Best Family Beaches In Mexico
Weve always loved snorkeling and exploring the beaches in Los Cabos. Only some of the hotels have swimmable beaches, so be sure to check before booking, but you can always take a cruise to the Cabo Arch or elsewhere to snorkel.
Family Can Travel shares the best public beaches in Playa del Carmen, a post I found to be super helpful.
We also enjoyed Puerto Vallarta with kids and loved the beaches at Las Caletas.
Bowmans Beach Sanibel Island Florida
With more than 25 miles of paved trails, Sanibel Island is a fantastic place to explore by bike. Look for warm waters and gentle surf, as well as more than 300 kinds of seashells. Enroll the kids in Sanibel Sea School to learn about marine conservation before hopping a ferry to Cayo Costa State Park. Families will especially love Bowmans Beach, which has a playground and magical sunsets.
Outer Banks North Carolina
The barrier islands along the coast of North Carolina are known collectively as the Outer Banks, and they are home to an abundance of beaches, small coastal towns, and many natural and historic attractions.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore is the area’s best-known tourist destination, popular with families for its variety of things to see and do, including 70 miles of public beaches.
In addition to sightseeing cruises and the historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Hatteras Island is home to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. This museum will interest all ages, featuring artifacts from over 2,000 shipwrecks, as well as exhibits on real-life pirates and legendary ghost ships.
Another popular tourist destination is Roanoke Island, famous for its long-lost colony. Roanoke Island attractions include the Outer Banks History Center, and the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Those who want to explore more of the islands by car can cruise the Outer Banks Scenic Byway, which includes two ferry rides and 138 miles of road.
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens Costa Rica
Price point: Affordable
Everything about Tortuga Lodge and Gardens is designed to reflect the natural surroundings, so you won’t find a blaring TV in your bedroom or background music in the lodge. The property sits on the Caribbean coastline in its own private nature reserve, making it a nature and adventure lover’s dream destination.
Every booking at Tortuga Lodge includes an a la carte breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the highly regarded Green Turtle Restaurant. Drinks are not included, but they are available at an additional fee. If you book the Tortuguero Jungle Experience Package, your stay also includes boat transportation from La Pavona and two special experiences think boat and kayak tours, hiking trips, or a twilight tour of the private reserve.
The Tyler Place Family Resort Vermont
Price point: Affordable
The Tyler Place Family Resort has been dedicated to families for over 85 years, and it shows. The lakeside property boasts award-winning kids programs think hikes through the wilderness and rock climbing that will make your family vacation feel like summer camp. And when the older kids head off on the day’s adventure, the parent helpers can jump in to give parents of little ones a moment to enjoy their vacation kid-free.
Included in your stay are all meals plus, adult candlelight dinners infant and toddler care, kids’ programs, and what seems to be an endless number of activities from mini golf and water trampolines to wine tours and kayak trips. Just keep in mind the property is only open between late-May and mid-September.
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Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana Punta Cana Dominican Republic
Characters like SpongeBob Squarepants, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora the Explorer and Paw Patrol pups lend their inspiration to the surroundings at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana. They also pay visits to guests of all ages.
Accommodations: Take your pick of seven different options, including suites with swim-up options and private pools. Do you love SpongeBob? Stay in his home by reserving the Pineapple Villa.
Food and Drink: Families can take their pick of 10 onsite restaurants, offering truly interesting environs and cuisine. For example, order the Machete Burger, built for the entire family to share, at BRGRS.PH. Dine in the futuristic themed restaurant Spacewalker .
Why Kids Love It: Kids can romp around on splash pads, spray grounds and experience the lazy river at Aqua Nick meet and greet characters at Character Central and visit Just Kiddin, a clubhouse, artists studio, mega ball pit and DIY station with slime-making activities and science experiments with supervised activities for kids ages 4 to 12. There are spa treatments available for kids, too.
Why Adults Love It: Premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are included at the resorts three bars. You can book a treatment at the Vassa Spa, which offers an herbal steam room, bubble beds and whirlpool and chromotherapy showers. Book your quiet date night at the resorts adults-only restaurant, Kitchen 23.
Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda Mexico
Price point: Affordable
This family-friendly oasis is set in a protected mangrove forest right on Mexico’s Caribbean Sea. The giant, all-inclusive property boasts 31 restaurants and bars and a water park with multiple pools and slides. The littles can spend the day in the Kidsdom with workshops, activities, and crafts while parents can enjoy a spa treatment or take a dancing class.
Reservations at Paradisus Playa del Carmen include food, drinks, water sports, and entertainment, as well as activities like wine tastings and dance lessons for adults, and water park access for kids.
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Beaches Turks & Caicos Turks And Caicos
This family-friendly Beaches resort is so welcoming of kids, they added a 45,000-square-foot Pirates Island Waterpark to help keep them entertained. Not only can everyone attempt to hang 10 in the man-made wave rider, but they can also float down the lazy river or whiz down water slides before grabbing a drink at the swim-up soda bar.
