Some assignments are pure pleasure. Like, writing the data-driven World’s Best pieces for Travel + Leisure. This year we had some newcomers. But, one thing is clear: T+L readers love Hawaii. Florida, Mexico, Southern California and South Carolina, too. Toss in some classically glorious properties in Michigan, Rhode Island, Cape Cod, GA, mix with a Caribbean paradise and dreamy slice of Costa Rica and you’ve got our WB Family Beach list for 2016.

Written by editors but determined by a reader survey, the highlighted hotels have more in common than killer beachfront. Rooms must be spacious and modern (many boast kitchens for quickie breakfasts and easy snacking). There must be plenty of dining options, upscale and casual. And, the presence of a kids’ club is essential. But, what is abundantly clear is that recreation is king. From sports fishing, kayaking, crater hiking and stand up paddle boarding to tennis, golf and ziplining, families value activities that can be enjoyed together. And, separately. These savvy resorts are keyed in to the fact that parents need downtime too. Kids-and teens- are catered to with water sports, adventure outings and top notch programming like surf lessons, hands-on marine biology or exploring tide pools with a local naturalist. The result? Zero planning required. Just wake up and go.

So, pack your bags and forget the to-do list. These beach resorts have it all figured out.

Travel + Leisure: World’s Best Family Beach Hotels