15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

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15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Get your beach blankets and beach ball ready for a fun family vacation on east coast by visiting one of these best beaches on east coast for families.

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15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Best East Coast Beaches in the US

From Maine to Florida, there are some amazing East Coast beach vacations in USA perfect for families to relax. Spend a day or a week at these best beaches along the East coast with so many activities to choose from.

Sand Beach, Acadia National Park, Maine


Acadia National Park is the one of the most beautiful and visited national parkS on the East Coast. Known for its rugged coastline overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and flora spread over 47,000 acre, it is a sight to behold.

The park even has beautiful glacier ponds and a spectacular beach known as the Sand beach. The small beach is nestled between the mountains and pine trees making it like a protected area. The beach is accessible through the Park Loop road. There are steps going down towards the beach from the Parking lot.

The sandy beach is the most popular in the park among families who love to relax. Kids making sand -castles, or taking a swim in the cold water or families picnicking is a common sight. Since it gets busy during summer, it is advised to use the free Island Explorer Shuttle.

For enthusiasts looking for amazing views, there are many trails from the Sand beach – Ocean Path Trail staring from the parking to Otter Cliff, Beehive Trail, Great Head Trail.

Spend the rest of the time exploring the Acadia National Park and do dine at the Jordon Pond House Restaurant with amazing views.

There are campsites in the national park that need to be booked well in advance. Else there are some great hotels near Acadia National Park to choose from.

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Cahoon Hollow Beach, Massachusetts

By Alicia from Travels With the Crew

Cahoon Hollow Beach might be the most well known on all of Cape Cod. It is located on the ocean side of Cape Cod in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

It is famous for its enormous sand dunes and the beautiful beach with stunning vistas.

Cahoon Hollow is a great beach for families with kids. It’s not suitable for everyone because the entrance and exit to the beach is a 75 foot sand dune.

The sand dune is one of the things that makes this beach so amazing! The walk down is so much fun, and the walk up is ok for anyone who has decent mobility. Most kids will love it.

Cahoon Hollow is a great Cape Cod beach because the sand is among the best of any beach, the seaweed doesn’t overtake the shore, and you can always see seals bobbing along the shore. Plus it has lifeguards on duty during the summer months.

Getting to Cahoon Hollow is easy as it is just off route 6. You will need a Wellfleet parking pass or you will have to pay to park. The good news is that $20 parking fee is good toward any food or drink at the Beachcomber (a bar and restaurant overlooking Cahoon Hollow)

The Beachcomber has good food with an excellent raw bar. You can eat world famous Wellfleet oysters fresh from the sea. You will never taste a better one!

If you want to have tons of time at Cahoon Hollow beach you should book a room in the nearby, Wagner at Duck Creek Inn. This is a stunning hotel with every amenity you can imagine.

Cape Cod is a fabulous place to spend the summer. Cahoon Hollow should be part of those plans!

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Long Point Beach, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Long Point Beach is a 632 acre beach and wildlife refuge in Martha’s Vineyard which is very popular with families. On one side of the sand dunes, there is a large beach on a pond with shallow water which is perfect for little children to play and make sand castles. Older children and adults will love the beach on the Atlantic Ocean side which has great waves for body boarding. There are no life guards on duty.

When your children need a break from the water, there is a boardwalk trail as well as hiking paths around the nature reserve. You can also take guided kayaking excursions or rent stand up paddle boards. You will need to bring your own food and drink to this nature reserve. We have seen rescued sea turtles from the wildlife sanctuary released back to the sea once they have recuperated.

The nearest towns are Edgartown or West Tisbury and they are both a couple a few miles away. You can stay in rental houses in both towns, or the family-friendly Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown.

Note: Inns and B&B’s on Martha’s Vineyard tend to require guests to be a minimum age or even adults-only.

Long Point Beach is on the Edgartown West Tisbury Road near the Martha’s Vineyard Airport. You can get there by buses that run on this main road but it is a hike to get to the beach itself. Note that Martha’s Vineyard buses take bikes on board but the path from the main road to the beach is a dirt road.

Most people go to Long Point Beach by car. On a summer’s day, the parking lot for the beach will be full before midday. It is not a large parking lot because of the nature reserve quality of Long Point. There’s a sign on the main road indicating when the parking lot is full. There are ferries from the Steamship Authority that take to Martha’s from Cape Cod, New York, Boston .

