Let’s be real: After the year that was 2020, a lot of us feel like we need to get away from it all. Doing so safely, however, is still of utmost importance. The beach is a great option because the outdoors offers more social distancing opportunities than being inside. If you’re looking for safe sand and surf, these family beach vacations for 2021 are affordable options, many of which have discounts and deals included to get you the most bang for your buck. Be sure to check with your destinations to find out the latest regarding COVID-19 safety protocols, pricing and availability, as some offers may be subject to change.
Best Family Beach Vacations 2021
1. Savannah, Georgia
Travel expert Imani Francies recommends Savannah, Georgia for families looking for a safe beach getaway in 2021 for its combination of sandy shores and “small city vibes.”
“It is an ideal vacation spot year-round since during the winter months the city rarely experiences freezing temperatures. If residing in a neighboring town or state, jumping in your car and following tips for a safe road trip is the best way to get there during the pandemic,” she advises. There are a variety of lodging options, Francies says, including luxury hotels and cozy bed and breakfasts. Additionally, Savannah has a mask mandate for public settings to keep residents and tourists safe.
2. Bethany Beach, Delaware
Bethany Beach, Delaware has a ton of family-friendly fun, from swimming and surfing to the boardwalk. Bethany Beach Ocean Suites in particular is full of enjoyable activities, from a saltwater pool to Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf.
3. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Radisson Blu Punta Cana in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is a dog-friendly resort, so you can bring your furry friend with you! The resort boasts two- and three-room suites that make them similar to small apartments, complete with full kitchens and washers and dryers in each. You can participate in dance classes, cooking classes, guided meditations, kids’ activities, fitness programs, beach volleyball and more, all of which are included. There are intensive cleaning practices, and the Dominican Republic offers free health insurance to anyone traveling to the country by commercial air through March 2021 (this may be extended depending on the pandemic’s progression). For two adults and two children, starting rates are $268 per night.
In partnership with Funjet Vacations, Travel Leaders advisors can give their clients reduced rates, $35 spa credit and kids stay free at RIU Hotels & Resorts located in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, offering a great deal for the whole family. RIU Hotels & Resorts are following advanced safety measures and offering flexible cancellation policies. More information on this and finding a Travel Leaders advisor can be found here.
4. Riviera Maya, Mexico
The Bahia Principe Grand Tulum resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico has a ton of kid and teen-friendly activities, including its own water park and jungle park (complete with ziplines!), and serves as a great learning experience for those who want to learn about Mayan history and culture. The resort uses regular health checks, social distancing and other health, safety and cleaning measures. Rates start at $190 per night.
Currently, Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya is giving prospective guests the opportunity to lock in a 50% off deal on stays between three and seven nights for two adults and up to two kids to travel whenever they’re ready in 2021. These vouchers can be purchased and redeemed online here. The Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya offers a ton of youth-friendly activities and attractions, including the brand-new Woodward Riviera Maya action-sports facility, the Kids Club, The Cavern teens lounge, Rockaway Bay water park, snorkeling and kayaking. They also provide complimentary Antigen tests for guests and employ SAFE + SOUND enhanced cleanliness protocols.
Sensira Resort & Spa Riviera Maya is just minutes away from ancient Mayan ruins and the Xcaret and Xoximilco theme parks and only steps away from the sand and sea. The resort has a spa, a tennis court, a night show theater, nitro disco club, mini-golf, a gymnasium, three swimming pools, babysitting services, family cabins, a Baby Explorer group (for tykes ages 1 to 3) with certified nannies, an Adventure Club for kids ages 4 to 7, and an Emoji center for teens complete with Xbox, climbing wall and more.
5. Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Riviera Nayarit has a slew of amazing activities, including sea turtle releases, whale watching, yoga, golf, scuba diving and some of the best surfing around. They also enforce masks and social distancing.
6. Puerto Rico
One of the greatest parts of vacationing in Puerto Rico is that it’s a genuine getaway but you don’t need to worry about a currency change.
Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa boasts a half-mile of private beach and 20 acres of tropical gardens. Their Winter Escapade package has stays from $147 (depending on dates), and if you stay for at least two nights, you’ll get 20% off on a stay from now to March 31, 2021.
The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar is a newly-renovated oceanfront resort with three beachfront pools, a casino, a spa, two world-class golf courses and experiences for rates starting at $230 a night.
Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve is a family resort just steps away from the water and beautiful El Yunque rainforest. They have a promotion to stay two nights and get the third night free, with rates from $253 per night.
Want something cozier? The colonial-era Casa Sol Bed and Breakfast is the first-ever bed and breakfast in Old San Juan, with rates ranging between $168 to $230 per night double occupancy.
7. Greenport, New York
Greenport, New York, in Long Island’s North Fork, features Sound View, a waterfront hotel on a quarter-mile of private beach with 55 guest rooms, one and two-bedroom suite options, a lobby lounge, expansive waterfront restaurant, piano bar, library, outdoor pool. The resort offers a World Schoolers package through the end of June, curated specifically for families, which includes a two-night accommodation with a complimentary upgrade to a more spacious guest room, access to the hotel’s private beach, late checkout and waterfront remote work and school space with WiFi and printer access. During the hot summer months, guests can take advantage of the hotel’s Pre-Pay and Save deal for 25% off room bookings made at least 21 days in advance.
Divi & Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusives have expansive beaches and all-inclusive dining options, four freshwater pools and over a mile of shoreline. Outdoor activities include including beach volleyball, kayaks, catamarans, floats, windsurfing and snorkeling, and kids can play pool basketball, tennis and golf, in addition to exploring the resorts’ bike paths or riding into the local downtown. For parents with children ages 4 to 12, The Sea Turtle Club is a great way for kids to make friends and find new experiences during their stay in a safe environment. The weekly activity calendar outlines each days’ programming and can include anything from a beach scavenger hunt and sandcastle building contest to kite building and flying.
