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The Best Family-Friendly Destinations For A Beach Holiday

If you require a sun-soaked retreat on the beach but are having trouble figuring out the best family-friendly travel destinations, we’re here to put your mind at ease.

We understand just how arduous planning a family vacation can be, so we’ve rounded up our favorite vacation destinations that are family-friendly and packed full of beachside fun.

From affordable holiday spots for families on a budget to destinations offering unique travel experiences with your kids, this list has a little something for all types of travelers.

In this guide, we’ve broken down our top picks for where to travel with kids by age, helping you uncover the best family-friendly vacation spot for you and your little ones.

What Are The U.S.A.’s Best Family-Friendly Beach Destinations?

Though the golden shores of California and Florida are often the first places that spring to mind when we picture beach holidays, this is just a fraction of what the U.S.A. has to offer.

Each of the below destinations brings so much to the table for families of all ages, but we’ve narrowed it down to the best of the best based on the age of your youngsters.

Which Spots Are Best For Families With Young Kids?

Hilton Head

This gorgeous North Carolina town is hard to beat when it comes to activities for younger children.

Couple and daughters kayaking in Hilton Head, U.S.A.
Couple and daughters kayaking in Hilton Head, U.S.A. © Getty Images

Coligny Beach Park undoubtedly has the finest range of amenities, but Driessen Beach Park is often a better choice for those traveling with toddlers, as it’s much quieter and super chilled. Beyond the beaches, you’ll have the Sandbox Children’s Museum to check out, which has a bunch of hands-on exhibits, and Lawton Stables, where the whole family can connect with ponies, alpacas, and pigs for free.

Yellow Transportation HHI is among the oldest and most reliable cab companies in the area.

Cape May

Certainly one of the most charming spots on this list, Cape May in New Jersey has been a vibrant, family-friendly holiday destination for years now.

The grown-ups will love checking out the picturesque Victorian buildings, while the Cape May County Zoo and the horse-drawn carriage rides will keep the kids content. While you’re here, you have to climb to the top of the Cape May Lighthouse, go dolphin-spotting on a sunset cruise, and sample homemade treats at The Original Fudge Kitchen.

When you need a ride in Cape May, call on G Taxi and Transportation.

Clearwater Beach

Create the most magical memories with your kiddos at the dreamy Clearwater Beach.

Sitting along the west coast of Florida, Clearwater Beach has the warm waters and powdery white sand to rival any tropical island, plus it’s bursting with a ton of family-friendly attractions. If you’re planning a vacation for kids under 10 years old, you’ll be spoilt for choice here, but the Pirate Cruise, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and walks along the bustling Pier 60 are absolute musts.

Way2Go Rides is a taxi company that makes getting around Clearwater Beach super simple.

Amelia Island

This time, we’re heading to Florida’s west coast to the stunning Amelia Island.

One of the top toddler-friendly spots on this list, Amelia Island is especially appealing to families with younger kids as it rarely gets overcrowded and is much less humid than some of its southern Florida counterparts. Amelia Island is particularly suited to outdoorsy families, as you can explore the hiking trails of Fort Clinch State Park and climb the famous dunes at Burney Park. You’ll also find themed mini golf courses and playgrounds scattered around the island.

Tom’s Island Transportation is a top-rated cab company to look out for in Amelia Island.

Family BBQ with a toddler son and five years old daughter on the coast, Amelia Island, U.S.A.
Family BBQ with a toddler son and five years old daughter on the coast, Amelia Island, U.S.A. © Getty Images

Which Spots Are Best For Families With Older Kids?

Cape Cod

This scenic peninsula is Massachusetts’ most famous destination for a beach getaway, and for a good reason.

Not only is Cape Cod undeniably beautiful, but it also offers endless activities to keep older kids entertained. There are the likes of Cape Codders Water Park and biking trails along the Cape Cod Trail for adventurous kids, and the Ryan Family Amusement Park and the drive-in movie theater are home to the best evening entertainment.

Get from town to town in Cape Cod with Green Shuttle Cape Cod.

Outer Banks

If you’re wondering how to travel the U.S.A. for cheap with kids, the Outer Banks is a budget-friendly vacation spot that won’t be too harsh on your wallet.

Situated in North Carolina, your family will fall in love with this collection of islands. Older kids will have a blast trying out waterboarding and kayaking at the beach, and when the sun goes down, they can grab a torch and spend the evening spotting ghost crabs. As incredible as the beaches are, there are also spots like Pea Island Wildlife Refuge and the H2OBX Waterpark to enjoy.

The Outer Banks is served by Atlantic Cabs taxi company.

Sanibel Island

Experience all the island vibes within a short drive from the mainland on Florida’s Sanibel Island.

Primarily known for its quiet beaches and lavish resorts, Sanibel Island often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves for its abundance of exciting activities. From shell hunting and cycling trips to refreshing desserts at Pinocchio’s Italian Ice Cream, Sanibel Island is a haven for families. The daily and weekly programs run by Sanibel Sea School are amazing for curious kids, and they’re made up of activities like surfing, snorkeling, and bird-watching.