Dig your toes into the soft, sugar-white sand of Grace Bay Beach, which lines over 12 miles of this massive resort. You’ll find complimentary paddleboards, kayaks, windsurfers, and snorkel gear, as well as other water sports equipment as part of your package.
Want a break? Send the children to Kids Camp, where staff offer age-appropriate fun for children aged three to 17.
When we say the resort is massive, we really mean it. Five accommodation villages, 10 pools, and 21 restaurants cater to its guests. Grab a slice at Dino’s Pizzeria Italiana, sushi at Soy Sushi Bar, or fresh seafood at the beachfront Barefoot by the Sea.
The fun continues after the sun sets, with games in the Xbox Play Lounge, movies by the pool, a tween disco, and various shows like Treasure Island. Have a Sesame Street afficionado? Book a tuck-in service with Elmo or grab breakfast with Big Bird.
Address: Lower Bight Road, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Wingaersheek Beach Gloucester Massachusetts
Known for soft, white sands and gentle waters, Wingaersheek Beach is the place to take the kids at low tide where youll find loads of clams, shells, even sand dollars, all over the beach. Pack a picnic lunch or grab a bite at one of several snack shops that that dot the beach. Parking isnt cheap and youll need to get there early but you will be rewarded with kids who cant wait to go back.
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Myrtle Beach South Carolina
Myrtle beach is well known as a popular East Coast spring break destination, but it’s also one of the best vacation spots for kids, teenagers, and families thanks to its wide variety of entertainment options and activities. There are plenty of beachfront hotels to choose from, many of which are close to the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, home to the Skywheel and other fun amusements.
Even if there’s a rainy day, there is plenty do at Broadway at the Beach, an entertainment complex that houses Ripley’s Aquarium,WonderWorks, and Dolly Parton’s Pirates Voyage dinner show.
Rancho De Los Caballeros Arizona
Price point: Affordable
This luxury dude ranch sits on 20,000 acres of Arizona desert with views of the Bradshaw Mountains. With a history that dates back to 1948, this stunning property brings families together through activities like horseback riding, tennis, and guided nature programs .
Keep in mind that Rancho de los Caballeros isn’t a one-size-fits-all destination here, you can select the all-inclusive package that works for you. Most packages include three meals a day and access to scheduled ranch activities, but some come with perks like golf or an activity credit you can redeem for a day of horseback riding, skeet shooting, or spa time.
The property is closed in the summer when the temperature jumps and is currently in the midst of a major upgrade, with work taking place over the summer when guests won’t be impacted.
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Family Beach Vacations Outside The Us
Epstein said that narrowing down the top international family beach vacation destinations is hard, because there are many variables to consider depending on a family’s wants and needs.
In her experience, families heading outside the United States tend to book Mexico, Jamaica and Turks and Caicos.
Mexico is a great option for families, as there are multiple beach regions to explore from Riviera Maya to the West Coast with Punta Mita, Cabo San Lucas to Riviera Nayarit.
“Mexico has great airlift from many U.S. airports making it easy to access for most of the country from California to the Northeast,” Epstein explained. “There are so many accommodation options at varying price points and array of amenities so it really appeals to a wide clientele.”
Epstein said Jamaica is a top family beach destination, because it is accessible from many U.S. airports, the flight isn’t too long and there are many hotel options.
“Jamaica is also known for its great villa offerings around the island,” Epstein told TODAY, adding that this type of accommodation helps when traveling with multiple generations or friends. “This is a great way for families to have plenty of space with multiple bedrooms, kitchens, individual pools and even staff in the villa to assist throughout their stay.”
Additionally, Epstein noted that Jamaica’s hospitality is known to be “warm and friendly” to children.
Turks and Caicos
Great Places To Take Your Kids Before They’re Grown
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Remember what a typical day in your childhood looked like? Probably not, but we bet you can vividly recall a family trip that blew your young mind. We’ve all got traveling on the mind these days, so now might be an excellent time to let those long-dreamt-about family vacation ideas come to fruition.
If you want your child or teenager to experience the same magic on vacation, take them to any of these family vacation destinations. From glaciers to beachfronts, dinosaurs to Disney characters, there’s something here for everyone even the kid that’s hard to please.
Best for ages: 8-12
Why go? Although its often associated with a party crowd or retirees, Miami Beach can also be kid-friendly.
What to do: Miami Beach has the most tropical beaches in the continental United States. As you drive to Miami Beach from Miami, you hit your first two must-see attractions. Indoors, the Childrens Museum shares an island with .
Where to stay: At the north end of the island, Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour has the best kids beach club. At the south end, Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach has direct beach access and sits between two public parks.
Best for ages: 2-12
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Beaches Negril Resort And Spa Jamaica
Set on what’s arguably the best beach on the island, Beaches Negril is all about giving parents and kids an amazing vacation. While you take advantage of tennis, kayaking, windsurfing, the “Lazy River”or simply collapse on the white sandyour kids can join a supervised program. Babies hang out with trained counselors in a comfortable nursery setting while toddlers and preschoolers absolutely love Sesame Street-themed activities, as well as shell collecting, face-painting, and magic shows.