Children ages 12 and under can stay, eat and play at Tamarijn for free; kids age 13 through 17 are $75 per night. At Divi Aruba, children under five years of age can stay, eat and play, for free, while kids age six to 12 are $50 per night and kids age 13 to 17 are $75 per night.
The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba has private beach cabanas, customized kids’ cabanas and even doggy cabanas, as well as private dining experiences, gourmet picnics and private tours of the island’s rugged vistas, cultural centers and National Wildlife Park
Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino offers a spa, swimming pools, six onsite dining options, watersports and family activities including an acclaimed kids club, stargazing, cupcake decorating and s’mores making.
Aruba currently requires all visitors to complete an online embarkation/disembarkation card process. All travelers must either take a PCR test prior to arrival in Aruba, or upon arrival in Aruba with a mandatory quarantine until they receive negative test results. Aruba requires the use of masks for anyone over the age of 15 inside public spaces and while using public transport. The resort also offers an on-site testing facility with PCR ($125) and antigen ($50) tests.
9. Marquette, Michigan
Marquette, Michigan offers both mountains and a beach (and gorgeous waterfalls!), making it a great choice for those looking for hiking and a bit of a rugged feel. Visitors can take in Lake Superior, kayak around the Black Rocks of Presque Isle, fish on the Lower Harbor, paddleboard in Marquette Bay and swim in the Black Rocks, and explore McCarty’s Cove or surf anywhere on Lake Superior.
10. Lake Cumberland, Jamestown, Kentucky
Lake Cumberland State Park Resort in Jamestown, Kentucky has thousands of private coves, scenic foliage and a 63,000 acre-Lake Cumberland with more than 1,200 miles of federally protected shoreline. Guests can choose between fully-equipped lodge rooms, private cottages and secluded campsites to maintain privacy and social distancing, and you can even rent a houseboat on the water. Watersports and fishing are popular activities.
11. Destin and Sandestin, Florida
Hotel Effie in Sandestin, Florida is located on Florida’s Emerald Coast. The resort boasts 250 guest rooms and suites, four eateries, a luxury spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, and the only rooftop pool in the area. Guests can also enjoy the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort amenities, including more than seven miles of beaches and bayfront, four championship golf courses, 15 world-class tennis courts, a 123-slip marina and an additional 65,000 square feet of meeting space. The Village of Baytowne Wharf, within walking distance of the hotel, offers even more events, shopping, dining and nightlife. If you book in February for dates from March 1 to May 25, 2021, you can snag 15% off the daily rate and get free breakfast for two and complimentary nightly valet parking.
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa offers shuttle service to nearby attractions, including golf, cultural centers, state parks, shopping outlets and the vibrant Village at Baytowne Wharf, in addition to on-site activities like biking, watersports, tennis courts, a spa and restaurants. Home at Hilton offers two discounted package options, a 14-night Change of Scenery and a 30-night One Month Life Swap, available for bookings now through February 28, 2021.
About eight miles from Sandestin is Destin, Florida, also on the Emerald Coast. Suzanne Bratton of TripShock loves Destin as a family destination full of affordable deals. Known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” family fishing charters, dolphin cruises, Crab Island and more are popular attractions and activities in the area. Travel blogger Wayne Kask says Miramar Beach, Pier Park in Panama City Beach, Harborwalk Village in Destin, Destin Commons and The Boardwalk at Fort Walton Beach are all great family-friendly places to check out during your stay.
12. Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida is particularly scenic at The Marker Key West Harbor Resort, which features the Key West Seaport and Historic Harborwalk right in its backyard. Take a walk through Lazy Way Lane and visit the unique shops and boutiques, galleries, food shacks and waterfront restaurants. It is also the departure point for the fishing, boating, snorkeling and water sports excursions. Bring a socially distanced posse if you can: If you book eight or more rooms, you’ll all get a discounted resort fee ($25 plus tax, down from $45), one welcome cocktail for each guest and private on-site yoga classes for your entire group. You’ll also want to check out the ultra-Instagrammable art at The Audubon Experience at Audubon House & Tropical Gardens.
13. San Diego, California
San Diego, California has all the sunshine and beauty of the California coastline without the traffic of LA.
Town and Country has plenty of swimming for kids and adults, fire pits for s’mores and even a Twister waterslide. The Manchester Grand Hyatt is close to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo and great views of the San Diego Bay. The Hotel del Coronado has one-on-one surf lessons, private bonfires with s’mores on the beach, multiple restaurants, a stellar pool and outdoor fitness classes.
Costa Vista RV Resort has spacious patios, stone paver fire pits, premium landscaping and picnic tables and fully furnished vacation rentals. It features a coastal restaurant and bar, pool and spa, an outdoor and indoor fitness center, onsite laundry, a general store, a putting green, volleyball court, arcade/game room, pickleball court, playground and more. You’ll also get a views of the Coronado Bridge and San Diego Bay.
Bonaire, located in the Caribbean, is a Dutch municipality. Most lodging, dining and activities on the island are offering a 10 percent discount, and participating hotels and villas will also offer a complimentary mini bottle of Cadushy Distillery’s award-winning and locally produced Rom Rincon upon your arrival. Activitites include windsurfing, snorkeling with sea turtles, kayaking, hiking and swimming, and animal lovers can visit flamingo, parrot or donkey sanctuaries.
Travelers must have proof of a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to their arrival and complete a health declaration form for the Public Health Department 48 hours prior to departure, which may be downloaded here.
15. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has both oceans and mountains, making it a beautiful and scenic destination. The Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta is just five minutes from Puerto Vallarta Airport and currently offers a “Stay Longer, Experience More” package that offers 20% off four-night stays. Enjoy socially distanced beachfront pergolas, swim in the pools built around the property’s historic palm trees, enjoy expansive spa facilities, water activities, the Westin Family Kids Club and outdoor Kids Playground. You can also enjoy whale watching excursions, snorkeling and ziplining off-site.
