There is no need to fly thousands of miles away to the Caribbean to bask in the sun on a beautiful beach.
In the U.S., there are plenty of pristine and breathtaking beaches that can rival any exotic location. The perfect venue for your picture-perfect weekend getaway is not too far away.
Any of the following beaches will transport you to a magical land of soothing warm sand and soft ocean breeze.
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This is Jacksonville’s claim to fame. People come from all over just to experience a relaxing nap on the ultra-soft sand. The day can just float by without a care. The beach does not get very crowded, so it is perfect if you want a quiet experience.
The beach is monitored by lifeguards, so it is a perfect place to take the family for some water fun. Children can splash in the water, go boogie boarding, or body surfing.
After playing in the water, you can stroll along the Jacksonville Beach Pier and take in the magnificent views. After a fun day at the beach, you can visit the shops close by and have a great meal at one of the local restaurants.
The Beach at Naples Pier
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This beautiful beach in Florida has miles of lovely sand that pamper your feet. The pier stretches out about 1,000 feet off the coast, which basically divides the beach into two areas. Most of the amenities and facilities are near the pier.
The crowds do not get too large, so it is a perfect beach for just relaxing in the sun and enjoying a slower pace. You can take a stroll along the pier and enjoy a refreshment from one of the vendors. You can go swimming or just sit by and read a book, watch people, or take in a beautiful sunset.
On 3rd Street, a couple of blocks from the beach, you can explore shops and enjoy a meal on the patio at one of the many restaurants. If you are there on a Saturday, you can find wonderfully fresh produce at the farmer’s market.
For activities, you can join in a game of beach volleyball on the south side of the pier where you will find players at all levels. The part of the beach on the south side of the pier is more level, which is more suitable for long walks and jogs or shelling. As you keep walking, you will reach Gordon Pass.
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On the Potomac River and near the Chesapeake Bay, Colonial Beach stretches 2.5 miles along the coast in front of the resort area.
It has lots of history dating back to the early 1900s when the beach was a popular recreational area for people who lived in Washington, D.C.
Visitors enjoy swimming in the ocean, sunbathing, fishing, sailing, or just taking a walk on the boardwalk and trying to catch a glimpse of an osprey.
After a fun day at the beach, visitors can enjoy a fine meal at one of the many restaurants nearby.
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Ruby Beach at Olympic National Park gives you an experience that is different from the warm beaches in Florida or along the Gulf.
The 70 miles of coast along the Pacific Ocean offers you a magnificent shoreline of unusual rock formations and weathered driftwood that float and swirl in the waves. There are miles of coastline that are full of mysteries waiting to be explored.
When the tides are low, you can walk to the tide pools and look for crabs, starfish, and other interesting sea life. You can continue your exploration as you trek along the sand to Abbey Island.
If you want to hike further when the tide remains low, when you head south, you can do a three-mile hike to Steamboat Creek where you can enjoy views of Destruction Island and the lighthouse west of it.
Ruby Beach is for you if you want a cooler climate and an adventurous experience in exploring the natural beauties of the Pacific coast.
Huntington Dog Beach
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Located 2 miles to the northwest of Hunting Beach Pier, you will find Huntington Dog Beach. This beach is accessible by car from the Pacific Coast Highway, or by bike from the Huntington Beach Bike Trail, which both sit alongside the beach.
Huntington Dog Beach is the best place to spend some time with your four-legged friend or if you love watching dogs play. Rated among the top dog-friendly beaches in America, this coastline welcomes people and their pets to play and run around with very few restrictions. It is also the host to 3 of the most popular dog-friendly events in the area. These include the spring and fall editions of So Cal Corgi Beach Day and Surf City Surf Dog.
Beachgoers have said that Huntington Dog Beach is enjoyable to visit throughout the year due to its “lack of crowds”, no-leash policy, and its clean sand. Amenities include picnic tables, free waste bags, and restrooms.
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Ship Island’s location, just 12 miles out from Biloxi, makes it a popular family day-trip destination. The island’s gleaming white sands are perfect for relaxation and soaking up the sun. For history-minded visitors, guided tours of the island’s Fort Massachusets (built after the War of 1812) are always free.
Ship Island also boasts its own boardwalk with basic beach amenities, including a concession stand and beach equipment rentals. The island’s beaches are located around its southern end, but the mainland ferry docks at the north end. Be prepared for a moderate hike, but the warm waters of the gulf and the pristine sands make the walk worth taking.
