Whether floating on, paddling through or sailing across, being one with the water can have an amazing affect. Kayaks and canoes will have children skimming the lake at exciting speeds, and evening cruises on catamarans can have help parents escape for an hour or two. Swimming and snorkeling with a new bottle-nosed friend will never be forgotten either. Make waves with your family at one of these 10 best water sport resorts (listed in no particular order) and enjoy an ocean of watery fun for you and your family.

Written by Hilarey Wojtowicz
Get nose to nose with dolphins at Anthony's Key Resort, located on one of Honduras' Bay Islands, and learn how to feed friendly animals, too. Dolphins star at the onsite Roatan Institute for Marine Science, a conservation and education center. During the summer dolphin camp, kids ages 5 to 9 and 10 to 14 learn about the resident pod and their ocean habitat, as well as swim and snorkel. Scuba-certified teens discover the underwater wonders on their own dives. On Fridays, families join in a dolphin encounter and the children end their Sunday to Friday camp by snorkeling with the friendly critters. Canoes and kayaks are also available.

With more than 120 miles of scenic shoreline along Lake Champlain in Vermont, Basin Harbor Club offer families lakefront water sports for everyone in your party. Sail, canoe, kayak, fish and water ski at this 700-acre property, where, from late-June through Labor Day, the resort runs morning and evening programs for kids ages 3 to 17. Fishing is huge here and guests can ride on the Escape, a 48-foot boat, for a guided cruise of the lake, or just enjoy the resort's canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, tubes, outboards and powerboats. The floating water trampoline will keep the kids entertained while you relax on the beach.

A Key West landmark since the 1920’s, Casa Marina takes the title as the Florida Keys' largest resort with the longest private beach and biggest swimming pool. Along with snorkeling and diving outings to ogle the nearby reefs' rainbow-colored fish and coral, the resort offers parasailing, kayaking, fishing excursions, dolphin encounters, Hobie Cats and the classic Key West experience: a sunset cruise. Waverunners, kayaks, boats, windsurfing equipment and more are available to rent at this resort, which was built with water enthusiasts in mind.

The Club Med Cancun Yucatan's half-mile stretch of sand, among Cancun's nicest beaches, offers plenty of opportunities for swimming and boogie boarding. The resort, because of its all-inclusive rates, is a great place for you and your kids to perfect skills in sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, snorkeling, kayaking and waterskiing through one of the schools offered. Since waterskiers glide through the property's shallow lagoon, neither newbies, nor experts, practicing tricks fear falling. Club Med offers daylong activities for ages 4 to 17. Swimming with dolphins is also offered, but if you’re up for the challenge, submerge yourself in a cage that is lowered into the shark tank for a close-up of these sharp-toothed creatures.

Located on the quiet and calm Mead’s Bay in Anguilla, Frangipani Beach Resort will have even the littlest swimmer ready for the water. Kayak your way across the water or rent a Hobie Cat at no charge. Two complimentary motorized boats are also available for guests, and with two sizes -- the 34-foot Relentless cruiser and the 17-foot Baby Relentless powerboat -- the whole family will be able to sail the high seas. Snorkeling gear, inner tubes, wakeboards, water skis and beach toys are also available at the resort.

This all-inclusive, lakefront resort in the Poconos recently unveiled its newest VENTURE program, which will have families in and out of the water with ease. Woodloch Pines offers a plethora of outdoor activities during the summer, with water sports topping the list. Kayak or paddleboard across the lake, hop in a sailboat or try waterskiing for the first time. Water sports may not be offered year-round, but guests are sure to enjoy canoeing, sailing, fishing, swimming and bumper boating so much, that they’ll be ready for land activities by the time the season changes.

You may not think of hitting the beach in the Midwest, but Madden’s on Gull Lake is close to three, all of which offer numerous water sports and activities, with lessons for newbies. Bounce and splash into Brainerd Lake from one of the floating trampolines or relax and cruise along the water in a canoe or kayak. Instructors are on hand to offer help to beginners -- learn how to water ski, wake board, wake surf and more -- or guests can use complimentary paddlebikes and stand-up paddleboards at their leisure. Sailboats and pontoons for fishing are available for rent, too.

