Your beach vacation, pre-kids: Long stretches of sunbathing, a little splashing in the water (as long as it wasn't too cold) and a fruity, umbrella-decked drink in your hand. Your beach vaction with kids: Um, decidedly different! But still amazingly fun, if you visit one of these family-friendly stretches of sand. All boast beautiful water and plenty of the grainy stuff, of course, but also loads of extras (like seashell hunting and dolphin sighting) and great places to stay. Book a room -- and hit the beach!
Paradise Island, Bahamas Why You'll Love It: Famous for its wide, white sand beaches, clear blue water and swashbuckling pirate past (did someone say "arrghh?"), this island is a short flight away from most major east coast cities.
Where to Stay:Atlantis Resort boasts the world's largest open-air marine life habitat, showcasing 50,000 sea creatures in enormous indoor/outdoor aquariums and snorkeling lagoons. Kids can swim with dolphins and kiss sea lions at Dolphin Cay interactive programs; or speed down translucent tube slides that shoot through shark-filled coves at Aquaventure water park. Younger children can play at Splashers, with shallow pools, dump buckets, water canons and pint-sized versions of the big-kid slides.