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525 voters

The Best Beaches in the US

Updated December 19, 2018 2k votes 525 voters 16.3k views28 items

List RulesThe 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.
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  • 1
    California, USA
    92
    45

    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
    California, USA
    57
    34

    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. Nicknamed...  more
  • 3
    California, USA
    59
    38

    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 three...  more
  • 4
    Hawaii, USA
    85
    47

    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 Honolulu,...  more
  • 5
    California, USA
    37
    23
    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 golf...  more
  • 6
    Florida, USA
    56
    30

    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 of...  more
  • 7
    MikeAnthony added
    33
    21
  • 8
    crsone1 addedSouth Carolina, USA
    44
    32

    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
  • 9
    California, USA
    62
    84

    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 its...  more
  • 10
    Georgia, USA
    27
    24

    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 census,...  more
  • 11
    Florida, USA
    24
    24

    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 2010...  more
  • 12
    LaurieM addedFlorida, USA
    26
    17
    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
  • 13
    LaurieM addedFlorida, USA
    22
    18
    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 part...  more
  • 14
    California, USA
    51
    76

    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
  • 15
    Dallas Williams added
    15
    9
  • 16
    jwadder addedFlorida, USA
    17
    13

    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
  • 17
    Ra Nick addedMaryland, USA
    13
    16

    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 frequent...  more
  • 18
    California, USA
    51
    85

    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 lies...  more
  • 19
    smoggy__dusk addedCalifornia, USA
    14
    22

    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
  • 20
    Rickster79 addedNew York City, New York
    7
    8
    Coney Island is a peninsular residential neighborhood, beach, and leisure/entertainment destination on the Atlantic Ocean in the southwestern part of the borough of Brooklyn, New York City. The site...  more
  • 21
    ChristinaPhelps addedNew Jersey, USA
    15
    21

    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 encompasses...  more
  • 22
    Rickster79 addedNew Jersey, USA
    5
    8

    Area (km sq)22.54

    Paterson is the largest city in and the county seat of Passaic County, New Jersey, United States, in the New York City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was...  more
  • 23
    California, USA
    34
    67

    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, making...  more
  • 24
    California, USA
    17
    36

    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
  • 25
    California, USA
    26
    55

    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