Top Ten Southern Beach Vacations For Families In The U.S.

May 16, 2023

Summer is the perfect season for a family vacation. The weather is typically warm as the school year ends, and children are eager for new experiences. It’s the ideal opportunity to leave the house and enjoy outdoor activities. What is more, a beach trip is an excellent option! If you are considering a family beach vacation for the summer, check out these top recommendations for the best Southern beach destinations. The South’s most exceptional beaches have something for everyone, whether you prefer sunbathing on the sand, swimming in the ocean, or fishing for a fresh catch. Some beaches are ideal for relaxing with the soothing sound of the water, while others offer a variety of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Here are ten of the most stunning family-friendly beaches in the South.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks is a beautiful 200-mile stretch of barrier islands off North Carolina’s coast, known for its rich history and stunning natural scenery. This family-friendly vacation spot, often called the OBX, has a pleasant year-round climate and boasts a vast open beachfront that consistently ranks as one of the best family beach vacations. Visitors of all ages can enjoy the rolling dunes and endless activities on family-friendly beaches. Additionally, families with dogs will find themselves at home since there are many pet-friendly activities to enjoy with kids.

Port Aransas, Texas

The beach is a year-round focus in Port Aransas. You may spend the day at the beach swimming in the waves, snorkeling for a close-up look at marine life, or trying out a new sport like paddleboarding or kayaking. A beach campfire is a summer pleasure for many at Port Aransas Beach. Small, 3’x3′ fires are permitted at any time on the beach. Enjoy s’mores or hot dogs roasted over the fire on a sunny evening. Please use water to put out your fire before leaving the area.

In addition, on the fourth Friday of each month, the Port Aransas Parks & Recreation Department hosts a Beach Walk. You and your family may explore the beach to gather shells and view marine creatures. The walks begin at 9 a.m. at the Horace Caldwell Pier and terminate at Beach Street.

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Located on the waterfront since 1899, Wrightsville Beach is the perfect destination for those who love the beach and seek a peaceful retreat. You can enjoy the sand, surf, outdoor adventures, bike-friendly routes, fresh seafood, and stunning sunset views. It is only a 20-minute drive from Wilmington, NC, and halfway between New York and Florida.

Wrightsville Beach provides endless fun and opportunities for families to create lasting memories. There is something for everyone, from learning how to catch waves and hunting for buried treasures to getting up close to sea life. It is an exciting and successful vacation that caters to kids and adults of all ages, enabling them to bond and have a great time.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama

When looking for the most beautiful beach family vacation spot? Look no further than Gulf Shores and Orange Beach on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. These destinations boast pristine white sand beaches, crystal-clear waves, and stimulating coastal breezes. In addition to the beach, guests can enjoy various activities such as amusement parks, Gulf State Park, bicycle trails, historic sites, and shopping. With something for everyone, families of all ages will have a fantastic time here.

Rosemary Beach, Florida

Explore the delightful community of Rosemary Beach, located in the northwestern region of the Florida Panhandle. You and your family can enjoy the serene waters and pristine white sand beaches, perfect for swimming and frolicking. Take your beach experience to another level by enrolling in one of the several companies that offer sandcastle-building lessons. You can also visit Eden Gardens State Park for a change of scenery and an educational, cultural experience. The park boasts stunning ornamental gardens that are truly breathtaking. Additionally, visitors can stroll through a heritage rose garden, a butterfly garden, and a secret garden with winding paths that traverse the property.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island is home to a magnificent 12-mile shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean. Its Sea Pines and Palmetto Dunes Resorts are renowned for their excellent golf courses. In addition to that, the island provides a variety of family-friendly activities, ranging from swimming, boating, hiking, shopping, dolphin watching, and birding to wildlife viewing. With its peaceful island atmosphere, vast beaches, and waterways, this exquisite destination offers many exciting experiences.

South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island boasts numerous stunning white sandy beaches perfect for families with children. The coastline is shallow for miles, making it a safe and enjoyable place for kids to play in the waves. You can even head to a local shop for a boogie board and join the enjoyment. If you are feeling adventurous, there are plenty of water sports, including kayaking, jet skiing, kite surfing, and paragliding.

For families looking for a unique experience, Sea Turtle Inc. is a must-visit attraction. Here, you can learn all about the endangered sea turtles that call the island home and their environments. Spending time at Sea Turtle Inc. is an excellent way to get a closer look at these magnificent creatures.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

If you are searching for the perfect and affordable place for a family vacation in the Southeast, look no further than Myrtle Beach. This family-friendly beach destination is excellent value for your money. Myrtle Beach has a wide selection of hotels catering to children; some even boast indoor waterparks with lazy rivers, waterslides, and pools for year-round entertainment.

St. George Island, Florida

St. George Island, located in Florida’s Panhandle, is a 28-mile barrier island widely recognized for its immaculate beaches. It is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, known for its lengthy coastline. Here, families can enjoy a serene beach vacation by renting bikes, savoring delicious ice cream, and witnessing the beauty of birds and sea turtles in their natural surroundings.

Galveston, Texas

Galveston’s main attraction is Texas’ most renowned beach, Stewart Beach. This beautiful beach is great for families and a safe place to enjoy the water, thanks to the presence of on-duty and highly trained lifeguards. When spending time here, you can choose from many fun activities, including volleyball nets, cornhole, a giant Jenga, and a playground! In addition, inland attractions offer a wide range of fun activities, such as visiting aquariums, waterparks, museums, and an old-fashioned candy store where visitors can watch taffy being pulled and enjoy the salty treat.

Make Your Family Beach Vacation A Dream Come True

Embarking on a family vacation to the southern United States and want to bask in the sun on the most breathtaking beaches? Look no further than this list of awe-inspiring coastlines that guarantee an adventure of a lifetime with your loved ones. And to ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip, planning and reserving everything in advance is advised. With reliable apps like TripIt,, Flighty, and PackPoint, you will simplify the process and eliminate any uncertainties with travel planning. Trustworthy and efficient, these apps will make your journey a breeze.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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