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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.

Best Domestic Beach Destinations in Winter
Clearwater, Florida. Photo by John Coletti / Getty Images

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.

Courtesy Starwood Hotels
Courtesy Starwood Hotels

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.

A sunny day at Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales, Turks and Cacos. A walkway on a white sandy is bordered by palm trees and plants. The calm ocean stretches out towards the horizon under a deep blue sky.
A sunny day at Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales, Turks and Cacos. A walkway on a white sandy is bordered by palm trees and plants. The calm ocean stretches out towards the horizon under a deep blue sky. Photo by Getty Images

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.

Sunset on Coronado Island Beach, California, USA
Sunset on Coronado Island Beach, California, USA. Photo by anouchka / Getty Images

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.

Menemsha is a fishing village located in the town of Chilmark on the island of Martha
Menemsha is a fishing village located in the town of Chilmark on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts. Photo by DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

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.

The main pool at the Ritz overlooks Seven Mile Beach. Photo courtesy The Ritz Carlton
The main pool at the Ritz-Carlton overlooks Seven Mile Beach. Photo courtesy The Ritz

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.

Photo courtesy Sundial Beach Resort & Spa
Photo courtesy Sundial Beach Resort & Spa

Feature photo by Imgorthand/Getty Images

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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