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18 of the best beach hotels in the U.S. for families whether you’re traveling with a baby, teen, grandparents, or pets

FAQ: Family beach hotels

What are the best states for family beaches in the US?

While everyone’s definition of what constitutes a family beach differs, most people with babies and small children agree that coastal states where the water is warm and gentle, like Florida, are ideal. And states that offer waves to surf, such as Hawaii, Oregon, and California, are attractive for teens and young adults.

On the East Coast, families fill beaches from Maine to the Carolinas. Depending on what your family lifestyle is like, you might prefer to visit well-known prestige spots like Kiawah Island, Newport Rhode Island, Hilton Head, or The Hamptons for family tennis and golf after a few days of sunbathing. Or, you might opt for easygoing destinations like the Jersey Shore or Myrtle Beach with boardwalk fun in addition to the ocean.

How much does a family beach vacation cost?

Family beach vacations can run the gamut from budget to luxury depending on where you go and when. Hawaii, California, New York, Rhode Island, and Florida remain some of the most popular, and priciest, states for family beach vacations (depending on the region). 

For more wallet-friendly stays, consider states like New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia. 

And while there are always deals to be found, consider going on a beach vacation in the shoulder season to somewhere like North or South Carolina, Maine, Oregon, or Massachusetts if savings are your top priority. September or early May still see excellent weather in most beach destinations with far lower prices than during peak summer or winter dates. Additionally, keep in mind that peak weekends and holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July typically see beach hotel prices surge.      

Weekday and weekend rates will also change during weekends and holidays. Resort fees range widely but often include bicycle rentals, barre or yoga classes, happy hours, or breakfast. 

What should a family beach resort have?

The best family beach resorts and hotels offer beach access, first and foremost, plus programming and activities that address both individuals, ranging from small children to grandparents to the family dog, as well as the family as a whole. These include kids’/teen clubs and rooms, welcome packages, discounts, packages, games, and nightly entertainment.

Make sure to read the fine print, especially where it concerns younger children and family pets. Many hotels say they are friendly to both, but their actions say otherwise. In some cases, small children are prohibited from certain types of accommodations and dogs can’t leave the room, or can’t be left in the room. So know before you go.

Are hotels safe right now?

According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically.

Most hotels have reopened following shutdowns due to COVID-19 with new safety procedures in place. While you’re more likely to encounter other people in common spaces and have more interactions with staff, experts say that with added caution, it is safe to stay in a hotel. We also recommend following CDC guidelines and wearing a mask in public, using hand sanitizer, and following social distancing.

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