Looking for the best beaches in the USA and wanting to know where to start? Beaches are great, but if you’re like most, you’re probably tired of hitting the same beach vacation spot year in and year out. You mostly want to explore new and exciting beaches within the US and perhaps also the best beaches in the world. Most of the beaches on our list are also located in the best vacation spots in US and are worth visiting.
We strongly advise against visiting any of these beaches on our list while we’re social distancing, isolating, on lockdown, self-quarantining – to stay safe. These beaches would be best enjoyed after things settle down and we’re all cleared to engage in social activities. Refer to the CDC and WHO for more guidance and please do your part to stay safe as we fight this virus together.
When you are ready for a fresh beach vacation that you won’t easily forget, it’ll be time to choose an all-new location. We’ve put together a list of the absolute top twenty beaches in the USA. Use this guide as you plan your ultimate beach vacation.
1. Panama City Beach, Florida
No doubt one of the most famous beaches in the US, Panama City has more than earned its reputation. A favorite Spring Break destination, this incredible beach attracts thousands of tourists a year. It is one of the best beaches in USA for so many reasons.
With a number of great dining options, as well as plenty of attractions, Panama City has everything you need to enjoy your vacation the way it was meant to be. And of course, it’s fabulous crystal clear water and beautiful sand make for the ultimate vacation destination! So if you’re looking for white sand beaches in the USA, this beach should be on your list.
2. Daytona Beach, Florida
Florida is home to more than its fair share of beaches. Daytona Beach proves to be another incredibly popular option that you’ll want to add to your itinerary.
Daytona Beach is built for tourists and has everything you need to enjoy an incredible vacation. With nearly-perfect weather and wonderful sandy shores, Daytona is perfect for families and couples alike. This popular beach offers an experience that you’ll just have to see for yourself—so make sure not to miss out on this place that made our list of best beaches USA.
3. Gulf Shores, Alabama
Full of white sand, clear water beaches, and Southern charm, Gulf Shores, Alabama boasts one of the best beach experiences in the country.
Jam-packed with five-star accommodations and great restaurants, Gulf Shores has everything your family needs to enjoy your stay in comfort. For the best experience, be sure to stay in one of the many beachfront hotels that will give you a clear view of the ocean’s moving expanse. Best of all, compared to other beaches on our list, Gulf Shores has some of the most affordable five-star pricing! We think this is the place to visit if you want clear water beaches in USA.
4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Another fabulous Southern option, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a vacation home away from home. With great resorts, white sand, and beautifully-blue water, Myrtle Beach is the beach vacation destination you’ve always wanted. Myrtle Beach is also another part of the famous USA beaches that you probably know or might have visited in the past.
While you’re there, be sure to check out one of the many souvenir shops for unforgettable memorabilia. Perfect for families, Myrtle Beach has become one of the hottest beaches in the South. Make unforgettable memories with the people you love while experiencing everything Myrtle Beach has to offer. Enjoy one of the top beaches in USA as well as one of the best beaches east coast USA.
5. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Of course, one can’t mention America’s best beaches without talking about Hawaii. This Pacific paradise is home to some of the most stunningly-beautiful beaches not just in the US, but in the world. We can confidently say that you’ll be hard pressed to find more famous beaches in the USA than this.
Filled with remarkable beauty and wonder, Hawaii is home to some of the most renowned scenery in the Western Hemisphere. And you can be sure that Kapalua Bay Beach is no exception. With incredible white sand beaches and exceedingly clear water beaches, Kapalua Bay Beach provides the perfect visual experience. This is our top 10 USA beaches in case you missed that.
6. Clearwater Beach, Florida
We’ll give you one guess as to how this beach got its name. Clearwater Beach, Florida is one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire United States. And trust us—it’s very aptly named, which means it’s one of the best clear water beaches in USA.
Chock full of great restaurants, lodgings, and souvenir shops, Clearwater Beach has everything you need to enjoy the perfect beach vacation and is one beach you can visit almost throughout the year.
7. Driftwood Beach, Georgia
The Peach State might not be known for its beaches, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any. In fact, Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island proves to be one of the best beaches in the nation. It’s also one of the best beaches in east coast USA.
This island is home to some of the best scenery in Georgia, and you’d be amiss not to experience. Not only that, but while you’re there, you’ll be able to experience the many tourist destinations that Jekyll Island has to offer. From beautiful helicopter rides to family-friendly excursions, Driftwood Beach isn’t far from some of the best attractions in Jekyll Island.
