!! Docking is also available for boaters and Water taxi’s will take you hopping from town to town. Get ready to find a piece of paradise right here up in the North…just amazing!!!!

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