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If you’re ready to book your next family holiday and you’re thinking of a beach destination along the US East Coast, this guide will help you plan the perfect beach vacation.

With well over 2,000 miles of coastline, that stretches across 15 US States, choosing a destination is often the toughest part of your planning. Though some beaches are a lot more family friendly than others!

To help you narrow down your choices we’ve compiled a list of the best family-friendly beaches on the East Coast that will make everyone happy. They’re as safe for your kids but still fun for adults!

The 7 Best Family-Friendly Beaches Along the USA East Coast

Bass Hole, Massachusetts

Gray's Beach - Cape Cod

One of the best beaches in Yarmouth is Bass Hole, which starts from Homer’s Dock Road to the salt marshes. The Bass Hole Boardwalk provides you with plenty of space to enjoy the salt marshes and wetlands.

Meanwhile, Gray’s Beach has a small area of sand that’s perfect for your little ones. The end of the boardwalk provides you with a place to sit and look at the marshes as well as the sandy areas of Dennis’s Chapin Beach.

If you’re looking for sights beyond the beach, the Edward Gorey Museum features drawings from this well-known illustrator. This place is perfect for the entire family.

Image: Ariana Vincent via Flickr

Coquina Beach, North Carolina

Over at Nags Head is Coquina Beach, which is located along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Nags Head.

Your kids will go crazy over the shipwrecked Laura Barnes that resides here. While it’s displayed behind ropes, it’s still a sight to behold. Previous hurricanes have left remains from the ship scattered along the beach.

This beach provides free parking, picnic areas, public changing rooms, showers, and more. Your kids will feel like a grownup when they climb up the tallest sand dune on the East Coast at Jockey’s Ridge State Park.

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Beach family Em & Nate

Hilton Head wouldn’t be left off a list of beaches along the East Coast. This is the perfect escape for couples or the entire family.

During the day, you can check out the salt marshes and streams on the Creek Cat tour. By night, you can dine out at the plethora of restaurants this island has to offer (or leave the kids with a family member and grab a drink at the many bars or lounges!)

Don’t forget to check out the sunrise and the sunset views from your Hilton Head Island resort. Speaking of great beaches, it’s time to look at Hilton Head Vacation Rentals for Spring Break and summer.

Sunset Beach, New Jersey

Cape May is home to Sunset Beach. It’s one of the oldest beaches on the East Coast and in the entire country. While there are plenty of beach homes and rentals to choose from, you can actually include this on your itinerary during a stay at Hilton Head.

Your kids will have a great time searching for Cape May “diamonds,” which are just little pebbles of rounded quartz stones. Go for a bike ride along Sunset Boulevard for spectacular views of the sunset.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

The island of Nantucket has over 80 miles of beaches, many perfect for families with young children.

If you are planning a family vacation in Nantucket, you may want to look for available rental residences near the island’s northern shore. It’s on the coast of the Nantucket Sound, which unlike the other coasts of the island, has much calmer, wave-less, and warmer water.

Some of the best child-friendly beaches on this picturesque New England island are Children’s Beach and Jetties Beach.

Children’s Beach is close to town, has seasonal lifeguards, and various family-friendly amenities. Some of them include a fun playground, a snack shack, a beach toy shop, and restrooms. There is also a green park with a stage, where there are various dance, music, and yoga classes held throughout the summer. 

Jetties Beach, too, is near the town of Nantucket and has warm and shallow waters suitable even for the youngest kids. There is a playground, a tennis court, a skate park, volleyball nets as well as a stunning view. There are also lifeguards, restrooms, a beach chair, an umbrella rental, and a pavilion on the Beach.

Both are within walking distance from downtown Nantucket and can also be reached by bus, car, or bike. 

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach RF

Myrtle Beach is the perfect beach for families. It has 60 glorious miles of amusement parks, golf courses, historical sites, live entertainment, shopping, water parks, and white sand beaches.

Children, couples, and physically fit individuals all flock to this beach. There’s truly something for everyone. Keep your family entertained with a trip to Ripley’s Aquarium or Ripley’s Marvellous Mirror Maze.

You can even go for a group surfing lesson at Jack Surf Lessons & Board Rentals. Myrtle Beach is an affordable and safe adventure for your entire family.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach has been hailed as a world-class beach. This three-mile beach provides you with arcades, carnival rides, live music, restaurants, shops, and more.

You can enjoy nature by going for a paddleboarding lesson or kayaking at sunset. The Virginia Beach Guided Brewery Tour lets you wind down as you enjoy some of the world’s best-crafted beers.

These activities are just a few steps away from your resort.

Tybee Island, Georgia

Adventurers and nature lovers will enjoy going to Tybee Island. Beach lovers will enjoy the gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean. Music lovers will enjoy listening to live music at the Tybee Pier & Pavilion.

For something truly intimate, book a helicopter tour or have a private beach excursion throughout Tybee and Savannah, Georgia. Either way, you’ll get to enjoy 20 miles of this gorgeous coast.

Image: Ryan McKee (CC BY-ND 2.0) via Flickr


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. How cool, Meg. Been to 3 of them. Sunset Beach in my native New Jersey is beautiful. Cape May is a quiet spot off the radar for heavy hitters. Anne Hathaway has a summer home there and Oprah used to have one. May still; locals keep it quiet. Hilton Head is a golfer’s dream; loved it there. Exclusive feel. Myrtle Beach, that trip was 40 years ago but I recall it fondly as a tiny little kid.

    • Totally didn’t know that Anne Hathaway has a summer home in Cape May, I love her! I have similarly fond memories of Myrtle Beach when I was younger, its one of those destinations that is really targeted and set up well for families.

      Thanks for your comment Ryan :)

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