Home » Family Beach Vacations East Coast – Best Family Getaways

Family Beach Vacations East Coast – Best Family Getaways

There are many beaches on the East Coast for a fun family vacation.1 When you pick a beach, think about how easy it is to get there. Also, check if the water and surf are safe. Look for clean sand, bathrooms, and free fun for kids close by. Plus, find a place to stay that fit your budget. A beach you can drive to is often cheaper than flying.

Places by the coast often have activities that children enjoy. This means you’ll get a lot of fun without spending too much. Choosing a beach for your holiday is both smart and fun for everyone in the family.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore a range of East Coast beach destinations, from Delaware to South Carolina, for your family’s next vacation.
  • Consider factors like drivability, beach amenities, and affordable lodging when selecting your beach getaway.
  • Driving to a nearby beach can be more cost-effective than flying, allowing you to maximize your vacation budget.
  • East Coast beaches offer a wealth of family-friendly activities, from boardwalks to water sports, creating lasting memories.
  • Prioritize destinations that provide the perfect mix of relaxation, adventure, and convenience for your family’s needs.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware: A Quintessential Coastal Retreat

Rehoboth Beach is known as “the nation’s summer capital.” People from Washington, D.C., love to visit.2 Its sands are soft and white, making it a favorite beach.2 Families enjoy the calm waves, busy boardwalk, and the fun at the amusement park.2

Pristine Beaches and Vibrant Boardwalk

During summer, the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand has free concerts. This makes the boardwalk very lively.2

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Family-Friendly Activities and Attractions

There is plenty to do for families in Rehoboth Beach. Funland and free concerts at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand are big hits.2 The surf is great for kids, the boardwalk is full of life, and the charm is everywhere.

Where to Stay: Canalside Inn

The Canalside Inn is near the beach and perfect for families. It has big rooms and a kitchen that saves money. Guests can cook with groceries they bring.2

Virginia Beach, Virginia: Oceanfront Fun for Everyone

It’s a four-hour drive from Richmond, Virginia, to3 Virginia Beach. You’ll find ten beautiful miles of sandy beach and a three-mile boardwalk3. The beach is full of fun like surf lessons, parasailing, and biking.3 Northside Park is great for families. It has a big climbing structure and shady picnic areas. There’s also a pond, a bay-facing pier, and clean restrooms.3 On Sunday evenings in the summer, families can enjoy free concerts. They have bands playing various kinds of music. After the concert, there’s a fireworks show.

Miles of Sandy Beaches and Boardwalk

3 Virginia Beach has lots of sandy beaches and a fun boardwalk. The3 Virginia Beach Boardwalk is three miles long from 2nd Street to 40th Street. It’s perfect for walking, watching people, and soaking in the coastal fun.

Outdoor Adventures and Cultural Experiences

3 Virginia Beach also offers outdoor fun and cultural experiences. The3 Adventure Park has treetop trails and ziplines.3 Mount Trashmore Park has two mountains, a skate park, and is ideal for active families.3 The ViBe Mural Festival makes the ViBe Creative District lively with art.

Visit3 Virginia Beach to explore its rich history and culture. First Landing State Park marks where the English colonists first landed in 1607. The3 Cape Henry Lighthouse, from 1792, shows the area’s history. Seafood is a big part of Virginia Beach’s food scene. Try she-crab soup and Orange Crush cocktails for a taste of the coast.

With its beaches, boardwalk, and adventure options, Virginia Beach is great for families. It’s a top choice for a memorable beach holiday.

Sandbridge Beach, Virginia: Tranquil Nature Escape

If you’re looking for a nature break from Virginia Beach’s rush, head to Sandbridge Beach. It’s only 15 miles away but feels worlds apart.4 Here, you’ll find 5 miles of untouched sandy shores. It’s the opposite of the busy Virginia Beach. Perfect for peace and quiet.

Chesapeake Beach, also known as Chic’s Beach, is ideal for families wanting a calm sea. This spot has soft sand, gentle waves, and water that’s just right for kids.4 It’s close to Virginia Beach too. So, you can have calm moments and some fun nearby.

4 Sandbridge has many beach houses to rent. They fit families of any size. Companies like Sandbridge Realty and Sandbridge Blue offer various deals. They even have houses where pets are welcome.

