Ah, the beach. There’s nothing quite like the sound of waves crashing and the feeling of sand between your toes. If you’re looking for a fun and relaxed family vacation, a beach trip is the way to go. And the Carolinas are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.

oak island beach family photographer Yasmin Leonard

Carolina Beach Weather

The Carolinas are known for their mild weather, making them a great destination for a spring or summer beach vacation. The beaches in North and South Carolina tend to have a pleasant temperature during spring and summer seasons. The days are warm and sunny, with average daytime temperatures in the 80s Fahrenheit and the water temperature is also pleasant for swimming.

And because the Carolinas are situated on the East Coast, they tend to have less rain compared to other places, meaning you can enjoy more of your vacation in the sun. The weather can also be a bit cooler in the evening, providing a nice relief after a day in the sun and making it comfortable to sit outside and enjoy the stars. The perfect weather also makes it easy to plan and book last minute trip, as the weather is usually stable, making it easy to plan a perfect beach vacation.

Here are my top picks for the best beaches in North and South Carolina to visit with your family:

  1. Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina: This beach is perfect for families with young kids, as the waters are calm and shallow. There are also plenty of restaurants, ice cream shops, and playgrounds to keep everyone entertained. Plus, the beach is clean, wide and you can rent gear for fun water activities.
  2. Topsail Island, North Carolina: This 26-mile long island offers a more secluded beach experience, with plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the natural beauty. There are also a few small towns on the island, where you can find cute souvenir shops and seafood restaurants.
  3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: This beach is known for its wide variety of entertainment options, from water parks and mini-golf courses to amusement parks and live shows. There’s always something to do in Myrtle Beach, and it’s perfect for those with older children.
  4. Isle of Palms, South Carolina: If you’re looking for a more upscale beach experience, Isle of Palms is the place to go. This beach is home to some of the most beautiful homes and resorts on the East Coast, as well as a lovely beach, perfect for families looking for a more relaxed and peaceful vacation.
  5. Kiawah Island, South Carolina: Kiawah is a bit more exclusive than the other beaches on this list, but it’s worth it for the natural beauty and amenities. The island offers 10 miles of wide sandy beaches, bike paths and also golf courses. Great for nature walks and wildlife watching.
  6. Holden Beach, North Carolina: This is a small family-friendly beach town with a charming main street, a fishing pier and a great playground for kids. This is a great option for those looking for a more low-key beach vacation.
  7. Bald Head Island, North Carolina: This picturesque island is only accessible by ferry and offers a secluded and unspoiled beach experience with a beautiful lighthouse, historic district, and nature trails to explore.
  8. Oak Island, North Carolina: Oak Island is another family-friendly beach destination which offers miles of wide, clean beaches, fishing and boating opportunities, and a variety of restaurants and shops to explore.
barefoot woman in white clothes walking in foamy sea

Carolina Beach

North Carolina’s beaches offer a diverse array of experiences for visitors, from the bustling boardwalks of Myrtle Beach to the secluded, natural beauty of Bald Head Island. One of the most popular destinations in North Carolina is the Outer Banks, a string of barrier islands known for their picturesque lighthouses, wild horses, and shipwrecks. Here, visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and fishing on the state’s iconic beaches such as Nags Head, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills.

Another popular destination is the Crystal Coast, which stretches from Atlantic Beach to Cape Lookout, and features 85 miles of white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. This area is known for its fantastic seafood and also for the abundance of recreational activities such as kayaking, windsurfing and sailing. The beaches in North Carolina offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a relaxing and peaceful getaway, or an action-packed beach vacation with plenty of activities to do.

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Family Travel Tips

When travelling with kids, planning ahead can make a big difference. So, here are some of my top travel tips for a successful family beach vacation:

  • Bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. This what to pack for the beach list has everything you need for a fun day in the sun!
  • Pack a beach bag with all the essentials such as towels, beach chairs, umbrellas and beach toys.
  • Pack a cooler with drinks and snacks to save money on food costs and also to avoid the hassle of finding a place to eat. Check out our snack ideas for spending a day at the beach.
  • Don’t forget the first-aid kit in case of any minor injuries.
  • Choose accommodations that are close to the beach and have amenities like a pool or kitchen.
  • Check tide schedules and avoid swimming during high tide when currents may be stronger.

Beach vacations are wonderful for creating memories with kids, whether you’re lounging in the sun, playing in the water, or exploring the local towns. So pack your bags, put on your sunscreen and get ready for a fun-filled family vacation!

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