Best for Nature Lovers
At the tip of the 1,000-mile-long Baja Peninsula, the towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas collectively make up this destination. Between them lie 20 miles of rugged coastline, complete with ritzy resorts and cactus-studded golf courses.
Family Fun: Resorts in Los Cabos tend to be a bit upscale, attracting vacationers with deluxe spas, designer golf courses, and elaborate pools. But venturing beyond them -- either with a rental car or by taking organized tours -- will introduce your kids to a cool ecosystem where the desert meets the sea. It's also a great place to see gray whales that migrate to the region each fall. Most of the time, your family can spot them spouting from shore, but for a better view, take a whale-watching cruise on a catamaran or powerboat.
Hire a panga, a water taxi, to take you from the beach to El Arco, an arched rock at the end of the peninsula and the region's big landmark. It's home to a fascinating sea-lion colony. For a more adventurous trek, you can also kayak there with Baja Wild (bajawild.com), which offers guided outings in two-seater boats.
If you're looking for something a little less strenuous, check out Santa Maria Bay, where the water is calm and teeming with reef fish, which makes it great for snorkeling with kids. Or see the desert (without getting sunstroke) by signing up with Baja Outback for a naturalist-led tour over the rutted roads in a terrain-tough Humvee.
At night, divide your dinner hours between the twin Cabo settlements. San Jose del Cabo is quieter, with a historic church and central plaza ideal for an after-dinner stroll. You may hear that Cabo San Lucas has a party scene, but don't be deterred: A variety of restaurants, a lush marina, and ample shopping make it fun for families too.
Hotel Highlights: Villa La Estancia (877-845-5247, villagroupresorts.com) offers family-ready villas equipped with full kitchens, and a pool with a fountain and hidden grottos. Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort (877-354-1399, hiltonloscabos.com) has a protected beach cove for tranquil ocean swimming. It also has games, arts and crafts, and scheduled activities for kids. For a splurge, the exclusive One & Only Palmilla (888-691-8081, oneandonlypalmilla.com) offers a Kids Only Club featuring golf and tennis clinics, yoga classes, Spanish lessons, and pinata-making.