There’s no shortage of gorgeous beaches in the US, from sandy bays to surf beaches battered by ocean waves. If you’re planning a beach vacation, there are a ton of opportunities to enjoy the endless coastlines and amazing Instagrammable places in the US!
Whether you want to relax on the fine sand or enjoy several water sports while there, consider one of the following places for an amazing time.
Most Gorgeous Beaches in the US
Here are some of the most beautiful beaches in the US to plot your next coastal escape:
1. Assateague Island
When thinking of the most gorgeous beaches in the United States, most people look to Hawaii and California, or south to Florida. Often overlooked is the hidden gem of Maryland’s Assateague Island, and its gorgeous, long barrier island beaches.
Perhaps it’s the feeling of being transported to a tropical island that is the draw to Assateague, or maybe it is watching the wild horses march along the beach each evening. Whatever your reason, a trip to Assateague Island should certainly be on everyone’s beach list.
The barrier island beaches of Assateague Island sit inside Assateague State Park and Assateague Island National Seashore. You can visit the beaches for the day, or immerse yourself and camp at Assateague Island up on the sand dunes. The long beaches are perfect for a classic beach day of lounging and swimming, or bodyboarding in the surf.
For a change of pace while visiting the Assateague beaches, head to the bayside of the barrier island for calm water kayaking or canoeing. Boat rentals are available on the island, as well as bike rentals. Exploring by boat or bike is a great way to experience the unique ecosystems of a barrier island. When you’ve had enough of the beach, take the short drive to Ocean City, Maryland for restaurants and shopping, or their huge array of evening entertainment during the summer months.
By Meredith from Chasing Abandon
2. Cape San Blas, FL
Cape San Blas is one of Florida’s lesser-known beaches and yet one of her brightest gems, it really is one of the most beautiful beaches in the US!
Along, the quiet sliver of a peninsula along the Gulf of Mexico, Cape San Blas stretches out for 17 miles along county road 30E and sits across Saint Joseph Bay from Port St. Joe, Florida on 30A. The cape is crowned at the tip with the beautiful St. Joseph Peninsula State Park which’s worth the small entrance fee for a day of exploring the bay.
At night, enjoy colorful sunsets, then roast s’mores over a fire on the beach and hunt for crabs. You might luck out discovering bioluminescent algae on the shore under a starry night sky. Then relax on the deck of your sweet Cape San Blas beach vacation home. You won’t find any high-rise condominiums here.
By Tanya Raedeke from Rad Family Travel
3. Destin, FL
Destin Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the USA. It sits smack dab in the middle of the panhandle along the Gulf of Mexico. The white sands on this beach are only found along this stretch of the Florida Panhandle.
This powdered white sand is amazing as a backdrop for pictures and/or for kids (and kids at heart) to build beautiful sandcastles. The beautiful water with calm surf makes this a perfect place for kids to swim and play. Older kids and/or adults will love the wildlife found along the jetties for snorkeling or scuba diving.
Destin activities range for everyone from family travelers to romantic couples to solo travelers. A must-do activity is to rent a boat for the day or hire a tour guide for a trip out to crab island. Crab Island is a sandbar that you will be able to relax, swim or snorkel in beautiful emerald waters, visit floating restaurants, and/or gather with friends and family to beat the summer heat.
Other fun activities to consider are a dinner cruise through Destin Harbor, a visit to Destin Commons, a local seafood market, renting water toys like jet skis or banana boats, and so much more.
Destin, FL is definitely a must-visit if you are looking for one of the most stunning beaches in the USA. So what are you waiting for? Grab your camera and your sense of adventure and book yourself one of the many hotels or resorts along this amazing stretch of beach.
By Tiffany from Mommy And Me Travels
4. Del Mar, CA
Located in San Diego, Del Mar is not only a gorgeous beach in the US but also one of the best dog-friendly beaches in California. This 2-mile-long stretch of golden sand is a popular place for surfers, families, sun-seekers, volleyball-players, and even dogs. Visitors can also enjoy the views of dramatic cliffs, beautiful oceanfront parks, and the stunning ocean views from Highway 101.
Del Mar City Beach South is a family-friendly quaint beach where you can enjoy beach walking, swimming, and sunbathing, picnicking, and surfing. The beautiful Powerhouse Coastal Park is perfect for a family picnic and it has a dog-free playground where your kids can play.
On the other hand, Del Mar North Beach is popular with dog-owners and locals. Your four-legged friend can run freely along the beach during the winter months. Beach Volleyball lovers can spend a great time playing volleyball on the courts in the flat part of the beach. When you are done with the beaches, go for a short hiking trail that leads you to James Scripps’ North Bluff Preserve.
The beach can be very crowded in the summer months. If you are looking for a peaceful beach vacation, the late spring and winter months are the best time to visit the Del Mar beaches. Parking can be very difficult during summer weekends and holidays. Free parking is available at 29th Street and along Camino del Mar.
By Trijit Mallick from BudgetTravelBuff
5. Laguna Beach, CA
Laguna Beach is an artist colony located in Southern California, halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles. It’s one of the most gorgeous beaches in the USA – it’s located on 20,000 acres of protected wilderness and has miles of sparkling beaches and natural tide pools.
You can take some time to explore the natural tide pools and search for unusual sea life in the crevices between the rocks at low tide. Laguna Beach has great diving, snorkeling, and surf spots, like Brooks Street and Thalia.
Laguna Beach is home to California’s oldest museum, which explores the cultural heritage of California and the history of the beach. Southern California is also known for having more dolphins than Florida and Hawaii, so be sure to take in a whale watching tour to see how many you can see. You can also visit seal Rock by kayak, and see the seals and sea lions.
