When summertime rolls around the corner, vacation is on everyone’s mind. The kiddos are out of school. You’re ready to take a break from work, and the weather is too gorgeous to be stuck inside. One of the best ways to get in the summer groove and spend quality time with the family is going the beach. Whether your family prefers a relaxing, quiet spot with little crowds or an action-packed area filled with endless entertainment, here are six beach destinations to consider for your upcoming summer vacation.

Myrtle Beach

Boasting more than 60 miles of shimmering coastline, roughly 215 days of sunshine every year and a heaping spoonful of Southern hospitality, Myrtle Beach makes an idyllic backdrop for family-friendly fun in the sun. Whether you’re looking to fish, swim, sail, sunbathe, surf or all of the above, there are plenty of silky white-sand beaches at your disposal including North Myrtle Beach, Garden City Beach and Surfside Beach. Myrtle Beach State Park is a must for more outdoorsy families. This quiet retreat from the bustling beaches provides a nature center, campgrounds, trails and a pier to satisfy your outdoor fix.

There’s more to Myrtle Beach than just the beaches, though. The thrill seekers in your clan will love Family Kingdom Amusement Park, a 13-acre seaside park offering more than 30 rides. If there’s a home game during your stay, be sure to snag tickets to see the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the city’s Minor League Baseball team. Even if your little ones aren’t the biggest baseball fans, they can still have a blast with the speed pitch, obstacle course and moon bounce along the concourse of TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. For a dose a history, make a trip out to Georgetown, the third oldest city in South Carolina teeming with Colonial-era mansions framed by arching oak trees.

Where to Stay

If vacationing in a villa sounds appealing, try Marriott’s OceanWatch Villas at Grand Dunes. With an oceanfront location and sweeping views of the beach, this hotel has all your family wants and more. Book 2-bedroom suites and enjoy separate spaces for living and dreaming, plus several pools including one just for kids. For luxury accommodations right on the beach, you’ll love Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa at Grand Dunes. The whole family can feel pampered with beach access, multiple pools and restaurants, as well as a spa when you really want to find your Zen. 

The Bahamas

If your family is looking for a summer escape outside the continental U.S., you can’t go wrong with the Bahamas, especially since it’s the home of Atlantis Bahamas. Situated on Paradise Island just north of Downtown Nassau, this extraordinary beachfront property offers a variety of different resort experiences. They’re all great options, but for family fun, The Coral at Atlantis and The Royal at Atlantis are a good fit. There’s definitely no shortage of resort amenities. Soak up the sun rays along 5 miles of beautiful white-sand beaches or splash around with your kids at one of the 12 family-friendly pools. Be sure to put Aquaventure – located inside The Royal – on your agenda, too. This colossal water park is one of the largest of its kind in the Eastern Hemisphere and features high-speed water slides, a mile-long river ride and plenty of refreshing swimming areas. Atlantis is also home to the largest open-air marine habitat in the world, so you and your kids will have plenty of exotic creatures to marvel at for your entire trip.

Where to Stay

When booking your stay, look no further than The Coral at Atlantis or The Royal at Atlantis. Offering a laidback vibe perfect for families of and size and age, The Coral will greet you with airy rooms reminiscent of the beach and plenty of activities. If you’d like a vacation on the more luxurious side of things, The Royal will provide the upscale experience you’ve been looking for. Regal rooms, endless amenities and unparalleled access to adventure and relaxation await you here.

San Diego

It’s San Diego, so of course, the weather is going to be perfect no matter what season you visit. However, nothing beats experiencing the SoCal lifestyle in the summer. The number of beaches in San Diego can be overwhelming, considering there’s 70 miles of beautiful coastline. Rest assured, you can find the ideal beach for your entire group. La Jolla offers gentle waves and great snorkeling spots, making it a suitable choice for youngsters. Have a four-legged family member? Many of the sparkling white-sand beaches in Coronado allows dogs to run free without a leash.

Outside the beaches, San Diego is brimming with family-friendly activities. Any boredom your kids might have will instantly vanish when you take them to Balboa Park, home to more than 16 museums and attractions including San Diego Model Railroad Museum, San Diego Air & Museum and the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. For amusement park lovers, strap in for an adventurous outing at SeaWorld© San Diego and LEGOLAND© California. If the Padres are in town, slide into baseball action at Petco Park, which offers a beach area where kids can play while watching the game.