Hunting Island State Park Beach
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17.5 miles southeast of Beaufort, Hunting Island State Park is a highly popular attraction. Standing on a 5,000 acre-tract this barrier island stands on Hunting Island. This park includes picnic grounds, a famous lighthouse, and a big campground.
It is also known for its fine and soft sand beaches. Many palmettos line the shores providing the perfect scenic setting. Visitors to the beach can enjoy hiking opportunities and swimming. The lighthouse is also one of the best spots to obtain excellent views across the countryside. There are also tours at the Nature Center if you would like to find out more about the abundant wildlife in the park and surrounding areas.
Ocean View Beach
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Located in Norfolk, Ocean View Beach is made up of a 7.5-mile stretch, which includes more than one beach. There is plenty of coastlines to build sandcastles, beachcombing, swimming, and sunbathing.
If you are planning to spend the entire day outdoors, you can also consider visiting the nearby Ocean View Park that has picnic tables and a bathhouse. There are also tackle rentals and fishing piers if you are interested in fishing.
The bay waters are quiet and serene, ideal for children, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The hard flat-packed sand is perfect for leisurely strolls or jogging close to the water.
Tybee Island’s Beaches
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Tybee Island is the ideal seaside getaway from Savannah, located no more than 30 minutes by car from the center of the city. Tybee Island offers camping, biking, and kayaking. There is also a historic lighthouse and several old forts worth visiting.
The isle boasts five different beaches in all. South Beach is the island’s most popular, particularly with families — but it’s also usually the most crowded. Ample lifeguard services, gentle waves, and soft sands make South Beach perfect for younger children. Tybee Island’s best waves for surfing are located past 19th Street. For fishing enthusiasts, Tybee Pier & Pavilion is the place to go for the best possible catches.
Tybee’s second-most-popular beach is North Beach, located near the lighthouse. Mid Beach is a quieter strand with a convenient central location. The island’s last two beaches (Savannah River Beach and Back River Beach) are both very scenic. The river beaches are also excellent destinations for dolphin-watching.
W.R. Hearst Memorial State Beach
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Protected from heavy surf by San Simeon Point, this beach is a very popular location for enjoying the warm sands, swimming, and paddling in the shallow surf. The 850-foot long pier is a popular attraction for boaters, sight-seers, and anglers. This state beach stretches out from the pier on the south along the shores of San Simeon Bay for around half a mile.
Situated across from the Hearst Castle entrance, this beach attracts many tourists that are in search of places to take a stroll or relax. The eucalyptus tree groves line the shores while the famous Hearts Castle can be viewed from a distance.
Light waves are what make this beach the ideal spot for boogie boarders, skim-boarders, and beginner surfers. Sea kayaks are also launched here. San Simeon Bay also offers a protected stretch of water, perfect for paddling.
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Isla Verde is one of the most popular seaside destinations in Puerto Rico. Some of the territory’s most luxurious hotels are located on or near Isla Verde, and the beach is easily accessible from Old San Juan via a brief taxi ride. The beach is gloriously sunny, and the calm blue waters are ideal for swimming.
This beach boasts a range of different restaurants located right on the beachfront, trustworthy showers and restrooms, and full lifeguard coverage.
For the most relaxing seaside experience, consider renting beach chairs. If you had a more active day in mind, you can try out many different water sports, including jet skiing and parasailing. Isla Verde also has decent surfing opportunities, as well as a surf school for beginners.
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Cannon Beach is among the most famous beaches in Oregon. The beach itself is extremely large, with a shoreline that spans 4 miles, which gives visitors ample space to really spread out. The size of the beach is not the only reason this beach is so popular, the landscapes that surround this area are also noteworthy.
The beach is backed by hilly woodlands and boasts Haystack Rock, a more than 200-foot-tall landmark that tufted puffins and gulls call home. Make sure you visit during low tide to experience some of the beautiful tide pools, filled with colorful anemones and sea stars.
The city of Cannon Beach is also a very popular attraction for long-term visitors and first-time tourists alike. Many restaurants, community events, and art galleries line most of the streets, catering to every type of vacation taste. There are always many beachgoers on sunny days, especially during the summer months.
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The Carolinas have a lot of good beaches. Brunswick County is especially blessed. And Sunset Beach, the jewel of North Carolina’s barrier islands, just might be the state’s best beach. The mainland offers a host of shops and restaurants (with an emphasis on seafood), and there are plenty of family fun activities.
