Gulls circle overhead, waves softly flow in, and the breeze is cold enough to keep the summer heat at bay. There’s nothing like getting away for a family beach vacation, and every region of the American coast has picture-perfect sites to enjoy the sand and surf.
1. FLORIDA’S FORT DE SOTO PARK
The Gulf Coast’s powdery white dunes are just one of the attractions of this park in St. Petersburg, Florida. It’s ideal for family beach holidays, with seven miles of beachfront. Kayak along the beach, snorkel, search for sea animals in shallow tidal pools or relax in the sun with a good book. Restrooms, picnic pavilions, concession booths, playgrounds, and bicycling routes are available at Fort De Soto Park. In the spring and summer, lifeguards are stationed in specified swimming areas.
2. MAINE’S OGUNQUIT BEACH
Ogunquit Beach is a sand-filled paradise on the Maine coast, making it ideal for family beach holidays. Ogunquit Beach is set on a long peninsula where miles of sandy beach and grass-covered dunes separate the Atlantic Ocean from the Ogunquit River, less than 10 miles from Kennebunk and steps away from dozens of tiny beachside restaurants and stores. The calm surf is best for swimming and bodysurfing, and you can spend hours on the beach with the kids gathering shells and driftwood. In the summer, lifeguards are on duty, and bathrooms and outdoor showers are available for rinsing off.
3. CALIFORNIA’S CARLSBAD STATE BEACH
Carlsbad State Beach is about as nice as it gets for family beach holidays, with picture-perfect California scenery and an unending assortment of activities. Picnic tables are a great area to stop for a bite to eat in between swimming and beachcombing, and it’s not uncommon to see dolphins and whales off the coast. The beach, located just south of Carlsbad beneath the coastal bluffs, also provides snorkelling, scuba diving, windsurfing, and geocaching. Make sure to stay until the evening—the sunsets are magnificent.
4. MICHIGAN’S GRAND HAVEN STATE PARK
In Grand Haven, Michigan, the Lake Michigan shoreline is one of America’s most stunning freshwater beaches, with miles of white sand, crystal-clear water, and enough activities to keep the whole family occupied. Grand Haven State Park, which features playgrounds, picnic spots, hiking trails, fishing access, and a guarded beach for swimming, provides access to the beach. The park’s best feature is the historic Grand Haven Lighthouse, which has guided ships to safe harbour through the often treacherous Great Lakes seas since 1839.
5. VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA
The city of Virginia Beach is like for its three-mile boardwalk. There are a plethora of stores, restaurants, and sights on one side. On the other hand, there is an unbroken expanse of beach where you may spend your days swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The beach is lined with lifeguard platforms, and the usually calm seas are great for kayaking or swimming. The Virginia Beach Fishing Pier also offers excellent fishing, and adjacent First Landing State Park provides a plethora of wildness to explore, including hiking, bicycling, and canoeing paths.
6. OREGON’S LINCOLN CITY BEACH
When visiting Lincoln City, Oregon, don’t forget to carry a kite. The area’s strong coastal breeze has given it the moniker “Kite Capital of the World,” and its beaches are ideal for kite flying and surfing and windsurfing. Lincoln City Beach is an idyllic holiday destination with plenty of beach access across the town. It’s a one-of-a-kind spot with rock formations along the shore and colourful tide pools alive with starfish, sea urchins, and other marine life. Beachcombing is also a wonderful activity, with anything from driftwood and shells to fossils and agates to be found.