Home to some of the most varied coastline in the world, America is packed with beautiful beaches. With white sand, crystal clear water, and constant sunshine, there’s nowhere we’d rather spend our summer vacation.
If you’re looking for the best US beaches to visit this year, why not check out some of our top recommendations? From the Sunshine State to the Golden State, these epic stretches of shoreline all offer top-notch amenities, world-class waves, and incredible scenic views.
Where to find the best US beaches
Despite what you might think, you don’t have to travel to a far-flung destination to find a slice of paradise. There are countless beaches in America that will make you feel like you’re a world away from civilization.
Whether you’re looking for a vibrant beach town or a stretch of deserted shoreline, with over 12,383 miles of coastline to explore, you’re sure to discover something you like. The good news is, many of the best US beaches are still relatively unknown!
You can check out our full guide below, or simply skip to your favorite destination:
Best beaches in Florida
A real stretch of paradise, Clearwater Beach is nestled on the West Coast of Florida, near Tampa Bay. Averaging 361 days of sunshine a year, this idyllic location is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the US.
The recipient of many travel awards, Clearwater Beach has consistently been ranked as the best in the country. Rigorously maintained by the city, the signature soft sand here is absolutely pristine; the beach is cleaned and raked every morning. If you’re planning a trip here, you will find most of our vacation homes in Clearwater are located directly on this beach.
Anne’s Beach, Islamorada
As there aren’t many sandy beaches in the Florida Keys, Anne’s Beach is one of Islamorada’s top attractions. After being destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017, the beach has only recently reopened to visitors. Now one of the most picturesque spots in Islamorada, Anne’s Beach is a prime example of the island’s natural beauty.
South Beach, Miami
South Beach is not only one of the best US beaches, it is also one of the most iconic. Known to locals as SoBe, this famous neighborhood is packed with beautiful sights — and beautiful people. A hot spot for celebrities, South Beach has a tendency to attract the young, hip, and famous. Bursting with character and color, South Beach is famed for its mid-century modern architecture. The legendary shoreline is lined with pastel-hued buildings, whilst the white sand is scattered with striking art deco-inspired lifeguard stands.
Henderson Beach State Park, Destin
Extending along the Gulf of Mexico, this scenic stretch of sand is much less crowded than Destin’s other beaches. With over 6000 feet of shoreline to explore, there is more than enough space to spread out and enjoy the Floridian sunshine. If you need to cool down, just head straight for the waves! As the Gulf remains temperate throughout the year, the clear waters here are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some of the dolphins and sea turtles that reside in the area.
Best beaches in California
El Matador State Beach, Malibu
Unsurprisingly, you will find some of the best US beaches along the coast of Malibu. El Matador State Beach is arguably the most beautiful. Hidden at the bottom of a steep staircase, this unique stretch of sand is dominated by craggy rock formations, dark caves, and hidden coves. Less frequented than other beaches in Malibu, El Matador is considered to be one of the most romantic spots in LA. Perfect for sandy strolls and secluded sunbathing, the rugged beach here is often completely deserted. El Matador may be one of the smaller beaches in Malibu, but it is definitely the most picturesque — the views here are incredible. Arrive early, or stay late, and you will be rewarded with some pretty spectacular skies.
Venice Beach, LA
If you’re looking for sun, sand, and surf, Venice Beach is a must-visit. Almost 3 miles long, this iconic stretch of coastline offers amazing views across the Pacific Ocean. Great for families, there are plenty of beach-based activities on offer; swimming, volleyball, and fishing are all popular pastimes. If you want to learn how to surf, the gentle waves here are ideal. Venice Beach may be one of the most popular US beaches, but it’s the surrounding area that tends to draw the real crowds. Famed for its bohemian spirit, this buzzing beachfront community is home to a variety of unforgettable sights and sounds. From the world-famous skate park to the lively Muscle Beach, the whole neighborhood is full of entertaining attractions.
La Jolla Cove, San Diego
La Jolla Cove is a small deep water bay, surrounded by cliffs and sea caves. Famed for its breathtaking sunsets, and rather majestic sea lions, this cove is one of San Diego’s top tourist spots. The beach may be small, but the striking scenery and scores of marine life make visiting more than worthwhile.
As La Jolla Cove is part of a protected marine reserve, the waters here are full of aquatic life. Although the swells that roll in from the ocean can be strong, the typically tame waters are ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. Species such as barracuda, giant sea bass, and orange garibaldi all reside in the warm waters surrounding the cove. Above the waves, you are also likely to spot a number of seals basking in the sunshine!
