Best Cape Cod Hotels for Families

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Cape Cod is one of the most iconic summertime getaways in the U.S. Picturesque towns, historic lighthouses, bike paths and walking trails, and -- of course -- beautiful beaches have drawn vacationers to Cape Cod for more than a century. Here are the best family-friendly hotels in the cherished vacation spot. 

  1. Set on 25 acres overlooking Pleasant Bay, Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa has been a local staple since 1914. Even though it has more than its share of historic glitz (past guests include Henry Ford and William Rockefeller), Chatham Bars Inn is still a slam-dunk for families, thanks to the large pools (including a kiddy pool), extensive kids' club, and ample dining options and outdoor activities -- bocce ball, horseshoe, croquet courts, and classic clay tennis courts with lessons available). The daily kids' program (not included in the room rates) offers morning, afternoon, and evening sessions.

  2. Red Jacket Beach Resort doesn't have the old-money glamour of Chatham Bars Inn, but it is nonetheless a wonderful spot for families, especially during summer vacation. Its family-friendly offerings include a private beach, two outdoor pools with fountains, an indoor pool with movie screenings, and plenty of activities -- volleyball, shuffleboard, basketball, ping-pong, and oceanside bonfires. There is also a free seasonal kids' club with supervised games and activities for ages five to 12, and even the spa offers special treatments for children and teens. Guests also have access to amenities at all four of the property's sister resorts in the area, including the golf course at Blue Rock Golf Resort and the outdoor pool at Riviera Beach Resort, which has a fountain and other features that are popular with kids. When it comes to summer on the Cape, being beachfront is what it's all about, and Red Jacket Beach Resort has a stellar spot. However, since it is a beachfront hotel, you can expect higher prices for rooms that would be cheaper in any other location.

  3. The child-oriented, laid-back Riviera Beach Resort is hugely popular with families, especially during the summer months. Child-friendly highlights include the beautiful private beach, seasonal kids' club, and two pools. The meandering outdoor pool, with a mushroom-shaped fountain and bridge, is especially popular with kids. Like Red Jacket Beach Resort, rooms feel somewhat dated, but their rates reflect the property's beachfront location, not the room quality. Guests also have access to amenities at all four of the property's sister resorts in the area, including Red Jacket and Blue Rock Golf Resort. The game room at the adjacent Blue Water Resort features an air hockey table and a small selection of video arcade games.

  4. From its seasonal activity program to its spacious suites, Blue Water is a great pick for families, especially during July and August. This oceanside property features a private beach, indoor and outdoor pools, and seasonal activities for kids and adults alike, including bonfires, beach parties, poolside movies, and water sports. There is also a game room with an air hockey table and small selection of video arcade games. Guests also have access to amenities at the property's four sister resorts nearby. The outdoor pool at the adjacent Riviera is much larger than either of the two pools at Blue Water, and has a fountain and other features that are popular with kids. However, Blue Water offers cottages and large suites (not available at Riviera) in addition to standard rooms, so it has more accommodation options. Even the standard rooms are spacious, but they vary from recently refurbished to decidedly dated. 

  5. For those who prefer to set up camp in a secluded and laid-back environment while on vacation, Green Harbor Resort is a great option. It features homey suites, cottages, and townhouses with plenty of space to accommodate families and groups. No need to dine out for every meal at area restaurants, as all units are equipped with kitchenettes or kitchens, and some also have outdoor grills. Green Harbor isn't as crowded with kids as its sister resorts (Red Jacket, Riviera, Blue Water, Blue Rock), but it still has plenty of family-friendly features, including a mini-golf course, a heated pool, rowboat and canoe rentals, loaner bicycles, and a seasonal kids' club with free activities. The hotel's bayside location offers calm waters and a kid-friendly beach.

  6. Pleasant Bay Village is a mid-range hotel that combines beautifully landscaped -- even zen-inspired -- grounds and cozy, homey interiors. Open seasonally, the property has 58 spacious rooms, all of which come with mini-fridges, Keurig coffeemakers, flat-screen HDTVs, AC, outdoor sitting areas, and free Wi-Fi. Suites and Efficiencies have full kitchens and are great for families. Some room are pet-friendly (no fee), and there is are coin-operated laundry facilities for guests' use. Of course, the hotel can't compete with Green Harbor's waterfront location, but the grounds here do have an outdoor pool and whirlpool, a koi pond, cascading stone waterfalls, an outdoor play area and a few vintage arcade games for kids, plus other nooks and crannies to explore.

  7. In an area peppered with charming New England-style hotels and vintage motels, Cape Cod Irish Village stands out for looking almost...corporate. Still, the quirky budget hotel is popular for its lively, family-friendly vibe and location within a short drive of Hyannis’ bustling tourist center. Standard amenities in each of its 124 rooms include mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and flat-screen TVs, and some rooms have balconies. Hotel features include two pools, an outdoor tiki bar, an outdoor playground, a game room with arcade games, and an Irish pub with regular live music. However, the aging room furnishings and overall lack of attention to detail are disappointing. With its charming grounds, rooms, and common areas, Pleasant Bay Village is a better alternative.

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