Here at Are We There Yet Kids we’re all for exploration and adventure but sometimes busy family life dictates you need to lie on the beach for a week (or ten!) to recharge. So if the thought of sunbathing and sandcastles has you thinking about your next holiday look no further than AWTYKs thoughts on the best beach vacations for families.
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Perhaps the ultimate for rest and relaxation, whilst ensuring the kids are entertained. With so many Islands to choose from it’s easy to see why families head back here year after year. Kids will love to learn about the many spiritual practices found here. Such as Voodoo and Santeria. And enjoy having a boogie to the many different musical styles such as reggae and samba. But it’s not all educational, a beach vacation here can be as diverse as the Islands themselves.
Jamaica is one of the largest Caribbean islands and has many affordable child-friendly resorts to choose from. Great for toddlers and pre-schoolers this island has a huge personality. With white sands, exquisite food, inland waterfalls and mountains all served up in a typically relaxed style. The Island has plenty of history to offer. With beautiful colonial buildings and museums to visit if you fancy soaking up a bit of culture. If you are looking for peace and quiet, Runaway Bay offers quieter beaches and a calmer atmosphere than the reggae bars and nightclubs of Montego Bay.
We love the Grand Bahia Principe with three pools, 6 restaurants and family friendly entertainment.
The Dominican Republic
This island has everything you could hope for your best family beach vacation. From beautiful sandy beaches, inland mangroves and waterfalls. The fun doesn’t stop with the amazing scenery. You can visit rum factories, have lunch at one of the many sleepy fishing villages or have a lively night out in Playa Dorada. The people are extremely friendly. And the all-inclusive resorts offer activities for all ages. You can go horse ranching, bird watching, take a jeep safari, go snorkeling or visit the monkey jungle….. or you could just lie on a beach for a week!
The Ocean Blue & Sand, at Punta Cana is a great family friendly all inclusive resort with lovely pools and a great kids club.
With its distinctly Colonial British vibe, this island is home to 92 km of white sandy beaches. Surrounded by palm trees on one side and turquoise water on the other. The Capital city, Bridgetown offers a wealth of heritage left over from British rule. With Nelsons Statue and plenty of cricket matches alongside live reggae bars and gorgeous restaurants. Kids will love the wildlife reserve where they can walk through the monkey sanctuary or feed fish at Harrisons Cave. There are some beautiful resorts with excellent kids clubs for almost every budget.
The Coconut Court Beach hotel has a fab kiddies paddling pool and lots of organised excursions to keep everyone entertained
For some of the best beach vacations for families in Asia, head to Thailand. The beaches here are so good they wrote a book about them! Ok not a particularly child-friendly story but the white sand, swaying palm trees and rocky cliffs are sure to take your breath away. Every part of Thailand is different. It offers a wealth of beach vacation options for thrill seekers and sleepy sunbathers a like.
Phuket can most definitely be described as a party island if you focus on the lively resort of Patong (think Blackpool in the sunshine). But if you head out to Mai Khao you will find a much quieter way of life. With crowd-less sandy beaches and beautiful hotels. There is plenty to do on the island incase you need a day off sunbathing. Kids will love the Phuket Trickeye museum, Zorbing at Rollerball and the Splash Jungle Water Park. If it’s beach activities you’re after, most beaches offer snorkeling, diving, sea kayaking and boat trips. One of AWTYKs favourites is a trip to Koh Phi Phi Don’s Maya Bay, (the location where The Beach was filmed). Trust us the scenery is awesome!
The Anantara Vacation Club in Mai Khao is minutes walk from a peaceful beach. With a fabulous kids club right by the pool and complimentary bikes to help you get around the resort.
The island of Krabi, with its distinctive limestone cliffs and miles of sandy beaches offers a naturally beautiful backdrop to your sunbathing. Krabi is home to a diverse collection of marine life. So offers some excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities. This island is ideal for families seeking a more relaxed beach vacation.
