30 Best Beaches in the US You Need to Visit
Imagine waking up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore, feeling the sun warming your skin, and seeing the sand sparkling like diamonds. Imagine spending your day swimming, surfing, snorkeling, or relaxing on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And imagine discovering new cultures, cuisines, and attractions along the way. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, you don’t have to travel far to make it a reality. In fact, you can find all this and more right here in the US.
The US has some of the most amazing beaches in the world. Whether you are looking for adventure, romance, family fun, or solitude, you can find a beach that suits your style and budget. From the tropical paradise of Hawaii to the rugged beauty of Oregon, from the glamorous charm of California to the historic elegance of New York, there is a beach for everyone and every occasion.
In this article, we will show you the 30 best beaches in the US that you need to visit. We will tell you why these beaches are so unique and what you can do there. We will also give you some tips and tricks on planning your trip and making the most of your time. By the end of this article, you will be ready to pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to explore the 30 best beaches in the US.
Best Beaches in the US for Surfing
If you love riding the waves, you’ll want to check out these beaches that offer some of the best surfing conditions in the US. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find a spot that suits your skill level and style. These beaches will surely give you a thrill and a challenge.
Ka’anapali Beach, Hawaii
Ka’anapali Beach is a stunning and lively destination that offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. You can relax on the three miles of white sand and crystal clear water, swim, snorkel, surf, or watch the famous cliff diving ceremony at Black Rock. You can also enjoy the shopping, dining, and entertainment options at Whalers Village. Or, you can play golf at one of the nearby courses. Ka’anapali Beach is a former Hawaiian royal getaway that has been named America’s Best Beach. Especially, Ka’anapali Beach is ranked as the #1 beach in the US in 2023 by TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards™.
Carmel Beach, California
Carmel Beach is a charming and scenic destination that offers a unique experience of sand and sun. To illustrate, you can enjoy the soft, white sand and the clear water of the Pacific Ocean, swim, surf, kayak, or play with your dog. You can also visit the nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea, a quaint and artistic village that has shops, galleries, and restaurants. You can also explore the Carmel Mission, a historic landmark that dates back to 1771. Carmel Beach is a peaceful and beautiful place that has stunning views of the Pebble Beach Golf Links and the Point Lobos State Reserve.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a national park that preserves a stretch of unspoiled barrier islands along the Atlantic coast of North Carolina. Indeed, Cape Hatteras National Seashore offers a variety of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. For example, there are sandy beaches, lighthouses, historic villages, wildlife habitats, and water sports. You can explore the seashore by driving along Highway 12, hiking on trails, biking on paths, camping on designated sites, or taking a ferry to Ocracoke Island. Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a place where you can experience the beauty and diversity of the Outer Banks.
East Hampton Main Beach, New York
East Hampton Main Beach is a beach located in East Hampton, a historic and affluent town on the eastern end of Long Island. Particularly, East Hampton Main Beach is a beautiful and clean sandy beach, with gentle waves and lifeguards. The beach is also a popular spot for celebrities and socialites, who flock to the nearby mansions and resorts.
Hanalei Bay Beach, Hawaii
Hanalei Beach is a beach located on Hanalei Bay, a large crescent-shaped bay on the north shore of Kauai. It is a stunning beach, with white sand, clear blue water, tropical palm trees, and a dramatic mountain backdrop. Furthermore, Hanalei Bay Beach is a popular spot for swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, kayaking, and fishing. The place also has a historic pier, which was featured in the movie South Pacific.
Malibu Beach, California
Malibu is a coastal city that stretches for more than 30 miles along the Pacific Ocean and Highway One. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, celebrity homes, and surfing culture. Moreover, Malibu Beach is one of the most popular and iconic beaches in the city, offering a variety of sandy shorelines and scenic views. You can enjoy surfing, swimming, sunbathing, and watching the sunset at this beach. There are nearby attractions that you can visit such as the Malibu Pier, the Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum, and Surfrider Beach.
Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Duke Kahanamoku Beach is part of the famous Waikiki Beach. It is located in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. The beach is named after Duke Paoa Kahanamoku (1890-1968). He was a legendary Hawaiian surfer and Olympic swimmer who popularized the sport of surfing. In fact, the beach is one of the most picturesque beaches in the USA with the iconic Diamond Head volcano in the distance. It is also a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, and paddle boarding. You can also enjoy fishing, surfing, and sunbathing at this beach. Besides that, you can visit nearby attractions such as the Waikiki Aquarium, the Honolulu Zoo, and the International Market Place.
