5 Amazing Beach Vacation Destinations for Families
What’s that I see on the horizon? Oh yes, it is summer!
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I’ve been whining and complaining about this brutally long winter we had for, oh, the past 9 months. It’s been hard to imagine anything warm and sunshine-y while sitting under a pile of now in April!
But fear not, the sun in finally shining and all is right in the world again. Even if we did just decide to skip spring this year.
Have you picked a destination for your summer vacation yet?
Don’t worry if you’re a procrastinator like me. There’s still plenty of time to plan your getaway! And really, there’s no better summer family vacation that a trip to the beach!
Here are 5 of the best family beach vacation destinations that top our travel bucket list.
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Newport Beach, California
I left a piece of my heart in Newport Beach when we lived there for one glorious year, oh so long ago. This affluent Orange County city has a lot to offer families of all kinds, from nature hikes and tide pooling in Crystal Cove State Park to shopping and summer treats on Balboa Island.
And when you’re not enjoying the beach, ride the ferris wheel at the Balboa Fun Zone, rent kayaks and explore Newport’s Back Bay, or do some shopping at swanky Fashion Island. There really is something for everyone!
Where to Stay in Newport Beach
Hyatt Regency Newport Beach ($$) | Families will love: free cribs / 3 outdoor pools / a location in the heart of Newport Beach
Fashion Island Hotel ($$$) | Families will love: kids stay free / 5 star treatment / a short walk to tons of dining and entertainment[irp posts=”3373″ name=”Back in the OC’s Best Beach Cities”]
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
If your idea of the perfect beach vacation involves cedar shake cottages, sandy beaches, and adirondack chairs…it doesn’t get much better than Cape Cod! And best of all, I was surprised to find that the Cape can actually be quite reasonably affordable!
The Cape Cod peninsula stretches nearly 70 miles from Falmouth to Provincetown, with 15 different cities dotting the map between the bay and the sound. Families will find that staying in Mid- to Lower-Cape cities like Barnstable, Harwich or Chatham make for an ideal home base to explore the rest of the peninsula (and Martha’s Vinyeard and Nantucket islands are only a ferry boat ride away!) Those looking for a little extra flair will find buzzing Provincetown, on the very tip of the Cape, a fun place to stay put and take in the great beaches, arts, and food.
Where to Stay on Cape Cod
Benchmark Inn, Provincetown ($) | Families will love: free ferry terminal shuttle / cute nautical decor / 1/2 block to the beach
Chatham Wayside Inn, Chatham ($$$) | Families will love: newly renovated rooms / location in the heart of the quaint village / free breakfast
Remember that movie ‘The Truman Show’, with its picture perfect town that was too beautiful to even be real? Well, it is real. And it’s called Seaside, Florida. It’s part of an area more broadly known to locals as 30A.
Tucked away on Florida’s Emerald Coast and named for the state road that connects the cities, 30A includes popular beach cities like Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Seagrove, and Grayton. Each has their own unique charms, but are unified in that they have a much more local feel than neighboring Destin or Panama City Beach, which get packed with tourists year-round.
Instead, head to 30A where you’ll hit up seaside food shacks, stroll through shops with a small-town vibe, and spend plenty of time soaking up the sun in this idyllic destination.
Where to Stay in 30A
The Pointe by Wyndham, Rosemary Beach ($$) | Families will love: beach service with chairs and umbrellas / complimentary bicycle rental / stylish, modern suites
WaterColor Inn & Resort, Seaside ($$$) | Families will love: babysitting service / children’s pool / live family concerts and movie nights[irp]
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Those looking for a Pacific Coast getaway, consider Oregon’s Cannon Beach. 80 miles northwest of Portland, Cannon Beach is a family favorite for of its wide sandy beaches, epic tidepools, and gorgeous rugged coastline. This whole majestic scene is anchored by Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach’s most famous landmark. And when you’re ready for a break from the beach, take a day trip along the coast to cheese-lover’s paradise in Tillamook or do some hiking in nearby Ecola State Park.
Accommodations in Cannon Beach range from cute vacation rentals and locally-run inns to larger resort hotels. The secret about Cannon Beach is out, so try to plan ahead to get the best deals!
Where to Stay in Cannon Beach
Land’s End at Cannon Beach ($$$) | Families will love: suites with kitchenettes / oceanview terrace / pet-friendly rooms / on-site laundry facilities
Surfsand Resort ($$$) | Families will love: direct access to the beach / nightly bonfires / complimentary beach toys, games and books / guided tidepool walks
North Shore Oahu, Hawaii
For the ultimate in beach vacations, Hawaii is a must! Americans won’t even need a passport to experience this Pacific island paradise.
The North Shore is an ideal location for families who want to take in the beautiful beaches of Oahu while steering clear of tourist-filled Waikiki. Just a few hours drive from Honolulu, small towns from Hale’iwa to Laie are quick and easy to bounce between (even if you get stuck in traffic, there’s always a beautiful view). Families will get a mix of adventure, culture, and relaxation as they stop for sea turtle spotting at Laniakea Beach, shave ice in Hale’iwa, or ziplining and shrimp trucks in Kahuku.
Plus, with great flights deals to Hawaii and warm-weather that lasts year round, there’s never been a better time to go.
Where to Stay on the North Shore
Courtyard by Marriott Oahu North Shore, Laie ($$) | Families will love: on-site family activity center / location near the Polynesian Culture Center
Turtle Bay Resort, Kahuku ($$$) | Families will love: loads of outdoor activities and gear / complimentary GoPro rental / kids eat free at the on-site restaurant[irp posts=”1795″ name=”Travel Guide: North Shore, Oahu”]
What kind of beachy vibe do you typically go for? Share in the comments below!
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