Favorite Family Beach Destinations & Why We Love Them

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!

United States

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

Beautiful beach sunset

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!

My favorite boys at one of our favorite places!
Those waves though!
Our most recent family photo, Orange Beach 2023.
These boys stayed in the ocean for basically three days straight!

Things to do in Orange Beach:

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Jereme walking along the tide pools at Haystack Rock

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!

The first ever tide pools and starfish I’ve seen in nature!
We were all amazed at the marine life!
It was a little chilly at this beach, but we still loved it!
Bonfires on the beach at night!

Things to do in Cannon Beach:

Folly Beach, South Carolina

Under the pier right next to the hotel

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!

Sandcastles are always fun
These boys love swimming!
Our first full day in South Carolina!

Things to do in Folly Beach:

St. Pete’s Beach, Florida

That water & rainbow!

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.

Parasailing right outside the resort
The boys loved these slides!
We made s’mores on the beach every night!
And spent the days in the water!

Things to do at St. Pete’s Beach:

Galveston, Texas

There’s nothing better than a Texas sunset!

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!

Annual Galveston family photo
We always stay at Sea Scape Condos!
Mini Golf at Magic Carpet Golf

Things to do in 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!

Cozumel, Mexico

Love the water and those palm trees

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!

Iberostar Cozumel Resort
Shopping in town
Chicken nuggets on the beach

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Grand Fiesta Americana

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!

Look at these fish right off the shore of the resort
My boys loved swimming with them!

Cancun, Mexico

Family photo in Cancun!

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!

Swimming in Cenote
Day at the resort
Swimming with dolphins
Mayan Ruins

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 alexa@travelwithalexa.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!

7 EPIC Spring Break Destinations

I absolutely love taking advantage of school breaks and have found that the spring season is such a fun time for adventures. I’m an elementary teacher and let me just say, spring fever is a real thing! Getting away for the week has become a favorite of ours. The weather is getting warmer, the days are longer, and the crowds aren’t as busy as those in the summer. I have included a list of the most epic spring break destinations that I believe your family will love just as much as we do!

Moab, Utah

Those views through Canyonlands National Park

I have some mad love for Utah! Our first visit to this state was a few years ago over spring break and we have plans to return again this coming up break. Moab is the perfect destination for adventurous families! Our highlights included exploring two National Parks and going on a guided UTV excursion.

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

UTV riding through the Sand Flats

What makes a trip to Moab so great in the spring is the weather! Spring and fall are the best times to visit. In the spring, you’ll find temps in the 70s. Although it was a little chillier for us in early March and even snowed one day! We loved that we didn’t need timed-entry reservations for Aches National Park when we visited, like is required in the summer.

Arches National Park

Dead Horse Point State Park

Click here for our full itinerary to Moab, UT!

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach just might be my new favorite beach destination! I was just flat out giddy during our spring break visit last year. The views, the food, the beach bunnies, the tide pools! Ah, this place is amazing! We decided to squeeze in a few days in Cannon Beach during our Pacific Coast Highway road trip last minute. We all agreed that out of everywhere we visited on the trip, we wished we had more time here!

The sunsets were impressive!

This was the view right outside of the beach cottage

My oldest absolutely loved playing with the beach bunnies that were often hanging outside the cottage we were staying in. Did I mention that we spent a few days in the cutest little cottage right on the beach? It was just perfectly adorable. We strolled along the beach, ate amazing seafood, finally saw tide pools in real life, and built campfires on the beach at night. I cannot wait to go back, it truly is a magical place!

Sea Sprite Inn at Haystack Rock

Our first time seeing tide pools!

These tide pools are at Haystack Rock

Beach campfires at night are a must!

Washington, DC

Washington Monument in the spring

The history buff in me adores this city just about any time of year! We made the trip over spring break a few years ago and had an amazing time seeing the cherry blossoms, touring the White House, seeing all the monuments, and exploring the museums.

The Capital Building

The White House after our visit!

Springtime temps in DC are pleasantly in the 50s-60s in March. The earlier in the month you visit, the less crowded you will find it! The best times to visit this city are September-November and March-May.

Our favorite stop in DC, the Lincoln Memorial!

We were all so excited to be going inside the White House!

Click here for tips on getting a White House Tour!

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Hunting Island State Park

Our first cross-country road trip led us from Texas to South Carolina over spring break several years ago. I loved just about every single part of this trip, but Saint Helena Island was my absolute favorite! I really hope that we can head back to that area in the future. From the food to the landscape, this place is truly unforgettable!

More at Hunting Island Beach

My boys loved climbing on the trees!

