Best beach resorts in the U.S. for family vacations
Wondering where to plan your family vacation this summer? We love these family-friendly beach resorts in the U.S.
Summer is here (hooray!), so it's time to start planning a beach vacation with the whole crew. Think digging your toes into the sand, searching for seashells, and diving headlong into frothy ocean surf. Not much can top days spent wearing flip-flops, snuggling with salty-haired kiddos, and simply enjoying laid-back seashore bliss. Here are our top beach resorts in the U.S. for family vacations.
Hotel Del Coronado
Hotel Del Coronado – California
The grand dame of Coronado Island, the stunning, red-roofed Hotel Del Coronado serves up an elegant cocktail of Victorian seashore charm infused with bygone glamor. Set on a private stretch of Coronado Beach, the Del offers families countless seaside activities from biking along the Pacific coast to surf lessons, mermaid fitness classes (tail included!), beach bonfires and waterskiing. Days can be spent in laid-back coastal California style, lounging on the beach (games and gear are available to rent), enjoying the resort's gorgeous pools, or exploring the mecca of unique, onsite shops. Kidtopia, the resort's children's center, features a slew of ocean-themed DelVentures for kids ages 4 through 12, and spots like Spreckles Sweets and Treats and MooTime Creamery are favorites among the underage crowd.
Hawks Cay Resort \Courtesy Hawks Cay Resort
Hawks Cay Resort – Florida Keys
Located at mile-marker 61, Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key offers a perfect balance of fun and solitude amidst 60-acres of lush gardens, vibrant coral reef and the calm waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. With its unique offerings, children will love the Coral Cay kids club, featuring crafts, scavenger hunts, snorkeling, and kids' nights out. Accommodations — which range from spacious family guestrooms to breezy, multi-bedroom villas with private lanais — are scattered throughout four distinct villages, each with its own inviting island ambience. The resort's onsite marina and Sundance Watersports entice guests with plenty of options to explore the sea including sunset cruises, fishing for local mahi, or kayaking to remote mangrove islets. Lounging with an umbrella-garnished cocktail by one of the resorts five pools, including the elaborate pirate-themed children's area and a private, ocean-fed, saltwater lagoon, is vacation at its best.
Kiawah Island Resort \Courtesy Kiawah Island Resort
Kiawah Island Resort – South Carolina
Families will find themselves immersed in low-country splendor the moment they drive down the oak-shaded lane that leads to the sublime Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island. Perhaps best known for its five award winning golf courses, Kiawah Island Resort offers a wealth of indulgences beyond the links. The resort is truly breathtaking — a sweeping lawn bedecked by Adirondack chairs overlooks the ocean while verdant palms and plush loungers surround a sparkling saltwater pool. Just beyond the pool deck, a boardwalk leads to a 10-mile expanse of beach, perfect for bike riding or just whiling away the hours. Guests can find Night Heron Park, the resort's activity hub, a short drive from Sanctuary, which is home to the excellent Camp Kiawah kids' program, a fabulous children's pool complete with slides and splash areas, and the Heron Park Nature Center, which serves as the jumping off point for the resort's superior naturalist-led programs — favorites include boating excursions to secluded Sandy Point and wildlife paddling tours through the surrounding saltmarsh. Luxurious accommodations range from spacious guestrooms and suites in the Sanctuary to an enormous selection of villas and private homes spread throughout the resort's 10,000-acre island haven.
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort \Courtesy Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort – Florida
A world unto itself, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort is the kind of place that, once you arrive, you'll never have to leave. Spread throughout 1,350-lush acres, visitors will find three golf courses, 23 Har-Tru tennis courts, a luxury spa, and the Shops of Amelia Island Plantation (home to a variety of charming eateries), Amelia's Wheels bike rentals, Heron's Cove Adventure Golf, and the Amelia Island Nature Center. The resort's centerpiece is the soaring 404-room oceanfront hotel, framed by lush palm trees, 3½ miles of private beach, and a spectacular pool area with restaurants, kids' activities, and even a tequila bar. Camp Amelia offers children ages 4 through 14 the chance to explore the resort through themed activities that encourage nature and science discovery, imaginative play, and camaraderie. Families will love the bright, ocean-inspired guestrooms and suites, most with balconies overlooking the beach and pools.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa \Courtesy Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa – Hawaii
Families will find the aloha spirit at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, with its lush, tropical grounds overlooking the gorgeous Pacific surf of Poipu Beach. The resort's pools, featuring slides, a lazy river, waterfalls, and hidden coves, and a 1½ acre saltwater lagoon are the stars of the show. Putting a native spin on the traditional kids' club, Camp Hyatt engages kids in Hawaiian culture with activities like palm-frond weaving, ukulele lessons, and time spent interacting with the resort's colorful parrots. In the resort's open-air atrium, complimentary fun includes lei making and hula lessons throughout the day. Don't miss the twice-weekly luau, which features a lavish Polynesian-style revue.
