If you are dead set on east coast I can't help. If you are a little more flexible let me recommend The Florida Panhandle beaches. Some of the best beaches in the world and many next to tourist areas that offer a lot for younger folks to do also.
If this trip is your first experience with east coast beaches. I suggest Myrtle Beach area. It is very commercialized, lots of activities, you can camp right at the beach,which means no need to drive anywhere. If you are coming east for the beach, than why not camp right on the beach.
OC MD, and VA beach are good alternatives. However camping on the beach is limited. There are CG close to the beach that have beach shuttles. Hatteras area if you want less to do, a more relaxing serene atmosphere but still on the beach. Cape May and NJ beaches are decent but you cannot camp right on the beach and will need to travel by car a bit more.
Florida has awesome beaches,but it is a longer drive. Florida is a destination in itself and vacation activity is not really centered around the beaches.
Myrtle Area puts you right on the beach with lots to do in the area. Again very commercial lots of action.
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Agree completely and strongly with recommendation for MB. We have retired to that area from NJ but visited Myrtle Beach for years with our two sons. They cannot be bored if they are here. Simple as that. Not sure what they're into but they will find it in this area. CG's are huge, sites are close together and each is a destination withiin itself, particularly the "Big Three" (Pirateland, Lakewood (not recommended - too many very strictly enforced rules) and Ocean Lakes). Of the three, with teens, I would agree Pirateland. If you have particular questions or would like to know much more, feel free to PM.
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Life is too short to wait too long to do all we want to do!!
Go and enjoy!!
Glad I have stumbled on this. I've been thinking also of a beach camping trip, and that Pirateland looks like it would be a lot of fun for my kids. It would be great if someone had better pictures of the sites though.
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As others have said, Myrtle Beach has many more things to do to keep your teenagers occupied. Also has great beachfront campgrounds. Another plus for ocean swimming is warm water. Haven't camped there since my sister lives there and lets us stay with her.
Having camped on the outer banks for years I can say it is a great way to really get away from it all. There is less overall to do, but sometimes that is the point. A typical day for me on the outer banks is sleep, eat,swim, fish, eat, sleep, swim, eat, sleep.
I am actually heading down to Pirateland in late June/early July for the first time. Heard a lot of great things and am looing forward to it. I have 4 kids (15, 13, 8, 7)
You will enjoy it. The water will be really nice then. We went in early June last summer and it was great. Are you staying in an inland site, oceanfront/premium or beach site? We stayed inland and the sites were a little tight but the campground was pretty empty on the inland section so it didn't really matter. The oceanfront/premim sites can be either oceanfront or lake front but all seemed pretty nice. We were directly across from the lake halfway between the pool and the beach so it was perfect for us.
My family and I stay at Myrtle Beach Travel Park (MBTP) every year. There is not as much going on as there is at Ocean Lakes or Pirateland but IMO the pros out way the cons. The area where MBTP is located as less traffic and is very close to the main road. Also close by there's a Wal-Mart, restaurants, and shopping. I should also mention that this is an ocean front campground. All the staff and other campers are always nice and friendly. They also have plenty of clean bath houses (if your family uses them). My wife and kids love the place and don't want to stay anywhere else in the Myrtle Beach area. Hope this helps