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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Citi Prestige Card
The perfect family beach day varies: For some it may include waves to surf, Jet Skis to master and fish to ogle, while for others it may be all about lots of shade and plenty of personal space for happy toddler shrieks. Oh, and a tiki bar for mom and dad (non-negotiable). No matter your idea of beach paradise, one of the US or Caribbean spots on this list will surely fit the bill.
Clearwater Beach, Florida
A beautiful, wide beach with soft waves, cabanas for rent, spectacular sunsets and reasonably priced, kid-friendly accommodations make this a no-brainer for families. Stay at the brand-new Wyndham Grand at Clearwater Beach, where rates start around $250 (or 15,000 Wyndham Points) per night.
La Chiva, Puerto Rico
You’ll need a 4×4 to get there (or really anywhere on Vieques) but that makes La Chiva (also known as Blue Beach) all the more fun. Calm, clear, shallow waters and plenty of privacy ensure a great day at the beach — which you’ll likely have to yourselves. Plan your trip for 2019 and stay at the W Retreat Resort & Spa. It’s currently closed for renovations post-hurricanes, but is slated to open again next year.
Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos
See Nemo in his natural habitat: Some of the best snorkeling in the world happens right off the (powder-white) sand here, no fancy scuba gear required. Stay at the newly reopened, all-inclusive Beaches Turks & Caicos and take advantage of the seriously awesome water parks, camp for kids and free watersports (including activities such as waterskiing, which are often extra at other all-inclusives). Use your Citi Prestige Card to get your fourth night free.
Coronado Beach, San Diego
A 1.5-mile-long stretch of sand with calm waters and attentive lifeguards makes this an idyllic (and safe) spot for families. Linger until dusk to make s’mores in the fire pits. Stay at the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa, where rates start around $228 or 40,000 points per night.
Menemsha Beach, Martha’s Vineyard
With sweeping views of Cuttyhunk and the Elizabeth Islands, this slightly rocky but extremely lovely spot is staffed by lifeguards during the season. Stay at a VRBO or at the Mansion House and make sure to get your fourth night free by using your Citi Prestige card. Pro tip: Don’t miss the cool sculpture of a harpooner and a swordfish in the dunes.
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Untouched by recent Caribbean hurricanes, the Cayman Islands are expecting 250,000 more visitors than usual this year. This famously gorgeous beach with calm surf and turquoise water is home to nearby Stingray City, where kids can swim with the gentle (and friendly) giants. Stay at the Westin Grand Cayman and get a great deal by paying with points (only 16,000 SPG points per night compared to $400 to $800). Or stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, a crowd favorite.
Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel Island
It’s shelling on steroids here: Pick up a Florida conch (they’re all over) and show your kids the critter living inside. (Then show them how to gently put the animal back in the water.) Clean, bright public restrooms and showers are also a welcome sight for parents coming off the sand. Sign the kids up for Sanibel Sea School at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, and book your stay with the Citi Prestige card to get your fourth night free.
Feature photo by Imgorthand/Getty Images
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees