Beach Retreats for Families
Play All Day: To satisfy competitive spirits, get to the squash and bocce court, putting green, tennis facilities, or half basketball court. Make time for scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, and a twice-daily boat ride for reef snorkeling. Two beaches, a swimming pool, and bar area with chaise lounges and thatched umbrellas are available for relaxing. Watch live entertainment at night.
Explore: Nearby, Nelson’s Dockyard has been restored since its days as a British naval base and now features shops, museums, and restaurants in original 18th-century buildings. Climb the fort’s ramparts for more great views. On Sundays, head up to Shirley Heights Lookout for reggae music.
Family photo op: Chelle Hulford, owner of Curtain Bluff, welcomes family photos on her balcony with the island of Montserrat, home to the active Soufrière Hills volcano, in the background.
Get more info: curtainbluff.com
Play all day: Take the resort’s free, two-hour beginner scuba lessons for guests 10 and older, or choose reef snorkeling. The grounds include shops, restaurants, a fitness center, spa, Kids’ Camp (ages 12 and younger), golf, and tennis.
Explore: Head out with Ras Lumumba Corriette, a local island naturalist who provides educational hikes and tours.
Family photo op: Smile in front of the old sugar mill.
Get more info: thebuccaneer.com
Play all day: Take advantage of the swimming pool, moped rentals, snorkeling, tennis courts, and golf privileges at two nearby championship courses. Don’t miss afternoon tea in the Hibiscus Lounge.
Explore: Take the Pink Bus, private taxi, or a resort moped on an island tour. For casual lunch and dinner, try the moderately priced Swizzle Inn, Bermuda’s oldest pub, or visit a market and pick up goodies for a picnic.
Family photo op: Pose under the Moongate, Bermuda’s traditional stone arch meant to bring a lifetime of good luck.
Get more info: pinkbeach.com
Play all day: Grab a pail and beachcomb for shells! Tennis, golf, and swimming in one of the resort’s 11 pools are on-site. The resort-sponsored Tiva Kids Camp provides supervised activities such as kayaking and family fishing. Or sign up for a beach walk with naturalist Vince McGrath, who’s been spotting rare birds and shells for more than 22 years.
Explore: Hop a boat to Cabbage Key, and hit the Dollar Bill Bar for a famous cheeseburger—eulogized in Jimmy Buffett’s song “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”
Family photo op: Ask a guide to snap a photo of your group kayaking through mangroves.
Get more info: southseasislandresort.com
Play all day: Enjoy the 125-acre grounds that offer a spa and tennis center, two pools, retail shops, four restaurants, and on-site Beach Klub 4 Kids. Pull up a stool at the Sunset Beach Bar, touted as the best place to catch a southwest Florida sunset.
Explore: Check out the Old Naples shopping, quirky dining options, and historic fishing pier. Or travel 18 miles south to Collier-Seminole State Park for canoeing through mangroves on the Blackwater River. Then head into Naples to The Dock, or satisfy your sweet tooth with ice cream from Regina’s.
Family photo op: Assemble on the Naples Fishing Pier just down the beach from the resort.
Get more info: naplesbeachhotel.com
Play all day: Nature lovers can bike, boat, fish, canoe, and hike.
Explore: The private barrier island is home to moss-laden maritime forests, marshlands, and seven miles of beach.
Family photo op: Meet under the weathered driftwood sign on the steps of the Hunting Lodge, the island’s central gathering and dining building.
Get more info: littlestsimonsisland.com
Play all day: Go scuba diving, kayaking in the bay, or biking along the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary—or head to the beach for soft sand, surf, and sea lions.
Explore: Drive five minutes to Pacific Grove, home to the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast. Try the Portola Café & Restaurant in the aquarium; tables are set with binoculars you can use to spot frisky sea otters, cormorants, and whales. Dinner at The Fish Hopper on the Row, once a sardine cannery, has panoramic water views and sustainable seafood choices.
Family photo op: Angle the lens to catch masses of barking sea lions with their calves at nearby Lovers Point Park.
Get more info: portolahotel.com
Play all day: Pelican Hill has two Tom Fazio-designed golf courses, a spa, the largest circular pool in the world, and a Camp Pelican kids’ program. Activities include surfing, fishing, snorkeling, and whale watching.
Explore: Peruse sophisticated shops at nearby Fashion Island in Newport Beach, or gallery hop in Corona del Mar. The Beachcomber restaurant and the Shake Shack serve everything from seafood to malts.
Family photo op: At sunset, posing on the balcony overlooking the Promenade will capture the emerald golf course meeting a pink-and-purple sea.
Get more info: pelicanhill.com
Play all day: The resort’s Camp Merritt has activities for kids; treatments at the waterfront spa, lobster bakes, kayaking, golf, harbor cruises, and campfires can be arranged.
Explore: Taste authentic Maine fare, and do a little antiquing in the nearby waterfront town of Bath, the “city of ships.”
Family photo op: Pose with the captain aboard the resort’s vintage 1935 motorboat, Ruth.
Get more info: sebasco.com
Play all day: Get a golf fix on the Nicklaus-designed course, or enjoy indoor and outdoor pools. Ocean Edge Adventure for kids stages projects such as kite-making. Thursday nights are reserved for beach bonfires.
Explore: Cape Cod Museum of Natural History has Family Field Walks in the summer. Visit Hot Chocolate Sparrow coffee shop for homemade treats.
Family photo op: Assemble in front of the charming Carriage House.
Get more info: oceanedge.com