The Best Beaches in Texas
South Packery Channel Beach near Corpus Christi
Whether you’re after a spot for sunbathing or swimming, South Packery Channel Beach near Corpus Christi in Texas is a fantastic place to go. Boasting clean, clear, and calm water and rolling sand dunes, the beach is a beautiful place for a beach day, ad with plenty of shops and restaurants nearby, you’ll have everything that you need on hand for a great day out.
Rockport is a small and charming town in Texas, which has got an equally charming beach. The big draw of Rockport Beach is the incredible views that it has of the Gulf of Mexico, a glittering expanse of water stretching across to the Yucatan Peninsula.
One of Texas’ most popular beaches, Stewart Beach is famed in the region for its clear water and white sand, which is reminiscent of the finest Floridian beaches. Stewart Beach offers a great variety of activities, from water sports to swimming, or simply relaxing on the soft sand.
The Best Beaches in South Carolina
Huntington Beach State Park
With over 3500 acres plus a 3-mile stretch of beautiful beach, Huntington is a wonderful place for wildlife lovers, fishers, and those looking for a relaxing beach break, The park is home to many species of migratory birds, as well as Atalaya Castle, a National Historic Landmark from the 1930s.
Just 30 miles away from Savannah, Hilton Head is a stunning spot for a beach day. With a choice of beaches, including the popular Coligny Beach Park, plus scores of fun activities including golf, tennis, and luxurious spas, it’s the best place in South Carolina to relax, recharge, and unwind.
One of South Carolina’s many beautiful barrier islands, Sullivan’s Island is a stunning spot near Charleston. The island might only be 3.3 miles across, but it packs a lot of natural beauty and wonderful sandy beaches into it’s small size. The white sand is soft and welcoming, and the glittering, calm water offers ample opportunities for water activities including paddle boarding and kayaking.
The Best Beaches in Georgia
With 5 miles of pristine private coastline, Sea Island is a hotspot for relaxation and luxurious vacation experiences. From pampering spa days to sunset horseback riding and watching nesting sea turtles, there are many activities to enjoy on the barrier island, and the beaches are simply sublime.
For something a little different from the traditional sand and sea air beach, head to the majestic Lake Lanier. With almost 700 miles of shoreline, there is plenty of space to find a piece of sandy paradise to yourself and enjoy magnificent lake views and the plethora of sports and recreation activities on offer.
One of the most enigmatic spots on our list, Jekyll Island is another of Georgia’s famous barrier islands. This one stands out from the crowd not only because of its beautiful beaches but because of the picture-perfect weathered trees that dot the shoreline, gnarled and twisted by the erosive sea air.
The Best Beaches in Virginia
For a beach to be named after its parent state, it’s got to be good. Virginia Beach is officially the world’s longest pleasure beach and is famous for its family attractions and pulsating nightlife. Presiding over everything is the beach’s famous statue of King Neptune, one of the best spots to stop for a quick selfie on one of America’s favorite beaches.
For a change of pace about as drastic as possible from the bright lights of Virginia Beach, head to Chincoteague Beach. This idyllic, calm, and tranquil island is famous not just for its beaches, but also for the wild ponies that live and graze on the shoreline. It is a fantastic place for nature lovers, as along with the ponies, the beach is home to migratory birds and some of the tastiest oysters in America.
Beaches at Hampton
The beaches in historic Hampton offer unbeatable views of the Chesapeake Bay. There are amenities galore at the popular Buckroe Beach, including a playground, a beach wheelchair, parking, and shuttle services. For something a little quieter, Outlook Beach offers excellent swimming and sunbathing, while Grandview Nature Preserve is the place to be for wildlife lovers and bird watchers.
Planning a trip?
If you’re planning a beach vacation this summer, Top Villas offers a fantastic range of accommodation across the US. Whether you’re looking for a beachfront mansion in Malibu, or a chic condo in Miami, all of our vacation homes offer luxury living space, incredible views, and an abundance of first-class amenities.
If you need to arrange car hire (or kayak hire!) for your trip, our Guest Experience team will be on hand to help. We offer a huge range of Travel Extras, designed to make your stay completely stress-free.
When you book with Top Villas, arranging a stay couldn’t be easier. By following our simple online booking process, you can secure your dream home instantly. Our website makes it easy to check availability, get a quote, and book instantly online. Alternatively, you can submit an inquiry and we’ll get straight back to you.
When you’re ready to start planning your next adventure, you can check out our full range of vacation homes here.