Megan Bryant is a passionate writer and traveler who has combined her two loves to help others fulfill their traveling dreams. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually curled up with her 3 Dachshunds and a good book or planning her next adventure—wherever that may be.
You don’t need to travel abroad to have a beachy holiday full of sun, sand, and sea because America is home to a selection of beaches that are definitely worth a visit.
From the postcard-worthy Florida Keys to the world-famous Laguna Beach, here are 11 of the best beach getaways in the US—most of which deserve far more credit than they’re given.
Amelia Island, Florida
Amelia Island is home to golf courses, luxury and affordable accommodations, and, of course, miles and miles of coastline with soft sand and plenty of chances to see wildlife in their natural habitat—keep an eye out for dolphins, sea turtles, and the Florida famous manatee.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Just under two hours out of Boston is Cape Cod—the most perfect Massachusetts beach getaway destination. One of the best beach areas in Cape Cod, Cape Cod National Seashore, has six swimmable beaches ideal for an afternoon on the sand. And don’t worry, for all of you who don’t enjoy relaxing on the sand, Cape Cod and its mile-long Nauset Light Beach have excellent surf conditions and watersport opportunities.
Florida Keys, Florida
Three and a half hours from Miami is Key West, and the drive itself is worth the journey, let alone the beaches that will greet you at the end. With views of the ocean, nearby islands, and some of the prettiest beaches in Florida, the Florida Keys are a bucket list destination for most, making them one of the best beach destinations in all of America.
Galveston, Texas, doesn’t just have beautiful stretches of sand to explore, but it also has attractions to keep the entire family entertained. From the Schlitterbahn Waterpark to Pleasure Pier, this beachside city has everything you could want in a coastal destination and more. Its beaches, however, are definitely its best feature.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
One of the best beach destinations in all of South Carolina is Hilton Head Island, which consistently ranks as one of the top islands in the United States—If that doesn’t say it all, then I don’t know what will. With white sand beaches, swimmable water conditions, and 33 championship golf courses, Hilton Head Island deserves a place at the top of your US beach vacation list.
Laguna Beach, California
An hour’s drive from downtown LA is the world-famous Laguna Beach—a 7-mile stretch of coastline with swimmable waters, diverse marine life, and beachfront accommodations. With so many cool attractions to get involved with, like kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, and whale watching, your entire weekend will be jam-packed with activities.
Monterey County, California
Another popular California coast choice is Monterey County, which draws in both San Francisco natives and tourists alike. Although there are a few beaches in the area that are worth visiting, Window on the Bay Beach, Municipal Beach, and McAbee Beach are by far the favorites—especially with families.
Olympic National Park, Washington
With the Olympic National Park, you really get the best of both worlds—the great outdoors and the beach. One of the park’s main attractions is Ruby Beach, which has piles and piles of driftwood, active tide pools, and rock formations that you could spend countless hours exploring. With campsites, facilities, and even lodges for you to make use of, the Olympic National Park is a top beach getaway choice for those in need of a break from reality.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks is a string of barrier islands in North Carolina that have some of the best beaches in the state. Of all the beaches in the Outer Banks, Cape Lookout National Seashore, Nags Head, and Ocracoke are ones not to miss; however, with camping opportunities all over the Outer Banks coastline, you can hunt for your favorite stretch of sand and call it home for a night or two.
For those living in the midwest, Saugatuck in Michigan may just be the perfect beach getaway. Roughly a two and a half hour drive from Chicago and a three-hour drive from Detroit, Saugatuck (on Lake Michigan shoreline) has soft sand, refreshing water, and incredible views that will make you relax from the second you step out of your vehicle.
The Hamptons, New York
For all you New Yorkers, the Hamptons is a natural coastal getaway choice as East Hampton, Southampton, and Montauk are all popular destinations with beautiful hotels, exquisite restaurants, and plenty of shopping opportunities that all add to the Hamptons’ allure.
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