Best Family-Friendly Beaches on the East Coast of the U.S.
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As the summer heat approaches and the school year rolls to an end, parents are thinking about what family-friendly places they can go for summer vacation. Will they try to stay local and perhaps enjoy a family road trip to a city they’ve never been to before? Or will they book a trip to the Bahamas or a quaint European beach town?
Whatever they decide, parents should be aware that they don’t have to endure an 8-hour flight or days of travel to enjoy a relaxing beach vacation. If your family lives anywhere close to the East Coast of the U.S., you are able to enjoy so many beautiful beaches within a reasonable distance from home.
There are so many wonderful beaches dotted along the East Coast that make you feel like you’re on a Caribbean Island enjoying great weather with your family and friends. Skip the long travel times and explore the gorgeous beaches of the East Coast. They are set in amazing locations with tons to do for both parents and children.
When we think of family-friendly beaches, they must fit a certain list of criteria. This includes things such as water activities (think parasailing, water skiing, snorkelling, etc), beachcombing, birdwatching, and other paid activities at the beach and in the surrounding neighbourhoods. Another vital aspect is for there to be plenty of lodging or places close by to grab a quick bite or meal.
Here are a few family-friendly options to help you plan the best beach vacation for you and your loved ones this summer.
Crescent Beach State Park, Maine
Starting the list off with one of the most unlikely beach destinations, Crescent Beach State Park is a great place to take your kids for a family-friendly, picturesque vacation. Located about eight miles south of Portland in Cape Elizabeth, Crescent Beach is (you guessed it) a crescent-shaped beach that runs about a mile long. It is the perfect spot for swimming and other boating activities. In the summer, the waters are quite warm, and the light surf makes swimming safe for families with small children.
Admission to the beach is fair, about $8 per out-of-state adult. The beach is clean and equipped with picnic tables, public restrooms/showers nearby, and a children’s play area. It is not a long walk from the parking lot, which is a bonus when you’ve got little ones running around.
What’s great about Crescent Beach is its close vicinity to Cape Elizabeth, a small coastal town with a friendly community and plenty of places to grab a quick bite after the beach. Stop at The Good Table Restaurant to enjoy fresh lobster rolls on their outdoor patio. And finish it off with a sweet treat at Kettle Cove Creamery & Shack.
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Coney Island, Brooklyn NY
Moving down along the coast, we of course had to add an iconic New York beach. If you live anywhere in the Tri-State area or surrounding states, we definitely recommend visiting the renowned beach and amusement area of Coney Island. Once known as the largest amusement park in the United States, Coney Island is famous for its iconic theme park featuring The Cyclone. However, Coney Island is also a great place to enjoy the beach just beyond the boardwalk.
The beach stretches along the adjacent boardwalk for about 3 miles and is a great place to relax with the kids before or after visiting some of the attractions on the boardwalk. There are lots of shops that are equipped with beach gear. So no need to worry about lugging around beach chairs and umbrellas.
You and your family are sure to have a great time, as there are so many attractions and activities going on at Coney Island. If you get tired of the beach and are looking for more educational activities, the kids will love the New York Aquarium. They can see the exotic marine sea life, or visit the Coney Island Museum, which features historical keepsakes of the island.
There are countless rides at Luna Park, most notably the Coney Island Cyclone. But there are also so many games and events along the boardwalk, like the Friday Night Fireworks or the Luna Arcade. In between all of the fun you and your family are having you are bound to get hungry. Stop for a bite to eat at the numerous food shops like Flywheel Eats or Coney’s Cones.
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Bethany Beach, Delaware
Bethany Beach is a peaceful coastal town great for families looking to escape the fast pace of the city and relax in the sunshine. This town features parks, beaches, nature preserves, and fun activities for family fun in the sun. Six miles from Bethany Beach is Fenwick Island State Park, a nice place to go to the beach, enjoy a nice picnic lunch, rent a boat for the day, or spend the night at the campground to be one with nature.
Other activities besides enjoying the beach include playing mini-golf at Captain Jack’s and arcade games at Arnie’s Playland. Likewise, kids can go hunting for coins at Coin Beach. Enjoy delicious food at some of the countless local restaurants like Off the Hook or Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard.