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Coney Island beach, New York

One of the best beaches on the East Coast for families is easily Coney Island in New York. The beach is a weird combination of both overrated and underrated with tourists raving about it and locals claiming it’s a tourist trap, however, the area has a certain charm with its rickety wooden roller coaster and iconic Ferris wheel. It’s one of those places that you’ll either love or hate, but undoubtedly one of the best places to visit if you’re spending a few days in New York City on budget.

Located on the southern tip of Brooklyn, Coney Island is quite easy to reach from New York City centre. Depending on your starting point, you’ll need to take either the D, F, N or Q subway to Coney Island. The journey should take roughly one hour.

The seaside resort has a plethora of things to do there, but you could easily spend hours simply exploring Luna Park, New York City’s playground, the amusement park that has been open since 1895, which marked the beginning of the bright lights and fairground fun that’s always associated with Coney Island today.

A wonderful day out for families, be sure to check out the Aquarium, ride the Cyclone and relax on the nearly 3 miles of soft sand. Maybe even take a dip in the ocean! If you start to feel peckish, then you should know that Coney Island isn’t called the birthplace of hotdogs for nothing! Make sure to head over to Nathan’s Hot Dogs which has been serving delicious sausages since 1916.’

Insignia Hotel Brooklyn is a great place to stay near to Coney Island. It’s affordable, 5 star and only 5 miles from Coney Islands.

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Wildwood Beach, New Jersey

Wildwood Beach is one of the top choices for family-friendly beaches in NJ. The long beautiful boardwalk is bustling with cafes, souvenir shops, entertainment zones, water parks, rides, and attractions. There are public restrooms on the boardwalk and some private paid showers as well.

The kids love Wildwood as there is Morey’s Pier & Beachfront water parks , an amusement park with many fun rides and also a giant water park.

The best part is that the beach is free to access, but parking is expensive. There are many small parking lots, but during summer, it is difficult to find parking space. The farther the parking is, the cheaper it is.

Wildwood beach and Cape May Point also makes for a great day trips from Philadelphia. But if you choose to stay on, then Starlux Hotel & Suites is a vibrant hotel with kitchenette and even offers discounted passes to the Morey’s Pier. For families looking for stay on the beach, then Days Inn & Suites is a good choice.

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Cape May Point State Park Beach, New Jersey

Cape May is the southernmost end of New Jersey coastline and probably the most spectacular one. Cape May Point State Park has clean beach with lifeguards on duty making it the best NJ beaches for families.

The best fun is to build sand castles and relax at the beach. This is also a great place for fishing enthusiasts. The State Park is famous for the Cape May Lighthouse that offers spectacular views of the Cape May Peninsula after climbing the 199 steps to the top. There is a big parking lot at the State Park, but it tends to get busy during summer.

Cape May beach is a haven for bird lovers as it is a favorite spot for migratory birds. Cape May is also the place where spawning of Horseshoe Crab eggs happens annually along the Delaware Bay around May and June. This coincides with the migration of birds who also gorge on these protein-rich eggs before continuing their flight up north. Don’t forget to take binoculars and cameras along to capture the moments.

Sea Crest Inn is a great place to stay being next to the beach and with views of the lighthouse.

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach is counted as the best Delaware beaches for families looking to relax and enjoy the summer sunshine. Families throng the beach from nearby DC, Virginia and even Pennsylvania.

Known for its sandy beach and a long boardwalk, it makes for an ideal family destination. The Rehoboth Beach boardwalk has excellent shops , cafes and also an amusement park. The beach is great for surfers and swimmers who want to enjoy the waters. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months.

The access to the beach is free, while metered street parking is available which tends to get full during the peak summer months. For shoppers, it is a treat to have Tanger Premium Outlets near the beach. So shop till you drop.

The best place to stay at Rehoboth Beach is the Boardwalk Plaza hotel that is right on the boardwalk.

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Virginia Beach, Virginia

If you’re looking for a city where you can experience amazing food, outdoor adventures, history, street art, and lots of watersports then Virginia Beach is worth considering for a family vacation. This beach side city is perfect if you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a longer stay. Summertime is very busy, but it’s a great year round destination for families with kids of all ages.

For families with younger kids the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Center is the perfect way to spend an entire day. The aquarium boasts of having over 800,000 gallons and is one of the best in the country.

Older kids would enjoy more adventurous activities such as indoor skydiving, exploring thousands of acres of state parks, or climbing the stairs inside the Cape Henry Lighthouse for some spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re lucky you can see pods of dolphins playing just off the coast or an aircraft carrier heading out to sea.