Best Beaches in the US for Family Fun
Nothing beats a day at the beach with your loved ones. These beaches are perfect for families who want to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. You’ll find plenty of activities and amenities to keep everyone entertained and comfortable. Let’s check out the beaches that will make you smile and create lasting memories.
Clearwater Beach, Florida
Clearwater Beach is a fun and friendly destination that offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. Yes, you can enjoy the sugar sand and the clear water of the Gulf of Mexico, swim, surf, parasail, or rent a jet ski. You can also visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where you can see Winter the dolphin, and other rescued marine animals. Additionally, you can enjoy the shopping, dining, and entertainment options at Pier 60, where you can watch street performers and catch a stunning sunset. Truly, Clearwater Beach has been named America’s No. 1 Beach several times by various sources.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is a vibrant and exciting destination that offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. Indeed, you and your family can enjoy the 60-mile-long sandy beach and the warm water of the Atlantic Ocean, swim, surf, parasail, or rent a jet ski. You can also visit the famous Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, where you can find amusement rides, a big Ferris wheel, arcade games, shops, and restaurants. Also, you can also explore the nearby Broadway at the Beach, where you can find entertainment, dining, and shopping options. On top of that, Myrtle Beach is one of the major centers of tourism in South Carolina and has over 100 golf courses.
Ocean City Beach, Maryland
Ocean City Beach is a 10-mile sandy beach along the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is a popular destination for families, couples, and friends, who can enjoy a variety of activities and attractions. You can relax on the beach, swim in the water, surf, fish, or play volleyball. You can also stroll along the boardwalk. There are shops, restaurants, arcades, and amusement parks. Ocean City Beach has something for everyone, whether you want a laid-back or a lively vacation.
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Rehoboth Beach is a charming coastal town that offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you want to relax on the sandy beach, enjoy the thrill of Funland amusement park, or explore the boutique shops and restaurants along the boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach has something for everyone. You can also visit the nearby Cape Henlopen State Park, where you can hike, bike, fish, or kayak in the scenic natural setting. Rehoboth Beach is a popular vacation destination that combines the charm of a small town with the amenities of a resort.
Tybee Island Beach, Tybee Island, Georgia
Tybee Island Beach is a small coastal community that is only 18 miles away from Savannah, Georgia, making it a convenient and scenic getaway. The beach is definitely a beautiful and relaxing destination that offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. You can enjoy the white sand and gentle waves of the Atlantic Ocean, swim, snorkel, surf, or fish from the pier. You can also explore the historic lighthouse, the marine science center, or the charming shops and restaurants of the island.
Pope Beach, Lake Tahoe, California
Pope Beach is located on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America. It is one of the most scenic and accessible beaches on the lake. There are clear water, pine trees, and mountain views you can enjoy. In addition, it is a great place for swimming, kayaking, sunbathing, and picnicking. You can also rent bikes and follow the paved trail that connects Pope Beach with other nearby beaches and attractions. Pope Beach is part of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and requires a $10 entry fee per vehicle.
Kiawah Island Beachwalker Park, South Carolina
Kiawah Island Beachwalker Park is located on the west end of Kiawah Island, a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina. It offers 10 miles of unspoiled beach and pristine waters. In fact, it is the only public beach access on the island and features a wide boardwalk that weaves through live oaks, pines, palmettos, and yucca plants. The beach is a great place for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. You can enjoy biking, fishing, and birdwatching at this beach. You can also visit the nearby attractions such as the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, the Night Heron Park, and the Freshfields Village.
Best Beaches in the US for Nature Lovers
If you’re looking for a beach that offers more than just sunbathing and swimming, you’ll love these beaches that are rich in natural beauty and wildlife. You’ll be amazed by the diverse landscapes and ecosystems that these beaches have to offer. These beaches will take your breath away and inspire you.
