10 Must Visit Family Friendly Beach Vacations for Unforgettable Memories

By Chad Montgomery
family friendly beach vacations

Family vacations are all about creating lasting memories, and spending time on a beautiful beach is often the perfect way to do so. With countless family-friendly beach vacations to experience around the world, choosing the right one can be daunting. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to the top 11 family-friendly beach vacations that promise fun, safety, and relaxation. Plus, we’ve included descriptions and recommendations for things to do and places to stay at each destination. So, grab your sunscreen and sunglasses, and let’s dive in!

1. Clearwater Beach, Florida, USA

Clearwater Beach is a beautiful and vibrant destination located on Florida’s Gulf Coast. With its white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and family-friendly attractions, it has become a favourite vacation spot for families from all over the world. The beach offers a mix of relaxation and adventure, with various water sports available and an array of nearby attractions for all ages.

Things to Do

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

This world-renowned marine rescue centre is home to Winter the Dolphin, the star of the movie Dolphin Tale. The whole family will love learning about marine life and conservation efforts. There are also up-close encounters with dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine animals.

Sunset at Pier 60

Every evening, Pier 60 comes alive with the nightly sunset celebration. Local artisans, crafters, and street performers gather to entertain visitors as the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico. Kids will enjoy the playground and inflatable amusements on the beach.

Dolphin-Watching Tour

Clearwater Beach is famous for its playful dolphin residents. Several tour operators offer dolphin-watching excursions, where you can observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise

This fun-filled pirate adventure is perfect for kids of all ages. Dress up as pirates, embark on a treasure hunt, and enjoy face painting, storytelling, and dancing onboard a pirate ship.

Splash Harbor Water Park

Just a short drive from Clearwater Beach, this family-friendly water park features thrilling water slides, a lazy river, and a splash pad for younger children.

Where to Stay

Sandpearl Resort

This luxurious beachfront resort offers a range of family-friendly amenities, including a lagoon-style pool, private beach access, and supervised kids’ programs. Spacious guest rooms and suites cater to families of all sizes.

Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa

Featuring stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico, this family-friendly resort offers a variety of accommodation options, including one- and two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens. The resort also boasts a pool, kids’ club, and on-site dining options.

Holiday Inn & Suites Clearwater Beach

This affordable beachfront hotel offers spacious family rooms and suites, many with balconies overlooking the ocean. Kids will love the game room and heated outdoor pool, while parents can relax at the on-site restaurant and bar.

2. Noordwijk Beach, The Netherlands

Noordwijk Beach, The Netherlands family beach

Noordwijk Beach is a popular seaside resort located along the Dutch coast. Its wide, clean sandy beach, gentle waves, and shallow waters make it a safe and enjoyable destination for families. The charming town of Noordwijk offers plenty of family-friendly activities, including bike rentals, shopping, and dining. In the summer months, the beach comes alive with kite flying, sand sculpting, and beach volleyball.

Things to Do

Kite Flying and Sandcastle Building

Noordwijk Beach’s wide expanse of sand is perfect for kite flying, sandcastle building, and beach games. The gentle waves and shallow waters make it an ideal spot for young children to play safely.

Explore the Town on Rented Bikes

Rent bikes and explore the picturesque town of Noordwijk, with its charming streets, colourful flower fields, and historic landmarks.

Visit the Space Expo

Take the family to the Space Expo, a fascinating interactive museum showcasing the history of space travel and the European Space Agency. Kids will love the hands-on exhibits and learning about astronauts, satellites, and space missions.

Attend a Beach Yoga Class

Participate in a family-friendly beach yoga class, perfect for all ages and experience levels. Relax and stretch while enjoying the fresh sea breeze and beautiful surroundings.

Visit the Atlantikwall Museum

Discover the history of the Atlantikwall, a series of coastal fortifications built during World War II. Explore the underground bunkers and learn about the area’s history through interactive displays and guided tours.

Where to Stay

Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin

This luxurious beachfront hotel offers elegant accommodations, fine dining, and a range of family-friendly amenities, including an indoor pool, kids’ club, and on-site bicycle rentals.

Vesper Hotel

This boutique hotel boasts stylish rooms, many with sea views, and offers a relaxed atmosphere for families. The hotel’s restaurant serves delicious, locally sourced cuisine, and the beach is just steps away.

