It’s no coincidence that white noise sounds a lot like the soft whisper of crashing waves. After all, beaches are the best cure for your winter blues, cabin fever, and warm weather withdrawal—wrapped up into one sweet package. If you’re looking to dust off your swimsuits and jet to warmer parts, we found 14 stress-reducing hot spots to book now. Scroll through the album below to see them all.
1. Los Cabos, Mexico
Surfing is a big draw here because the water is warm and the waves are mild. But if you’re too little (or if surfing just isn’t your thing), whale watching is just as major in Los Cabos. The best time to spot Humpback and Gray whales near the Bay of Cabo, and its coastline, is mid-Jan. to mid-Mar, so get those binoculars ready!
Where to stay: Get the VIP treatment at Dreams Resorts Los Cabos, where the ocean view rooms are almost too nice to leave, and all food and drink, from the piña colada you ordered at the swim-up bar to the lavish dinner you devoured by starlight, is included. Bonus: The kids-only Explorer’s Club is almost as awesome as the 24-hour room service.
Find out more: visitloscabos.travel
2. Montego Bay, Jamaica
Even your most challenging kid won't be bored in this Carribean destination. In addition to the popular Aquasol Waterpark and dazzling sunsets on white sand beaches, there’s delicious fresh, local cuisine and horseback riding for all ages ... in the ocean!
Where to stay: You won’t be disturbing the peace at Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, a kid-welcoming, all-inclusive resort that features all day fun and adventures like daily ping-pong and cornhole tournaments, shuffleboard, beach volleyball, bingo, and fitness classes.
Find out more: montegobayjamaica.com
3. Maui, Hawaii
From gorgeous beaches and tropical landscapes to ridiculously perfect weather and activities galore, Maui has something for everyone in your brood. There are luaus, canoe rides, parasailing, whale watching and more! The challenge will be figuring out what not to put on your itinerary. But whatever you decide, DON’T leave the island without trying at least one fish burger. Hint: Paia Fish Market has one of the best.
Where to stay: Thanks to its oceanfront location, amazing swimming pools with waterslides and waterfalls, kids’ camp (ages 5-12) and lush tropical setting teeming with wildlife, your kids won’t want to check out of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa.
Find out more: gohawaii.com/islands/maui
4. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Winter is basically non-existent in Punta Cana. Translation: No matter what month you visit, you’ll be able to experience sugary sand beaches and warm waters. You can tour of the local countryside to learn about the agricultural process of sugar cane, cacao, coffee, and vanilla. There’s also snorkeling tours, dolphin swims, stingray exploration and horseback riding.
Where to stay: The all-inclusive Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia located on Bavaro Beach, is designed to impress. You’ll want for nothing—food, drink, kids club, entertainment, beach service, room service and even a special check-in for the little ones are all included in your cost.
Find out more: godominicanrepublic.com/puntacana
5. Cumberland Island, Georgia
Kids will dig Cumberland Island, Georgia's largest barrier island and one of the most spectacular natural habitats in the United States. This tranquil spot is as rich in history as it is in friendly wildlife—horses, turkeys and horseshoe crabs. Bring sunscreen and bug spray so you can go from hanging out on the beach to hiking the family-friendly trails with ease. Plum Orchard mansion and the Dungeness Ruins are a must see. With a moderate daily winter temperature that rarely dips below the low-60s, the busiest months at Cumberland Island are Mar. - May.
Note: The way on and off the island is by ferry, so come prepared for the 45-minute ride ... and to see dolphins!
Where to stay: Pack sleeping bags and a tent—the best way to rest your head during an overnight visit to Cumberland Island is at one of the many campsites. Make a reservation here.
Find out more: nps.gov/cuis
6. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
With gorgeous white sand and turquoise water, the beaches of Olaya del Carmen are about as picture perfect as you're going to get. Other Insta-worthy activities for your family include swimming in cenotes (freshwater pools), visiting a spider monkey sanctuary, and Rio Secreto, which offers a guided tour of an underground river system with stalactites and stalagmites.
Where to stay: Fairmont Mayakoba is part of the Mayakoba Riviera Maya collection which occupies just over one square mile of beachfront and includes four hotels in total that can be accessed without ever leaving the property via nature trails, roadways lined by lush natural vegetation or the Mayakoba Connection water taxi via the lagoon. Guests at each property have pool, activity and dining privileges at all four hotels: Fairmont, Banyan Tree, Rosewood and the newly opened Andaz.
7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Surf and turf get equal love at this family-friendly vacay spot. When you’re done wading in the shore (over 60 miles of it!), there’s Family Kingdom Amusement Park, live entertainment at Alabama Theatre and the Carolina Opry, and over 50 putt-putt places in town.
Where to stay: Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa Grand Dunes, located in North Myrtle Beach, is a quiet spot right on the beach. You can literally roll out of bed and you’re there.
Find out more: visitmyrtlebeach.com
8. Galveston, Texas
Typically packed in the summer, this Lone Star town (less than an hour from Houston) is a great off-season destination. You can hop on a free ferry ride around Galveston in seconds and look for ships coming to port, rare birds and ... wait for it...DOLPHINS! P.S. Don’t ignore the beach! Temps can get up to '80s in the off-season, which is great for dipping tiny toes into sea water.