Discover the local area of Sanibel Island in comfort with Sanibel Island Taxi.

Destin

Another coastal gem that calls Florida home, Destin has the perfect mix of thrilling and relaxing things to do.

Spend your days at the likes of Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park, the Emerald Coast Science Center, and riding the bumper cars at The Track, or taking things down a notch and unwinding at Henderson Beach State Park. After dark, grab a bite to eat at kid-friendly restaurants like Redbrick Pizza at the Destin Commons, a shopping and entertainment hub.

The city of Destin has a bunch of fantastic taxi services, including Destin Sunrise Taxi.

Family with three children enjoying their vacation by the seaside in the USA
Family with three children enjoying their vacation by the seaside, U.S.A. © Getty Images

Which Spots Are Best For Families With Kids Of Different Ages?

San Diego

Few family-friendly vacation destinations have a range of attractions as diverse as San Diego. As a result, even big families with children with age gaps will have a hard time deciding what to see and do in this southern Californian city.

Must-see spots that the whole family will love include the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND, and the Birch Aquarium. That’s all before mentioning some of the city’s most iconic beaches like Coronado, La Jolla Shores, and Torrey Pines. If that’s not enough to keep you busy, you’ll have Balboa Park and its stellar collection of museums to explore.

San Diego Yellow Cab and Coastal Cab Company are two go-to taxi services in San Diego.

Myrtle Beach

Next, we’re jumping back over to the East Coast to South Carolina’s beloved Myrtle Beach.

This beachside hotspot needs no introduction. As the home of the famous SkyWheel, Huntington Beach State Park, Brookgreen Garden Zoo, and Myrtle Waves Water Park, it’s easy to see why tourists flock here every summer with their little ones.

CityCab is a long-standing taxi company in Myrtle Beach that you can count on.

Family with two toddlers under the big umbrella at the beach, U.S.A.
Family with two toddlers under the big umbrella at the beach, U.S.A. © Getty Images

Virginia Beach

Another hub for wholesome family fun along the Atlantic is the fabulous Virginia Beach.

Aside from sandcastle building, swimming, and surfing at the beach, you’ll find that Virginia Beach is brimming with adventure. Older kids can tackle ziplines at The Adventure Park and join dolphin-spotting kayak tours, while the oceanfront playgrounds and the Virginia Aquarium will enthrall your younger children.

Stick to Alba Taxis, and you’ll get around Virginia Beach with ease.

Ocean City

Ocean City is another family-friendly tourist destination not too far north of Virginia Beach.

With 10 miles of pristine sands lined with a scenic boardwalk and lively amusement parks, some of the top things to do in Ocean City lie along the seafront. However, if the heat becomes a little too much, there are plenty of indoor activities, too, such as arcades like Marty’s Playland and quirky spots like Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

Century Taxi is among Ocean City’s best-loved cab services.

Parents with twin sons and a dog carrying bags to the seaside, U.S.A.
Parents with twin sons and a dog carrying bags to the seaside, U.S.A. © Getty Images

Texas

With places like Corpus Christi and Galveston lining its shores, Texas has its fair share of sun-drenched tourist hubs, but South Padre Island takes the top spot every time.

Between learning about the conservation of marine life at Sea Turtle, Inc. and ticking off bucket list experiences like ziplining and horseback riding at the Adventure Park, South Padre Island has enough going on to keep even the most active of families amused for weeks. Be sure to add the Alligator Sanctuary and Isla Blanca Beach to your itinerary, too.

You’ll have no problem getting around Texas with cab companies like BB’s Taxi.

Daytona Beach

Despite its reputation as a haven for party-goers and spring breakers, Daytona Beach has a much more wholesome side to it.

In addition to being a relatively cheap place to travel with kids, Daytona Beach is among the most well-rounded beach destinations for families, with surfing schools, watersports, and kid-friendly museums available for visitors. You’ll likely spend your evenings munching on carnival food and riding the Ferris wheel along the pier.

If you’re heading somewhere that’s too far for little legs to walk in Daytona Beach, catch a ride with Daytona Beach Taxi Cab.

Naples

Experience majestic sunsets and world-class beaches with your kiddos in the Southern Florida city of Naples.

There is certainly no shortage of exciting things to do in Naples, though Naples Zoo, the Golisano Children’s Museum, and water parks like the Sun-N-Fun Lagoon are our top picks. Naples also has some long-term residents, including dolphins and manatees, that visitors of all ages can encounter on boat trips and excursions in both summer and winter.

Pam Car Service and Arkway Taxi are two top-tier taxi companies in Naples.

Panama City Beach

Not to be confused with the Latin American capital of a similar name, Panama City Beach is a seaside city in the north of Florida that is a mecca for families on vacation.

