In the warm weather one of the most enjoyable activities for all ages is heading off to the beach. Parents can relax under the sun or take a quick dip in the ocean while their kids build sand castles or run around finding seashells. In the United States, you won’t have to travel far to look for the perfect day at the beach, regardless of your preferences.
When most people think of west coast beaches, Southern California is likely what comes to mind. Sun-drenched destinations like the Santa Monica Pier, the Venice Boardwalk, and Coronado Beach in San Diego are among the most iconic shorelines in the entire country, and they’re all down south. But that doesn’t mean the northern part of …
Beaches by United States
No matter what time of year you can enjoy a day by the ocean, lake, or river. rom Florida to California, here are some of the best beaches in the United States.
Guide to Beaches in United States
You’ll find blissful ocean beaches along America’s vast coastlines. On the other hand some beaches can be found on a beautiful river or lake. Some are heavens for surfers with wild waves and the right weather, while others are perfect for families with sand as soft as powder, serene swimming conditions, and ample restaurants in the vicinity.
Fortunately, if you’re residing in the USA, you won’t have to travel too far to look for an idyllic waterfront, regardless of your preferences. Be it New Jersey or California, here are some of the best American beaches.
Coronado Beach, California
The Coronado beach region consists of four beach areas:
- Centennial Park
- Glorietta Bay Park
- Tidelands Park
- Coronado City Beach
These beaches are quite popular since their sand consists of mica. This makes the sand glitter like gold under the sunlight. The gentle waves of this beach make it the perfect choice for swimming, skimboarding, and bodyboarding. Moreover, it also has flat sandy patches that are ideal for casual strolls. Different regions on the beach have volleyball courts, playgrounds, grass patches, fire rings, and picnic tables; however, scuba diving isn’t allowed.
Kalaloch Beach, Washington
Located on the Olympic peninsula’s south-western coast, the Kalaloch Beach can be found inside Olympic National Park. Diverse marine life considers the water home, so you may find otters and puffins in the water. The beach also has one of the two campgrounds that can be found on the park’s southern coast. These campsites tend to fill up quickly, so if you find one, we would recommend you to reserve the spot ASAP.
The beach also has a lodge which has cabins and rooms you can rent if you inform the management in advance.
Miami Beach, Florida
It’s borderline impossible to write an article about the best beaches in America and not mention Miami Beach, one of the premier beaches in Florida. Out of all the beaches we’ve included in this list, it is easily one of the most popular spots. Once here, you can waterski, swim, jet ski, surf, or participate in the most popular activity on Miami beach: people-watching. Celebrities and models abound; yo the boardwalk while casually enjoying the white sand on the beach. Quite literally, people come here to be seen and to see.
However, the closer you get to the southern part of the beach, the more enticing things will get. You’ll have to see it to believe it. This thriving part of the beach is renowned for its decorative buildings (from the 1930s or 1940s) and vibrant shopping and restaurant scenes. If you’re looking for culture and some quick entertainment, you must visit this spot.
Between the 5th and 14th streets, you’re going to find Lummus Park. It has a playground, volleyball courts, and ample access to even more restaurants. You’ll find umbrellas and beach chairs for rent almost everywhere, and ice cream is readily available, too. Be it live music or fresh seafood; you’ll find everything you should find on a beach while you’re at Miami Beach.
La Jolla, California
With approximately 70 miles of coastline, San Diego has some of the stunning beaches in America. While La Jolla Cove may not be one of the largest beaches, it is one of the most picturesque spots in California. Facing the north, the beach is between two sandstone cliffs, making it the perfect spot to scuba dive, swim, or snorkel. The blueish-green bay is secure, and the views are amazing, too (in some cases, you can see 30 feet into the water).
Another factor to consider is that this beach is inside the Underwater Park Reserve, which bars the removal of different objects and fish from the area. The result? A bay beaming with loads of marine life. For a diver, this spot is paradise, and it is easily one of the best beaches in California. So if you’re visiting, make sure you have your snorkeling gear with you. You can reach the shore of La Jolla in approximately 12 minutes (by car).
This spot presents tourists with a stretch that is a mile long, and it is full of gentle waves and soft sand. Thinking of trying out surfing for the first time? The waves at this spot are ideal for beginners and paddle boarders or families with young children who will enjoy the calm water, too. If you’re considering spending an entire day on the water, you should also know that this is the only beach in San Diego that has a boat launch.
