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Discover the Best Beach Vacation Spots 📍 in the United States

Discover the best beach vacation spots in the United States, from the rugged coast of Hawaii 🌴 to the soft sands of Florida!🌅

When summer arrives many Americans find themselves daydreaming about one thing; going to the beach. The United States has an abundance of beaches with over 95,000 miles of shoreline to explore. From the coasts of California to the paradise of Hawaii our country is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Whether you’re planning a family beach getaway or a romantic seaside retreat America has it all. Keep reading to discover some of the top beach vacation spots across the U.S.

Florida’s Best Beach Vacations

It’s no secret that Florida is renowned for its beaches. With 825 miles of shores along both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico beach enthusiasts are spoiled for choice in the Sunshine State.

Here are a few standout beaches in Florida for your sun soaked escape.

Clearwater Beach

Located on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater Beach consistently ranks among America’s beaches due to its soft sugary sand and calm shallow waters. The vibrant beach boardwalk is lined with restaurants, boutiques and ice cream shops. Pier 60 hosts nightly sunset celebrations featuring street performers and live music. Families are drawn here by its atmosphere and amenities, like cabana rentals and playgrounds.

Ideal, for; families enjoying the beach

Miami Beach

Renowned worldwide Miami Beach enchants with its culture striking Art Deco architecture and alluring charm. Among its beaches South Beach stands out with its iconic promenade on Ocean Drive, bustling bars and clubs and that quintessential expanse of golden sand bordered by pastel colored lifeguard stations. For a laid back beach experience in Miami head north to the Haulover Beach Park or the family friendly Crandon Park located on Key Biscayne.

Ideal for: nightlife, people watching

Key West

Quirky and vibrant Key West offers an island getaway at the southernmost point of the Florida Keys. Despite its size Smathers Beach impresses visitors with a mile of pristine sand along with amenities like volleyball courts, paddleboarding opportunities and awe inspiring sunset vistas. Fort Zachary Taylor State Park boasts the beach in the area – a tranquil stretch nestled amidst greenery with exceptional snorkeling reefs just offshore.

Ideal for: Snorkeling enthusiasts and watersports lovers

Panama City Beach

Nestled along Florida’s Emerald Coast, Panama City Beach entices travelers, with its sandy beaches that overlook the lively blue green waters of the Gulf.

Families love the shores and abundance of beach facilities while groups of friends come for daytime watersports and evenings spent at nightclubs and beach bars. Pier Park offers a variety of dining, shopping and entertainment options to keep everyone happy.

Ideal for: Watersports, nightlife

Destin

Destin fully embraces its nickname as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” – you’ll often see anglers reeling in their catches from the beaches here. From Henderson Beach State Park on the east end to the beaches of Grayton Beach State Park Destin impresses visitors at every corner.. When you’ve had your fill of fishing dolphin cruises, jet skiing and beachcombing there’s no shortage of seafood restaurants and beach bars to indulge in.

Ideal for: fishing, water activities

The Florida Panhandle deserves recognition – from Pensacola through Destin to Panama City Beach this coastline captivates visitors with miles of emerald waters and soft white sands (some places even reaching depths of up to 200 feet!). The charming seaside towns here exude hospitality with their seafood offerings, great shopping opportunities and access, to wildlife refuges and state parks that families will absolutely adore.

Top Beach Getaways on the Gulf Coast

The Gulf of Mexico embraces the coastlines of five states in the U.S.. Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Each state offers beaches in some of the country’s underrated beach destinations.

Alabama Gulf Coast

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach boast 32 miles of shoreline where soft sand meets the waves of the Gulf. This area is perfect for water sports enthusiasts with activities like jet skiing and kayaking available in the Intracoastal Waterway. While relaxation is a highlight here you’ll also find beach amenities such as volleyball courts, chair rentals and beachfront restaurants. If you’re looking for adventure nearby Gulf State Park offers fishing spots, hiking trails, a newly built lodge and cozy beach cottages. Bay St. Louis may be small in size. It exudes charm along Mississippi’s Gulf coastline. The serene sandy beaches overlooking waters create a setting to spend leisurely days at while also enjoying beachfront hotels, restaurants and shops. Off the coast lies barrier islands like Ship Island that offer pristine natural environments to explore.

Ideal for; Strolling along beaches and enjoying tranquil waters

Texas Gulf Coast

The Texas coastline boasts shores that span across its entire length. Some facing towards the vast expanse of the Gulf while others overlook lush estuaries.

