Family Vacation Critic -- the comprehensive family travel review site -- has just announced its annual list of the "Best U.S. Beaches for Families."
According to editor, Lissa Poirot, "The U.S. has an incredible coastline and many beautiful beaches to choose from, but for families, there's more to a good beach than just a great stretch of sand. As parents we were looking for certain features that make beaches specifically family-friendly.
When picking this year's list, we were looking for beaches recognized for their cleanliness, as well as those that provide safe water for young swimmers and plenty of activities for families, within a close walk from the beach."
The top five beaches for families include:
1. Walmanalo Bay Beach Park, Oahu, HI: One of the cleanest beaches in the country, and far removed from the crowded beaches and hotels in Waikiki. Soft sand, calm waters for tiny swimmers, and manageable waves for new surfers.
2. Outer Beach, Cape Cod, MA: The Cape Cod National Seashore offers 40 miles of untouched beaches, and is an idyllic setting where families can enjoy the long bike rides, mini golf and clam bakes that keep families coming back year after year.
3. Deerfield Beach, Near Fort Lauderdale, FL: Recognized for being an exceptionally clean beach, its stretches of sand are dotted with oversized boulders that create private pockets for beachgoers.
4. Sand and Elbo Beaches, Acadia National Park, ME: Known for its breathtaking and unspoiled beauty, Acadia's beaches are some of the cleanest in the country and the park provides plenty to explore beyond the beach.
5. Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, NC: Wide and uncluttered beaches line warm waters and plenty of places for families to play. As a preserved area, wildlife refuges, lighthouses and camping areas provide even more fun.
Other winning beaches include:
6. Shell Beaches, Padre Island National Seashore, TX
7. Coronado Beach, San Diego, CA
8. Siesta Beach, Sarasota, FL
9. Rehoboth Beach, DE
10. Sunset Beach, Cape May, NJ
Family Vacation Critic features reviews of family-friendly resorts and hotels, as well as family travel deals and destination guides for planning kid-friendly vacations. The site also provides a forum for swapping tips on all aspects of traveling with kids.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!