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Life’s a Beach With the Family

by Carley Wade

May 28, 2019

Bennymarty | Dreamstime.com

Listicles

Can’t decide on the city or sand? Maybe you don’t have to compromise with some great swaths of outdoor recreation and culture all available within a few minutes of each other.

 

Vancouver’s got an abundance of outdoor fun no matter the season, but once the mercury heats up, it goes to high gear at Kitsilano Beach (or, Kitts Beach, as the locals say). In addition to the sandy stretches, there’s a saltwater outdoor pool, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, windsurfing and paddleboard lessons, playgrounds, a restaurant, even a place for off-leash dogs to run footloose and fancy-free.

 

Twenty-six miles isn’t only for marathons — it’s the exact length of Chicago’s miles along the Lake Michigan shoreline just right for summertime fun. One of the most iconic is North Avenue Beach in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, which plays host to Castaways Bar & Grill, modeled after an ocean liner, and sleek Shore Club, with its VIP cabanas. There’s also paddleboard, jet ski, volleyball court and kayak rentals, in addition to the regular ol’ splash and dip in the water.

 

Chicago skyline from North Avenue Beach.

Chicago skyline from North Avenue Beach. Photo: F11photo | Dreamstime.com

 

Miami’s South Beach is renowned for its glamorous nightlife, but there’s plenty of wholesome fun during the day. Rent a bike, stroll Ocean Drive, check out the Art Deco Museum, grab a stone crab picnic for the beach or just pull up a seaside towel for a day in the rays (bring the sunblock!).

 

Bonfires and bike rides abound in San Diego, California, with surf and sun within reach of city center quite easily. There’s tidepools and lighthouses, surfing (or, watching surfers do the hard work!) and dog-friendly options. The city’s lifeguards patrol from nine permanent locations year-round, and dozens of seasonal stations, making it one of the safest options for families. It’s also one of the most fun: At Mission Beach, Belmont Park amusement park has a swimming pool, rollercoaster, wave pools, mini golf and an arcade.

 

Home to centuries of fascinating history, remarkable architecture and legions of Game of Thrones fans, Croatia’s also got a prized spot along the Adriatic — especially Dubrovnik. It’s easy to reach some great waves from the heart of the action, including Danče, five minutes west of Old Town; Buža Beach, next to the town walls; and Banje Beach, in front of the eastern entrance to Old Town.

 

Barcelona’s golden sands start at only 10 minutes from city center and are available via public transit. Four main beach areas include windsurfing, kite surfing and sunbathing at Barceloneta Beach; Icària Beach; Mar Bella; and Sitges.

 

The capital of the French Riviera, Nice offers a slew of chichi private beaches and many public swaths with limited facilities like changing rooms and lockers, but it’s still all within reach of the city. There’s a kids playground and restaurant at Voilier Beach, windsurfing at Lenval Beach and jet skiing at Carras Beach.

#WhereverFamily

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