Accessible only by water, it only makes sense that the Bitter End Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands offers water sports for all ages. The Kids Club for those 5 to 12 hosts kids’ kayak outings, sailing trips and snorkeling excursions. Tubing, sailing and family regatta camps are also offered seasonally for children 5 to 12, too. For teens and adults, kiteboarding is the biggest thing at the oceanfront resort. Instructors will teach you how to fly through the air with ease, though it may take a few tries. And for parents looking for less extreme activities, enjoy a sunset sail or Champagne cruise in the evening.

Go under water at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and see what lies within the coral reefs of the Hawaiian island. Snorkel, scuba dive, kayak or surf the ocean before relaxing on a paddle or boogie board. If in need of lessons, the complimentary Outrigger Canoe program has instructors ready to help you paddle your way to the top of the class. And when you and your kids are ready to make a splash, see how high you can bounce on one of the floating water trampolines. Whale watching, kayak adventure tours and evening sails are also available.

The Coronado resort rents out motorboats, sailboats, jet skis, kayaks and paddleboats, but families will really want to try paddleboarding while visiting the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. If the mellow activity isn’t for you or your kids, head to the Coronado Surfing Academy at the resort for group or private surfing lessons. Water ski and wakeboarding packages are also available. For the guests looking to just enjoy the almost-perfect weather, a two-hour sunset cruise is offered on the resort’s 27-foot Catalina for just $45 per person.

1 of 12

Anthony's Key Resort Reviews
Be the first to write a Anthony's Key Resort review!
Basin Harbor Club Reviews
Hurst - Jul 10th, 2011

We first came to Basin Harbor as a mini family reunion 12 years ago. It gets better all the time. The food this year was the best ever. Our kids now 14 and 17 have BHC friends they have had since being in the kids camps they offer as part of the ... read more
Basin Harbor Club reviews
Casa Marina Resort Reviews
Be the first to write a Casa Marina Resort review!
Club Med Cancun Yucatan Reviews
luckyskimom - Nov 15th, 2011

Club Med Yucatan (Cancun) In February of 2010, my three teenagers and I went to the Club Med in Cancun and had the greatest time. As a single mom with three teens, it was the perfect vacation. We had a room with the ocean on one side and a lake ... read more
luckyskimom - Apr 28th, 2011

We have gone to this club two years in a row now as my kids had so much fun. They meet people from all over the world and even the shyest one is dancing and participating in the fun. My daughters could use their French and my son could practice ... read more
Club Med Cancun Yucatan reviews
Frangipani Beach Resort Reviews
Be the first to write a Frangipani Beach Resort review!
Woodloch Pines Reviews
Nijuky - Mar 17th, 2015

my family has been going for over 35 years ...we are four generations going to woodloch each year you absolutely can not beat the hospitality and the woodloch family team. From the time you arrive until the time you leave you are. Treated as family ... read more
KandJ22 - Jan 26th, 2015

Excellent, so many things to do for all the different ages,,, We will be back and I will be back to sit on my bench and watch the lake...... read more
Woodloch Pines reviews
Madden's on Gull Lake Reviews
Be the first to write a Madden's on Gull Lake review!
The Bitter End Yacht Club Reviews
Caitlin's Mom - May 11th, 2010

If you're looking for a laid back vacation with lots of sailing and water sports and very little decision making, Bitter End Yacht club might be the place for you. We took our then 9 and 13 year old kids for a spring break vacation and really had a ... read more
The Bitter End Yacht Club reviews
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea Reviews
Be the first to write a Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea review!
Loews Coronado Bay Resort Reviews
Be the first to write a Loews Coronado Bay Resort review!

    FREE Family Travel Newsletter
  • Family Travel Tips   (1 New)

    Family Planning and Tips

    • Disney Wonder Alaskan Cruise
      Join us onboard Disney Wonder's first exploration into Alaskan waters and ports as Family Vacation Critic Editor Lissa Poirot and her two tots take you on a tour. Be the first to see a sample of Disney's Alaskan Port Adventures, as well as glimpse the Disney Wonder's onboard fun, in our first-ever d...
  • Twitter
  • Facebook