Hanauma Beach Park, Hawaii
This beach was formed inside of a volcanic cone, and it has been a conservation area for marine life and an underwater park since 1967. The famous curved shape of the beach makes it a good spot for swimming and snorkeling. Parking spots on this beach are limited, but various shuttle services make the trip towards the bay several times during the day.
Every person above the age of 12 is charged for admission, and the beach is closed every Tuesday or New Year’s day, or Christmas day. You can also rent snorkeling equipment, and a snack shop and gift shop are also available.
Cannon Beach, Oregon Coast
Few beaches can surpass the aesthetics of the Oregon Coast, and it’s several gorgeous beaches. Choosing the best one isn’t hard, particularly when Cannon Beach is thrown into the mix. Sitting on the soft sand overlooks Haystack Rock, you’ll feel you’ve been transported to an exotic location, for instance, Malaysia. The basalt sea stack was created by flowing lava millions of years ago. When the tide is low, you can walk right up to the rock and look for intertidal creatures like starfish, crabs, sea plugs, or limpets in the tide’s pool. However, please stay on the lookout for puffins since they’re often resting on the rocks between April and July. The village along the seaside has several shops that offer delectable food items.
While you wouldn’t expect to find Irish food at this West Coast locality, The Irish Table is a hidden gem. The service is brilliant, and you’ll also find seafood chowder. Your family can also challenge children to a game of “find the rabbits.” It won’t be hard to find one since you’re going to find several of these carrot-loving fluff balls hopping around the lawns in the neighboring streets. There’s also a running story that says that people often get tired of their pet rabbits and set them “free.” Now, the town is dealing with the consequences.
Laguna Beach, California
Approximately an hour away from Los Angeles and halfway towards San Diego, Laguna Beach is California’s premier tourist destination. Once you’ve had the time to explore the ocean side’s bluffs, the sea caves, and the coves, you’ll understand why. It is approximately seven miles long and consists of 30 different beaches, so it can be difficult to decide where to spend your time.
Main Beach, however, will make your decisions considerably easy. It is one of the most centrally located in the area, and it has soft, tan-like sand, which is the perfect place to dip into the water. The waves will crash far from the shore, so you won’t have to get up and sprint whenever the water comes near. One of the most prominent features is the grassy park nearby that has volleyball courts, a playground, and a basketball court.
Art is a popular theme in Laguna Beach. Once you’re done soaking up the vitamin D, go to a festival or a gallery. In June, you may find the Laguna Art Fair or Sawdust Festival, and in July, you can find the Masters Pageant.
However, try not to plan a surfing trip, since the sport is banned during the summers.
Nags Head Beach, North Carolina
With approximately 11 miles of sand, this beach is a brilliant place for traditional activities like sunbathing, beachcombing, and swimming. If this doesn’t suffice for you, you can snorkel around shipwrecks, go watch dolphins, or even go kayaking. Another popular activity is fishing. To do this, however, you’ll need a fishing license. If you have one, you can fish on any of the two fishing piers available. Vehicles are allowed on the beach during the off-season, but you’ll still need a permit from the town.
Without a doubt, this is arguably one of the best beaches in North Carolina.
The Cove Beach, New Jersey
Often considered one of the best beaches in New Jersey, Cove Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the Cape May collection. It has gray sand and a laid-back vibe that welcomes visitors in almost every season. In the warmer months, the beach’s gentle slope is a favorite amongst families or any person who likes surfing, swimming, or kayaking.
The shape of the beach, however, may change from year to year. However, the cooler months of the year bring ravishing opportunities for beachcombing, bird watching, and fishing. You’ll also see a lighthouse from the beach and a flag-lowering ceremony attracting tourists and spectators.
Joseph Sylvia Beach, Massachusetts
On the shoreline of Nantucket, this beach is popular amongst families. It has warm water, gentle waves, and has a gradual slope that goes from the beach into the water. Joseph Sylvia beach also has miles of sand where your kids can play with Frisbees or make castles while staying safe. The beach runs between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, and it also has a lifeguard apart from a few concession stands. The beach forms a seaward coast of a brackish tide called the Sengekontacket Pond.
It also has a biking and hiking trail between the pond and the beach. Several rare and endangered bird species find solace in this area, too. Birds you can easily spot in the area include the piping lover and the least tern. It goes without saying, if you’re in the city, this is one of those beaches in Massachusetts you must visit.
