The beach is a fantastic place for toddlers, as it offers fun opportunities to build sandcastles, collect seashells and sand dollars, and above all, build memories the whole family can hold on to. To help you plan the perfect beach getaway with a toddler, we've compiled a list of beaches perfect for youngsters, from Maui to Hilton Head and in between.
10 Toddler Friendly Beaches
1. North Beach at Fort De Soto Park - Tierra Verde, Florida
Look no further for the white sand, crystal-clear water, blue-summer-sky beach you dream about. North Beach is located in Fort De Soto Park in the city of Tierra Verde, Florida. Tierra Verde is a small community with a population of around 3000 people. The beach itself is secluded and generally not over crowded, even in the peak season. This makes North Beach a great spot to sit and read while letting the little ones play.
Why your toddler will love Norh Beach:
What could be better than a beach in a small town where you can relax in peace with your family? This beach is family friendly and perfect for the kiddos, especially because shallow parts of the beach don’t rise above three feet deep. Tierra Verde offers plenty of other activities to toddlers as well, like fun playgrounds and a pier, perfect for spotting sea creatures.
2. Coligny Beach Park - Hilton Head, South Carolina
Located in South Carolina's idyllic and beautiful Hilton Head Island, Coligny Beach Park is an excellent location to take your toddler. With free parking, Coligny Beach is a more convenient beach to visit with a group, especially when arriving with toddlers.
Why your toddler will love Coligny Beach:
While all of Hilton Head contains excellent beaches, Coligny is particularly suited for toddlers. For about 30 yards, the water does not rise above three feet. Young swimmers can explore tidal pools and collect sand dollars and seashells. Its hard-packed sand is excellent for constructing sand castles.
3. Kama'ole Beach Park III - Maui, Hawai’i
Located in beautiful Maui County, Hawai’i Kama’ole Beach Park III is a top toddler-friendly destination. With stunning sunsets, warm waters, and well-maintained walkways, this beach is a top pick for any family.
Why your toddler will love Kama'ole Beach Park III:
Waves on this beach are small and very clear, making it easy to spot fish and sea turtles under the sea. In addition to the beach, a large grass park nearby is the perfect spot for playing football, soccer, kite flying, and picnicing.
4. Coronado Central Beach -San Diego, California
Home to quaint shops and acclaimed beaches, Coronado is a fun place to explore for people of all ages visiting San Diego. Its picturesque Coronado Central Beach is a great spot for toddlers for a number of reasons, as no smoking is allowed on the beach and its location near shops and cafes makes it easy to pack up and go grab a bite to eat or shop after a day in the sun.
Why your toddler will love Coronado Central Beach:
Smooth white sand beaches, tidepools, and warm water make this beach a perfect place for you and your toddler to explore and sunbathe.
5. Nantucket Beaches - Nantucket, Massachusetts
What beach list is complete without mentioning Nantucket Island? From the northern Coatue Beach to the western Madaket, Nantucket boasts the best of what northeastern beaches have to offer. Nantucket's visitors should note the difference between its north shore and south shore. While the north shore is buffered by the Nantucket Sound and therefore has smaller waves, the south shore is exposed to strong ocean currents and wind. We thus suggest groups with toddlers or inexperienced swimmers head to the North Shore.
Why your toddler will love Nantucket's beaches:
Nantucket is a great place to collect seashells. Walking around Eel Point, its best place to collect shells, is a great activity beach goers of all ages might enjoy. Make sure to bring a bucket to hold your findings!
6. Cedar Point Beaches - Sandusky, Ohio
The first place featured on this list that is not located on an ocean, Cedar Point Beaches in Sandusky, Ohio are a must visit Midwest gem. Situated on the banks of Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes, its expansive beaches offer plenty of space for toddlers to run around, fly kites and build sand castles.
Why your toddler will love Cedar Point Beaches:
With great restaurants, shopping and a park nearby, your toddler will enjoy a visit to Cedar Point both on and off the beach.
7. Destin Beach - Destin, Florida
Part of Florida’s emerald coast, Destin Beach is known for its for white sand beaches and turquoise water. One of the most popular destinations on the Gulf Coast, snowbirds, families and spring breakers alike all enjoy Destin.
Why your toddler will love Destin Beach:
Destin Beach's soft white sand offer a comfortable ground for you and your toddler to sunbathe on. With clear waters, its easy to spot sea life at this public beach.Destin Vacation Rentals: Browse Now!
8. Ocean City Beach - Ocean City, Maryland
Located in Ocean City, Maryland, this beach stretches 10 miles along eastern Maryland’s shore. Gentle waves make boogie boarding fun and the abundance of local amusement parks will keep the little ones entertained while off the beach.
Why your toddler will love Ocean City Beach:
With a three-mile boardwalk lined with treat shops and souvenir shops, Ocean CIty Beach has more to offer than the sea and sand. Home to the nearby Assateague Island, animal lovers of all ages can observe deer and wild ponies in their natural habitat.
9. Sanibel Beaches - Sanibel Island, Florida
Attracting visitors from all over the world, Sanibel Island is a favorite spot among seashell collectors. White sand beaches, gorgeous shells, and warm weather year round make Sanibel a popular destination all seasons.
Why your toddler will love Sanibel:
With soft sand, pretty shells and warm weather, it's now wonder Sanibel is such a popular vacation for families with little ones.
10. West Beach at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore - Chesterton, Indiana
The second beach not located on an ocean and the last on our list, West Beach on the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore provides visitors with a stunning view of the Chicago Skyline. This Chesterton beach sits on the southern part of Lake Michigan near the Illinois and Michigan borders, not far from Chicago and Kalamazoo.
Why your toddler will love West Beach:
This Indiana Dunes park has a special Junior Ranger program for kids. Your young outdoor enthusiast can earn a “beachcomber badge” by completing a variety of activities like finding rocks, identifying plants, and walking (stroller-friendly) natural trails.
This article was written by Tej Reddy and edited by Tripping.com Content Specialist, Lexi Perman.
Hero image credit: Anneliese Phillips