If you love the outdoors, you’ll be in heaven around Sandbridge.4 False Cape State Park is a gem. It has spots to camp and lots of trails for hiking and biking. Nearby, Back Bay Wildlife Refuge is heaven for bird lovers. It’s home to over 300 bird types.4 Plus, you can rent special bikes to ride on the beach.

When visiting Sandbridge, eating at Margie & Ray’s Seafood is a must. They’ve been known for their amazing seafood meals, like the famous she-crab soup, since 1964.45

Sandbridge Beach, Virginia
  • 5 miles of golden sand
  • Tranquil, nature-filled escape
  • Stunning beach house rentals
  • Outdoor adventures in False Cape State Park and Back Bay Wildlife Refuge
  • Local seafood institution: Margie & Ray’s Seafood
Chesapeake Beach (Chic’s Beach)
  • Gentle waves and warm water
  • Fine, sandy beach
  • Convenient to Virginia Beach

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina: Where Flight Took Flight

The Outer Banks in North Carolina is a top spot for families from Richmond, Virginia.6 It’s known for its open spaces, not like busy cities with big crowds. Here, you can see wild horses on the beaches and in Carova Beach neighborhoods by driving a 4-wheel vehicle.7 Carova Beach is a part of the Outer Banks that’s very remote. You can reach another quiet spot, Ocracoke beach, by taking a car ferry.

Explore the Wright Brothers National Memorial

At Kill Devil Hills, visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial and see their plane in the Smithsonian.8 A big monument stands there, paying tribute to their courage.8 The area where the brothers flew was Kitty Hawk, but later switched to Kill Devil Hills.8 In 2003, a special event honored the First Flight with famous astronauts and pilots present.

Uncrowded Beaches and Dolphin Sightings

Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk have perfect beaches for calm waves and spotting dolphins.6 The Avalon Fishing Pier has been a hotspot for catching fish since 1958.6 Also, you can explore natural areas like Run Hill with dunes and forest. It’s great for walking and seeing wildlife.

Where to Stay: Days Inn by Wyndham Kill Devil Hills Oceanfront

The Days Inn by Wyndham is right on the beach. It has a mini-fridge, microwave, and offers hot breakfast and free WiFi. Plus, you’ll find many other places to stay along the beach, from motels to big hotels and vacation houses.6 For food and supplies, there are big stores like Harris Teeter and Publix nearby.6 And for eating out, there are seafood spots, coastal food, BBQ, and many other choices in Kill Devil Hills.

Pawleys Island, South Carolina: The South’s Best-Kept Secret

Pawleys Island is a beach paradise near Richmond and Myrtle Beach. It’s perfect for families wanting a relaxing vacation. This island has white sandy beaches, clean shores, and great places to eat.

Pristine White Sands and Groomed Beaches

Pawleys Island boasts a wide and beautiful beach. There’s a park with parking and bathrooms. The island’s history goes back to explorers in the 1500s and saw rice plantations in the 1700s. Now, it’s home to about 100 people, keeping its cozy feel.9 The island’s causeways from the 1846 and early 1900s offer easy beach access.9

Dining and Shopping Experiences

For dinner, try Landolfi’s Italian Bakery with its pizza oven and tasty desserts. Or check out the Pawleys Island Tavern, loved by both locals and tourists. The Hammock Shops Village is a neat place for shopping. It includes boutiques, jewelry, and you can see hammocks being made. There are also wine tastings and live music.9 The Original Hammock Shop has been around since the 1930s and is a must-visit.9

Vacation Rental Options

Pawleys Island doesn’t have big hotels. So, many families rent lovely homes with cool things for kids.9 The rental homes are in high demand, mostly by the beach and near creek docks.9 Only two inns, Sea View Inn and the Pelican Inn, operate here due to a 1986 rule.9

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina: A Lowcountry Gem

Just a seven-hour drive from Richmond is the famous Hilton Head Island. It’s a barrier island off South Carolina’s coast, measuring 42 square miles.10 Over 12 miles of beautiful beaches make it a top spot for families.10 Families have a lot to do here, like watching dolphins and learning to surf. Plus, you can go jet skiing, windsurfing, and even horseback riding.11

Twelve Miles of Beaches

11 Hilton Head has seven public beaches you can visit. These include Alder Lane Beach and Coligny Beach Park.11 Coligny Beach is famous for its big park by the ocean, shopping places, and a boardwalk. It has everything, from restrooms to a fun splash fountain for kids. Folly Field Beach Park and Driessen Beach Park are also great for families.11

Outdoor Activities and Family Attractions

11 Families can enjoy animals at places like Lawton Stables and Sea Pines Forest Preserve. Kids will love Gregg Russell Harbour Town Playground in Sea Pines.10 If you love golf, Hilton Head’s 23 golf courses will excite you.10 It also has many places to stay, from fancy resorts to cozy vacation homes.