16. Punta Mita, Mexico
Located not far from Puerto Vallarta, Punta Mita, Mexico offers great culture and activities for those seeking a warm place to both vacation or work remotely. The Conrad Punta de Mita’s Stay Longer & Work From Paradise package offers families booking stays of 14-days or longer a third week free, 20% off food and beverages, premium Wi-Fi, and flexible cancelations (up to 48 hours prior to arrival with no deposit required). The resort offers kids a Learn From Paradise extension as a supplement to virtual schooling and opportunity to offer interactive learning experiences. Younger travelers will enjoy learning about ancestral Huichol traditions, immersing in authentic Mexican culture, and exploring Riviera Nayarit’s lush landscapes that surround the resort. Kids can participate in an arts and crafts activity to create the ancient symbol God’s Eye, Spanish classes, traditional Mexican dish cooking lessons, nature walks and complimentary use of the resort’s expansive Kids Club. Upon request, the resort can also help parents connect with local tutors for virtual learning. Grownups will enjoy three onsite restaurants and the Conrad Spa.
The Conrad Punta de Mita partners with a third-party healthcare provider to administer onsite PCR and Antigen COVID-19 tests for all guests; PCR tests are $185 USD and Antigen tests are $65. They also have an extensive cleaning regimen and a partnership with RB, which produces Lysol.
17. Cancun, Mexico
Though best known for spring break hedonism, there is plenty of family-friendly fun in Cancun, Mexico. Take a trip to the Tulum ruins to learn about the Mayan culture in Quintana Roo, learn about marine biodiversity at the cenotes (natural sinkholes) and visit the Sian Ka’an biosphere. The Marriott Cancun Resort has a Kid’s Club that features activities like Spanish lessons, piñata making, sushi rolling, sandcastle building and arts and crafts. Parents can also book curated spa treatments for their kids such as the “Mayan Princess For A Day” or the “Ice Cream Pedicure.” The resort offers 25% off when you book and travel now through June 6, 2021 with code “D3Q.” Rates start at $135 per night with a three-night minimum. The property is offering a flexible cancellation policy of 24 hours; if canceled within 24 hours, a one night room and tax penalty will be charged.
18. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Cape Cod, Massachusetts offers activities like golf, kayaking, five on-site pools and bikes with bike trails, as well as the private Bay Pines Beach with seasonal oyster bed tours, beach yoga, and beach fires during sunset with specialty s’mores setups. The 700-foot slice of the beach is available exclusively to those booking accommodations at The Mansion or two- or three-bedroom units at The Villages side; the multi-bedroom villas are located within semi-private, stand-alone buildings with no shared hallways or elevators. During the summer months, the resort offers private experiences like archery lessons, individual picnic baskets, private dining experiences and more, as well as year-round activities like mixology classes, crafting sessions, trivia and movie nights and more.
The Lighthouse Inn offers a variety of waterfront accommodations, including six-bedroom houses to studio cottages, which make it a great option for families who want to continue social distancing during their getaway. The inn has 500 feet of private beachfront adjacent to West Dennis Public Beach, as well as an outdoor heated swimming pool, tennis courts, a firepit, a playground, shuffleboard, miniature golf, and volleyball.
Chatham Bars Inn has a slew of year-round activities for families, including drawing, fly fishing presentations with a lead instructor at the Orvis Fly Fishing School, morning family magic shows and illusionists, ice sculptures, fitness classes, beachfront yoga and more (including wine-tasting for the grownups!). In the summer, the inn offers a variety of experiences from seaside picnics, boating excursions, golfing, astronomy, lawn games, bike rides, hiking trails and more.
19. Dana Point, California
Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club in Dana Point, California has beautiful panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The resort has 175 acres with 400 guest rooms and suites, seven restaurants, three pools, a Waldorf Astoria Spa, a private Monarch Bay Beach Club, golf, Kids Club, and kid-friendly ocean experiences.
Killer Dana Surf Shop at Dana Point Harbor offers beach and surf rentals as well as a safe shuttle service for the whole family to spend a day under the sun at Baby Beach. You can rent surfboards, paddleboards, skimsuits, wetsuits, beach chairs and umbrellas at the shop, and their Killer Dana shuttle can take you and up to three guests (including dogs!) to any local hotel, Baby Beach or Doheny Jetty.
20. Laguna Beach, California
MTV millennials will love the reality TV nostalgia of Laguna Beach, while everyone else visiting Laguna Beach, California will embrace some of the area’s best surfing. Bike trails, whale watching, kayaking and swimming are popular activities, with attractions like Knott’s Berry Farm and Legoland nearby. The Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach offers great dining, spa and fitness options, and the longer your stay, the bigger your discount.
21. Nags Head, North Carolina
Pack up the whole family and head to one of the Outer Banks’ most beautiful beaches in Nags Head, North Carolina, which offers beautiful views, ocean access, miles of beaches, restaurants, natural and historical attractions.
22. Carolina Beach, North Carolina
Carolina Beach, North Carolina is one of the most popular beaches on the Atlantic Coast. In addition to its sand and surf, Carolina Beach is known for its live music and events, as well as its vintage boardwalk.
23. Kure Beach, North Carolina
History buffs will like Kure Beach, North Carolina for the trail encircling a Civil War fort at Fort Fisher State Historic Site, while kids will enjoy the Aquarium’s Adventure Reef, an outdoor play area, or visit with marine animals including alligators, sharks, stingrays, moray eels, seahorses, sea turtles and more. Guests also love the local surfing, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding and snorkeling.
24. Amelia Island, Florida
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island in Amelia Island, Florida, has plenty of birding and shark tooth hunting on the beach, as well as swimming, surfing, kayaking and other water sports. Unique to the Ritz-Carlton Amelia is their Sand Castle Concierge, a fun and special experience for kids and families including instruction of sand building techniques, tools for sculpting and a memento to bring home.
