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Half the battle of a successful family getaway is picking the right location. What does it take for an island to meet the mark? First, the basics: abundant sunshine, pristine beaches and a safe atmosphere. After that comes plenty of family-friendly activities and opportunities for adult relaxation. The right destination also needs to be easy to get to and get around. That’s a tall order, but luckily there are plenty of viable options. Here are our personal favorites guaranteed to make everyone happy.
Note: Many of our clients think they should avoid the Caribbean due to recent hurricane damage. We can assure you that the islands listed below, as well as 70% of the Caribbean islands, are definitely open for business and would gladly welcome your visit.
Whether you choose a spacious resort like Atlantis or prefer the laid-back charm of Harbour Island, the Bahamas offer something for everyone. Family-oriented adventures abound — think snorkeling, exploring Lucayan National Park by kayak and swimming with dolphins — and there are enough golf courses, spas and high-end shopping to keep parents happy.
A quick trip from the East Coast, Grand Cayman is a tropical paradise with plenty to see and do for your entire brood. Along with the requisite white sand beaches and turquoise water, the island features family-friendly activities like pirate ship and sea turtle farm tours and submarine trips.
With a seven-mile stretch of beach lined with hotels, dining and recreational options, the opportunities for family fun are practically endless on this Dutch island. In addition, the desert landscape offers an excellent beach alternative with natural attractions such as Arikok National Park, where cacti grow to unexpected heights and fantastically shaped divi-divi trees make for a fun hike.
For those looking to stay stateside, Amelia Island, off Florida’s northeastern coast, is a pristine paradise complete with dune-filled beaches, championship golf courses, historical charm and boutique shopping.
Get back to nature on Maui, where your family can go hiking in Haleakala National Park, spot sharks at the Maui Ocean Center, take a ride on the Sugar Cane Train or simply enjoy some of the best beaches in Hawaii. Click here for my guide to Maui.