Set in a secluded location, Rayavadee has a “Just for Kids” club with activities aimed at fun whilst exploring Thai culture such as Tennis for Kids, Thai Cooking, Arts & Crafts and a ‘Garden Discovery Walk’, all open to kids over the age of 4 unless accompanied.
Stunning Koh Samui is one of the more upscale destinations with some amazing hotels and private beaches. Kids are welcome everywhere. And there are plenty of activates and kids clubs to keep them entertained. Often offering kids cookery classes, coconut painting and traditional dance classes. Make sure you visit the Big Buddha and experience Thailand’s Buddhist culture.
The beautiful Sheraton Samui resort is brilliantly family friendly. With a great kids club and plenty of activities aimed at all ages.
Englands best beach vacations for families can be found in the South East. Cornwall in the UK is home to some of the most stunning coastline in England. And is one of my top choices for a family vacation. Check out this post on the best beaches in North Cornwall for inspiration on where to head. Then get booking!
A wonderful family friendly hotel with its very own sandy beach is the Bedruthan Hotel and Spa. Jam packed with family friendly activities, a surf school and indoor and outdoor pool. The hotels outdoor spa experience is an absolute must.
Vietnam in South East Asia is home to some absolutely spectacular beaches. Head to the lesser known city of Da Nang and explore the surrounding coastline. You’ll find deserted beaches, pristine white sand and locals playing in the sea. Check out My Khe Beach for a friendly, lively vibe. Or for something a little quieter, head to Non Nuoc and it’s luxury hotels.
We stayed at the amazing Ocean Villas Da Nang during our stay. An amazing resort style complex of fresh modern apartments and large luxury villas.
With crystal clear waters, rocky coves and perfect sandy beaches the Greek islands make a fabulous choice for a family beach vacation. Plus it’s only about a 3 hours flight from the UK.
This stunning island is home to one of Europes earliest civilisations boasting beaches boasting sugar-fine sand and many hidden coves. Kids will love snorkelling among shipwrecks and hearing about the ancient myths surrounding the island. Iraklion has some amazing museums if you need a break from the sunshine. And the waterpark at Chania has some brilliant Disneyland games and waterslides.
The Kalimera Kriti Hotel & Village Resort has separate freshwater kids pools, a play area, kids clubs and a children’s menu in the restaurant.
If you head North on the island and off the (well) beaten track you can find crystal-clear waves, small fishing harbours, and shallow waters that stretch for miles. Inland you’ll find olive groves, figs, wildflowers and cypress trees. Plenty of resorts offer kids clubs and organised entertainment for all ages. Children are welcome all over the island and the locals are very friendly.
The family friendly Corfu Imperial offers loads of extras to make the kids feel special, the Grecoland Club with brightly coloured benches and tables, costumes, crafts, activities and competitions for children aged 3-12 years will be a firm favourite with the little ones.
Rhodes is a hugely popular family holiday destination, teaming with history and many child-friendly sandy beaches. Little kids will love a visit to the aquarium or the Butterfly Farm. Slightly older ones will enjoy soaking up the culture in the medieval city of Rhodes and the ancient town on Lindos. We think the best beaches can be found along the East coast, Tsambika beach is a particular favourite.
The all inclusive Princess Andriana Resort & Spa has a very popular miniclub with trained staff, an animation team, all inclusive sports, a water sports centre and its very own private beach.
Mainland Greece is an often forgotten place for a beach vacation. But it is home to some of the best sand in the Country. We loved our trip to Halkidiki. Exploring the Sithonia peninsula and stopping off at the many white sandy beaches of its coastline. We ate fresh fish and watch dolphins jump through the waves.
For a lovely hotel on the Sithonia Peninsula, check out the Acrotel Athena Pallas. A super family friendly all inclusive right next to the beach.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the best beach vacations for families. Just a few of our favorites! Let us know if you’ve visited a beach you particularly loved and help other families plan their next beach vacation. Happy sunbathing!
Where do you think are the best beach vacations for families? Let me know in the comments.