Where to stay: For a super central place to rest your head, check out Casa del Mar, a modern all-suite hotel. It’s across the street from Seawall Beach, two miles from Schlitterbahn Water Park, and three miles from Moody Gardens amusement park.
Find out more: galveston.com
9. Manhattan Beach, California
If you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of great beaches in Cali. But one of our faves comes with fantastic shopping, delightful comfort food, and even an awesome free (yep free!) aquarium. Manhattan Beach, nestled along the Southern California beach belt, is a volleyball haven. Nearby there’s a history museum, botanical garden, and a 100-ft sand dune that kids love to play on.
Where to stay: Spoil yourselves (because ... YOLO!) at The Belamar, a 120-room boutique hotel that features a sun-drenched courtyard for energized kiddos, complimentary fruit-infused water and afternoon cookies in the lobby, on-site bike rentals, and a record player in each room!
Find out more: discoverlosangeles.com/manhattanbeach
10. Brunswick Islands, North Carolina
From lighthouse climbs to sea turtle sightings, the six coastal towns that make up the Brunswick Islands are teeming with just as much laid back and low key fun offshore as there is on shore. Adventure seekers can zipline at Shallotte River Swamp Park, while foodies can get a crash course in Calabash-style seafood.
Where to stay: You won’t find any high rise hotels here, the better to catch the amazing sunset views. Make it a double (or triple) family vacation by renting out one of the many beach houses available on Brunswick Islands. Check out Holden Beach Properties or Brunswick Island Realty for your home away from home.
Find out more: ncbrunswick.com
11. Siesta Key, Florida
If you want to escape the throngs of tourists at the more popular Florida beaches (think: Miami) and still feel like you’re on a tropical getaway, check out Siesta Key’s Crescent Beach. The sand is paper white, powdered sugar-soft, and great fun for your beach-loving kids. Try to schedule your vacay so that you’re in town on a Sunday evening when you’ll be able to experience the Siesta Key Drum Circle, a group of tribal style drummers and sword balancing belly dancers.
Find out more: visitsarasota.com/siestakey
12. Riviera Maya, Mexico
Just when you thought a restful vacay wasn't quite possible with a bunch of kids in tow ... Enter, Riviera Maya, a stretch of beautiful, white sandy Caribbean beach, beginning in Cancun and extending south all the way to Tulum. It's an ideal destination for a beach getaway, filled with laid back fun for the entire family, including eco-adventures, Mayan historical sites, and even an optical illusion park.
Where to stay: Azul Hotels by Karisma is an all-inclusive resort brand with three different properties dotting the Riveria Maya (Azul Sensatori, Azul Fives, and Azul Beach). The luxurious yet family-friendly resorts have already garnered a loyal following from parents thanks to their gourmet restaurants, spacious rooms, white sand beaches and kid-friendly perks such as kids clubs, movie nights and splash parks—and now their partnership with Nick Jr. ups the ante even more.
Find out more: rivieramaya.com
13. Sayulita Nayarit, Mexico
This vibrant little beach town is the perfect location for the young water-lovers in your crew to take their first surf lessons. Dryer activities abound as well and include whale watching, sailing, horseback rides, zipline tours, ATV adventures through the jungle and more! Sayulita buzzes day and night, so once you’re done with action-packed adventures, there are plenty of art galleries to peruse and street performers to watch while you dine at one of the many open-air eateries in the town’s center plaza. Get ready to enjoy unparalleled seafood and traditional Mexican cuisine! All of this and more set to the soundtrack of ocean waves crashing on sandy shores.
Where to stay: Experience paradise at Villa Amor. This ocean-side resort offers 23 villas (some with up to three rooms) for visitors to choose from. Many have breathtaking views of the coastline and all are nestled into a lush jungle setting. During the warmer months, you will be thankful for the option to use air conditioning and the staff helps set up family activities and extras like in-suite massage and onsite babysitting! With an Oceanside bar and restaurant, you can spend your evening dining under the stars with the waves rolling right up near your table or prop yourself up at the open-air bar for a nightcap after the kids are tucked in. Villa Amor offers guests access to daily yoga classes, heated infinity-edged saltwater pools, and some suites even have their own plunge pools.
14. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Whether your goal is to curl up with a book in a quiet cove, picnic and play with friends on the beach or spend the day swimming, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding, Dubai offers a world-class beach experience for all types of beachgoers. Located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, this city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates is where you will find warm year-round temps, countless miles of pristine, white-sand beaches, blue sunny skies and even bluer water. To learn more, check out our Insider's Guide to Dubai and Emirates’ abundance of family offerings.
Where to stay: World-class accommodations, impeccable amenities and exceptional service await at Madinat Jumeirah. The resort’s four luxury properties—Jumeirah Al Naseem, Jumeirah Al Qasr, Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf and Jumeirah Mina A’Salam—are located on Jumeirah Beach and connected by a man-made canal. Families who stay at the resort not only receive access to a variety of pools and cabanas and more than 50 world-class restaurants, cafes and bars, but complimentary access to Sinbad's Kids Club and one of the country's most popular family attractions—Wild Wadi Waterpark.
Find out more: jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/madinat-jumeirah
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