25 Best Beaches In USA

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Mention the word “beaches” and Hawaii, California and Florida are the states that are most likely to come to mind. But there are more than 90,000 beaches in the USA, meaning, there are plenty of beaches to choose from when deciding on a list of the best 20. Everyone knows about the USA’s famous beaches such as Waikiki, Fort Lauderdale, South Beach Miami, Myrtle Beach and Malibu Beach but there are many lesser-known beaches in the USA that also deserve the recognition. This list showcases beaches in 20 states and as America is a massive country geographically, you’ll be travelling far and wide to visit these USA beaches beyond Florida, California and Hawaii. Here’s our list of best beaches in the USA (in random order).

USA Beaches

5 Famous Beaches in USA

1- Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

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2- South Beach, Miami, Florida

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3- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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4- Malibu Beach, California

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5- Coney Island Beach, New York

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20 Best Beaches in USA You Haven’t Heard About

6- Asbury Park Beach, New Jersey

The Old Casino At Beach In Asbury Park
Asbury Park Beach, New Jersey, is one of the beautiful beaches in USA.

Asbury Park Beach is a stunning, one-mile strip of dazzling white sand which has attracted swimmers, sunbathers, surfers, and anglers since the early 1900s.

A popular northeastern summer spot, the Atlantic beach is flanked by a historic boardwalk full of shops, cafes and bars.

It also accommodates a putt-putt golf course and splash park, while the Silverball Retro Arcade has over 150 games, including pinball machines from the 1930s.

Over the road from the sand is The Stone Pony, a legendary bar made famous by Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen, who regularly used to play there.

7- Harris Beach, Oregon

You might have heard of Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock but if you love dramatic seascapes, you’ll want to check out Harris Beach on the South Oregon coastline.

You’ll find it in the state park of the same name and its main attraction is the imposing rock formations that rise majestically from the water.

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They make for superb photo opportunities all day, but especially at sunset, when the colours are spectacular.

Harris Beach State Park is a popular spot for swimming, biking, hiking, and bird-watching and is home to several fascinating tide pools.

Between December and March, it is also a known spot for whale watching.

8- Crystal Lake State Park, Barton, Vermont

Some beaches have an instant ‘WOW’ factor. And then there is Crystal Lake State Park in Vermont.

Backed by rugged mountains whose brilliant colours come alive in the fall, its mile-long strip of beautiful white sand is another photographer’s dream – best taken from a boat on the lake.

While you are on it, throw a line in the water to catch the yellow perch or rainbow trout that are prevalent.

Only the (fool)hardiest of souls swim here, as the water is freezing.

But canoeing and kayaking are very popular ways to take in the magnificent surroundings.

9- Coligny Beach Park, Hilton Head, South Carolina

Beaches don’t come more family-friendly than Coligny Beach.

Defined by miles of white sand that stretch as far as the eye can see, this stunning coastal area is on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.

The beach here is patrolled, so it is a lovely place for swimming, sunbathing, beach walking and ball sports.

At low tide, the sand forms tidal pools, which kids can explore for sand dollars and starfish.

Away from the beach there are plenty of benches, swings, and gazebos to enjoy the ocean views and dolphin tours are popular too.

10- Oak Street Beach, Chicago, Illinois

Chicago might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of American beach destinations.

However, this Midwestern state is home to the beautiful Oak Street Beach which would deserve top billing in any state.

This picturesque beach is located on the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

It is flanked by the impressive Chicago skyline and has plenty of umbrellas, lounge chairs, and cabanas for rent when you want to soak up the sun.

Surrounding the beach is a path which is popular with joggers, cyclists and roller-skaters.

There are even several street games of chess available to play here.

11- Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Carmel, California Beach
Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California is one of the most stunning blue water beaches in USA.

Some people might remember Carmel-by-the-sea for being the place where Clint Eastwood was elected mayor back in 1986.

However, the coastal town also has one of the best beaches in California, which considering its competition is no mean feat!

Nestled on the Monterey Peninsula, the area comprises a rocky shoreline and lapis-coloured waters that are so mesmerising, you won’t be able to stop staring at it.

The sand here is a dazzling shade of white and the swell attracts surfers from far and wide.

The beach is also popular with dog owners as much of it is off-leash, while you can also legally drink a bottle of local wine here – which makes taking in the wonderful California sunsets even more special.

12- Glass Beach, Port Townsend, Washington

Port Townsend, WA. Downtown Marina
Glass Beach, Port Townsend, Washington is a lovely beach in USA for treasure hunters.

