Cities The Best Beaches in the US  

Island Hopper Dan
Originally by
3.4k votes 453 voters 15k views 56 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
102 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
95 45
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
66 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
63 31
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
56 26
Carmel-by-the-Sea is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
69 38
Santa Monica is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
55 27
Fort Lauderdale is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
60 32
Santa Barbara is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
75 43
Destin is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
56 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
39 20
Pebble Beach is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
65 40
Pensacola Beach is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
42 21
Longboat Key is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
43 26
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
51 34
Hilton Head Island is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
31 18
Outer Banks is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
MikeAnthony added Outer Banks

17
54 37
Miami Beach is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
29 18
Newport Beach is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
29 18
Santa Cruz is listed (or ranked) 19 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

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
34 21
Chatham is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
35 24
Huntington Beach is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
26 14
Seaside is listed (or ranked) 23 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

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

26
30 21
Tybee Island is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Georgia, USA 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

27
22 13
Cape May is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
New Jersey, USA Cape May is a city at the southern tip of Cape May Peninsula in Cape May County, New Jersey, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. One of the country's oldest vacation resort ...more

28
24 15
Navarre Beach is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
36 27
Orange Beach is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Alabama, USA Orange Beach is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 5,441. It is part of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Micropolitan Statistical Area.

30
22 15
Saugatuck is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Michigan, USA Saugatuck is a city in Allegan County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 925 at the 2010 census. The city is within Saugatuck Township, but is administratively autonomous. ...more

31
19 13
Boca Grande is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Florida, USA Boca Grande is a small residential community on Gasparilla Island, in southwest Florida. Gasparilla Island is a part of both Charlotte and Lee Counties, while the actual village of Boca Grande, ...more

32
19 13
San Juan is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
San Juan Province, Argentina, Argentina San Juan is the capital city of the Argentine province of San Juan in the Cuyo region, located in the Tulúm Valley, west of the San Juan River, at 650 m above mean sea level, with a ...more

33
22 17
Charlotte Amalie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Saint Thomas, United States Virgin Islands Charlotte Amalie, located on St. Thomas, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. Virgin Islands, founded in 1666 as Taphus. In 1691, the town was renamed to Amalienborg after Charlotte ...more

34
21 16
Kihei is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Kīhei is a census-designated place in Maui County, Hawaiʻi, United States. The population was 20,881 at the 2010 census.

35
19 14
Mackinac Island is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Michigan, USA Mackinac Island is a city in Mackinac County in the U.S. state of Michigan. In the 2010 census, the city had a permanent population of 492, although there are thousands more seasonal workers and ...more

36
8 3
Tunnels Beach, Hi is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Dallas Williams added Tunnels Beach, Hi

37
26 22
Chincoteague is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Virginia, USA Chincoteague is a town on Chincoteague Island in Accomack County, Virginia, United States. The population was 2,941 at the 2010 census. The town is known for the Chincoteague Ponies, although ...more

38
25 22
Cannon Beach is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Oregon, USA Cannon Beach is a city in Clatsop County, Oregon, United States. The population was 1,690 at the 2010 census.

39
19 16
Kennebunkport is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Maine, USA Kennebunkport is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,474 people at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford metropolitan statistical ...more

40
6 4
Long Beach is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
smoggy__dusk added California, USA 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

41
8 5
Ocean City is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Ra Nick added Maryland, USA 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

42
26 24
Provincetown is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Massachusetts, USA Provincetown is a New England town located at the extreme tip of Cape Cod in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, in the United States. A small coastal resort town with a year-round population of ...more

43
32 32
Myrtle Beach is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
crsone1 added South Carolina, USA 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

44
19 18
Traverse City is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Michigan, USA Traverse City is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is the county seat of Grand Traverse County, although a small portion extends into Leelanau County. It is the largest city in the ...more

45
12 11
Manhattan Beach is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
California, USA 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

46
22 24
Daytona Beach is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Florida, USA 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

47
7 7
Fort Myers Beach is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
jwadder added Florida, USA 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

48
16 19
Gearhart is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Oregon, USA Gearhart is a city in Clatsop County, Oregon, United States. The population was 1,462 at the 2010 census.

49
15 18
South Padre Island is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
Texas, USA South Padre Island is a barrier island in the U.S. state of Texas. It is located in Cameron County and in Willacy County. South Padre Island was formed when the creation of the Port Mansfield ...more

50
14 17
Ocean City is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Beaches in the US
ChristinaPhelps added New Jersey, USA 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