30 Best East Coast Beaches

We never say much about East Coast beaches! The West Coast, as well as the Florida shorelines, get all the love when it comes to beaches. However, the beaches on the East Coast deserve some love too, because many of them are amazing! There are plenty of best beach towns East Coast for you to visit if you are considering an East Coast beach vacation or two. You may want to begin your planning by looking at a map of East Coast beaches and then determining which part of the East Coast you want to visit the most. Of course, you can take a different approach and simply choose a vacation spot off the East Coast on a whim by basically seeing which beach looks the most appealing to you and your family.

30 Best East Coast Beaches

1. Tybee Island Beach, Georgia

One of the best beach getaways East Coast is venturing out to Tybee Island Beach in Georgia. This is one of the best East Coast beaches for families, as well as those who want to spend lots of time exploring the city of Savannah.

Tybee Island Beach, Georgia

You may recognize this beach when you arrive, because it has been featured in many different movies including The Last Song and Magic Mike. While you are at this beach, you will want to take the time to walk down the Tybee Pier, wander around the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum, and even hike through the Tybee National Wildlife Refuge to see the migratory birds.

2. Cape Henlopen State Park Beach, Delaware

There is six miles of shoreline at the Cape Henlopen State Park Beach in Delaware and you will love the views from the moment you arrive. Most people will spend their time on this Atlantic Ocean beach doing a little swimming, paddleboarding, and windsurfing. However, you should also venture down to the historic Henlopen lighthouse to explore. This is a favorite East Coast vacation spot for beach lovers.

3. Goose Rocks Beach, Maine

Goose Rocks Beach is located in the ever-so-popular Kennebunkport, Maine. This is one of the top beaches on the East Coast, especially those who believe that the All-American vacation can only be found in this location.

Goose Rocks Beach, Maine
Credits: Jean-François Renaud, Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

When you are relaxing on the beach, you can watch the seals in and out of the water. The seafood is quite fresh in this part of the East Coast, so visit as many of the local restaurants as you can to taste it all.

4. Keyes Memorial Beach, Massachusetts

Keyes Memorial Beach is in Hyannis, Massachusetts and there is an excellent chance you will spot a Kennedy family member during your visit. This beach is never that crowded, and the water is shallow enough for the most inexperienced swimmer. There are other best beaches on the East Coast nearby, but this will become your personal favorite after just one visit.

5. Cooper’s Beach, New York

Mansions are everywhere on this vacation spot off the East Coast and there is glitz and glam everywhere to go with those mansions in Southampton, New York.

Cooper’s Beach, New York
Credits: Shinya Suzuki, Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

You can easily rent umbrellas and beach chairs when you are at Cooper’s Beach, but there is so much more to do in this part of New York than swim in the water and sink your toes into the sand. We recommend you take a little time to explore the Parrish Art Museum and dine at one of the many local restaurants. This is one of the best NY beaches for families.

6. South Ocean Beach, Maryland

South Ocean Beach can be found on Assateague Island National Seashore and there is so much you can do there despite its rustic appearance. A permit is needed to drive along the twelve miles of shoreline, but it affords you gorgeous views and activities like crabbing, clamming, and surf fishing. You can also see the wild horses that live on the beach, but you must keep your distance since they are wild animals. This is one of the best beaches on the East Coast.

7. South Beach, Florida

Almost everyone has heard about South Beach in Miami, Florida and you won’t want to plan your vacation there if you are looking for peace and quiet. This beach is full of action, whether it is early in the morning, later in the afternoon, or well after the sun has lowered into the horizon.

South Beach, Florida

You can spend an entire day at this beach, as well as in the surrounding area. So, plan your time in the sand and water, but make sure you pencil in a little time to see the Art Deco neighborhood and to check out the nightclubs late at night. You can imagine this is one of the best beaches in Miami and certainly one to put on your list of top beaches in Florida.

8. Carolina Beach, North Carolina

This East Coast beach may also look familiar to those who love watching television, because the show Dawson’s Creek was filmed there. This is one of the best East Coast beach vacation options, especially for families, because there is so much to see and do. When you choose to visit this East Coast beach, you can participate in a lot of water sports. However, you should also spend some time wandering around the sixty plus acres of Airlie Gardens and hiking the trails at Carolina Beach State Park.

9. Bethany Beach, Delaware

There are many nice beaches on the East Coast, but not many of them can hold a candle to Bethany Beach in Delaware. The boardwalk at this East Coast beach is the perfect place to spend some time when you want to relax and get away from it all.

Bethany Beach, Delaware
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

This is not one of the dog friendly beaches East Coast, so you will need to leave your furry friends home during your visit. There are lifeguards on duty during the summer months, so you will never be met with unruly crowds at this beach. This is also one of the best beach towns East Coast and you will want to take advantage of all the free live concerts, bonfires, and movie screenings that are held there between the middle of June and Labor Day.

