There are many good reasons why beach vacations are such an obvious choice for families. The things that make them up - water, sky, and sand - are elemental. 

No matter what beach town you choose to visit, it’s sure to have a casual, laid-back atmosphere. Your kids will play happily in the waves or dig trenches in the sand, there are ice cream and cold beverages everywhere you look, and no one even thinks about dressing up, ever.

Never mind that you had to sit in traffic for hours to get to the beach, that it’s critical to arrive at the ocean early in the morning to stake a good spot, that none of the restaurants take reservations, or that there’s always the possibility of that bane of all beach vacations: rainy days. Or maybe you do mind these things. Maybe you’re looking for something new and different, a break from the beach.

All of the options listed below make for a fabulous late summer or early fall family vacation; each offers both outdoor and indoor activities and plenty of places to stay and eat. So where should you head if you’re all beached out?