St Thomas Magen Bay

The Caribbean is one of our top destinations for families looking for spectacular beaches and sunny skies. We’ve visited the islands many times on vacations or Caribbean cruises. The convenient location near the United States makes it a great winter getaway. 

We’ll cover the best family vacation spots in the Caribbean, including different islands, the best family-friendly resorts, and activities in many popular Caribbean destinations. Whether you’re interested in jumping off high cliffs into a secluded cove or relaxing on white sand beaches – there’s an island that matches your perfect Caribbean family getaway!

Caribbean islands
Best Beaches Resort: Beaches Turks And Caicos
Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana Beach With Palm Trees
St Thomas Magen Bay

Caribbean Islands Overview

No time to read the whole article? Here are our top picks to get you started!

  • Looking for the perfect beach? Check out our first pick, Turks and Caicos, with the best beach we’ve seen anywhere.
  • If you are looking for the most variety of all-inclusive resorts on one island, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic will be your best choice. Our favorite resort there is Hyatt Ziva, which we reviewed here.
  • An island that doesn’t look like the Caribbean: St Lucia’s Piton Mountains give it an almost South Pacific look compared to some of the other flatter islands.

Key Takeaways

  • The Caribbean is the perfect destination for a family getaway, filled with fun activitiesstunning beaches, and unique experiences suitable for all ages.
  • There are direct flights from many U.S. airports to all the Caribbean islands. Remember that some islands, like Punta Cana, are much busier with many flights than others, like St Lucia. Some smaller islands, like St Thomas, also offer regular ferry services connecting them to other Caribbean destinations, making exploring different islands easy during one holiday!
  • Accommodations range from luxurious all-inclusive resorts with kid-friendly amenities to intimate boutique hotels and comfortable vacation rentals.
  • Our favorite activities include water sports, shipwreck dives, hiking through jungles, and relaxing days spent on beautiful white sandy beaches.

Best Family Vacation Spots in the Caribbean

From the majestic turquoise waters of Turks & Caicos to the tranquil clear waters and white-sand beaches of St. Maarten, the Caribbean has an abundance of family-friendly destinations for you to explore on your next vacation.

#1: Turks & Caicos

Best Beaches Resort: Beaches Turks And Caicos

Turks and Caicos is one of the most popular family vacation spots in the Caribbean, and our favorite!

The main reason that Turks and Caicos gets the top choice is white sand beaches and calm crystal clear turquoise waters, it’’s a great choice for families with kids who aren’t strong swimmers.

As you can see in the above picture, which we took on our first trip there, the water is very calm due to the bay on the side of the island where most of the resorts are located. While we’ve been to hundreds of beaches, none have topped Turks and Caicos so far!

While Turks and Caicos doesn’t have as many excursion-type activities, like ziplining and ATV tours, as somewhere like Mexico, the beach and clear water is better than you’ll find almost anywhere in the Caribbean.

Where to stay in Turks and Caicos

Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort (All-Inclusive)

Beaches Turks & Caicos is our top pick! This all-inclusive resort gives you everything you need in one place and was our first international destination when our kids were young. You get to stay, eat, and drink without extra costs! Beaches Turks and Caicos is our top resort from the Beaches brand of all-inclusive resorts.

Although the price is the same for this resort everywhere, it’s bookable directly from Beaches,, or Expedia.

You’ll find plenty of activities here, from a huge water park to water sports like snorkeling and windsurfing or beachside games like volleyball—the Sesame Street characters on site for the young and young at heart.

Turks and Caicos has numerous all-inclusive resorts built with kids in mind; accommodations come complete with organized daytime activities such as treasure hunts and karaoke nights, ensuring there’s never a dull moment on your Turks & Caicos getaway!

#2: Domincan Republic

Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana Beach, Punta Cana Dominican Republic. Best Family Vacation Spots In The Caribbean

All-inclusive resorts: The Dominican Republic has almost as many as Mexico, and it’s a bit different than our top pick of Turks and Caicos.

