Beach Vacations

10 incredible US beaches to discover with kids

Last updated 19th December 2023

US beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world  – and also some of the most unusual. So if you’re looking for magical with a little hint of other-worldly in the mix, check out our top 10 unique US beaches with kids. We promise you’ll never have seen anything quite like them.

10 incredible US beaches to discover with kids

10/10 Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California

A colorful spot, Pfeiffer beach has the distinction of having rare purple sand. The beach gets its distinctive coloring from quartz and manganese garnet that washes down from the hills.  A hidden haven, it’s easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. Though cold water temperature and rough waves make it less than ideal for swimming, kids will love climbing and scrambling up the giant rock formations found here.


10 incredible US beaches to discover with kids

9/10 Boneyard Beach, Bull Island, South Carolina

A stunning, but well-kept secret, this coastal spot is covered with the bleached out remains of trees that have been soaked in saltwater and dried in the sun. The effect creates a haunting forest that visitors can wander through, like something form another world. Explore this quiet escape in relative privacy and enjoy a day on a completely wild, undeveloped beach. Boneyard Beach is also a fantastic place to search for shells.

10 incredible US beaches to discover with kids

8/10 Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California

This is one of the most unusual US beaches anywhere, because it’s blanketed in a rainbow of sea glass. The glass has been smoothed and shaped by the ocean waves over the last couple hundred years. Glass Beach also features an outcropping of rocks and the tide pools. This is a terrific family destination for an afternoon of searching for sea critters and admiring the different hues of sea glass. Add this spot to your bucket list asap—there is less glass on this beach as time goes on.

10 incredible US beaches to discover with kids

7/10 Singing Beach, Manchester-By-The-Sea, Massachusetts

At first glance, it’s easy to mistake this destination for just another one of the pretty US beaches. But it boasts a truly unique feature: the sand makes a creaking sound when walked on. The fun noise is thanks to the fact that the sand has silica as part of its composition, as well as the size of the sand particles. The beach is one of the main attractions of this small town and it is very clean and well maintained. Get here early since the parking lot fills up quickly.

10 incredible US beaches to discover with kids

6/10 Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Big Island Hawaii

Wildlife enthusiasts will love this spot that has the distinction of being a favorite place for hawksbill and endangered green sea turtles to sunbathe.  The magical opportunity to spot the turtles on the sand could easily put Punaluu top of the best US beaches list for kids. Plus more marine animals await in the waves. Spinner dolphins and humpback whales can be seen just off shore. And kids will also love digging and building sand castles in the black sand.

10 incredible US beaches to discover with kids

5/10 Bowling Ball Beach, Point Arena, California

Best viewed at low tide, this aptly named and distinctive landscape features a large accumulation of rocks that appear to all the world like a beach full of bowling balls. US beaches are known for great rock formations, but Bowling Ball is also perfect for kids to climb around and explore tide pools filled with sea creatures such as anemones, starfish, crabs and sea urchins. The beach can be reached on a quick hike down from the parking area.

4/10 Assateague National Seashore, Berlin, Maryland

Assateague is special because of its unusual residents—wild horses. And it goes way beyond a “chance” to see one. Be prepared to spot horses just wandering up and down the beach, grazing on bits of grass and paying visitors no heed. These majestic animals really do act like they own the place. They are protected and of course, wild, so it is best to appreciate them from a distance. But, it’s still a remarkable ‘only on US beaches’ experience kids will never forget.

10 incredible US beaches to discover with kids

3/10 Papakolea Green Sand Beach, South Kau, Big Island Hawaii

Thanks to being covered in olivine crystals from the lava rocks that surround the area, this has to be the most vividly green of all US beaches. A beautiful, secluded spot, you’ll feel like you’re practically on a private island. Fair warning to families with young children: the beach is not easy to get to. It’s a 2.5-mile hike from the parking area and there are no lifeguards or facilities. The best time of day to visit is starting early in the morning to give yourself plenty of time. The beach also has strong, rough waves, so it’s better for taking in the gorgeous scenery than swimming. Pack plenty of water and a lunch and you can enjoy a picnic you’ll never forget with your toes nestled in the green sand.

10 incredible US beaches to discover with kids

2/10 Shark Tooth Beach-Caspersen Beach, Venice, Florida

Known as the shark tooth capital of the world, this is one of the few US beaches where kids can find hordes of shark teeth. Young explorers have a wonderful time searching for these little beach souvenirs. The best way to find them is to walk the waters edge and scoop up the sand, slowly sifting through it. Shark teeth aren’t the only treasures to be found here. Keep your eyes peeled for fossils, coral and shells too. Local boat charters will also take adventurous visitors offshore to search for shark teeth and fossils in the surrounding waters.

10 incredible US beaches to discover with kids

1/10 Wave Organ, San Francisco, California

While not technically one the unique US beaches, this water sculpture still claims a spot on the list. Located on a small peninsula that jets out into San Francisco Bay, the art is activated by the waves. Listen as the sea create a symphony of sounds and “ocean music”. The sculpture has the appearance of old ruins and is an amazing piece of living art that children will love to explore.

Looking for more fun family vacation inspiration? Try 10 refreshing reasons for a family vacation in Costa Rica. And don’t forget to follow Family Traveller on Instagram and Facebook and share your  adventures with us – or just say ‘hi’.