25. Key Biscayne, Miami, Florida
Though Miami is known for raucous nightlife and beaches suitable for mostly grownups, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami offers really unique activities for kids that they’ll never forget, including an educational journey with the property’s Ritz Kids program in partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society and his unique environmental expertise. If you venture out, you can enjoy a Boatsetter rental for some more adventures.
26. Lanai City, Hawaii
Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Lanai City, Hawaii is its own 90,000-acre secluded Hawaiian island. The resort boasts swimming pools overlooking Hulopoe Bay, off-property activities include hiking, horseback riding, sailing, ziplining, snorkeling and off-roading. You can also take a helicopter tour with the Maui Flight Academy. At the resort, you can enjoy activities including beach games, movie nights, shuffleboard, tennis and much more.
Upon arrival, there will be a screening procedure that may include temperature checking and questions regarding health and recent travel. Employees will be wearing masks and all guests ages 10 and up will be required to wear a mask or face covering when in public indoor spaces and when receiving in-room service. Masks are strongly recommended for children age 2-9 years old. In some jurisdictions, additional or more stringent regulations on mask usage are mandated and must therefore apply. In accordance with local health authorities, some restaurant and facility services and hours may also be modified.
27. Los Cabos, Mexico
Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is newly renovated and offers an ocean-view fitness center, private plunge pool suites, a new Splash Zone with pool, water slide and activities; and you can have a reserved fire pit and s’mores with their family-friendly Beachfront Break Package. Rates begin at $409 per night, and cancellations and refunds are permitted up to 48 hours before scheduled stay.
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal has 24 acres, amazing pools, a world-class spa, dining options, adventure excursions and their own e-learning partner, TakeLessons. For those staying long and connected to work, the Escape Longer package allows you to stay in residential-style accommodations such as multi-bedroom casitas, villas and private pedregal homes, with each private residence boasting private plunge pools, expansive terraces, ocean views, fully equipped kitchens and much more. The package also includes roundtrip transportation to and from the airport, a 20 percent spa discount, complimentary daily breakfast, complimentary Kid’s Club access for two kids, 20 percent off all food and beverages, 24/7 dedicated butler service, tech support and high-speed WiFi for remote work and learning and a designated learning room.
The Family Getaway to Cabo package at Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, includes family dinner at HUMO, family lunch at El Barrio, and three nights of accommodation in a family suite with a private plunge pool and two bedrooms. This package also includes a family day at Zadun’s ultra-luxury spa, Casa Grande, where parents can indulge in massages while children can enjoy a Mexican chocolate mani-pedi, and the whole family can enjoy a private yoga session together. Visitors can also work with an Ambassador of the Environment Naturalist to learn about Mexico’s natural wonders, including with guided tours and excursions to Sol de Mayo Waterfall and stargazing under the Los Cabos sky.
If you want do some exploring of your own, check out Boatsetter rentals in the Cabo San Lucas area, and you can experience the beach from a camel’s hump with a Cabo Camel Safari and even take a safe swim with sharks.
28. Turks & Caicos
Turks & Caicos is a quieter, less crowded island making it an appealing option during a pandemic, Angela Rice, co-founder of Boutique Travel Advisors, told us, noting that Grace Bay Beach is a particularly great option.
The Shore Club offers a private, gated six-bedroom oceanfront luxury villa for up to 14 guests to keep visitors safe, and it’s just steps away from the beach and any amenities you’ll need. In addition to their usual offerings, The Shore Club also has a unique touch for kids: The Conch Kritters Classroom, which has a daily combination of nature, discovery, and exploration exclusive to the Caribbean and Turks & Caicos Islands, as well as physical activities, crafts and creative play. Activities include kite-making and kite-flying, cooking lessons, seashell collecting, water sport lessons (kayak, hobie cat and paddleboards) and crafts based on sea life native only to the island.
29. Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
Eden Roc Cap Cana in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic has multi-bedroom villas, each complete with a full kitchen, private pool and spacious living areas. There are also communal infinity and kids’ pools, as well as the Koko Kid’s Club for kayaking and bodyboarding. There are also private pizza-making classes, complimentary daily lunch for children and family movie nights.
30. St. Lucia
Sugar Beach in St. Lucia offers fun experiences just for kids and families, including coconut bowling, treasure hunts and fish feeding, in addition to ourdoor activities like kayaking, sailing lessons and paddleboarding.
31. Onslow County, North Carolina
Onslow, North Carolina is rich in culutre and history, as well as beach access. From outdoor activities like kayaking, paddleboarding and surfing to moving war memorials to dining and great entertainment (including Swansboro’s annual spring Pirate Fest and the annual Ocean City Jazz Festival), you’ll find a ton to do and see for all ages. Traveling with Fido? North Topsail Beach is dog-friendly!
32. Maui, Hawaii
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii has a slew of beach space and offers hiking trails, golf, water sports and other activities, plus a Ritz Kids program for kids with fun experiences including searching for sea turtles, tossing pizza dough and mastering their knowledge of volcanoes. The resort offers spacious residences to ensure privacy and safety for guests.
You can also stay at the Ocean Bliss Estate in Wailea, Maui, a spacious, fully furnished villa with beach access for watersports, a pool, and in close proximity to golfing, restaurants and shops.
33. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
There are a ton of lodging and amenity options in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but if you’re looking for a safe and private way to get away, consider Sun RV Resorts Carolina Pines. Carolina Pines offers an onsite Carolina Splash Water Park, mini-golf, an arcade, a bowling alley, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, basketball courts, a yoga studio and more, plus complimentary shuttle service available to and from its private beach club. Carolina Pines also has vacation rental options ranging from cozy one-room cabins to full-on vacation homes.
Crown Reef Beach Resort and Waterpark offers big discounts and fun, Brookgreen Gardens is a great opportunity to marvel at nature (especially its coastal zoo!), and you can take in amazing sea life at Ripley’s Aquarium.
Looking for indoor fun on a rainy day (or just a reprieve from the sun)? Check out Wonderworks, where you can test yourself with fun physical challenges and learn about all sorts of subjects, from extreme weather to space, with hands-on activities. You can also enjoy great (and safe!) entertainment at The Carolina Opry, Alabama Theatre and Pirates Voyage dinner show.
