Best Family & Kid Friendly Beaches in USA

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  • Mission Beach // California

    Mission Beach
    ©The Erica Chang

    The name of both a beach and a town, Mission Beach in San Diego sits on a thin slither of land just two blocks wide at the entrance to the islands and attractions of Mission Bay. Here you'll find SeaWorld San Diego, the largest aquatic park of its type anywhere.

    Facing the Pacific Ocean, Mission Beach stretches for approximately two miles, paralleled the whole way by a paved esplanade / boardwalk dotted with cool stores and places providing beach gear rentals. At its quietest and widest section, towards… read more »

  • Rocky Neck State Park East Beach // Connecticut

    Rocky Neck State Park East Beach

    The bathing beach at Rocky Neck State Park sits within sight of Old Lyme. A broad sweep of pale-coloured sand curving around its bay, it has a protected water's edge extending for several hundred yards thanks to its position at the mouth of the Four Mile River.

    Gently sloping towards the water, and backed by a curtain of parkland, Rocky Neck State Park Beach is a great option for families with younger children. While its sands will provide all the entertainment most will need, its neighbouring salt marshes also make it… read more »

  • Bowman's Beach Park // Florida

    Bowman's Beach Park
    ©Mark Sherman

    Several miles in length, Bowman's Beach sits on the Gulf of Mexico on the southern shores of Florida's Sanibel Island. Situated on one of the quieter parts of island, with just one main road heading north, Bowman's Beach is close to both JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the lagoon-like waters of Clam Bayou.

    Roughly ten minutes on foot from the nearest car park, the path leads through the grassy scrub to white sands which incorporate a fitness trail, children's playground, portable toilets and picnic tables alongside public barbeque grills.

    Open… read more »

  • Grayton Beach // Florida

    Grayton Beach

    Located on the Florida Panhandle, Grayton Beach faces south into the crystalline waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A Blue Wave beach (similar to the better-known Blue Flag scheme in Europe), it is a delightful strip of level white sand. The beach is part of a historic coastal village of the same name, and via its grid of streets, with Grayton Beach State Park.

    A popular spot year-round, Gulf of Mexico fishing charters launching directly from Grayton are common, in addition to the chance to try your hand at sailing or… read more »

  • Hulopo'e Bay Beach // Hawaii

    Hulopo'e Bay Beach
    ©Matt Anderson

    Considered one of the best beaches not only in the state of Hawaii but also the entire United States, Hulopoe Bay Beach consists of a beautiful arc of richly coloured sand. This drifts towards sparkling Pacific waters, while being backed onto by areas of native flora containing few manmade structures.

    During the summer months, Hulopo'e's shallows are a prime swimming spot, although the seabed quickly drops off. Snorkelling is also possible thanks to the clarity of the water of this protected marine reserve. Parrotfish, goatfish, and several species of tang all… read more »

  • Johnson Beach National Seashore // Florida

    Johnson Beach National Seashore

    Johnson Beach sits at the center of Perdido Key, a barrier island which spans the Florida / Alabama border. 

    The beach has a lifeguard service, plenty of facilities and a parking lot, all of which makes it ideal for families. Along with a host of water based activities there are also a number of hiking trails here best of which is the Discovery Nature Trail. This raised wooden boardwalk winds through dunes the dunes and pine woods for around half a mile.

    The naming of the beach is for Rosamond Johnson.… read more »

  • Hobe Sound // Florida

    Hobe Sound
    ©Erik Cleves Kristensen

    Situated on Jupiter Island on Florida's Atlantic facing "Treasure coast", Hobe Sound oozes natural beauty. Something of a rarity on this stretch of coast, Hobe Sound is one of the few public beaches in Martin County. To either side are the enclaves of the very wealthy - this is one of Florida's most exclusive neighborhoods.

    Being on the Atlantic coast, Hobe Sound picks up a fair bit of swell and surfing is popular. You will also often see anglers casting from the beach here.

    There are lifeguards on duty, and whilst the… read more »

  • Easton's Beach // Rhode Island

    Easton's Beach
    ©Dennis Heller

    Easton's Beach is an urban beach uniting the east and west sides of Newport across the Easton Bay basin. Almost a mile long, Easton's Beach is Rhode Island's largest ocean beach, and consists of a broad expanse of off-white sand.

