With its vast coastline stretching from coast to coast, the United States is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. From the stunning white sands of Siesta Beach in Florida to the rugged beauty of Cannon Beach in Oregon, there is a beach destination to suit every traveler's taste. Whether you prefer lounging under the shade of palm trees in Hawaii or taking a stroll along the iconic boardwalks of California, this article will guide you through the top beaches in the US that should be on every beach lover's bucket list.
Discover the Top Beaches in the USA
- Top Beaches in the USA
- 1. Cannon Beach, Cannon Beach OR
- 2. Sandy Beach, Honolulu HI
- 3. South Beach, Miami FL
- 4. Coast Guard Beach, Eastham MA
- 5. Henderson Beach State Park, Destin FL
- 6. Coligny Beach Park, Hilton Head Island SC
- 7. Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island GA
- 8. First Beach, La Push WA
- 9. Main Beach, Laguna Beach CA
- 10. Carmel Beach, Carmel-By-The-Sea CA
- 11. Poipu Beach, Koloa HI
- 12. Lanikai Beach, Kailua Hi
- 13. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key FL
- 14. Ocean City Beach, Ocean City MD
- 15. Lighthouse Beach Park, Sanibel FL
- 16. Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach SC
- 17. Headlands Beach State Park, Mentor OH
- 18. Coronado Beach, Coronado CA
- 19. Kaanapali Beach, Kaanapali HI
- 20. Huntington State Beach, Huntington CA
- 21. Clearwater Beach, Clearwater FL
- 22. Grand Isle Beach, Grand Isle La.
- 23. Isla Blanca Beach, South Padre Island TX
- 24. Little Hunters Beach, Mt. Desert ME
- 25. Corolla Beach, Corolla NC
- 26. Central Beach, Michigan City, MI
- 27. Orange Beach Waterfront Park, Orange Beach AL
- 28. Sunset Beach, Sunset Beach NC
- Map of the Best Beaches in the USA
Looking for the perfect beach getaway? Look no further. Here are the best beaches in the USA, offering a variety of breathtaking coastlines and top-quality destinations. Whether you're in the mood for trendy or romantic beaches, these spots have it all. Explore our list and get ready for an unforgettable beach trip.
To make it even easier for you, we've provided a map at the end of this post that showcases all the best beaches in the United States. So skip ahead if you want a visual preview of these stunning locations.
Experience the Beauty of Cannon Beach, Cannon Beach OR
Cannon Beach in Oregon is truly a gem among the best beaches in the USA. It has been recognized by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The breathtaking sandy beach is distinguished by the iconic Haystack Rock, a majestic rock formation visible during low tide. If you're seeking natural beauty and awe-inspiring landscapes, Cannon Beach is a must-visit.
This stunning beach is located in the charming coastal city of Cannon Beach. It attracts both tourists looking for a memorable coastal experience and locals seeking a peaceful and relaxed lifestyle. Exploring Oregon is best done with a rental car, and you can easily compare prices on CarRentals.com to find the perfect vehicle for your adventures.
While Cannon Beach exudes a laidback atmosphere, there is plenty to keep you entertained. For breathtaking views of the coastline, head to the Silver Point Interpretive Overlook. You can also explore a vibrant collection of art galleries located in the northern part of the city, and if you venture further north, you'll discover the scenic wonders of Ecola State Park. Cannon Beach truly offers a wealth of experiences for every visitor. For more things to do in Oregon, check out our article on 21 Awesome Places to Visit in Oregon.
Discover the Adventurous Sandy Beach, Honolulu HI
If you're a surfing enthusiast or simply prefer the thrill of powerful waves, Sandy Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, is the perfect destination for you. This beach is renowned for its gigantic waves, and swimming is not allowed, ensuring an uninterrupted surfing experience. For an extra dose of peace of mind, a coast guard tower stands watch over the beach.
While surfers take to the waters, non-surfers can enjoy the beauty of Sandy Beach from the shore. It's an ideal spot for sunbathing, reading, and marveling at the impressive surfing talents on display. Don't miss the famous sunsets at Sandy Beach before you leave. To discover more unforgettable reasons to visit Oahu, check out our article on 5 Unforgettable Reasons to Visit Oahu.
Situated on the outskirts of Honolulu, Sandy Beach is nestled against the striking backdrop of Koko Crater. If you're in the mood for exploration, we recommend hiking the crater, visiting the Koko Crater Botanical Garden, or heading to Halona Beach Cove.