While Turks and Caicos has many high-end resorts (and a limited number of all-inclusives), the Dominican Republic has almost as many all-inclusive resorts as Mexico, with most of them focused on the east coast Punta Cana area.

The airport in the main resort city of Punta Cana could be mistaken for an airport in the United States during winter, with over 8 million passengers in 2022!

Punta Cana: The All-Inclusive Mecca in the Dominican Republic

Punta Cana is associated with all-inclusive getaways. Sitting at the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, it’s a line of luxury resorts and endless activities. Whether you’re interested in sipping cocktails by a swim-up bar or teeing off on a world-class golf course, you’ll find an option here.

Where to stay in Punta Cana Dominican Republic

Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana

The Hyatt Ziva is our top choice, from a huge water park that rivals some stand-alone water parks to gourmet dining. This resort is perfect for those who want it all, without ever leaving the resort grounds.

Check out our review of the Hyatt Ziva here.

La Romana: The Calm Alternative

Located an hour west, La Romana offers a different vibe. It doesn’t have the huge all-inclusive resorts that Punta Cana has, but makes up for in tranquility. The resorts are on calm, clear waters, giving it water closer to the Turks and Caicos calm beaches.

Where to Stay in La Romana

Hilton La Romana: A Tranquil Caribbean Escape

Hilton La Romana presents a unique blend of relaxation and luxury. Known for its pristine beaches and clear, calm waters, it’s a smaller resort than you’ll find in Punta Cana.

The resort offers a more intimate setting than the bustling all-inclusive in Punta Cana. This makes it ideal for couples or small families looking for a serene getaway. Its clear waters make it a popular spot for water activities like snorkeling.

One of the best features of this resort is that you’ll find a huge water park here. This resort is owned by the same company that runs Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana, and the water park here is almost the same (huge!).

#3 St. Lucia: A Caribbean Family Vacation Haven

St. Lucia offers a unique Caribbean family vacation. With a backdrop of the iconic Pitons, St Lucia’s scenery looks almost South Pacific compared to the flatter geography of other Carribean islands.

The island has a mix of smaller and larger resorts. Though St Lucia is associated with some popular adults-only resorts such as Sandals Resorts and Anse Chastanet Resort, there are some great family resorts on the island also.

If you’re into sports, the golf courses in St. Lucia provide panoramic ocean views, making it one of the best places to play a round in the Caribbean. Plus, a boat ride away from the U.S. Virgin Islands offers unparalleled quality beach time while just a short distance from American soil.

Beyond the beaches, the island is a treasure trove of activities and opportunities. Whether sailing towards the sunset or diving to explore coral reefs, St. Lucia offers some of the best things to do in the Caribbean.

Where to Stay in St Lucia

Coconut Bay Beach Resort: St. Lucia’s Family Oasis

At Coconut Bay Beach Resort in St. Lucia, guests of all ages will find something to do! The resort is home to a water park with exciting slides and a laid-back lazy river. Whether you’re a grown-up wanting to relax at a poolside bar or a young adventurer ready to splash around, this resort is a great choice.

The resort offers two sides: a family section and an adults-only section.

The beach here doesn’t have the calm water of Turks and Caicos or Grand Cayman. You can expect some more waves here.

The wide range of activities and lodging options means each family member can discover their ideal vacation activity, making it a top pick for families.

#4: British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands (BVIs) provide an ideal family vacation landscape. With a range of activities, including water sportsshipwreck dives, and excellent surf-worthy waves, the BVIs offer something for everyone in the family.

Boasting crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches, this Caribbean paradise offers plenty of relaxing opportunities. The beautiful coastline is also ideal for snorkeling with its colorful coral reefs offshore.

Looking for more adventurous options? There are great ways to explore the islands, like kayaking around mangrove-lined bays or sailing around ancient coves.

