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Reigned over by a 12th-century castle, the seaside town of Scarborough centres around a pretty, horseshoe-shaped bay lapped by the North Sea. Sandy beaches, surfing opportunities, and hearty Yorkshire fare have made Scarborough a family favourite for more than 400 years.
Catch a wave in Cornwall! Beach, surfing, and scenery draw the crowds to Newquay every summer. Perfect your tan on the beach, paddle in the shallows, or join the surfers out at sea. Just out of town, the Holywell Bay Fun Park, Newquay Zoo, and Blue Reef Aquarium provide family fun, and dedicated cycling tracks offer an alternate way to tour nearby towns of Bodmin, Padstow, and Truro.
Just south of the Majorcan capital, Playa de Palma’s golden coastline is lined by luxury hotels, international restaurants, and lively bars. Popular with revelers, the resort strip also offers water sports facilities and easy access to the airport, making it a convenient hub for any sunseeker.
Sandy, peaceful beaches and ancient ruins beckon travelers to Chersonisos, a one-time Roman port on the island of Crete. This is a family-friendly place, with plenty of activities for kids. The Lychnostatis Open Air Museum gives you the chance to explore the trades and lifestyles of early islanders. Exhibits include a herbarium, olive oil and wine presses and workshops on ceramics, shoe making and weaving. The aquarium showcases local sea creatures, as do the town's many traditional cafes, though in a completely different (and more delicious) manner.
If your kids are sick of the same old beach holiday you take every year, consider taking them to Lanzarote. There are great beaches, to be sure, but this UNESCO World Biosphere reserve has unique attractions and activities. We're talking camel rides on volcanoes (at Timanfaya National Park), or eating at a restaurant in a volcanic cave (at Jameos del Agua). Even the most jaded teens will be impressed.