    Also going by the name of First Beach and Newport Beach, Easton's Beach provides a city centre spot for swimming, and is also possibly the closest spot to a city anywhere in the continental US where it's possible to surf.

    Day-trippers from the city will find facilities including restrooms and changing rooms,… read more »

  • Goddard Memorial State Park Beach // Rhode Island

    Goddard Memorial State Park Beach
    ©Joe Bar

    Goddard Memorial State Park Beach sits on the northern side of the club-shaped peninsula pushing into Greenwich Bay from the south. This sand beach is widest at its midpoint, where there's parking and public access, before narrowing to either side.

    Backed by dense woodland, Goddard Memorial State Park Beach has a total length of a little over half a mile. Well-known as a swimming beach, facilities range from restrooms to public grills and over 350 picnic tables. The surrounding state park has a golf course, horse riding, and several miles of… read more »

  • Jenness State Beach // New Hampshire

    Jenness State Beach
    ©Ken Gallager

    Jenness Beach is a popular spot with surfers and is one of the most easily reached surf spots from Boston. Generally speaking this is a beginner-friendly beach with a gently sloping sand bottom but on its day the waves here can be awesome.

    The beach is also a good family friendly choice with cheap parking and good amenities. Lifeguards patrol the beach during the summer months meaning swimming is fairly safe and there is a picnic area.

    The modern bathhouse by the car park has changing stalls, showers and restrooms.

    With New Hampshire… read more »

  • Wrightsville Beach // North Carolina

    Wrightsville Beach

    The Atlantic beach at Wrightsville stretches for around 4 miles and is best known by those of a certain age as a location in the TV series Dawson's Creek. The youthful atmosphere of Wrightsville Beach continues today due to its proximity to the University of North Carolina, Wilmington drawing students to its shoreline on sunny days.

    With the almost guaranteed waves of the Atlantic close at hand, Wrightsville Beach is a celebrated surfing and kiteboarding destination. Surf stores can rent out all the gear you'll need, and also offer beginners lessons.… read more »

  • Nags Head // North Carolina

    Nags Head
    ©Suzie Tremmel

    Nags Head Beach lies on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier island network. It's lined on its landward side by private beachfront homes and hotels, although public access and parking is maintained at specific points.

    Once visitors have reached Nags Head Beach, they'll find an apparently endless expanse of golden sand. It probably takes its name from one of the many Nags Heads in England which usually relate to something horse head-shaped. One of the main attractions here is Jockey's Ridge State Park, which contains the tallest dune system on the US… read more »

  • Kitty Hawk // North Carolina

    Kitty Hawk

    Kitty Hawk Beach is located on the oceanic side of Bodie Island, a naturally-formed barrier island. Centred around its pier, the beach stretches out in either direction for several miles. Although lined almost all the way by beachside properties built to face the miraculous Atlantic sunrises, Kitty Hawk Beach still manages to maintain a feeling of serenity above all else.

    Local and visiting fishermen can often be found on the pier, while low tide offers the chance for shelling alongside the sands. It's said to be best in the early summer.… read more »

  • Emerald Isle // North Carolina

    Emerald Isle

    Emerald Isle Beach can be thought of stretching in a continuous ribbon of white sand from The Point at the western end of the island to Indian Beach approximately halfway down its length. That makes Emerald Isle Beach roughly 9 miles long.

    Emerald Isle Beach has previously taken the crown as the best beach in North Carolina as voted for by the readership of USA Today, and with good reason. A great destination for families, couples and solo travellers, there's plenty of opportunity for relaxing on Emerald Isle Beach's… read more »

  • Bald Head Island // North Carolina

    Bald Head Island

    Once known as Smith Island, Bald Head Island helps form the eastern bank of the Cape Fear River as it exits for the Atlantic Ocean, in North Carolina's Brunswick County. It can be accessed via a 20-minute ferry ride from Southport.

    A nationally recognized turtle nesting site for four different sea turtle species, Bald Head Island's main beach is a broad sweep of yellow sand on the island's south coast. It runs for almost the entire four-kilometre length of this coast, with views towards a tapering nineteenth century lighthouse known as… read more »