Where to Stay: Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort

11 Staying at Hilton Head Resort through Airbnb is budget-friendly. It’s under $375 for two nights at the end of August, fees included.11 The resort offers indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, restaurants, a gift shop, and more. It even has its own private beach.11

Hilton Head Island beaches

Family beach vacations east coast: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a top spot for family beach vacations on the East Coast.12 It’s known for the Grand Strand, a 60-mile coastal stretch. Families find lots to do and enjoy here.

Endless Entertainment and Activities

Myrtle Beach is full of fun with its amusement and water parks. There are also mini-golf and shows.12 Families can relax on sandy beaches, ride the SkyWheel, and visit water parks like Myrtle Waves.

Beachfront Resorts and Accommodations

There are many places to stay, from beachfront resorts to comfy hotels. They fit every budget and family size.12

Savannah, Georgia, and Tybee Island: Historic Charm Meets Coastal Bliss

Savannah, Georgia and Tybee Island mix historic charm with beach fun for families. Savannah shines with history and culture, boasting stunning districts and sites.13 It’s a great place to see historic spots, art, enjoy food, and feel the warm Southern welcome. Tybee, just a short drive away, is all about relaxing on its sandy beaches. It’s perfect for water sports, finding shells, or just enjoying the sun and sea.

Explore Savannah’s Rich History and Culture

Savannah is famous for its old buildings, cobblestone streets, and pretty squares. Families love exploring its history at places like the Savannah Historic District and the house of the Girl Scouts’ founder. They can also feast their eyes on art or eat tasty Southern meals.

Tybee Island’s Laid-Back Beach Vibes

13 Tybee Island is perfect for a family visit, not far from Savannah. Its broad beaches invite you to relax, enjoy the water, or look for treasures.13 For more fun, check out the Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum. It’s a great mix of history, culture, and beach time.

Outer Banks, North Carolina: A Coastal Wonderland

The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a favorite place for families from Richmond, Virginia, and elsewhere. Here, you find wild, remote beaches and lovely seaside towns.14 Look out for the wild horses in Carova Beach, only seen by using a four-wheel drive.15 This place has over 70 miles of beautiful, protected shore in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Families love to explore its natural beauty.

Wild Horses and Remote Beaches

Ocracoke is the most distant Outer Banks beaches, reached only by car ferry.14 Seeing the wild horses in Corolla is amazing for families. It’s a chance to learn about taking care of our natural world.

Seaside Towns and Outdoor Adventures

Besides its natural beauty, the Outer Banks is full of outdoor fun. Try kayaking and paddleboarding. Explore state and national parks.14 It’s a top pick for water sports, with something for every kid. Plus, there are lessons for everyone.

In Manteo, check out the Elizabethan Gardens.15 The Outer Banks also has three old lighthouses. They offer a look at the area’s sea history.

The North Carolina Aquarium lets you see dolphins and sea turtles, teaching about coast life.14 It has fun activities and shows for families to enjoy together.

The Wright Brothers National Memorial celebrates where the first flight happened. It has lots to do with planes and is great for kids.14 Kids can learn and have fun at the same time.

Jockey’s Ridge State Park has big sand dunes and fun sports like hang gliding.14 It’s a cool place for flying kites and sandboarding, too.

Whalehead in Historic Corolla is a cool 1920s mansion to visit.15 Jennette’s Pier is great for fishing and family fun by the sea.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum teaches about the sea’s history and old shipwrecks.15 The Lost Colony tells the story of the first English settlement. It’s a cool show for families to watch together.

The Outer Banks has over two dozen big vacation homes in Roanoke Island. They’re perfect for family trips.16 Kids as young as four can kayak together. It’s a great way for families to have fun.16 January in the Outer Banks is chilly, in the mid-50s. But it’s still a great place for holidays and winters.16 The coast has beautiful golf courses that people of all ages love.16 Cooking as a family is big in the Outer Banks. It’s a special time to eat together.16 The Outer Banks has warm winters. It’s a great spot for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and July 4th.

