Beach Vacations

Destinations: Maui, Bahamas, Phuket, Honolulu, Grand Cayman, San Diego

Activities: Boating, Deep-sea Fishing, Eat, Fishing, Horseback Riding, Kayaking, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Surfing, Swimming, Shopping, Spas

Who doesn’t like a beach vacation? Whether on a tropical island or strolling along the mainland coast, there’s nothing like the feeling of sand between your toes and the smell of salt in the air while waves break onto the shore. That feeling—and the warm, sunny weather usually associated with beaches—has been bringing people to the coast in droves for centuries.

Beaches range in color from the deep black sand in Hawaii to the sugar-white surface of Florida’s Emerald Coast, but all beaches offer many diversions for all ages. Sports such as surfing and beach volleyball are popular, while more tranquil visitors opt for snorkeling, sunbathing or a barefoot walk along the shore. Kids always love to hunt for shells, build sandcastles and run wild in the water.

Some of the world’s best beaches can be found in Florida and Hawaii (Lanikai on Oahu, Kaanapali on Maui). Mexico and the Caribbean have long been popular and offer many stunning beaches. For something more exotic, try the PhilippinesBoracay Island.

Articles About Beach Vacations

Amelia Island: Old Florida Meets New

Feed blue crabs, sleep in Victorian bed and breakfasts, and take a Segway nature tour on your Amelia Island vacation.

Romantic Getaway to Aruba

This Dutch island offers laid-back luxury lodging, clean beaches and rustic, dining gems sure to enchant vacationing couples.

5 (Nearly) Free Bahamas Attractions

Dust the sand off your swimsuit and explore the rest the Bahamas with these free and affordable attractions.

Marching Flamingos of Nassau

Strut alongside these pink-feathered soldiers who run the show in Nassau in the Bahamas.

Paradise Found at Atlantis Resort

Swim with dolphins, take a dip at a pool casino and gaze at aquariums in your hotel room at this Bahamas mega resort.

Better in the Bahamas

Read our expert’s overview to the best that the islands have to offer for a Bahamas vacation sure to please everyone.

Enchanting Exuma: Bahamas’ Tranquil Island

Visit this Bahamas Out Island, where you can enjoy solitude and get pampered at the same time.

Celebrate Caribbean Culture at Junkanoo in The Bahamas

Need more cowbell? This flamboyant Bahamian gala celebrates freedom with all the bells, whistles, costumed parades, music and dance it can muster.

Feel the Love With Bahamas’ Host Program

The Bahamas’ People-to-People program pairs visitors with volunteer hosts for authentic, insider island experiences.

Beach Getaways: Summer Fun in the Sun

Add to your family-friendly beach list with this round-up of favorite beaches from TravelMuse.

Best Beaches on the Big Island

Navigate your way through great beaches on Hawaii’s Big Island for quality sand, snorkeling, swimming, scuba and surfing.

The Big Deal About the Big Island

From volcanoes to underwater wonders, coffee to ranches, beach resorts to hula dancing, Hawaii has packed a whole lot into one island.

Family Fun on the Big Island

Choose from a wealth of outdoor family activities on Hawaii’s Big Island, from hiking to horseback riding to helicopter rides.

Learning to Sail in the British Virgin Islands

Get in on one of the top activities in the BVI—sailing. Learn the ins and outs of chartering a boat, take sailing classes and you’re on your way!

Jost Van Dyke: A Pirate’s Paradise

Visit this British Virgin Island jewel—as part of a B.V.I. vacation or on a day trip from the U.S. Virgin Islands. The only way to get there is to swim ashore, like pirates of yore.

The Sea Seduces at Tortola

Surf, swim and sail the alluring Caribbean waters off the British Virgin Islands’ tranquil Tortola.

Virgin Gorda—Nature’s Little Secret

Find the best resorts, attractions and restaurants on the third largest of the British Virgin Islands.

Coral and Caving on Cayman Brac

Discover the natural beauty of the underwater coral chutes and the abundant caves on Cayman Brac.

