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 Philippines’ Boracay Island.
Feed blue crabs, sleep in Victorian bed and breakfasts, and take a Segway nature tour on your Amelia Island vacation.
This Dutch island offers laid-back luxury lodging, clean beaches and rustic, dining gems sure to enchant vacationing couples.
Dust the sand off your swimsuit and explore the rest the Bahamas with these free and affordable attractions.
Strut alongside these pink-feathered soldiers who run the show in Nassau in the Bahamas.
Swim with dolphins, take a dip at a pool casino and gaze at aquariums in your hotel room at this Bahamas mega resort.
Read our expert’s overview to the best that the islands have to offer for a Bahamas vacation sure to please everyone.
Visit this Bahamas Out Island, where you can enjoy solitude and get pampered at the same time.
Need more cowbell? This flamboyant Bahamian gala celebrates freedom with all the bells, whistles, costumed parades, music and dance it can muster.
The Bahamas’ People-to-People program pairs visitors with volunteer hosts for authentic, insider island experiences.
Add to your family-friendly beach list with this round-up of favorite beaches from TravelMuse.
Navigate your way through great beaches on Hawaii’s Big Island for quality sand, snorkeling, swimming, scuba and surfing.
From volcanoes to underwater wonders, coffee to ranches, beach resorts to hula dancing, Hawaii has packed a whole lot into one island.
Choose from a wealth of outdoor family activities on Hawaii’s Big Island, from hiking to horseback riding to helicopter rides.
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!
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.
Surf, swim and sail the alluring Caribbean waters off the British Virgin Islands’ tranquil Tortola.
Find the best resorts, attractions and restaurants on the third largest of the British Virgin Islands.
Discover the natural beauty of the underwater coral chutes and the abundant caves on Cayman Brac.
Get close to nature at Grand Cayman’s environmental attractions, and learn more about how the island values its native plants and animals.
Explore beach luxury on Grand Cayman and rustic dive spots on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac on your vacation to the Caribbean trio.
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.
Learn how to shoot undersea photos during diving classes with renowned photographer Cathy Church.
Hang ten on Grand Cayman’s man-made waves or skate to your heart’s content on your family island vacation.
Marvel at the coral-wall diving, learn about booby birds and relax with locals during your beach vacation on quiet Little Cayman.
Where to find the best beach spots in the Florida Keys, a destination known more for its fishing than stretches of sand.
Close encounters with these sociable mammals are educational and fun.
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.
Once a Spring Break mecca, Fort Lauderdale has evolved into a family-friendly city with an overwhelming possibility for adventure.
From sun to water safety, review these beach tips to keep your family healthy and happy before you chill out on the sand.
Take a sandy stroll along these five beautiful beaches on your next England vacation.
Best destinations for students or families for a memorable Spring Break getaway.
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.
Take a family vacation road trip to these New England destinations that are kid-friendly and affordable.
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.
Learn about this African-influenced culture and the people who have helped preserve it in the Carolina Sea Islands.
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.
Sophistication, culture and a beautiful coastline make this a favorite Southern California vacation destination.
Read about the best hiking trails for checking out rare pines, colorful sandstone cliffs and native vegetation at this state park overlooking the Pacific.
Take a wellness vacation for your body and soul in Los Cabos.
Stay safe and sane on your Los Cabos vacation with this helpful advice.
Read our insider’s recommendations for how to best plan your next Cabo vacation.
Find seclusion on a private island vacation, where you can stay in luxurious accommodations and have an entire beach (or more) to yourself.
Stay in one of these government-run luxury Spanish hotels, which can be modern resorts or converted monasteries, castles and fortresses.
Find the best places to rest after a long day of exploring all that Martha’s Vineyard has to offer.
From New England history to maritime culture to classic Atlantic beaches—what not to miss during your vacation to this idyllic, historic island.
Enjoy some surf and sun at the many beaches that stretch for miles along this gorgeous island’s shoreline.
Get recommended bike trails and rentals for two-wheeled touring of the island.
Avoid the crowds and visit this idyllic Cape Cod island in the fall or winter, instead.
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.
All you’ll have to worry about with these resort kids clubs is getting your child to leave.
The Valley Isle of Maui offers adventures for the entire family—from diving and snorkeling to language and hula lessons.
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.
Show your kids that mom still has some adventure in her at surfing school in Maui.
Leave your worries behind and take the slow road on Maui’s Hana Highway.
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.
From high-end luxury to family-friendly getaways, Oahu’s hotels offer something for everyone.
Whether you go to the beach for fun, surf, sun or solitude, there’s a perfect one waiting for you on Oahu.
A trip to Oahu isn't the same without a taste of kalua pig and some Hawaiian cultural entertainment.
Follow our experts’ guide to the best sites and activities for planning your vacation to this popular Hawaiian island.
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.
Surf’s up at O.C. beaches and seaside resorts at Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Dana Point.
Explore the natural and scientific attractions of this laid-back Panamanian archipelago oasis.
Here’s how to see it all during a long weekend in the seaside Mexican resort town.
Check out one of these kid-friendly accommodations on your next Mayan vacation.
Pristine beaches, ancient ruins and eco theme parks—there is something for everyone at this jewel on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.
After visiting this Mayan site rich in history, check out the nearby theme park Xel-Há.
From dine-in movies to rock concerts, San Diego hotels offer a plethora of kid-friendly experiences.
This Southern California destination remains a family favorite, but cool new hotels and restaurants make it an appealing playground for adults too.
This Florida beach community offers both affordable and luxury accommodations, beautiful beaches, family attractions and quality cultural venues.
Georgia’s historic coastal islands offer everything from haute to honky-tonk and a pristine national seashore.
To escape the city, locals and tourists alike head to this manmade resort area for beach fun, dining and Singapore family attractions.
How and where to plan an accessible family beach vacation.
Discover the allure that brings people back to St. Lucia time and time again.
Take a break with and without your kids 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.
From climbing Harbour Bridge to riding the waves at Bondi Beach, don’t miss these top family attractions if exploring Sydney with kids.
Read our local’s picks for decadent eats and swanky sleeps for your next Tampa/St. Petersburg 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.
Take advantage of resort discounts next year with free nights, spa packages and scuba diving discounts.
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.
Summertime living is easy for families, with deals from the Big Island, to steamboat river tours, to New York City’s Flatotel.
Take advantage of an affordable weekend in London, resort credits in Scottsdale and Cancun, and free golfing with the kids.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From the ‘Anne of Green Gables’ centennial celebration to shellfish festivals, Canada’s smallest province offers a wealth of activities for vacationing families.
Learn what to pack and what to leave behind for an easy, breezy Caribbean getaway.
Our expert has visited more than 100 Caribbean islands. Here are his travel tips for planning your Caribbean vacation.
On Providenciales, stroll along elegant Grace Bay Beach, snorkel around coral reefs and celebrate the mighty conch.
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.
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.
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.
Discover St. Thomas’ treasures from duty-free shopping malls, white-sand beaches and historic attractions—but visit when the cruise ships aren’t there.
Grab your sailing gear and head out on a boating adventure in the waters around St. John and St. Thomas.
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.
Enjoy the Caribbean paradise of the U.S. Virgin Islands—and help preserve it—with a stay at one of these luxury eco-camps.
Check out these top accommodations and activities for families planning a vacation to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Get back to the basics for family beach fun.
With summer ending, extend the warm weather with a vacation to Maui or the Big Island.
Read our Los Cabos articles on where to stay and what to do before you plan your next Cabo vacation.
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.