Beach Hotel Noordwijk

This family-friendly hotel features comfortable rooms and suites, an indoor pool, and an on-site restaurant serving international and Dutch cuisine. It is conveniently located near the beach and the town’s main attractions.

3. Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia

Manly Beach, located in Sydney’s Northern Beaches region, is a picturesque and laid-back destination perfect for family vacations. Its golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and gentle waves make it ideal for swimming, surfing, and other water sports. The beach is surrounded by a vibrant community with a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as walking paths and parks for families to explore.

Things to Do

Family Surf Lesson

Take a family surf lesson at one of the local surf schools and learn the basics of riding the waves. With experienced instructors and gentle surf conditions, it’s an enjoyable activity for all ages.

Stroll along the Coastal Walkway

Enjoy a leisurely walk along the scenic coastal walkway, which stretches from Manly Beach to the picturesque Shelly Beach. The path offers stunning views of the ocean and surrounding cliffs, and there are plenty of picnic spots and playgrounds along the way.

Visit Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary

Discover the incredible marine life of Australia at this interactive aquarium. The sanctuary features a variety of exhibits, including a shark tunnel, touch pools, and a penguin habitat.

Explore Manly Dam Reserve

Spend the day at Manly Dam Reserve, a beautiful park with a large freshwater lake perfect for swimming, picnicking, and birdwatching. There are also walking trails, mountain biking paths, and playgrounds for children.

Take the Manly Ferry

Hop on the iconic Manly Ferry for a scenic ride across Sydney Harbour, with breathtaking views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Where to Stay

Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific

This beachfront hotel offers spacious rooms and suites with ocean views, an outdoor pool, and on-site dining options. The hotel is just a short walk from the beach and the vibrant Manly Corso.

The Sebel Sydney Manly Beach

This stylish, boutique hotel is located just steps from Manly Beach and offers a range of well-appointed rooms and suites. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant and bar, as well as the outdoor pool and sun deck.

Manly Paradise Beachfront Apartments

These self-contained apartments are perfect for families looking for a home away from home. The apartments feature fully equipped kitchens, spacious living areas, and private balconies with ocean views. The complex also has a pool and direct beach access.

Quest Manly

This modern apartment hotel is conveniently located near the beach, shops, and dining options in Manly. The spacious apartments include fully equipped kitchens, laundry facilities, and separate living areas, making them ideal for families.

Manly Beach House

This budget-friendly accommodation option offers a variety of private rooms and family suites. Guests have access to a shared kitchen, lounge area, and outdoor terrace. The beach and local attractions are just a short walk away.

4. Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Nissi Beach cyprus, family beach

Nissi Beach is a stunning, family-friendly beach located in the lively resort town of Ayia Napa, Cyprus. Its crystal-clear turquoise waters, powdery white sand, and shallow depth make it perfect for families with young children. The beach is well-maintained and offers a range of facilities, including sunbeds, umbrellas, and water sports. The surrounding area is bustling with shops, restaurants, and family-friendly attractions.

Things to Do

Water Sports

Nissi Beach offers a variety of water sports, such as paddleboarding, jet skiing, and banana boat rides, providing fun and excitement for the whole family.

Visit the Ayia Napa Sculpture Park

Explore this unique outdoor art gallery featuring over 200 sculptures created by artists from around the world. The park is a great spot for a family picnic with beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Ayia Napa Monastery

Discover the history of this charming medieval monastery, situated in the heart of Ayia Napa. The peaceful gardens and ancient architecture offer a quiet retreat from the bustling beach scene.

WaterWorld Waterpark

Cool off at this exciting water park, which features a variety of thrilling water slides, a lazy river, and a children’s play area.

Sea Caves and Cape Greco National Park

Take a boat trip to explore the fascinating sea caves along the coast or hike through the beautiful Cape Greco National Park, offering stunning views and opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Where to Stay

Adams Beach Hotel

This family-friendly hotel is located right on Nissi Beach and offers a range of comfortable rooms and suites. The hotel features a large outdoor pool, kids’ club, and multiple dining options.

Nissi Beach Resort

Set within lush gardens and offering direct beach access, this resort features well-appointed rooms and bungalows, as well as several pools, a kids’ club, and on-site dining.

Alion Beach Hotel

This luxury hotel offers elegant accommodations, a private beach area, and a range of family-friendly amenities, including a kids’ playground, a pool, and a variety of dining options.