Immerse Yourself in the Vibrancy of South Beach, Miami FL
South Beach, located in Miami, Florida, is the epitome of a beach playground and the most popular section of Miami Beach. As you stroll along the beachfront, you'll encounter a vibrant array of clubs, restaurants, attractions, and shops, with occasional towering skyscrapers interspersed among them.
South Beach itself boasts a unique charm, with its iconic art-deco beach architecture splashed with vivid colors. It's not uncommon to spot celebrities enjoying the beach, and it's easy to see why this beach is so beloved.
Don't miss out on exploring the delightful surrounding area. Visit the Art Deco Museum, the World Erotic Art Museum, or experience PALACE, a snack bar by day and a drag bar by night. For more fun facts about Florida, check out our article on Fun Facts About Florida.
Escape to the Tranquility of Coast Guard Beach, Eastham MA
If you're seeking an uncommercialized and serene coastal experience, look no further than Coast Guard Beach, situated in Eastham, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. This hidden gem is one of the best beaches in the USA to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of a remote coastline.
Coast Guard Beach is known for its resident seals, which can often be spotted frolicking in the shallow waters. Wildlife enthusiasts and sun-worshippers alike will find plenty to love here.
Swimming may not be recommended due to the presence of sharks along the Cape Cod coastline, but the thrill of admiring great whites from shore creates its own unique allure. After your beach excursion, take a scenic drive to explore the small beach town of Eastham. Visit attractions like the 1869 Schoolhouse Museum and the Captain Penniman House to delve into the area's rich history.
Unwind at the Scenic Henderson Beach State Park, Destin FL
Henderson Beach State Park, located in Destin, Florida, offers the quintessential beach experience with its pristine white sands. The beach itself can be explored via a wooden boardwalk, allowing you to soak in the coastal views without getting sandy.
Campers will find delight in the beachfront campground, while families can enjoy the nature trail and playground facilities. For more adventures, head to Urban Air Adventure Park for an adrenaline rush or take a dreamy aerial tour with Timberview Helicopters. Destin is renowned as "the world's luckiest fishing village," so don't forget to bring your fishing rod along. To discover more amazing places to visit in Florida, read our article on The Best Places to Visit in Florida.
Indulge in Leisure at Coligny Beach Park, Hilton Head Island SC
Coligny Beach Park is a fantastic destination for a memorable day out. This beach offers beautifully landscaped trails and impressive amenities, ensuring that you can enjoy a day of leisure without sacrificing any comforts. From WiFi access to bike paths, Coligny Beach Park has it all.
With shaded lounge chairs, public showers, changing rooms, swings, and a water fountain, this beach sets a new standard for facilities and amenities. There's plenty to do and explore in the nearby area as well. Make sure to prioritize a visit to Stoney Baynard Ruins, an old Civil War plantation home that sheds light on the darker history of slavery.
Discover the Elegance of Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island GA
If you're looking for a beach experience that deviates from the classic white sands, head to Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island in Georgia. This beach is known for its striking appearance, with numerous driftwood trees adding an ethereal touch to the landscape.
The desolate and washed-up aesthetic has made Driftwood Beach one of the most popular beaches in the USA, attracting millions of visitors eager to capture the perfect shot for their social media. Once you've snapped your photos, take the time to explore Jekyll Island State Park. Visit attractions such as Horton House, Indian Mound Cottage, and the Mosaic Jekyll Island Museum to fully immerse yourself in the island's charm.
Jekyll Island is one of the most renowned barrier islands in the USA, offering abundant opportunities for adventure and relaxation.
Snorkel in Paradise at Lanikai Beach, Kailua Hi
If you're ready for an exciting underwater exploration, Lanikai Beach in Kailua, Hawaii, is an absolute must-visit. One of the most stunning beaches in the USA, Lanikai offers a simplistic beauty with its wide stretch of soft sand, crystal-clear blue waters, and a scattering of palm trees along the shoreline. It also happens to be one of the best snorkeling spots in Hawaii, where you can spot colorful fish and even swim alongside sea turtles if luck is on your side.
While the captivating beach alone is worth a visit, venture beyond the sand to hike up to the Lanikai Pillboxes for panoramic views or explore the Lanikai Monument. The surrounding area is brimming with opportunities for adventure and discovery.
Relax on the Pristine Sands of Siesta Beach, Siesta Key FL
Siesta Beach, located in Siesta Key, Florida, stands out as one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the USA. What sets it apart is its unique quartz sand, which stays cool even under the hot sun. So, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll on the beach without getting your feet uncomfortably warm.
Siesta Beach is also expansive, providing ample space for relaxation and solitude. Whether you want to lounge with a towel and a book or simply unwind in the tranquility of your surroundings, Siesta Beach offers a truly relaxing and serene beach experience.
