Best Family Beaches – Part 6 – Summer Vacation Series

North Beach, Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde, Florida




It seems like every time I check on the lists of best beaches – and there are lots of lists of them – I find different ratings than the year before or the year before that.

How can this be?

Do beaches change that much in a year or two?

I suspect there is a bit of “pass the best ratings around” going on.

So, with that admittedly cynical qualification, I offer a source for “Best Family Beaches” that does shift their favorites over time but I choose to give them serious consideration anyway.

The source is Parent’s Magazine.

I can’t vouch for all their rankings but I can vouch for a few based on personal experience.

So, let’s head to the beach for this is prime time for a beach vacation.

The first set of ratings I want to show you is the beaches themselves and they come from a 2011 study by Parent’s Magazine.  We’ll look at other factors afterward.


The 10 Best Beaches for Families: 2011 by Parent’s Magazine


Fort De Soto Park’s North Beach


The No 1 Family Beach is Fort De Soto Park’s North Beach just a few miles from St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Mexico.

Lynn and I have been there several times and have taken our youngest daughter and her (then) two-year old son there as well.

We love this beach because it has a shallow lagoon perfect for small children. And it has picnic tables, playgrounds and your choice of sun or shade.

There is always plenty of parking for this very long stretch of white sand. And there are rest rooms and a snack bar near the lagoon, too.

Here’s a taste of how we enjoyed the beach.


Siesta Key Beach No.  11


The top 10 list was extended to 20 with 10 “runners-up”.  Among these at No. 11 was Siesta Key Beach near Sarasota on the Gulf Coast not too far south of Fort De Soto Park.

This is a beautiful beach famous for its sunsets as well as its sand and water.

It is also a very busy beach with limited parking. So you better get there early or wait until the beach starts to clear as the (traditionally early) supper hour approaches.


Cape May Beach, New Jersey  No. 18


Lynn and I spent many late August days at this beautiful beach at the southern tip of New Jersey.  It is a big and busy beach but it served our family well for many years.

Here is the link to the Parent’s Magazine article.

The 10 Best Beaches for Families: 2011


Other Beach Vacation Considerations


Parent’s magazine varies its annual beach article from year to year to present other considerations such as the ambiance of the location, cost, uniqueness and availability of other activities nearby.

For 2014, they feature The 10 Best Beach Towns for Families.

Another ranking is The Top 10 Caribbean Resorts for Families


The beach has proven a winner for our family for over four decades.  We’ve dipped ourselves in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Coastal US Mainland Pacific and the Pacific around the Hawaiian Islands.  We also dipped ourselves in the Adriatic Sea at Venice, Italy.

So hurry while there is still time and give it a try.

If you happen to live far, far away from the ocean, put it on your Bucket List.

Everybody has to body surf at least once!

Does anyone out there have some fond recollections or some family beach recommendations?

Drop a Comment below.

Its easy!

Previous Summer Vacation Series Posts


Week Five – What Could Possibly Go Wrong Camping

Week Four – Want to See a Buffalo Face to Face? Yellowstone National Park 

Week Three – We Saw Alaska in the Summer – How About You?

Week Two – Alberta Summer Series (remember to breathe)

Week One – Norway in a Nutshell



Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment:

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This