St. Thomas

Once we got that hint of sunny weather earlier this week, it became official: we’ve got the beach bug. Nothing ushers in warmer temperatures (at least in our minds) like frolicking in the sand, and a trip to the shore can be the perfect way to get the family together. We’ve told you about the best beaches for diving, surfing, and even going topless, so this time around we’re giving you the low-down on the best beaches for families; if you have babies in tow or water-winged toddlers, these seven U.S. beaches are our top picks for a family-friendly visit.

La Jolla Cove, San Diego

La Jolla

An upscale seaside sanctuary, La Jolla attracts families with its pristine downtown area, quiet neighborhoods, and stunning natural surroundings. While the town boasts plenty of surfer-friendly beaches, La Jolla Cove is ideal for tourists traveling with little ones; this small cove of clear water is part of the La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, and swimmers and divers have free range (surfing is not allowed). Lifeguards patrol the calm surf year-round, and the beach boasts clean public restrooms and showers, as well as designated picnic spots.

Where to Stay: Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

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When your windows frame the crystalline creep of fresh frost and the forecast calls for snow, sleet and plummeting mercury, nothing boosts the spirit better than dreams of tropical heat and beachy vistas. But when even the weatherman looks depressed and the thermometer starts to shiver, it can be hard to remember what warm weather feels like, much less to envision sand between your toes and colorful drinks with fancy umbrellas. So we’re here to help get you started on your armchair (or actual!) travels. These seven, ultra-luxurious infinity pools are absolutely spectacular and overlook the warmest oceans the world has to offer. Happy daydreams…

Marriott Wailea Resort, Maui

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The Marriott Wailea Resort offers up the best of both worlds: family-friendly grounds and an adults-only infinity pool. And what an infinity pool it is! Calm waters cascade over the edge, drawing your eyes out to the sparkling Pacific. And if you’re in the market for a quiet place to relax, the infinity pool’s shaded cabanas and lounge chairs are the perfect choice.

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The beach, the pools, the view – these are major reasons why we travel to the Caribbean. And when we can get all in one, that’s ideal. So we scoured the islands to find the best infinity pools in the Caribbean. These spots – with gorgeous views overlooking the ocean – are perfect for sitting back, relaxing, and soaking up that sun.

Four Seasons Resort Nevis

Four Seasons Resort, Nevis

This Four Seasons sits on a large, attractive beach on the small island of Nevis. The gorgeous rooms here may be the highlight, with up-to-date technology, massive bathrooms, and pretty yellow-and-blue decor. But the reflection pool, an adults-only pool overlooking the ocean, is a major perk as well. Poolside guests can enjoy free snacks, as well as poolside lunch and drink service, throughout the day. The hotel also features two other slightly larger pools as well.

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WTF Wednesday: Caption This Photo

by Zach on February 29, 2012

Depending on where you travel, you might find some interesting hotel crashers. In the case of the Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort on St. Thomas, they’re of the reptilian variety. Luckily, these guys are harmless (unless you happen to be a strawberry), and kids tend to love seeing them. Check out our caption after the jump, then add your own in the comments section below!

The Pool at the Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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