34. Sarasota, Florida
Sun N Fun RV Resort in Sarasota, Florida offers over 140 activities for kids and parents alike, including a playground, climbing wall, Olympic-size outdoor heated pool, putting course and dog parks, plus a sports pavilion with daily activities like volleyball, table tennis, pickleball and an indoor pool. The Mangrove Building offers classes on art and jewelry making, woodshop and stained glass.
34. Bluefields, Jamaica
Got major cash to burn? Bluefields Bay Villas in Bluefields, Jamaica is full of luxury all-inclusive villas with multiple bedrooms, open-air living and dining areas, private pools and private chef and butler service for three meals a day with snack and cocktail service in between. On-site, socially distant activities available include sailing, snorkeling, diving, hiking, paddle boarding and kayaking. Rates start at $1145 per night (for a family of 4, all inclusive) depending on the villa and number of guests.
35. Traverse City, Michigan
Traverse City, Michigan has a whopping 234 miles of continuous Lake Michigan shoreline, including beaches at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, located just half an hour west. Once named the Most Beautiful Place in America by viewers of ABC’s Good Morning America, today the national park is best known for its towering sand dunes and beautiful golden beaches, like Platte River Point.
36. Saugatuck, Michigan
37. Oscoda and Tawas, Michigan
Oscoda and Tawas, Michigan feature Tawas Point State Park, home to one of the best beaches in the state, full of the sparkling clean water of Lake Huron. Called the “Cape Cod of the Midwest,” it’s home to two beautiful lighthouses. Oscoda Beach Park features 1,000 feet of Lake Huron frontage and is just two blocks from a fun downtown full of activities and dining.
38. Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, Alabama
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama have plenty to offer for really affordable rates. Gulf State Park has 28 miles of paved trails, and visitors can also hike through Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, kayak through the Back Bay Blueway or parasail over the Gulf of Mexico. Deep sea fishing charters, diving the freighter The LuLu and visiting outdoor entertainment center The Wharf are among travelers’ top picks. With plenty of options for outdoor dining or restaurants offering carryout, guests can get their fill of fresh Gulf seafood, legendary Alabama barbecue and everything in between while remaining safe. Reed Real Estate offers $100 off weekly rentals for guests arriving March 6 through April 10, 2021; Holiday Properties is giving three percent off from March 1 through May 1, 2021. Magnolia Springs Bed & Breakfast offers $10 to $50 off per night when you stay two or more nights through April 20, 2021. Luxury Coastal Vacations grants $50 off weekly stays from March 1 through May 31, 2021. The Best Western Premier The Tides offers great views, a beachfront pool deck, poolside fire pits, beach umbrellas and lounge chairs available for rent, as well as complimentary grab and go breakfast and free beach cruising bikes.
39. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia has 35 miles of white sand beaches, including Sandbridge Beach and the Oceanfront, with activities like surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, jet skis and swimming. Kids and adults will also enjoy the area’s seemingly endless array of bike trails, the Virginia Aquarium and the Apex Entertainment Center, which includes activities like mini-golf, bumper cars, bowling, indoor go-karting, laser tag, ropes courses and more. The Virginia Beach Surf, Sand, Study program offers discounts at more than 50 Virginia Beach tourism businesses, including accommodations and attractions. The Hyatt Place Virginia Beach Town Center and their Apex Entertainment Center Fun Package, which includes a one-night stay at the Hyatt Place Virginia Beach Town Center and one-hour of bowling & shoe rental for four with a purchase of a large pizza at Apex Entertainment Center. Use offer code “APEX” for the deal.
The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club and The Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront both hotels offer indoor luxury pools, spa treatments for adults, distillery tours and an array of unique dining options from rooftop restaurants to casual pub food fare.
40. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan
“The Lake Michigan coast has white sand beaches and some of the biggest sand dunes in the world. Lake Michigan beaches are some of the most family-friendly because they’re fresh water and land-bound, which means the waves are much smaller than many coasts along the ocean and there is much less ocean life to be worried about like sharks or jellyfish,” Nerissa Zhang, CEO of The Bright App, says. “I recommend visiting the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore because it is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s a protected national park area. There are plenty of inns or hotels to stay at nearby as well as AirBnBs and vacation homes to rent, but our family most enjoys camping at the park. We play on the beach and explore the sand dunes all day and then enjoy a bonfire and sleeping under the stars at night.”
41. Miami Beach, Florida
Of course, the beaches in Miami are to die for, but there’s more than just sand and surf to consider when choosing a destination. Shelborne South Beach in Miami, Florida offers a Family Fun & Getting School Work Done package including complimentary access to Shelborne’s classroom-style private room for remote learning, high-speed WiFi, “after school” complimentary cabana rentals and more. You can also snag a Boatsetter rental for your stay in Miami. And, of course, the adults will love Miami’s nightlife!
Looking for some good eats in the area? The Lincoln Eatery, Miami Beach‘s first modern food hall, has enough options to please even the pickiest eaters and most refined tastes. A particularly delicious vendor is Simply Good Pizza, a new pizza bar focused on creating a sense of community in Miami Beach by sourcing fresh ingredients from local farmers and purveyors while giving back to those in need. Another foodie favorite at The Lincoln Eatery is the C Food Shack, the first U.S. location for the Caribbean eatery with its original location in Nassau, Bahamas. Created by Black business owner Laron Culmer, who also serves as executive chef, C-Food Shack has affordable and delicious seafood and turf options.
Rosie’s at The Copper Door B&B serves a diverse range of sweet and savory menu options, sandwiches, breakfast items and fresh, baked goods, all served on the restaurant’s scenic patio to get you not just a fresh meal, but also some seriously fresh air, too.
