If you are planning to visit a beach with your family. Then these amazing family-friendly beaches in the USA ensure fun, safety, and affordability.
- Top 10 Beaches for Families in the USA
Some beaches offer fun boardwalks with amazing rides, museums, ice cream parlors, and candy shops.
Others give you pure nature to be with your family build sandcastles, splash the waves, see the marine life, unwind in a hammock, or simply catch a sunset together.
We make sure that these beaches provide the essential amenities families need and want i.e. easy access to restrooms & showers, on-duty lifeguards, nature in its pure form, nearby amusement parks, restaurants, hotels, and equipment rentals.
Check also: Best Beaches in Florida for Couples
Top 10 Beaches for Families in the USA
Silver Beach – St. Joseph, Michigan
Silver Beach County Park is situated at the mouth of the St. Joseph River and features a clean, wide beach on Lake Michigan.
The beach offers 1,600 feet wide shoreline for public swimming during summer.
It is one of the best beaches for preschoolers. Tiny tots will love splashing in the calm waters and building sandcastles.
Mothers will definitely love the easy access to the restrooms, showers, concession stands, and lifeguards during the summer season.
The beach offers a good-sized playground with slides and swings. If you go a little further into downtown St. Joseph, you’ll find Michigan’s largest splash pad is known as the wet-and-wild Whirlpool Compass Fountain. There is also a Silver Beach Carousel, where kids can have fun by riding a tiger, giraffe, or horse.
St. Joseph is also home to some fun hotspots for little ones i.e. the interactive Curious Kids’ Museum and Discovery Zone.
Nye’s Apple Barn offers visitors to pick fruits like cherries, raspberries, blackberries, and peaches at numerous points during summer.
It is highly recommended to get there early because, in summer, the paid parking lots can fill up so quickly. Although there are some free parking options closer to downtown. But they require a quite long walk to get to the beach.
Gulf State Park – Alabama
Gulf State Park gives you a white sand beach, that lies inside a 6,200-acre eco-preserve on the Gulf of Mexico. Regarded as the best beach for nature lovers.
Getting your young ones close to each of the park’s nine ecosystems through interactive exhibits at the on-site Interpretive Center is a wonderful experience.
In fact, the Interpretive Centre is known as Alabama’s most environmentally-friendly building.
You can hire a bike or go for a guided nature walk on a 28 miles trail and can explore the beautiful butterfly garden.
You can rent kayaks, swim, or even prefer shell hunting along the property’s two-mile stretch of soft white sand beaches.
It’s also fun to see the sea turtles, and their nest, and lucky even to see the hatching phase, with your little ones. Make sure to visit here from May to October to explore nature in its full bloom.
Siesta Beach – Sarasota, Florida
Known as the best beach in America by both TripAdvisor and Dr. Beach. it offers fun for the whole family that’s why regarded as the best beach for a multigenerational beach holiday.
Young ones can build sandcastles, splash in moderate surf, go to the playground, or have fun at beach volleyball nets.
Over the past few years, some major developments done at the main beach entrance i.e. updated restrooms, concession stands, and more parking spaces.
Families can rent beach chairs and umbrellas, onsite. For seniors or family members with little mobility, you can borrow beach wheelchairs to get to Siesta’s powder-soft sand. In addition, a mobility mat at the beach makes mobility a lot easy for them.
The beach is situated on Sarasota’s Siesta Key, which is home to all sorts of seafood spots, ice cream shops, kid-friendly museums, parks, the famous Mote Aquarium, and Sarasota Jungle Gardens. In short, this beach has something for all family members.
Lake Oconee – Georgia
Finding the best beach to keep your little tots busy? No worries! Lake Oconee launches Ritz Kids Clubhouse with a raft that offers wonderful outdoor summer-camp-inspired experiences to keep kids busy.
Lake Oconee also keep parents engaged by giving them the options of the adults-only infinity pool, Taylormade golf course, or 30,000 square-foot serene spas. Also, you can take part as a family in educational activities like scavenger hunts and games.
They are led by an environmental ambassador as part of the resort’s naturalist program.
Something missing? Beyond this amazing club, opt for the new family swimming pool, the placid lake—jet-ski, boat rentals, fishing, and fireside s’mores every evening. In fact, make your night an adventure with an in-room tent and sleeping bags.
Waikiki Beach – Oahu, Hawaii
This is a surfing paradise for the whole family, no matter their abilities. Anyone can have surfing lessons in this Honolulu hotspot that is also famous for the legend Duke Kahanamoku used to hang ten. Also, search for his statue on the beach for an Instagram selfie.
Waikiki waters have quite a small but long-lasting wave break that’s a love for both beginners and expert surfers. It features world-famous views of Diamond Head. In fact, Waikiki Beach is part of a two-mile span of interconnecting beaches on Oahu.
Besides surfing, it offers amazing canoeing, boogie boarding, and a people-watching experience. If one of your family members is a history-lover, go and explore the Waikiki Historic Trail to gain insights into the area’s surfing history. Nature-seekers must visit the Waikiki Aquarium to see Hawaiian monk seals and giant clams.
