10 of the Best Beaches in the United States

Posted on October 31, 2011 by

This is a sponsored guest post written by Leslie To.

It’s a brisk 78 degree day without a dark cloud in the sky.  The sounds of crashing waves on the warm ocean shore and the cawing of seagulls from above add to Mother Nature’s soothing soundtrack. With a pair of sunglasses and a tall glass of refreshing juice sitting beside me, this is just the type of beach vacation I’d always envision myself having. There’s nothing I love more than being able to just sit, relax and enjoy the sunlight. But before we get to that, let’s figure out which North American beaches deserve a visit from you. We’ve seen the top beaches in Europe and Asia, so here I present to you our list of the best beaches in North America.

1. D.T. Fleming Beach, Maui

Maui’s coastline stretches over 120 miles with over 30 miles of beautiful beaches. Of the many things to do in Hawaii, visiting a beach is definitely one of them. D.T. Fleming Beach Park in Kapalua, Maui was named one of America’s Best Beaches in 2006 in the annual list compiled by Mr Beach. Perfect for picnics and small children, D.T. Flemming Beach has everything you need to make your next Maui beach adventure an exciting, yet relaxing one. Surrounded by ironwood trees and crisp blue waters in the distance, finding a piece of shade or peace of mind will not be difficult.

Flickr photo by Belindah

2. Clearwater Beach, Florida

Straddling the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the tranquil waters of Tampa Bay to the east is Clearwater Beach in Florida. This 3 mile stretch ocean oasis offers a bevy of activities for guests of all ages and vacations of all types. Often, guests find themselves in a mixture of popular beach activities, such as sunbathing, diving into a game of beach volleyball, dolphin-watching, or parasailing. You might find yourself short of energy by the end a gorgeous day, but a shortage of things to do is one thing you’ll never find.

Flickr photo by superwebdeveloper

3. Palm Beach, Florida

Known for its year-round gorgeous weather (an average high of 82.8 degrees and an average low of 67.4 degrees) and endless beach resorts, Palm Beach, Florida is home to some of the most affluent inhabitants in Florida; it was even selected in June of 2003 as one of America’s “Best Places to Live.”  Winter home to the Vanderbilts, the Kennedys, the Rockefellers and a number of other millionaires, Palm Beach is a 14-mile long, half-mile wide of extravagance and wealth. With warm ocean waters and gentle breezes, Palm Beach is the perfect place for a luxurious vacation under the sun.

Flickr photo by Benson Khua

4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

As one of the East Coast’s ultimate vacation spots, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina has justly earned its name was one of the best beaches in North America. Garnering over 400,000 visitors every summer, Myrtle Beach is teaming with tourists from around the country and all over the world as soon as the summer sun starts to come out. And for good reason too! With a number of amusement and water parks, world renowned restaurants, over 100 golf courses, and unparalleled shopping opportunities, you’d think it’d be easy to overlook Myrtle Beach’s greatest attraction of all: its surf, sand and shine.

Flickr photo by eutrophication&hypoxia

5. Malibu, California

When one thinks of beaches in North America, one of the first pictures that come to mind are the beautiful beaches of the great state of California. Known for a beautiful coastline and ideal weather conditions, California boasts some of the most amazing beaches and unparalleled surfing opportunities. Malibu is home to a number of celebrities:  British actress and singer Julie Andrews; Irish actor Pierce Brosnan, known for his take on 007; Inception and Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio and legendary singer/actress Barbra Streisand. Catch a glimpse of one of these stars while taking in some rays and enjoying the beautiful California weather.

Flickr photo by gibffe

6. Bellows Field Beach, Oahu

If you’re in the mood for relaxing Hawaii vacations and happen to be looking for Hawaii activities, head on to one of Oahu’s famed beaches. Featuring a long and wide sandy beach with shallow sandbar just off the coast, Bellows Field Beach in Oahu provides some of the best waves for beginner bodysurfing and bodyboarding. Often floating amok these waters are jellyfish, blown towards the beach via a prevailing trade wind—so beware. But this aside, this secret oasis under the sun provides just the right mix of relaxation, beautiful panoramic views of the Pacific, and a peak into some of the most colorful and beautiful marine life in all of Oahu.

Flickr photo by Irene

7. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

When thinking of vacations on the East Coast, it’s almost second nature to think of Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. In 2011, it was named one of four “Superstar” beaches in the US for having perfect water quality, coming out with full marks on every test in the last three years. Many dub Hampton Beach as the premier vacation spot on the New Hampshire seacoast, and it’s easy to see why. With a bevy of recreational parks, golfing adventures, shopping opportunities, and most importantly, a beautiful and renowned beach, there’s no doubt in my mind where I will be spending my next New Hampshire adventure at.

Flickr photo by gailf548

8. Manhattan Beach, New York

Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the south, Sheepshead Bay to the North and Brighton Beach to the west, Manhattan Beach is one of the most amazing beach locations in all of New York City. Situated in the borough of Brooklyn, it is a prime getaway location for many families in New York. Once the summer heat and humidity sets in, families take their picnic baskets and come out for a barbeque at Manhattan Beach. While there, build some sandcastles by the shore and take a swim in the cooling waves of the Atlantic Ocean. With playgrounds, baseball diamonds and tennis courts abound, Manhattan Beach has plenty of room for outdoor activities!

Flickr photo by Samat Jain

9. Waianapanapa Beach, Maui

Not necessarily known to be a prime surfing location, but definitely a must-see if you happen to be in Maui is Waianapanapa Beach, otherwise known as Black Sand Beach. This unique beach is set among lava cliffs and pebbles. Known for high surf and strong currents, it’s important to be mindful of weather and water conditions before going in for a swim. But even if the current is not safe for you to take a dive, there are a number of hiking trails, picnic facilities, and camping areas that are perfect for alternative outdoor activities.