Best Place to Stay in the British Virgin Islands

Long Bay Beach Resort: British Virgin Islands Hidden Gem

Long Bay Beach Resort is a great option if you’re looking for a less commercialized Caribbean experience. The resort is set against a backdrop of hills and turquoise waters.

Long Bay Beach Resort has a secluded location, perfect for intimate family vacations, with great snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters.

#5: U.S. Virgin Islands Experience: No Passport, No Problem

The U.S. Virgin Islands offer a blend of relaxation and excitement. The best selling point for the USVI? As you US territory, you don’t need a passport if you’re coming from the United States, making it easier to hop on a plane.

The most popular island is St Thomas, accessible by nonstop flights from the United States, is also a popular cruise port stop for eastern Caribbean cruises. One of our favorite cruise excursions is grabbing a taxi and heading to a local beach like Magens Bay. Note: Magens Bay is a beautiful beach but can be crowded during a busy cruise port day.

St Thomas Magens Bay

Best Resort in St Thomas

Bolongo Bay Beach Resort

This small, family-owned beach resort is known for its Caribbean hospitality. It offers a fun and personable atmosphere at reasonable prices, with rooms lining the tropical oceanfront.

St. John, one of the other islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a short boat ride away from St. Thomas. The Virgin Islands National Park here is a sanctuary of natural beauty, perfect for hikes, observing wildlife, or simply chilling on the beach.

St. John offers many water-based adventures like snorkeling and diving. While it may not boast the large-scale water parks in resorts like Beaches Turks and Caicos, the serene and clear waters make it ideal for snorkeling.

#6: Jamaica

Jamaica (along with Mexico and the Dominican Republic) is one of the most popular Caribbean destinations for families looking for an all-inclusive vacation. Jamaica provides an ideal beach setting with its warm weather and great beaches.

Jamaica is home to several of the Beaches brand all-inclusive resorts, one of our favorite brands. The Jamaica properties don’t quite match the top-rated Turks and Caicos location.

Beyond the stunning beaches, there are plenty of activities to enjoy—from snorkeling with tropical fish in clear waters to horseback riding on sandy shores. The below picture we took near Ocho Rios, on a cruise stop.

Ocho Rios Jamaica

And with direct flights from most major cities in the U.S., Jamaica is just a short flight away. Note that many resorts can have an over an hour drive to get to some of the best beaches from the main airport.

Best Place to Stay in Jamaica

Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa

Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa elevates the vacation experience with a perfect blend of elegance and recreation.

The resort’s sprawling grounds offer multiple pools and a calm beach. And if you’re keen on added relaxation, a well-appointed spa awaits.

If you’re looking to explore Montego Bay, the resort’s location provides easy access to local attractions and shopping.

#7: Puerto Rico

San Juan Fort

Puerto Rico has earned its spot among the best family vacation spots in the Caribbean thanks to being another island that doesn’t require a passport from the U.S.. From fabulous resorts specifically designed for families with young children to beautiful beaches like Flamenco Beach – considered one of the most stunning beaches in the world – Puerto Rico is a fascinating place to explore.

With easy access from many U.S. airportsno passport required, and tons of things to do, this incredible destination offers something special for each family member.

San Juan Puerto Rico

San Juan offers a lot of history to explore, such as the Old City and forts like San Cristobal.

El Yunque National Forest is a great example – it provides an opportunity to experience exotic plants, waterfalls, nature trails, and ancient Taino Indian ruins – offering a unique change of pace while providing plenty of photo ops!

Where to Stay in Puerto Rico

Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino

Located in the bustling heart of San Juan, the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino offers a blend of luxury and entertainment. The rooms offer contemporary designs paired with impeccable service.

From a lavish spa to a rooftop pool overlooking the harbor, the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino is a great choice if you want to stay close to San Juan.

#8: Grenada

With its volcanic islandlush tropical forests, and postcard-worthy white sand beaches, Grenada is not as well known but quickly becoming one of the favorite family vacation spots in the Caribbean. 

