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The 15 Greatest Seashores In America

The United States shines with sugar-sand beaches known for their turquoise waters and scenic beauty.

From perfect sunrise walks along peaceful sandy beaches to admiring the sea-green shallow waters that merge with the majestic rocky crescent moons, these enchanting beaches offer a treat for the soul.

With so many beautiful strips of sand to choose from, you might be spoiled for choice! To help you choose your next travel destination, we’ve rounded up the top 15 beaches in the US.

The best beaches in the United States

Clearwater Beach, Florida

A coastal jewel between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater Beach draws visitors year-round thanks to its sugar-soft sand and crystal clear water. Often considered one of the best family-friendly beaches in Florida, Clearwater Beach has a palm-tree-lined boardwalk, several seafood restaurants, and is perfect for activities like sunbathing, swimming, paddleboarding, and water sports.

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Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Sunset on Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Coast Guard Beach stretches for 20 miles on Cape Cod National Seashore in Eastham, Massachusetts and is a favorite bathing beach during the summer season. With its extensive sandy beaches perfect for jogging and strolling, the beach is frequently visited by migratory shorebirds and seals, making it a great place for wildlife viewing.

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Coronado Beach, San Diego

Coronado Beach, San Diego

Framed by the iconic Hotel del Coronado and the seductive mansions of San Diego, Coronado Beach is a 1.5 miles long and wide sandy beach known for its serene atmosphere. This family-friendly beach is the perfect place for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and picnicking, aside from strolling and jogging.

Thanks to its beautiful sunsets, Coronado Beach has been hailed time and again as one of the most romantic beaches in the United States.

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Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Named one of the United States’ most romantic coastal destinations, Cannon Beach is a gem in northwest Oregon. This alluring beach on the Pacific coast is known for its long, sandy coastline and is admired by the mighty Haystack Rock, a swaying stack of sea that rises 70 meters above the sea floor.

Cannon Beach is a prime spot for long coastal walks, picnics, and wildlife viewing, in addition to being near many art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques.

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Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina

Hunt Island State Park, South Carolina.

With miles of hiking trails, pristine beaches, emerald green marine forests, and a saltwater lagoon, Hunting Island State Park is South Carolina’s ultimate nature lover retreat. Located on a remote semi-tropical barrier island 15 miles east of Beaufort, South Carolina, this 5,000-acre state park attracts over a million visitors each year thanks to its lush natural surroundings.

Aside from the park’s stunning beaches, be sure to check out the 130-foot lighthouse, which rewards visitors with breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Plus, the park is also a prime place to see sea turtles!

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Outer Banks, North Carolina

Outer Banks, North Carolina.

A cluster of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, the Outer Banks are considered a prime beach destination for a wide variety of travelers – from families to couples. This coastal paradise is dotted with a number of expansive beaches that are just perfect for indulging in a variety of activities such as surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, or just relaxing in the sun.

One of the most visited beaches on Outer Bank is Corolla Beach, a picturesque spot that has been practicing water sports since the 16th.

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South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island, Texas

The southernmost part of the world’s longest barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, South Padre Island, offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy nature like never before. This island resort offers sun-kissed sand dunes and endless miles of beautiful beaches bathed in the warm and clear waters of the gulf.

Beach activities on offer include everything from snorkeling and diving to dolphin watching and sunbathing. Visitors can also take guided tours to see the different species of sea turtles on the island, including Kemp’s Ridley, Green, Hawksbill, and Loggerhead.

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Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

One of the most enticing destinations on the island of Oahu in Honolulu, Waikiki is a vibrant beach that offers a swirl of year-round activities for travelers and locals alike. Waikiki’s waters make it a perfect beach for surfing, while the wide, sandy beach is the ideal spot to get a tan – especially if you’re a beach-goer.

Waikiki is considered one of Hawaii’s most famous beaches and is surrounded by luxury skyscrapers, world-class shopping, and restaurants.

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Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

With 42 miles of powder white sand and turquoise water, Santa Rosa Beach is a gem on the glittering Emerald Coast of northwest Florida. This paradisiacal beach is a treat for the soul for travelers who need a relaxing break.