South Padre Island attracts spring breakers with its location, for water activities and round the clock entertainment while Mustang Island near Corpus Christi entices families with its beaches. Additionally Port Aransas, an up and coming destination captivates visitors with its beach, fantastic fishing opportunities and the new development of Cinnamon Shore.

When it comes to the beach vacations on the East Coast numerous coastal destinations offer boardwalk promenades bustling with shops, restaurants and amusement rides. You’ll also discover seaside villages with inns and bed & breakfasts that are perfect for a romantic getaway.

The Outer Banks, NC

The Outer Banks in North Carolina is a chain of barrier islands boasting some of the breathtaking beaches on the East Coast. These beaches feature sand and are renowned for their excellent fishing and water sports. The vibrant town of Kitty Hawk stands out with its variety of dining options and shops while Nags Head appeals to families with its ice cream parlors and miniature golf courses. South at Cape Hatteras National Seashore you’ll find miles of protected and undeveloped shoreline that’s ideal for beachcombing.

Ideal for; families, water sports

Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach in South Carolina consistently ranks as one of America’s vacation spots on the East Coast due, to its beaches and lively oceanfront boardwalk teeming with restaurants, amusement rides, bars and shops.Families absolutely love the excitement that can be found here at attractions, like the Family Kingdom Amusement Park and Ripley’s Aquarium. The beach experience revolves around the 1.2 mile Ocean Boulevard Promenade and pier where you can also find rentals for beach chairs, fun festivals and amazing free summer concerts.

Ideal for; families seeking thrilling boardwalk adventures.

Hilton Head Island in South Carolina

Located on this Sea Island north of Savannah you’ll discover yourself losing track of time while exploring the 12 miles of pristine shoreline blessed with incredibly soft sand. With no towering buildings in sight Hilton Head provides a sense of peacefulness away from the chaos of life. It truly becomes a sanctuary for relaxation golfing enthusiasts and anyone who wants to immerse themselves in nature’s beauty. Some top beach recommendations include the family Coligny Beach, the Driessen Beach Park and Mitchelville Beach Park which is perfect for beachcombing.

Ideal for; those seeking tranquility and a connection with nature.

Cape May in New Jersey

This charming historic seaside village located at the tip of New Jersey has an ability to transport you back in time. Take strolls along its streets lined with vibrant Victorian homes, boutique shops and delightful inns before indulging in a soothing afternoon tea on one of its inviting wraparound porches. Cape Mays beaches are equally enchanting, boasting sand and gentle waves that have been attracting East Coast beach enthusiasts year after year.

Ideal for: Those who appreciate history and seek a retreat.

Coastal Virginia

Bordered by sandy beaches, delightful coastal communities and nature reserves, Virginia Beach consistently ranks as one of the East Coast’s premier beach destinations offering a wealth of family friendly attractions such as the renowned Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. Just north lies Cape Charles Beach at the tip of Virginia’s Eastern Shore serving as a gateway to the captivating Delmarva Peninsula with its gems – charming towns, scenic beaches and picturesque trails.

Grayton Beach

Situated along Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A Grayton Beach State Park boasts a shoreline that is considered one of the finest in the Florida Panhandle. The sand here sparkles enchantingly under sunlight due to its quartz crystals. The gentle surf creates conditions for swimming and paddling. Spend your sun soaked days exploring dunes adorned with vegetation before enjoying a picnic lunch beneath the park’s oak trees. Nearby lies the quaint beach town of Grayton Beach exuding charm from the 1950s through its retro architecture and fashioned ice cream parlors and burger joints.

Nantucket

During summer months throngs of visitors flock to this whaling port in New England, for its crescent shaped beaches, iconic lighthouses and delightful cobblestone streets downtown. However, escaping the peak season allows you to truly experience Nantucket at a tranquil pace.

Start your exploration with a guided tour of the Whaling Museum then wander through the boutiques in town. Head to Steamboat Wharf. Enjoy a seafood lunch at The Brotherhood of Thieves restaurant while watching the ferries come and go. Don’t miss out on visiting the Sankaty Head Lighthouse or experiencing the sunset at Madaket Beach on the west coast of the island.

