Best Places in North America for Beach Vacations with a Baby or Toddler
There is so much to love about a beach vacation: the warm sun, the soft sand, the salty sea, the cool ocean breeze… But beach vacations with a baby mean the warm sun becomes harmful UV rays, the salty sea is a terrifying pool of every kind of danger, and the cool ocean breeze blows that soft sand right into delicate eyes.
Family beach vacations become easier when babies and toddlers grow into preschoolers and tweens. But, fun and even relaxing beach vacations are possible with a baby or toddler. The trick is to find a beach destination with amenities that make a parent’s life easier, like easy access to shade, clean and modern facilities, soft sand without a lot of sharp shells or rocks, and a gentle slope into water that’s not overly rough or deep.
Here are 7 North American destinations that are wonderful for beach vacations with a baby or toddler:
There are many, many places in Florida that are fantastic for a family holiday, but for a true beach vacation with baby, Clearwater Beach is a wonderful option. The sand is very clean and as soft as powder, and the water of the Gulf of Mexico is warm and calm.
There are many options for accommodations at every price point, and the public facilities are well-maintained. It’s very easy to rent an umbrella or shelter as swell.
Dana Point, California
The beaches of Orange County, California are typically like those you see in the movies: bustling with people enjoying the crashing waves. They’re lots of fun but maybe not so relaxing for beach vacations with a baby or toddler.
Except of course for the aptly-named Baby Beach in Dana Point.
There are no waves and the sand is clear of debris. You’ll have to bring your own umbrella or beach tent, but there are clean changing facilities and rest rooms, as well as a small refreshment stand.
Baldwin Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii
Hawaiian beaches are similar to those in California in that they are usually better-known for either their bustling atmosphere or big waves—or both! But Hawaii’s Baby Beach on Maui’s west coast near Lahaina is protected by an offshore reef, so the water is calm and shallow. Perfect for beach vacations with a baby or toddler!
There are no lifeguards on duty, but there are showers and restrooms along with Maui’s great weather and the wonderful views of the ocean and neighbouring islands.
Luquillo, Puerto Rico
On the north east coast of Puerto Rico, Luquillo Beach is a wonderful spot to make as a home base while exploring the island with a baby. It is close to the airport, Old San Juan, and El Yunque National Forest, making transfers and day trips easy while enjoying the beautiful beach the rest of the time.
The ocean is clear and beautiful and there’s lots of chair and umbrella options and refreshment and food kiosks. There is a small fee to use the showers and restrooms.
There are a number of different hotel, resort, and villa options on and near its famous 7 Mile Beach, giving you plenty of easy ways to enjoy the clean, white sand and the soothing blue water of the Caribbean Sea. Beaches Negril is a tried and true favourite.
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
If there’s such a thing as the water being too calm and clear, Turks & Caicos’ Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales would fit the bill. The colour of the water is indescribable shade of blue, with clean, white sand on the shore that remains soft as it lines the gentle slope into the water. There are few destinations more perfect for beach vacations with a baby or toddler.
Some of the island’s most expensive (but still, baby-friendly) resorts line Grace Bay Beach, but there are other hotel and villa options nearby.
Beaches Turks and Caicos is one of the best family-friendly resorts in the Caribbean.
Puerto Morelos, Mexico
If relaxing and peaceful are the two words that describe what’s most important to you in a beach vacation, Cancun, Mexico is not likely to top your list of choices. But mere minutes out of the Cancun hotel zone lies Puerto Morelos.
You and baby will love the big stretches of white sand and the calm, clear water. There are great accommodation options that range from large, all-inclusive resorts to villa residences to cozy beachfront b&bs. Azul Beach Resort is a wonderful all-inclusive that feels like a boutique hotel and is totally baby-friendly.
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