When you're ready for some entertainment, join the Siesta Key Drum Circle, partake in thrilling watersports, or take a trip to the Marie Selby Botanical Garden. There's something for everyone at Siesta Beach.
Enjoy Coastal Delights at Lighthouse Beach Park, Sanibel FL
For those looking to spot dolphins and immerse themselves in a beach and park experience, Lighthouse Beach Park in Sanibel, Florida, is an excellent choice. This beach is part of a 32-acre park, offering not only stunning sandy shores but also picnic tables, showers, and restroom facilities perfect for a full day of fun.
Enjoy a leisurely walk along the beach, with Sanibel Lighthouse as your destination. This 1884-built architectural gem provides a glimpse into American history. Don't forget to keep an eye out for marine life along the way. After your beach adventure, take a stroll down Periwinkle Way, where you'll find the best shops and restaurants in town.
Escape to Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach SC
Myrtle Beach in South Carolina should not be overlooked as a beach destination. While it may not have the same level of fame as beaches in Florida or California, it offers a uniquely charming seaside experience. Myrtle Beach exudes a laidback coastal vibe, where you can ride the Ferris wheel, explore old-school souvenir shops, and leisurely stroll along the promenade.
Experience a relaxing resort-style holiday in Myrtle Beach without the need for excessive planning or effort. If you're in the mood for more excitement, there's also a thrill park and haunted house for you to enjoy the cheesy side of beachside fun.
Experience a Beach Vibe at Headlands Beach State Park, Mentor OH
Ohio may be landlocked, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a beach getaway at Headlands Beach State Park. This sandy beach stretches along the shores of Lake Erie and is the perfect destination for a day trip from nearby Cleveland.
Headlands Beach is massive, providing ample space for visitors to spread out and maintain distance. Whether you choose to swim, walk the sand dunes, or simply bask in the sun, you'll be surrounded by tranquility and natural beauty.
The park also offers a scenic wooden boardwalk that meanders through the surrounding wetlands, as well as convenient restrooms and picnic tables for a complete day of outdoor enjoyment.
Immerse Yourself in the Glamour of Coronado Beach, Coronado CA
Coronado Beach in Coronado, California, has gained fame for its elegance and charm. This family-friendly urban beach exudes a socially historical atmosphere that transports visitors to a rich past. Make sure to check out our article on the 16 Best Cities in California for more travel inspiration.
The beachfront boasts iconic Hotel Del Coronado, a renowned historical landmark that has hosted numerous celebrities and politicians over the years, including Marilyn Monroe and George W. Bush. Visiting Coronado Beach offers not only stunning sands but a chance to immerse yourself in a piece of American history.
During your visit, marvel at the intricate sand sculptures, explore the tide pools, or take a refreshing swim in the ocean. If you're up for more adventures, head to the Gaslamp Quarter or the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, both just a short drive away. And don't miss the opportunity to meet sea lions at La Jolla Cove, located half an hour's drive from Coronado Beach. For accommodation options in San Diego, check out our guide on Where To Stay In San Diego - The Best Neighborhoods & Areas.
Experience Paradise at Kaanapali Beach in Kaanapali, HawaiiKaanapali Beach is the ultimate destination for a blissful swim. With its soft sand, shallow waters, and the occasional visit from a sea turtle, Kaanapali is undeniably one of the finest beaches to visit. If you are planning a trip to Maui, be sure to read our guide on Where to Stay in Maui: Best Hotels, Condos & Vacation Rentals by Area.
Stretching just three miles, Kaanapali Beach offers a charming community atmosphere. As the sun sets, this atmosphere becomes electrifying with the daily diving ceremony at Black Rock. Wait until sunset, and you'll witness a mesmerizing performance by professional cliff divers. Afterward, you can explore the rest of the island and discover the best things to do on Maui.
Surf's Up at Huntington State Beach in Huntington, CaliforniaCalling all surfers! Huntington State Beach is a surfer's paradise and one of the top beaches in the USA for riding the waves. With over 120 acres of shoreline, there's plenty of space to enjoy. Don't miss our list of the 15 Best Hikes in California – Inspiration to Get Outdoors for more adventure.
Bring your own board to save some money, or you can easily rent one from the shops along the promenade. Lifeguards and surf schools also provide a sense of safety and support for beginners. After you've caught some waves, you can wind down with a game of beach volleyball or explore the local parks nearby.
Clearwater Beach, Florida: Where Fun Meets Class
Clearwater Beach has captured our hearts as one of the best beaches in the USA. Located on a serene sea island away from the bustling city center, Clearwater Beach embodies the quintessential Florida beach experience. Skyscrapers blend seamlessly with a vibrant atmosphere, creating a unique ambiance.
