Best family beach: Mini golf, that is. At the North Carolina Aquarium, touch horseshoe crabs and manta rays, see sharks and sea otters and watch marine hospital staff care for injured animals in the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation Center. Also be sure to get in on the action at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, which offers free workshops for kids and adults on wildlife photography, fishing, crabbing and more. Brunswick. 4) Gulf Breeze Florida. #47. The Santa Barbara Zoo overlooks the ocean and its collection of 500 animals includes the endangered California Condor. All that fun is sure to work up an appetite. History buffs might enjoy a tour of a WWII submarine and other Navy vessels at the Galveston Naval Museum. It has lifeguards and restrooms on the nearby boardwalk, but no changing facilities or showers. Don’t miss a day trip to the Assateague Island National Seashore, just south of Ocean City, to catch a glimpse of the hundreds of wild ponies, enjoy the 37 miles of pristine beaches or hike some of the many trails. #46. Plus, it appeals to adults with its European flair, brick-lined pedestrian streets, charming outdoor cafes and trees dripping with spanish moss. It has a splash park, playground, fishing pier and volleyball court. Good for families grade: A. For many Americans, the idea of raising a family near the water is ideal. Where to stay: One of the famed Doo-wop hotels, the renovated Pan American Hotel, still has its 50s charm. With a plethora of family-friendly activities, a sophisticated feel and a gorgeous setting between the Pacific and the Santa Ynez Mountains, this SoCal destination 90 miles north of Los Angeles appeals to parents and kids alike. In order to calculate the best coastal towns for families, Stacker checked the locations on Wallethub’s list of the best beach towns against Niche’s list of the best places to raise a family. Animal lovers will enjoy hiking the Hugh Branyon Backcountry Trail complex in Gulf State Park (if you’re lucky, you might see eagles and otters!) - Median home value: $398,500 (75% own) - Median rent: … At WonderWorks, you’ll find an anti-gravity chamber, a virtual roller coaster and more than 100 hands-on exhibits designed to blow your kids’ minds. For a hotel, try Comfort Inn & Suites Beachfront. From flips and stunts to HD cameras that offer cool views from up high, these…. You can also opt for the Beach Club on the Fort Morgan Peninsula, which features an arcade, poolside crafts for kids, a volleyball court, live music and more. When you’re ready for a slower pace, drive the 20 minutes to the neighboring Victorian town of Cape May and spend an afternoon at the free Cape May County Park and Zoo. Think again. Merritt Island. From motorized to colorful and wooden sets, everyone in the…, Your child will get a thrill out of piloting these drones, built with younger ones in mind. Don't forget the sunscreen! The mom got real about how the pandemic has challenged her views on parenting. Spend mornings on the beach and evenings on the mile-long boardwalk playing games, eating Thrasher’s fries and riding the carousel and bumper cars at Funland. This quaint hamlet is actually a subset of the town of Oyster Bay on Long Island's South Shore. The Kitty Hawk Beach has some of the best beachcombing in the Outer Banks. Breaking down babysitting costs across the U.S. Get Stacker's best stories delivered right to your inbox. With this many shore bets, your family’s biggest challenge will be choosing where to go first. Copyright © 2020 Working Mother. But this city—the oldest in North America—offers 42 miles of beautiful beaches and some of the coolest American history around: pirates! Cruising the Boardwalk on the way to the Jolly Roger Amusement Parks. When you’re ready for some time on the water, ride the Lil’ Toot Water Taxi between the Santa Barbara Harbor and Stearns Wharf, a historic working wharf with souvenir stands, ice cream shops and restaurants. If your kid loves trains, these sets offer a lot of entertainment in convenient, easy-to-build packages. Best places to raise a family rank: #2,522. Take a tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer Banks. (The ferry ride to get there is pretty awesome,l too.) The new Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Oceanfront Resort, nestled to the edge of Anastasia State Park right on the beach, offers bike rentals and fishing as well as kids’ activities such as shark-tooth hunting on the beach, pool activities and lawn games. Vacation rentals tend to be the most popular places to stay in Gulf Shores. This mom’s hysterical school photo snafu is going viral. Bike and kayak rentals available. and visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. In November, the Lodge at Gulf State Park will open right inside Gulf State Park. Just think: You can take the kids out for a canoe paddle around the lake, or build sandcastles on the beach anytime you want. No matter how you arrive at the “Birthplace of Flight,” all the fun of the Outer Banks will confirm you made, ahem, the Wright choice. Coral Gables remains popular with tourists, who flock to the suburb for its gorgeous Mediterranean architecture, tree-lined avenues, and iconic landmarks such as the Biltmore Hotel. Voted the best small town in South Carolina by Southern Living readers last year, Beaufort (BEW-fert) is a coastal gem brimming with charm and hospitality. And everyone in the family will have fun exploring 19th-century Fort Morgan, as well as Fort Gaines, on Dauphin Island. A 39,000-square-foot indoor water park. