10 most family-friendly beaches in the United States for 2017

As the weather starts to warm up, it is finally time to start thinking about your summer beach plans.

Some people prefer untouched stretches of sand, where seagulls outnumber sunbathers and the only sounds are waves lapping and the wind rustling your beach umbrella.

Others -- particularly families -- need a bit more structure ... and safety.

Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor's family travel site, has released its annual list of the Best Beaches for Families - naming the top locations for parents and children of all ages.

Every beach on this list has lifeguards and lodging nearby so visitors don't have to put any sandy, squirmy kids in the car after a day of fun.

There are also a plethora of kid-friendly activities available in case little ones lose interest in building sand castles and frolicking in the waves.

In Southern California, visitors can live their wildest dreams of life under the sea with mermaid fin fitness classes at Hotel del Coronado.

Meanwhile, just a short drive from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, families can escape the heat in the new Lefty's Alley and Eats with bowling lanes, a state-of-the-art arcade and a two-story laser tag arena.

For parents who shudder at the thought of heading indoors to entertain on a beautiful summer day, Coast Guard Beach in Massachusetts offers a series of ranger-led activities, including guided walks, campfires and canoe trips.

Click below to see all of this year's winning beaches and get some inspiration for your next summer vacation:

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10 most family-friendly US beaches for 2017
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10 most family-friendly US beaches for 2017

Long Beach Island, New Jersey (Long Beach Island, NJ)


Insider Tip: The Surflight Theatre - and its popular Show Place Ice Cream Parlour - will reopen in 2017, presenting live children's performances all summer long.

Photo: Getty

Ponce Inlet, Florida (Ponce Inlet, FL)


Insider Tip: The Marine Science Center offers families the chance to learn about the area's sea turtles and other native wildlife.

Photo: Getty

Jones Beach State Park, New York (Wantagh, NY)


Insider Tip: Kids can touch live marine animals, dig up whale bones and walk through the butterfly garden at Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center, right in Jones Beach State Park.

Photo: Getty

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (Rehoboth Beach, DE)

Insider Tip: Families can enjoy the new Lefty's Alley and Eats - just a short drive from Rehoboth - with bowling lanes, a state-of-the-art arcade, a two-story laser tag arena and an on-site restaurant.

Photo: Getty

Coronado Beach, California (Coronado, CA)


Insider Tip: New in 2017, visitors can transform into a mermaid as part of Hotel del Coronado's Mermaid Fitness classes - cardio and core exercise classes while wearing a mermaid fin.

Photo: Getty

Balboa Beach, California (Newport Beach, CA)


Insider Tip: The area's famous Balboa Fun Zone amusement area has been entertaining families for decades, with its Ferris wheel, arcades and shopping.

Photo: Getty

North Beach Park, Wisconsin (Racine, WI)


Insider Tip: The Wind Point Lighthouse is one of the oldest and tallest active lighthouses on the Great Lakes, and is open for guided tours the first Sunday of every month from June through October.

Photo: Getty

Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts (Eastham, MA)


Insider Tip: Cape Cod National Seashore offers a wide range of ranger-guided activities, including guided walks, campfires and canoe trips.

Photo: Getty

Weirs Beach, New Hampshire (Weirs Beach, NH)


Insider Tip: Half Moon Amusement Arcades offers families the fun of two arcades - the Penny Arcade and the Family Fun Center - with more than 250 games combined.

Photo: Instagram

Seaside Beach, Oregon (Seaside, OR)

Insider Tip: Families can visit the Seaside Aquarium to explore its hands-on discovery center and interact with its resident seals.

Photo: Getty

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