Some sunny seaside resorts cater to families

By LYNN O'ROURKE HAYES | The Dallas Morning News | Published: January 29, 2016

A little sun, a little sand and the sea. The combination makes for a great family vacation. Here are five destinations to consider:


Panama City Beach, Fla.

Here, the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay converge before spilling onto 27 miles of sugary white sand beaches. Boasting 320 days of sunshine, championship golf, spas and a diverse menu of recreational opportunities, it's a warm weather community fit for families. Stay at the full service Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort and swim in a lagoon pool, play tennis, access kids' programming through the Adventure Zone, ride a jet ski and stretch out with yoga on the beach. Comfortable suites offer fully equipped kitchens and laundry facilities. Check out the scene before you go on the Panama City beach webcam.

Web: www.visitpanamacitybeach.com


Duck Key, Fla

Do you have an aspiring mermaid in your household? The Orlando-based Mermaid Academy makes this sea faring fantasy a reality at the Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys. Kids of all ages can "dip their tail in the water" and see what swimming like this mystical creature actually feels like in the resort's salt-water lagoon. Families can also check out the dolphin research facility, learn to stand up paddleboard, opt for a day at the Coral Cay Adventure Kids Club or explore the underwater world with a snorkel.

Web: www.hawkscay.com; www.themermaidacademy.com.


Wailea, Hawaii

If you are looking for island luxury and a spot the kids will rave about, the seaside Grand Wailea Resort fits the bill. Check out the Rock, a 20,000 square-foot mini resort, offering creatively designed spaces and programs for youngsters as well as teens. The expansive Wailea Canyon activity pool is the spot for imaginative water play, deck side lei and puka shell neckace-making and the chance to check out the Fishpipe. The latter is a unique type of water ride, described as the world's first rotating barrel ride with a top speed of 11 feet per second.

Web: www.grandwailea.com; visitmaui.com.


Sardinal, Costa Rica

Known for beautiful beaches, volcanoes and extensive biodiversity, Costa Rica exudes a family-friendly vibe and a commitment to pura vida. On the Pacific coast, this 538-room, beachfront, all-inclusive resort offers four pools, beach access and a kid's club and playground. Teens and their parents can opt for complimentary water sports and beach volleyball. During your stay in this Central American country, sample windsurfing, kayaking and snorkeling before opting for an introductory scuba lesson in the resort pool.

Web: www.rui.com; www.visitcostarica.com.


Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Located along the St. Lucie River on the Atlantic coast, Club Med's only resort in the U.S. offers families the opportunity to relax in a European style all-inclusive environment. Known for their groundbreaking children's programs, the 337-room Club Med Sandpiper Bay offers care and activities for children ages four months to the teen years. Plan for pool and beach time, golf lessons, tennis and circus style trapeze fun.

Web: www.clubmed.us


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