Vacations The Best Beaches in the US  

Island Hopper Dan
Originally by
3.5k votes 461 voters 15.3k views 57 items

List Rules The greatest beach locales in the United States.

What are the best beaches in the U.S.? This list includes many of the greatest beaches and beach towns in the United States. If you're planning a beach vacation, these are just a few of the spots you might want to consider. Some of the most beautiful coastal areas in America are, of course, in Florida, Hawaii and California - but these states aren't the only ones with outstanding beach locales. Vote for your favorite beaches in the U.S. and please, add any that are missing. You can also rerank this beach list any way you want!

Finding a great beach can make a vacation extra special. Of course, everyone has their own idea of the most important things to consider in a vacation destination, but wonderful clean beaches, fresh, salty air and a relaxed atmosphere are certainly among them.

Many of the best beaches in America are, not surprisingly, located in some of the best U.S. cities for vacations. These beaches are without a doubt among the best beach cities in the world. They're the perfect place for fun in the sun and the sand, offering visitors and residents the best of a laid-back, beachy lifestyle.

What are the most important factors to consider when determining whether a beach is truly the best? Certainly, the actual quality of the beach is key -- it should be scenic, of course, and preferably not too crowded (yeah, right). A great beach also has an excellent surrounding town or island, giving visitors options for dining and entertainment. Some beaches are situated in small, quaint beach towns (Seaside, Florida, comes to mind), while others are smack in the middle of some of the most bustling cities in the world (Miami Beach and San Diego are good examples).

Enjoy voting for your favorite U.S. beaches and don't forget to add any that might be missing.
list ordered by

1
103 47
Honolulu is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Hawaii, USA
Honolulu is the state capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is the county seat of the City and County of Honolulu. Hawaii is a major tourist destination and ...more

2
97 46
San Diego is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA
San Diego is a major city in California, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with ...more

3
67 31
Laguna Beach is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA
Laguna Beach is a seaside resort city located in southern Orange County, California, United States, approximately 19 miles southeast of the county seat of Santa Ana. Laguna Beach is known for ...more

4
64 32
Malibu is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA
Malibu is an affluent beach city in Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 12,645. Malibu consists of a 21-mile strip of prime Pacific coastline. ...more

5
57 27
Fort Lauderdale is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Florida, USA
Fort Lauderdale is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, on the Atlantic coast 23 miles north of Miami. It is the county seat of Broward County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population ...more

6
56 27
Carmel-by-the-Sea is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often called simply Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. Situated on the Monterey Peninsula, ...more

7
71 39
Santa Monica is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, United States. The city is named after the Christian saint, Monica. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on ...more

8
78 43
Destin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Florida, USA
Destin is a city located in Okaloosa County, Florida. It is a principal city of the Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located on Florida's Emerald Coast, ...more

9
60 34
Santa Barbara is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA
Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, California. Situated on a south-facing section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city ...more

10
59 31
Sarasota is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Florida, USA
Sarasota is a city located in Sarasota County on the southwestern coast of the U.S. state of Florida. The area is renowned for its cultural and environmental amenities, beaches, resorts, ...more

11
68 40
Pensacola Beach is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Florida, USA
Pensacola Beach is an unincorporated community located on Santa Rosa Island, a barrier island, in Escambia County, Florida, United States. It is situated south of Pensacola in the Gulf of ...more

12
44 21
Longboat Key is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Florida, USA
Longboat Key is a town in Manatee and Sarasota counties along the central west coast of the U.S. state of Florida, located on and coterminous with the barrier island of the same name. Longboat ...more

13
40 20
Pebble Beach is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA
Pebble Beach is an unincorporated community on the Monterey Peninsula in Monterey County, California. It lies at sea level. Pebble Beach is a small coastal resort destination, home to the famous ...more

14
43 27
San Clemente is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA
San Clemente is a city in Orange County, California. The population was 63,522 at the 2010 census. Located on the California Coast, midway between Los Angeles and San Diego at the southern tip ...more

15
56 37
Miami Beach is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Florida, USA
Miami Beach is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. It was incorporated on March 26, 1915. The municipality is located on a series of natural and man-made barrier ...more

16
52 34
Hilton Head Island is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
South Carolina, USA
Hilton Head Island, sometimes referred to as simply Hilton Head, is a Lowcountry resort town located on an island of the same name in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. It is 20 ...more

17
32 18
Outer Banks is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
MikeAnthony added Outer Banks

18
35 21
Chatham is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Massachusetts, USA
Chatham is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States, Barnstable County being coextensive with Cape Cod. First settled by the English in 1664, the township was originally called ...more

19
29 18
Newport Beach is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Kings909 added California, USA
California Newport Beach, incorporated in 1906, is a city in Orange County, California, 10 miles south of downtown Santa Ana. The population was 85,287 at the 2010 census. Newport Beach is also home to ...more

20
31 18
Santa Rosa Beach is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Florida, USA
Santa Rosa Beach is an unincorporated community in Walton County, Florida. It belongs to the Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.

21
35 24
Huntington Beach is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA
Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County in Southern California. The city is named after American businessman Henry E. Huntington. The population was 189,992 during the 2010 census, ...more

22
26 14
Seaside is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
LaurieM added Florida, USA
Seaside is an unincorporated master-planned community on the Florida panhandle in Walton County, between Panama City Beach and Destin. Being one of the first cities in America designed on the ...more

23
29 19
Santa Cruz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA
Santa Cruz is the county seat and largest city of Santa Cruz County, California. As of 2013 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Santa Cruz's population at 62,864. Situated on the northern edge of ...more

24
33 22
Watercolor is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Florida, USA
WaterColor is an unincorporated master-planned community located in Seagrove Beach on the Northwest Gulf Coast of Florida, United States near Destin. This 499-acre Southern resort and ...more

25
33 22
Gulf Shores is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Alabama, USA
Gulf Shores is a coastal city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 9,741, up from 5,044 at the 2000 census. Since the year 2000, Baldwin County as ...more