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Best Beaches in the USA & Around the World

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Top Bucket List Beaches

Looking for some of the best beaches to visit all over the world? Mix your favorite tropical drink, pull up a lounger, and discover beautiful beaches in America and across the globe.

We’ve rounded up a list of top beaches just for you - from Florida, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Europe, Thailand, Mozambique, and more! You can choose whether you want to pamper yourself at a top-rated beach resorts, cruise between islands, or bask in the sun on the cheap while camping on the beach. Compiled from some of my favorite family travel bloggers, this list has a beach for everyone.

Best Beaches in the USA

Poipu Beach on Kauai - Hawaii


by Marcie Cheung

Why go?

One of my favorite kid-friendly beaches is Poipu Beach on the sunny South Shore of Kauai. It was recently named America’s Best Beach by The Travel Channel.

What to do?

The calm, clear water is perfect for kids who want to float around or try snorkeling for the first time. It also has the ultimate sand to build castles! And we usually run across a monk seal or sea turtle when we visit. Parents will appreciate the bathrooms and shower facilities for cleaning up after a fun day at the beach!

Nearby, stop off at Warehouse 3540 for burgers at Kickshaw's and some of the tastiest shave ice at The Fresh Shave. And explore some of the boutiques and art while you're there!

Where to stay?

The Grand Hyatt Kauai is the ultimate place to stay on Kauai with kids. Their pool area is incredible, plus there's a kids club and an on-site luau. The location makes it easy to explore the island or relax at the resort.

Learn more about Kauai from Marcie in Mommyland.

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach - Alabama

Orange Beach Alabama - Image by  Sariann Irvin  from  Pixabay

Orange Beach Alabama - Image by Sariann Irvin from Pixabay

by Karen Presley Dawkins

Why go?

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, neighboring towns on Alabama’s gulf coast, make family beach vacations easy, memorable and fun.

What to do?

There’s so much to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, from numerous beach and water activities, to fishing on the pier, biking along the boardwalk and kayaking in the gulf. Of course, shopping, putt-putt and a giant ferris wheel at The Wharf add even more fun. No trip to Alabama beaches is complete without a dolphin tour, offered by many tour companies along the coast.

Where to stay?

While there are many hotels along this coast, family vacations are probably best enjoyed by renting a condo or beach cottage. They offer space to unwind when you’ve had enough sun and sand for the day. As to dining, fresh seafood is offered up and down the beach. But, there are many local and regional restaurants here to choose from. You really can’t go wrong at this family friendly, laid back destination!

Learn more about Alabama Beaches from Family Travels on a Budget. 

South Walton - Florida

by Priya Vin

Why go?

South Walton is home to many small beach communities affectionately called the beaches of 30A by families who have beach homes here or visit on a regular basis.  It includes the many quaint coastal communities like Inlet Beach, Rosemary Beach, Seacrest, Alys Beach, WaterSound, Seagrove, Seaside, WaterColor and Sandestin, among others. 

If you are looking for a family friendly beaches with sugar white sand and emerald waters, South Walton is just the place. There are 26 miles of beautiful beaches in South Walton, Florida.  It is located in the northwest Florida panhandle, which is known as the Emerald Coast.

Where to stay?

There are very few hotels in the area, but you can rent nice beach houses. Perfect for a family trip or a beach trip with friends.  Enjoy lazy days in the beach house relaxing with cocktails by the pool, bike to the different communities and gaze upon amazing South Walton sunsets. Check out beach homes here.

Learn more from Outside Suburbia about sunsets and bikes rides on the Emerald coast in South Walton, Florida.

Sombrero Beach - Florida Keys


by Jill Greising Murschel

Why go?

Finding a great beach in the Keys is not as hard as you might think. However, finding the best beach really is a matter of opinion. Our family spent over 10 days trying to find the best beaches in the Florida Keys and I must say, Sombrero Beach is at the top of our list.

Sombrero Beach has soft sand, is large enough for numerous beach-lovers sure to flock there on a hot day, and offers free parking and clean bathrooms. As a family, we are always looking for beaches that have playgrounds as well. Sombrero hit the mark there too!

Swim, relax, picnic, play at the playground and bring a boogie board to enjoy the Atlantic Coast. 

Where to stay?

There are many places to stay near Sombrero Beach. You can camp at any of the local State Parks such as Bahia Honda State Park or check out Airbnb for a home to rent nearby. 

Learn more about some of the best beaches in the Florida Keys from Let’s Travel Family.

Wishing for some of the best beaches in California? Kids Are a Trip shares the best family beaches in San Diego here.

More beaches to love in the North America:

Best Beaches in the World

Koh Phangan - Thailand


by Barbara Rodrigus

Why go?

When you think about Thailand, it’s not hard to envision perfect turquoise waters and endless white beaches. However, when we’re talking about the best beaches for families, there’s more to it than that typical image.

That’s where Koh Pha Ngan comes into play. Mostly known for it’s Full Moon parties and backpackers crowd, the island in the Gulf of Thailand is actually the perfect place for a laid back family holiday, as the west coast of the island has the shallowest waters you’ll ever see! If you are wondering how to play in the water with a baby, learn more here.