Grand Anse Beach is considered one of the best beaches in the Caribbean for families. Snorkelingscuba diving, or hiking through jungles and waterfalls are great family adventures.

Experience clear blue waters that are great for swimming. Theres’s other activities, like horseback riding and snorkeling that are great options for families!

Best Places to Stay in Grenada

Mount Cinnamon Resort & Beach Club in Grenada

Nestled on the hillside overlooking the captivating Grand Anse Beach, Mount Cinnamon Resort & Beach Club offers a mix of luxury and Caribbean flair.

Want to stay active during your vacation? The resort provides a range of watersports and outdoor activities, from paddleboarding to hiking.

With a laid-back vibe, excellent cuisine, and sunset views that could be a postcard, Mount Cinnamon Resort is an unforgettable experience.

#9: Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda is a wonderful destination for families looking for fun in the sun! With 365 pristine white sand beaches and lots of outdoor activities, from horseback riding to golf cart exploring), and numerous resorts, from spacious rental villas to all-inclusive resorts, there’s something to suit every family.

The beautiful blue waters are great for swimming or snorkeling, finding tropical marine life, and soaking up the Caribbean vibes! You can also experience the culture and history of Antigua with visits to local museums and attractions like  Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, where kids can spot sea turtles!

Foodies can find dishes inspired by different cultures at one of many tasty eateries scattered across both islands. Whether you prefer relaxing days on the beach or action-packed adventures in crystal-clear waters, check out Antigua!

Where to Stay in Antigua

Blue Waters Resort & Spa – Antigua

Sitting on the northeastern coast of Antigua, Blue Waters Resort & Spa has an atmosphere of elegance and relaxation. This resort is consistently rated as one of the top resorts in Antigua.

For the adventurous, the resort offers a multitude of activities. From sailing to windsurfing, the opportunities for ocean fun are nearly endless. The beaches at this resort are some of the best you’ll find on this list!

#10: St. Maarten

Known as one of the best family vacation spots in the Caribbean, St. Maarten is a great destination for families enjoying its calm beaches while exploring different cultures.

The island has direct access from both the U.S. and Europe, allowing for easy accessibility and making it popular with visitors of all ages. Its vibrant culture captures a mix of Dutch and French influences in different island parts.

Pine Island offers perfect conditions for snorkeling aquatic activities due to its clear water; plenty of shallow pools with calm waters make swimming suitable even for very young children!

Another must-see place in St Maarten is Maho Beach, where you can watch some amazing views of planes landing right over the beach.

Best Resort in St Maarten

Royal Islander Club Resort La Plage

Situated on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, Royal Islander Club Resort La Plage combines tropical delight and cozy comfort. Facing the Maho Bay, this resort is a paradise for beach lovers.

The location is great for a range of water sports. From jet-skiing to paddleboarding, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the beach.

The resort is just a short distance from renowned shopping centers and fine dining establishments, making it a top pick for those who crave adventure and luxury.

#11: Grand Cayman: The Ultimate Family Oasis in the Caribbean

You’ve already explored the lush landscapes of Turks & Caicos, the all-inclusive paradises of the Dominican Republic, and the volcanic vistas of St. Lucia. Next stop? Grand Cayman. It’s time for you to discover this family-friendly gem in the Caribbean.

Grand Cayman offers something for every family member. With direct flights from the U.S., reaching this paradise is a breeze. The island thrives on tourism, and you’ll find a range of stay options, from lavish resorts to cozy vacation rentals.

Cayman Stingray City

One of the biggest attractions? The famous Stingray City. Just a short boat ride away, you can snorkel with friendly stingrays. This was our first stop on our trip to Grand Cayman! Also, don’t miss the bioluminescent bays -water that glows in the dark.

Also, check out a visit to the Turtle Farm!

Best Place to Stay in Grand Cayman

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

This 5-star resort is the epitome of luxury, and guess what? It’s kid-friendly. There are activities like cooking classes and nature walks.

Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa

Seeking a more modern, boutique-style stay? Kimpton Seafire could be your go-to. They’ve got Camp Seafire for the kids, ensuring they’re engaged while you take a much-needed spa day.

Accommodation Options in Each Destination

The Caribbean offers a variety of family-friendly accommodation options, from luxurious all-inclusive resorts to intimate boutique hotels and comfortable vacation rentals. Each destination has unique features and amenities that make it suitable for families.

– Turks & Caicos: This destination boasts many luxury resorts and villas, with kid-friendly amenities such as swimming pools, children’s programs, and water sports facilities. Check out our guide to the best resorts in Turks & Caicos.

– U.S. Virgin Islands: See our guide for the best family resorts in St Thomas, a popular cruise port. 

– The British Virgin Islands offers adventure packages with guided snorkeling excursions for families seeking adventure and luxury.

– Jamaica: The island is widely known for its all-inclusive resorts that cater to families, offering amenities like kid-friendly pools, meals, and various water and land activities.

– Puerto Rico: Accommodations here range from all-inclusive resorts to vacation rentals near the beach. Many hotels offer kids’ clubs and family activities to entertain the younger ones.

– Grenada: This destination is known for its boutique hotels and resorts. They offer kids’ clubs, babysitting services, and a range of recreational activities suitable for all ages.

– Antigua and Barbuda: Find your perfect family getaway in one of Antigua’s 365 beaches. Many all-inclusive beachfront resorts offer kid-friendly beach activities.

– St. Maarten: Families can choose from various all-inclusive resorts and vacation rentals, many of which offer amenities like kids’ clubs, water sports, and family-friendly dining options.

– Dominican Republic: Specifically in Punta Cana and Cap Cana, you’ll find a host of all-inclusive resorts with a wide range of amenities and activities, perfect for families.

– Barbados: Known for its family-friendly beaches, Barbados offers spots for swimming, snorkeling, and watersports. Accommodation options range from all-inclusive resorts to vacation rentals with access to these activities.

– Bahamas: A top choice for families looking for a close island to the United States, the Bahamas has numerous resorts with white-sand beaches and opportunities for scuba diving and other activities. From all-inclusive packages to boutique hotels, the choice is vast.

Activities and Attractions for Families in Each Destination

A Vibrant Underwater Coral Reef With Diverse Marine Life, Captured In A High-Resolution Photograph.

The Caribbean islands are known for their stunning white-sand beachescrystal clear waters, and year-round warm weather. With all these great features, it’s no wonder the region is a popular destination for families looking to have fun on vacation.

Turks & Caicos is perfect for beach bums who want to laze in the sun or participate in water sports like snorkeling or scuba diving. The British Virgin Islands has something to offer everyone – from kid’s clubs and shallow pools with water slides perfect for young children to horseback riding and fitness centers ideal for older kids who want more adventure.

In Jamaica, you can spot sea turtles swimming among vibrant coral reefs within Montego Bay Marine Park – an unmissable stop if you’re after some educational entertainment! Puerto Rico offers direct access to many attractions, such as exploring Old San Juan with its colonial buildings and cobblestone streets dotted with local culture.

Grenada has direct flights from many U.S. cities, making family travel hassle-free. Relax on beautiful beaches or explore hidden coves – there’s guaranteed peace and tranquility here! Quiet Antigua lets your family enjoy privacy and serenity while strolling down gently sloped sandy shores directly leading into calm waters – excellent even for toddlers!

St Maarten also claims some of the best beaches in the world, featuring powdery sands backed by warm turquoise waters plus private pools, ensuring every family member finds something they’ll love!


A Diverse And Vibrant Underwater Coral Reef With Colorful Fish Swimming, Captured In High-Quality Detail By A Professional Photographer.

The Caribbean is a paradise for family vacations, offering various resorts and activities catering to toddlers, teenagers, and parents alike. Families have many choices, from the all-inclusive options in Punta Cana to Oil Nut Bay’s adventure packages on Virgin Gorda.

