Poole's beaches include Sandbanks, which has held Blue Flag status for more than 20 years. During the summer Sandbanks hosts weekly fireworks displays on the beach, as well as live music and barbecues. Shore Road Beach has zones for kitesurfers and windsurfers - and equipment for most watersports can be hired from the beach booths.
The other main beaches in Poole are the Branksomes. These beaches offer a slightly more low-key experience, with plenty of beach huts available to rent. At Branksome Chine, there is lots to keep the kids amused; if you're travelling with a pet head instead to Branksome Dene, where dogs can run on the sands all year round.
Dorset is also the start point for the Jurassic Coast, which showcases the Earth's development with rock formations from 185 million years ago. The 95-mile section which runs to East Devon is a World Heritage Site - the UK's first - and a must-see UK landscape.
Poole's incredible lighthouse is the centre for arts in the region and hosts a variety of shows and events - from music to comedy, theatre to films and for all ages.
Kids will appreciate Adventure Wonderland, which is just a few miles outside of Poole. There are more than thirty rides and attractions, from a crazy Runaway Train to the cute Animal Cuddle Corner. There is also an indoor adventure play centre called Wild Thing, which is ideal for younger children.
That is not to say there isn't plenty to do in the town centre of Poole, where there is the Dolphin Shopping Centre and a bi-weekly market sure to keep you busy. Bournemouth is nearby too, which means more Blue Flag beaches plus the impressive Oceanarium - home of the world's first virtual dive cage - are within easy reach.