Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (West Beach) Junior Ranger Program rated number four in Family Vacation Critic’s 2018 Family-Friendly Beaches. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s West Beach is located at 376 North County Line Road, Gary, IN 46403.
The 2018 edition of best beaches for families in the US includes on-site aquariums, thrill rides, children’s festivals, mini-golf along with amenities and features designed specifically for children with special needs.
Family Vacation Critic, an offshoot of TripAdvisor, has released its picks for the top 10 family-friendly beaches for families in 2018, after looking at a set of specific criteria. For the list, critics looked at the cleanliness of the beaches; lifeguard supervision or other safety measures; restrooms; showers; nearby attractions; as well as accommodations and dining.
Here are the top 10 beaches for families in the US and their best family-friendly feature:
1. Clearwater Beach (Clearwater Beach, FL): Clearwater Marine Aquarium
2. Coney Island (Brooklyn, NY): Luna Park amusement park
3. Coronado Beach (Coronado, CA): Kids Free program, where kids can ride, eat and sleep free in October
4. West Beach (Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore – Gary, IN): Indiana Dunes Junior Ranger program
5. Gulf Shores Main Public Beach, (Gulf Shores, AL) – Coming soon: a boardwalk and walking paths along the beach, along with new dining destinations
6. Massengale Park (St. Simons Island, GA)- Neptune Park Fun Zone with mini-golf, water attractions, pool, playground
7. Virginia Beach Oceanfront (Virginia Beach, VA)-Grommet Island Park is designed for kids with special needs, with a playground that is 100 percent handicap-accessible, and 15,000 square feet of ramps and decking, soft play sculptures, accessible play equipment and special beach wheelchairs.
8. Old Orchard Beach (Old Orchard Beach, ME): Coming in 2018: a new roller coaster that stands 70 feet tall and travels at speeds of more than 40 miles an hour.
9. Siesta Beach (Siesta Key, FL): Sarasota Jungle Gardens is home to 150 native and exotic animals
10. Surfside Beach (Surfside Beach, SC): The first certified autism-friendly destination in the world, with staff trained and certified by the Champion Autism Network.