What I loved the most was the unique beaches and rugged coastlines that Saint Helena Island offers. I’ve found over the years that I enjoy visiting the beach in cooler seasons more so than when it’s hot and muggy. I know, it probably sounds odd to most. But there’s just something so special about exploring the coast and truly taking in all the sights without the crowds. Saint Helena is a great place for relaxing, exploring, and eating excellent seafood!

Chapel of Ease Ruins

Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Click here to read all the details about our Texas to South Carolina Road Trip!

Redwood Forests, California

So amazed with the size of these trees!

If you’ve never visited the Redwoods National & State Parks, then you must add this to your list fast! We were blown away at the sheer size of these trees. Our spring break visit last year was perfect and filled with plenty of adventures! The weather was fantastic, not too cold or too hot. And it felt like we had the whole entire forest all to ourselves!

Stout Memorial Grove Trail

The drive through the Redwoods is gorgeous!

We enjoyed exploring Jedediah Smith State Park by car and on foot, walking along the rugged California coast, and hiking through groves of giant trees in the forest. If you have kids, or a husband that sometimes acts like a kid, then I’m sure they will love climbing on trees and crawling through downed tree trunks! It was such an amazing adventure that we will never forget.

Climbing for days!

And crawling, too!

Enderts Beach looks like a postcard come to life!

Click here to read about our entire Pacific Coast Road Trip over spring break!

Historic Triangle, Virginia

This is the view from the main street through Colonial Williamsburg

The first time I ever visited the Historic Triangle was over our spring break in March and I loved it so much I returned again that same year over Christmas break. I thoroughly enjoy learning about our country’s history and those early days before our country was even established. They really do a fantastic job of bringing history to life in the Historic Triangle! But, I don’t think that means that you have to be a history buff to enjoy all of the things this special place has to offer!

Behind us are stores and shops that are set up like they were in Colonial days

You can take a horse drawn carriage ride through Colonial Williamsburg

We packed in so much during our spring visit! We walked the cobblestone streets of Colonial Williamsburg, visited the Jamestown Settlement, and also ventured to Yorktown and explored the beach there. My boys had the best time learning about these places that they had studied in school and my teacher heart loved the learning that we all experienced! If you enjoy visiting museums, then I believe you’ll especially love these amazingly recreated living-history museums!

Jamestown Settlement was my favorite!

Even the kids will enjoy the living history museums and relics in the Historic Triangle

Native American homes in Jamestown Settlement

Battleground in Yorktown

Click here to read about our day in Colonial Williamsburg

Click here to read about our day in Historic Jamestown

San Francisco, California

Baker Beach

San Francisco is another destination that I have enjoyed many different times of the year. We traveled there last spring break on our Pacific Coast Highway road trip and it was the perfect starting point of our journey. I’ve always loved the vibe of this city and was so excited to take my boys there for the first time!

We also hiked up to the Golden Gate Bridge

There are so many different activities to do in San Francisco! I know there is something here for everyone. My boys loved playing on the beach after hiking up to the Golden Gate Bridge. They also wanted to go to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf almost every single day we were there! And I especially enjoyed eating all the fresh seafood dishes in the area!

Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 area

Beach cave at Baker Beach

So many clams on the rocks at Baker Beach!

Spring Travel Tips:

Weather – Spring weather can change at the drop of a hat. Be prepared for thunder storms or even snowstorms, depending on where you’re going! Severe weather can cause travel delays, so be sure to monitor conditions before and during your travel dates.

Travel Insurance – I don’t always purchase travel insurance, but I usually do when we travel in the spring. Like I mentioned above, severe weather can happen and cause travel interruptions. It’s better to be prepared in case of an emergency!

Safety – Always stay alert and vigilant, no matter what time of the year you decide to travel. Don’t share too much on social media, especially if you’re traveling solo, until you return home. Avoid first floor hotel rooms, these can be a target for thieves. Practice appropriate water safety if you’re headed to the beach. Talk to your kids about stranger danger. Protect your skin and wear sunscreen! Do your research beforehand and make sure that there are no travel advisories for the area you plan to visit.

Travel Documents – I always recommend printing a copy of your confirmation number for lodging and excursions that you’ve reserved, just in case your reservation is missing upon arrival. Take a photo of your passport and driver’s license in case it gets lost.

Leave No Trace – Always practice leave no trace principals. Leave the area you visit just like it was when you arrived. Pack your trash out, leave what you find, and respect all wildlife.

Happy Travels!