Outer Banks North Carolina

Cape Cod, Massachusetts: A New England Classic

Cape Cod, Massachusetts is a top New England spot for the beach. It mixes tiny towns and pretty beaches. Families love places like Hyannis and Chatham. They can shop, eat fresh seafood, and see old buildings.17 Meanwhile, the Cape Cod beaches are great for swimming, building sandcastles, flying kites, and more fun.

Cape Cod also has lots of fun things for families. Think mini-golf, go-karts, museums, and meeting wildlife. In Sandwich, vacation rentals have big decks and hot tubs. They’re great for chilling and hanging out with family.17Plus, Sandwich has cool spots like the Hoxie House from the 1600s. And Town Neck Beach is famous for its peaceful water and long sandy shores.

17 For stays in Sandwich from June to early September, it’s a 7-night Friday minimum.17 Here, you’ll find rentals from classic cottages to places with pool tables and more. They fit all kinds of families and their needs.

Quaint Towns and Scenic Beaches

There are rentals in Sandwich with water views for families with young kids.17 The Fisherman’s View is a top restaurant there. It has sea views, good sushi, and famous lobster rolls, making it a hit.17 Plus, the Sandwich Farmers Market is a must-visit on Tuesdays. It has great local food and baked goods. It’s a nice way to see local Cape Cod life.

Family-Friendly Activities and Attractions

17 In October, SandwichFest happens. There’s a sandwich contest, live music, and Cape Cod items. It’s a cool thing for families to do.18 Also, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have beautiful, quiet beaches. They’re perfect for family outings.

18 Cape Cod is perfect for a laid-back vacation. It has an island vibe great for families wanting a calm trip.

Ocean City, Maryland: Beachfront Fun and Excitement

Ocean City, Maryland is a top pick for family beach vacations on the East Coast. It has 10 miles of free, safe, public beaches with lifeguards.19 The Ocean City Boardwalk is famous and great for walking, people-watching, and eating beach snacks like Maryland crab cakes and saltwater taffy. Families also love the fun at Trimper’s Rides20 and the Jolly Roger amusement park.20

Miles of Free Public Beaches

Ocean City, Maryland, is known for its 10 miles of free beaches. Families can relax and play in the sun, sand, and surf. These beaches are clean and safe, with lifeguards watching during the busy summer months.19

Boardwalk Amusements and Attractions

The Boardwalk at Ocean City is full of fun for everyone. There’s something for all ages, from Trimper’s Rides20 to the exciting Jolly Roger amusement park.20 Don’t forget to try the tasty local foods, like Maryland crab cakes and saltwater taffy, while you’re there.

Family-Friendly Events and Activities

Family fun doesn’t end at the beach and boardwalk in Ocean City. In the summer, there are special events like the Family Beach Olympics. These include sandcastle contests and races for every family member.19 The 58-acre Northside Park is great too, with a new playground and activities for kids of all ages.19

Conclusion: Plan Your Unforgettable Family Beach Getaway

Planning a family beach trip is exciting with so many choices on the East Coast.21 You can choose from many beautiful places. From Rehoboth Beach’s white sands to Savannah’s history, each spot is special.21 It’s a chance to relax and have fun. You might like busy boardwalks, quiet forests, or both. The East Coast has the best.

Think about what you want before picking a beach spot. Consider how far you want to drive, what activities you like, and where to stay.21 Some places offer special times to relax. They are also famous for great seafood.21 You can even rent a fancy place by the sea in Hilton Head. With great choices, your trip will be unforgettable.

The East Coast is full of beach trip ideas for families.21 You can find the best spot for your family’s likes. Whether for fun or to relax, the coast offers many chances to make memories. Every trip will be special with your family.


What are the key factors to consider when choosing the right beach destination for a family vacation?

Think about drivability and if the waters are safe for swimming. A place with well-kept sand and bathrooms is a plus. Make sure free kids’ activities are near. Also, consider places to stay that fit your budget.

What makes Rehoboth Beach, Delaware a great family beach destination?

Rehoboth Beach has beautiful, white sand and is safe for little ones. The boardwalk has fun games and rides. There’s even old-time amusements. Plus, free concerts happen in the summer at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand.

What are some of the highlights of visiting Virginia Beach, Virginia?

Virginia Beach has ten miles of soft sand and a fun boardwalk. Kids can learn to surf or paddleboard. Families love the climbing fun at Northside Park. And don’t miss the free summer concerts.