There are lots of hotels in Virginia Beach but the best ones can be found along the 3 mile long Virginia Beach Boardwalk. The Holiday Inn express & Suites Oceanfront is located right on the beach and every room has an ocean view. It’s also right between two of the most famous landmarks on the boardwalk, the massive 34ft high King Neptune statue and the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier.

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Chincoteague Beach, Virginia

Recommended by Pamela from The Directionally Challenged Traveler

One of the best east coast beach towns in the US is Virginia’s Chincoteague Island. Located about two hours north of Virginia Beach, Chincoteague is a more affordable (and less crowded) beach destination, making it a relaxing beach vacation. You don’t have to worry about massive crowds of families or expensive bars along a boardwalk.

Chincoteague and its neighbor Assateague are a great mixture of nature and relaxing beaches. One of the best things to do in Chincoteague is to attend the annual Pony Swim Festival in July. The Assateague Island Ponies are wild ponies that became famous due to the children’s book “Misty of Chincoteague.” The Annual Pony Swim is a huge festival where these beautiful and peaceful animals are celebrated.

There is plenty of nature to explore for families who need a break from the beach. The Wildlife Loop Trail is a paved path for bikers or walkers where you can spot a variety of birds, plants, and even ponies. You can also see a breathtaking sunrise above the water.

You can satisfy your taste buds at Pico’s Taqueria. Known for its variety of delicious tacos and homemade dessert nachos, Pico’s is a staple of Chincoteague.

The Best Western Chincoteague is perfectly situated in between the beach and the main road, making it easy to get to anywhere on the island. Across the street from the hotel is also a bike rental for a different way to explore the area.

Due to its great location and distance away from the crowds, Chincoteague is one of the best east coast beaches in the U.S. for families.

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Outer Banks Beaches , North Carolina

Outer Banks, 200-mile long barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina is known for its magnificent beaches. No doubt it is a hot summer destination for families who wish to relax and unwind. The long stretch of coastline has best beaches in NC for families – from Corolla beach up in the North to the pet-friendly Duck beach, ever popular Kitty Hawk and Nags Head beaches to the quaint Cape Hatteras National seashore and magical Ocracoke beach in South. The beaches have lifeguards on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

There are so many things to do in Outer Banks NC besides the beaches. It is the birth place of aviation , when the Wright Brothers successfully flew the airplane that they built in Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers Memorial is built in their honor and is a must visit to actually see the flight strip and learn about their perseverance. There are so many beautiful lighthouses spread through the region, some bearing special place in history. Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Bodie Island Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Ocracoke Lighthouse are a few that are beautiful and offer spectacular views from the top, when open during spring and summer.

If staying away from the hustle bustle is on your mind, then a ferry ride to Ocracoke Island is a must. Spend a couple of days exploring the small village and watching the magical sunrise and sunset. Eduardo’s Taco Stand is the best place to indulge in delectable Mexican food. For all the seafood lovers there are many restaurants that serve fresh.

Outer Banks is brimming with many VRBO’s and vacation rentals around the beaches besides some great hotels right on the beach. We loved staying in the family suite in Days Inn & Suites Mariner. Besides this there are other best hotels in Outer Banks right on the beach for a comfortable stay.

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

North Myrtle Beach , South Carolina

North Myrtle Beach is located in South Carolina in the United States. This family-friendly east coast beach can be accessed either by driving or by flying into the nearby Myrtle Beach International Airport.

North Myrtle Beach is quieter than the main part of Myrtle Beach, making it great for families who want a relaxing beach vacation. The beach is cleaned daily and is closely monitored with lifeguards and beach patrol, making it a safe option for families. During the summer, the main streets are closed off on certain weekends for live concerts.

One of the best things to do in North Myrtle Beach (besides the beach) is visiting the nearby Barefoot Landing. It’s an expansive outdoor area with shops, restaurants and a variety of activities. You can also find other family friendly things to do including go karts, bowling, and miniature golf. Like most beach towns, North Myrtle Beach also has great seafood restaurants and ice cream shops as well.

North Myrtle Beach has a variety of family-friendly condos available. One of the best places to stay for a North Myrtle Beach family vacation is Ocean Bay Club. This property has two pools, a lazy river and private beach front access.

