Travel with Children: Top 10 Beach Vacations

The globetrotting travel gurus at Lonely Planet offer their top-ten picks for the best places around the world to visit with kids.
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Snorkeling at Makua Beach on Kauai
UNDER THE INFLUENCE: Snorkeling at Makua Beach on Kauai, Hawaii (courtesy, Kauai Visitors Bureau)

Costa del Sud (Sardinia)
Although you have to drive to the beaches, the water is clean, the sand is white and there aren't too many people: Sardinian beaches are far better than many on the Italian mainland.

Cottesloe (Australia)
Just north of Fremantle and west of Perth in Western Australia, Cottesloe has a beautifully safe beach for kids to swim or snorkel at, and the weather always seems to be perfect.

Durban (South Africa)
Washed by the warm Indian Ocean, Durban's city beaches have plenty of free children's swimming pools and lots of family entertainment such as Sea World and Ushaka Marine World.

Karon Beach (Thailand)
Family-friendly Karon, with its Flintstone-themed fun park, is a great base for exploring Phuket's beaches and reserves, including Phuket Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre.

Kaua'i (Hawaii, USA)
Home to plenty of beaches where children can snorkel in very shallow waters and an excellent Children's Discovery Museum.

Aitutaki (Cook Islands)
Soft sand beaches edge a turquoise lagoon filled with tropical fish. Kayaking, snorkeling and boat cruises are also part of the picture.

Noosa (Australia)
Recommended by lots of parents at Lonely Planet's head office as a wonderful place to take the kids. Great beaches, beautiful natural environment (Noosa National Park) and very child-friendly.

Tavira (Portugal)
At the eastern end of the Portuguese south coast, this quiet town has a magnificentuntamed beach that goes on for miles. And, best of all, you take a boat to get to the beach.

Sayulita (Mexico)
A safe, laid-back beach town full of hip North American and European families where you and the kids get 'back to basics'. Every evening both local and gringo kids congregate in the town square to eat ice cream and play games. Sanur (Bali) A quiet little town close to the 'happening' area of Bali with a great little collection of warungs (outdoor restaurants) lining the beach at both ends; full of friendly local people.

Reproduced with permission from Travel With Children 5, 2009, Lonely Planet Publications. All rights reserved.

Published: 9 Feb 2010 | Last Updated: 30 Jul 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication



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