Where to Stay

Staying near the action is easy at Residence Inn San Diego La Jolla. Enjoy spacious suites with fully equipped kitchens, free Wi-Fi and an unbeatable location near La Jolla Shores and Torrey Pines Golf Couse.  If you’re looking for more of a waterfront getaway, reserve a luxurious stay at Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa where you’ll find impressive views, impeccable rooms – all on the idyllic Coronado Island.

Marco Island

According to the Florida Department of State, The Sunshine State offers 663 miles of beaches. As you can imagine, that’s a tad overwhelming to pick one beach to spend your summer family vacation. But for our money, we have to go with Marco Island in South Florida. It provides two main beaches: South Marco Beach and Tigertail Beach. For a quiet, no-frills outing, South Marco Beach is your answer. You can just relax with your family as you admire the gorgeous scenery and watch dolphins glide through the water. On the other hand, Tigertail Beach is chock-full of amenities. A first-rate snack bar, picnic areas, butterfly gardens and a playground will keep you and your family entertained for hours. It’s also a premier destination for birdwatching, so don’t be surprised if you spot some nesting shorebirds and even bald eagles. If you’re looking to dive deeper into nature, you’ll have easy access to a slew of parks and wildlife spots including Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Collier-Seminole State Park and Everglades National Park among others.

Where to Stay

Located right on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort is a picture perfect retreat for the whole family. Shoot for par on the golf course, get pampered at the spa and find bliss in the luxurious rooms – all while enjoying breathtaking views.


Cancun offers an abundance of activities for kids of all ages. As far as the beautiful beaches go, Playa Caracol and Playa Langosta are your best bets. These spots are on the Hotel Zone’s northern side, where most of the beaches feature calm, crystal-clear waters and provide some of the best places for snorkeling. Playa Langosta, in particular, is a local favorite since its still relatively unknown to tourists. Bring some chairs, grab some drinks and snacks for the family from a street vendor and revel in the laid-back atmosphere.

Once you get your fill of beaches, treat your kids to a thrilling day at Interactive Aquarium Cancun, where your little ones can touch sea urchins, swim with dolphins and even feed sharks. For another way to stay cool, head to Ventura Park, the only water and theme park in Cancun. Be sure to ride the Double Space Bowl, a towering 50-foot slide dropping you down at 30 mph. If you’re looking to venture outside the Hotel Zone, make a day trip to Xcaret, an eco-archeological park providing the perfect blend of thrilling attractions and insights into Mayan culture and history.

Where to Stay

Marriott Cancun Resort provides everything from beach access and sparkling pools to upscale accommodations and spa treatments. Each person in your travel party will have the vacation of a lifetime during a stay here. However, if you want luxury like no other, The Ritz-Carlton Cancun is a step above all expectations. Soak up the sun from the beach, enjoy a spa day, try out the cooking lessons and mixology classes and revel in complete relaxation.

Santa Monica

When it comes to the beaches in Los Angeles area, it’s hard to beat the coastal charm of Santa Monica. During your family vacation, a visit to Santa Monica Pier is essential. It’s been standing strong on the edge of the Pacific Ocean for over a century – and for good reason. From the solar-powered Ferris wheel to the stunning ocean views, the magic of this iconic landmark is palpable. Before or after your jaunt through the pier, walk on down to the Santa Monica Beach and enjoy the soft sand and surf. You can also take your kids to the Santa Monica Aquarium and let them get hands-on with all the sea creatures.

After you experience the pier, it’s time to explore the rest of what Santa Monica has to offer. Tongva Park is a six-acre, action-packed urban oasis that lets your kids undertake climbing structures and run through the splash pad. Head to downtown and explore Third Street Promenade, where you can stroll three blocks of carless streets packed with musicians, boutiques and dinosaur fountains. If you’re in town on a Wednesday or Saturday, be sure to stop by the Santa Monica Farmers Market for fresh produce and tasty snacks.

Where to Stay

Wanna try out a new, modern hotel near the beach? Courtyard Santa Monica is exactly that, and offers a fitness center, outdoor pool, stylish rooms and a downtown location near Santa Monica Pier. For a more upscale experience, stay at JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot, located on Ocean Avenue and greeting guests with dazzling décor, soothing spa treatments and everything your family could want during your visit.

Ready to plan your family vacation? Shop exclusive deals and packages for airfare and accommodations through Vacations by Marriott.