EWING, N.J. - Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor's family travel site, has just released its annual list of the Best Beaches for Families – naming the best beaches in the U.S. for families traveling with children of all ages.
"Beach vacations are at the top of so many families' must-do list throughout the year," explains Lissa Poirot, editor-in-chief of Family Vacation Critic. "Whether for a day trip or a longer vacation, our list aims to help families narrow down the options to find beaches that truly are fantastic for families – every beach has lifeguards, in addition to kid-friendly activities and a selection of lodging options nearby. These beaches go beyond just a day on the sand, but offer some really fun features for families to enjoy together."
This year's list of winning beaches includes:
- Long Beach Island, New Jersey (Long Beach Island, NJ)
Insider Tip: The Surflight Theatre – and its popular Show Place Ice Cream Parlour – will reopen in 2017, presenting live children's performances all summer long.
- Ponce Inlet, Florida (Ponce Inlet, FL)
Insider Tip: The Marine Science Center offers families the chance to learn about the area's sea turtles and other native wildlife.
- Jones Beach State Park, New York (Wantagh, NY)
Insider Tip: Kids can touch live marine animals, dig up whale bones and walk through the butterfly garden at Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center, right in Jones Beach State Park.
- Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (Rehoboth Beach, DE)
Insider Tip: Families can enjoy the new Lefty's Alley and Eats – just a short drive from Rehoboth – with bowling lanes, a state-of-the-art arcade, a two-story laser tag arena and an on-site restaurant.
- Coronado Beach, California (Coronado, CA)
Insider Tip: New in 2017, visitors can transform into a mermaid as part of Hotel del Coronado's Mermaid Fitness classes – cardio and core exercise classes while wearing a mermaid fin.
- Balboa Beach, California (Newport Beach, CA)
Insider Tip: The area's famous Balboa Fun Zone amusement area has been entertaining families for decades, with its Ferris wheel, arcades and shopping.
- North Beach Park, Wisconsin (Racine, WI)
Insider Tip: The Wind Point Lighthouse is one of the oldest and tallest active lighthouses on the Great Lakes, and is open for guided tours the first Sunday of every month from June through October.
- Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts (Eastham, MA)
Insider Tip: Cape Cod National Seashore offers a wide range of ranger-guided activities, including guided walks, campfires and canoe trips.
- Weirs Beach, New Hampshire (Weirs Beach, NH)
Insider Tip: Half Moon Amusement Arcades offers families the fun of two arcades - the Penny Arcade and the Family Fun Center – with more than 250 games combined.
- Seaside Beach, Oregon (Seaside, OR)
Insider Tip: Families can visit the Seaside Aquarium to explore its hands-on discovery center and interact with its resident seals.