A Beach Vacation to Remember That Your Whole Family Will Love

By: tuppy_glossop
Beach vacations with my family were an annual ritual of packing and planning for my parents, and daydreaming for me. I grew up in England, a small country where you're never more than an hour or two from the beach, but we used to go a little further afield. Our beach vacation destination was always Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of France. My parents went there on their honeymoon, fell in love with it, and returned every year to spend the summer there.

When I was in college I spent my junior year in Santa Barbara, where I discovered a whole new world of fun on the beach. I was used to the cold and grey days that so often marred the English summer, so the clear blue skies and warm water of California beaches were a revelation. Sadly, my pale and puffy-looking English skin was a similar revelation to Californians, but I quickly bronzed up in an attempt to blend in. Alas, I never did learn to surf though.

Now I'm older I still enjoy family beach vacations, but now it's my job to make the plans and preparations ... including the choice of destination. Particularly if you have kids of various ages, it can be a challenge to find the perfect spot to please everyone. You and your spouse want a tucked-away cafe to share a leisurely meal; your teenagers want some nightlife so they can work on their socializing; and your young ones want to splash in the ocean all day and then eat ice cream till it comes out of their ears. Where can you go that will be fun for everyone?

There are hundreds of beach vacation destinations to explore, but let me suggest three that will keep the whole family happy.

The Cayman Islands aren't the biggest islands in the Caribbean, but their intimacy only adds to their allure. Most of the hotels are on the largest of the three islands, Grand Cayman, which is also the location of Seven Mile Beach. This much-loved destination for snorkelers offers clear water, and the chance to explore reefs and shipwrecks. The wrecks are a reminder of the Caribbean's pirate history, celebrated each year at the Pirates Week Festival with fireworks and pirate landings!

South Carolina's Myrtle Beach may be less exotic than the Caribbean, but it's very beautiful -- and much easier on the wallet. There are a range of hotels that cater to families, some which offer suites, and many of the hotels have organized activities for children. The nightlife can be a little wild during Spring Break season, so you and your family may prefer to avoid that time. Throughout the year, however, Myrtle Beach has a great nightlife with clubs, bars, and restaurants to suit every taste.

Laguna Beach in California is midway between San Diego and Los Angeles. There are many family-friendly hotels along the seven miles and thirty beaches that make up this lovely beach vacation destination. The Montage Resort, the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, and the Laguna Riviera Resort are amongst the nicest, but spend some time looking online, where you'll find many tempting choices. You and your family will have a wonderful time playing on Laguna's beautiful beaches, and for a change of pace, explore some of the art galleries in town -- there are more than 100! If you visit during the summer months don't miss the Pageant of the Masters, a live recreation of famous works of art.

Wherever you choose to visit, you'll be making memories that will last a lifetime. Talk to your family about what they want from the trip, plan ahead, and you can be sure that your family's beach vacation is one to remember.
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