Assateague Beach, Virginia/Maryland
Assateague Beach is a wild and wonderful destination that offers a unique experience of nature and wildlife. Indeed, you can explore the 37 miles of natural seashore, salt marshes, maritime forests, and coastal bays that makeup Assateague Island National Seashore. You can also see the famous wild ponies that roam freely on the island, as well as various birds and other animals. You can swim, surf, fish, kayak, hike, or camp on the island. Moreover, you can visit the nearby Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge or Assateague State Park. Assateague Beach is a place where you can enjoy the beauty and diversity of the barrier island.
Caladesi Island State Park, Florida
Caladesi Island State Park is one of the few untouched islands along the Gulf Coast. It’s accessible only by boat or kayak. Therefore, this island is a natural paradise, with pristine beaches, bayside mangrove forests, and diverse wildlife. You can enjoy a stroll along the beach, a kayak trip through the mangroves, or a picnic under the palm trees. Caladesi Island State Park is also home to shorebirds, sea turtles, and gopher tortoises.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach is a scenic beach town on the Oregon coast. The beach is famous for its landmark Haystack Rock, a 235-foot sea stack that rises from the shore. Cannon Beach is a popular tourist destination, offering a variety of attractions and activities. You can explore the beach, admire the views, watch the wildlife, or enjoy the art galleries and shops. Additionally, you can visit Ecola State Park, a stunning park with hiking trails, picnic areas, and panoramic vistas. Cannon Beach is a place where you can experience the beauty and charm of the Oregon coast.
Driftwood Beach, Georgia
Driftwood Beach is a beach located on Jekyll Island, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. The beach is a stunning sight, with ancient driftwood monuments lining the waterfront. These driftwood formations are the result of decades of erosion, which have exposed the roots and trunks of a former maritime forest. Truly, Driftwood Beach is a place where you can admire the beauty and mystery of nature.
Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina
Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach is located on Ocracoke Island, which is part of the Outer Banks, a chain of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. It is a wild and pristine beach that offers miles of sand, surf, and solitude. It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including wild horses, sea turtles, and dolphins. You can enjoy swimming, surfing, and fishing at this beach. There are nearby attractions such as the Ocracoke Lighthouse, the British Cemetery, and the Teach’s Hole Blackbeard Exhibit that you can visit too.
Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Lanikai Beach, or Kaʻōhao Beach is located in the town of Kailua on the windward coast of Oahu. It is widely regarded as one of the best beaches in the world and is famous for its stunning views of the Mokulua Islands. It has a natural protection from the shape of the island, making the water calm and shallow. The beach is a great place for swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, and sunbathing. You can also enjoy windsurfing and kitesurfing at this beach, thanks to consistent and gentle trade winds. You can also visit the nearby attractions such as the Lanikai Pillbox Hike, the Kailua Farmers Market, and the Kailua Beach Park.
Best Beaches in the US for Romantic Getaways
Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, a honeymoon, or just a weekend escape, you’ll find these beaches to be the ideal setting for romance. You’ll be enchanted by the stunning scenery and the serene atmosphere that these beaches provide. Definitely, these beaches will make you fall in love all over again.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, Florida
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a historic and scenic destination that offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. You can enjoy the sandy beach and the clear water of the Atlantic Ocean, swim, kayak, fish, or bike along the trails. You can also visit the Cape Florida Lighthouse, the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County, and learn about its history and significance. Actually, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a peaceful and beautiful place that has been ranked as one of the top 10 beaches in America.
Emerald Isle Beach, North Carolina
Similar to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Emerald Isle Beach is a family-friendly and relaxing destination that offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. At the beach, you can enjoy the 12 miles of pristine shoreline and incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Inlet. You can swim, surf, fish, kayak, or play on the Bogue Inlet Pier. Also, you can explore the nearby Water Tower Park, Emerald Forest Golf Course, or Emerald Isle Woods Park. Emerald Isle Beach is part of the Crystal Coast, an 85-mile-long barrier island that has been voted as one of the best beaches in North Carolina.
Hapuna Beach State Park, Hawaii
Hapuna Beach State Park is a spectacular and spacious destination that offers a unique experience of sand and sun. You can enjoy the half-mile-long white sand beach and the turquoise water of the Pacific Ocean, swim, snorkel, bodyboard, or sunbathe. You can also visit the nearby Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, where you can find dining, golfing, and spa options. In particular, Hapuna Beach State Park has been ranked as one of the best beaches in America by various sources and is part of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.
