10 Fabulous Affordable Family Beach Vacations in the U.S.

Family beach vacations can create lifelong memories for the whole family!

All that sand, sun and surf is so much more fun than hanging out by a hotel pool every day.

Here are some great affordable family beach vacations.

Family beach vacations can create lifelong memories for the whole family! All that sand, sun and surf is so much more fun than hanging out by a hotel pool every day. Here are some great affordable family beach vacations.

Related: 5 Must See Black Sand Beaches to Visit on Your Family Vacation

Affordable Family Beach Vacations in the U.S.

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1. San Diego, California

I have never been to San Diego, or anywhere in California for that matter, but it is high on my bucket list.

San Diego is a city in Southern California, in San Diego County and sits along the Pacific Ocean. It features 70 miles of coastline and over 30 beaches.

 

  • Coronado Beach and La Jolla Shores are great, family-friendly beaches.
  • S. News & World Report ranks San Diego #1 on the list of Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.
  • Family-friendly hotel idea- Ocean Villa Inn, beachfront hotel with complimentary continental breakfast.
  • Family-friendly restaurant ideas- Corvette Diner and Filippi’s Pizza Grotto.
  • Family-friendly attraction ideas- San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum and San Diego Zoo.

 

2. Destin, Florida

I have visited several places in Florida throughout the years, but Destin is one of the areas I’ve never visited but would like to someday.

Destin is a city in Northwestern Florida, in Okaloosa County and sits on the Emerald Coast. Destin is well-known for its sandy white beaches and its emerald green waters.

 

  • Crystal Beach and Henderson Beach State Park are popular, family-friendly beaches.
  • S. News & World Report ranks Destin #10 on the list of Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.
  • Family-friendly hotel idea- Destin Inn & Suites, budget hotel located 2.6 miles from Henderson Beach State Park.
  • Family-friendly restaurant ideas- Cheeseburger in Paradise and Pickles Beachside Grill.
  • Family-friendly attraction idea- Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park.

 

3. Sanibel, Florida

Sanibel is another part of Florida I have yet to visit. However, since I love beaches, shelling, scuba diving and nature tours, I am sure I would love it.

Sanibel is a city in Southwestern Florida, in Lee County and is set on Sanibel Island. It’s famous for its abundance of beautiful seashells.

 

  • Popular family-friendly beaches include Bowman’s Beach and Captiva Beach
  • S. News & World Report ranks Sanibel #9 on the list of Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.
  • Family-friendly hotel idea- Kona Kai Motel, island-themed motel located 1 mile from the beach
  • Family-friendly restaurant ideas- Blue Giraffe Restaurant and Over Easy Café.
  • Family-friendly attraction idea- Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum.

 

4. Maui, Hawaii

I am one of the lucky ones who have been to Maui. I actually went twice with my parents on vacation; the first time was 11 and the second time I was 14. I absolutely loved Maui.

Maui is an island, in Maui County, Hawaii. Maui is divided into 5 regions- Central, East, South, Upcountry and West.

 

  • Popular family-friendly beaches include Wailea Beach and Kaanapali Beach.
  • S. News & World Report ranks Maui #4 on the list of Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.
  • Family-friendly hotel idea- Kaanapali Ocean Inn, Hawaiian-style budget hotel, set on Kaanapali Beach.
  • Family-friendly restaurant ideas- Hula Grill and Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop.
  • Family-friendly attraction ideas- Leilani Farm Sanctuary and Maui Ocean Center.

 

5. Ocean City, Maryland

Ocean City is a resort town in Eastern Maryland, in Worcester County and sits along the Atlantic Ocean. Ocean City is a classic beach vacation destination, complete with boardwalk, amusement rides, souvenir shops and lots of powdery sand.

I think it would be a great place to take the kids, especially with all the things there is to do there, including the boardwalk, amusement parks and museums.

 

  • S. News & World Report ranks Ocean City #2 on the list of Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.
  • Family-friendly hotel idea- Atlantic Oceanfront Inn, low-key beachfront hotel located 0.4 miles from the Ocean City Convention Center.
  • Family-friendly restaurant ideas- Fat Daddy’s and Sahara Café.
  • Family-friendly attraction idea- Frontier Town Western Theme Park.

 

6. Biloxi, Mississippi

I, personally, have never been to Biloxi, but my cousins used to go every other year for summer vacation. I can remember them telling me that their favorite things to do were taking a sunset cruise on the Betsy Ann Riverboat and eating lunch at McAlister’s Deli.

Biloxi is a city in Southern Mississippi, in Harrison County and sits along the Gulf of Mexico. Biloxi attracts families because of Ship Island and its sugary white sands.