Some excellent opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, water sports, or just chilling by the beach can be found at Turks & Caicos or Summerland Beach in St Kitts & Nevis. At the same time, Barbados offers more traditional seaside holidays with its wide variety of beaches.

Families with younger children may appreciate Saint Lucia’s events and facilities dedicated expressly to them or Nickelodeon Hotels’ character-themed amenities. For short trips from New York City, there are several lovely destinations—such as Grenada’s serene waters off Grand Anse beach or Puerto Rico’s lengthy coastlines—while Cap Cana makes an idyllic backdrop for interactive learning experiences close to the Dominican Republic.

The possibilities are endless, so pick your dream destination wisely!

Frequently Asked Questions: Caribbean Family Vacations

What Are the Best Family Vacation Spots in the Caribbean?

Grand Cayman, St. Lucia, Ocho Rios, Atlantis Paradise Island, and Playa del Carmen are some of the best Caribbean islands to visit. They offer turquoise water, family-friendly resorts, and thrilling activities.

Is the Caribbean Suitable for Families with Varied Interests?

Yes! The Caribbean has something for the whole family, from shallow waters suitable for little kids to golf courses for adults. It’s a family favorite for good reason.

Are There All-Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean?

Absolutely. Resorts with features like water parks, lazy rivers, and swim-up bars offer great value for money. They often have live entertainment, making them the perfect getaway.

Are There Accommodations Near Beaches and Other Attractions?

Certainly! Nickelodeon Hotels, for example, offers the kids’ club, where your little ones can meet characters like Cookie Monster. Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa also offers splash pad facilities for the kids.

Which Islands Are Close to the U.S. for Short Flights?

St. John and other U.S. Virgin Islands are just a short flight away. They offer the charm of the Caribbean Sea while being easily accessible.

What Destinations Are Suitable for Kids Who Love Adventures?

Turks & Caicos Beaches and Coconut Bay Beach Resort have great places for kids who love gaming and adventure. These resorts offer video games and other adventure zones, making them dream getaways.

Are There Fitness Centers in These Resorts?

Yes, most resorts offer fitness centers so that you can continue your workout routine while on vacation.

Is Seven Mile Beach Worth Visiting?

Seven Mile Beach in the Cayman Islands is one of the best Caribbean destinations. It’s renowned for its stunning white sand and blue water, and is as good of a choice as Turks & Caicos for clear water.

Can Large Groups Be Accommodated?

Yes, inclusive Caribbean resorts are ideal for large groups. They offer varied experiences, ensuring everyone has a great Caribbean vacation.

What Activities Can Families Do Together?

Families can enjoy road trips around the islands, snorkeling in the clear waters, or just lazing around in a lazy river. There’s something for everyone.

Are Kids’ Clubs Available in the Resorts?

Yes, most resorts offer kids’ clubs featuring a variety of activities to keep your children engaged and happy.

How Can I Make My Family Vacation a Memorable One?

Look for destinations that offer a mix of adventures, relaxation, and family-oriented activities. This blend ensures your vacation becomes a life-long cherished memory.

What Makes St. Lucia Special?

St. Lucia is known for its stunning landscapes and luxury resorts, making it one of the best family vacations in the Caribbean. The landscape gives it a different look than most Caribbean islands.

What Are the Most Popular Beaches in St. Thomas?

Magens Bay and Coki Beach are popular beaches in St. Thomas. They offer beautiful scenery and are family-friendly.

How Can I Get the Best Out of My Caribbean Vacation?

Plan and choose a resort that aligns with your family’s interests. Whether it’s a fitness center, kids’ club, or proximity to the beach, find what suits you best for the perfect getaway.

Are There Activities for Adults?

Yes, from swim-up bars to golf courses, adults can also have their share of fun and relaxation. It’s a great way for everyone to unwind.

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