A road trip in the United States to the country’s most beautiful beaches is always a memorable experience. Imagine driving under blue skies to the sandy stretches of the Gulf Coast, such as Clearwater Beach, Florida, or Gulf Shores, Alabama. Finally arrived at destination, we enjoy the warm and crystal clear water of these beaches, but also the coastal culture of the region.
The United States is full of beautiful beaches, each with its own distinct charm. Some of them have the winning combination, which means that they offer visitors a happy mix of natural beauty, space and comfortable facilities, water activities and nearby tourist attractions. You can enjoy a complete beach experience without forgetting to discover the local culture!
Most of the beaches on this list are well-equipped, with beach chairs and umbrellas for rent, and sometimes even with public showers and toilets.
These beaches that we present to you are all different from each other, but each of them is spectacular in its own way and deserves to be visited.
Save on lodging during a beach getaway
The trick to paying less for lodging on a beach tour is to use your rewards program points.
All major hotel chains are present throughout the United States. The largest in the world is Marriott Bonvoy with over 8,000 hotels. In Canada, the only credit card linked to a hotel program is the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card.
With its welcome offer and multiple bonus points, you can afford to stay at a Myrtle Beach hotel for free for a few nights.
Plus, with its beloved annual free night certificate, it’s well worth the annual fee!
The Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card is the best credit card for free hotel nights.
With this welcome offer, you can earn 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
It’s a Card we recommend keeping because each year at renewal, you get an Annual Free Night Award (for up to 35,000 points at hotels worldwide) and 15 Elite Night Credits per year, counting towards your Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.
With this Card, you earn 5 points per dollar on all purchases at Marriott Bonvoy properties and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases.
Finally, this Card comes with comprehensive insurance: baggage delay, lost or stolen baggage, $500,000 travel accident, flight delay, hotel or motel burglary, rental car theft and damage, Purchase Security, Purchase Protection.
Like all American Express Canada Cards, there is no minimum income requirement.
Clearwater Beach, Florida
Nearby airport : Tampa (TPA)
Florida’s bustling Clearwater Beach stretches for nearly two miles along the Gulf Coast. It is a beautiful white sand beach with crystal clear and often calm water, making it an ideal place to swim and paddleboard.
There is a wide variety of restaurants, bars and stores nearby, as well as a number of tourist attractions such as the famous Pier 60, where visitors can enjoy street performances and beautiful sunsets.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Nearby airport: Pensacola (PNS)
The fine white sand of Gulf Shores Beach stretches for miles along the Gulf Coast. Its waters are clear and calm, making it an ideal place for swimming, surfing, kayaking and other water activities.
The beach is surrounded by sand dunes and marshes that are home to a wide variety of local flora and fauna including birds, crabs and sea turtles. Gulf Shores is also known for its spectacular sunsets, which light up the sky with hues of red, orange and pink.
La Jolla Cove, California
Nearby airport : San Diego (SAN)
Located in the charming coastal town of La Jolla in the San Diego area, this California beach has crystal clear waters and spectacular cliffs. However, it is rather small and can be very crowded in the summer, so it is best to arrive early to find a parking space and enjoy the beach.
This is a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, as the water is clear and home to a wide variety of marine life, including fish, crabs and starfish.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Nearby airport : Portland (PDX)
This beach is famous for its tower-shaped rocks and the spectacular view of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. This beautiful stretch of fine sand stretches for approximately 6.4 kilometers along the northwest Oregon coast.
One of the most iconic features of Cannon Beach is the rock formation called “Haystack Rock”. This massive rock rises to more than 72 meters high and is visible from a large part of the beach. Other interesting rock formations to explore are “Needle Rock” and “The Goonies Rock”.
Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts
Nearby airports: Provincetown (PVC) or Boston (BOS)
Cape Cod National Seashore is a picturesque beach located on the east coast of the United States in Massachusetts. It is known for its large sand dunes, clear waters and beautiful natural landscapes. Stretching for about 40 kilometers along the coast, it has several access points.