Easton Beach, Rhode Island
This beach won’t deliver all the circumstances and pomp of other high-profile beaches. One of the several highly rated beaches in America, this beach is the largest surfing beach in Newport. Tourists of every age adore the 1950s carousel and the amazing views one can enjoy of the mansions on the top of the nearby cliffs. Easton’s is located at the start of the cliff walk and is one of the most iconic spots to base yourself on. You can grab lunch from nearby restaurants or rent yourself an umbrella from the beach’s store.
Once you’re done enjoying the beach, you can head to the Exploration Center managed by Save the Bay.
Headlands Beach Park, Ohio
Have you ever heard anyone yearn for a romantic getaway in Ohio? When anyone thinks of going to a beach for a vacation, the obvious places they think of are California, Hawaii, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, or North Carolina – but not many people think of Ohio! But just because Ohio isn’t widely popular for its beaches doesn’t mean this state has nothing to offer! In fact, there are several picturesque beaches in Ohio all along the shoreline of Lake Erie.
One of the most popular ones amongst these beaches is the mile-long Headlands Beach State Park, which is also the largest beach in Ohio and the most popular. The beach is located beside the Headlands State Reserve, and it is a nice place to spend your day. Apart from the traditional water sports and sandcastle builds, you’ll be able to relax while watching the animals roaming nearby. Fringed by beach grass and the natural dunes, you’ll find yourself sharing the shoreline with gulls, songbirds, and butterflies while watching the sunset.
Bonus: You won’t have to worry about salt stinging your eyes or sharks since this is a freshwater beach.
Atlantic Beach, New Jersey
This beach is home to one of the most popular boardwalks, which has been an integral part of American culture ever since it was built in 1970. This beach has everything one may want: amazing ocean views and several stores ranging from candy shops to boutiques. Those wanting to enjoy the beach’s experience can take part in kayaking, fishing, or surfing. But if you’re chasing an adrenaline rush, you can also participate in parasailing activities or windsurfing.
Around the beaches, you’ll also find casinos, restaurants, and family-friendly activities like mini-golf, amusement parks, and several hotels.
Santa Monica Beach, California
This famous beach in California ticks off all the boxes.
- White and soft sand? Check.
- Play areas for children? Check.
- Bike trail and boardwalk? Check.
- Mouth-watering food? Check.
- People-watching? Check!
Santa Monica beach is no different. It spans 3.5 miles and has famously made good use of this space. One of the most popular spots on the beach is the Santa Monica Pier, which is often one of the most popular reasons people visit this sunny spot. If you decide to stop by, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll find this beach in the middle of all the pacific coast beaches. It has several shops, an amusement park, several restaurants, and an aquarium. Towards the southern side of the pier, you’re going to find open and green spaces.
Here, you’ll find gym equipment in the famous Muscle Beach and a carousel in the Carousel Park. This is also the spot where most of the resorts and hotels lie. You can also bike towards Venice Beach if you’re feeling like it, and on the north side of the pier is the Will Rogers Beach. All in all, the beaches in California offer a lot to ensure you’re entertained. Ensure Palisades Park is a part of your itinerary if you’re visiting. It has 26 acres worth of oceanic views and the most beautiful gardens for you to walk through.
If you’re planning to catch a tan this year, make your way out to some of the aforementioned locations and spend some quality time with your friends. There’s nothing like relaxing on one of America’s top beaches.
