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The Best Family Beach For Every Age Kid


Read About Florida’s Best Family Beach

Beaches are the no-brainer vacation destinations if you’re traveling with kids. Most children love playing in the water and sand. There are a variety of things to do at the beach. All that fresh air and activity will tire them out. Many beach hotels and resorts offer supervised children’s activities. Here are my favorite beaches for kids in all the key age groups:

The Best Beach for Babies, Toddlers And Preschoolers

Ogunquit beach in Maine is great for small swimmers.My all-time favorite beach for young children is one I’ve been going to since I was a baby: Main Beach in Ogunquit, ME. Here’s why a beach on the cold North Atlantic is appealing for small children: In between high and low tides, sandy-bottomed tide pools form along the shore. They’re shallow, safe for splashing and fun to explore. Plus, the sun rapidly heats these shallow pools so the normally frigid water is bathtub warm.

If you need your beaches to be more reliably warm and sunny, another favorite of mine for little kids is Lydgate Beach Park in Kauai, Hawaii. Here, rocks block the strongest ocean waves and kids can enjoy totally calm water in a sheltered cove. They can even snorkel safely; tropical fish swim in and out of the cove through small holes between the rocks. This is where I taught my children to snorkel. Plus, the park has great facilities including lifeguards, a wonderful playground, parking, picnic tables, bathrooms and showers.

The Best Beach for School-Age Children

Isle of Palms, outside of Charleston, SC, offers families the opportunity to have a beach and city vacation at the same time. Elementary school-age children are old enough to appreciate experiencing firsthand some of the things they’ve learned in school at Charleston’s historical sites. The Isle of Palms itself has a lots of nature -related activities including fishing, crabbing and opportunities to see dolphins, sea turtles, and coastal birds. Plus there are opportunities to do water sports like surfing, sailing and paddle boarding. Wild Dunes Resort, the largest hotel on the Island, offers these activities to its guests, but you can book them through independent vendors, too. Nearby Kiawah Island is great option, too.

Clearwater Beach in Florida is a wonderful beach on the western Gulf Coast, which is known for its white sand and calm, clear turquoise water (hence the name, Clearwater). It’s also has the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home to Winter, the dolphin made famous in the 2011 movie Dolphin Tale.

The Best Beach For Tweens and Teens

tteens love surfing on the beach at Coronado.By the time your kids reach this age they generally want to get as far away from you as possible, so the trick is to find somewhere safe and contained that offers lots of activities with other young people. You kids can do their thing, you can do yours, and you won’t spend your vacation worrying or fighting.

Beach resorts fit the bill because they’re self-contained. Everything you want or need on your vacation is at your hotel or within walking distance.

The Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Beach in San Diego is a great destination beach hotel — albeit a pricey one— for families with teens. The beach is everything a California beach should be. Plus, the hotel has something many resorts lack: activities and amenities specifically for teens.

grand wailea beach One of my favorite places to take my boys when they were teens was Wailea Beach in Maui, Hawaii. But to be honest, a big reason we love it is the pool at the Grand Wailea Resort. As much as my children like this beach, they like the pool more. The Grand Wailea is a huge destination resort so hotel, but you don’t have to leave the exceptionally lovely grounds at all if you don’t want to—and your teens probably won’t.

Lisa Dworkin is the founder of the TheBestBeach blog. She also tweets at theBestBeachNet.  Follow her on Facebook or Pinterest.




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6 Comments

  1. James Schiller
    October 17, 2013 at 4:09 am — Reply

    Nice article! thanks for sharing. In your list, I like Isle of Palms most. With its laid back atmosphere, large beachfront homes, resorts, and local restaurants, Isle of Palms is the perfect place to unwind and relax. It also provides an easy route to the rich history of nearby Charleston. Charleston has a lot of beautiful beaches. My favorite is Isle of Palms.

  2. Sonja
    August 17, 2012 at 9:47 am — Reply

    Well, I’ve got teens now, so we’ll have to check out the Grand Wailea. Hawaii’s been on the radar for awhile now anyway. My family probably won’t be able to drag ME away from the pool! 🙂

  3. Michele @ Malaysian Meanders
    August 17, 2012 at 9:17 am — Reply

    We didn’t stay at the Hotel del Coronado, but we DID spend a wonderful afternoon on their beach. We loved it so much that we returned a few years later.

  4. August 17, 2012 at 8:19 am — Reply

    […] more  about the Grand Wailea in our […]

  5. http://www.budgettraveltalk
    August 17, 2012 at 12:42 am — Reply

    Love the surfie photo. Makes me want to go the the beach big time!

  6. Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista
    August 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm — Reply

    Children of any age and beaches do go together! Coronado is absolutely amazing as is Wailea. I think there are a lot of people that go to the Grand Wailea for the pool!

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