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Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Taking the family to the beach can create lifelong memories, as long as every member of the family is satisfied. To help you choose your next family beach vacation, U.S. News considered factors like safe waters, kid-friendly attractions, dining options, spacious accommodations, multigenerational appeal and overall accessibility. The list below features destinations across the country that are most ideal for family getaways, according to travel experts and our readers. Weigh in by voting below, then use this list to plan your upcoming travels. 

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Outer Banks

#1 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

Why go: Outer Banks beaches are lauded for their consistent-yet-manageable waves and verdant landscape. And you can count on OBX to deliver great summer weather. Plan on renting a cottage or condo – this will give you more space and prime beach access. Read More

Outer Banks View 23 photos
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Sanibel Island

#2 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

Why Go: Sanibel Island is a hit with kids for two reasons: Calm waters are perfect for play while the "Sanibel Scoop" will keep little ones occupied for hours as they search for shells and sand dollars. If you're not yet convinced, keep in mind that hotel deals are pretty easy to find here. Read More

Sanibel Island View 16 photos
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Myrtle Beach

#3 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

Why go: Myrtle Beach has no trouble luring East Coasters to its expansive sands. But after you've had time on the beach, take advantage of the Family Kingdom Amusement Park and Ripley's Aquarium. Wear plenty of sunblock – the South Carolina sun can be unforgiving. Read More

Myrtle Beach View 18 photos
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Honolulu - Oahu

#4 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

Why go: Oahu is expensive, but it boasts some of Hawaii's most inviting beaches and waves. Head to Waikiki, where waters remain relatively calm and lifeguards are always present. When you need a break from the beach, explore some of the island's historic sites, like the USS Arizona Memorial. Read More

Honolulu - Oahu View 26 photos
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Maui

#5 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

Why go: While cost is a barrier for any family getaway, it's an especially large barrier in Hawaii. Still, Maui contains some of the most abundant and exotic family-friendly sands in the United States. Wailea Beach is the go-to, with sun-drenched sands and plenty of umbrellas to go around. Read More

Maui View 23 photos
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Hilton Head

#6 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

Why go: Hilton Head is perfect for families looking to slow down. You'll find two notable beaches here: Alder Lane and the ever-popular Coligny Beach. For a break from the sands, take a stroll (or a bike ride) through Harbour Town and climb to the top of the lighthouse. Read More

Hilton Head View 18 photos
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Destin

#7 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

Why go: This Florida town's family-friendly atmosphere and impressive beaches woo multigenerational groups year after year. The stark white sand and calm jade water at Henderson Beach are picture perfect, plus many resorts here cater to kids so parents can relax too.  Read More

Destin View 17 photos
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Ocean City

#8 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

Why go: Ocean City's beach stretches for 10 miles along Maryland's eastern shore. The whole family can boogie board and jump waves in the Atlantic Ocean by day and head to the boardwalk or various amusement parks by night. Read More

Ocean City View 23 photos
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Cape Cod

#9 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

Why go: The Atlantic coast's waves draw boogie-boarders in droves, while the calm bayside beaches are popular among families with small children. For a different type of watery experience, set sail on a whale-watching trip from Provincetown. Read More

Cape Cod View 23 photos
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San Diego

#10 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

Why go: San Diego remains a top-ranked family destination for its access to family-friendly and lifeguard-patrolled beaches. Mission Beach – accessible from downtown – is the most popular, but the northern coastline boasts calmer waters ideal for novice swimmers. Read More

San Diego View 28 photos
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Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale

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Daytona

Daytona

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Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

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Naples

Naples

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