Has this happened to you? You pack up the kids and drive for hours to the beach, only to be surrounded by college students, drinking, and crowded shorelines. Don't let this happen to you and your family. The next time you're planning a beach vacation with the kiddos, try one of these top family-friendly beaches around the country. With soft sand, room to breathe, and lots of activities for your children, spending time on one of these beaches might finally allow you to have that relaxing family vacation you've been dreaming of.
Photo Credit: searchofbeauty/Flickr
Located in Siesta Key, Florida, Siesta Beach offers families some of the softest sand in the country, along with a smoke-free environment, crystal clear water, a playground for the kids, covered picnic areas, and sand volleyballs courts. After a day in the sun, take the whole family into town for a cone at the local's favorite ice cream parlor, Big Olaf's Creamery.
Coast Guard Beach
Photo Credit: Howard&Debbie/Flickr
Located in Cape Cod, Massachussetts, Coast Guard Beach makes the perfect vacation destination for families looking for a more natural setting. This quiet and unassuming beach offers wildlife viewing, beach biking, uncrowded beaches, and cool waters throughout the year. Make sure to plan a dinner out at Arnold's Lobster and Clam Bar, which serves meals on Frisbees. Kids love it!
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Photo Credit: davidwilson/Flickr
Right off of Lake Michigan in the town of Empire, you'll find the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which features miles of clean sand dunes next to a pristine lakefront beach. You and the kids can climb up and down the massive (and memorable) Sleeping Bear Dunes, then cool off by playing all afternoon in the cool waters of Lake Michigan. If you have an outdoorsy family, this one's for you!
Photo Credit: scottdunn/Flickr
Planning your vacation at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware might feel like stepping back in time. With its classic boardwalk (complete with arcade), charming beach-town vibe, clean beaches, and mom-and-pop shops, this place has it all. If you're looking for that traditional family beach trip with fun, sun, and a nostalgic feel, look no further than Rehoboth Beach.
Photo Credit: kkendall/Flickr
Although cooler and more rugged, Cannon Beach in Oregon makes the perfect location for families interested in nature and the environment. With a backdrop of stunning Haystack Rock, you and your children can enjoy uncrowded beaches, investigate tide pools, watch wildlife, fly kites, and bike along the shore. Afterwards, head into town for old-fashioned arcade games and ice cream cones.
Kiawah Beachwalker Park
Photo Credit: shawn_dubis/Flickr
You don't need to leave the country in order to take your children on a fantastic island vacation. Kiawah Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, boasts gorgeous, clean beaches, unbeatable wildlife viewing, arts and crafts activities, bike rentals, and Junior Naturalist classes for the kids.
Ready to plan your next vacation at one of these family-friendly beaches? Don't forget your beach bag essentials!
As an award-winning journalist, author, and artist, Kelly Sundstrom has a passion for helping parents feel well-prepared, confident, and capable in the journey ahead. As an Attachment Parenting advocate and homeschooling mother of two, Sundstrom has been a guest speaker on Grassroots TV in Aspen, Colorado, and encourages families across the country to disconnect from media and reconnect with each other.