Ogunquit Beach, Maine
Ogunquit Beach is one of the best beaches in Maine. The beach has 3.5 miles of white sand and coastline. You can enjoy deep-sea fishing, whale watching, sailing, sea kayaking, hiking, or golfing in this seaside resort town. Ogunquit Beach also has a unique feature: a covered shelter with rows of chairs and benches for those who want to relax away from the sun. Besides that, Ogunquit Beach is close to many shops, restaurants, and attractions, such as the Marginal Way, a scenic waterfront walk.
Siesta Beach, Florida
Siesta Beach is a stunning and relaxing destination that offers a unique experience of sand and sun. At Siesta Beach, you can enjoy the cool, white, and powdery sand that is made of 99% quartz, which comes from the Appalachian Mountains. You can swim, surf, snorkel, or kayak in the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You can also visit the nearby Siesta Key Village, where you can find shopping, dining, and nightlife options. In fact, Siesta Beach has been ranked as the #1 beach in the U.S. twice by TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards™ and as the finest, whitest sand beach in the world.
Best Beaches in the US for History and Culture
If you’re interested in learning more about the past and the present of the places you visit, you’ll appreciate these beaches that have a rich history and culture. You’ll discover fascinating stories and landmarks that reflect the heritage and identity of these destinations. I’m quite sure these beaches will educate and entertain you.
Cape May Beach, New Jersey
Cape May Beach is a beach located in Cape May, a historic seaside town at the southern tip of New Jersey. It is a popular destination for visitors who enjoy the Victorian charm, fine dining, shopping, and festivals of Cape May. The beach offers a wide and clean sandy beach, with gentle waves and lifeguards. Also, Cape May Beach has a picturesque lighthouse, a nature center, and a bird observatory. Cape May Beach is definitely a place where you can experience the beauty and culture of the Jersey Shore.
Coronado Beach, California
Coronado Beach is a beautiful beach in San Diego, located next to the iconic Hotel del Coronado. This beach offers wide sandy beaches with sparkling sand, courtesy of the mineral mica. You can enjoy a stroll along the expansive shoreline, a dip in the calm waves, or a picnic on the grassy lawn. Furthermore, Coronado Beach is dog-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along. Don’t miss the stunning sunset views over the Pacific Ocean. Coronado Beach is part of Coronado Island, a charming small town with elegant gardens, old-world mansions, and quaint shops.
By the way, if you plan to visit Coronado Beach, you can book the iconic Hotel del Coronado in advance to reserve a room for your best vacation experience.
Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts
Coast Guard Beach is in Eastham, part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. The beach is a popular spot for swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, and sunbathing. Coast Guard Beach is also well-known for its history. It was the site of a former Coast Guard station and a landing place for the first transatlantic cable. Coast Guard Beach has limited parking and access is provided by shuttle bus from mid-June to Labor Day.
Key West Beach, Florida
Key West Beach is a stunning destination for beach lovers who also appreciate history and culture. Located at the southernmost tip of Florida, Key West Beach offers clear water, white sand, and plenty of activities for all ages. You can swim, sunbathe, snorkel, fish, or rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the shore. You can also visit the historic Fort Zachary Taylor, which dates back to the Civil War and offers guided tours and a museum. If you want to learn more about the rich history and culture of Key West, you can check out the nearby landmarks such as the Ernest Hemingway House, the Harry S. Truman Little White House, the Key West Lighthouse, and the Key West Museum of Art and History. Key West Beach is a perfect place to enjoy the sun, sea, and history of this charming island city.
Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California
Venice Beach is a lively and colorful beachfront neighborhood in Los Angeles that draws crowds to its busy Venice Beach boardwalk, where street performers and artists make an appearance. You can enjoy surfing, swimming, biking, and skating at this beach, as well as visiting nearby attractions such as the Venice Canals, Muscle Beach, Skate Park, and Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Venice Beach is also known for its eclectic and bohemian culture, featuring a variety of cafes, shops, galleries, and murals.
That’s Why You Should Visit the 30 Best Beaches in the US
As you can see, the US has some of the most amazing beaches in the world. Whether you are looking for adventure, romance, family fun, or solitude, you can find a beach that suits your style and budget. From the tropical paradise of Hawaii to the rugged beauty of Oregon, from the glamorous charm of California to the historic elegance of New York, there is a beach for everyone and every occasion. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to explore the 30 best beaches in the US. You won’t regret it.
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