 

  • S. News & World Report ranks Biloxi #5 on the list of Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.
  • Family-friendly hotel idea- Days Inn Biloxi Beach, budget hotel that is a 2-minute walk from the beach.
  • Family-friendly restaurant ideas- Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint and Shaggy’s Seafood.
  • Family-friendly attraction idea- Big Play Family Fun Center.

 

7. The Outer Banks, North Carolina

I am going to be honest here- I’d never heard of The Outer Banks before researching these top affordable family beach vacations. With that said, since I love the ocean, I’m sure I’d be in heaven here! The Outer Banks is a string of barrier islands and peninsulas that stretch over most of the North Carolina coastline. The Outer Banks feature over 100 miles of beaches.

 

  • Hatteras Island is a great family-friendly beach and features the tallest lighthouse in the United States.
  • S. News & World Report ranks The Outer Banks #6 on the list of Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.
  • Family-friendly hotel idea- Shutters on the Banks, oceanfront hotel located 3.8 miles from Jockeys Ridge State Park.
  • Family-friendly restaurant ideas- Barefoot Bernie’s Tropical Grill and Cosmo’s Pizzeria.
  • Family-friendly attraction ideas- Roanoke Island Festival Park and Wright Brothers National Memorial.

 

8. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

When I was about 8 or 9, my grandparents took me on a vacation to Myrtle Beach. Besides the cool Boardwalk, my other favorites were the Myrtle Waves Water Park and the Grand Strand Amusement Park, which is now called the Family Kingdom Amusement Park. Myrtle Beach is a coastal city in Northeastern South Carolina, in Horry County and is situated in the middle of the Grand Strand, a large stretch of beaches. Myrtle Beach features more than 60 miles of sandy shoreline.

 

  • S. News & World Report ranks Myrtle Beach #11 on the list of Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.
  • Family-friendly hotel idea- Holiday Sands North, beachfront hotel located on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.
  • Family-friendly restaurant ideas- Carolina Roadhouse and Hamburger Joe’s.
  • Family-friendly attraction ideas- Family Kingdom Amusement Park and Myrtle Waves Water Park.

 

9. South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island is a resort town in Southern Texas, in Cameron County and is located on the barrier island of South Padre Island. South Padre Island is a famous spring break destination but is quickly becoming a popular family vacation destination.

South Padre Island was not a place that I visited as a kid, but as an adult. Back in the early 90’s, my then-in-laws had a condo on the island, so we took the kids there often. My kids loved the Island Adventure Park and the Laguna Madre Nature Trail.

 

  • Isla Blanca Park, on the Southern edge of the island, features the best beaches in the area.
  • S. News & World Report ranks South Padre Island #15 on the list of Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.
  • Family-friendly hotel idea- Blue Bay Inn & Suites, bayside hotel that is a 5-minute walk from Rockstar Beach.
  • Family-friendly restaurant ideas- The Big Donkey and Yummies Bistro.
  • Family-friendly attraction idea- South Padre Island Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center.

 

10. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Besides Myrtle Beach, my grandparents also took me to Virginia Beach. The oceanfront is just beautiful, but beyond that my favorites were the Ocean Breeze Water Park and the Virginia Aquarium.

Virginia Beach is an independent city in Southeastern Virginia and sits along the Atlantic Ocean. Virginia Beach is known for being a combination of a haven for families and a renaissance beach town.

 

  • Great family-friendly beaches include Chesapeake Beach and Sandbridge Beach.
  • S. News & World Report ranks Virginia Beach #14 on the list of Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.
  • Family-friendly hotel idea- Travelodge Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront, beachfront hotel where kids under the age of 17 stay free with an adult.
  • Family-friendly restaurant ideas- One Fish-Two Fish and Pocahontas Pancakes.
  • Family-friendly attraction idea- Virginia Beach Boardwalk.

 

These 10 fabulous affordable beach vacations hit both coasts and some in the middle, as you can see! There’s something for everyone no matter where you live!

Have you gone on any amazing family beach vacations? Tell us below!

8 thoughts on “10 Fabulous Affordable Family Beach Vacations in the U.S.”

  1. Amaira Taylor @UseTravelTips

    San Diego beach is very famous and best for a family vacation. Mission Beach and Coronado Beach are two San Diego’s more popular stretches of sand.

  2. Jennifer Williams

    We have been thinking about doing San Diego this year. It’s a much less daunting city than LA for sure!

  3. Even though I’m not much of a beach person, I’ve actually been to many of the locations on this list. Sanibel and Destin are great beaches to check out with the family. I also really loved Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks. They offer a great beach and other fun activities near by.

  4. Such a great list, all of the places that you’ve shown us are all beautiful and I hope I am able to visit those places soon!

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