Drapeaux américains à la plage – Pixabay

United States: our top 12 most beautiful American beaches

To the point Are you planning a trip to the United States for a vacation in the sun? Here are our top 12 most beautiful American beaches.

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, like Clearwater Beach, Florida, or Gulf Shores, Alabama. At your destination, you can enjoy the warm, crystal-clear waters of these beaches, as well as the region’s coastal culture.

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. So 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.

Une plage américaine – Pixabay

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Nearby airport : Tampa (TPA)

Florida’s bustling Clearwater Beach stretches for nearly two miles along the Gulf Coast. It’s a beautiful white sand beach with crystal-clear, often calm water, making it ideal for swimming and paddleboarding.

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.

Activities to book include a cruise in the bay, accompanied by an all-you-can-eat buffet. If you’re heading to Tampa, stop by the zoo and aquarium.

Clearwater Beach – Pixabay

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.

Dolphins are not uncommon! Enjoy a kayak excursion.

Gulf Shores -Unsplash

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.

It’s 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. Take a kayak tour of La Jolla’s sea caves.

La Jolla Cove – Pixabay

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 magnificent stretch of fine sand stretches for 6.4 kilometers along Oregon’s northwest 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”.

Activities include a visit to the beaches of northern Oregon.

Cannon Beach – Unsplash

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.

Cape Cod – Pixabay

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, making 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.

Kaanapali Beach – Unsplash

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.

Myrtle Beach – Pixabay

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, which can be seen by booking a small-group excursion. Birds, sea turtles and other marine life can also be observed.

Outer Banks – Pixabay

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. A guided ecological tour is a must!

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.

Siesta Key Beach – Pixabay

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”.

This half-day tour, including a kayak excursion, snorkeling and beach lunch, is sure to please!

Hanalei Bay – Unsplash

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.

Nantucket Island -Unsplash

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.

Coronado Beach – Unsplash

Save on accommodation with points

The trick to paying less for a hotel on a beach tour is to use points from rewards programs. Take Marriott Bonvoy, for example, which lets you collect points that can be exchanged for free nights.

How can I earn Marriott Bonvoy points without staying at a hotel? There are several ways, including obtaining a co-branded American Express credit card.

You can earn between 2X and 5X Marriott Bonvoy points on your purchases with the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card and the Marriott Bonvoy® Business American Express®* Card.

These cards offer an attractive welcome bonus, numerous insurance benefits and an annual one-night-free certificate worth 35,000 points.

If you prefer a hotel other than Marriott, there are also tips for saving with points. Among our loyalty programs, the NBC à la carte program lets you book an independent hotel on any platform. Simply apply your NBC Rewards points as a credit to your account.

To earn points, you must hold a credit card that is part of the program, such as the National Bank World Elite Mastercard®. The latter offers an annual credit of up to $150.

Bottom Line

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?

Where to go to sea in the United States, along the Gulf of Mexico?

Clearwater Beach in Florida and Gulf Shores in Alabama are both very pleasant.

What's the best-known beach in the United States?

Outer Banks Beach in North Carolina has been particularly famous since the airing of the popular Netflix series of the same name.

Where to swim on the US east coast?

In Massachusetts, Cape Cod National Seashore offers a picturesque beach. As for Nantucket Island, you’ll be seduced by its fine golden sands.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
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Marjorie has three passions in life: writing, travel and the world of wellness. The last decade has been full of exploration for her! Her travels have taken her all over the world, from Central America to Asia, Europe and Africa. This former travel consultant loves to inspire us and share her best discoveries. She is also the author of several novels and guides.

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