Culture

The Best Beaches in the US 

Island Hopper Dan
Originally by
Updated December 19, 2018 3.9k votes 506 voters 16k views 28 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
San Diego is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA

Area (km sq): 964.51

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
2
Laguna Beach is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA

Area (km sq): 25.44

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
3
Santa Monica is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA

Area (km sq): 41.18

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
4
Honolulu is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Hawaii, USA

Area (km sq): 177.2

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
5
Malibu is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA

Area (km sq): 51.35

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
6
Carmel-by-the-Sea is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA

Area (km sq): 2.85

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
Fort Lauderdale is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Florida, USA

Area (km sq): 93.24

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
8
Santa Barbara is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA

Area (km sq): 108.7

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
9
Pebble Beach is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
San Clemente is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA

Area (km sq): 50.42

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
11
Outer Banks is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
MikeAnthony added Outer Banks
12
Huntington Beach is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA

Area (km sq): 82.58

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
13
Myrtle Beach is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
crsone1 added South Carolina, USA

Area (km sq): 43.51

Myrtle Beach is a coastal city on the east coast of the United States in Horry County, South Carolina. It is situated on the center of a large and continuous stretch of beach known as the Grand ...more
14
Santa Cruz is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA

Area (km sq): 41.0

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
15
Newport Beach is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Kings909 added California, USA

Area (km sq): 137.21

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
16
Tybee Island is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Georgia, USA

Area (km sq): 6.99

Tybee Island is an island and city in Chatham County, Georgia, near the city of Savannah in the southeastern United States. It is the easternmost point in the state of Georgia. As of the 2010 ...more
17
Seaside is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
Daytona Beach is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Florida, USA

Area (km sq): 168.17

Daytona Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States. The city lies about 51 miles northeast of Orlando, 86 miles southeast of Jacksonville, and 242 miles northwest of Miami. In the ...more
19
Navarre Beach is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
LaurieM added Florida, USA
Navarre Beach, is an unincorporated community in Santa Rosa County in the U.S. state of Florida. It is on Santa Rosa Island, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. The community is considered ...more
20
Manhattan Beach is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA

Area (km sq): 10.21

Manhattan Beach is an small coastal city located in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, USA. The city is on the Pacific coast, south of El Segundo, and north of Hermosa Beach. Manhattan ...more
21
Long Beach is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
smoggy__dusk added California, USA

Area (km sq): 133.22

Long Beach is a city in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the United States and the seventh-largest in ...more
22
Tunnels Beach, Hi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Dallas Williams added Tunnels Beach, Hi
23
Ocean City is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Ra Nick added Maryland, USA

Area (km sq): 94.2

Ocean City, officially the Town of Ocean City, is an Atlantic resort town in Worcester County, Maryland. Ocean City is widely known in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and is a ...more
24
Fort Myers Beach is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
jwadder added Florida, USA

Area (km sq): 16.06

Fort Myers Beach is a town located on Estero Island in Lee County, Florida, United States. The population was 6,277 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Cape Coral–Fort Myers Metropolitan ...more
25
Ocean City is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
ChristinaPhelps added New Jersey, USA

Area (km sq): 27.96

Ocean City is a city in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States. It is the county's largest city by area and is the principal city of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area which ...more