If you’re counting down the days until summer and dreaming of spending your days soaking up the sun, you’ll want to bookmark this post. With nearly 90,000 miles of tidal coastline and thousands more miles of coast on inland waters there’s a beach around every corner. With so many choices, where are the best beaches?
The Jersey Shore
Made infamous by the MTV reality show by the same name, this technically this isn’t a single beach but several. If you want to experience the most well-known and boisterous side of the shore than a visit to Seaside Heights is in order. If the opposite is true, Spring Lake is a two mile stretch of beach without any commercial shops on the boardwalk.
Laguna Beach California
One of the best southern California beaches, Laguna is a mix of sand, sea, shopping, and eats. What more could you want? After 6pm dogs are permitted on the beach as well, making pet owners happy!
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Cocoa Beach lies on the Atlantic coast of Florida between the ocean and Banana River Lagoon. Don’t let its small size deceive you. It’s known as the surfing capital of the East Coast and temperate climate helps regulate the weather. There’s something for everyone to do – but millions come every year just for the beach.
When you think beach vacation, Texas might not be the first destination that comes to mind but, there are some great Gulf stretches including Stewart Beach in Galveston. This beach prides itself on being a family destination and includes amenities such as beach chairs, umbrellas, and showers to rinse off.
Sleeping Bear Dunes – Lake Michigan
So, this isn’t a coastal beach but the Great Lakes are known as America’s inland oceans. Sleeping Bear Dunes are in the northwestern corner of Lower Michigan, a short drive from Traverse City. If you want to swim, visit in summer, as the lake is frozen during winter months. Climb the dunes, take a dip, or go fishing on any of the beaches that make up the National Lakeshore.
Glass Beach – Fort Bragg, California
Glass Beach (there’s actually three) is another non-traditional beach that is a treasure hunters dream come true. In the early 1900’s local garbage was pushed over the edge of the cliffs in the area to the sea. Over time the sea churned and smoothed the glass that was tossed over the edge, turning the beach into a shining field of brightly colored glass! Access is a little difficult, and expect some climbing but the end result is worth it.
Sand Beach, Acadia National Park, Maine
This beach is only 290 yards long but is one of the most popular points on Mount Desert Island. During summer months there’s a lifeguard on duty to watch for swimmers. If you prefer hiking, there’s a seaside trail that follows the shoreline promising beautiful views.
Assateague Island, MD/VA
Assateague Island National Seashore is located off the coast of Maryland and Virginia and is most well-known for the wild ponies that call the area home. The beach is miles of pristine sand and sea and visitors can relax and enjoy the sea, go crabbing, bird watching, or participate in dozens of other activities available on this unique island.
Three and a half miles of Pacific Coast nestled between the Coast Mountain Range and ocean is Cannon Beach. The most recognizable feature might be the monoliths rising out of the water, or perhaps the bird rocks that indigenous fowl call home.
Honaunau Bay, HI
Is there such a thing as a bad beach in Hawaii? Honaunau Bay at Pu’uhon is one of the best beaches on the big island. Snorkelers and scuba divers love to explore the clear waters and abundance of wildlife. The beach has shade and this national park also has many cultural activities and information available to learn about the history of the area.
While you are planning your beach vacation, don’t forget to download our free, exclusive printable. Planning a beach trip just got easier with our detailed Beach Bag Packing List printable. Just click on the image and print!
What is your favorite American Beach? Did it make our top 10 summer beach list?