West Coast’s Best Beach Vacation Spots

If you’re looking for a beach vacation on the West Coast you’ll be treated to seaside landscapes with majestic mountains, towering cliffs and rolling hills. Cities like San Diego and Los Angeles offer not beaches but also a wealth of cultural attractions that perfectly complement your beach getaway.

Los Angeles & Orange County Beaches

Los Angeles is home to some beaches. Santa Monica entices visitors with its oceanfront pier and entertaining street performers along the boardwalk promenade. In Malibu you can marvel at celebrity homes while enjoying a stretch of sand at Surfrider Beach, which is beloved by surfers.

La Jolla & San Diego

La Jolla has gained fame as one of California’s villages. It boasts homes, upscale boutiques, art galleries and top notch restaurants where you can indulge in delights while taking in beautiful surroundings.

Southern California’s coastline boasts beaches that perfectly showcase the region’s beauty. From the stretch of La Jolla Shores, to the charming coves of La Jolla Cove and Children’s Pool there is something for everyone. Whether you prefer kayaking, snorkeling or simply observing seals and sea lions in their habitat these beaches offer an experience.

In San Diego itself you’ll find crystal waters gently lapping against miles of beaches such as Mission Beach, Coronado and Pacific Beach. Each beach has its atmosphere and charm. As the sun sets, take some time to explore beaches and enjoy views of downtown San Diego across the bay. Ocean Beach is particularly known for its laid back surfer culture where you can embrace a pace of beach life while exploring surf shops, coffee houses and seafood eateries.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach holds a place among Southern California beach destinations with its coves, coastal trails and artsy vibe. Embark on a guided walk along tide pools. Visit secluded beaches like Victoria Beach and Treasure Island. The Pacific Marine Mammal Center provides an opportunity to learn about rescue efforts for seals and sea lions. When evening arrives indulge in browsing art galleries before dining at cliffside restaurants followed by enjoying a performance at the Laguna Playhouse. With its blend of beauty, between the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ana Mountains combined with a heritage, Laguna Beach continues to captivate visitors with its relaxed yet cultured beach town allure.

Hawaii

If you’re going to Hawaii, you already know what to do. However, we will take the liberty to advise you to pay attention to the west coast of Maui.

Ka’anapali Beach

Hawaii’s Ka’anapali Beach located on the west shore of Maui is renowned as one of the exceptional beach resort areas in the region. With its three mile stretch of coastline it offers inviting waters that are perfect for swimming and appeal to people of all ages. You can spend your days exploring the world while snorkeling among a variety of colorful reef fish or simply take in the breathtaking views of Lanai and Molokai islands across the sparkling blue sea. As evening approaches and the sun sets behind the West Maui Mountains you can witness captivating torch lighting ceremonies and thrilling cliff diving performances at Pu’u Keka’a (Black Rock) before enjoying a sunset dinner at one of Ka’anapali highly acclaimed beachfront restaurants. With its welcoming atmosphere as well as its picturesque crescent shaped beach Ka’anapali is a destination that brings joy to families, couples and solo travelers alike.

It’s more fun together – find beach buddies on invme

invme.com is a free city social network app to discover and share what is happening here and now in your city. Share, discover and connect: invme.com offers both locals and tourists the way to share events in the city in an easier way.

To Sum It Up

With thousands of miles of shoreline spanning two vast coasts, the continental United States spoiled for choice when it comes to spectacular beach getaways. Add in the tropical paradise of Hawaii and U.S. territories like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and beach lovers will find their own version of paradise somewhere amid the country’s diverse coastal landscapes.

The Southeast impresses with its stretches of powdery white sand and gentle surf along the Atlantic shoreline and the Gulf of Mexico. Beach towns here burst with Southern hospitality, serving up fresh local seafood and access to wildlife refuges and state parks that families will adore.

The Pacific Coast captivates with its wild beauty and diversity—go seaside glamping along Oregon’s dramatic cliffs, relax in artsy Laguna Beach, or enjoy urban energy and epic views in Los Angeles and San Diego. And few places compete with Hawaii’s world-famous beaches, where sea turtles, spinner dolphins and technicolor coral reefs swim offshore.

Whether you seek lively resorts or peaceful solitude, nature’s spectacle or cultural immersion, beach towns around the U.S. offer the perfect recipe of sun, surf and sand to suit your style. As this list reveals, you don’t need to leave the country to find sensational beaches and seaside adventures. With so many stellar options to explore, the most challenging part is narrowing down your must-see list for that next American beach vacation.

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