A family trip to the beach is an elegant way to spend a vacation. When traveling with children, though, you’ll need more than just sand and waves to make your time at the beach enjoyable for everyone.
That’s why, we have selected the best beaches for US Family Beach Destinations for families, ensuring that each beach on our list has the essential amenities that families require and desire.
This includes convenient access to restrooms and restrooms, lifeguards on duty, and nearby tourist attraction points, restaurants, and hotels that are suitable for both children and adults.
- Silver Beach in St. Joseph MI
- Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida
- Main Beach in Santa Cruz, California
- Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii
- Crandon Park Beach in Key Biscayne, Florida
- Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts
- Fred Benson Town Beach in Block Island, Rhode Island
- Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina
- Huntington City Beach in Huntington Beach, California
- Gulf State Park Pavilion Beach in Gulf Shores Alabama
It’s time to gather your beach necessities and hit the beach!
The Top 10 Beaches in US
Silver Beach – St. Joseph, MI
During the summer, this broad Lake Michigan beach at Silver Beach County Park has 1,600 feet of beachfront designated for public swimming.
The tranquil seas and good accessibility to the facilities, showers, and concession stand will appeal to families with little children, and lifeguards patrol the beach during the summer months.
By the shore, there’s a decent-sized playground with slides and swings, and downtown St. Joseph has the wet-and-wild Whirlpool Compass Fountain (Michigan’s largest splash pad).
It also has the Silver Beach Carousel, where kids may ride a tiger, giraffe, or, a horse.
Things To Do
There are plenty of things to do including the interactive Curious Kids’ Museum and Discovery Zone.
There is also Nye’s Apple Barn, where tourists can harvest fruits such raspberries, blackberries, cherries, and peaches at various times throughout the summer.
Both are located in St. Joseph, which has been dubbed the “Riviera of the Midwest.”
Siesta Beach – Sarasota, FL
This expanse of powder-soft sand, which has been awarded the best beach for US family beach destinations in America by TripAdvisor and Dr. Beach, is suitable for the entire family.
When the kids need a reprieve from the ocean, they can construct sandcastles and play in the not-too-rough surf, then head to the playground or beach volleyball nets.
Over the last few years, a significant remodeling at the primary beach entry has resulted in improved facilities and concession stands, including more parking than before.
Beach chairs and umbrellas can be rented on-site, as well as beach wheelchairs.
A mobility mat is also available at the beach, making it simple for beachgoers of all ages and abilities to enjoy the legendary cool-to-the-touch sand.
Things To Do
It’s on Sarasota’s Siesta Key, where families will explore a variety of seafood restaurants and ice cream parlors, as well as easy access to Sarasota’s many kid-friendly museums, parks, and sights, like the Mote Aquarium and Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
Main Beach – Santa Cruz, CA
For quick access to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, head to this beach, which is located between the beginning of the San Lorenzo River and the Santa Cruz Wharf.
The 96-year-old Giant Dipper wooden rollercoaster, along with modern expansions like the Twirlin’ Teacups, and other activities like mini-golf, laser tag, and arcade games, make this longtime favorite one of the top coastal boardwalks in the United States.
A bowling alley on the oceanfront has inaugurated the “World’s Smallest Bowling Museum” display.
When you become hungry, the boardwalk and the wharf include a variety of kid-friendly restaurants.
Things To Do
The Seymour Marine Discovery Center, which offers family tours and Sunday Seaside Crafts to help youngsters learn about life under the sea, and the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, which spans more than 100 years of surfing history, are both nearby sites.
Waikiki Beach – Honolulu, HI
Regardless of expertise, the whole family can enjoy the surf here. In this Honolulu location where legend Duke Kahanamoku won three Olympic gold medals for the US.
It has a small but long-lasting wave break that is enjoyable for both beginners and advanced surfers.
Waikiki Beach is part of a two-mile stretch of interconnected beaches on Oahu that offers world-famous vistas of Diamond Head and is also a wonderful site for canoeing, boogie boarding, and people-watching.
The wide, sandy beach is great for swimming, sunbathing, and jogging.
The gentle waves and lack of strong currents make Waikiki Beach a perfect place for novice surfers and bodyboarders.
Things To Do
Come to learn more about the area’s surfing history on the Waikiki Historic Trail, then explore the Waikiki Aquarium to see Hawaiian monk seals and enormous clams.
It is also one of the most popular places in the world for stand-up paddleboarding (SUP).
For more experienced surfers, the reef break just offshore provides a more challenging wave.
The beach is also close to restaurants, shops, and nightlife, making it a convenient place to stay.
Crandon Park Beach – Key Biscayne, FL
Because of an offshore sandbar that protects the waves from smashing, the water at this two-mile beach within Crandon Park on Miami’s Key Biscayne is usually quiet.
Beach wheelchairs, as well as picnic spaces with tables and grills, food stands, and canopy and water sports rentals, are all provided.
There are plenty of things to do in Crandon Park Beach Key Biscayne Florida.
The park has several different areas, each with its unique attractions.
Visitors can enjoy the beach, kayaking and canoeing on the bay, fishing, biking and hiking trails, nature preserves, and more.
There is also a golf course on-site. No matter what your interests are, you’ll be able to find something to do at Crandon Park Beach.
Things to do
A nature center, tennis facilities, a golf course, and the Crandon Park Amusement Center, which includes a historic carousel and an outdoor roller rink, are all located in the park.
When you’re prepared to leave the beach and tour Miami, visit Zoo Miami, which has been designated as a Certified Autism Center, and the Miami Children’s Museum.
The New World Symphony in Miami also has a Sensory-Friendly environment where families with special needs children can relish a concert with unique lighting and sound adjustments.