It is an unspoiled and protected beach with abundant flora and fauna, making it ideal for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and connect with nature. Numerous hiking trails have been set up nearby to explore the area.
Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Nearby airport: Kahului (OGG)
With its crystal clear waters and palm trees on the beachfront, this pristine white sand beach is one of the most beautiful in Hawaii. Kaanapali Beach stretches for several miles along the island’s west coast. The water is often very calm, which makes it an ideal place for swimming and snorkeling.
It is a popular beach with tourists, but it is large enough to offer plenty of space and privacy for those looking to get away from the crowds. The views of the ocean and the surrounding mountains are spectacular. In addition, nearby you will find a variety of restaurants, bars and stores.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Nearby airport : Myrtle Beach (MYR)
With 100 miles of white sandy beaches and gentle waves, Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular beach destinations in the United States. It stretches for more than 60 kilometers along the Atlantic Ocean and is bordered by a large, lively promenade with tourist attractions, restaurants and stores.
Its waters are warm and shallow, perfect for swimming, bodyboarding and surfing. You can rent jet skis, boats and paddle boards to explore the surrounding waters.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
Nearby airport : Norfolk (ORF)
Particularly famous since the release of the popular Netflix series of the same name, North Carolina’s Outer Banks Beach stretches for over 200 miles along the Atlantic coast. It is bordered by high and steep sand dunes, offering a breathtaking view of the ocean. Its waters are warm and shallow, making them ideal for swimming, surfing, kayaking and other water activities.
Outer Banks Beach is also known for its wildlife, including wild horses that roam freely in the sand dunes. Birds, sea turtles and other marine animals can be observed there.
Siesta Key Beach, Florida
Nearby airports: Tampa (TPA) or Sarasota/Bradenton (SRQ)
The powdery white sand of Siesta Key Beach in Florida is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. It contains a large amount of quartz, which gives it a sparkling appearance under the sun. In addition, the crystal clear turquoise waters of Siesta Key Beach are warm, inviting and shallow.
The beach is popular for many activities including swimming, snorkeling, beach volleyball, kayaking and fishing. You’ll enjoy strolling along the beachfront promenade, which offers great views and artistic activities.
Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii
Nearby airport: Lihue (LIH)
Hanalei Bay is a sandy beach located on the north coast of the island of Kauai, in the Hawaiian archipelago. The waters of Hanalei Bay are calm and ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The bay is protected by a coral reef, which reduces the force of the waves and creates a peaceful atmosphere.
In addition, the green mountains surrounding Hanalei Bay beach provide a spectacular backdrop. The beach is located at the base of the majestic Bali Hai Mountains, which were made famous in the movie “South Pacific”.
Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
Nearby airport : Nantucket (ACK)
Nantucket Island Beach in Massachusetts is a golden, sandy beach that stretches for miles along the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is bordered by sand dunes and high rocky cliffs, creating a beautiful coastal landscape. Its waters are clear and cold. Swimming is therefore refreshing and you can practice water activities such as windsurfing, kitesurfing or deep-sea fishing.
Nantucket Island beach is also known for its diverse wildlife, including seals that often come to rest on the rocks or swim in the water. You may even see whales and dolphins in the surrounding waters.
Coronado Beach, California
Nearby airport : San Diego (SAN)
Coronado Beach is a beach located on Coronado Island, California. It is known for its fine golden sand, but also for housing the iconic Hotel Del Coronado, which has hosted famous personalities for over a century.
The gentle waves of the Pacific Ocean crashing onto Coronado Beach are ideal for water sports like surfing and windsurfing. This sandy expanse is lined with palm trees and dense coastal vegetation. A variety of fauna can be observed, including seabirds and seals.
These twelve American beaches offer a unique and beautiful beachfront experience. Do you dream like us of planning a road trip to our southern neighbors to discover more than one?