8. Pacific Beach, California
America’s best beaches aren’t all on the East Coast. Pacific Beach, California is one of the cleanest and clearest beaches in the nation. You can imagine that it’s one of the best beaches in the west coast USA.
This makes it perfect for families and couples alike who are looking for a fun-filled experience. At Pacific Beach, you’ll enjoy one of the best vacation spots on the West Coast as well as enjoy possibly one of the top 5 beaches in USA mainland.
9. Napili Beach, Hawaii
Moving out of the contingent United States once more, Napili Beach in Hawaii proves to be one of the nation’s best. And it is regarded as one of the most romantic beaches in USA as well as one of the best beaches in Hawaii.
This crescent-shaped beach is one of the most beautiful in the nation—perfect for family photos and incredible selfies. Not quite as crowded as other beaches in the area, Napili is great for families looking for peace or couples needing a more intimate environment. This beach is also easily one of the top beautiful beaches in USA.
10. Hollywood Beach, Florida
We know what you’re thinking, and no, Hollywood Beach isn’t actually in Hollywood. In fact, it’s not even in California. If you are looking for the – best beaches near me- and live or are visiting Florida, this is one of the best vacation spots in the US.
To find Hollywood Beach, you’ll have to go to a lesser-known Hollywood on the East Coast. This popular beach from Florida provides one of the best beach experiences around. With its vast number of oceanfront resorts and five-star accommodations, you can be sure to enjoy your stay in Hollywood Beach in style.
11. Siesta Beach, Florida
Not far away, Siesta Beach also stacks up as one of the best beaches in America. Trademarked as having the “world’s finest, whitest sand,” Siesta beach proves to be one of the beach highlights of Florida. Again somewhere to head to if you’re looking for – the best beaches near me – when visiting the state.
This beautiful beach will leave you feeling as if you’ve just hit the jackpot. With an ultra-clean environment and fresh feel, Siesta Beach has all the lodgings, entertainment, and fine dining needed to have the best vacation of your life. So head here for one of the best beach vacations in the USA.
12. Ka’anapali Beach, Hawaii
Those willing to take a trip to the Aloha State may get more than what they bargained for with Ka’anapali Beach. This incredible location is one of the most popular beaches in Hawaii—making it one of the best in the entire Pacific. It is, without doubt, one of the best family vacation spots in the US.
You don’t want to miss out on the stunning views and great waves found off this Hawaiian cost. Great for travelers of all ages, Ka’anapali Beach is among the best beach vacation spots in the nation.
13. Destin Beach, Florida
If you’re looking for a less-crowded, but not eerily-isolated, beach in the Sunshine State, consider a trip to Destin Beach. Though well-known, it isn’t typically as crowded as some other popular tourist destinations in Florida. If you’re already going to be in Florida and looking for – the best free beaches near me – visit Destin Beach.
And what’s more, it comes with all the classic lodging and dining options that you’ll need to enjoy your vacation so you don’t have to go too far to enjoy the best beach getaway.
14. St. Petersburg, Florida
You won’t be missing out if you try this other Sunshine State beach, either. St. Petersburg is another moderately-popular beach that will give your family more private time on the sand. It’s also a great family beach vacation destination and a best beach getaway for a long sunny weekend.
And as is the case with most Florida Beaches, you don’t have to worry about missing out on any of the amenities – food and accommodation- that you love as there are a lot of them around the beach so you have a great family beach vacation.
15. Pensacola, Florida
If you’re into beach vacations, Pensacola Florida is a family vacation spot that you’ve likely heard of. It is one of the best beaches in east coast USA as well as one of the best free or cheapest beaches in the USA.
And Pensacola is one of the best-known beaches in the US for a reason. This incredible location is perfect for families and for partygoers looking to have a one-of-a-kind time. Chock-full of the amenities needed to enjoy your vacation, Pensacola is a must-visit for beach lovers everywhere.
16. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
It’s not often that you hear about New England beaches, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some quality options. Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in particular, proves to have one of the best in the USA. And if you in the area looking for -best beaches near me – head to Cape Cod to relax.
Though you’ll definitely want to go when the weather’s right, this famed beach boasts a New England flare. Not as crowded as more popular Southern destinations, Cape Cod offers the perfect family retreat. We rank it on our list of top beaches in east coast USA.
17. Laguna Beach, California
What stands out most about Laguna Beach is that it’s one of the cleanest in the nation. This family-friendly beach also boasts great dining options, as well as beautiful oceanfront accommodations that are sure to make your family’s vacation getaway trip unforgettable.