The beach's promenade is a fashion runway, attracting a fresh and trendy crowd. Once the sun sets, Clearwater Beach transforms into a dynamic festival with street performers and live music at Pier 60.
On Clearwater Beach, you can also indulge in various water activities such as parasailing and jet skiing. To truly appreciate the beauty of Clearwater Beach, we highly recommend trying parasailing, which offers breathtaking views from heights of up to 800 feet. For more Florida adventure, check out our guide on The Best All Inclusive Resorts in Florida.
Discover the Serenity of Grand Isle Beach in Grand Isle, LouisianaGrand Isle Beach is a hidden gem that will make you fall in love with beach holidays in Louisiana. Situated on a narrow barrier island, this beach offers a secluded and tranquil escape. Exploring its serene shores is a delight for those who love independent water activities. You can fish right from the beach, go sea kayaking, snorkeling, and even spot dolphins while sunbathing.
After enjoying the beach, be sure to head north to Grand Isle State Park for a scenic hike.
Experience Bliss at Isla Blanca Beach in South Padre Island, TexasIsla Blanca is the go-to destination for a fantastic beach holiday in Texas. With its mile-long shoreline and abundance of facilities, entertainment, and attractions, Isla Blanca offers a bustling yet welcoming atmosphere without feeling overly resort-like. You can rent a cabana, snorkeling or fishing gear, or even try diving.
At the north end of the beach, you'll find the Beach Park at Isla Blanca. This waterpark is a paradise for kids and guarantees endless excitement. Don't forget to explore South Padre Island Adventure Park at the top of the island for more unforgettable experiences.
Embrace Tranquility at Corolla Beach in Corolla, North CarolinaCorolla Beach is truly a hidden treasure and one of the best beaches in the USA. Located in North Carolina's outer banks, this beach offers an escape from everyday life, both geographically and emotionally. Its untouched stretches of coastline provide a serene and private setting.
What sets Corolla Beach apart is its unique inhabitant: the only surviving wild herd of Spanish Mustangs in the world. These majestic creatures roam freely along the beach, offering an incredible sight. Don't miss the opportunity to visit them and learn about their conservation efforts at the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.
Explore the Beauty of Central Beach in Michigan City, MichiganCentral Beach offers a captivating lakeside experience on the shores of Lake Michigan. While the lake's freshwater offers a different feel, the beach guarantees a memorable and enjoyable time, just like any other seaside destination.
Lake Michigan boasts the largest freshwater sand dunes in the world, creating a unique landscape around Central Beach. These sand dunes provide shelter, allowing you to enjoy sunbathing in the spring and summer. Keep an eye out for Bank Swallows nesting in the dunes.
Discover the Beauty of Orange Beach Waterfront Park in Orange Beach, AlabamaOrange Beach in Alabama offers the best jet skiing experience on the Gulf Coast. While Alabama may not be the first place that comes to mind for a beach getaway, this city proves to be a hidden gem. With numerous tour and rental operators, you can explore the beautiful coast of Orange Beach on a thrilling jet ski adventure.
Waterfront Park is one of the top beaches in the area, featuring a pier, a small waterfront area for swimming, and a family-friendly playground. It also offers public barbecue facilities and picnic benches for a delicious outdoor meal. Don't forget to make a detour to nearby Pensacola during your visit.
Experience Peaceful Bliss at Sunset Beach in Sunset Beach, North CarolinaSunset Beach is a tranquil seaside town with a small population, offering a truly relaxing getaway. With its peaceful atmosphere, beautiful golf course, and vast stretches of sandy beach, Sunset Beach is the perfect place to escape from the daily grind.
During your visit, make sure to take a walk down to the Kindred Spirit Mailbox. This local tradition allows visitors to share hopes and thoughts through the mailbox, fostering a sense of community and connection.
Indulge in Coastal Beauty at Coligny Beach in Hilton Head, South CarolinaColigny Beach is a true gem located on the southern half of Hilton Head Island. With five miles of pristine Atlantic coastline, this beach is considered one of the most perfect beaches on this near-perfect island. Its soft sand and calm waters are ideal for swimming (though surfers may want to explore other spots). Families will appreciate the amenities such as sand showers, shops, restaurants, lifeguards, and clean restrooms.
For your stay in Hilton Head, we highly recommend the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, which ranked highest in our latest Readers' Choice Awards. It's just a short 12-minute drive from Coligny Beach.
