The 10 Best U.S. Beaches to Go With Kids

05/13/2015 02:57 pm ET | Updated May 13, 2016

Kaanapali Beach (Flickr: Brian Lauer)

Sure, the beaches in far-off family-friendly destinations like Greece or the Caribbean are enticing. However, traveling families should remember that there are beautiful beaches closer to home too, which should save them travel time and expenses.

This summer, consider spending a day in the sun with the kids at one of these ten family-friendly beaches located in the United States.

Kaanapali Beach, Maui
This beach is one of the island's most popular. Golden sand, the bluest-of-blue water and views of Lanai and Molokai in the distance make Kaanapali a picturesque option. Families will appreciate that the beach is within walking distance of many of West Maui's resorts. Restaurants and shopping are located nearby at the open-air Whaler's Village, making this beach a great place to start a day or exploration.

Waikiki Beach, Oahu
Waikiki Beach is quite possibly one of the most famous beaches in the world. Located on Oahu in the bustling city of Honolulu, this beach is ideal for those seeking ample opportunities for people-watching and building sandcastles with new friends. The beach is near downtown Honolulu, the Honolulu Zoo, and several resorts including Kahala Hotel and Resort.

Lydgate State Park, Kauai
Kauai offers families plenty of beautiful beaches, including the popular Poipu Beach. However, one of the best beaches for families is somewhat lesser known than its neighbors. Lydgate State Park features a pleasant beach with a rock-enclosed, protected area that creates calm waters and is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The park also offers a playground, picnic tables, and restrooms.

Huntington Beach, CA
Less than 20 miles from Anaheim, Huntington Beach can easily be combined with a trip to Disneyland. Families can start their visit with lunch at one of the beachside restaurants, and then continue on to the Huntington Beach pier. At the end of the pier is Ruby's Diner, the perfect place to enjoy a milkshake and views of the Pacific Ocean. Huntington Beach may not be tranquil, but it is a great place to soak up the area's vibrant energy and watch the surfers glide across the water.

Coronado Beach, CA

Sunset at Coronado Beach (Flickr: halbag)

For families visiting San Diego, Coronado Beach, on the nearby island of Coronado, is a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Drive across the impressively large bridge to the island, which is home to the historic Hotel Del Coronado. The wide beaches here provide ample space for families to spread out and enjoy the views. Grab lunch in town before heading back to the city where there are a number of affordable family-friendly hotels including Embassy Suites San Diego Bay.

Henderson Beach State Park, FL
Located in Destin along Florida's Emerald Coast, Henderson Beach State Park features white sand beaches and plenty of opportunities for family fun. Stop by the playground before embarking on a stroll along the park's nature trail.

Clearwater Beach, FL

Clearwater Beach (Flickr: allenran 917)

Clearwater's soft white sand makes a stroll at the beach a particularly enjoyable experience. This is an excellent option for traveling families, thanks to its proximity to nearby kid-friendly Florida attractions. Spend your morning at the beach before heading to the nearby Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where you'll find dolphins, sea turtles, and stingrays.

Grand Strand, SC
Sixty miles of white sand beaches in a destination that is family-friendly and's no wonder that the Grand Strand in Myrtle Beach is such a popular summertime destination. Hunt for seashells or look for dolphins close to shore if you visit in the morning.

Duck Beach, NC
The northern Outer Banks town of Duck is home to seven miles of beaches. This is a great destination for those seeking a small-town vibe. Plus, Duck Beach is pet-friendly; dogs are allowed to explore off their leashes as long as their owner is close by.

Sandbridge Beach, VA

Sunrise at Sandbridge Beach (Flickr: lina smith)

Five miles of picturesque sand dunes makes this an attractive destination for families. Located just south of Virginia Beach's busy resort area, this is a quiet, mellow beach to spend a day in the sun and is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Sarah Vernetti contributed this to MiniTime. When she isn't writing about travel and the family-friendly side of Las Vegas, she's busy crafting short stories and flash fiction.