Are you one of those people whose idea of a good time at the beach is hunting for treasures?

Then, you’ll want to head to Glass Beach in Washington State.

More specifically, you’ll have to make your way to the beachfront at McCurdy Point in Port Townsend, where you’ll find a coastal area entirely made up of jewellery-quality sea glass.

Try to get there at low tide, as the water can get dangerous around high tide.

When not looking at the ground for the smooth glass, keep an eye out for whales, bald eagles and sea otters.

13- Park Point Beach, Duluth, Minnesota

Like Chicago, Minnesota might not be top of mind when thinking about beaches in the USA.

However, it is home to the longest freshwater sandbar in the world – Park Point Beach, which should be on every beach lover’s bucketlist.

Nestled on Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake on the planet, the beach is terrific for walking, which you can do with your leashed dog.

It is also not bad for swimming during the summer months, while the superb views of the surrounding city of Duluth make a perfect backdrop for a barbecue.

14- Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts

Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts
Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts is a surprising spot if you’re looking for white-sand beaches in USA.

Good Harbor Beach is an idyllic beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

This family-friendly beach comprises a gentle curve of sugar, soft white sand, that faces the Atlantic.

It is a good summer destination for swimming and sunbathing.

Moreover when the tide is low, you can stroll across a sand bar that will take you over to Salt Island.

Alternatively, your little ones will have fun playing in the warm tidal pools that form from the receding shoreline.

You’ll find a good concession stand here, where you can buy food and rent kayaks.

However, parking is limited, so you would be well advised to get here early.

15- Grand Haven State Park, Michigan

Nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan, there is a strong case for saying Grand Haven State Park is one of the most fun beaches you can visit in the USA.

What better thing to do than fat-tire biking here along its powdery white sand?

Well, possibly swimming, volleyball or sunbathing. But you no doubt get the idea.

Set within a 48-acre park, there is a nice playground near the beach for kids to enjoy while away from the sand, the Grand Haven Lighthouse and South Pier provide spectacular views of the water.

16- Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

prettiest beaches in usa
Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii, is one of the prettiest beaches in USA.

You know Hawaii had to feature on this list somewhere, and rather than the likes of Waikiki and Waimea Bay, I’ve plumped for Poipu Beach on Kauai.

Made up of two small coves that share the same name, Poipu is an idyllic and popular spot for surfing, windsurfing, snorkelling and bodyboarding. You can rent e-bikes to get around.

Both beaches are divided by a thin sand spit known as a tombolo, which offers equally superb views.

Its a lovely place to spend some time, and if luck is on your side, you could even see the endangered Hawaiian monk seal enjoying a spot of sunbathing.

17- Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Shores Of Wrightsville Beach In Wilmington
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, is one of the best beaches in the USA.

Wrightsville Beach is a charming coastal town in New Hanover County, North Carolina, not far from Wilmington.

You might recognise it as a filming location for the hit TV show Dawson’s Creek.

Accessed via a drawbridge that connects from the mainland, this picturesque stretch of Atlantic waterfront is arguably most notable for its historic fishing pier, which was built in the 1930s and extends for 1200 feet.

The beach offers visitors good conditions for kayaking, surfing, kiteboarding and paddleboarding. You may like the Island Hopper cruise too.

There are also plenty of surf shops, eateries and hotels away from the sand.

18- Ocean Beach Park, New London, Connecticut

If you live in Connecticut, you’ll know all about Ocean Beach Park.

However, if you don’t, then you might want to make a conscious effort to check it out.

Extending for half a mile, it is a terrific spot for taking in the view of passing schooners and ferries while sunbathing on its gorgeous golden sandy beach.

The gentle tides are perfect for a refreshing dip, but if you really want to channel your inner Michael Phelps, there is a fantastic Olympic-size swimming pool right next to it, where you can do some laps.

Running alongside the beach is a lovely boardwalk promenade.

Here you’ll find a playground, mini-golf arcade, picnic areas and plenty of places to eat, making Ocean Beach Park a fabulous place to spend the day.

19- Pope Beach, Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Straddling the border of California and Nevada is North America’s largest alpine lake – Lake Tahoe.

While it is known for its ski resorts in winter, during the summer months, it’s beaches, and in particular Pope Beach, comes to the fore.

Situated on the lake’s southern shore, this breathtaking, mile-long expanse of sandy beach will catch your eye immediately, as it is flanked by towering pine trees that gives it an ethereal aura.

