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Top 10 Best Beaches in the USA

  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 17 April 2024
  • Revised 22 April 2024
Top 10 Best Beaches in the USA
  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 17 April 2024
  • Revised 22 April 2024
Top 10 Best Beaches in the USA
  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 17 April 2024
  • Revised 22 April 2024

"Life is better at the beach," so the saying goes. And there's nowhere like the coasts of the USA for confirming it. The immaculate waves worthy of surfing, the other-wordly cliffs that inspire awe, the famous landmarks that influence films. A USA beach holiday is not a question of why but where - check out our top 10 destinations for shorelines and good times in 2024 and beyond...

Siesta Beach in Siesta Key, Florida 

If it's a list about beautiful beaches, Siesta Beach will find its way there. To explain why, let's start with its timeless beauty combined with warm hospitality and a sunset which can be described as a multicolor dreamscape. The sand of Siesta Beach consists nearly of pure quartz, unlike other beaches.  So even on the average 251 sunny days per year, the powdery white sand is so reflective that it feels cool under your feet. In Siesta Key you will find three beaches, with Siesta Beach being called the main beach. Yet it too it offers more than what you would expect, even for a main beach - with a length of over 3 miles long and more than ten beach entrances, you will find your perfect beach spot.

Besides witnessing the breathtaking beach, you can also find several activities. To name some of them, there are volleyball courts, and a public tennis court next to the parking lot, or you hop on your back and drive along the entrances to find a less crowded spot. Getting hungry? Go to a picnic area, have a barbecue on the public grills, and let the kids play at a sun-protected playground next to it.

Tip: Enjoy your Sunday afternoon by jiving to the rhythm of beating drums with the Siesta Key Drum Circle. It starts an hour before the astonishing sunset, and it's located south of the main pavilion.

Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii 

The Duke Kahanamoku Beach, named after the Hawaiian legend who popularized surfing, is a hideaway for surfers, a paradise for sunbathers, and perfect for an exploration of Hawaii's marine life. So no wonder you will find it on any list mentioning beautiful USA beaches. It's located on the West end of the infamous Waikiki beach, and as such is far from the large crowds and protected by the well-known Ala Wai boat harbor.

This broad beach offers soft and golden sand combined with calm and clear waters and an average of 271 days of sun per year. The calm and consistent waves make it a safe spot for novice and seasoned surfers, as well as other exciting water sports, such as stand-up paddle boarding. You can also gain insights into the rich biodiversity of the Pacific Ocean with a unique and educational snorkeling experience, or embark on a catamaran to enjoy a magical sunset while catching a dolphin or a sea turtle.
Top tip: Take a scenic walk during sunset while enjoying the delicious local cuisine from one of the various food trucks nearby.

Caladesi Island State Park in Caladesi Island, Florida

Caladesi Island appears to be Florida Gulf Coast's best-kept secret, yet it's open to the public. Its arrival is as spectacular as the Island itself. Caladesi can be accessed by a ferry boat from the honeymoon island or take your own boat. If you are open to a little adventure, you have two options. You can access the island by walking more than two miles during a low tide from North Clearwater Beach or paddle over with a rented kayak or stand-up paddle. You will be asked to pay a small entrance fee, the price depends on the form of arrival. After your spectacular arrival, you will find your reward in the undeniable attraction of Caladesi Island.

The Island offers crystalline quartz sand and an average of 242 sunny days per year. Enjoy the day with a leisurely swim, and witness the diversity of the island. With the right timing, you will see manatees gazing and dolphins jumping. Moreover, you can walk through the wooded center of the island via a 3-mile trail.

Top tip: Take a kayak through the Mangrove Kayak Trail and spot great blue herons. 

Ka´anapali Beach in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

With its picturesque panorama, three miles of white sand, and crystal clear water it is a popular getaway for visitors seeking relaxation and adventure. The former retreat for the royalty of Maui offers 278 sunny days per year. During your stay, you can soar above the breathtaking coastline by trying a zipline tour. To vary your beach day, you have the option to play golf and line up a shot in a breathtaking environment next to the sea or shop in an exceptional shopping complex.

Top tip: As the evening descends, checking out the daily Cliff Diving Ceremony at the Black Rock is a must!

Golf Shores Public Beach, Alabama 

Gulf Shores Public Beach in Alabama is a multi award-winning treasure trove. Its inviting atmosphere with sparkling quartz sand, 223 days of sun per year, and well-known family friendliness can suit any interest. From sportive activities, spotting dolphins on your boat cruises to kid-friendly activities in the City such as the local zoo, you will find the perfect activity to complete your perfect beach vacation. 

Top tip: In need of a beach break? Visit Waterville USA, a fun amusement park in the City. 

Hanalei Bay Beach in Kauai, Hawaii

This 2-mile crescent-shaped beach in Hawaii serves as a popular movie filming location. And for good reason. Picture shining white sand and a crystal clear ocean with a striking background of tropical palm trees, set against the breathtaking 4400-foot-high Nāmolokama mountain. There is also no shortage of activities - you can snorkel, dive, picnic, surf, kayak, paddle, or sunbathe on its 240 sunny days per year. 

Cannon Beach in Cannon Beach, Oregon 

Cannon Beach presents a mesmerizing beauty. Its four-mile-long stretch of sand gets 124 days of sun per year, where can explore the Haystack Rock towers on the shoreline. During low tide, beach walkers can even go right up to it. There you will find a rainbow of sea stars and more fascinating tide pool creatures accompanied by a diverse birdlife flying over your head.

After visiting the beach, don't forget to surround yourself with the small-town charm of the lovely Cannon Beach Town. Explore the Ecola State Park, a perfect spot to surf, hike, watch wildlife, and explore the tide pool, while it takes you nine miles along the coastline.

Top tip: Soak in the beauty of nature with the breathtaking view of the dramatic Haystack Rock. In addition, if you have the possibility, plan your trip during the annual Cannon Beach sandcastle contest! 

James Lee Beach in Destin, Florida

With an array of sugar white sands and sparkling turquoise waters scattered across dunes, at least one of Destin's several beaches had to make this list. James Lee Beach is our favourite - and one of the largest beaches with public access in Destin - offering 226 sunny days per year. One of the most unique aspects of this beach is that it is accessible via a dune walkover.

During your perfect beach day, you will witness water-sports and other outdoor sports, as well as kids playing in the beach playground, and with a bit of luck, you might see a wedding ceremony. Afterward, you can enjoy the peaceful environment in a welcoming restaurant or with pre-bought food at one of the several picnic tables.

Top tip: Participate in a sun salutation by doing a morning yoga class at the beach.

Main Beach in Laguna Beach, California

Welcoming you with its famous lifeguard tower, and pristine sand - alongside the odd Olympian showing up to play Volleyball - Laguna Beach is what California dreamin' is all about. Plus, the Main Beach provides a lush park, a pretty boardwalk, public art installations, volleyball and basketball courts where Michael Jordan once played. And with 260 days of sunshine per year available, you're almost guaranteed good weather.


Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park in Key West, Florida

Located on the southern end of the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, Key West's best beach provides 260 sunny days per year. You can already take in the profound history of the park and bird-watch while making your way to the breathtaking beach. Sunbath and relax, witness a yellowtail snapper or parrot fish while snorkeling and dig your feet into the soft sand while enjoying the beautiful sunset. 

Top tip: For fishing, go to the west side of the park and find yourself next to the Key West shipping Channel. If you are interested in history, you can watch reenactments of historic battles every third weekend of the month.

Ready for shorelines and good times?
Pick up your beach towel, swimsuit, sun protection - and let's go: View our latest US holiday deals right here.

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