Top 10 Beaches For Kids
Ah… there’s nothing quite like sand, surf and sea. Whether you prefer playing in the mud or splashing in the ocean, we’ve surveyed the country from coast to coast to bring you the top 10 beaches for kids! So pack up your beach bag and make for the seaside – and don’t forget the sunscreen!
Cannon Beach, Oregon
This beach is set against old-growth forests, just 80 miles west of Portland, OR. Even though the Pacific waters are at times a bit too cold to swim in, this beach offers tons of great activities like kite flying (with colorful kites sold right in town), exploring tide pools and building sandcastles. In fact, June 16 is Sandcastle Day, and kids of all ages are invited to enter one of the West Coast’s biggest sandcastle-building contests.
Cape May, New Jersey
This beach is part of a National Historic District in the south of NJ. Miles of sandy beach and plenty of ice-cream shops can be found here. You can also strut down the boardwalk of North Wildwood, which is set up like an amusement park!
Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts
You’ve probably already heard of Cape Cod – tons of families head there every summer for their annual beach getaways. Huge beaches, pounding surf, fried food and ice cream – it’s what every dream vacation is made of! Try body surfing on the amazing waves at the National Seashore’s Coast Guard Beach, or spend the day getting to know the endangered piping plovers that nest there in the early summer. This is also the site of the Mayflower’s first New World landing.
We all know Cali’s got plenty of great beaches – well, Coronado is one of them. Just a short way from San Diego (you can drive over a bridge or take a ferry), pick this beach if you want to boogie board, surf and swim. There’s also plenty of kid-friendly activities nearby at the Hotel del Coronado – sandcastle building, kite making, and more. If you visit in early winter (still sunny and warm!), don’t forget to check out the gray whales breaching right offshore during their annual migration.
Daytona Beach, Florida
We wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve already heard of or visited this amazing beach in the state of Florida. It features 23 miles of sparkling sand and surfside fun, including wildlife adventures, racecar simulations, visits to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, and, of course, a visit to Mickey Mouse in Orlando – only about an hour away!
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
This is SC’s own 14-mile beachfront that’s got shallow waters for wading and playing, gentle waves that won’t knock you over and soft sand to lie on and play in. You may even see dolphins frolicking in the sparkling blue water – even more likely if you convince mom and dad to take you on a dolphin cruise. Check out the beach's signature red-and-white striped lighthouse.
Newport Beach, California
Miles and miles of sandcasle-ready beach is waiting for you in Southern CA. Watch serious surfers ride the 25-foot waves at the “Wedge” at Balboa Peninsula or, for calmer waters, trek to Corona del Mar State Beach. Strut the buzzing boardwalk, where you can rent a family-friendly bike that’s built for four!
Orient Beach State Park, New York
OK, so when you think of New York the last thing you may picture is a beach. But Long Island, New York’s amazing beaches are a prime destination for families looking to get away from the buzz of the city. Orient Beach is one of those, and features playgrounds, picnic areas and BBQ grills. Or, rent a bike or kayak and go exploring!
Poipu Beach Park, Hawaii
Hawaii’s beaches are world-famous – but where do kids and families go to have fun? The crescent-shaped beaches of Poipu Beach Park on the island of Kauai have calm, shallow waters that make great training grounds if you want to learn how to surf or body-board. You can snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific, swim with green sea turtles, dolphins, whales and endangered seals.
Sanibel Island, Florida
Another Florida fave, Sanibel Island is famous for its gorgeous seashells, soft white sand, gentle surf and shallow waters. Be sure to make a trip to the Wildlife Refuge, where bald eagles and over 240 species of other birds, reptiles and mammals live. You can also take an Everglades Day Safari to see more creepy crawlers!