This spectacular beach is a great spot for swimming and picnicking, against a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

While there, you can rent out a kayak to explore the lake, go fishing or simply relax on a towel on the sand.

20- Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York

Tired of the skyscrapers and hustle and bustle of downtown Manhattan?

Then make your way over to Rockaway Beach in Queens.

It might not be resplendant with palm trees like California is, but as this beach is easy to get to via bus or subway, it is a popular spot for New Yorkers who want to escape the concrete jungle.

Featuring gorgeous white sand, a boardwalk that stretches for over five miles and some great waves for surfing, you’ll instantly get a mental refresh by coming here.

When not on the sand or swimming in the Atlantic, there are handball and volleyball courts, a playground and skate park that can provide entertainment.

You’ll also find plenty of barbecues and eateries to ensure you don’t go hungry. .

21- Ocean City, Maryland

Ocean City Maryland
Ocean City Maryland has one of the best beaches in USA for families.

Possessing one of the most groomed shorelines in the entire USA, Ocean City Beach has a classic Americana ambience you’ll instantly fall in love with.

Overall, it boasts eight miles of white sandy beach, perfect for finding your own little oasis of relaxation.

There is also a three mile long boardwalk that features an amusement park, restaurants, bars, shops and bike rentals.

As it’s a popular vacation spot, there are plenty of hotels along the beachfront you can make a reservation at.

Favoured activities here include boating, fishing, walking and jet skiing. For a fun experience, try the Rocket Speed boat and dolphin cruise.

22- Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, is one of the impressive natural beaches in USA.

Because it is a landlocked state, you could be forgiven for thinking that Colorado has no beaches at all.

However, it is home to over 4000 lakes and reservoirs, as well as the spectacular Great Sand Dunes National Park.

At this destination, you’ll find Medano Creek. But only between the period of early spring to August, after which it disappears.

Its presence is actually reliant on the snow runoffs from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

So, you should check ahead with the authorities before you go there.

However, if there has been enough, it is a lovely spot for skimboarding, tubing and paddling in the water on a warm day.

23- Gulf Shores Public Beach, Alabama

While California and Florida tend to get most of the plaudits when it comes to beaches, the Gulf Coast around Alabama, arguably usurps both of them.

Consisting of pristine sands, azure waters and gorgeous palm trees, you can pretty much take your pick of all of them.

But, considering it has some nice shops and restaurants along its boardwalk, as well as the occasional dolphin sighting, I’ve included Gulf Shores Public Beach on this list.

24- Clearwater Beach, Florida

Pier 60 At Sunset On A Clearwater Beach In Florida
Clearwater Beach is one of the best beaches in USA.

You knew a Florida Beach would be included on this list, but did you guess it would be Clearwater Beach?

Known for its brilliant mix of sandy white shores and sunsets that are so perfect, you’ll think they’ve be AI generated, Clearwater Beach isn’t just one of the best beaches in the USA.

It is also one of the best beaches in the world.

Running for 3 km along the Gulf of Mexico, it is a fabulous place to relax under a cabana or an umbrella chair.

The water is lovely and warm for swimming in and there is also a pier for those who want to go fishing. Dolphin tours are very popular.

A slew of world class bars and restaurants add to its overall appeal.

25- North Beach, Tybee Island, Georgia

Tybee Island Beach Scenes
North Beach, Tybee Island, Georgia, is one of the top beaches in Georgia USA.

North Beach in Georgia is on the gorgeous Tybee Island, this tranquil coastal haven is an ideal place to get away from it all and enjoy nature.

Defined by its grassy sand dunes, the area can be reached via a 30-minute drive from Savannah.

It is a peaceful spot for a read and relax, and if you are a creative type, you’ll no doubt find plenty of inspiration in the surrounding coastline.

When you do feel like stretching your legs, head up to the top of the Tybee Island Lighthouse.

From there, you’ll be able to take in sensational 360-degree views that will break you out into goosebumps.

For more beaches around the world read:

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Spencer Samaroo
Spencer is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years experience producing written content for tourism-related businesses. A thalassophile who was afflicted with wanderlust from a young age, he has visited over 40 countries in the world. An ex-pat Brit who now lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, he cites Miami Beach in the USA and Palm Cove in Australia as his favourite travel destinations. Specialising in writing about beach destinations around the world, he would probably bleed sand if you cut his arm open