What makes a budget beach: Moderately priced motels and restaurants. Close to other interesting beaches and sites.
1. A lot of water activities. Playground for kids. Nice views of nature. Historic St. Augustine is just a couple of miles away.
2. Clearwater has plenty of accommodations and moderately priced restaurants. Sand Key Park is a great place for families and picnics. North of Tampa.
3. Hollywood Beach: Watch the eccentrics and in-line skaters go by on the boardwalk. Walk the beach and stay in reasonably priced motels. Take a day trip to John U. Lloyd State Recreation Area, Fort Lauderdale or South Beach. North of Miami.
4. St. Andrews State Recreation Area: Lovely, natural park with plenty of activities for the kids. Travel a couple of miles to Panama City Beach for its stores and amusements, such as putt-putt and carnival rides. In the Panhandle near Panama City.
5. John D. MacArthur State Park: A retreat from the urban development of Palm Beach County. Close to ritzy Palm Beach and a couple of nice parks - Spanish River and Red Reef - in Boca Raton. North of Palm Beach.
Today's Headlines Newsletter
A digest of essential news, insight and analysis from L.A. Times editors.