'12-'15 Pilot is ideal - if you look underneath Honda went to great lengths on the 2nd gens more than any other to tuck things up and keep them out of danger for soft roading.
- Change all of the drivetrain fluid right away since you will be using the AWD system more and thus putting more stress on the fluid.
- Good tires. I'm not a beach driving expert so I don't know which tires do best in sand - an off road forum may have better info.
- All AWD 2nd gens come standard with an ATF cooler. Up to you if you install a larger one but transmission overheating on 2nd gens is a nonexistent complaint, even from those who tow.
- A lift is a blessing a curse. More ground clearance is good. Preloaded springs means less down travel is available and the ride will be stiffer off road.
- Skid plates are a good idea for sure.