If you have a family, you know that long gone are the days of saving up your dollars and cents in a coffee can for a lively weekend at the beach with friends, where the only worries you had were how many suits you needed to pack for a seven-day trip.
Nowadays, your beach trips look quite different. Juice boxes replaced six-packs and arm floaters replaced drink cozies. You’re looking for a relaxing locale with plenty of lifeguards, kiddie rides, and ice cream parlors, and these beaches are the spots for you.
Siesta Key, Florida
Not only is this Florida beach family-friendly, it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With pristine, white sand, it’s the perfect spot for a family photo shoot and offers areas for picnicking and a playground for kids to swing, jump, and climb—you can’t beat that!
Cape May, New Jersey
The historic town of Cape May has more than three miles of beaches and family-friendly attractions that have been entertaining visitors for decades, if not centuries. The gorgeous Victorian-style homes are a sight to behold, and offer a great opportunity for a history lesson. When the kids are bored of that, there are plenty of incredible restaurants and shops along the town’s famous “promenade”.
Santa Cruz, California
With one of the last classic beach amusement parks in the West, Santa Cruz beach is famous not only for its sand and surf but also for its exciting rides and attractions that can keep your family entertained all day long. The Giant Dipper roller coaster has been thrilling riders since 1924, along with the Looff Carousel, built in 1911, which has been declared a national landmark.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana
A beach in… Indiana? We know what you might be thinking, but this park in the Midwest is well-known for its 15 miles of beaches along the calm waters of Lake Michigan—perfect for little ones to wade in while you enjoy a relaxing day in the sun. For nature-loving families, there are also plenty of hiking opportunities that offer incredible views, too!
Gulf Shores, Alabama
America’s Gulf Coast is an often-overlooked vacation destination, but it offers mile after mile of gorgeous beaches with calm waters and family-friendly attractions. You can’t beat the restaurants boasting fresh seafood, either, and the plethora of wildlife refuges for kids to visit their favorite animals.