Anthea Hotel Apartments

These affordable, self-catering apartments are located within walking distance of Nissi Beach and Ayia Napa’s main attractions. The complex features multiple pools, a children’s play area, and an on-site restaurant.

5. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen, Mexico beach destination

Playa del Carmen is a popular beach destination on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, known for its beautiful white sand beaches, warm turquoise waters, and vibrant atmosphere. The lively pedestrian-only 5th Avenue, lined with shops, restaurants, and bars, adds to the appeal of this family-friendly destination. Playa del Carmen also serves as a convenient base for exploring the nearby Mayan ruins, eco-parks, and stunning natural attractions.

Things to Do

Snorkelling and Scuba Diving

Discover the colourful underwater world of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world. Several local operators offer snorkelling and scuba diving trips suitable for all experience levels.

Visit Xcaret Park

This eco-archaeological park is perfect for families, offering a range of activities such as underground river rafting, wildlife encounters, and cultural performances. The park also showcases the rich history and traditions of Mexico.

Explore the Mayan Ruins

Take a day trip to the nearby Mayan ruins of Tulum, Coba, or Chichen Itza to learn about the fascinating history and culture of the ancient civilization.

Swimming in Cenotes

Dive into one of the many natural swimming holes, or cenotes, found throughout the region. These crystal-clear freshwater pools are perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and even cave diving.

Stroll Down 5th Avenue

Enjoy the lively atmosphere of Playa del Carmen’s pedestrian-only 5th Avenue, lined with shops, restaurants, and bars.

Where to Stay

Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort

This luxury resort offers spacious rooms and suites, multiple pools, and direct beach access. The resort also features a kids’ club, spa, and a variety of on-site dining options.

Mahekal Beach Resort

This charming beachfront resort offers a range of accommodation options, including spacious rooms and beach houses. The resort features several pools, a kids’ club, and on-site dining options.

The Reef Playacar

Located in the gated community of Playacar, this all-inclusive resort is perfect for families, offering a range of activities, multiple pools, and direct beach access. The resort also features a kids’ club, spa, and on-site dining options.

Playa Palms Beach Hotel

This boutique hotel is located just steps from the beach and offers comfortable accommodations with kitchenettes and private terraces. The hotel features a pool, beach club access, and is within walking distance of 5th Avenue’s shops and restaurants.

La Grande Plage, Biarritz, France

Biarritz. France beach vacation

La Grande Plage, located in the chic seaside town of Biarritz, is a stunning crescent-shaped beach known for its golden sand and excellent surfing conditions. The beach is safe and family-friendly, with lifeguards on duty during the summer months. Biarritz offers a mix of elegance and laid-back beach vibes, with upscale boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and a picturesque promenade for leisurely strolls.

Things to Do

Surf Lessons

Biarritz is known as the surf capital of Europe, making it the perfect place to take surf lessons as a family. Several surf schools offer classes for beginners and experienced surfers alike.

Visit the Aquarium de Biarritz

Explore the fascinating underwater world at the Aquarium de Biarritz, featuring a variety of marine life from the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Stroll the Promenade

Enjoy a leisurely walk along the beautiful promenade, taking in the stunning views of the ocean and the historic architecture of Biarritz.

Visit the Cité de l’Océan

This interactive museum combines science, art, and technology to educate visitors about the ocean and marine life. The museum features exhibits, films, and virtual reality experiences that the whole family will enjoy.

Play at the Park Mazon

Located near La Grande Plage, this park offers a shaded playground, perfect for a break from the beach. There are also tennis courts, a skate park, and a picnic area.

Where to Stay

Hôtel du Palais

This historic luxury hotel, once the summer residence of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenia, offers elegant accommodations, direct beach access, and a range of family-friendly amenities, including a kids’ club, indoor and outdoor pools, and on-site dining options.

Le Regina Biarritz Hôtel & Spa

This stylish hotel, located a short walk from the beach, offers spacious rooms and suites, an outdoor pool, and a range of on-site dining options. The hotel also features a kids’ club, a spa, and a fitness centre.

Mercure Plaza Biarritz

This modern, beachfront hotel offers comfortable accommodations, many with ocean views, and is just a short walk from the town centre. The hotel features an on-site restaurant, bar, and spa facilities.

Pierre & Vacances Premium Haguna

These self-catering apartments are perfect for families, offering fully equipped kitchens, spacious living areas, and a convenient location near the beach and town centre. The complex also features a fitness centre and a rooftop terrace with stunning ocean views.

7. Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand

Railay Beach Thailand family beach

Railay Beach, nestled in the heart of Krabi, Thailand, is a paradise for beach lovers and adventure seekers alike. With its clear turquoise waters, powdery white sand, and dramatic limestone cliffs, this secluded peninsula offers a unique and tranquil escape. Only accessible by boat, it’s an excellent choice for families seeking both relaxation and adventure.

Things to Do

Rock Climbing

Known as a world-class rock climbing destination, families can try their hands at this sport under the guidance of experienced instructors.

Sea Kayaking

Explore the stunning coastline and hidden caves of Railay by kayak. Paddle through the calm waters at your own pace and soak in the breathtaking surroundings.

Snorkelling and Scuba Diving

Dive into the warm, clear waters and discover the vibrant marine life beneath the surface.

Visit Phra Nang Cave Beach

Walk to this nearby beach, known for its iconic caves and stunning views.

Cooking Classes

Participate in a Thai cooking class and learn how to prepare traditional dishes using local ingredients.

Where to Stay


Nestled among the lush greenery and limestone cliffs, this luxury resort offers spacious pavilions and villas, an outdoor pool, several dining options, and a range of activities for children.

Railay Bay Resort & Spa

This beachfront resort features comfortable rooms, two outdoor pools, and an on-site restaurant. It also offers a variety of activities, including cooking classes and rock climbing.

Sand Sea Resort

Located directly on the beach, this resort offers bungalows and suites, an outdoor pool, and an on-site restaurant. The resort also provides equipment for water sports and organizes island-hopping tours.

Railay Princess Resort & Spa

This mid-range resort offers comfortable accommodations, two outdoor pools, and a kids’ club. The on-site restaurant serves a variety of Thai and international dishes.

8. Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

Camps Bay, located just a short drive from the centre of Cape Town, is one of South Africa’s most picturesque and vibrant beaches. The white sandy beach, backed by the majestic Table Mountain range and fronted by the Atlantic Ocean, offers breathtaking views. The palm-lined promenade is filled with upscale restaurants, cafes, and boutiques, providing plenty of entertainment off the beach as well.

Things to Do

Visit Table Mountain

Take the cable car up to Table Mountain for stunning views over Cape Town and the surrounding coastline.

Hike Lion’s Head

For active families, a hike up Lion’s Head is a must. The trail offers panoramic views of the city and coastline.

Picnic on the Beach

Pack a picnic and spend the day on the sandy shores of Camps Bay. The calm waters are perfect for swimming and paddleboarding.

Explore the Promenade

Stroll along the promenade and browse the boutique shops, or stop for a meal at one of the many restaurants offering a variety of cuisines.

Visit the Theatre on the Bay

Catch a show at this intimate theatre, which hosts a variety of performances, from ballet to comedy.

Where to Stay

The Bay Hotel

Overlooking the beach, this luxury hotel offers spacious rooms, four pools, a spa, and two on-site restaurants.

Camps Bay Retreat

This boutique hotel is nestled in a private nature reserve and offers a tranquil escape from the bustling beachfront. The hotel features comfortable rooms, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.

POD Camps Bay

This modern boutique hotel offers stylish rooms, a pool, and a cocktail bar. The beach and promenade are just a short walk away.

Camps Bay Resort

These self-catering apartments and studios are perfect for families, offering fully equipped kitchens and spacious living areas. The resort also features two pools and is located just steps from the beach and promenade.

9. Praia do Camilo, Lagos, Portugal

Praia do Camilo, Lagos Portugal family beach

Praia do Camilo, in the charming town of Lagos in Portugal’s Algarve region, is a picture-perfect beach framed by golden cliffs and lapped by crystal-clear waters. This small cove is accessed by a wooden staircase, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding rock formations. Praia do Camilo is perfect for families looking for a peaceful and scenic beach getaway.

Things to Do

Boat Tours

Take a boat tour to explore the stunning coastline, including the famous Ponta da Piedade, a series of beautiful rock formations and sea caves.


The clear waters of Praia do Camilo are ideal for snorkelling. Discover the vibrant marine life that inhabits the rocky seabed.

Visit the Lagos Zoo

Just a short drive from Lagos, this zoo is home to a variety of animals and birds. The zoo also features a petting farm and a playground.

Explore Lagos Old Town

Wander through the charming streets of Lagos Old Town, known for its traditional Portuguese architecture, historic sites, and lively restaurants and shops.