Waikiki Beach: The Crown Jewel of Oahu, HawaiiWaikiki Beach is not only Hawaii's most famous beach—it's also renowned as one of the world's best city beaches. While it can get crowded at times, Waikiki still manages to provide a lively and laid-back atmosphere. You won't find neon signs or intrusive beach traders here, but rather gentle waves, luxurious oceanfront resorts, and friendly beach boys ready to teach you how to surf. Don't forget the stunning views of Diamond Head crater, adding to the beach's allure.
For your stay in Waikiki, we recommend the Kaimana Beach Hotel, located just south of Waikiki Beach. This brand-new hotel offers colorful aesthetics, outdoor yoga classes, and floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking views of Diamond Head.
Mustang Island State Park: A Hidden Beauty in TexasMustang Island State Park in Texas is a picturesque and pristine destination along the Gulf Coast. With its car-free, white-sand beaches, big waves for surfing, and a range of outdoor activities, this park offers something for everyone. Hike or bike on the scenic trails, explore the tide pools, or simply relax and watch the sunset.
For a more adventurous experience, consider spending the night at one of the park's campsites or renting a kayak to paddle along the 20-mile-long Mustang Island State Park Paddling Trail.
For your stay, the park offers 48 water and electric campsites just a short distance from the beach. If you prefer a hotel, the Omni Hotel in Corpus Christi is a great option, located about a 30-minute drive west of the state park.
Discover Ruby Beach's Natural Beauty in WashingtonRuby Beach in Washington state offers a mesmerizing coastal experience. Located within Olympic National Park, this beach showcases the untouched beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Its rugged coastline and towering sea stacks create a stunning scenery, providing ample space and tranquility.
While at Ruby Beach, make sure to explore the Kindred Spirit Mailbox. This local tradition allows visitors to share their hopes and thoughts, which are often supported by the community.
Experience Lake Michigan's Coastal Charm at Central Beach in Michigan City, MichiganCentral Beach in Michigan City, Michigan offers a delightful lakeside escape on the shores of Lake Michigan. Despite being a freshwater lake, Lake Michigan provides a complete beach experience with all the beauty and benefits of a seaside destination.
One unique feature of Lake Michigan is its vast freshwater sand dunes, the largest in the world. These sand dunes offer shelter, ensuring a pleasant sunbathing experience in spring and summer. Keep an eye out for Bank Swallows nesting in the dunes, adding to the natural charm of Central Beach.
Enjoy the Best Watersports at Orange Beach Waterfront Park in Orange Beach, AlabamaOrange Beach may not be the most well-known beach destination in Alabama, but it offers the ultimate watersports experience, particularly in jet skiing. Many tour and rental operators are available for thrilling jet ski adventures along the beautiful coast of Orange Beach.
Waterfront Park stands out as one of the top beaches in the area, boasting a pier, a small waterfront area for swimming, and a family-friendly playground. You can also enjoy a delicious meal cooked on the public barbecues and relax on the picnic benches. Don't overlook this charming Alabama city for your seaside getaway and make sure to visit Waterfront Park. It's also conveniently located near Pensacola if you're up for a detour.
Experience Coastal Tranquility at Sunset Beach in Sunset Beach, North CarolinaSunset Beach is a calm and serene seaside town with a small population. Its town motto of "manana, manana" reflects its relaxed atmosphere. With most of its land covered by a golf course, fishing grounds, and the beach, Sunset Beach offers a Zen-like coastal experience.
Like the town, the beach provides a tranquil setting with plenty of space and privacy for beachgoers. After unwinding on the beach, take a walk to the Kindred Spirit Mailbox. This local tradition allows visitors to share their hopes and thoughts, often garnering support from the community.
Enjoy the Perfect Atlantic Coastline at Coligny Beach in Hilton Head, South CarolinaColigny Beach is a breathtaking stretch of coastline located on the southern half of Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Spanning five miles, this beach is considered one of the most perfect beaches on the already idyllic island. Its soft sand and calm waters make it a great spot for swimming (although surfers may prefer alternative locations). Families will appreciate the amenities available, such as sand showers, shops, restaurants, lifeguards, and well-maintained restrooms.
For your stay in Hilton Head, we recommend the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, which ranked highest in our latest Readers' Choice Awards. It's just a short 12-minute drive from Coligny Beach.
In a country blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and coastlines stretching for thousands of miles, it's no wonder that the United States is home to some of the best beaches in the world. From the rugged charm of Cannon Beach in Oregon to the vibrant shores of South Beach in Miami, there truly is something for everyone. Whether you're seeking a secluded paradise or a lively atmosphere, the options are endless. So grab your sunscreen, a beach towel, and get ready to explore the unforgettable sands of the USA.