There’s nothing like a trip to the beach, especially for a busy family! While we love adventuring, hiking, and exploring, it’s sometimes really nice to plan a low-key vacation to a beautiful destination. And then, when you get to that beautiful destination, it’s perfectly alright to do absolutely nothing except enjoy where you are and who you’re with! I think that’s why we love going to the beach. It never involves too much planning and we usually return feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. I’m including some of our favorite beach destinations, both in the US and south of the border. This doesn’t cover every beach we’ve visited, but it’s a nice start if you’re getting ready to plan a trip to the beach!
The US has some fantastic beach destinations, some more unique than others! I am fascinated with the different landscapes from coast to coast. Below are just a few of our favorite beaches in the United States and why we love them!
Orange Beach, Alabama
This is our most recent beach vacation, and even though we’ve been traveling to Orange Beach for over twelve years now, we still enjoy each and every visit! This is one of those places that has beautiful white sands, emerald waters, delicious food, and isn’t very crowded if you plan your trip out right! The past two visits to Orange Beach have been in March and April and the crowds were basically non-existent. It looks a little different during those peak summer months, though. We love Orange Beach because we keep it super low-key and chill. You can find us hanging out at the beach, boogie boarding on the waves, warming up in the hot tub, and trying new seafood restaurants each evening. The boys love that we start each day with no major plans!
Things to do in Orange Beach:
- Go to the Beach
- Visit the Wharf
- Explore Gulf State Park
- Take a Dolphin Cruise
- Go Fishing
- Rent a Kayak or Paddle Board
- Adventure Island Amusement Park
- Go Parasailing
- Rent Jet Skis
- Click here for more information about the Holiday Inn and our review!
- Click here to discover the best places to eat in Orange Beach!
Cannon Beach, Oregon
I have wanted to visit Cannon Beach for forever and I finally got the chance last March over our spring break. We visited as part of a Pacific Coast Highway road trip and we all agreed that we wished we would’ve had more time here at this beach. We adored the little beach cottage we stayed in and the town is super quaint and welcoming! The tide pools made my whole life and the boys still talk about having bonfires on the beach in the evenings. We have big plans to return to Cannon Beach and stay at the exact same cottage one day!
Things to do in Cannon Beach:
- Visit Haystack Rock
- Search for Tide Pools
- Explore Ecola State Park
- Visit the Tillamook Lighthouse
- Shop & Dine Downtown Cannon Beach
- Discover The Goonies Filming Locations
- Click here for more information about Sea Sprite at Haystack Rock!
- Click here for our entire PCH road trip guide!
Folly Beach, South Carolina
Folly Beach was our first ever trip to South Carolina and it was a great one! We loved the hotel we stayed at and I highly recommend it for families! Folly Beach is also known for amazing finds, like shark teeth and shells. So if you have kiddos that love sharks or shells, check this destination out! I also loved the proximity to Charleston and some of the plantations and historical sites in the area. Overall, this is a really fun family destination. South Carolina is such a beautiful state!
Things to do in Folly Beach:
- Hang out at the beach
- Explore the Pier
- Visit Morris Island Lighthouse
- Take a day trip to Charleston
- Rent Kayaks
- Rent Mopeds
- Visit the South Carolina Aquarium
- Click here for more information for The Tides Folly Beach hotel!
- Click here for my complete guide to Folly Beach, SC!
St. Pete’s Beach, Florida
This destination has it all! You can visit just to relax at the beach all day, but there’s also a vast amount of water sports, shopping, & dining! We visited a few summers ago and the boys still ask to go back. We had a blast parasailing, sliding on some of the inflatable slides outside of the hotel, relaxing, and eating amazing seafood! The water is also stunning and so blue! It was a little crowded, but we were there during the peak summer months, so that’s to be expected when you’re visiting just about any beach in Florida! The hotel really made the stay worthwhile and we didn’t even leave this resort much because it truly had everything! We also really enjoyed the beach’s proximity to Tampa.
Things to do at St. Pete’s Beach:
- Go to the beach
- Explore John’s Pass Boardwalk
- Visit Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay
- Zoo Tampa
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Tropics Dolphin, Sunset, & Boat Tours
- Museum of Science & Industry
- Glazer Children’s Museum
If you live in Texas, then visiting Galveston is a must since it’s in our state! Even though Galveston is not known for white sand beaches and clear, blue waters, it’s still my kiddos’ favorite beach destination! We always have such an awesome time when we visit. I think my boys love it so much because it doesn’t require a lot of driving to get there and it holds such special memories for us. We’ve visited for just a weekend and even stayed once for ten days!
Things to do in Galveston:
- Hang out at the beach
- Visit Moody Gardens
- Explore the Pleasure Pier
- Walk around The Historic Strand
- Take a Dolphin Cruise
- Go Deep Sea Fishing
- Fish on the Pier
- Pier 21 Museums & Attractions
- Watch Salt Water Taffy Being Made
- Play Miniature Golf at Magic Carpet Golf
- Click here for more information about Sea Scape Condos!
- Click here for a more detailed about visiting Galveston!
There’s something really special about those all-inclusive beach resorts in the Caribbean and our family has had many wonderful experiences visiting Mexico! So far, we’ve had the chance to take our boys to Cozumel, Cabo, and Cancun. Each destination offers many excursions and activities that are fun for all ages! The resorts in Mexico make it so easy for travelers and usually have people assisting you upon arrival to find the perfect excursions for you family!
We really love this little island. Jereme and I have traveled to Cozumel at least five times on our own and with our kids. The people are amazing and we have made many special memories exploring the island. I cannot get over the water! It’s so clear and you can literally see fish swimming everywhere, right from the shore!
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Cabo is one of my personal favorite destinations in Mexico! I love the how the desert meets the ocean here. And watching whales right from our hotel balcony was a truly amazing experience. It’s not always the best place to swim in the ocean and finding a hotel where this is available involves some planning. But it’s such a beautiful destination and there’s something here for everyone to enjoy!
Cancun is a wonderful place to visit, especially since the international airport is located here! We’ve actually only stayed in Cancun once as a family, but it has been one of our favorite vacations to date! On our first night here, we were able to help a local group release baby sea turtles back into the ocean and this experience is one that I will never forget!
We use the fabulous travel agent, Alexa Spahr to book our trips to Mexico and beyond. She comes highly recommended and has helped us book several trips. She really works within your budget and travel dates and it’s always been such a smooth and easy process with her help. You can contact Alexa via email at email@example.com and be sure to check out her website www.travelwithalexa.com. If you reach out to Alexa, please let her know I sent you her way!
As you can see, beach destinations can be a low-key and relaxing trip, but there are also a ton of activities to explore! We like a nice balance, so we’ll usually spend a day at the resort and then a day packed full of excursions and continue that pattern! If you’re interested in planning a trip to the beach and are in need of any ideas or recommendations, please reach out! I’m happy to answer any questions you may have, so leave me a comment. I’d also love to hear about your favorite family beach destinations!