By Zoe Amy from Breastfeeding Mama
6. Makena Beach, HI
Makena Beach is a beautiful golden sandy beach with deep blue waters lapping the shores. While many of the beaches around Maui, Hawai have houses and hotels built around them, Makena Beach is one of the few gorgeous beaches in the US that is still totally surrounded by nature.
It’s a real escape from some of the hustle and bustle elsewhere on the island and you’ll often find this beach to be fairly quiet as it is a bit further out from the popular town of Kihei and the long stretch of sand means it’s easy to find your own space.
The beach is broken up into Big Beach, the main beach which is a long open stretch, and the little beach which is a smaller cove hidden away around the headland. You can walk over the headland in a couple of minutes but bear in mind while Little Beach isn’t officially a nude beach it is fairly common for people to strip off in this more secluded area.
While you are at Makena Beach you can enjoy swimming, surfing and at the far end of the beach, there is a reef that is great for snorkeling as long as the waves aren’t too big. Like most places around Maui, turtles are a widespread occurrence, so it’s definitely worth putting on the snorkel to go in for a dip.
By Roxy from Wild about BC
7. Pfeiffer Beach, CA
Pfeiffer Beach is a little off the beaten track but is really worth discovering! This beautiful sandy cove usually has rolling waves and has stunning views of the sunset. At the northern end of the beach, the sand is a unique purple color that has been colored by the manganese garnet present in the rocks. Halfway along the beach is the Keyhole Rock which is a large natural stone archway standing in the sea.
Whilst you are in the area, it is well worth exploring the Pfeiffer Sur State Park on the western slopes of the Santa Lucia Mountains. There are lovely walks along the banks of the Big Sur River amongst many different types of trees
Pfeiffer Beach is situated within the Los Padres National Forest and can be reached by traveling along Highway 1 as it is situated 2 km south of Big Sur Station. There is an unmarked road with a yellow ‘narrow road’ warning – this is Sycamore Canyon Road. The beach is 4 km down this narrow twisting road (RVs and trailers are not allowed on this road). There is a parking area and from there, it is just a short walk to the beach.
By Chrysoula from Greece Travel Ideas
8. Sanibel Island, FL
Sanibel Island is located in Southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. This beautiful US Beach is covered in endless varieties of shells and has an abundance of sea life that inhabits the area.
The Island is also the nesting place of sea turtles, with fish swimming close to shore, you might be able to spot numerous crabs, conch, sand dollars, and scallops. In addition to sea life, we also spotted brown bunnies, a black snake, and an armadillo.
Other fun things to. do on Sanibel Island include watersports, boating, fishing, golfing and tennis.
By Donna from Explore the road with Donna-Marie
9. Siesta Key Beach, FL
Siesta Key, located on the West Coast of Florida about an hour South of Beaches in Tampa Bay. Siesta Key Beach is known as the #1 beach in the USA and the perfect home base for the perfect Florida Keys vacation. The reason for its status is because of its white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters. Not only can you relax in Oceanside with a book but you can enjoy the calm waters afloat.
Siesta Key Beach is easily accessible via the free trolley that runs throughout the island or park in one of many parking lots available. Nearby Siesta Key Village is full of great shopping, restaurants, bars, and hotels. Book a kayak or tropical cruise tour, rent a boat, go on a hike or bike in Myakka State Park or visit the local Ringling Museum of Art.
If you prefer to remain beachside, search for shark teeth on the South end of Siesta Key, rent a paddleboard and drift down the Mangrove tunnels, participate in a locals volleyball game, take a walk down the beach at sunset or go parasailing over the water. Plan to arrive early as parking can be limited.
Siesta Key Beach is surrounded by several other beautiful beaches with similar views and activities so you’re not restricted to one beach, like Crescent Beach, which is a bit more secluded.
No matter what you’re interested in, there is something for everyone at Siesta Key.
By Ashley from World to Wander
10. South Beach, FL
One of the most gorgeous beaches in the US is South Beach in Miami, Florida. South Beach is one of the country’s most famous beaches and widely known for attracting beautiful people to its soft sandy shores and blue waters.
Visitors can find South Beach just off the coast of Miami on a barrier island adjacent to Miami Beach. South Beach is easily recognizable by its Art Deco-inspired lifeguard stands painted in pale pinks, blues, and yellows. These colorful structures add a unique style to South Beach making it stand out from other beach destinations in the US.
The Art Deco lifeguard stands are inspired by the neighboring Art Deco Historic District found along Ocean Drive. This beautiful neighborhood features dozens of Art Deco buildings and is not to be missed if you’re a first time visitor.
Besides swimming and sunbathing, boating, parasailing, diving, and snorkeling are also popular activities. Most tours and activities can be booked online or with your hotel when you arrive.
In the evenings, head out to sample South Beach’s many upscale restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. South Beach has one of the hottest nightlife scenes in the US, so you’ll have more than enough options.
For those willing to get up early, be sure to catch a South Beach sunrise. This is the most peaceful time of day in South Beach and the best opportunity to really enjoy this gorgeous destination.
By Eden from Rock a Little Travel
11. Waikiki Beach, HI
Waikiki Beach is located on the island of Oahu, the most famous neighborhood of Honolulu. Hotels and parks surround the beach, alongside palm trees, and statues. The crystal clear waters and amazing waves make it perfect for surfers!
Besides your regular beach activities, there is a free hula show (traditional Hawaiian dancing and music) three times a week, and along the coastline, you’ll find several parks with beautiful Hawaiian statues.
The best thing about the beach is the backdrop! You’ll have a clear view of Diamond Head, a large crater of a volcano. If you have time, make sure to climb to the top of Diamond Head. From here, you’ll have a fantastic view of Honolulu – the capital of Hawaii.
By Jacoba from Op reis met Co