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The 10 Best Beaches for Families: 2011

Find out which waterside escapes are real gems for families.
Kids at the beach Ranking the Beaches

Simplicity is the beauty of a beach vacation -- the shore is essentially a giant sandbox with free rocks and shells, and the waves are more fun than any pool. But there can be rough spots if you go to the wrong place. That's why Parents combed through water-quality reports, closings, and advisories for more than 1,000 U.S. beaches. Naturally, we nixed shores with persistent problems and ones where the water isn't tested. From there, we looked at three other deal breakers: restrooms, calm surf, and lifeguards. Nature trails and other extras helped determine which places made the final cut. These are the 10 best beaches we found, along with our 10 runners-up. All that's left for you to do: Dive into the most kid-friendly beaches under the sun.