Best Beach Vacation Destinations in the US
With some of the most varied beaches in the world, the US should not be overlooked for a getaway packed with sun, sea, and sand. From the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean on the eastern seaboard, to the blue Caribbean waters of Florida, to the tropical sun-kissed shores of Hawaii, it won’t be hard for you to find the perfect beach.
In this post, we’ll take a look at seven of the best beach destinations in the United States. Hopefully, it’ll give you an idea of where to go on your next vacation!
One of the most popular tourist cities in the United States, Miami is a year-round destination and it boasts some of the top beaches in Florida. All of the beaches in Miami have their own distinct character – Ocean Drive and Seventh Street boasts the best partying in town, while LGBTQ+ are welcomed to a gay beach just 5 blocks north. One of the most family friendly beaches can be found at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, where it’s easy to rent equipment for stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, and even snorkelling.
Once you’re done with your day at the beach, enjoy Miami’s awesome food and drink options, the performing arts scene, or the art deco architecture.
The only downside is that Miami can get incredibly busy. Thankfully, it’s not the only incredible beach destination in Florida. If you’d like something a little quieter, check out the miles and miles of white sands around Destin or the fine dining and high-end shopping available in Naples.
San Diego, California
San Diego has 70 miles of coastline and 31 beaches to choose from. Add in the fact that the eighth largest city in the United States has some of the best weather in the country, and you’ll be looking for somewhere to lay down your towel or pick up your SUP.
La Jolla Shores in northern San Diego is one of the best spots for stand up paddleboarding and kayaking. The clear waters here mean that on some days you can see up to thirty feet down. Closer to the centre of town, you can visit Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, and Pacific Beach. All of these provide excellent surfing opportunities with a view of the city skyline. Also, You can paddle board with your dog at Del Mar – one of only spots in San Diego dogs are allowed on the beach!
Last but not least is Coronado Island. This is one of the best family friendly beaches in the US – and it’s got more activities on offer here than you can shake a stick at!
Just two hours north of San Diego is another of the best beach destinations in the United States – LA. It’s one of the biggest tourist draws and like San Diego, there’s no shortage of things to do at the beach. From surfing, to people-watching, to even hang gliding it’s all part of the LA beach scene!
The most iconic is undoubtedly Santa Monica – the long sandy beach is backed onto by a pier and a fairground – while Venice Beach is a great place to admire street art and see some unusual performances. Hungtington City Beach is one of the best places to surf in the entire world, while El Matador State Beach is like being on another planet.
Oahu is just one of many beach destinations in Hawaii. The birthplace of the modern incarnation of stand up paddleboarding in the 1940s, you won’t want to miss having a go at that here (or surfing).
The best-known beach is Waikiki, just outside of Honolulu. It can get crowded, but catch some waves here because… well why wouldn’t you?! Just outside of Waikiki, make the most of the flat waters of Ala Moana and get your SUP basics mastered. For those who prefer a quieter and more off the beaten track, Sunset Beach on Oahu’s north shore is the place to go. With surfing and paddleboarding competitions year round, there are few better places in the world for board sports.
In summer, the waves are super calm here – so consider paddling to Waimea Bay which is 4 miles away.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
Not only some of the most stunning beaches in North Carolina, but also the whole of the USA can be found at the Outer Banks. This 200 mile stretch of barrier islands and spits is like nowhere else in the world, separating a number of sounds from the Atlantic Ocean.
The most famous beach here is Kitty Hawk, which is well-known for its surf scene. Nags Head is said to be the most beautiful – and sunsets from the end of Jennette’s Pier are something that every traveller should have on their bucket list.
Travelling with your pet? Duck allows you to walk your dogs off the leash – so the whole family can enjoy this beautiful beach.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
If you’re thinking of hitting the beach on the west coast of the United States, it’s easy to focus all of your attention on California. However, the other two states with a coastline have some pretty epic beaches – especially Oregon. Cannon Beach is around 4 miles long and there are numerous tide pools where you can look for marine life. Try spotting some marine birds too! While the beach is undoubtedly beautiful, waters off Oregon are too rough and cold for swimming at any time of the year.
The Hamptons, New York
Last but not least of the best US beach destinations is the Hamptons – the glamorous group of beaches just a hop, skip, and a jump from New York City. The sands are bright white and there are some awesome spots for surfing. Beware though, The Hamptons is no doubt the most expensive beach vacation destination on our list. At some of the beaches, you’ll pay $50 a day just for parking!