There is little more delightful than a trip to the beach, and there are some truly beautiful beaches in America where one can do just that. And there are two main kinds of beach vacations: the adventurous, carpe diem, thrilling type of trip that features activities such as parasailing, surfing, and snorkeling; and the “get away from it all” kind of retreat that involves beach chairs, toes in the sand, book in hand, and perhaps an umbrella-topped drink. Happily, in the U.S., you’ll find beautiful beaches sure to satisfy both camps. From coast to coast, and even in between, these 25 best beaches in the U.S. are all superlative places that offer so much more than just sun and sand and will absolutely inspire you to plan your next beach holiday.

Best East Coast Beaches In The U.S.

Best West Coast Beaches In The U.S.

Best Lake Beaches In The U.S.

Best National Park Beaches In The U.S.

While some of these beautiful beaches may challenge your very conception of a beach, the fact remains that all of these places make for incredible waterside retreats. Craggy coastlines, pebbly sands, waters in every blue and aquamarine hue, horizons dotted with sea stacks and lighthouses – you’ll find all of these things at America’s beaches. Don’t be limited by definitions; be open to expanding your horizons. Because that’s when you’ll discover some of the most spectacular places in the entire country.

If you’re looking for more beautiful beaches in America for your bucket list, be sure to check out these crystal clear lakes across the U.S.

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Beautiful lakes in America

What are the best lakes to visit in America?

Some of the best lakes to visit in America include the following:

  • Known as the “Queen of American Lakes,” Lake George in New York is 32 miles long and fed by underground springs that give the lake its signature crystal-clear waters. It boasts over 109 miles of shoreline and more than 300 islands, many of which feature lodging and campgrounds perfect for those looking for a more immersive experience of this natural wonder.
  • There's nothing like the Third Coast, and the Great Lakes State does not disappoint in terms of beautiful and clear-blue lakes. Known for its pristine, aquamarine waters, Torch Lake in Michigan is an undeniable natural beauty. Part of Michigan's "Chain of Lakes" -- 14 lakes and connecting rivers -- Torch Lake is the state's longest inland lake and its second-largest. However, this dazzling Michigan lake truly looks like it belongs in the Caribbean. A favorite destination for water recreation, Torch Lake's waters are so crystal-clear that boats and swimmers appear as though they’re suspended in the air. It's something you truly must experience.
  • If alpine lakes are more your cup of tea, the United States is home to some glorious bodies of mountain water that rival anything you'd find in Europe. Some of our favorite alpine lakes to visit include Gem Lake in Washington, the Wallowas of Oregon, Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park, Lake Tahoe (which boasts beautiful beaches in both California and Nevada), and Lake of the Clouds, a total hidden treasure located in New Hampshire.


Where are the best beaches in the United States? 

Among the best U.S. beaches are:

  • Ka’anapali Beach in Maui, Hawaii
  • Siesta Key in Florida
  • Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island in Georgia
  • Coronado Beach in San Diego, California
  • Clearwater Beach in Florida
  • Cannon Beach in Oregon


What is the best time of year to visit beaches in the United States?

The best time of year to visit beaches in the United States depends on what part of the country you’re visiting or live in. Most beaches around the country are best to be visited between June and August. The best year-round beaches can be found in Hawaii, Florida, Southern California, and Texas. 

What activities can I do at the beach?

There are many activities you can do at the beach, but it also depends on the rules of the beach you are visiting. Activities may include:

  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba diving
  • Sunbathing
  • Sandcastle building
  • Beachcombing
  • Beach volleyball
  • Frisbee
  • Parasailing
  • Fishing
  • Bodyboarding