Please note on every Friday night, you can find a spot on the beach to enjoy the fireworks displays at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Torch-lighting and hula shows are worthy seeing. They take place several nights a week at the famous Kūhiō Beach Hula Mound.
Outer Banks – North Carolina
If it’s been so long since the kids have met their favorite cousin’s squad, head toward the Outer Banks for a number of outdoor entertainment and wandering spots. That’s why it is known as one of the best family-friendly beaches for reunification with your cousins, in the USA.
Just book your space at the Sanderling Resort which sits on the sandy shores between the Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. It is home to both private beaches and pools. One comes with a sloping wade-in design as opposed to steps, perfect for kids.
Make a plan together to do activities like kayaking, surfing, guided snorkeling, or even shell collecting. Resort rooms are spacious and feature soaking tubs, balconies, or some small decks for seeing some breathtaking sunsets. Don’t forget to capture group cousins’ selfies for your social handles.
Destin – Florida
Destin with its family-friendly vibe and impressive beaches entices adventure seekers. It is located northwest of Florida with vibrant green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The white soft sand and gentle jade water at Henderson Beach State Park and the Shores at Crystal Beach Park are some picture-perfect beaches. Henderson resort features plenty of ways to test that moniker — can hop on a charter boat, or go to a nearby Henderson Beach State Park. In fact, the resort’s guests get complimentary day passes for exploring the park.
Other adventures include paddleboarding on the resort’s private beach, biking to South Walton on the 18-mile Timpoochee Trail, and much more. Thus, you can say that Destin has some best family-friendly beaches for adventurers, in the USA. And, if you need a post-adventure relaxation time, head toward the lazy river that is connected to the family pool.
Main Beach – Santa Cruz, California
The beach sits between the mouth of the San Lorenzo River and the Santa Cruz Wharf, home to an amazing Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
It is widely known as one of the best family-friendly beaches for boardwalks in the USA. This famous boardwalk has some incredible rides i.e. the 96-year-old Giant Dipper wooden rollercoaster and the Twirlin’ Teacups.
Some other amusements are mini-golf, laser tag, and arcade games. In fact, it is home to a bowling alley that is currently opening the “World’s Smallest Bowling Museum” exhibit. For little hungry tummies, there are various kid-friendly eateries on the boardwalk and on the wharf. On the Santa Cruz Wharf, you can peek out some dolphins, sea lions, sea otters, or whales from the pier, or rent kayaks for a closer experience.
One of the local attractions is the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. The Center offers family tours and Sunday Seaside Crafts to help little ones learn about undersea life. Another is the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum which treasures almost 100+ years of surfing history.
Crandon Park Beach – Key Biscayne, Florida
This two-mile Crandon Park beach is situated within Crandon Park on Miami’s Key Biscayne. An offshore sandbar helps in keeping the surf from crashing and gives you gentle calm waters.
You can find special beach wheelchairs, picnic areas with tables and grills, concession stands, cabanas, and water sports rentals there.
The park also nestled a nature center, tennis courts, a golf course, and Crandon Park Amusement Center. The Center offers a historic carousel and an outdoor roller rink.
If you want to get off the beach, then explore the Zoo Miami which is home to a Certified Autism Center designation and Miami Children’s Museum. They offer a Multi-Sensory/Snoezelen Room specifically for children with special needs.
Miami’s New World Symphony also serves a Sensory-Friendly Environment where children with special needs can enjoy a concert with lighting and volume modifications. In short, Crandon park beach is the best family-friendly beach for kids with special needs.
Check also: Best Beaches in California
During Chesapeake Blue Crab season, Tides Inn is one of the best foodies spots on the Virginia Oyster Trail. It is an ideal spot for local seafood, located right on Carters Creek with its own beach and a waterfront pool.
Water activities include taking sailing lessons, canoeing, and an electric Duffy boat self-guided cruise.
In fact, guests can also visit an oyster farm on a traditional waterman’s boat under the resort’s new waterfront restoration project. You will spend the day crabbing in the Rappahannock River under the supervision of a resident ecologist.
After returning, you’ll taste the catch. Another foodie option is a beehive and honey-tasting experience, where the resort’s resident beekeeper guides a walk to the wildflower field. Or you can go to the town’s Saturday farmers market to grab some fresh bread, local cheese, and produce for a beach picnic.
Best Family-Friendly Beach in the USA:
- for preschoolers: Silver Beach – St. Joseph, Michigan
- for nature lovers: Gulf State Park – Alabama
- for a multigenerational beach holiday: Siesta Beach – Sarasota, Florida
- keeping kids busy: Lake Oconee – Georgia
- for surfing: Waikiki Beach – Oahu, Hawaii
- for reunification with cousins: Outer Banks – North Carolina
- for adventurers: Destin – Florida
- for amazing boardwalks: Main Beach – Santa Cruz, California
- for kids with special needs: Crandon Park Beach – Key Biscayne, Florida
- for foodies: Irvington, Virginia
She started BeachXplore as a traveling blog covering particularly amazing beaches which she was lucky to visit and research about. Here you can find her writings on the best beaches, guides on beach wear, items, and more.