Flickr photo by xoque

10. Coronado Beach, California

Popular among locals, families and tourists, Coronado Beach in San Diego, California is the perfect location for swimming, surfing, fishing and sunbathing. Surrounded by other parks, Coronado Beach offers a number of other activities for families if hitting the sand and surf isn’t on your radar. Coronado Beach is also known for their upscale restaurants and shops at the corners of Orange and Pomona Avenues. Named as one of U.S. News and World Reports “Most Expensive Places to Reside” in the United States as well as Travel Channel’s fifth best beach in America, Coronado Beach will not disappoint!

Flickr photo by Jeffrey Coffman

Which is your favorite on the list? Are there any other good beaches that we missed out? Leave a comment and let us know!

25 Responses to “10 of the Best Beaches in the United States”

  1. Christine October 31, 2011 6:12 am #

    I love Makena Beach (or Big Beach) in Maui: one of my absolute favorites that I can't wait to see in just a few weeks!

    • Nellie November 3, 2011 9:00 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Christine! Can't wait to go to Maui myself. :) Have fun!

  2. LivingIF October 31, 2011 3:56 pm #

    Great list, makes me want to head straight to Hawaii. I have such fond memories of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina as it was a great Spring Break spot in college- glad it made the list and it deserves to be there.

    • Nellie November 3, 2011 9:01 pm #

      Same here – I have fond memories of South Beach in Miami, where I spent alot of my time there in college. Miss it so much!

  3. thebestbeach October 31, 2011 11:50 pm #

    Excellent choices, but you left out two of my favorites: Main Beach in Ogunquit, Maine and Wailea Beach in Wailea, Maui. Ogunquit is only 30 miles north of Hampton Beach and Maui is a relatively small island you can circle to visit all the best beaches. For a complete review of Main Beach go to http://www.thebestbeach.net/beaches-northeast-usa…. For a complete review of Wailea Beach go to http://www.thebestbeach.net/beaches-hawaii-wailea…. Enjoy!

    • Nellie November 3, 2011 9:01 pm #

      Thanks for the suggestions! Will definitely check those out!

  4. Guest November 1, 2011 9:00 am #

    check out grand haven, mi. there are amazing beaches in western michigan!

    • Florida Boi November 2, 2011 7:09 am #

      An amazing beach for MI maybe. Talbot Island FL is way better than clearwater

  5. Nancy & Shawn Power November 1, 2011 1:56 pm #

    Ok! The very best beach we have ever been to was in Molokai, Hawaii.

    It is called Papohaku Beach.

    Why? Because for one, it's Molokai. There are fewer people, but the beach was untouched. No hotels or airplanes overhead. Just you and 3 miles of white powder sand between your toes. You could look back, and because no body else was there, you could see your own foot print, and no others.

    Ever have a beach like that all to yourself before? It's an amazing experience.

    Nancy & Shawn

    • Nellie November 3, 2011 9:02 pm #

      Can't wait to get to Molokai myself – waiting to hear more of your adventures there!

  6. John B. November 1, 2011 6:10 pm #

    Remove Hampton Beach & replace with Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, MA. Hampton is rather gross.

  7. Bwentos November 1, 2011 10:30 pm #

    … Is Hawaii technically part of North America?

    • Nellie November 3, 2011 9:03 pm #

      Sorry – our mistake! Have made a check and you're right. Hawaii is part of the United States but not technically North America. We've corrected that, check out the new title. :)

  8. George November 2, 2011 12:32 am #

    Hawaii is not in North America. Fail.

    • Nellie November 3, 2011 9:03 pm #

      hey George, yep you're right – we've just made the change, thanks!

  9. Ashley November 2, 2011 1:01 am #

    When I lived on Oahu, my favorite beaches were Three Tables, Shark's Cove, and Waimea Bay, all of which are on the North Shore.

  10. Saraaaah November 2, 2011 1:41 pm #

    Youre forgetting Savary Island……

  11. sam November 3, 2011 1:28 pm #

    ummm how about the red sand beach in maui or the green sand beach in the big island (google image them), much more interesting than black sand beaches..(there are some black sand beaches in oregon too)

  12. 603 November 4, 2011 3:54 am #

    The only downside to hampton is that, unfortunately, being so renowned it also attracts a lot of bad attention and can get kinda rough crime wise during the summer. If you want the same quality beach and easy laxing, go a few miles north to Rye or Jeness beach. Little tip from a NH seacoast local.

    • Nellie Huang November 4, 2011 3:58 am #

      Good to know that! Will check those out the next time I’m there. :)

  13. Gonzalez - melendez March 4, 2012 11:29 pm #

    although puerto rico is just common wealth to the USA like to mention our beautiful beaches are like no other in north america or for that fact the world . Visit PR and there will be a beach some where on the island that you will want to visit over and over again.

  14. Kathy July 16, 2012 10:52 pm #

    I need suggestions for a beach vacation at the end of October/early November that can be reached via Southwest Airlines.

  15. a2923541 December 31, 2012 5:18 am #

    I’ve said that least 2923541 times. SCK was here

  16. bill March 13, 2013 7:53 pm #

    Nice shot of Myrtle Beach – it really is one of my favorites, and I am hopeful of getting down there either this month or next. I was looking at a Myrtle Beach webcam the other day, and all the pics in this post make we want to get to the beach even if its not quite the season yet – great post


  1. Have You Visited these Places in Fort Lauderdale? - The Travel Guide - March 14, 2016

    […] Fort Lauderdale city is known for its amazing beach locations, there are plenty of things to attend to. Previously called a spring season vacation location, this […]

Leave a Reply


Wildlife Photography ebook|Sign for our monthly newsletter to download for free!