The Best Family Beach Vacation Spots

Make your summer plans now. Surf, sun, and plenty of fun can be had at these top-ranked coastal destinations.

It may not feel like summer yet, but now’s the time to plan your getaway with the kids at the shore. With that in mind, here are some favorite beaches around the U.S to add to your list of possibilities, as well as one that’s a short plane ride away if you’re looking for a resort experience.

La Jolla Beaches, California Usnews.com likes this highly regarded beach for its calm water, “general cleanliness,” and location near some of the most family-friendly attractions in the United States, most famously SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina If you love white sandy beaches, this east coast paradise is the place to go. Whether you like to sunbathe, golf, or hit up the water parks, this family-friendly destination has something for everyone.

Big Bay State Park, Wisconsin There’s a charming boardwalk, nine miles of hiking trails, picnic facilities, and 1.5 miles of sandy beaches here on Madeleine Island in Lake Superior, seven miles from La Pointe, Wisconsin. All reasons why disneyfamily.com thinks it’s a good choice for families.

The Outer Banks, North Carolina Thanks to strict zoning, the coastline here remains pristine. Known for its wide beaches, warm water, dazzling scenery, and distinction as the site of the Wright brothers’ first flight, the Outer Banks is a hit with familyvacationcritic.com. Book early: The lack of development means hotel rooms are relatively scarce.

Cannon Beach, Oregon Shermanstravel.com ranks this spot at the top of its list of beaches both kids and grown-ups will enjoy. “While the Pacific waters here are often too cold for swimming,” notes the site, “kite flying, along with tide pooling and sand-castle building, reign supreme on this wide, sandy strip.”

Siasconset Beach, Massachusetts Located on the quaint New England island of Nantucket, this uncrowded oasis has soft sand, a playground, and a lifeguard, notes travelandleisure.com. Obtain a daily permit and you can explore the nearby Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge by car.

Sheraton Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort, Bahamas With a spacious white beach, a pool with a water slide, a kids’ camp, and summer rates as low as $129 a night, this place is worth the trip if you like the notion of a resort vacation. In fact, it’s parents.com’s No. 1 pick.

Sources: usnews.com, disneyfamily.com, familyvacationcritic.com, shermanstravel.com, travelandleisure.com, parents.com

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