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Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Virginia
While Virginia’s coastline can get a bit crowded and commercial during the summer, we recommend Virginia Beach Oceanfront for a more relaxing/family-friendly experience. This beach features lifeguards and plenty of beach-related activities like boogie boarding and parasailing.
The relaxing atmosphere along with its unique southern charm is what draws families near and far to Virginia Beach. There is no shortage of activities lining the boardwalk, including AquaMan Fishing or American Indoor Karting. Whether you are staying for the week or a few nights, Virginia Beach has various hotels and lodging in the area. Check out Schooner Inn and Barclay Towers.
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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Skip the expensive flight to the Caribbean and head to South Carolina instead for an affordable and charming beach vacation that will be sure to keep your kids entertained the entire trip. The main attraction of Myrtle Beach is the Grand Strand, a 60 mile-long white sand beach where families can enjoy swimming, fishing, sunbathing, and more. Known as the Seaside Golf Capital of the World, Myrtle Beach is home to nearly 80 golf courses, including many themed miniature golf courses perfect for kids.
Other attractions include riding the thrilling rides at Family Kingdom Amusement Park or playing the classic games at the various arcades lining the boardwalk. In addition, Broadway at the Beach is a great place for live entertainment during the summer nights. It also includes WonderWorks and Ripley’s Aquarium, which is bound to provide family-friendly fun. If your kids love wildlife, we recommend visiting Alligator Adventure to see animals like wolves, alligators, and kangaroos. Most importantly, don’t worry about finding a place to stay. There are many hotels and resorts with beautiful oceanfront views.
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Tybee Island, Georgia
Travel a few hundred miles down the coast and you will find yourself in South Carolina. Visit Tybee Island for the ideal family getaway. It is rich with history and bike-friendly communities within minutes of the beautiful beaches. Besides going to the beach, one of the best activities to fully experience Tybee is to explore the various bike paths that are scattered throughout the island. Head into Tybee Island Bike Rentals to get you and the family ready for a fun bike ride.
With so many activities to offer, your kids won’t even miss being on their Ipads and tablets, they will have a great time bonding with each other through things like dolphin tours and Bull River Cruises. The beaches are great for family sandcastle building, swimming, and boogie boarding. Plus they are within walking distance to the Tybee Island Light Station & Museum.
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Panama City Beach, Florida
It’s no shock that Florida is home to some of the nicest beaches in the country. It is usually the go-to vacation spot for those from all parts of the country looking for a tropical destination without leaving the states. Yes, you may be familiar with Miami Beach or Palm Beach. But if you are looking for a more family-friendly spot, then Panama City Beach is the perfect place for you.
Panama City Beach features 27 miles of sandy beaches with over 80 access points that guarantee affordable family-friendly fun. Spend your trip soaking up the Floridian sun, enjoying snorkelling and swimming in the clear waters. What’s more, Saint Andrews State Park features options for water sports and hiking, in addition to a concession area where you can find parks, fishing supplies, and plenty of souvenirs.
Besides the gorgeous beaches, families can visit family-friendly attractions like ZooWorld Panama City Beach, Race City PCB, Coconut Creek Family Fun Park. And don’t forget to check out WonderWorks for a more educational experience.
There are plenty of hotel options available in PCB, with picturesque views from right outside your window, equipped with luxurious spaces for spending an afternoon at the pool. Moreover, your vacation isn’t complete without trying out some of the local restaurants featuring delicious fresh seafood and more. Some places worthy of attention can be found here.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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- try to identify products and services you’re interested in; and
We use the following for marketing and to identify the products and services you’re interested in.
- Your contact details. This includes your name, gender, address, phone number, date of birth and email address.
- Information from cookies and tags placed on your connected devices.
- Information from other organisations such as aggregated demographic data and publicly available sources like the electoral roll and business directories.
- Details of the products and services you’ve bought and how you use them.
We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
We’ll only market other organisations’ products and services if you have said it is OK for us to do so.
You can ask us to stop sending you marketing information or withdraw your permission at any time.
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
Right to access personal information
- Under the law, any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.
- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.