Beach vacations can be an elixir to the grind of daily family life. Tried-and-true pleasures like building sand castles, splashing in the waves and collecting seashells are memorable for their simplicity.
We’ve rounded up 13 of the best family beach resorts around the U.S.A, Mexico and the Caribbean. Each enjoys a distinct flavor, though the unifying factor is a gorgeous beach.
If you’re curious to journey beyond the beach, we’re offering suggestions for kid-friendly activities too. Pack the sun hats and get ready to explore a baker’s dozen sandy destinations.
San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
Casa Maat is a 45-room luxury hotel—actually, a hotel with in a hotel—overlooking a postcard-worthy beach in Cabo. Guests enjoy exclusivity yet have full use of the JW Marriott’s numerous restaurants and extensive facilities, including a kid’s club, gym, spa and library. Rooms feature natural elements like wood, wicker, straw and stone, and have private balconies that are the perfect perch to gaze at the sea. A buffet breakfast, light lunch and dinner are included in the room rate.
If you’ve never been to Cabo, keep in mind that swimming is prohibited on most beaches due to rough surf, so it’s more about whale-watching and beachcombing. Casa Maat’s pool is a beauty—or dip in one of the JW Marriott’s ten pools, including a baby pool.
Beyond the beach: A stroll around San Jose del Cabo is always a good idea. Soak in the atmosphere around the plaza.
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
Palm Beach, Florida
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa is located on the Atlantic Ocean. Spend the day on the sand punctuated by a refreshing dip in the pool or a balance challenge on a stand-up paddleboard. The resort recently completed an extensive renovation. The new kid’s club aims to spark imagination with experiences such as a 4-feet-tall interactive wall of over one-thousand lighted colored pegs. Teens age 13-17 can enjoy a separate space.
Beyond the beach: The Cox Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach has hands-on educational exhibits and a planetarium.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa
Huntington Beach, California
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa is a beachfront beauty with over 500 rooms and suites. Guest accommodations are spacious, some with private patio firepits. The beach concierge is available to organize everything from surf lessons to a cozy beach bonfire. If the Pacific doesn’t do it for you, the lagoon-style swimming pool has waterslides.
Beyond the beach: Immerse in SoCal beach culture at the pier, let the kids romp at the ADA compliant all-inclusive playground or explore wetland trails at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.
Inn by The Sea
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Summers are short in Maine but New Englanders know how to squeeze the most out of the brief beach season. Inn by the Sea is on Crescent Beach, where a boardwalk path lined with beach roses leads through a wildlife sanctuary and over dunes to a stretch of beach with calm water and clean sand. Multi-bedroom suites allow families to spread out. If you’re traveling with a dog, your pooch will be pampered with evening turndown service and handmade treats.
Beyond the beach: Borrow bikes and pedal over to the lighthouse and the Lobster Shack at Two Lights for a seafood feast featuring creamy clam chowder.
Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa
Eagle Beach, Aruba
Manchebo Beach Resort is a small hotel on stunning Eagle Beach, fringed with wild orchids, candle cacti and assorted desert flora. There’s no kid’s club, so spending time here is about togetherness. Unlike many hotels in Aruba, there’s no casino, adding to the laid-back feel. You’ll hear Papiamento, Aruba’s official language, spoken. It’s a blend of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and English, reflecting some of the influences that have contributed to the island’s multi-cultural identity.
Beyond the beach: Explore rugged Arikok National Park and get acquainted with Aruba’s arid landscape.
Royal Uno Resort
Royal Uno is an all-inclusive beachfront resort that’s an oasis of fun. Cancun is packed with resorts, but Royal Uno is situated on a particularly eye-catching slice that enjoys soft sand and blue water. This new resort stands out for its kid’s club, family-friendly entertainment and food options. Rooms are large, with décor accents in sea foam green and coral. Murphy beds, plunge pools and private terraces with hammocks join a collection of flip-flops, in case you forgot to pack your own.
Beyond the beach: A visit to the Maya Museum opens a window into the history and traditions of the Mayan people.
Watch Hill, Rhode Island
With its cheerful yellow façade and Atlantic views, Ocean House is on a bluff in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Tall dune grass and seabirds soaring overhead make it a haven for nature lovers. Children’s activities have a yesteryear quality, from scavenger hunts to croquet clinics. A veranda with comfy rocking chairs is an excellent spot for a bedtime story. The art collection includes original illustrations from the “Madeline” book series.
Beyond the beach: A ride on a painted pony is essence of summertime fun and Watch Hill is home to the nation’s oldest flying-horse carousel.
Isle of Palm, South Carolina
Wild Dunes is a large resort on a barrier island near Charleston, offering families a smorgasbord of seaside recreational activities. Tennis, golf and pickleball are a few of the non-aquatic options. Accommodations include hotel rooms, condos and cottages, all with casual furnishings. The resort partners with a local rental agency that can provide everything from a toddler bed to a high chair, making it easy to travel light.
Beyond the beach: Visit Middleton Place in Charleston and join a historian for a powerful conversation on the institution of American slavery and a penetrating look at the enslaved people whose labor built these landscaped gardens and buildings.
Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana’s long strip of white sand, warm waves and palms are a Caribbean trifecta. Numerous resorts are clustered on this beach, so the secret is out. All-inclusive Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort, Spa & Casino is a paradise for families, with seven freshwater pools, a giant waterpark, clubs for kids and teens, an escape room, a bowling alley, ice cream parlor and more. An array of international dining concepts should tempt picky eaters.
Beyond the beach: Immerse in local flora and fauna at the Reserva Ecológica Ojos Indígenas, dedicated to conservation and scientific research.
Ocean Club Resorts
Turks and Caicos
Ocean Club Resorts are sister hotels on Grace Bay Beach, one of the most breathtaking spots in the Caribbean. The beach is protected by an offshore reef, making for calm seas and a bounty of aquatic life nestled in the coral. A complimentary shuttle runs between the resorts, allowing guests to enjoy the facilities at both properties, including tennis and kayaking. Both offer accommodations with a full kitchen or kitchenette.
Beyond the beach: Saddle up and try horseback riding at Long Bay Beach.
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
South Walton, Florida
Northwest Florida’s Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa enjoys a beachfront position with sand as soft as confectioner’s sugar and water that’s as green as an emerald. Suites have private balconies and bunk beds for kids. On-property activities include cycling, swimming pools, watersports, tennis, a spa and restaurants.
Beyond the beach: Rent a canoe and paddle on the coastal dune lakes at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park.
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is catnip if you crave California’s sun-kissed lifestyle coupled with easy access to the urban offerings of Los Angeles. Wake up to a sea breeze at casually elegant Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. The Miramar Beach Club offers beach butler service, complete with thirsty towels and sand pails. Lush gardens, cruiser bikes for pedaling the beachside path and a great swimming pool are oceanfront perks.
Beyond the beach: A vintage carousel and a solar-powered Ferris wheel join classic carnival games at the Santa Monica Pier.
Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Satisfy your beach bum yearnings in San Juan’s Isla Verde neighborhood. Join locals as they relax under a canopy of coconut palms and sunbathe on golden sand. Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort is in front of Isla Verde Beach. Borrow a complimentary bike, swim in the free-form pool and refresh at the ice-cream parlor. It’s just a few minutes from the airport, so you can take that last swim before catching your homebound flight.
Beyond the beach: In Old San Juan, San Felipe del Morro is a fort that has stood guard for over 400 years.