Crane Beach – Ipswich, MA
Crane Beach is located on protected ground maintained by the Trustees of Reservations, a Massachusetts conservation organization, and offers miles of shoreline guarded by seasonal lifeguards.
Low dunes, grassy areas perfect for picnics, and expansive tidal flats make up the rest of the landscape.
It’s a perfect breeding location for the endangered piping plover bird, of the kind that families may observe while walking the beach or hiking.
You do have to walk more than five miles of paths that wind through the property’s coastal dunes and Castle Neck peninsula, to see the home to the North Shore’s largest pitch pine forest.
Things To Do
Your entrance ticket also grants you access to Castle Hill, a former summer estate with deer, foxes, turkeys, and great-horned owls roaming the grounds.
Away from the shore, your family can visit Ipswich’s Wolf Hollow sanctuary to gain knowledge about the local grey wolves.
Be sure to also visit Appleton Farms to explore the area’s agricultural background or stop by Russell Orchards for a cider doughnut after choosing strawberries, blueberries, or cherries.
Fred Benson Town Beach – Block Island, RI
The Fred Benson Town Beach on Block Island has just about everything US family beach destinations should have for a day at the beach, from showers and changing facilities to umbrella rentals and vendors selling beach essentials like ice cream.
It’s also close to everything else on this 3-by-7-mile, completely lovely New England island, which can be reached by ferry.
Bicycles make it easy to see attractions like the stunning Mohegan Bluffs and the island’s two lighthouses.
Fred Benson Town Beach also offers kayak and paddleboard rentals, as well as a playground, volleyball court, and picnic tables.
Things To Do
There are a variety of boutiques, museums, and cafes with a perspective in this area.
For a kid-friendly start to the day, try the Old Post Office Bagel Shop or Payne’s Donuts, then head to the beach or island attractions like Abrams Animal Farm at the Hotel Manisses.
South Beach – Huntington Beach State Park, SC
South Beach, which is guarded by lifeguards during the summer months, is one of the three miles of beaches at this South Carolina state park.
The park also has a nature center with live animals, a fishing pier, picnic shelters and tables, and a playground.
Surf fishing and bird-watching are prominent along the shoreline, and there are various trails for families to enjoy the park on.
The park’s Atalaya, a Moorish-style historic mansion that may be viewed along with the nearby Brookgreen Gardens sculpture garden, is also close to South Beach.
Things To Do
Camping is one of the most popular things you can do here.
There are 173 campsites available, including 107 regular sites with water and electricity and 66 full-hookup sites with water, sewer, and electricity.
Certain sites may facilitate RVs up to 40 feet in length, and all sites offer free Wi-Fi. South Beach is easily accessible from both the North and South Campgrounds.
Families can also visit Huntington Beach State Park’s Waccamaw National Heritage Area, where the Edisto River and its cypress wetlands can be explored by kayak or on a nature walk.
There are also horseback-riding trails in the park.
Huntington City Beach – Huntington Beach, CA
The 1,850-foot Huntington Beach Pier, with vistas of Catalina Island and Newport Beach, has been the performer of many sunset photos! Huntington Beach is also known as Surf City USA!
Famous Hawaiian wave riders George Freeth and Duke Kahanamoku successfully turned the city on to surfing, but you don’t need to know how to balance on a board to enjoy this beautiful Pacific Ocean beach in Southern California.
Things To Do
The more-than-three-mile stretch of white sand, which is open until 10 p.m., also has volleyball courts and bonfire pits (ideal for post-sunset hangouts), as well as food stands and beach rentals.
Within walking distance of the beach, there are a variety of restaurants selling everything from tacos to Hawaiian seafood.
Gulf State Park Pavilion Beach – Gulf Shores, AL
Unwind on these translucent US family beach destinations within Gulf State Park on Alabama’s Gulf of Mexico shoreline, encircled by dunes and sea oats.
It’s a great place to go surf fishing or look up at the sky for bald eagles, ospreys, woodpeckers, and other species.
Air-conditioned facilities, showers, picnic tables, a seasonal snack bar, and beach rental equipment are all available in a modern beach pavilion. It is perfect for families there is a lot that is offered when visiting.
Things To Do
Families will also discover a pier for fishing, kayak and bike rentals, miles of trails to explore, and a nature center where children can learn about Gulf Coast plants and animals.
Families can also enjoy swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.
There is also a children’s play area and nature center where kids can learn about the plants and animals of the Alabama coast.
Tips and tricks for families visiting beaches
1. Make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water! The sun can be really strong, especially during the summer, and you’ll want to make sure to stay hydrated.
2. Bring a picnic lunch or some snacks so you can enjoy the beach without having to leave for food.
3. Plan out your transportation ahead of time. If you’re driving, make sure to find parking and if you’re taking public transportation, be sure to check the schedules ahead of time.
4. Bring a beach umbrella or some shade canopy to help protect you from the sun.
5. Make sure to pack a swimsuit and towel! The beach is a great place to swim and relax.
6. Check the weather forecast before you go and be prepared for any changes in plans.
7. Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for jellyfish or other dangerous creatures that might be in the water.
8. Keep a close eye on children. They will tend to run off. Make sure you are near a lifeguard, but don’t expect them to be babysitting.
9. Have fun! The beach is a great place to spend time with family and friends.
Have you visited any of these beaches? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear about your experience and whether or not you agree with our list.
No matter where you live, we hope that this article has given you some ideas for a summer vacation destination. Get out there and enjoy the sun and sand with your loved ones!
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Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who created Unseen Beaches. This beach travel site was inspired by their family beach vacations while growing up. Helping you discover the best U.S. beach destinations worth visiting, staying, and eating.