42. Dominicus, Dominican Republic
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach in Dominicus, Dominican Republic boasts plenty of fun for grownups, from pools to dining to nearly a mile of beach, a kids’ club to keep the little ones entertained, educated and safe while the grownups venture out on their own, and excursions like catamaran trips and a safari. You can find similar offerings at Viva Wyndham Bayahibe, La Romana; Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace; Viva Wyndham Tangerine and Viva Wyndham Cabarete, Puerto Plata. Other family-friendly Viva Wyndham resorts included Viva Wyndham Maya; Viva Wyndham Playacar, Riviera Maya and Viva Wyndham Azteca in Mexico and Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach and Viva Wyndham Freeport, Grand Bahamas in the Bahamas.
43. Fort Walton Beach and South Walton, Florida
South Walton, Florida is made up of 16 beach towns with something for everyone, and it’s a great option if you’re traveling with your entire pod because most of the lodging is in the form of rental homes that can safely and privately house all of you. Grayton Beach or Dune Allen offer multi-family rentals like Abaco and Here Comes the Sun with plenty of bedrooms and kitchen space to comfortably house the entire gang. The families who miss their overseas getaways will appreciate South Walton’s international flair. Alys Beach’s Mediterranean-inspired pristine white homes are reminiscent of Greece, while Rosemary Beach features cobblestone streets and parapet roofs reminiscent of the Dutch West Indies.
Fort Walton Beach, Florida features a slew of white sand beaches, the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park and The Island by Hotel RL, which boasts two pools, easy access to the beach, kids’ games and activities and its own in-house mermaid, Misty. The Island offers special family deals, including the “Mer-mazing Vacation” package (upgraded poolside or beachfront accommodations for the weekend along with a 5×7 family photo with Misty, poolside lunch for four at the Island Grille, a plush Mermaid Misty keepsake and a signed copy of her very own book, The Missing Tiara that tells an uplifting story of Misty’s adventures along the Emerald Coast) and the “Beach Memories Package” (choice of accommodations, two Island beach towels, beach toys and $50 food and beverage voucher).
44. Cape May, New Jersey
45. Pensacola, Florida
Orlando and Miami get all the love, but Pensacola, Florida has a lot to offer families at affordable rates and often with fewer crowds.
Surf & Sand Hotel is pet-friendly hotel and offers free kayak and paddleboard rentals as well as access to a pet-friendly beach. Using their Advanced Purchase Package, you can book 30 days in advance and receive 15% off the room rate.
The Portofino Island Resort and Spa features two- and three-bedroom condos, making it great for group travel or just keeping a very safe distance from other guests. Guests can book a 7-night stay and receive two of those nights free with their Buy 5 Nights, Get 2 Nights Free deal.
Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach features a lazy river, tiki bar, mermaid and pirate shows and more, this resort is a great option for families with kids.
The Hilton Pensacola Beach has comfortable accommodations with great views of the ocean and access to restaurants, shops, and of course, the beach just steps away.
Hampton Inn Pensacola Beach runs right along the Pensacola Beach Trail and has great views of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s also within walking distance of a number of restaurants.
Ho2 Pensacola Dolphin Tours Pontoons & More offers guests the choice of a pontoon boat rental to look for dolphins frolicking in Pensacola Bay. Guests can also take a dolphin tour with private and semi-private options available, one which takes place while the famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels team practices their thrilling aerial maneuvers above. Ho2’s experiences are eco-friendly and pet-friendly! You can score 10% off 2021 bookings made before March 31, 2021, using the promo code “FLTHERAPY” for trips from May 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021. Military personnel can score 10% off pontoon boat rentals as well.
46. Tybee Island, Georgia
Located just 20 minutes from downtown Savannah, Tybee Island, Georgia is a five-mile-long beach town filled with history and quirky hidden gems, and some of those gems are offering some sweet discounts.
Activities include standard beach and outdoor fare on the town’s five beaches, like biking (rent bikes at Tim’s Bike and Beach Gear or Tybee Island Bike Rentals), swimming, surfing, paddleboarding and volleyball, and you can learn all about marine life at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center. Explore the island with Captain Mike’s Dolphin Tour or Captain Derek’s Dolphin Adventure, climb to the top of the Tybee Island Lighthouse and explore the museum grounds afterward. Fort Pulaski National Monument, a beautifully-preserved Civil War fortress that offers tours, is also a great stop.
Mermaid Cottages offer a discount to healthcare workers, first responders, educators, last-minute travelers and more. Tybee Vacation Rentals offers an Extended Stay Special, and you can find even more Tybee Island deals here.
47. Brunswick Islands, North Carolina
Brunswick Islands, North Carolina is composed of six beaches and was named one of National Geographic’s 21 Best Beaches in the World. It’s nothing but nature, great for biking, walking, hiking and collecting shells. The islands’ Holden Beach is especially great for kayaking and paddleboarding and boasts small-town charm.
48. Vero Beach, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida features beautiful Atlantic-facing beaches, the McKee Botanical Gardens and proximity to Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. The dog-friendly luxury Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel + Spa features open-air beachfront dining, a spa and a great game room for kids in addition to all the great outdoor activities that the beach has to offer—plus a close enough proximity to the space coast to watch launches from your beach chair.
49. Panama City Beach, Florida
Check out the Wonderworks in Panama City Beach, Florida to learn about all sorts of topics, from extreme weather to space to light and sound, with fun hands-on experiences, as well as jungle gyms and physical challenges. When you’re done, hit up the white sand beaches, hiking trails and activities like Airboats Gone Wild and Adventures at Sea.
50. Armação de Pêra, Algarve, Portugal
Armação de Pêra, Algarve, Portugal boasts gorgeous beaches that are beloved by the locals as well as travelers from around the world. You can enjoy swimming, paddleboarding, hiking, kayaking and and boat tours that take you to the mouth-dropping caves (including the famous Benagil cave).
51. Torrance, California
Torrance, California is an affordable SoCal beach getaway. Torrance Beach is known as one of the most crowd-free beaches in Los Angeles County. With an abundance of free parking, it’s a starting point of The Strand, a 22-mile paved oceanside bike path and provides breathtaking views of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Torrance hotels are offering a variety of specials, including a California resident discount.