Since all your meals, most activities, and the kids’ club are included in the price, you really need to take advantage of everything to get your money’s worth. So this resort are best for parents who are looking to spend a couple of hours alone every day.
Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach The Bahamas
Price point: Affordable
Nestled on the south shore of Grand Bahama Island is the Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach. In addition to 26 acres of wild nature, the all-inclusive resort has plenty of activities for the whole family, including kayaking, snorkeling, and a robust kids club. In addition to activities, the all-inclusive rate includes food and drink, entertainment, and nightly accommodations .
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Aleenta Phuket Phuket Thailand
At Aleenta Phuket, youll find lovely sunset views on Natai Beach. Guests can opt for an all-inclusive package for a modest additional price.
Accommodations: The resort offers a range of accommodation options, from stylish garden-facing rooms to five-bedroom beachfront villas.
Food and Drink: Enjoy a refreshing welcome drink, a daily gourmet breakfast and lunch and dinner from the resorts open-air, beachfront restaurants.
Why Kids Love It: Theres an onsite kids Explorers Club at Aleenta Phuket that offers daily activities. Babysitting services are also available. Family tours can be booked to local temples, a turtle sanctuary and a waterfall.
Why Adults Love It: Your all-inclusive package also includes a two-hour spa treatment you can even enjoy a beach massage if you wish. Theres surfing, paddleboarding, Tai Chi classes and beach yoga.
Brunswick Islands North Carolina
Brunswick Islands, North Carolina is composed of six beaches and was named one of National Geographics 21 Best Beaches in the World. It’s nothing but naturegreat for biking, walking, hiking and collecting shells. The islands’ Holden Beach is especially great for kayaking and paddleboarding and boasts small-town charm.
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The Resort At Paws Up Greenough Montana
Though you might not think of Montana when you think of luxury all-inclusive resorts, The Resort at Paws Up is a renowned option for an elevated dude ranch vacation that combines gourmet dining with fresh air-powered activities for families in Big Sky Country.
Accommodations: This 37,000-acre resort has both premium and more rustic digs, depending on what youre looking for. Stay in a luxury home or in luxury camping accommodations. You can even rent a lodge on your own private island.
Food and Drink: Dine at the resorts two restaurants, either fine or casual dining, or enjoy camp dining or a chuck wagon experience. Executive chef Sunny Jin, who previously worked at French Laundry in Napa Valley, prepares menus that celebrate the spirit of the northwest.
Why Kids Love It: Nature provides the ultimate playground here, with horseback riding, ATVs, learning primitive skills, riding electric bikes and practicing at the archery range. Think of it as year-round, elevated summer camp. Theres even dedicated Smoreologists who can give kids and adults a crash course on creating the perfect fireside treat.
Why Adults Love It: That Smoreologist will also slip you an alcohol-soaked marshmallow if you request one. Adults can have their own version of summer camp fun, playing with their kids and also enjoying time to themselves with a Paint n Pour wine activity, cooking classes, a rifle range and horse-drawn carriage rides.
Tanque Verde Ranch Arizona Usa
Dude ranches are among the best options for all-inclusive family vacations because theres something to appeal to virtually all travel tastes. In Tuscon, Tanque Verde Ranch offers plenty of activities for both kids and adults, and its set in a stunning location adjacent to Saguaro National Park. Like all dude ranches, the highlight here is horseback riding, but other family-favorite activities include mountain biking, guided hikes, fishing, archery, tennis, yoga, and nature and animal programs.
Families will not go hungry with the all-inclusive cowboy fare that includes three hearty meals a day. Theres also horseback and mountain bike rides as well as a legends and lore walk to breakfast each day. Cowboy cookouts twice a week boast live music and entertainment prior to dinner. The supervised kids program offers a full day of age-appropriate activities for children ages four to 12, allowing adults to relax, ride, or check out the resorts full-service spa.
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Grand Velas Riviera Maya Riviera Maya Mexico
Accommodations: Choose from 539 oceanfront, garden or ocean view rooms measuring more than 1,100 square feet, each with a private terrace. Some offer private plunge pools. Bathrooms offer Jacuzzi tubs for a relaxing soak. Two-bedroom family suites are appointed with kids bathrobes and slippers, stuffed animals and a kids welcome beach kit, and include a family photo session.
Food and Drink: Grand Velas Riviera Maya has eight onsite restaurants representing Mexican, European and Asian cuisine.
Why Kids Love It: Sign your little one up for a Mexican Toys Workshop, cooking and baking lessons, Spanish classes or a piñata workshop. The Teens Club is outfitted with video games, a disco, karaoke and a teen bar with non-alcoholic mocktails and snacks. Theres also a bungee, zipline and climbing walls. A Baby Concierge is available onsite for requests like cribs, toys, baby pool floats and more.
Why Adults Love it: Theres a huge $15-million onsite spa sanctuary that offers traditional Mayan-inspired treatments using corn cobs, coffee, cocoa, vanilla and honey, plus a Water Journey with seven water experiences thats included in treatments of at least 50 minutes. Take day trips to see Mexican ruins like Chichen Itza and Uxmal, and enjoy eco-cycling tours, tortilla making and beautifully choreographed shows.