What makes Sandbridge Beach and Chesapeake Beach in Virginia good options for families?

Sandbridge Beach is quiet and natural, with lots of room to play. Chesapeake Beach, or Chic’s Beach, has gentle waves and soft sand. Its water is often warmer than other nearby beaches.

What can families enjoy at the Outer Banks in North Carolina?

See wild horses and enjoy quiet beaches in the Outer Banks. Near Kill Devil Hills, learn about the Wright Brothers. Kids love the gently sloping, dolphin-friendly waters of Kitty Hawk.

Why is Pawleys Island, South Carolina a great beach destination for families?

Pawleys Island has perfect, white sand beaches. Kids delight in finding shells on the shore. Stick around for great dining and shops. Rentals are a great choice for families here.

What makes Hilton Head Island, South Carolina an appealing family beach destination?

Hilton Head has 13 miles of family-friendly beaches. It’s always warm here. Families can see dolphins and do many fun activities. A good place to stay is the Palmera Inn and Suites.

What are the highlights of a family beach vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?

Myrtle Beach is full of fun things for families. Enjoy amusement parks, water parks, and mini-golf. The beach, the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, and many places to stay are here.

How can families enjoy the combination of historic charm and coastal bliss in Savannah, Georgia and Tybee Island?

Explore Savannah’s history and culture, with its museums and food. Tybee Island, nearby, is perfect for a chill beach day. Enjoy the calm beaches and things to do with the family.

What makes the Outer Banks of North Carolina a beloved vacation destination for families from Richmond, Virginia and beyond?

The Outer Banks mixes untamed beaches with cozy towns. Don’t miss seeing the wild horses. There’s also places to kayak and paddleboard.

What does Cape Cod, Massachusetts offer families as a beach destination?

Cape Cod has pretty towns and beaches for families to explore. Enjoy mini-golf, go-karts, museums, and animal encounters. It’s a fun, family-friendly place.

What are the highlights of a family beach vacation in Ocean City, Maryland?

Ocean City has a long stretch of free, family-fun beach. The boardwalk is full of games and tasty treats. Throughout summer, there are many family events, like the Beach Olympics.

Source Links

  1. https://richmondfamilymagazine.com/life/travel/ten-east-coast-beaches-family-vacation/
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  3. https://www.virginia.org/blog/post/family-friendly-virginia-beach/
  4. https://www.visitvirginiabeach.com/blog/post/plan-a-coastal-escape-to-sandbridge/
  5. https://www.chesapeakebaymagazine.com/escape-to-sandbridge/
  6. https://www.outerbanks.org/plan-your-trip/towns-and-villages/kill-devil-hills/
  7. https://www.firstflightrentals.com/outer-banks/things-to-do-kill-devil-hills
  8. https://obxstuff.com/pages/kill-devil-hills
  9. https://www.atlantamagazine.com/travel/pawleys-island-one-souths-best-kept-secrets/
  10. https://www.hiltonheadisland.org/island-time/trending/7-reasons-why-hilton-head-island-should-be-your-bucket-list
  11. https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/south-carolina/everyday-explorers-affordable-vacation-hilton-head-sc/
  12. https://travel.usnews.com/gallery/the-top-east-coast-beaches-to-visit
  13. https://www.tybeecottages.com/search?sort=Title DESC
  14. https://www.villagerealtyobx.com/blog/things-to-do-blog/kids-and-family-friendly-outer-banks/
  15. https://www.outerbanksblue.com/blog/discover-why-everyone-loves-the-outer-banks
  16. https://pirates-cove.com/2022/02/18/multigenerational-family-trip-to-obx/
  17. https://newenglandvacationrentals.com/cape-cod-vacation-rentals/sandwich-vacation-rentals/
  18. https://www.visitnewengland.com/all/new-england-beaches/
  19. https://marylandkidadventures.com/2023/06/03/visiting-ocean-city-md-with-kids/
  20. https://www.ococean.com/blog/post/11-parent-approved-ocmd-family-spots/
  21. https://www.beachsidehhi.com/top-10-reasons-to-plan-a-beach-vacation/

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About Denise

Denise Sanger lives a life split between her love for fitness and her passion for travel particularly to the BEACH.  Denise also has a love of marketing and lives in beautiful Suwannee County, Florida. You can find out more about Denise here: About Denise

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