10 Best Beach Destinations in the US
What are the best beaches in the US? You could get a head start if you know before you go. So whether you want to spend a week lounging in glorious sunshine or just want to take a day out from an otherwise hectic holiday, check out our guide to the top beach destinations the US has to offer!
Unsurprisingly many of the best beaches are in the southern reaches of the USA, in Florida and in Hawaii, but the other states are also well represented.
Top 6 Beaches in the USA
Caladesi Island State Park Beach was voted the best beach in the USA in 2008 (it came 2nd in 06 and 07). This beach is located close to the city of Dunedin in Florida, some 36kms west of Tampa. In addition to its fantastic stretches of white sand there are a number of other activities you can avail of. These include a nature trail, a marina, the picnic pavilions and the bathhouses. You can also go fishing, shelling, kayaking, boating and hiking.
Hanalei Bay came 2nd in 2008 and you’ll find it near the town of Hanalei on the northern coast of the island of Kauai in the state of Hawaii. Here you can enjoy the most pristine blue ocean and over 3kms of beautiful sandy beach. It’s a popular area for sailing snorkelling and swimming. To one side of the bay there’s the Princeville Makai Golf Course which offers spectacular views over the bay and the pacific.
Back in Florida you’ll find Siesta Beach close to Sarasota. This beach is found on Siesta Key which, along with Lido Key, is world famous for its fine beaches. The sand here is 99% pure crystal quartz which makes it one of the cleanest whitest sands in the world. The beach is equipped with volleyball courts and a cook out area where you can cook your own BBQ (though you’ll have to bring your own charcoal).
Situated on the east coast you’ll find Coopers Beach in the state of New York. It’s on Long Island near the town of Southampton and a mere 145 kms from New York, perfect for a day trip out of the city. Though not known for year round good weather, when the sun shines, Coopers Beach rivals the best in this list. After enjoying the beach you could go for a look around the town of Southampton which was the first European settlement in the state.
Situated on the west coast you’ll find Coronado Beach in the state of California. This is located close to the city of Coronado which sits on a peninsula just outside San Diego. Most of the west coast of this peninsula is made up of a number of beaches. This is pretty much the most southerly you can get on the mainland west coast. This beach is popular with families and dogs are also allowed.
Hamoa Beach is another from Hawaii, but this time on the island of Maui. You’ll find the beach on the east coast of the island near the city of Hana. The beach is surrounded by lush vegetation and beautiful sea cliffs. When not availing of this fabulous beach you can head out on the island and explore the Haleakala National Park.
Other notable Beaches
Kailua Beach, in Hawaii, won the highest rank in 1998 but was then retired’ from consideration! The beach is located in the town of Kailua some 25kms from Honolulu. The beach is a great place to go swimming with little hazardous ocean conditions. If you are into wind surfing, or would like to, then this is definitely the beach for you.
Gay Head Beach, found on Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts, was voted best walking Beach in 2008. That is, the best beach for walking along the coast with its hard packed sand and gently sloping beaches. There are also certain sections of the beach separated off for nudist swimmers.
Jasper Beach in the state of Maine has been ranked as the best Wild Beach in the USA. By wild they mean that the area is sparsely populated and is a great place to get in touch with nature. Swimming isn’t as recommended here as it wouldn’t be patrolled by a lifeguard but it is definitely a nice place to get away from it all.
And finally we have the beach that was voted the Most Romantic Beach and also the beach with the Best Nightlife. It is East Hampton Beach in the state of New York and is about 170 kms from New York City, just a little up the coast from the previously mentioned Coopers Beach. The natural beauty of the area, perfect for a long walk or a picnic, would certainly help qualify it as the most romantic.
Many of these beaches are a little out of the way from their home town or city so you will probably require a car to get to the beach. Just don’t forget a packed lunch and appropriate sunscreen. If you want to get a rental car to one of these beaches you can see all our options on our car hire USA page.
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