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Road Trip Beach Destinations: East Coast Edition

This summer, everything is quite different. One of those many, many things? Summer vacation and the extensive planning (which is now even more extensive) that goes along with it. We’re here to help you navigate through this unprecedented time, so you can still have some family fun and make that much-needed vacation happen!


You may have already heard, but road trips sure are popular for summer 2020! Instead of getting on a crowded plane with strangers’ germs, hop in the car (with your Shark OFF shark repellent bracelet packed of course) with your family and get ready to head to the beach this summer!

We’ve found some of the best, low-key, family friendly beaches along the East Coast. Enjoy! (But also please continue to practice social distancing! We aren’t out of the woods yet.)

New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Chances are, if you follow us on social media, you’ve already heard quite a bit about New Smyrna Beach, FL, the shark attack capital of the world! Don’t let that title deter you, though. New Smyrna Beach is an absolute gem, with beautiful, family friendly beaches. The locals are committed to preserving the ocean habitat. After you visit, you may just want to move there! If you’re afraid of sharks, just stay away from the NSB Inlet specifically, where most of the sharks are spotted. But, no matter what, don’t you dare forget your Shark OFF shark repellent jewelry!

“There's laid-back adventures like strolling on miles of seaside boardwalks, and seventeen miles of beautiful beach is just steps away - you can even drive on it. Voted one of America's best small arts towns, meet and talk to artists in their studios while they're creating beautiful pieces. Also, take in the latest exhibit at one of our many galleries and festivals where nationally-acclaimed artists show their work. Or, fill your days discovering intriguing history, unique boutiques and eateries. Let our laid-back beach town vibe get inside of you.”

photo by Brian Kermath

Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Working our way up a little bit further north is the beautiful Emerald Isle, NC. Emerald Isle, with its beautiful and clean emerald waters, is a part of North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. Also in the area, there are also many untouched and uninhibited parks and seashores in pristine conditions.This is especially a great place for fishers and hikers! Another great, family friendly beach - there’s something for the whole family too.

“Emerald Isle greets Crystal Coast visitors at the western end of Bogue Banks, offering 12 miles of pristine shoreline and incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Inlet. With a variety of lodging options and a focus on family fun, Emerald Isle is a haven for watersports, fishing (onshore, offshore and on the Bogue Inlet Pier), or simply sitting on the sand and enjoying the sound of the waves rolling in.”
from the Crystal Coast

Bethany Beach, Delaware

Last but certainly not least is Bethany Beach, DE. Yet another family friendly beach, Bethany Beach is just the place for a quieter beach vacation. Quiet doesn’t mean boring, though! Although the area is very serene, there’s still something to do for the whole family, including a ½ mile long boardwalk.

“For some, the Bethany Beach lifestyle is the ultimate expression of why the Delaware beaches hold a special place in people's hearts, generation after generation, season after season. For years, Bethany has embraced its own quiet style – smaller and more serene than some beach resorts, Bethany is beloved for its balance of family-friendly peacefulness and fun-loving diversions, and has become a favorite for celebrities.”

We hope you found this list of hidden gems useful! Still happen to be more interested in traveling to the Pacific Ocean instead? Stay tuned for our West Coast edition for more family-friendly beaches!

Pro-tip for traveling this summer: rent a place with a kitchen through Airbnb, VRBO, or a similar site. That way, you have the option to not dine-in whenever you want! Oh, and of course, it’s way cheaper than eating out for every single meal (AKA more money for beach boutiques, fresh seafood, and wine).

Wait! We can’t forget the ultimate pro-tip - don’t forget your Shark OFF shark repellent jewelry before you hit the beach. It’s kryptonite for sharks! Also, if you buy our tested and proven shark repellent jewelry in a bundle pack then it’s the ultimate win-win: the whole family has peace of mind AND it’s cheaper! Soak up that sun, the sand between your toes, and the family time. We hope you have a great summer vacation!

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