Explore Grand Cayman’s Protected Habitats

Get close to nature at Grand Cayman’s environmental attractions, and learn more about how the island values its native plants and animals.

Island Living: The Caymans

Explore beach luxury on Grand Cayman and rustic dive spots on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac on your vacation to the Caribbean trio.

Into the Abyss: Deep Diving in the Caymans

Slip on your flippers, adjust your oxygen tank and head to the Cayman Islands for some of the best deep-water diving in the world.

Fish Paparazzi on Grand Cayman

Learn how to shoot undersea photos during diving classes with renowned photographer Cathy Church.

Surf the Waves at Black Pearl Skate and Surf

Hang ten on Grand Cayman’s man-made waves or skate to your heart’s content on your family island vacation.

Kick Back on Little Cayman

Marvel at the coral-wall diving, learn about booby birds and relax with locals during your beach vacation on quiet Little Cayman.

Key Beach Spots in the Florida Keys

Where to find the best beach spots in the Florida Keys, a destination known more for its fishing than stretches of sand.

Dolphin Delights in the Florida Keys

Close encounters with these sociable mammals are educational and fun.

Conch Out in the Florida Keys

From dolphin excursions to a tour of Hemingway’s house, check out the myriad of family vacation activities in the quirky and charming Florida Keys.

Family Fun in Fort Lauderdale

Once a Spring Break mecca, Fort Lauderdale has evolved into a family-friendly city with an overwhelming possibility for adventure.

Summer Beach Safety Tips

From sun to water safety, review these beach tips to keep your family healthy and happy before you chill out on the sand.

Beaches of Britain

Take a sandy stroll along these five beautiful beaches on your next England vacation.

10 Top Spring Break Spots

Best destinations for students or families for a memorable Spring Break getaway.

Six Totally Awesome Family Surf Camps

Our expert surf bum selects six sweet surfari destinations around the world—from San Diego to Bali—to check out for fitness and fun on your next family vacation.

7 New England Family Road Trips

Take a family vacation road trip to these New England destinations that are kid-friendly and affordable.

Leave Your Heart in San Mateo

Fall in love with the beautiful coastline, attractions and charming small towns in this Bay Area destination that boasts luxury and farm tours, side-by-side.

Hilton Head Island’s Gullah Culture and History

Learn about this African-influenced culture and the people who have helped preserve it in the Carolina Sea Islands.

Top Places to Stay in La Jolla, California

Learn where to score the best ocean-view room, spa treatment and where classic Hollywood stars used to stay in this Southern California seaside resort town.

La Jolla: The Jewel by the Sea

Sophistication, culture and a beautiful coastline make this a favorite Southern California vacation destination.

Back to Nature at Torrey Pines Reserve

Read about the best hiking trails for checking out rare pines, colorful sandstone cliffs and native vegetation at this state park overlooking the Pacific.

Cabo Spa Vacation

Take a wellness vacation for your body and soul in Los Cabos.

Los Cabos Travel Tips

Stay safe and sane on your Los Cabos vacation with this helpful advice.

Tale of Two Cabos

Read our insider’s recommendations for how to best plan your next Cabo vacation.

Caribbean Private Island Paradises

Find seclusion on a private island vacation, where you can stay in luxurious accommodations and have an entire beach (or more) to yourself.

Parador Paradise in Spain

Stay in one of these government-run luxury Spanish hotels, which can be modern resorts or converted monasteries, castles and fortresses.

Lodging at Its Finest on Martha’s Vineyard

Find the best places to rest after a long day of exploring all that Martha’s Vineyard has to offer.

Top Things to Do on Martha’s Vineyard

From New England history to maritime culture to classic Atlantic beaches—what not to miss during your vacation to this idyllic, historic island.

Best of the Beaches on Martha’s Vineyard

Enjoy some surf and sun at the many beaches that stretch for miles along this gorgeous island’s shoreline.

Martha’s Vineyard by Bike

Get recommended bike trails and rentals for two-wheeled touring of the island.

Martha’s Vineyard Vacations in the Off-Season

Avoid the crowds and visit this idyllic Cape Cod island in the fall or winter, instead.

Best Martha’s Vineyard Dining

Forget meandering around the island in search of places to eat. Here are the restaurants that will make you want to go back for more.

Kids Clubs of Maui

All you’ll have to worry about with these resort kids clubs is getting your child to leave.

Maui Family Activities

The Valley Isle of Maui offers adventures for the entire family—from diving and snorkeling to language and hula lessons.

Maui No Ka Oi

Hawaii’s second-largest island is, as the locals say ‘the best.’ It offers striking beauty, a range of activities for all ages, cultural history and a peaceful vibe.

Families Hang Out While Hanging Ten

Show your kids that mom still has some adventure in her at surfing school in Maui.

The Road to Heavenly Hana

Leave your worries behind and take the slow road on Maui’s Hana Highway.

Miami: The Beaches and Beyond

See why Miami continues to be a popular tropical playground, with gorgeous beaches, culinary hotspots, historic landmarks and plenty of attractions for kids and adults alike.

Oahu’s Grand Beachside Hotels

From high-end luxury to family-friendly getaways, Oahu’s hotels offer something for everyone.

Top Beach Bumming Spots on Oahu

Whether you go to the beach for fun, surf, sun or solitude, there’s a perfect one waiting for you on Oahu.

Luaus: More Than Just a Bowl of Poi

A trip to Oahu isn't the same without a taste of kalua pig and some Hawaiian cultural entertainment.

Say Aloha to Oahu’s Top Attractions

Follow our experts’ guide to the best sites and activities for planning your vacation to this popular Hawaiian island.

The Bay Islands: Old-School Caribbean

Want to see the Caribbean the way it used to be? Put on your flip-flops and get away to the Bay Islands of Honduras.

Beach-Bound Getaways in Orange County

Surf’s up at O.C. beaches and seaside resorts at Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Dana Point.

Eco-friendly Bocas del Toro

Explore the natural and scientific attractions of this laid-back Panamanian archipelago oasis.

Three Days in Puerto Vallarta

Here’s how to see it all during a long weekend in the seaside Mexican resort town.

Top 4 Riviera Maya Resorts for Families

Check out one of these kid-friendly accommodations on your next Mayan vacation.

Riviera Maya: Playtime at the Playa

Pristine beaches, ancient ruins and eco theme parks—there is something for everyone at this jewel on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

Treasures of Tulum

After visiting this Mayan site rich in history, check out the nearby theme park Xel-Há.

Best San Diego Family Hotels, by Age Group

From dine-in movies to rock concerts, San Diego hotels offer a plethora of kid-friendly experiences.

San Diego: A Playground for Kids and Adults

This Southern California destination remains a family favorite, but cool new hotels and restaurants make it an appealing playground for adults too.

Sarasota Family Vacation

This Florida beach community offers both affordable and luxury accommodations, beautiful beaches, family attractions and quality cultural venues.

The Idyllic Islands of Georgia

Georgia’s historic coastal islands offer everything from haute to honky-tonk and a pristine national seashore.

Sentosa: Singapore’s Island Resort

To escape the city, locals and tourists alike head to this manmade resort area for beach fun, dining and Singapore family attractions.

Beach Access

How and where to plan an accessible family beach vacation.

St. Lucia: Gem of the Caribbean

Discover the allure that brings people back to St. Lucia time and time again.

St. Lucia For Parents: Re-energize Your Relationship

Take a break with and without your kids in St. Lucia.

Island Adventures in St. Lucia

A patchwork of colonial history, this Eastern Caribbean island offers a variety of activities, attractions and cuisines stemming from French, British and African influence.

5 Cool Kids Activities in Sydney

From climbing Harbour Bridge to riding the waves at Bondi Beach, don’t miss these top family attractions if exploring Sydney with kids.

Restaurants and Hotels in Tampa and St. Pete

Read our local’s picks for decadent eats and swanky sleeps for your next Tampa/St. Petersburg vacation.

Tampa and St. Pete Family Vacation

Neighboring cities Tampa and St. Petersburg provide excellent beaches and family attractions as well as art and culture for those traveling without little ones.

