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Cannon Beach Tops the List of Top 10 Family Beaches

From MSNBC

HaystackFebAhhh ... the family beach vacation. It's as all-American as apple pie, a time-honored tradition where some of the best childhood memories are made.

Everyone has their favorite sands, but when it comes to family-friendly options, not all are created equal. We've picked 10 great family beaches across the country that parents and kids alike are guaranteed to love — whether for their gentle surf, range of activities, sand-castle potential, or educational elements.

So gather the gang and pack up the SPF and beach ball — it's time to take the clan to the sand!

Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast

Set against verdant old-growth forests and punctuated by giant rock monoliths (including the 235-foot-high Haystack Rock), quaint and kid-friendly Cannon Beach (www.cannonbeach.org) lies just 80 miles west of Portland, Oregon. While the Pacific waters here are often too cold for swimming, kite flying, along with tide pooling and sand-castle building, reign supreme on this wide, sandy strip – and the kites sold at the town's weathered cedarwood-clad shops make the perfect family beach vacation souvenir. Every June brings Sandcastle Day (June 19 in 2010), when kids of all ages can enter one of the West Coast's largest sand-castle-building contests.

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Photo by Kat Ostrow

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