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East Coach Beaches with Nearby History

Everyone looks forward to the summer family beach vacation.  Yet, not everyone can sit in the sand and surf and play for days.  Think beyond the beach house and give the more adventurous in your group a side of history with their beach vacation.  It’s a great way to teach your kids a summer history lesson and have fun at the beach at the same time. Here are some great choices for a family beach vacation with nearby historic sites:

Virginia Beach, VA – Williamsburg, Jamestown & Yorktown

No doubt about it, history happened in Virginia.  If you love the beach and want to see some of the bigger moments in US history, then Virginia Beach and Williamsburg should be on your short list.  The main attraction is the Virginia Beach oceanfront spanning 6 miles of public beach on the Atlantic Ocean with a 59-block Boardwalk.  When you’re done soaking up the sun, you can head east and go to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown.  All three are famous historical sites that the kids (and adults) may never forget.  These are must-see kid-history destinations that tell a great tale of a new country and its settlers.


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Kiawah Island, SC – Fort Sumter

If you love the beach, outdoor activity and wildlife, you’ll love Kiawah Island. It’s located on one of the east coast’s most beautiful barrier islands just a few miles from historic Charleston, SC.  Your family can enjoy an incredible spa, wildlife sanctuary, golf, tennis, cycling, and kayaking.  Stay at the award-winning Sanctuary Hotel and play golf at five championship South Carolina golf courses including the famous Ocean Course. When you’re done with the sweet life, head over to Fort Sumter and experience Civil War history.  After decades of disagreement between North and South, the Confederate Army opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor.  Union forces would try for nearly four years to reclaim this historic site. You should make sure it’s on your to do list too!  And don’t forget to head over to Charleston for a visit.


Related Links:

Fort Sumter:

Duck, NC – Wright Brothers Memorial & Lost Colony

Nothing says Outer Banks like the Wright Brothers Memorial and Lost Colony.  Come for the beach but make sure you visit the history.  Here you’ll get a satisfying and relaxing oceanfront experience in the great Atlantic surf and Currituck Sound.  First the beach: Duck is one of the east coast gems that make other beaches look a little boring.  There are family friendly activities from jet skiing on the sound to flying kites on the beach.  And the beaches are dog friendly too.  Then when you tire of beach-going, you can visit the Wright Brother Memorial and Lost Colony (on Manteo), two of the most entertaining historic exhibits for your little ones.  And make sure to plan a few extra hours in Manteo to enjoy all it has to offer.

Wright Brothers

Related Links:

Wright Brothers Memorial:

Do you have a favorite historical site near your family beach vacation?

More from Samantha Brown:

Best City Beaches

Best Beaches for Adventure

Best Museums You Never Heard Of

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. We spent time last summer in the Outer Banks and loved The Lost Colony. We did the behind the scene tour too. It was great! In June we are heading to the West coast and will be coupling a little history with the beautiful beaches too. Can’t wait to check out the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in Simi Valley and El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historical Park.

  2. I am glad you featured Virginia Beach and Williamsburg/Historic Triangle. Although I am not planning to visit during the summer, I am planning to go during Thanksgiving time this year. Glad to find the website. I miss Samantha Brown’s Travel shows!

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