Fun Family Beaches in 5 Tax-Free States

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Some of us live for summer, but many U.S. states aren’t conducive to living, working, and beaching it. After all, California, known for great beaches, has a 13.3 percent top income tax rate, putting a breezy lifestyle out of reach for many families.

If you and yours dream of living near the sun and sand, here are five kid-friendly communities at or near some of the country’s best family beaches.

1. Sitka, Alaska

While it may not always be warm enough to go for a dip in tax-free Alaska, the state’s family beaches and their surrounding communities are perfect for nature lovers, adventurers, and explorers of all ages. One such community is Sitka, considered by some to be the state’s most beautiful seaside city. Sitka is sprawled across three islands—Baranof, Chichagof, and Kruzof—appealing to families who like to spend their leisure time fishing (especially for salmon), exploring tide pools, and, at the Sitka National Historical Center, enjoying the impressive totem poles of the Haida and Tlingit peoples, who’ve inhabited this area for hundreds of years.

2. Fort Myers, Florida

Who says Florida is just for retirees? With its beautiful sandy beaches and access to excellent educational facilities for students of all ages, Fort Meyers on the Gulf Coast may just be what your family needs. Home to approximately 68,000 residents, this community retains a small-town feel while offering cultural events, such as music and arts festivals, as well as excellent boating and fishing opportunities for families. You’ll even be close to Sanibel Island, which is famous for the numerous shells that wash up on its shore.

3. Watertown, South Dakota

Even landlocked South Dakota has some great beaches for families, and it’s a good thing, too—daily summer temperatures in this income-tax-free state average in the mid- to upper 80s. To beat the heat, families can head to the Sandy Shore Recreation Area on Lake Kampeska, a clear glacial lake just five miles from scenic Watertown. In addition to the beautiful beach at Sandy Shore, Watertown has much to offer families, including a multi-pool family aquatic center, the 15-acre Bramble Park Zoo, and comfortable family homes in safe neighborhoods.

4. Port Angeles, Washington

Port Angeles in the breathtaking Olympic Peninsula region of Washington State is a hidden gem for people searching for the best family beaches in the Pacific Northwest, and its location by the Olympic Mountains means this coastal town lacks the rain typical of the area. Given the more reasonable real estate prices than surrounding states have, newly installed fiber-optic Internet cable to encourage telecommuting, and growing job expectations because of burgeoning tourism and shipyard industries, a move to Port Angeles in income-tax-free Washington could be a wise family financial decision.

5. Jackson, Wyoming

Increasingly popular among money-savvy retirees looking to relocate, Jackson, Wyoming, is also an excellent choice for water-sports fans and beach-going families watching their budgets. It’s a gateway town to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Moose Lake, Jackson Lake, and Jenny Lake in Grand Teton are all family-friendly spots for swimming, boating, fishing, and partaking in water sports. The gorgeous scenery and traditional Western lifestyle and values of the Cowboy State might just appeal to families hoping to move to a place free of income taxes.

These are just a few of the many examples of family-friendly beach towns in some of America’s tax-free states. If your family is considering a move, one preferably near the water, choosing one of these towns as your new home could mean more time at the beach and more money in your wallet.

Sarita Harbour is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance, entrepreneurship, and green living. As a former financial adviser with over a decade of banking experience, she has been writing for American and Canadian digital audiences for the past three years. Her work is featured regularly on Capital One's Spark Business IQ, Forbes, and The Lending Tree, and also appears on sites such as Fox News, Yahoo! Homes, Bob Vila, Equifax Insights for Small Business, and Intuit Small Business. Sarita graduated from the University of Guelph where she studied Psychology and Computer Science, and she holds the Personal Financial Planning designation from the Institute of Canadian Bankers. Sarita is also a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada. She lives with her family in an off-the-grid cabin outside of Yellowknife, NWT.