The four corners of the United States have incredibly different terrain, animals, and climates. Whether you’re looking for a day soaking up the sunshine on silky sand beaches or a day exploring rocky coves and hiking, there’s a beach vacation just for you. Looking to surf the big waves or watch whales breach? The west coast is your spot. Looking to relax in the sun or sail the waves? Travel to the east coast. Check out these other regions for the best beach for you.
1. Portland, Maine
With 3,478 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, Maine has an even longer coastline than California. Portland, Maine, has so many public beaches that offer a more undeveloped beachfront experience. You can go for a swim, surf, or walk along the sand collecting shells. The water temperatures usually reach 70 degrees in July and August. You’ll experience beautiful lighthouses, rocky cliff sides, and sandy shorelines.
2. Ocean City, New Jersey
Looking for white sand beaches up north? Ocean City’s 8 miles of coastline is great for swimming in the waves and catching some rays. The summer months offer the ideal temperatures and warmth for beachgoers. You can even take surfing lessons, enjoy paddle boarding over the waves, or relax on the beautiful sand.
3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
60 miles of sandy coastline and 14 unique communities await at Myrtle Beach. The delicious seafood and warm sun welcome visitors to sit back and relax. There’s even a Ferris wheel right off the beach at Pavilion Nostalgia Park that has so many rides and quick snacks. This area is the most popular seaside which brings in large crowds and lots of excitement. There’s never a dull moment here with plenty of restaurants, clubs, and attractions.
4. Southern Gulf Coast, Florida
South of Tampa, you’ll find many beautiful communities of beach towns that offer a quieter experience than most beaches in Florida — look to travel to towns like Sarasota, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples. The waves are usually calm, and the warm waters are ideal for a relaxing day out in the sunshine. You can spot dolphins, play beach volleyball, or go parasailing over the water.
5. Lake Chelan, Washington
Beaches here are typically more of a nature adventure with dark, packed sand and uninviting waters. You can experience outdoor activities like salmon fishing, oyster picking, hiking, and horseback riding in the area. You won’t see nearly as many resorts along the shore as the east coast, as tents and cabins inland are far more popular. Think of a misty sea breeze and gloomy skies for a cozy experience.
6. Cannon Beach, Oregon
This quaint seaside village is ideal for the nature-loving traveler. The moody beach with rocky sands is great for hiking and exploring the area. The iconic Haystack Rock is off in the distance, and you can’t miss the puffins at the rock pools or the elk along the coast. Glassblowing and pottery are popular crafts you can buy near the beach, and they make for perfect souvenirs. Although you’ll find resort-style accommodations sparingly down the coastline, tents are the preferred way to experience these beaches.
7. San Diego, California
San Diego and Coronado beaches are some of the most popular in the state! The surfing is superior due to large Pacific swells, and you’ll usually spot many surfers awaiting the waves near the piers. They’re known for the slightly rocky sand that make for perfect nights around the fire pits. The water is chillier than the east coast, but the waves are even bigger.
With four different islands to choose from, there are more than 100 beaches to enjoy in Hawaii. Some are rockier than others, but all have incredible waves to play in year-round. You’ll spot many animals like sea turtles, whales, and exotic fish. Did you know there are also colored-sand beaches? From white sand and black sand to green sand and even red, Hawaii has it all!
Ready to go? Get five travel tips to help plan your next beach vacation. Just don’t forget to pack some sunscreen.