The Best Beaches In America

Siesta Key Beach, Florida
Siesta Key Beach, Florida | © James Schwabel / Alamy Stock Photo
Alexia Wulff

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.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Thousand Steps, Laguna Beach, CA

Head to Laguna Beach in Orange County

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, 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

Sunbathers on Siesta Key beach, Sarasota, Florida

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.

Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin, FL

Caladesi Island State Park, Florida, Dunedin

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.

Lanikai Beach, Kailua, HI

Kite surfing at Lanikai Beach Oahu, Hawaii

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

Pensacola Beach, Florida

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.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article