10. Delray Beach, Florida

Out of all the Florida East Coast beaches, Delray Beach is one of the best. This is one of the best East Coast beaches for families, thanks to the lifeguards on duty, cleanliness, and affordable accommodations. This beach might only be two miles long, but you will love spending your days there. You can easily venture over to Atlantic Avenue to do a little shopping or wander around the Pineapple Grove arts district to see all the street murals.

11. Folly Beach, South Carolina

There is just something about Folly Beach that makes it special and you will feel it the instant you arrive and put your feet in the sand. You will find this beach out on a barrier island, approximately twelve miles to the south of Charleston. There is a one thousand plus foot pier that is perfect for fishing.

Folly Beach, South Carolina
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

However, you may want to spend a lot of your time over at what is called the Washout by the locals. This is where the surfers hang out and you can join them as you try to catch the perfect wave. If you just can’t manage to surf well, or have no interest in trying, you can always spend your days paddleboarding, kayaking, or sailing.

12. The Cove, New Jersey

This Atlantic Ocean beach has the Delaware Bay on the other side, so you will have many different swimming possibilities. This is one of the best East Coast beaches for families, because there are plenty of options for everyone. After you are finished with the beach for the day, you will want to explore the Victorian downtown area. So if you need a family friendly East Coast, head out to the Cove.

13. Hammonasset Beach State Park, Connecticut

Hammonasset Beach State Park is over in Madison, Connecticut, which is on Long Island Sound. There is two miles of sandy shoreline here and it is filled with the best campgrounds on East Coast beaches.

Hammonasset Beach State Park, Connecticut
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

There are more than five hundred campsites and they are all close to the beach and nature center. If this East Coast beach is not enough for you, we recommend venturing out to Surf Club Beach, East Wharf Beach, and West Wharf Beach to see which of the four is your all-time favorite.

14. Beaches on Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island may be small, but there are seventeen different beaches there and it is too difficult to find the true favorite. Mansion Beach is one of the quieter East Coast beaches, while Scotch Beach and Surf Beach cater to teens and their families. One of the best East Coast beaches for families on Block Island is Baby Beach, because the shallow water is perfect for children of all ages.

15. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

This East Coast beach has been one of the most popular beach getaways East Coast since the first hotel opened there back in 1901. While many college students descend on this beach for spring break, it is considered one of the best East Coast beaches for families during the summer.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

This beautiful beach is ten miles long and there are many accommodations to choose from along that long stretch of sand. There are more than one hundred golf courses to choose from in the area, so you can easily play a round or two during your stay. The boardwalk is the place to be, especially at night, and when you are not shopping or dining, you can take a spin on the SkyWheel observation wheel.

16. Main Beach, New York

This is one of five beaches owned by the East Hampton village, but it is considered the best of them all. In fact, it is common to see celebrities at Main Beach, so you must keep your eyes open, so you don’t miss any of them during your visit. And if you don’t see any celebrities, the soft sand and clear water will still make a trip to this East Coast beach magical.

17. Ocean City Beach, New Jersey

This Ocean City Beach in New Jersey should never be confused with the beach of the same name down in the state of Maryland. This is one of the quiet East Coast beaches, which makes it the perfect beach destination if you want tranquility with lots of relaxation for your beach vacation.

Ocean City Beach, New Jersey

This is one of the best East Coast beaches for families, because there is a long boardwalk that has an amusement park. Plus, the lifeguards are on duty throughout the day to ensure all the swimmers are safe in the water.

18. Wildwood Crest Beach, New Jersey

One of the best family beaches on the East Coast is Wildwood Crest Beach in New Jersey. There are lifeguards on duty during the peak season to keep everyone safe. There is never any alcohol allowed on this beach and dogs are not allowed either. If you love to surf, you will want to venture down to Rambler Beach. However, if you don’t, you can participate in one of the many fitness classes held on the sand or attend a concert that is held nearby.

19. Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Maine has quite the extensive shoreline and you probably are not even aware that this state has more sandy shorelines than the state of California! You will find this beach to the southwest of Portland and it is not as well known as some of the other beaches in Maine.

Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Credits: Paul VanDerWerf, Flickr CC BY 2.0

This beach is seven miles long and there is a pier that has restaurants and entertainment during the summer season. The one downside of spending time at this beach is the water is quite cold, so swimming is not always an option.

20. Virginia Beach, Virginia

The thirty-five miles of sand that makes up Virginia Beach can be found to the East of the city of Norfolk. This is one of the cheapest East Coast beaches, because everything from the hotels and entertainment to the dining is reasonably priced. There are festivals held on this East Coast beach during the months of June, July, and August, so you may want to plan your beach vacation around the one you would love to attend the most.

21. Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts

Coast Guard Beach can be found on the Cape Cod National Seashore in the state of Massachusetts. The waves are usually quite gentle at this beach, thanks to the location.

Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

This is one of the best places to swim in Cape Cod, but you may spend more of your time looking out over the water and back at the sand dunes behind you. This should make your list if you’re looking for the best beaches east coast has to offer.

22. Duck’s Beach, North Carolina

The atmosphere around Duck’s Beach in North Carolina is one of a kind, but you may notice the quiet before anything else. This is one of the many public East Coast beaches in the state of North Carolina, but you wouldn’t be aware of that if you didn’t do your research and simply drove past it one day. There is hardly ever any crowding on this beach and there are so many different water sports you can do there during your visit. Add in all the live music and you will have your perfect East Coast beach getaway for years to come.

23. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach East Coast beaches is one of the best beaches in the state of Delaware. This Atlantic Ocean beach is a favorite amongst families.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Credits: Wikipedia

You can spend hours on the sand or the boardwalk, soaking up the sunshine and devouring all the traditional foods. The parks are perfect for getting the extra energy out of kids and the entertainment will have you wanting to stay even longer than planned.

24. Ocean City Beach, Maryland

Ocean City, Maryland has been calling tourists’ names for years, so do not be surprised to see major crowding during the peak times. Ocean City Beach is the most popular beach and it is part of the ten miles of sand that lines the shoreline. When you are not relaxing in the sand or participating in the numerous water sports, you can easily go horseback riding or shop in the one hundred plus stores that are nearby.

25. Sand Beach, Maine

Sand Beach is located within Acadia National Park in the state of Maine. This beach is only three hundred yards long and it is quite rocky. However, there is enough sand for you to find a spot to sit to look out towards the water and the nearby mountains.

Sand Beach, Maine
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

There are so many beaches to visit when traveling through Maine, but this is the one that should be at the top of everyone’s list of places to visit. We like to think it’s one of the East Coast beaches everyone should visit when in the area.

26. Hilton Head Island Beach, South Carolina

One of the best beach towns on the East Coast is Hilton Head and you will love spending time on the beach there. This is actually one of the top beaches on the East Coast too, so you will want to be prepared to see many other people there during your visit. When you choose to take your East Coast beach vacation at Hilton Head Island Beach, you will discover there is so much more to do than sit in the sand. You can easily wander through the nearby nature preserve to see the native wildlife or ride along the miles of bike trails.

27. Dewey Beach, Delaware

When it comes to East shore beaches, not many of them are as amazing as Dewey Beach in Delaware. There are plenty of family-friendly activities on this beach and you will love the nightlife you can experience once the sun goes down.

Dewey Beach
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

If you want to do more than swim in the water, I recommend you check out the parasailing, jet skiing, windsurfing, and boat rides. You can even take a whale watching tour during your visit. If you time your visit to this East Coast beach right, you may find yourself there when one of the festivals is taking place or at least when they have lit a bonfire for everyone to enjoy.

28. Ogunquit Beach, Maine

Ogunquit Beach is one of the most famous beaches on the East Coast, although not everyone goes to visit it for the same reason. While many people want to sink their toes in the sand, others simply want to explore the numerous galleries and shops throughout the town. The water is perfect for swimming or bodysurfing, but you can also walk alongside it to look for seashells.

29. Seaside Park Beach, Connecticut

Seaside Park Beach is over in Bridgeport, Connecticut and it is a perfect day trip option if you live nearby. And if you live further away, you can still have fun on this three-mile stretch of sand.

Seaside Park Beach, Connecticut
Credits: Douglas Muth, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

The waves at this beach are quite gentle, making it perfect for swimmers of all ages. Fayerweather Island is to the west and you can easily walk there along the shoreline. We say to add this to your list of best East Coast beaches to visit.

30. Bald Head Island Beach, North Carolina

This beach is located on Bald Head Island, which happens to be two miles from the coast of North Carolina. The beaches are beautiful and unspoiled, and the weather is almost always perfect.

You will find many family-friendly outdoor activities to do at this beach, but you will also learn quite a bit about history at all the historical sites. We recommend taking the Historic Island Tour, because it will allow you to see everything at once. You can certainly tell that this is one of the best beaches on the East Coast.

These are the 30 best East Coast beaches and you will want to plan your next beach vacation at one of them! Only you can choose the vacation spot East Coast that works best for you and your family, but this should at least act as your starting point and allow you to easily choose the East Coast beach that will make your vacation dreams come true!

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