Laguna Beach, as you might already know, is one of the top beaches in the West Coast USA. If you’re in California and looking for – the best beach near me – you should visit Laguna Beach.
18. Hilton Head, South Carolina
Though not the most famous beach in South Carolina, Hilton Head can stand with the best of them. This incredible beach location offers the perfect not-so-crowded vacation spot, something that most families prefer to overcrowded beaches.
Great for families or couples looking for just a bit more privacy, Hilton Head is known for having wonderful accommodations and classic Southern and seafood dining options. It is one of the best beaches in east coast US.
19. Outer Banks, North Carolina
One of the most interesting areas of the United States is the Outer Banks region of North Carolina. Here, you can experience the area’s unique culture with a trip to Outer Banks Beach as well as enjoy your family getaway by visiting other nearby Outer Banks attractions.
This popular beach is perfect for small-sized families looking to enjoy great weather, beautiful sand, and crystal-clear waters. Like the other east coast beaches on our list of top beaches in USA, Outer Banks is a great vacation spot for families and its beaches are one of the most popular beaches in the USA.
20. Kauai, Hawaii
Capping off our list of the twenty best beaches in the United States is Kauai, Hawai. This Aloha State location boasts all the beauty and splendor of the famed vacation region.
Bring your family, spouse, or new significant other to this incredible location to experience some of the best waters, sand, and dining this top USA beach has to offer.
21. Cannon Beach, Oregon
One of the best beaches USA is Cannon Beach in the state of Oregon. This is one of the best beaches in USA to visit if you love wildlife, because there are always puffins and other marine life out in the water, as well as in the tide pools and up on Haystack Rock.
The views out over the water are spectacular, especially as the sun is setting at the end of the day. Due to the location of this beach in the Pacific Northwest, the water is always going to be freezing cold. Therefore, you probably won’t find yourself doing too much swimming while you are there.
22. Sunset Beach, New Jersey
If you are looking for the best beaches in USA for families, you must place the Cape May beaches up near the top of your list. While there are quite a few beaches within the area of Cape May, Sunset Beach is a popular option.
This beach is family friendly, but you must make sure to purchase a beach tag for everyone age twelve and over if you are visiting the area between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Other than that, you can build sandcastles, swim, and even surf when the waves are coming in just right.
23. Virginia Beach, Virginia
One of the more popular beaches in USA is Virginia Beach and you will find everyone from college-aged kids, families, and retirees out on the sand.
This is the main beach within the town of Virginia Beach and the calm waters attract thousands of people every summer. There are plenty of amenities in town for when you are done with the sand, but don’t forget to walk along the boardwalk before you leave.
24. Corona del Mar State Beach, California
One of the top beaches in USA is Corona del Mar State Beach, which is over in Newport Beach in the state of California. If you are visiting Los Angeles or the San Diego area, this is one of the beaches you will want to consider for your beach vacation.
The Corona del Mar State Beach is perfect for activities like swimming and surfing, but you can also have a rousing game of beach volleyball. There are also picnic areas when you are hungry, and you won’t want to forget your camera to catch the picturesque views of the rock jetty.
25. Santa Monica Beach, California
One of the famous beaches in USA is the Santa Monica Beach in Los Angeles. This beautiful beach USA is often the top choice for those who choose to vacation in California. While you can relax on the four-mile-long sandy shoreline and look out towards the mountains, you can also venture into the water for lots of wet fun.
However, most people skip this beach at some point to enjoy the atmosphere over on the Santa Monica Pier. Over on the pier, you will find an arcade, rides, and food vendors. If you are looking for actual stores and restaurants, the Third Street Promenade is only a couple blocks away from both the pier and the beach.
26. Kalaloch Beach, Washington
Most people like yourself do not realize that they can enjoy extraordinary beach vacations out in the Pacific Northwest, but I guarantee you will love Kalaloch Beach in Washington state. You will find this beach inside Olympic National Park.
You will find yourself spending hours looking out over the water to see what types of marine life are swimming around. Most of the animals you will see include otters and puffins, but don’t rule out many of the other animals that are native to the region. There is a campground at this beach, so you can always reserve a spot for your beach vacation.
27. Malaquite Beach, Texas
One of the best white sand beaches in USA is Malaquite Beach in Texas. Approximately four or five miles of white sand will stretch out all around you and give you plenty of options when it comes to being part of the action or away from the crowds. When you are not swimming, you will still be out in the water windsurfing and kayaking.