Visit the Lagos Science Center

This interactive science and technology museum is perfect for a fun and educational family outing.

Where to Stay

Cascade Wellness Resort

This luxury resort overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and offers spacious rooms and apartments, a kids’ club, and a variety of on-site dining options.

Costa d’Oiro Ambiance Village

This charming resort offers a variety of rooms, suites, and villas, as well as several pools and an on-site restaurant.

Lagos Avenida Hotel

This modern hotel offers comfortable rooms, a rooftop pool, and an on-site restaurant. The beach and Lagos Old Town are just a short walk away.

Canavial Club

These self-catering apartments and studios offer a peaceful retreat just a short drive from the beach and town centre. The property features two pools and beautiful gardens.

10. Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica

 Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica beach destination

Located on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, Tamarindo Beach is a paradise for surfers and nature lovers. This bustling beach town is known for its long sandy beach, excellent surf, and vibrant nightlife. The surrounding area is rich in biodiversity, with national parks, wildlife refuges, and estuaries waiting to be explored.

Things to Do


Tamarindo is a renowned surfing destination, with conditions suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers. Surf schools offer lessons for all ages.

Wildlife Watching

Explore the nearby Marino Las Baulas National Park, home to the largest nesting colony of leatherback sea turtles in the Pacific. Other wildlife includes monkeys, iguanas, and a variety of bird species.

Visit Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge

Take a boat tour of this beautiful mangrove estuary, where you can spot crocodiles, monkeys, and various species of birds.


Tamarindo is known for its excellent fishing. Charter a boat for a day of deep-sea fishing, or try your hand at fly fishing in the estuary.


For an adrenaline rush, try zip-lining through the jungle canopy. This is a fun and exciting way to experience Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity.

Where to Stay

Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort

This beachfront resort offers comfortable rooms, multiple pools, and an array of dining options. The resort also has a kids’ club and offers a variety of activities, including surfing and fishing.

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas

Located just steps from the beach, this luxury hotel offers spacious rooms and villas, a pool, and an on-site restaurant. The hotel also provides yoga classes and surf lessons.

Hotel Capitán Suizo

This charming beachfront hotel offers comfortable rooms and bungalows, an outdoor pool, and an on-site restaurant. The hotel also has a kids’ club and offers a variety of activities, including surfing and yoga.

11. Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii

Waikiki Beach Family Beach Holiday

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu is one of the most famous beaches in the world, known for its long sandy beach, clear blue waters, and outstanding surf. Backed by high-rise hotels and the iconic Diamond Head Crater, Waikiki Beach offers a perfect blend of city and sea. With its wide range of activities and attractions, it’s an ideal family-friendly beach destination.

Things to Do


Waikiki is the birthplace of modern surfing. Take a surf lesson and ride the gentle waves that make this beach a favourite among beginners.

Visit Honolulu Zoo

Located near the eastern end of Waikiki, the zoo is home to a variety of animals, including a Komodo dragon, orangutans, and African elephants.

Hike Diamond Head

For panoramic views of Waikiki and Honolulu, take a hike up to the summit of Diamond Head Crater.

Visit the Waikiki Aquarium

Explore the marine life of the Pacific at the Waikiki Aquarium, which showcases more than 500 species of aquatic animals and plants.

Attend a Luau

Experience Hawaiian culture at a traditional luau, featuring Hawaiian music, hula dancing, and a feast of local cuisine.

Where to Stay

The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort

Known as the “Pink Palace of the Pacific,” this iconic luxury hotel offers spacious rooms, a spa, and several on-site dining options.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

This family-friendly resort features multiple pools, a kids’ club, and a wide variety of on-site dining options.

Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort

This beachfront resort offers comfortable rooms, an outdoor pool, and several on-site dining options. The resort also provides complimentary cultural activities and has a surf school.

Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

This resort offers spacious rooms, two outdoor pools, a fitness centre, and several on-site dining options. The resort is just steps from the beach and near many shops and restaurants.

Where will your family go for your beach vacation?

In conclusion, the world is brimming with exquisite beaches that cater to families. From the picturesque coves of Praia do Camilo in Portugal to the bustling shores of Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, each beach offers its unique charm, exciting activities, and a range of accommodations to suit your family’s needs. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, these family-friendly beaches promise a memorable vacation. So, don’t wait! Pick your favourite, start packing, and get ready to make unforgettable memories on your next family beach getaway. Safe travels!

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