Inn by the Sea \Courtesy Inn by the Sea
Inn by the Sea – Maine
Overlooking the gentle surf and soft sand of Crescent Beach, Inn by the Sea combines eco-luxury with the rugged beauty and nautical charm of coastal Maine. Families take up residence in the Inn's sunny and spacious seaside suites and cottages, most with ocean views, kitchens or kitchenettes, and large furnished decks or balconies. Days are filled with old-fashioned seashore fun — grab beach cruisers and pedal out to one of the local lighthouses, enjoy a naturalist led beach walk, fly kites on the beach, or take a dip in the solar heated swimming pool. Kids will love juggling lessons or learning about Maine's marine ecosystems from an insect's perspective in the Bug's Life Garden tour. A great home base for exploring the maritime wonders of the historic Casco Bay area, the Inn's staff can arrange everything from lobster boat excursions to kayaking, visits to Casco Bay's islands, or tickets to a Portland Sea Dogs game.
Marriott Resort and Spa at Grand Dunes \Courtesy Marriott Resort and Spa at Grand Dunes
Marriott Resort and Spa at Grand Dunes – South Carolina
Sometimes a beach destination with all the bells and whistles — think flashy boardwalk, super go-karts, and mini-golf on steroids — is just what the family needs. Enter Myrtle Beach, which encompasses all of the above and more. Set along a semi-private stretch of South Carolina's famed Grand Strand and its 60 pristine miles of Atlantic coastline, the best place for families to call home is the Marriott Resort and Spa at Grand Dunes. Though the hullaballoo of the “strip" remains close by, the luxe Marriott Grand Dunes offers blissful respite six miles north of the famed 14th Street Pier. Perks include freshly renovated guestrooms (opt for an ocean view with balcony), the Hibiscus Spa with a fun kids' menu, and a spectacular pool. Organized kids' activities are offered seasonally for a small fee and guests have privileges at several nearby golf courses.
Surfsand Canon Beach \Courtesy Surfsand Canon Beach
Surfsand Canon Beach – Oregon
Old-school seaside charm awaits at Surfsand Resort, perched just a few steps from the edge of Canon Beach. Warm and welcoming, Surfsand is like summer camp for families, offering perks like an extensive DVD library for family movie nights, board games, bicycles and helmets, Saturday ice-cream socials, and in-room lanterns for beach walks beneath the stars. Just offshore, Haystack Rock, a local landmark, soars above the Pacific, while tide pools offer perfect places for kids to explore the underwater world. Parents will love the resort's complimentary cabana service, which provides beach umbrellas, kites, and sand toys. Surfsand's 95 guestrooms offer comfortably chic accommodations, with plush amenities like bathrobes for kids and adults, gas fireplaces and spacious balconies.
Sea Island \Courtesy Sea Island
Sea Island – Georgia
Take a step back in time to a bygone era of old-fashioned, southern charm on Sea Island, an alluring gem among Georgia's Golden Isles. Bordered by the Black Banks River to the west and 5 miles of dune-fringed Atlantic seashore to the east, the island is steeped in abundant history and pristine natural beauty. At the heart of the resort, the Mediterranean-inspired Cloister and adjacent Beach Club offer a variety of elegant guestrooms and suites — staying on the Beach Club side, with its easy access to the resort's beach and beautiful, meandering pool, is ideal for families. Pedal beneath moss-draped, antebellum oaks and learn about the island's ecology and history, paddleboard through tidal grasslands, grab a cone at Wonderland Sweet Shop, or join the resort's famous Bingo game. Camp Cloister, Sea Island's children's program, offers an array of engaging experiences with talented onsite naturalists and educators for younger guests.
Winnetu Oceanside Resort \Courtesy Winnetu Oceanside Resort
Winnetu Oceanside Resort – Massachusetts
Family-owned by people who know what it's like to be parents, the folks at Winnetu Oceanside Resort truly know how to make a family vacation fun and relaxing. Perched along a gorgeous stretch of South Beach in Edgartown, the resort has handcrafted an imaginative menu of activities that keep kids of all ages running around outside, exploring the tides, visiting a nearby farm and building sandcastles. Teens ages 13 through 16 can join up with the local Martha's Vineyard Adventure Camp for kayaking, orienteering, and mountain biking. Beyond organized fun, families can bike, play classic lawn games, take a ride on an antique fire truck, and kick back at the resort's popular Wednesday evening clambake. For even more adventures, Winnetu's pre-arrival concierge will help plan outings to nearby Nantucket, island nature tours, or an in-room massage. Bright and breezy, the resort's suites and cottages are perfect for families of every size offering space for even large, multigenerational groups to spread out in comfort.
On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).
A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.
