Whilst it is often pretty tough to find a beach that is actually bad with kids, there are some that are certainly better than others when it comes to a great place for some quality seaside time as a family.
Things in particular to consider include the general sea conditions – places that are known for strong currents and big waves re best avoided with little ones – and whether there are shelves in the ocean or does the sand gently slope outwards? Are their lifeguards on duty? You will also want to consider the general cleanliness of the beach and the water, as well as what type of beach it is. Shingle beaches can be lovely for a walk but they aren’t so great when it comes to building sand castles! Nearby facilities and amenities are often also a big deal when it comes to outings with the kids – knowing that there are bathrooms, changing rooms, showers, and places to get food and drink nearby can be high on the check list for parents. Activities and accessibility are also important.
Different beaches are also better at different times of the year. Keep in mind too that a beach doesn’t necessarily have to be by the ocean and on the coast … there are also plenty of lovely lake beaches and river beaches for your family to enjoy too.
Here are some ideas when looking for a terrific US beach to enjoy with your kids:
Hanalei Bay, Hawaii
Although you really can’t go wrong with most of Hawaii’s gorgeous beaches, there’s a certain something that makes Hanalei Bay just that extra bit special. There are more sheltered and protected parts of the sea that are great for people that just want to paddle and splash about, whilst the calmer waves are good for surfing and for newbies and kids to learn. Numerous water spots are available, including boating and kayaking. The sands gently slope outwards to the deeper parts and it’s a very pretty beach. The pier is a nice place to take a stroll. Lifeguards keep bathers safe and the gleaming white sand is the perfect spot to relax, run, and play. There are showers and bathrooms and there is also good car-parking close to the beach.
Sanibel Island, Florida
The long beaches of Sanibel Island offer a really tropical feeling, with soft white sands and plenty of seashells at Sanibel Stoop for the little ones to gather up! Several different birds can be seen from the beach, including herons and pelicans. It is a great place for kids for various reasons … the clear waters are nice for swimming, they can play on the sands or go beachcombing, there are plenty of places to eat and drink nearby, and there is a good choice of different activities should you want some time away from the beach. Biking, golfing, canoeing, boating, playing tennis, and shopping are just a few things to enjoy.
Mission Beach, California
Close to the vibrant and great kid-friendly city of San Diego, Mission Beach has been a family favourite for a long time. The relaxed atmosphere is enticing and there are lots of activities for old and young alike. The boardwalk is a nice place for walking and cycling and there are plenty of eateries if your family start to feel a bit peckish. Street entertainers create a fun carnival-esque vibe, and your kids will likely enjoy watching the performers, artists, and musicians. A roller coaster offers shrieks and squeals and your kids can enjoy activities such as fishing, boating, roller skating, and boogie boarding. Lifeguards keep watch and swimming areas are clearly marked. Plenty of bathrooms are available.
Ogunquit Beach, Maine
Relax and play on the sandy beach or explore the interesting grassy dunes. Lifeguards keep an eye out during peak season and there are bathrooms and showers. Plenty of parking is available. Kids can have fun in the ocean with floats and inflatables and a seashell hunt can be heaps of fun. Pay a visit to the lighthouse and pack a picnic for a fun day out in the sun.
Other terrific US beaches for kids include Cannon Beach in Oregon, Sandbridge Beach in Virginia, California’s Kings Beach, Sunset Beach in New Jersey, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, Cooper’s Beach in New York, Florida’s Henderson Beach, and Mayflower Beach, Massachusetts. Of course, there are also many, many more!
What beaches have you particularly enjoyed with the kids? Share your favourites in the comments below.