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Folly Beach , South Carolina

Folly Beach is very laid back and very accessible from Charleston, which is great if you want to combine a great city with a day to the beach. From Charleston, it’s only a 20-minute drive and you can park next to the beach

The beach is very relaxing to sit down at and it is a great place to visit with children. There are lots of amenities at and near the beach. For example, there are restaurants and bars next to the beach. Also, there is a lifeguard present at a large part of the beach, which is very convenient. Furthermore, there are many things to do at the beach. You can participate in watersports such as kayaking, surfing, and paddleboarding. What’s great is that if you cannot surf yet, you can participate in surf lessons at Folly Beach.

Another must visit place is the Morris Island Lighthouse, which is near the beach. Walking here and seeing the lighthouse is a very fun activity. Furthermore, there are lots of great photo spots in Charleston, but the lighthouse is also very beautiful for taking photos!

A great place to stay at Folly Beach is Holliday Inn of Folly Beach

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US.

Tybee Island , Georgia

Just a short drive from historic Savannah, Georgia, Tybee Island packs in all the beach vacation activities you could want while maintaining the local small town feel. The 3 miles of beach and calm water are the main draw, but there’s a lot more to this picture perfect seaside community.

The gorgeous stretch of wide beach is one of the East Coast’s best kept secrets with plenty of room for families to spread out and build sand castles or splash in the water. Kayaking the bays and marsh offers a unique way for nature lovers to experience the area.

Nearly anywhere you choose to stay on the island will be within walking distance to the water, but renting a house or condo is the way to go. They offer quick access to all of the amenities with plenty of room for the family to spread out.

After spending some time soaking up the sun at the beach, make sure to add the Tybee Island Lighthouse to your list of places to visit. It’s Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse, and you can even climb to the top for a phenomenal view of the area.

The focus on local shops and restaurants is what makes Tybee Island such a special place that has somehow avoided much commercialization. Make sure to check out The Crab Shack for amazing fresh caught seafood right on the water.

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, Georgia

How to get there: Off of interstate 95, which runs between Jacksonville, Florida and Savannah, Georgia, take US-17N to GA-520E. This will take you directly to Jekyll Island. There is one main road that circles the island. Take it to the top northeast corner, where you’ll find Driftwood Beach.

Driftwood Beach is a unique sight with huge driftwood trees that have been washed ashore. It creates an other-worldly landscape that adult travelers can appreciate and kids will love!

The beach is great for swimming and the trees are fun to climb. Plus, if you’re a photographer it’s a spectacular landscape for night photography as there is little light pollution and the trees make beautiful silhouettes.

There are many things to do on Jekyll Island, but some of the best include exploring the Sea Turtle Center, biking around the island, and learning about the island’s history at Mosaic, the Jekyll Island Museum.

Since the island is so small, Airbnbs are scarce. Opt for a hotel, which are great since many of them are beachfront. Days Inn & Suites is very nice with pools, a private beach, and ocean views from the second floor. For a high end stay, Jekyll Island Club Resort is a historic building at the center of the island with gorgeous architecture!

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Saint Simon Island Beach, Georgia

Saint Simons Island Beach is one of the hidden gems of southern USA. Set on this gorgeous island, which is part of Georgia’s Golden Isles, this stretch of sand is best known as East Beach.

There is so much to do here from kite boarding and surfing to walking and seashell hunting. This is also a popular location for biking across as the sand packs down hard here. You can also visit the World War II Home Front Museum which is set in the historic coast guard station and gives a real insight in to civilian life during the Second World War.

If the tide is right you can walk through to the very southern part of East Beach and visit Pier Village and if you’re visiting with kids they will love Neptune Park here. There’s a great pool and mini water park and fabulous playground that stretches on to the sand. Perfect for family fun.

If you’re visiting East Beach then stop by for lunch at The King and Prince Resort which is on East Beach and perfect for a meal. It’s also one of the best family resorts in Georgia , so well worth basing yourself in if you’re looking to stay longer here.

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

Best beaches in Florida for families

Florida, the sunshine state is the true beach destination of the US East Coast. Families flock Florida to beat the chilling cold of North or to enjoy the sandy beaches. The massive number of family beaches in FL calls for a separate post to do justice.

Read our hand-picked best beaches in Florida for families from Florida Keys beach, Sanibel Beach, Clearwater beach, Honeymoon Island State Park, Melbourne beach and many more.

15 Best Beaches on East Coast for Families in the US

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Last Updated : Apr 27,2021
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