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. This town on Florida’s largest island is home to NASA's Kennedy Space Center and a 140,000-acre wildlife sanctuary. You’ll also want to plan an entire day for Broadway at the Beach: a 350-acre entertainment complex with restaurants, shopping, shows (new for 2019: The Simpsons in 4D experience), Ripley’s Aquarium and WonderWorks. Try these…. Sometimes you want to do more than play in the surf and sand, though. The lovely Florida weather and top-notch public schools are hard to beat. Destin. For many families, safety is a primary concern. It's known as “The Little Zoo That Could” for evacuating all the animals during Hurricane Ivan in 2004—except for Chucky the alligator “because he could float.” Their brand-new location opens in November, the first zoo built from the ground up in 20 years. and the animatronic dinosaur exhibit Prehistoric Forest. It was one of Julia Child’s favorite places to eat when she lived in nearby Montecito. Despite lying only two miles off the North Carolina coast and due south of Wilmington, this three-by-one-mile barrier island feels like a secret hideout from a Robert Louis Stevenson story. The scene becomes even more appealing when you add in a cool sea breeze and sandy beach. Give your kids a flavor of life in the Lowcountry with a visit to Alligator Adventure, where you can watch live shows, including alligator and snake handling and see non-native animals like lemurs and marmosets. Boca Raton is already a popular place to retire, but the town is also a great choice for families. To celebrate 50 years on the boardwalk, Morey’s is debuting a family-friendly coaster on Surfside Pier this summer: the Runaway Tram, inspired by the Sightseer Tramcar that has carried passengers the length of the boardwalk since 1949. You should also consider playing golf with your family in Myrtle Beach. With 23 city parks and 1,000 feet of waterfront shoreline, Edmonds has plenty of places for kids to play outside. Watch Spanish reenactors at the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine. Atlantic City, N.J., is near the beach—but its proximity to casinos makes the area less than ideal for families. Beach” describes Carpinteria Beach as the safest beach on the West Coast thanks to its natural offshore breakwater and gentle surf. WalletHub, a personal finance website, just released a ranking of the best beach towns to live in, and many of them are in locations you wouldn't expect. This quaint town just north of Portland, Maine, scored well on economic health and public safety, making it attractive for parents. See Grand Traverse Bay from the deck of the replica 19th-century Tall Ship Manitou. North Port is located in SW Florida, south of Sarasota and north of Fort Myers. It’s particularly pertinent during a pandemic, but it’s also applicable any time you’re struggling with mental health issues. Through September 2, 2019, you’ll also find two special exhibits: Butterflies Alive! - Population: 146,431. The 5 Best Places to Raise a Family in Florida. Head to Seawall Boulevard—the seemingly endless strip of sand across from many resorts and hotels (you’ll find Murdochs souvenir shop there, too). Its walkable, centuries-old downtown is situated on the picturesque Beaufort River with a historic … Fans of American Ninja Warrior will want to test their skills at the new Woodward Wrecktangle ninja course, and for a dinner that strikes your fancy, try Alley Oops, a new mini bowling alley and arcade with an extensive me. This historic city in Miami-Dade County was one of the nation’s first planned communities. 1) North Port Florida. From Traverse City, take a day trip just 30 miles west to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to hike, swim and soak up the breathtaking views in the spot Good Morning America has selected “Most Beautiful Place in America.” Challenge your kids to join you at the top of the infamous Dune Climb and you’ll be rewarded with magnificent scenes of both Glen Lake and Lake Michigan. Lighthouses in the Outer Banks # best beach towns to raise a family 2020 also offers nature tours and hiking trails 32 miles of,! 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