Sunset Beach enjoys a pleasant subtropical climate and a lengthy tourist season. Any sunny day from spring to fall is enjoyable at Sunset Beach, with warm water temperatures and mild weather.
This is a perfect beach for all the classic seaside activities, including flying kites, building sandcastles, throwing frisbees, hunting shells, and, of course, surfing.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
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Fort Lauderdale Beach offers visitors from all over the country a chance to get into swimsuits, feel the white sand between their toes, and enjoy one of the nation’s very biggest and best destination beaches. The main Fort Lauderdale Beach extends more than seven miles down the coast!
The beach is kept well-separated from A1A by a pedestrian path laid down in beautiful brickwork. With a long row of palms further marking the border between land and sea, this is the ideal avenue for runners, in-line skaters, bike riders, and walkers who need to get off the sand when it’s hot. The biggest draws on the beach are, of course, its ocean activities, which include swimming, snorkeling, diving, fishing, and more.
Santa Cruz Main Beach
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This is the beach that stretches along the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
It is a wonderful beach particularly for families because it has a lot of amenities and attractions for all ages. There are amusement park rides and games for the young. There are conveniences like restrooms and plenty of places to eat.
If you just want to relax on the beach, do try to get there early during the summer because it does attract a lot of people, and you want to claim a prime location where you can settle in.
The ocean waves are gentle, and the beaches are monitored by lifeguards. It is less crowded during the off-season, but it is still a popular place where people can stroll along the beach.
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Located in South Carolina, this is a popular vacation destination for people on the East Coast. Not only can visitors enjoy 60 miles of golden sand and gentle waves, but kids especially love the amusement parks that feature roller coasters, water slides, and race tracks.
Nearby to the beach are many attractions like Broadway Grand Prix and Ripley’s Aquarium. Myrtle Beach offers a variety of options for entertainment so there is something for people of all ages.
Whether you like to spend a quiet day relaxing on the soft, warm sand with a good book or getting some excitement in the amusement park, Myrtle Beach is a great place for entertaining the whole family on a budget.
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Orange Beach in Alabama’s Gulf Shores is packed full of fun for the whole family. It is located on the Emerald Coast, bordering Florida’s Perdido Key. You can enjoy eight miles of pristine white sand with shimmering blue waters in the background.
If you want adventure, you can get into a kayak and explore the bayous and interior waterways north of Perdido Pass. Want to explore a shipwreck? You can dive to the Lulu, an old freighter that was intentionally sunk in 2013 on an artificial reef.
Go to Wolf Bay and enjoy a picnic at the Waterfront Park. Kids can try fishing from the pier. If you like deep-sea fishing, charter a boat at Zeke’s Marina and try your luck at catching the big one.
Orange Beach has no lack of activities that are sure to make your vacation memorable.
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The movie “California Dreaming” placed this beach on the map. The beach looks out into the bay called Port San Luis. The area has the unique advantage of being sheltered from the wind, which makes this beach especially warm and inviting to beachgoers.
This is a resort area popular for getaways for those who like hot springs and ocean views from their rooms. The Avila Beach Pier is a popular attraction.
Some beach areas have more relaxed rules. Pets are welcomed at Fisherman’s Beach, aka Dog Beach, where dogs can play in the sand off-leash. Clothing is optional at Pirate’s Cove.
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For those who prefer a more peaceful and calm beach experience, they can head to Edisto Beach, located around an hour’s drive from Charleston.
It is different from many of the other beaches in South Carolina because it does not have as much commercialism. Although there are galleries, charming shops, and bed-and-breakfasts, the pace is a lot slower and laid back compared to the more commercially developed beaches.
The northern section is part of Edisto Beach State Park, still in its natural state, and it can be explored by paddleboarding or kayaking.
There are plenty of trails for hiking and secluded spots to hide away at where you can take a break and relax along the way. You can enjoy fishing and camping by the beach. Cruises are available to take you on a romantic ride into the sunset or to go dolphin-watching.
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This famous beach in Miami is known as “SoBe” by the locals, and it is the beach of all beaches.
It is wildly popular with miles of soft sand and lots of activities on the boardwalk. You can swim in the warm waters, sunbathe, play beach volleyball, go shopping, or enjoy great food.
The architecture in the area is iconic with its blend of Art Deco and high-end modern design. It is the home of some of the area’s most popular restaurants and fantastic art galleries.
If you like to be a part of the vibrant nightlife after a day on the beach, South Beach is for you.
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