Whether you find yourself staying close to home, road tripping across the country, relaxing on the beach, or hiking trails through the forest, I hope you have an amazing spring break! Be sure to check back in to see what we’re up to over the break. If you have a favorite spring destination, I’d love for you to share about it in the comments so we can check it out, too!

Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

San Francisco, CA to Cannon Beach, OR

Alright you guys, I am SO excited to share our latest adventure with you! Not only did we get to add two new states to our list, but we had the most amazing time road tripping over 700 miles along the Pacific Coast Highway!

The boys’ first time to visit CA!
Our whole family’s first time to visit OR!

Below is our itinerary. It might look intimidating, with a lot of driving, but we really enjoyed the journey! Jereme was concerned about not having enough time in any given location, but it honestly felt like a great amount of time in most places. We all agreed we would’ve liked more time in Oregon and that’s probably the only part I would change!

I am also linking some of our outfits, I had so many messages about how well we matched!

Travel Itinerary

  • Day 1 – Flight to San Francisco
  • Day 2 – Full Day in San Francisco
  • Day 3 – Drive to Redwoods with a stop at Glass Beach, CA
  • Day 4 – Full Day in the Redwood National & State Parks
  • Day 5 – Drive to Cannon Beach, OR with a stop to hike in Brookings, OR
  • Day 6 – Full Day in Cannon Beach, OR
  • Day 7 – Drive to Portland for flight back to Texas

San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach

Our journey started with a smooth flight to San Francisco, where we stayed for 2 nights. Both Jereme and I had already visited San Fran several times, so we left it up to our boys on what we did. They really only cared about seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and fell in love with the Pier and kept asking to go back. So that’s what we did! I enjoyed all of the wonderful food, I think just about all we did was eat and I loved every minute of it!

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Fisherman’s Wharf and really enjoyed the hotel and the location. They served a delicious free breakfast each morning and we had a partial view of the bay. It was only a 2 block walk to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 and that’s where we spent most of our time. We took full advantage of eating seafood at all of the outdoor locations in the wharf. We had the most delicious lobster rolls, shrimp tacos, and fish! I mean, you can’t really go wrong at any of those locations. Our favorite dinner was at Cioppino’s. I had a seafood pasta dish that was to die for, Jett had the spaghetti and meatballs, Jake had the best pizza ever (according to him), and Jereme had the clam chowder in a bread bowel. This was hands down our favorite dinner on the entire trip!

First photo of the trip!

Like I mentioned, we mainly stayed in Fisherman’s Wharf and at Pier 39. We visited the Aquarium of the Bay, strolled along the boardwalk shops, and watched the seals sunbathe. We also drove across the Golden Gate Bridge a few times and hiked the Battery Spencer Overlook trail to see an up close view of the bridge. The hike was fun, the boys picked me beautiful wildflowers along the walk, but it was so windy above the bridge! Our pictures turned out horrible here with the harsh sunlight and my crazy hair. So, we decided to hit up Baker Beach and had the best time. The views of the bridge and the photos we got were everything I wanted! The boys loved running in the sand and we even got to explore a sea cave! We spent a few hours here and then headed back to Fisherman’s Wharf for more food and then walked up to Ghirardelli Square for chocolate and ice cream! Even though we didn’t do a lot in San Francisco, the boys loved the city and how neat the houses looked on our drive.

Baker Beach

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, CA

Glass Beach

Our next say of the trip was in Klamath, CA. The drive to Klamath, CA is about 6 hours. We decided to break up the drive and stop along the way. Glass Beach in Fort Bragg is the place we settled on and it was so beautiful and a wonderful stop! We all enjoyed walking along the beach and the boys loved exploring the rock formations and collecting different colors of sea glass. We only spent about 1 hour here because we wanted to get back on the road and make it to Klamath before dark. We also had plans to stop in the Redwoods along the way, but I was SO carsick on this drive. There are a lot of windy roads through the mountains and it was horrible for a while before the Dramamine kicked in. I highly recommend taking something for motion sickness before you start this drive. I am usually fine if I am driving and Jake never gets carsick, but we both felt pretty terrible.

The beach is gorgeous, but you have to be close to the shore to really see the extent of the colors of the sea glass.

The boys loved exploring the cliffs!

Klamath, CA (Redwood National Park)

From here, we continued the drive to Klamath and didn’t make any more stops on the drive. We were planning on eating dinner once we arrived, but to our surprise the town had zero places open to eat! And it was only 6:00 pm when we arrived, on a Tuesday evening. There are only about 2 restaurants in the town and they are very seasonal. But our hotel had a little grocery store inside and a wonderful staff that told us all the details of eating in town. So, we loaded up on microwavable meals and called it an early night! While we really liked out hotel, the Holiday Inn Express Klamath – Redwood National Park, but I would recommend driving another half hour to Crescent City to stay there!

