Top 10 Ultimate Beach Vacation Destinations

Every year, as the temperatures rise and the days grow longer, our thoughts turn to the beach. Our family thoroughly enjoys vacationing at the beach, and this year is no different. We are offering up some of the ultimate beach vacation destinations for you and your family today to enjoy!

the ultimate beach vacation

If you prefer to plan your own vacation destination list, there is this awesome little service from Fodors Travel called 80 Degrees. You get to choose what YOUR perfect beach vacation is like for a selection of photographs and topics and then plug in your budget and viola – the top 10 destinations based on YOUR preferences!

Our Family Favorites

My family growing up, as well as my own family now, loves going to the beach. We especially love beaches with fishing piers because they keep hubby busy while the kids and I check out the local scenery and soak up some sand and sun. Here is a listing of our top favorite beaches. They might not make the top 10 list of Dr. Beach – but when it comes to family fun – these are our East Coast favorites!

virginia beach boardwalk nightlife
Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach – Virginia

The oceanfront comes alive with special themed entertainment along the sidewalks of Atlantic Avenue from 17th to 25th Streets nightly during the summer months. During Beach Street U.S.A., puppets, bands, jugglers, magicians and others entertain crowds right on the sidewalks. Free live concerts and theatrical productions take place seven nights a week along the oceanfront.

Photo by Randy Owen
Willoughby Spit – Photo by Randy Owen

Willoughby Spit Beach – Virginia

If you’re traveling on Interstate 64 and you blink, you just might miss this beautiful little village nestled in the Ocean View community of Norfolk. Packed with historical attractions, public beach access points with covered pavilions and outdoor grills, and an abundant selection of restaurants and hotels up and down the strand, Willoughby Spit is a great vacation destination with activities for the entire family. Home to the Ocean View Fishing Pier, this is our go-to vacation spot!

rehoboth beach
Rehoboth Beach – Photo courtesy of Panoramio

Rehoboth Beach – Delaware

Rehoboth Beach is a beautiful small town on the East Coast featuring enjoyable year round weather, beautiful real estategreat restaurants, and tax free shopping – all just two hours from Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia. Rehoboth Beach offers plenty for the whole family to do, including its one mile Boardwalk, its beautiful clean beaches and water, and its many other recreational activities.

Photo courtesy of Panoramio
Atlantic City – Photo courtesy of Panoramio

Atlantic City – New Jersey

Construction on Atlantic City’s world-famous Boardwalk began in 1870, and from then on it has become an icon in America as one of the few beaches with boardwalks. Stroll along the Boardwalk and enjoy ocean views on one side and shopping on the other, ranging from high-end retail to saltwater taffy shops. There is absolutely nothing better in the world than authentic Atlantic City saltwater taffy! Delicious!

Image courtesy of Best Tropical Beach Vacations
Myrtle Beach – Image courtesy of Best Tropical Beach Vacations

Myrtle Beach – South Carolina

The Myrtle Beach area showcases 60-miles of beach, a picture-perfect gateway to the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. Whether you decide you want to go boating, fishing, surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, parasailing, windsurfing, or any watersport you love, you’ll find that the area’s crystal blue waters provide the perfect playground to do so. Myrtle Beach waterparks offer an exceptional family-friendly fun, and feature some of the most thrilling water slides along the east coast.

Photo Courtesy of Kiki Nakita
Topsail Beach – Photo Courtesy of Kiki Nakita

Topsail Beach – North Carolina

Situated at the southern end of Topsail Island, off the coast of southeastern North Carolina, the Town of Topsail Beach is the smallest of the three communities located on the 26-mile long island. North Topsail Beach occupies the northernmost section, and Surf City, the largest town on the island, is in the center. The Island is just off US Highway 17, about half-way between Wilmington and Jacksonville. Topsail Island has a rich and varied history. One of my favorite places to visit when I lived in Jacksonville, and never overly crowded with only 500 year round residents.

Image courtesy of ShoreBread
Ocean City – Image courtesy of ShoreBread

Ocean City – Maryland

From luxury hotels and quaint bed-and-breakfasts to spacious summer rentals and amenity-filled campgrounds, Ocean City has the right accommodations to fit your budget. Let’s not forget plenty of fun things to do too! Whether you are into water sports, shopping or just relaxing on the beach, Ocean City has everything you need to make your beach vacation memorable!

Martha’s Vineyard – Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Martha’s Vineyard – Massachusetts

No chain stores, restaurants or hotels on Martha’s Vineyard; instead it is a perfect place to find one-of-a-kind shopping, dining, and lodging. A vibrant arts and culture scene means that you can enjoy galleries, live music, theatre, dance and speaker engagements year round in a casual environment. Local farms, plentiful oceans and a local commitment to sustainable agriculture means you will enjoy wonderful locally grown, made, or caught food. A place where “dressing up” means exchanging your flip-flops for sandals and anything within 15 minutes is “on time” and ties are a figment of one’s imagination. You could even pass a celebrity or two along the bike path.

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Hilton Head Island – Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Hilton Head Island – South Carolina

This boot-shaped sea island is truly a paradise nestled along the South Carolina coast. From beautiful beaches and world-class golf courses, from exceptional restaurants to high-energy water sports, the Island has something for everyone. Our average daily high temperature in June is 86 degrees with abundant sunshine.

Image Courtesy of Land Century
Daytona Beach – Image Courtesy of Land Century

Daytona Beach – Florida

Daytona Beach is an American icon, truly famous the world over. Known for a setting like no other, and an amazing story that keeps getting better. Where people just don’t go on vacation, they go on and on about it. Where you can feel the sand between your toes, and beneath your tires. Where the sunshine is soaked up with waves of laughter and there is as much to do off the beach as there is to do on it. Build mighty sandcastles along our 23 miles of sun soaked beaches. Zip through the air on the all-new oceanside roller coaster. Spend family dinners seaside with the day’s fresh catch. Do all the things that make your vacation a whole lot better.

Where would you love to go this year on your ultimate beach vacation? Is it one of our top 10 beaches, or another destination? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Oh how I am trying to figure out a way to get to the beach asap! Thank you for sharing some great spots with #summerfamilyfun!

    • That’s exactly how I felt Holly! We finally got a chance to head out to the beach two weeks ago. It was just for the day – but it was EXACTLY what I needed. I got to dip my feet in the ocean, laugh like a kid again with my youngest, play in the sand, and see an absolutely beautiful sunset!

  2. Those all look like great choices! We jumped at the chance to move to Florida last year and LOVE living near the beach…so fun! Visiting from the Summer Family Fun Party
    Lisa @ Fun Money Mom

    • Yup!!! Hubby and I plan on retiring on the beach. Haven’t quite figured out just which one yet – but that’s the plan lol! Thanks so much for visiting!!
      Subject: Re: Comment on Top 10 Ultimate Beach Vacation Destinations

  3. You listed several of my go to summer vacation spots. My daughter lives in Virginia Beach, so I’m there regularly. We also vacation in Myrtle Beach every year. I gave up Ocean City when my daughter moved to Virginia Beach, but they have a great craft festival in the fall. Martha’s Vineyard is on my Bucket List for sure. Thanks for sharing.

    • Oh wow how cool! We live in Richmond which isn’t all that far … makes for a good day trip to the beach when we get tired of Norfolk! Hubby’s obsession in the summer is going to the Ocean View pier but the kids and I much prefer the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk in Virginia Beach – so much fun!

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