Young boy at sunset swimming in the ocean with cityscape background, Panama City Beach
Young boy at sunset swimming in the ocean with cityscape background, Panama City Beach © Getty Images

If we tried to list all the activities you can look forward to in Panama City Beach, we’d be here all day. Some of the can’t-miss experiences include braving the daunting slides at Shipwreck Island Waterpark, taking to the seas on the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise, and snorkeling at St. Andrews State Park.

Explore Panama City Beach in style with Beach Boys Shuttle Taxi.

What Are The Best Islands For A Family-Friendly Vacation?

If it’s a tropical escape that you’re looking for, you’ll find some out-of-this-world islands without leaving the U.S.A.

Below are some of the most sought-after islands that are sure to impress visitors of any and every age.

Hawaii

The Pacific paradise of Hawaii has always been ranked as one of the most visited vacation destinations in the U.S.A., and spots like Maui prove that this island state is not only reserved for honeymooners and couples seeking a romantic escape.

If any of your kids are keen swimmers, hopping on one of the many snorkeling tours is a must, but you’ll also have the chance to admire Hawaii’s marine life at the Maui Ocean Center. Submarine tours, hiking, and surfing are some of the other best-loved experiences. Of course, you have to take in a little Hawaiian culture with at least one traditional Luau during your visit.

Explore Maui in comfort with cab companies like CB Taxi Maui.

Puerto Rico

From the Pacific to the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is another hotspot for a tropical retreat.

Some of the island’s finest beaches for surfing are found along the western shores in towns like Rincon and Aguadilla, but these areas also have stretches of sand that are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. No family trip would be complete without a stop at El Yunque National Forest, a lush rainforest in the east of the island, or a visit to the museums and cobblestone streets of San Juan.

Wilbert Taxi Service is a brilliant cab company in San Juan, while Rincon Taxi Service will take you around the west of Puerto Rico.

Father and son snorkeling near coral reefs in the Caribbean
Father and son snorkeling near coral reefs in the Caribbean © Getty Images

What Are Some Other Countries For A Family-Friendly Holiday By The Beach?

Some of the most idyllic beaches on the planet are found within easy reach of the States.

Although many of these Caribbean nations are typically associated with honeymoons, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find they’re much more family-centric than expected.

Mexico

With seemingly never-ending clutches of beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, Mexico has a long list of incredible family-friendly holiday destinations.

A long-time favorite amongst international visitors, Cancun has it all. Ventura Park should go right to the top of your list, as it offers everything from soaring waterslides to exhilarating roller coasters, but ensure you make time to brush up on your history at the Mayan ruins. Beach bums will love Dolphin Beach, but the Captain Hook Dinner Cruise is where you’ll want to be when the sun is setting.

Taxi Cancun will take you around the Cancun area at any time of the day.

Family with two children taking a family selfie on a beach holiday, Mexico
Family with two children taking a family selfie on a beach holiday, Mexico © Getty Images

Bahamas

Enjoy the vacation of a lifetime with the whole family in the island nation of the Bahamas.

Of course, the Atlantic Paradise Island Resort has become an iconic symbol of family fun in the Bahamas, but there’s much more to this country to be explored. Anyone traveling with teens will be glad to know activities like jet skiing, and parasailing are readily available. The Ardastra Gardens and Wildlife Conservation Center and island tours to visit the famous swimming pigs are unmissable outings for the whole family.

Let’s Go Bahamas is a Nassau-based taxi company to look out for when you need a ride.

Jamaica

Crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and vibrant rainforests have made Jamaica an exciting holiday spot for families of all ages.

The Doctor’s Cave Beach is a beautiful and bustling area in western Jamaica, while the east of the island is home to Pirates Island Waterpark and the magnificent Dunn’s River Falls. If the walk here is too much for smaller kids, check out the Turtle River Gardens instead, where you’ll also find pretty waterfalls and unique wildlife.

Jamaica Taxi provides taxis that serve most of the island.

Turks and Caicos

This 40-island archipelago looks like it came straight from a postcard, and has become somewhat of a family moon destination.

Peaceful Beach Day at Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos.
Peaceful Beach Day at Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos © Getty Images

Pretty much every beach here is spectacular, but the likes of Leeward and Taylor Bay tend to be quiet and laid back, giving your little ones the chance to search for shells, build sandcastles, and safely swim. When you want to mix things up, head to the Pirates Island Waterpark, zipline at the Grand Turk Lighthouse, or dive into the local culture at the Turks and Caicos National Museum.

You can call on Ideal Cabs Turks and Caicos when you want to explore Providenciales, a particularly popular island.

Conclusion

There are dozens of beachside paradises that make for the perfect family-friendly destination when you’re in need of a getaway with your clan.

If you’re keen to venture a little further, there are some otherworldly bucket list vacation spots just a short flight away, ensuring sun, sea, and sand for explorers little and large.

Want more interesting tips on how to travel with your kids ? Read more Travel with children articles!