Travel Rankings & Advice

Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

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, multi-generational 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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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»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Outer Banks

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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»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Maui

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Why Go: Sanibel Island is a hit with kids for two reasons. The "Sanibel Scoop" keeps little ones occupied for hours as they comb the wide beaches 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»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Sanibel Island

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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»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Myrtle Beach

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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 U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Honolulu - Oahu

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Why go: One of the most affordable and accessible Caribbean destinations, the U.S. Virgin Islands feature a host of welcoming beaches, family-friendly hotels and historic attractions. When you need to burn off energy, check out Virgin Islands National Park where hiking trails abound. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in U.S. Virgin Islands

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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. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Destin

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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»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Hilton Head

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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»

Read On: Top Things to Do in San Diego

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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»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Ocean City

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