Escaping post-vacation blues with a trip to the beach is a great way to start the new year. We asked globetrotting families which beaches were the best for a winter getaway.*
Go all inclusive in Dubai
Rixos The Palm in Dubai
Located in the multi-concept beach resort of Rixos The Palm, The Rixy Kids’ Club combines every modern convenience with a “go big or go home” attitude – and kids who spent their holidays with cabin fever will love every minute. Parents can either join their children in the Kids’ Club activities (including treasure hunts and swim lessons) or relax at one of the beachside restaurants.
Get active in Barcelona
Bogatell, redeveloped for the 1992 Olympic Games
Even though the average temperature is a less-than-tropical 54°F, the beaches around Barcelona are still a popular winter beach destination for families. Bogatell (one of Barcelona’s newest beaches) is gorgeous any time of the year and in January the lack of crowds creates a calm atmosphere for hiking the coast, biking, and exploring. After a day of adventure, the entire family can curl up at the Lugaris Beach House.
Relax in Rio de Janeiro
Praia do Leblon, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro's Praia do Leblon beach caters to everyone – from local families to international soccer players and reality TV stars. Here you’ll find warm temperatures, miles of sand, and enough family-friendly restaurants to keep everyone well-fed. A children’s play area and tennis courts provide fun alternatives to tanning and swimming, plus Rio’s city center is only a 30-minute drive away. Prefer to stay near the beach? Check out (or into) one of the Leblon House self-serviced apartments.
Admire art on the Gold Coast
North Burleigh Beach in Queensland, Australia
Burleigh Heads on Australia’s Gold Coast has always been popular with surfing families, but recent years have seen more and more art enthusiasts booking a few weeks at this beautiful spot. The beach is bordered by the Burleigh Heads National Park and the town is full of local artists and craft markets, taking their inspiration from the area’s unique shoreline. Booking at Indigo Blue will give you easy access to the beach (only a 3-minute walk away) and the family-friendly, oceanfront restaurants.
Spoil yourself in Sydney
Head to Sydney for "winter" sun
Thanks in part to Bondi Beach, Sydney is a popular winter destination for beach-loving families. There’s no need to worry about the crowds since the southern Sydney beaches are a short drive from two of the area’s national parks: the Nielsen Park and the Parsley Bay Reserve. Both of these green spaces offer relief from the strong afternoon sun and plenty of activities. Or you can stay at the Watsons Bay Hotel––just a short drive up the coast––and spend your days soaking up the sun and lounging on the nearby beach.
** Cities were chosen based on endorsements for Family Friendly and Beaches given in January.