Over on dry land, the Visitor Center will be waiting for you when you are ready to learn about the history of the island and the wildlife that lives there. I recommend staying at this beach into the night, because that is when you can watch the turtle releases and take a stargazing tour.
28. Ogunquit Beach, Maine
This is one of the best beaches in the USA that is formed from the natural barrier that is located between the Ogunquit River and the Atlantic Ocean. While you can sit in the sand anywhere on Ogunquit Beach, most people prefer the middle section, which is referred to as Footbridge Beach. During the high season, you will find lifeguards at the beach to keep you safe when you are out on the water.
While most people spend the entire day swimming, you may prefer doing some bodysurfing instead. I recommend walking along the shoreline as well, so you can search for seashells. In addition to the public facilities, you will find rentals for almost anything you need. Those rentals include umbrellas, chairs, and even flotation devices.
29. Orange Beach, Alabama
Orange Beach offers more than thirty miles of sandy shoreline, which makes it one of the top beaches USA. Deep sea fishing is very popular at this beach, because of the large artificial reef. You can also go fishing off the pier if you do not want to rent a boat or do a charter.
If you are looking to do something other than swimming on the best beaches in USA, you will be thrilled to know that you can go diving, parasailing, jet skiing, and paddleboarding at this beach.
30. South Ocean Beach, Maryland
South Ocean Beach is a beach on Assateague Island in the state of Maryland. This is one of the romantic beaches in USA, due to the tranquility of the area. Of course, most people love visiting this island, and the beach, because they can see the wild horses that live there.
While you can surf and swim at this beach, most people obtain a permit, so they can drive along twelve miles of the sand. This is the perfect option if you want to explore every inch and do some clamming, crabbing, and surf fishing along the way.
31. Coronado Beach, California
Sand that glitters under the sun makes beautiful beaches USA and you will find that glittering sand at Coronado Beach in San Diego, California. The sand on this mile and half long beach is filled with mica, which is a silvery and pearly mineral that allows it to glow like gold under the shining sun.
The gentle waves make this beach the perfect place to learn how to surf, but you can also boogie board and swim when you are there. The sunsets at this beach are spectacular, so make sure you stick around at least one night to watch them.
32. North Avenue Beach, Illinois
No one really expects to see a beach in the Windy City of Chicago, but that is exactly where you will find North Avenue Beach in Illinois. This is the most popular beach in the city and the prominent feature is a twenty-two thousand square foot beach house that is in the shape of an ocean liner.
There are bars and restaurants inside the beach house, and it is also where you will want to go when you need to rent equipment. When you are not swimming in the water, you can spend your time kayaking or playing a little volleyball.
33. Sandbridge Beach, Virginia
Many people dislike the crowds that form over at Virginia Beach and that is why those people will choose to spend their time at Sandbridge Beach instead. This little beach is not too far from the popular Virginia Beach, but it is so much quieter!
The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is incredible and the perfect place to explore when you are not relaxing on the sand. However, you can also hike around False Cape State Park if you need something else to do during your visit.
34. Folly Beach, South Carolina
Folly Beach is quite the popular beach USA, especially during June, July, and August. While you can watch all the people in the water from the pier, you may prefer to join in with the swimmers and surfers over at Folly’s Washout.
There are also many restaurants that look out towards the water near this beach and they all serve the freshest catch of the day for all their meals.
35. Wildcat Beach, California
One of the best beaches USA is Wildcat Beach and it is the beach you will want to choose if you are looking for lots of adventures.
You must hike five miles to reach this beach, but the journey is worth the views and time you will spend there. Once you are finished with the beach, you can hike the nearby trails. However, I recommend hiking a mile further to the south to see the Alamere Waterfall.
What are the top 10 beaches in America?
- Coronado Beach is popular due to the bodysurfers, tide pools, and sandcastle building.
- Clearwater Beach is popular amongst families, because there are so many activities available. This is also the best beach for dolphin cruises.
- Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular beaches USA, especially during Spring Break and summer vacation.
- There is always something going on at this beach and you will love the action that you are always getting drawn towards.
- Sandbridge Beach in Virginia is amazing from the months of May through September. The epic boardwalk plays second fiddle to the miles of soft sand, but you will always have time to fit everything into your days.
- Ogunquit Beach in Maine has calm waters, history, and enough sand for every family to enjoy.
- No one can resist the boardwalk over at Hollywood Beach in the state of Florida. This beach is the perfect option if you are vacationing in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or anywhere in between.