52. Martin County, Florida
Martin County, Florida is located on the Treasure Coast of South Florida, nestled along the Atlantic Ocean between Orlando and Miami, just north of Palm Beach. Martin County has more than 100,000 acres of sprawling parks and conservation lands and more than 22 miles of uncrowded beaches—with the addition of a county-wide four-story height restriction, which means skyscrapers and large condo buildings will never overshadow their shores. Family-friendly attractions include the Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast, the start of the Florida Coral Reef Tract and Blowing Rocks Preserve (one of Conde Nast Traveler‘s 17 best beaches in the Sunshine State).
Kick back at the pet-friendly Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa in Jensen Beach on Hutchinson Island, featuring its luxurious spa, 178 rooms, swimming pools and Drift Kitchen + Bar, where kids can take pizza-making lessons.
53. Heredia, Costa Rica
Heredia, Costa Rica has a lot of family-friendly fun. The Costa Rica Marriott Hacienda Belen is decorated with ceramic replicas of Costa Rica’s most famous animals, like sloths, monkeys and coatis. The resort’s Safari package allows families with children to learn about animals and nature in Costa Rica, all within the safety of the property. The safari package includes accommodations, breakfast for adults and children under 12, welcome milk and cookies, a stuffed sloth per child and a unique resort map to discover more about Costa Rica.
Embrace the pretty pink sand beaches and beautiful clear water of Bermuda. Bermuda Bliss offers 40% off and a $100 resort credit through Dec. 31, 2021.
55. Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Jacksonville Beach, Florida features the new Margaritaville Beach Hotel Jacksonville Beach, a 202-guestroom oceanfront escape. The hotel features three Margaritaville-inspired dining options with indoor and outdoor seating including LandShark Bar & Grill, LandShark Lookout, and Joe Merchant; a refreshing pool and fire pit; and direct access to the Boardwalk. The Jimmy Buffett-inspired hotel is minutes from the Adventure Landing Water Park and Tide Views Nature Preserve.
56. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, conveniently located between Miami and Palm Beach, and has eight gorgeous beaches of its own. It also has a slew of “LauderDEALs” and discounts to make it a truly affordable family vacation. You can also check out great deals at 4RentByTheBeach.
In addition to the sand, swim and surf, Fort Lauderdale also boasts the Museum of Discovery and Science, featuring more than 200 interactive exhibits, aircraft and aerobatic simulators, a five-story IMAX 3D Theater, an outdoor Science Park with giant, interactive full-body exhibits and more.
Adrenaline junkies will love the Xtreme Action Park, Florida’s largest all-ages indoor entertainment complex with a gas-powered go-kart track, skating rink,escape rooms, virtual reality games, indoor rope courses, XD Dark Ride 7D Theater, bowling lanes, arcade and more.
Go indoor skydiving at iFly and visit the Tigertail Lake Aqua Challenge, featuring an 8,000-square-foot inflatable obstacle course, playground, climbing wall, trampoline, jungle gym, gigantic bouncing dome, a multi-level enclosed splash zone for playing or relaxing, and a freefall climbing wall with a slide.
Love wildlife? Check out the Sawgrass Recreation Park for a daytime airboat tour and stay for the reptile exhibit and Gator Nights’ airboat tour. The Flamingo Gardens are a gorgeous 60-acre botanical garden and Everglades wildlife sanctuary, while Butterfly World is the largest indoor butterfly aviary in North America.
57. Palm Beaches, Florida
The Palm Beaches in Florida stretch through 39 towns and cities from Boca Raton and Delray, to Palm Beach and Jupiter. In addition to the actual beach, you can explore attractions like Fun Depot, featuring a half-mile go-kart track, an interactive 30-person laser tag arena, batting cages, more than 200 video games and even slot machines and poker for the grownups; the historic beauty and culture of the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens and more. You can also get great deals for kids’ programs like Boca Raton Resort & Club’s Oceanside Education.
The Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa features the AquaNuts Kids Club, including crafts, education, play spaces, interactive games and easy access to the Family Pool. Kids must wear masks at all times except when eating and engage in social-distancing during activities. With the Atlantic Ocean as its playground, the resort’s incredible team of educators and caretakers curate a colorful program of fun and enriching activities where kids can be kids and parents can relax and enjoy their vacation. Through the property’s partnership with Loggerhead Marinelife Center, families can day trip to visit Florida’s sea turtles and learn about ocean conservation and marine life. Other activities include water sports (stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling and surfing), tennis lessons and more. There are also affordable dining options for kids like the Coastal Kids Dining program, which includes daily meals and unlimited juices, milk and soda, a reusable cup, complimentary s’mores daily, and milk and cookies for turndown for just $35 per day.
58. Monterey, California
Located within driving distance of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas (and boasting its own regional airport), Monterey, California features plenty of family-friendly attractions. Carmel Beach is dog-friendly and within walking distance of the lovely town Carmel-by-the-Sea, while the windy Marina State Beach is great for surfing and hang gliding (and a popular spot for dolphin sightings). Love HBO’s Big Little Lies? Check out Del Monte Beach, the backdrop for a lot of scenes from the show.
There is plenty of hiking, biking and sights to see in Monterey, including Garrapata State Park, Pinnacles National Park, Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, and you can go whale watching in the bay, see critters at the Monterey Zoo, and explore Old Fisherman’s Wharf.
Looking for a great deal on lodging? Sanctuary Beach Resort in Marina has 60 cottage guestrooms and suites along 19 acres of secluded Pacific coastline and offers 30% off weekday rates (and a complimentary bottle of wine for mom and dad) through the end of April with their Seaside Escape package. The recently renovated Portola Hotel & Spa, just steps from Monterey Bay, offers 15% off when guests book for three nights or more.