Crescent City, CA (Redwood National Park)

Redwood National & State Parks

The following morning we decided to get up early and head to Crescent City for the day and explore the Redwoods. There are several different parks that make up the Redwood National and State Parks, so I had a hard time deciding which area to visit. We settled on Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park and the Stout Memorial Grove Trail to hike. I am so happy with this decision, we had the most amazing day in the Redwoods and ended our hike with a beach walk that was absolutely stunning! We encountered maybe 4 people on this day, at both the Redwoods and the beach! So, I highly recommend a visit if you want to experience a National Park with no crowds. The road to this trail does turn into a packed dirt road, but our 2 wheel drive rental car had no issues making the trip!

Such a fun trail! Stout Memorial Grove Trail

The Stout Memorial Grove Trail is about a 0.7 mile loop, with other trails leading off from the loop. Our boys loved climbing all the fallen trees, especially after being in the car for so long the day before. The pictures don’t really do it any justice, I have NEVER seen trees so big and tall in my life.

In awe the whole time!
Stout Memorial Grove Trail

We hiked down to the river and stopped along the rocks for a picnic lunch. Then we hiked back out and decided to head to Enderts Beach in Crescent City. I have never seen so many sand dollars! My boys loved collecting the ones that were on the beach and the cliffs in the distance were so picturesque. We ventured down to an area with tide pools and saw some sea anemones. We walked along the beach for at least two hours collecting sand dollars and viewing the tide pools. Once we left here, we headed to a Mexican restaurant in town for an early dinner before going back to our hotel in Klamath.

Enderts Beach
So many sand dollars!

Brookings, OR (Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor)

After getting a good night’s rest, we left in the morning to begin the seven hour drive to Cannon Beach, OR. I have never been so in love with the views along a drive in my life! Oregon is the most beautiful state and I cannot wait to get back to the Pacific Northwest and explore more. There are SO many amazing locations that you can stop along the drive, but I chose the Natural Bridges in Brookings, OR off the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor. This hike is not very long (less than a mile), but I would consider it to be moderate/hard on the way back up. We had to climb up a pretty steep hill to get back to the parking lot and over some tree roots in one area. There is a boardwalk for viewing the Natural Bridges just a few feet from the parking lot if you don’t want to make the hike down and then back up! Even though the hike is a little tough, I am so glad that we did it! The views of the coast are absolutely stunning and we even got to watch a seal in its natural habitat swim and play along the jagged rocks in the ocean!

View from the overlook by the parking lot.
We were standing on the Natural Bridge!
The hardest part of the trail, climbing down and back up this steep slope over exposed tree roots!

Cannon Beach, OR

View from right outside our beach cottage

Finally, we made it to our final stay of the trip at Sea Sprite Inn at Haystack Rock in the wonderful city of Cannon Beach, OR! We pulled into our beach front cottage right at sunset and man, the views were amazing! I wish I would’ve booked this place for one more night because we loved it that much. We had so much space here, we loved the little grass yard and patio chairs, and the beach bunnies were adorable! Haystack Rock was basically in our back yard and the sunsets here are to die for! Two nights was definitely not enough, but we lucked out with amazing weather while we were here. A week-long weather system of rain moved in on the day that we left to fly home!

Sea Sprite Inn at Haystack Rock
Haystack Rock
Tide pools!
Another beautiful sunset

On our two nights/3 days here, we explored the beach, the tide pools at Haystack Rock, and ventured into the downtown area for some shopping, and had wonderful food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! The people here are SO nice and added to our enjoyment of the area. It was a very low-key and relaxing last two nights of the trip. We ended our evenings with bonfires on the beach and loved watching our boys run around and play together in the sand! Our favorite restaurants were the Pig ‘N Pancake for breakfast, our boys have never eaten so many pancakes in their life! Toms Fish & Chips was a great stop for lunch and the guys working there made it even more fun! The boys got little hats to wear and they stopped by to chat with us and were just so nice and pleasant! And our favorite dinner spot was Driftwood Restaurant and Lounge. We did have to wait for about 45 minutes for a table, but it was well worth the wait!

Beach bonfire

And like all good things, our trip quickly came to an end. The drive to the airport in Portland was less than 2 hours away. Fun was had by all and this is a great spring break destination! I am happy to answer any questions, so please don’t hesitate to reach out! Follow me on Instagram (linked on the homepage) to see videos of our trip!

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