The 10 Best Beaches In America

Siesta Key Beach, Florida
Siesta Key Beach, Florida | © James Schwabel / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Alexia Wulff
17 May 2019

With 30 states set along both the east and west coasts, finding a good beach isn’t a difficult quest in the USA. Whether you’re looking for white sand and turquoise waters, or hidden coves and secluded cliffside spots we list 10 of the best.

Thousand Steps, Laguna Beach, CA

Natural Feature
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Head to Laguna Beach in Orange County
Head to Laguna Beach in Orange County | © Brent Peters / Alamy Stock Photo
Tucked inside a secluded cove at the bottom of a 230-step staircase, you’ll find one of California’s most hidden beautiful beaches, Thousand Steps, otherwise known as ’10th Street Beach’. A local spot, Thousand Steps is a stunning beach surrounded by steep cliffs and thick trees, with waves perfect for surfing, body boarding, and skim boarding.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu, Hawaii

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Hanauma Bay, located on the southeast coast of O’ahu, is a cresent-shaped beach and marine life conservation area with a stretch of soft, sandy shoreline and pristine blue waters enclosed by a breached volcano. Surrounded by palm trees, Hanauma Bay provides visitors with some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii with its vibrant coral reef and active marine life.

Siesta Beach, Sarasota, FL

Historical Landmark
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Sunbathers on Siesta Key beach, Sarasota, Florida
Sunbathers on Siesta Key beach, Sarasota, Florida | © Richard Ellis / Alamy Stock Photo
Siesta Beach is Florida’s west coast island with a relaxed vibe. Eight miles of white, sandy quartz beaches and bright, blue Gulf waters make this spot one of the best in the country. Visitors can scope out the sandcastle works of art, head to Point of Rocks for some of the best snorkeling on the Gulf Coast, or collect shells on Turtle Beach, all within walking distance.

Cooper’s Beach, Southampton, NY

Sandy dunes, lush seagrasses, and historic mansions line the white quartz shores of Cooper’s Beach in Southampton, New York. Cooper’s Beach is said to be one of the most beautiful along the northern east coast. Visitors can take solace in finding a peaceful and quiet beach unmarked by tourists. Be sure to rent a chair and an umbrella for the day.

Cooper’s Beach, 250 Meadow Ln, Southampton, NY, USA, +1 631 283 0247

Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin, FL

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Caladesi Island State Park, Florida, Dunedin
Caladesi Island State Park, Florida, Dunedin | © Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo
Caladesi Island State Park is located on one of the last uninhabited islands on Florida’s Gulf coast. Three miles of white sand, preserved wildlife, mangroves, and pristine waters make this an ideal destination. Caladesi offers a secluded and peaceful escape, which can only be reached by boat or ferry.

Kiawah Island, S.C.

Located 21 miles from Charleston, Kiawah Island is the perfect escape from civilization. Ten miles of pristine shoreline, sandy dunes, and blowing seagrasses make for the perfect escape from the everyday hustle and bustle. The island also plays host to miles of untouched nature, including preserved maritime forests and marshes with turtles, deer, and seabirds.

Kiawah Beachwalker Park, 8 Beachwalker Dr, Kiawah Island, SC, USA, +1 843 762 9964

Lanikai Beach, Kailua, HI

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Kite surfing at Lanikai Beach Oahu, Hawaii
Kite surfing at Lanikai Beach Oahu, Hawaii | © Carla Walsh / Alamy Stock Photo
Lanikai Beach, named ‘heavenly sea’, plays host to half of a mile of white, sandy shorelines with turquoise waters. A local favorite known to be the best beach on the island, Lanikai is perfect for floating in the tranquil waters while gazing at the Mokulua Islands, a mile off the shore.

Aquinnah, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

At Aquinnah, a town located on the south side of the island of Martha’s Vineyard, visitors can experience a beautiful coastline tucked alongside the famous clay cliffs at Gay Head Light. The beaches here are peaceful, quiet and sparse with people. If you’re looking for serenity on the sand accompanied by beautiful waters, this is the place to be.

Pensacola Beach, Pensacola, FL

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Pensacola Beach, Florida
Pensacola Beach, Florida | © Cheryl Bridges / Alamy Stock Photo
Pensacola Beach is known for its gleaming sugar-white shores and glistening aqua blue waters. Situated on Santa Rosa Island in the Gulf of Mexico, this picturesque beach offers a secluded getaway. Pensacola is the go-to spot for the ultimate beach-seekers. Indulge in some of the state’s best seafood, take a walk on a nearly-deserted beach, or gaze at the sunset from Pensacola Beach Pier.

Kauna’oa Bay, Hawaii

Kaunaʻoa Bay, a crescent-shaped beach located on the western side of the Big Island, Hawaii, is one of the few white sand beaches on the Kohala Coast. This is the ultimate postcard beach; white sandy shores, palm trees, and calm turquoise waters make for the near-perfect beach experience.

These recommendations were updated on May 17, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.