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After countless text messages, a two-page Google sheet, FaceTimes, pauses for funny Instagram Stories, Google searches that almost always resulted in aimless online shopping, and surprisingly only one teen-driven chatbot attempt at vacation planning, we were exhausted … and no closer to an idyllic East Coast Resort getaway with extended family.
Sound familiar? If you, too, are seeking an East Coast resort for rest, relaxation, and a side of fun for all ages, we’re here to take the guesswork out of the equation. The good news is that there are countless options from which to choose, with everything from tennis and horseback riding to a full-service spa and championship golf course. Swimming might mean an indoor pool, outdoor pool, hot tub (and usually all three), or even a nearby or on-site water park.
With the Florida Keys, the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cod and Ocean City in the mix, there’s sun, sand, and surf (and plenty of water sports) to be had. Check out tide pools, take kids of all ages on outdoor adventures, and savor fantastic ocean views. Read on to find the family-friendly resort perfect for your brood, from the White Mountains right on down to Florida.
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White Mountains, New Hampshire
Stonehurst Manor, North Conway
A great place for year-round outdoor fun in New England, Stonehurst Manor makes for a fabulous all-inclusive family vacation with young children. A summer vacation here checks all the boxes, with hiking, ziplining, climbing, life-size chess games in the gardens, and iconic Adirondack chairs perfectly placed for views of Mt. Washington.
During the colder months, go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing to your heart’s content, then warm up in the heated outdoor pool or around a wood-burning fireplace. The resort’s inclusive packages offer complimentary dinner each night, so you won’t have any hemming and hawing to do about where to eat (and you know what a win that is!).
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Chatham Bar Inn Resort & Spa
Chatham Bar Inn Resort & Spa is a luxury resort that will make the whole family happy with its widely recognized sophistication and its exceptional waterfront location. Slip away to a beach cabana, where you can have food and beverages delivered to your side all day long. The private, quarter-mile-long beach is protected from the Atlantic Ocean by the Cape Cod National Seashore’s North Beach Island, making for tranquil conditions for younger children swimming in the ocean for the first time. Borrow a fat-tire bike and ride in the sand along the shore. Need a little parent time? Reserve a treatment at the spa for ages 16+, making sure to add in time for the adults-only swimming pool and peaceful outdoor Zen Garden.
Lake Placid & Hudson Valley, New York
Like a grown-up summer camp, Whiteface Lodge offers acres of family fun in the Adirondack Mountains. Get out and play in six million acres of Adirondack Park, the largest protected area in the United States mainland. Enjoy the resort’s countless amenities, from cruising the lake on a classic Hackercraft or pontoon boat, canoeing and kayaking, hitting the tennis courts or playing pickleball, or checking out one of the five nearby golf courses.
The charming Upstate New York village of Lake Placid, home to two Winter Olympic Games, is a short distance away. Whiteface is also one of the area’s best ski resorts, with downhill skiing and snowboarding at Whiteface. Don’t do downhill? There’s ice skating, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, too.
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz
One of the most inclusive resorts families can find within a relatively short drive of New York City, Mohonk Mountain House pulls out all the stops with three delicious meals daily, afternoon tea in the historic Lake Lounge, yoga, meditation and fitness classes, guided hikes, year-round outdoor activities, nine holes of golf with greens fees, private tennis reservations, nightly evening entertainment and much more. Kids and teens are in heaven here, with a program lauded by Travel + Leisure as one of the “Best Hotel Kids’ Programs in the U.S.” – and, it’s complimentary for overnight guests!
Ocean City, Maryland
Residence Inn by Marriott Ocean City
Ranked in the last several years as Ocean City’s Hotel of the Year, the Residence Inn by Marriott Ocean City boasts beautiful bayfront views, a central location near popular attractions, a hot breakfast buffet, a 24-hour fitness center, heated indoor and outdoor pools, and spacious suites with free Wi-Fi, separate living and sleeping areas and full kitchens. It’s a great choice for family fun near Ocean City’s famed Boardwalk and the Jolly Roger Amusement Park.
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Boardwalk Plaza Hotel
Take your family back in time to the grand era of beach resort vacations during a stay at the pretty-as-a-picture Boardwalk Plaza Hotel. The kids will immediately be won over as they ride the glass-enclosed, ocean-view elevator of this Victorian-esque, elegantly appointed resort. As storied as it first appears, the resort is firmly ensconced in the 21st century with modern amenities such as room service from the on-site restaurant and complimentary Wi-Fi.
The indoor-outdoor swimming pool is available to families during the day, then reserved in the evening for adults only. During the summer, the resort provides beach towels, so you can grab and go … right to the beach out front.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
One of the best family resorts on a barrier island in the USA, Sanderling Resort is the only full-service getaway in the beautiful Outer Banks. Choose from five vacation home rentals and 120 guest rooms and suites set between the Atlantic Ocean and the calm waters of Currituck Sound. Offering the best of both worlds, the resort has two outdoor swimming pools, one for adults, one for families. There’s an indoor pool with a hot tub and direct beach access (in fact, there are three private beach accesses). The resort’s outdoor fire pits are idyllic places for s’mores at sunset.
Explore the area on two wheels, thanks to adult and children’s bikes and helmets available at the Kitty Hawk Kiosk, or ride on horseback through a maritime forest in Hatteras and then out onto the beach.
Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island
Family fun and Hilton Head go hand in hand, particularly at the award-winning Sonesta Resort. With a number of on-site restaurants to fit your entire family’s palate, a lagoon-style pool, a full-service spa and easy access to tennis, golf, bike rentals, the beach and more, this is one of the best places to truly relax and unwind on the east coast. Popular attractions within reach include upscale shopping centers, the Pinkney Island National Wildlife Refuge, the Coastal Discovery Museum, the Audubon Newhall Preserve and all that Hilton Head Island has to offer.
Read all about the best family-friendly resorts on the East Coast, from the White Mountains right on down to Florida.
The Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes
Oceanfront bliss is all but guaranteed at the four-star Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes. Indulge in all-day dining, bask in the sun or play in the surf, slip away to the Hibiscus Spa or keep up your fitness routine in the complimentary health club. Oceanfront guest rooms and suites are ideal for a family trip, with modern amenities and private balconies that overlook Myrtle Beach and the ocean. Venture beyond the resort for championship golf courses, Barefoot Landing (akin to a mini theme park in your backyard!), and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.
Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo
Your family can live its best beach life at Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo, where lazy beach days are punctuated by those famous Key West watercolor sunsets. Cay Kids is one of the Keys’ most enticing children’s programs, with super-fun foam parties, scavenger hunts, pool games, dodgeball, and more (plus, kids eat free from the resort’s kid-friendly menus). Local attractions include Theater of the Sea, where you can commune with dolphins, stingrays, and sea lions, and the peaceful Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park.
Ready to go? We are, too! We hope our family’s exhaustive – and fun – trip-planning research inspires you to check out the best east coast beaches and mountain getaways, where a whole lotta fun and reconnection is in store for you and your favorite people.
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