The United States has close to 100,000 miles of coastline, which equals a lot of beaches. From the magical shores of Hawaii to the rocky coast of California to the towering sand dunes of New England, the country’s impossibly varied beach
The United States has close to 100,000 miles of coastline, which equals a lot of beaches. From the magical shores of Hawaii to the rocky coast of California to the towering sand dunes of New England, the country’s impossibly varied beach options offer something for everyone.
Let’s start with the obvious choice: Hawaii. You'll find natural beauty everywhere you go, but some of our favorites on this string of islands include the Na Pali Coast of Kauai, Hanauma Bay on Oahu, and Makena Beach State Park and Wai'anapanapa State Park on Maui. Florida is also rife with beautiful beaches, and we’d include Clearwater, South Beach, Pensacola Beach, and top-rated Siesta Key Beach on our list.
Farther north you'll find picturesque beaches such as South Carolina's Hilton Head Island or North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras. Animal lovers enjoy Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, and horse enthusiasts will want to visit in late July for the annual Pony Swim. In the Northeast, charming destinations like Cape Cod in Massachusetts and Montauk in New York attract summer visitors looking to escape city life for a weekend or even longer. Hotels here can fill up quickly, so book far in advance. Consider renting an entire beach house if you're staying for a significant amount of time.
Oregon’s Cannon Beach is one of our picks on the West Coast, as are California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea, Stinson Beach, La Jolla, and Laguna Beach. Many of these destinations have an active surf culture, so if you've ever wanted to hang ten, think about arranging a lesson during your stay. Active travelers may want to consider hiking some of the many trails near California's beaches – you’ll be rewarded with astounding views from the seaside cliffs.