"At the beginning of the pandemic, we knew we were uniquely positioned to utilize our widebody aircraft and our network to keep commodities moving, so we quickly mobilized various departments throughout the airline to launch a cargo-only network of flights that would keep commodities moving," said United Cargo President Jan Krems. "Thanks to those efforts, United Cargo has delivered millions of items to countries all around the world. We would not have been successful without the steadfast support of our employees, industry partners and our customers."
Since last March, United Cargo has transported almost 850 million pounds of freight on cargo-only and passenger flights. The airline will continue to monitor market trends adjust its cargo-only flight schedules to help ensure we are meeting our customer's evolving shipping needs.
Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:
1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more
Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.
Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.
2. Check out the Travel-Ready Center
Our Travel-Ready Center makes it easy to get a personalized overview of everything you need to do in preparation for your flight. Just enter your confirmation number or MileagePlus® number and you'll find detailed information on all the documents, tests and more that you'll need for your trip.
3. Read and sign the Ready-to-Fly checklist
Before completing check-in, all United travelers will need to read our Ready-to-Fly checklist and confirm that they understand and agree to our policies. These include:
Acknowledging that you haven't had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
Agreeing that you will not fly if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 21 days
Confirming that you will follow all policies regarding face masks, social distancing and other health and safety measures we've adopted
4. Arrive early; avoid the stress
Airports can be busy, especially during peak travel periods like spring break season. The TSA advises arriving at the airport two hours before your flight for domestic travel and three hours for international travel in anticipation of long security lines. This can help ease the stress when navigating busy check-in areas, security lines and crowded boarding gates.
5. Get familiar with CleanPlus
United CleanPlus℠ is our commitment to delivering industry-leading cleanliness as we put health and safety at the forefront of your experience. We've teamed up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures and Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols, like:
Disinfecting high-touch areas on board and in the terminal
Using electrostatic spraying, Ultraviolet C lighting wands and more advanced measures to clean aircraft cabins before boarding
Redesigning our mobile app to allow for touchless check-in and contactless payment, along with enhanced travel assistance features
Implementing high-efficiency (HEPA) filters on our aircraft that completely recirculate cabin air every 2-3 minutes and remove 99.97% of airborne particles, including viruses and bacteria
Studies show COVID-19 exposure risk is minimal when air filtration systems and masks are in use, so you can rest assured that the steps we've taken to keep you safe truly make a difference.
6. Wear your mask
Federal law requires all travelers to wear a face mask in the airport, including customer service counters, airport lounges, gates and baggage claim, and on board during their entire flight. Make sure you review the requirements for face masks, including what an acceptable face mask looks like.
7. Get ready for a safer boarding process
To make boarding even safer, we now have travelers board their aircraft from back to front. At the gate, just listen for your row number to be called – we'll ask a few rows at a time to board, starting with the last row of the plane. This helps everyone maintain a safe distance from each other during boarding without slowing things down. As you step onto the plane, flight attendants will hand each passenger a sanitizing towelette, which you can use to wipe down your seat to ensure it's extra clean.
8. Pack smart
Before packing your bags, check to see what exactly you can carry on and what you should plan to check. You can also copy your confirmation number into our Baggage Calculator tool to learn about the bag allowance included with your reservation, as well as the cost of checking any additional bags.
9. Check your flight status, important notices and weather
Check the United app regularly for the latest updates on weather conditions, flight status, gate numbers and seat assignments. You can also visit our Important Notices page to find essential information and updates about travel waivers, international travel, TSA and security, airports and United Club locations.
10. Relax and enjoy your flight
Once you're on board, it's time to sit back and enjoy your flight. Our flight attendants will be happy to help you with anything else you need.
This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.
"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.
We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Take your next video call from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude with United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Newly added to our collection is a background encouraging our employees and customers to vote. Our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. No matter which party you support, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and vote.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started.
To use on Zoom:
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
To use on Microsoft Teams:
- Start by downloading your favorite United image to your computer. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- C:\[insert your device user name here]\AppData\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
- If you're using a Mac copy the images to this folder on your computer:
- /users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- Once you start a Teams meeting, click the "…" in the menu bar and select "Show background effects" and your image should be there
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This is why we fly.
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We are humbled by your selfless sacrifice.
In celebration and appreciation of all first responders and essential workers. 👏🏻👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿
This is the story of Jason and Shantel. You see, Jason and Shantel love each other very much. They also love traveling and they love the classic Adam Sandler film, The Wedding Singer.
It all began when Jason reached out to United's social media team, hoping for assistance with his upcoming plan to propose. Some phone calls and one borrowed guitar later, the stage was set for Jason. Put all that together, mix in some helpful United employees and, voila, you have a truly memorable marriage proposal. Congratulations to this fun-loving and happy couple, and here's to many more years of making beautiful music together.
A big thank you to Chicago-based flight attendants Donna W., Marie M., Karen J. and Mark K. for making this proposal come to life.