Bahamas Package Savings in 2009

Take advantage of resort discounts next year with free nights, spa packages and scuba diving discounts.

Fall Specials in the Cayman Islands

Find reduced room rates at Westin Casuarina’s fall sale, island-wide savings with Cayman Free Fallin’ and a Thanksgiving package at The Reef Resort.

Summer Travel Deals: Hawaii, Steamboat Cruises, Tanglewood and NYC

Summertime living is easy for families, with deals from the Big Island, to steamboat river tours, to New York City’s Flatotel.

Family Vacation Discounts, Resort Credits, Free Golf for Kids

Take advantage of an affordable weekend in London, resort credits in Scottsdale and Cancun, and free golfing with the kids.

Cruise Discounts, Island Savings, Kids Cook for Parents Package

Costa Rica cruise discount and new yoga retreat, Cayman Islands and Mackinac Island both welcome families with savings packages and discounts, and the Omni Hotels in Texas teach the kids to cater to parents.

Hotel and Gas Savings in Hawaii; Family Packages in Montauk, Utah

This week’s deals are for a free night’s stay in Maui, gas savings on the Big Island, kids camp and activities in Montauk, and family adventure in Utah.

Italy Hotel Deals, Caribbean Packages and Lake Las Vegas

This week’s discounts are for Florence and Venice hotels, a last-minute deal in Lake Las Vegas, and family discounts in the Bahamas and Barbados.

Cabo for Couples, Free Night in Hawaii, London Charity

This week’s discounts are for Los Cabos and Honolulu hotels, an Innsbruck ski season package and a way to contribute during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Travel Deals to Delight Mom

Celebrate Mother’s Day by whisking the mom in your life to a balmy island and a relaxing spa treatment. Here are a few deals to make her smile.

Prince Edward Island: Summer and Fall Festivals

From the ‘Anne of Green Gables’ centennial celebration to shellfish festivals, Canada’s smallest province offers a wealth of activities for vacationing families.

Essential Caribbean Packing List

Learn what to pack and what to leave behind for an easy, breezy Caribbean getaway.

10 Tips for Island Hopping in the Caribbean

Our expert has visited more than 100 Caribbean islands. Here are his travel tips for planning your Caribbean vacation.

Provo: Turks and Caicos’ Cool Island

On Providenciales, stroll along elegant Grace Bay Beach, snorkel around coral reefs and celebrate the mighty conch.

Best U.S. Virgin Islands Dive Sites

You don’t have to dive deep to explore a vibrant undersea world in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Check out our dive expert’s top spots.

St. Croix’s Crucian Blend

Immerse yourself in the diverse cultural mix of Caribbean and Danish influences on a vacation to the most populated island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Sweet Spots on St. John

Read our expert’s tips on all that this USVI hot spot has to offer, from top beaches and hotels to the best places to pitch your tent.

St. Thomas: More than a Caribbean Cruise Capital

Discover St. Thomas’ treasures from duty-free shopping malls, white-sand beaches and historic attractions—but visit when the cruise ships aren’t there.

Set Sail in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Grab your sailing gear and head out on a boating adventure in the waters around St. John and St. Thomas.

Escape to the U.S. Virgin Islands

Chill on gorgeous beaches, ply Caribbean waters, tour historic attractions and shop duty-free on St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John—while leaving your passport at home.

Upscale Camping—Be Green in Comfort

Enjoy the Caribbean paradise of the U.S. Virgin Islands—and help preserve it—with a stay at one of these luxury eco-camps.

Kid-Friendly USVI Resorts and Attractions

Check out these top accommodations and activities for families planning a vacation to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Surviving the Beach With Kids

Get back to the basics for family beach fun.

Hawaiian Holiday

With summer ending, extend the warm weather with a vacation to Maui or the Big Island.

Feel the Warmth of Baja, Mexico

Read our Los Cabos articles on where to stay and what to do before you plan your next Cabo vacation.

Mahalo Frommer’s: Hawaii Day by Day Review

Frommer’s new Hawaii Day by Day guide is all you will need to see the best of the islands on your next Hawaiian vacation.