While not enjoying the crystal clear waters of the beaches, which are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, visitors can head downtown to shop, enjoy freshly caught seafood, or sample premium beers at the local craft breweries.

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Orange Beach, Gulf Coast, Alabama

Orange Beach, Gulf Coast, Alabama

Orange Beach, a small beach town on the Alabama Gulf Coast, decorates visitors with 52 miles of crystalline quartz sand washed down by the Appalachians thousands of years ago. The beach is home to the largest man-made fishing reef in the United States, making it the ultimate place for deep-sea fishing expeditions aside from otherworldly dolphin-watching cruises and scenic picnic spots.

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El Matador Beach, Malibu, California

El Matador Beach, Malibu

It’s no secret that the Malibu coast (Los Angeles County), California is dotted with some of the best beaches in the United States. El Matador State Beach is one of the most desirable of these beaches with beautiful rock formations and large caves. El Matador also has picnic tables overlooking the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean, making it the perfect spot for a romantic California getaway.

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South Beach, Miami, Florida

South Beach, Miami

Whatever delights you may crave, South Beach probably has them in abundance. Aside from lounging peacefully on the 2.5 miles of sandy beach and swimming in the Caribbean waters, indulge yourself in the nearby fine dining restaurants, stroll down bustling Ocean Drive, and shop until you drop in the enticing Lincoln Road Mall. Home to glamorous restaurants and romantic resorts, South Beach is one of the most romantic places in Florida.

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Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Named one of the “World’s Best Surfing Cities” by National Geographic, Wrightsville Beach is the most accessible beach in North Carolina. Ideal for a memorable summer getaway, the beach is just 14 miles from Wilmington and is known for its world-class waves, which are perfect for activities like surfing.

Other sports like kayaking, skateboarding, paddleboarding, and even cycling are popular with visitors. Not to mention that Wrightsville Beach is surrounded by bustling bars and smacking restaurants that are lively year-round.

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Cumberland Island, Georgia

Cumberland Island, Georgia

Cumberland Island is the southernmost barrier island off the southeast coast of Georgia and includes some of the best beaches in the United States. Accessible only by ferry, the island has over 36,000 acres protected by the National Park Service thanks to its rich wildlife and natural resources.

Visit Cumberland Island to explore more than 17 miles of secluded white sand beaches, maritime forests, and bike paths.

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Coligny Beach, South Carolina

Coligny Beach, South Carolina

Known for its endless miles of Atlantic beaches, Hilton Head Island is South Carolina’s top destination for a memorable summer vacation. One of the city’s most sought-after beaches is the award-winning Coligny Beach Park, the most popular oceanfront park on Hilton Head Island.

The family-friendly Coligny Beach Park is a playground for visitors who want to spend hours biking, lounging on the sand, and swimming in the ocean.

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Caladesi Island State Park, Florida

Caladesi Island State Park, Florida

As one of the few pristine islands along the Gulf Coast, Caladesi Island State Park offers nature lovers a real treat for the soul. The state park is only accessible by boat, but once you step onto the island you’ll find that the trip was well worth it.

Caladesi Island State Park is dotted with several paradisiacal white sand beaches that are perfect for swimming, canoeing, and kayaking.

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Frequently asked questions about beaches in the United States

What is the number 1 beach in the US?

From the west coast to the east coast, the United States is filled with several stunning beaches. Some of the most beautiful beaches are St. Pete Beach, St. Ka’anapali Beach, Clearwater Beach, Ocean City Beach, Coligny Beach, and more.

Where are the best white sand beaches in the US?

Some of the best white sand beaches in the United States are Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, Orange Beach, Alabam, Clearwater Beach, Florida, Marco Island, Florida, Kauna’oa Beach, Hawaii, and Pensacola Beach, Florida.

Which beach has the clearest water in the United States?

Some of the clearest waters can be found in Siesta Beach, Florida, Kauna’oa Bay, Hawaii, Clearwater Beach, Florida, and Pensacola Beach, Florida.

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