Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor’s family travel site, has released its annual list of the Best Beaches for Families – naming the best U.S. beaches, specifically for families traveling with kids of all ages.
This year’s list of winning beaches includes:
Cape Hatteras National Seashore – Outer Banks, NC
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is open all summer for both daytime and a few nighttime climbs to the public – in the evening, families can climb with flashlights to get a prime view of the Milky Way.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore – Empire, MI
You can pick up a free Junior Ranger Book, including fun activities for children to complete – once finished, kids will receive a Junior Ranger badge and certificate.
South Padre Island – South Padre, TX
Families can work with local sea turtle rescue, Sea Turtle, Inc., on dozens of scheduled releases during the summer months, to watch as tiny sea turtles enter the ocean for the first time.
The Wildwoods – Wildwood, NJ
Access to the beaches in The Wildwoods is completely free – no beach tags are required – and there is a special Wildwoods Dog Beach, for any families planning to bring Fido along on vacation.
Captiva Beach – Captiva Island, FL
The Captiva Kayak Company offers boat rentals and kayak expeditions into local waterways to explore Captiva’s beaches and bayous.
La Jolla Cove – San Diego, CA
La Jolla Concerts by the Sea are offered every Sunday afternoon during the summer, and provide fun for all ages with a wide range of music to enjoy.
Misquamicut State Beach – Westerly, RI
Water Wiz of Westerly is a water park with three slides, located right on the beach – you can get there early for discounts.
Million Dollar Beach – Lake George, NY
Nearby Lake George Village offers fireworks over the lake every Thursday from July 4 through August.
Clinch Beach – Traverse City, MI
Nearby Clinch Park Marina offers kayak, paddleboard and bicycle rentals to ride on the paved TART Trail, which runs above the beach.
Golden Gardens Park – Seattle, WA
The nearby – and free – Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks), offer views of boats and kayaks crossing the channel, as well as a botanical garden and fish ladder.
Family Vacation Critic is an online travel resource for families that offers reviews of family hotels, resort and destinations. The site features vacation ideas, family travel tips and an online forum for family travelers.