If you’re looking for a weekend or weeklong getaway with the kids, head to one of these sleepy American beach towns full of family-friendly activities and accommodations. Notoriously fun for the whole crew, make lasting memories as you whittle away the sunny days. If you do your homework, these towns have more than just sand bars; they’re places to get your culture and history fix, too.
Home to spectacular scenery, awe-inspiring architecture, rich history, a thriving downtown waterfront and legendary hospitality, Newport, Rhode Island is considered by many to be the shining gem in the coastal crown of New England. Play at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, tour the historic homes, visit Fort Adams or take a walking tour by the water.
Hilton Head, SC
Normally thought to be a golfer’s paradise, there’s plenty for the family to do besides making dad’s tee time. Head to Pirate’s Island for miniature golfing, go zip lining, rent bikes or take a boat tour of the island. Another bonus? Most of the major hotel chains have kids clubs for when the parents need some alone time, too.
New Buffalo, MI
A mere 90-minute drive from Chicago, New Buffalo welcomes guests from around the Midwest with the allure of a quick escape that feels miles away from the hum of city life. The very definition of a small town, Oinks, the ice cream parlor and Redamak’s, the burger joint are the happening spots to socialize. Whether you’re there for a day or week, curl up with a board game, hit the outlet malls and if you get bored in your cottage, there’s a casino and the Indiana Dunes a stone’s throw away.
Martha’s Vineyard, MA
An east coast escape near Nantucket, make sure pack your salmon shorts and seersucker suit for this preppy paradise. A mere 45-minute ferry from Cape Cod and you'll be stumbling upon quaint shops, nature, fine dining, and lively nightlife through the six picturesque towns that makeup Martha’s Vineyard, believed to be named after British explorer Bartholomew Gosnold's daughter.
Outer Banks, NC
The site of the Wright Brother’s test flights, go back in time to experience Kitty Hawk, Duck, and all the small towns associated with the first flight, the lost colony and the Nights in Rodanthe. From biking to birdwatching, there is plenty to do in the Outer Banks, or OBX for those in the know, but make sure you don’t miss the famous wild horses that roam the beach.