We loved Secret Beach, with its perfect beach bar slash restaurant on the rocks of the bay. But if you are looking for a beach where you can stay overnight as well, Ao Chao Pao and Haad Salad both meet the standards. The former is close to Sri Thanu village with a lot of restaurants and little shops. Salad Beach is a little more secluded, but truly a paradise!

What to do?

As mentioned, Koh Pha Ngan is very relaxed, therefore, the main activity is playing on the beach and in the water.  A couple of beach bars are dotted between the ho(s)tels and you’ll find a convenience store here and there. But you won’t find any big water sport centers here.

Where to stay?

We stayed at Sunset Hill Boutique Resort, which was truly amazing but a bit far to walk to every time, so we recommend renting a scooter. Other great places are Green Papaya Resort and Beyond the Blue Horizon Resort.

Learn more about great gear for babies and beaches from Travel Gear for Kids.

Assos Beach - Greece


by Vanessa Raine Hunt

Why go?

Assos Beach, located on a peninsula on the Ionian island of Kefalonia, is my favorite beach in the world! As you drive down the winding road into this beautiful stretch of land, surrounded by ocean on both sides, you’re greeted by stunning views of inviting turquoise waters flanked by colorful idyllic houses, and even an ancient hilltop castle.

What to do?

Once you arrive at Assos Beach, you can enjoy basking in the hot Grecian sun while lying on a pristine pebble beach as the warm Ionian sea laps on the shore.  Assos is located in a small bay which allows for shallow, calm water, making it a great beach for families with small children. The bay is a perfect blue and the temperature is amazing!

You can visit the two seaside cafes behind the beach where you can order gelato, pizza, salads, and parfaits to your heart’s delight.  If you’re up for an adventure you can walk (it’s more like a hike) up to Assos castle which is perched on a hill high above Assos beach.

Where to stay?

One of the best things about Assos beach is that staying on Kefalonia Island is so affordable. You can get an Airbnb for under $50/night! The town of Assos itself is very tiny with not too many houses, so you may have to stay outside of the peninsula, but it’s worth spending an entire day there on the beach.

Learn more about What to do in Kefalonia, Greece from Wanderlust Crew.

Pink Sands Beach - Bahamas 


by Hayley Caldwell

Why go?

Even in a country known for its gorgeous beaches, the Pink Sands Beach on Harbour Island in the Bahamas is a standout.  This stunning 3-mile long beach is frequently named as one of the most beautiful in the world. The sand really is pink: the color comes from microscopic red shells. In contrast, the ocean is a surreal turquoise blue, the prettiest color combination that’s almost unbelievable to see.

Best of all, you’ll never have to fight for space on this beach. Even at the busiest times, it feels uncrowded and your family won’t have any trouble finding a private stretch of sand.

What to do?

Grab a beach chair, a Goombay Smash, and relax! The water is gentle enough for toddlers to play safely, but with small waves farther out that are fun for big kids to boogie board. At low tide, take a long walk down the shore and hunt for the little pieces of pink-white coral that wash in. For lunch, there are several low key and family-friendly beach bars and restaurants right on the beach. Don’t miss trying a lobster quesadilla at
Sip Sip!

Where to stay?

Rent one of the colorful historic houses in Dunmore Town; you’ll get more
space and a private pool, and it’s just a short golf cart ride to the beach. If you prefer somewhere with an ocean view, the Pink Sands Resort is one of the best choices for families.

Learn more about Harbour Island in the Bahamas from the blog Because Germany.

Barra Beach, Mozambique


by Jenny Lynn

Why go? 

Mozambique is off the radar for many travelers, yet it boasts some of the most beautifully untouched beaches in the world. However, the majority of these beaches require advanced 4WD skills to get to, and once there, there is nothing but you and the ocean. Whilst this may sound bliss, you may find you need to base yourself somewhere with a few amenities. 

One of our favorites was Barra Beach, which has a sandy stretch fringed with swaying palm trees and waves crashing in from the Indian Ocean. Tourism is just starting to develop in the area and the beach was very quiet at our time of visit (April). A paved road runs from the main road and there are a few local shops to buy the essential fruit and drinks.

What to do? 

There are only a few market stalls, a couple of restaurants and a long stretch of beach. This is the place to totally chill out and just spend your days swimming in the Indian Ocean and building sandcastles. 

Where to stay? 

We were overlanding through Africa in a Land Rover and camping in roof tents. We found a lovely camping spot at Paraiso Da Barra, which we had all to ourselves. It’s right on the beach, and has great facilities (for Mozambique), including power and a washing machine. There’s a small resort next door who is happy for you to use their pool if purchasing drinks and food.

Learn more from TraveLynn Family here.

Check out more great beaches across the world - Spain, Belize, Greece, or the South Caribbean! Click on the images below to go there:

What are some of your favorite beaches across the world? Comment below and let us know which beach is next on your list!

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