Have you ever wondered where the Best Beaches in the United States are?
The USA is a huge country and there are probably thousands of beaches. As you can imagine I have not had a chance to visit them all. I have been blessed to visit many beaches and I must say I never visit a beach I do not love. Based on my experiences thus far I have picked out what I think are the 10 best beaches in the United States. Here they are!
10 Best Beaches in the United States
Hanauma Bay, Oahu – Hamauma Bay is a state park and does require a fee to get in! It is one of only two beaches I’ve included that charge a fee, but it’s such an incredible place it’s worth the fee. This area was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967. Here you will find not only a stunning beach but the best snorkeling in Oahu. Be careful to not touch or walk on the coral while visiting. And do not forget that they are CLOSED ON TUESDAYS!
Poipu Beach, Kauai – Poipu Beach is on the south part of Kauai. It is somewhat protected making it a safer place for children to swim. One nice thing about this beach is that even if it is cold everywhere else on the island it is almost always warms here. You will want to be sure and bring your goggles because the snorkeling is excellent. This is definitely one of the best beaches in the United States to visit with your family year round!
Shell Island – Shell Island is a little island in Florida in the Gulf of Mexico that is basically part of Panama City Beach. To get out there, you will have to get a boat. You can rent a boat like we did or catch a shuttle from St. Andrews State Park for a fee. There are several places that rent boats, including the Tyndall AFB if your military.
If you have kids with you, take note that the water on the side that faces toward Panama City Beach, FL is quite calm. You can easily walk over to the other side that faces into the open Gulf of Mexico, where the waves are much larger and there is typically more shells.
Mexico Beach, Florida – Mexico Beach is to the east of Panama City and west of Port St. Joe. This little beach is usually not crowded. It’s a drive to get out here, but once you get here the beach and parking is free. This is a fun spot to collect shells and boogie board. If you get hungry, I recommend eating at Toucan’s. Keep in mind that there is next to no lodging here. To visit Mexico Beach for the day you will want to stay in nearby Panama City beach where there is a lot more going on: shopping, restaurants, and family-friendly activities. Update: I am heartbroken to update this. Toucan’s was completely destroyed during the hurricane as was most of Mexico Beach. They are really hurting down there. If you are able to send donations to one of the local organizations helping that area.
Santa Monica Beach – Located super close to LA is Santa Monica beach, one of the most fun beaches in California. The famous Santa Monica Pier is located here and is covered with rides and vendors. The beach is sprawling and has a gymnastics like playground on parts of it. Near the beach is tons of restaurants and shops. Our favorite restaurant near here so far has been M Street Kitchen. Just south of Santa Monica beach is the famous Venice Beach. This has long been one of the best beaches in the United States for many families to visit year round.
Coronado Beach San Diego California – This beach is a great spot near San Diego to surf, paddle board, boogie board, or just hang out. There are even tide pools during low tide at Coronado Central Beach.
Myrtle Beach – With 60 miles of beaches, Myrtle Beach in North Carolina has a lot to offer. The beach, of course is beautiful, but that’s just one of the perks of vacationing here. There’s tons of shopping and restaurants. The activities available vary from water sports to kid-friendly shows to amusement & water parks and so much more.
Flamenco Beach – Flamenco Beach in Puerto Rico is considered one of the best beaches in the world, so with Puerto Rico being part of the United States I thought I should include it. It’s known for having shallow turquoise water, white sand, and good diving spots. The beach has bathroom facilities, showers, and bathrooms.
Ecola State Park – Just north of Cannon beach is Ecola State Park, one of Oregon’s most beautiful beaches. Here you can enjoy the beach or you can check out miles of hiking trails, picnic areas. The views are substantial here, including great vantage points for bird and whale watchers. There is a $5 fee to enter this state park. I recommend staying at Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach when you visit.
Jekyll Island – Jekyll Island, Georgia is home to four different beaches, including the romantic Driftwood Beach and family friendly Great Dunes beach. Also on the island are historic homes, excellent restaurants, and even a water park. Depending on when you visit the mosquitos can be horrible. We went in August and they were brutal. Take lots of bug repellant.
Did your favorite beach make the list?
If not share your favorite/best beach in the comments below. Be sure to tell us why it’s the best! I hope this list of the best beaches in the United States will inspire you to spend a bit more time on the road visiting sand and sun this year!