A beautiful, well-hidden secret gem in the Monterey peninsula is Asilomar. Situated within 107 acres of protected California State Park beachfront land, families have a multitude of outdoor nature activities at their doorstep, including hiking and walking tours along the Living Dunes Trail, the Coast Trail and Forest Walk that are either self-guided or regularly scheduled state park ranger-led tours to learn about preservation and management of the natural habitat. Biking (including rentals), birding, swimming, and surfing are popular actitivies in the area, as well as seasonal live entertainment and outdoor cozy fire pits. In late April through May, Asilomar is blanketed in purple-pink ice plants in what’s known as the Magic Carpet. From October through December, the entire town of Pacific Grown (dubbed “Butterfly Town, USA”) becomes home to thousands of overwintering monarchs. The Weekend Getaway at Asilomar Hotel & Conference Grounds is a great bargain.
59. Hilton Head, South Carolina
The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa in Hilton Head, South Carolina is family-friendly and located just off the ocean. They’re offering a 2021 Spring Break Package (three-night minimum) that includes Heritage Suite accommodations with a connecting room, daily breakfast for four, complimentary stay-length bike and one-day cabana rentals, 10% off at resort stores and spas and a complimentary private firepit and s’mores for one evening, as well as a personal experience planner to make the most of your trip. The Westin has private access to 12 miles of beaches, four on-site restaurants, three swimming pools and access to golfing. Packages start at $1,200 for four guests.
Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives features experiences like dolphin cruises, safe ocean dives with sharks and sea turtles and more. There’s also a Kandoo Kids Club for little ones, with most of their activities being complimentary, and kids under 12 get to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at no additional cost when they dine in the restaurant with an adult. Kids who share their parents’ room, also get to stay for free. Prices start from $180.12 per night.
Crown & Champa Resorts offers expansive beaches and lagoons, kid-friendly rooms and villas, kids clubs, separate adult-only and kids facilities, snorkeling, diving, badminton, tennis, golf, bicycling, playgrounds, tube rides, watersports and other kid- and teen-friendly activities.
Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu features a lagoon front, beach pool, waterfall walks and more, and it’s an incredibly affordable island getaway for families, as kids under 12 stay and eat free (and can hang out in the supervised Kids Club while parents enjoy time alone). There’s even a Pikinini Carer (nanny service) available for guests. Prices start at $148.99 per night.
62. Lake Tahoe
In the South Lake Tahoe area of Nevada, Zephyr Cove Resort is a quiet, cozy and nature-packed family getaway. The resort has 28 cabins that are just a short walk from the beach, marina, lake cruises and dining, offering water activities including powerboats, pontoon boats, kayaks, paddleboards, water toy rental, parasailing and scenic day boat tours. You can also take dinner cruises on the legendary M.S. Dixie II paddle-wheeler to Emerald Bay and Vikingsholm (Tahoe’s “hidden castle”). There are also horseback experiences including breakfast, lunch and dinner rides for great lake views. Lake Tahoe Adventures offers families “off the beaten track” tours of the backcountry on ATVs and Razors. The Zephyr Cove Campground boasts 93 RV sites, 57 tent sites and three new airstreams for a “glamping” experience; there are complimentary showers and restrooms, an outdoor patio at the four seasons building, laundry facilities, and cable TV connectivity available as well.
63. Clearwater, Florida
64. Sonoma County, California
Sonoma County, California offers more than great wine (though it does have 425 amazing wineries for the adults to explore). You can hike among the iconic redwoods, enjoy the beaches and towns of the Pacific Coast and tour amazing castles. It’s also just an hour away from San Francisco!
Looking for lodging? The Inn at the Tides includes full breakfast for families and beach views complete with seals (!!) and birds. The Bay-Side Cottage has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom with its own private deck, ideal for a family getaway to Sonoma County, complete with a coastal nature immersion. Enjoy special rates to the Links at Bodega Harbour, a true Scottish links-style golf course. River’s End’s unique cabins or vacation rental overlooking the Russian River. You can get 30% off three consecutive days at the Timber Cove Resort, which has bunk rooms ideal for families with kids.
Carlisle Bay in Antigua has 87 suites and personalized kids and teen activities, including personal pizza-making classes, outdoor movie and popcorn nights, t-shirt tie-dye sessions, nature walks and more. For families, the Celebrate Family package includes a half-day picnic and cruise with meals, rainforest hike, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, breakfast and afternoon tea daily, as well as VIP meet and greet Fast Track Airport Service. Rates start at $833 per night based on 2 adults and 2 kids under 12 sharing a suite.
66. Oahu, Hawaii
Love surfing and watersports? Oahu, Hawaii is for you! Home to Waikiki Beach, you can get a great deal at Stoke Drift for your stay: They have an umbrella and two-chair rental for only $35, and have other rentals like aqua cycles and paddleboards. You can take semi-private surf lessons from the pros for less than $95 per person, and they offer a 25% military discount as well.
67. Kohala Coast, Hawaii Island
No matter where you go in Hawaii, you’re basically guaranteed a great time. The Kohala Coast on Hawaii Island has great deals for travelers who love the beach.
The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel offers unique activities include Hawaiian language lessons and lei making, an award-winning Mauna Kea Lū’au (now offering family-style dining in lieu of the traditional buffet), nighttime snorkeling to see manta rays, beekeeping with Bee Mauna Kea. Current offers include the fifth night free along with a waived resort charge through May 31, 2021. From June 1 through Dec. 17, 2021, guests will receive the sixth night free after five paid consecutive room nights. In addition, guests staying in one of the hotel’s spacious suites will receive a complimentary daily breakfast for two. Blackout dates apply. There is also a special family promotion for groups that may need more space: Guests booking one room on the special Room and Breakfast rate will get 50% off their second qualifying room, including Beachfront & Beachfront Lawn accommodations, daily breakfast for two per room and waived resort charge.
The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort offers 25% off room rates, beach rentals, activities and green fees and to 15% off at award-winning signature restaurant Meridia for guests staying six nights or more through Nov. 25, 2021.