USA Related Activities
Latest in USA Beaches
With a name like Cardiff-by-the-Sea, you may assume that Cardiff State Beach is located in the United Kingdom, but this beautiful little community can be found on the coast of northern San Diego County. While many areas in Southern California embrace their Latin-American heritage, in Cardiff-by-the-Sea you will see Welsh influences from the town’s name …
To get to most beaches, you usually have to find a parking spot, grab your gear, and start walking toward the sound of the waves, but at Garbage Beach, it’s a bit of a different story. Garbage Beach, located in Point Loma’s beautiful Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, is only accessible if you’re willing to be …
Oceanside is a coastal city in northern San Diego County, about 80 miles south of Los Angeles and 40 miles north of the city of San Diego. It’s a laid-back Southern California town that has a number of great beaches, as well as Oceanside Harbor, a marina that offers multiple seafaring activities. Located right next …
If you’ve come to Southern California in an RV or camper van, Silver Strand State Beach may be the place for you. Silver Strand offers overnight camping in a relatively remote section of San Diego, right on a small strip of land flanked by the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. You don’t have to …
You definitely won’t run out of things to do at Mission Beach in San Diego. It may be a mere two-mile run on a narrow sandbar, but it is absolutely packed with attractions and activity. From rollerblading, and skateboarding on the paved bike path, to water sports and more leisurely activities like sunbathing or gathering …
Torrey Pines State Beach is a four and a half-mile stretch of undisturbed natural shoreline on the coastal edge of Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve. It’s a great place for sunbathing and swimming, but exploring the surrounding wilderness in the preserve is sure to fill the day with plenty of adventures. Since Torrey Pines takes …
Encinitas is not a part of the city of San Diego, but rather, a coastal city in the northern part of San Diego County. The city is known as the “Flower Capital of the World” due to its myriad of botanic gardens, including the San Diego Botanic Garden. Furthermore, this beach is known for its …
Imperial Beach is the southernmost city on the West Coast, about five miles away from Tijuana, Mexico. The area’s proximity to our neighboring country makes for an ethnically diverse population and an equally diverse culture. The four-mile length of shoreline that makes up Imperial Beach’s western border is known as Imperial Beach City Beach. The …
Pacific Beach offers everything a Southern California beach should: broad and beautiful sand, great surf, beautiful scenery, and a historic pier. The proximity to the heart of town, with its bustling daytime crowds and exciting nightlife, is an added bonus. This beach is connected directly to multiple other beaches, all of which offer a wide …
La Jolla Shores Beach has a little bit of everything: beautiful sand, inviting waters, great surf, a boardwalk, nearby shops and restaurants, and a park with a playground. It’s also a popular spot for snorkeling and inexperienced scuba divers, and you can even catch some sunbathing seals nearby. There are a number of great beaches …
Jacksonville is a sprawling metropolis, offering a beachside getaway for communities in Northeastern Florida. While it may not be a mega-tourist destination like Orlando or Miami, Jacksonville, and its surrounding beaches, still have a lot to offer. Within the biggest city in Florida, visitors can find attractions like the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens or the …
The archipelago that juts off the end of South Florida, peppering the Atlantic with 1,700 islands, is the famous Florida Keys. For years, this chain of islands has welcomed visitors, boasting white-sand beaches, sportfishing, abundant seafood, and plenty of water sports to keep the entire family entertained. While a majority of the islands are small …
Miami is one of the crown jewels of South Florida, bringing flocks of tourists to the “Magic City” throughout the year. The vibrant cityscape is jam-packed with nightlife, restaurants, cultural richness, and over a dozen beaches. While the city is known for its over the top and extravagant style, there is no doubt that the …
If you’re looking for a sun-soaked beach vacation, with ample attractions and all the modern conveniences of a big city, you can’t do much better than San Diego, California. Boasting lofty nicknames such as “The Birthplace of California” and “America’s Finest City”, San Diego is not only a paradise of white-sand and perfect weather but …
Cruise down the California coastline and you’ll find endless panoramic cliffside views, beautiful ocean outlooks, and some of the most incredible beaches the planet has to offer. 840 miles of coast running from just south of Oregon to just north of Mexico means a tremendous variety of shorelines to explore, all with their own unique …
Getting to Pfeiffer Beach requires some commitment. It’s not a local hotspot in the middle of a busy city surrounded by shops and restaurants, it’s a secluded little beach in the middle of Los Padres National Forest that requires a two mile drive down a narrow, winding road that’s too thin for RVs or trailers. …
College Cove Beach is located in the seaside town of Trinidad in Humboldt County, about 300 miles north of San Francisco. The geographical features of the beaches in this part of Northern California are more akin to the beaches found on the Oregon coast than they are to those found in Los Angeles and San …
Way out on the coast of Inverness in Marin County, you’ll find the stunning white cliffs of Drakes Beach. This remote shoreline is full of incredible views, and the trails at nearby Chimney Rock are full of plants and wildlife. If you want make the trip out to Drakes Beach, remember that it’s surrounded by …
The three separate beaches that comprise this popular coastal locale are shared by the neighboring cities of Monterey and Seaside. Each beach has something unique to offer its visitors: Houghton M. Roberts, Seaside, and Window on the Bay beaches. Seaside Beach in the north is a popular spot for paragliders to launch. It’s also a …