- Driftwood Beach in Georgia might appear eerie at first, but once you give it a chance, you will quickly realize that the appeal is in the ruins that remain.
- Siesta Beach is an amazing Florida beach at any time of the year, and you will love its location near Sarasota. The sand is made from quartz, so it stays cooler under your feet, even on the hottest days of the year.
- The history of Pensacola Beach and the surrounding area make it one of the best beaches USA. You must cross over Pensacola Bay to reach Santa Rosa Island, which is where this beach is located.
- Ka’anapali Beach can be found on the island of Maui in Hawaii and it is surrounded by crystal clear water. There are many world-class resorts surrounding this beach and you will be treated like royalty if you stay at any of them.
What’s the number 1 beach in the USA?
The number 1 beach in the USA is Clearwater Beach down in Clearwater, Florida. This beach is constantly ranked at this number, which isn’t surprising since the beach is full of soft white sand and surround by turquoise water. Add in all the shops and restaurants near Clearwater Beach and you will have a beach vacation you will remember forever.
What is the nicest beach in the USA?
The nicest beach in the USA is Santa Monica Beach, because you can have it all there during your visit. When you want to sink your toes in the sand, you can visit the beach, and when you don’t, you can venture over to the Santa Monica Pier for some entertainment.
What are the best white sand beaches in the USA?
There are a few amazing white sand beaches throughout the US, but if you are looking for the best, you will want to check these beaches out:
- Pensacola Beach in Florida is one of the beaches that is famous for the glowing white sand that sparkles under the sun. Add in the deep blue shallow water and you have your own little piece of paradise for your beach vacation.
- Tunnels Beach in Kauai, Hawaii is where South Pacific was filmed, so if the white sand looks familiar, this is the reason why. This is an amazing place to do a little snorkeling or diving.
- Ka’anapali Beach on Maui is another spectacular white sandy beach in the USA, and you will love sipping on a cocktail or two when you are there.
- Coronado Beach can be found in the city of San Diego and the white sand has mica in it to really make it shine when the sun is out.
- The white sand at Clearwater Beach in Florida only adds to the appeal of the beach and the surrounding town.
- Orange Beach in Alabama has miles of white sand to enjoy and it is some of the best sand when it comes to building sandcastles.
- Kauna’oa Beach in Hawaii will have you looking not only at the extremely white sand, but the lush vegetation that surrounds the amazing beach area.
- Lanikai Beach in Oahu is the perfect white sand beach to walk along if you love the water lapping up over your toes.
Which US beaches has the clearest water?
- Kauna’oa Beach in Hawaii has some of the clearest water and you will love how it seems to continue on for miles.
- Siesta Beach in Florida is one of the perfect places to swim when you want clear water at the beach. I recommend snorkeling while visiting this beach, so you can see all the marine life up close.
- Santa Monica Beach has some of the clearest water, which isn’t surprising since this is one of the most popular beaches in the USA. After all, who wants to spend lots of time at a beach and nearby entertainment area if the water is murky and unappealing!
Is Clearwater or Destin Beach better?
There are many arguments as to why Clearwater Beach is better than Destin Beach and vice versa, so I would have to say it is going to be a personal preference. I recommend that you check out the amenities at each of these beaches, as well as what is nearby both of them, and then make the decision as to which one would be best for you and your family when you decide to take your next beach vacation.
Where is the bluest ocean water in the US?
Ka’anapali Beach and many of the other Hawaiian beaches are going to have the bluest ocean water in the USA. Most of the other beaches on this list will also have blue water, but none of them will have the deep blue color that the ocean around Hawaii is known for.
What is the nicest beach in America?
You could also say that the nicest beach in America is Clearwater Beach, because there is so much you can do in Clearwater when you are not down at the beach. One of the most popular activities is visiting the Clearwater Aquarium, where you can see lots of marine life including the dolphins, Winter and Hope, who have been rescued.
Where is the bluest water in Florida?
The water off Clearwater Beach happens to be really blue, so you can say that it is the bluest water in all of Florida. The color of the water only adds to the appeal of this beach and is one of the reasons why it is always considered a vacation favorite. You will also find deep blue water at many of the other best beaches in Florida.
What is the world’s famous beach?
Daytona Beach happens to be the world’s famous beach. Besides the car racing that occurs near this beach at different times of the year, you will find plenty of options of things to do there during your visit.
What is the prettiest beach in America?
Clearwater Beach also gets the designation of the prettiest beach in America, but it is always a close call, because there are so many beautiful beaches USA to choose from!