The United States has the eighth-longest coastline in the world. With such a vast area of its territory that borders the ocean, it should come as no surprise that there is an incredible number of fantastically beautiful beaches dotted along both the Eastern and Western seaboards. Whether you are attracted by the luxurious, sun-kissed sandy expanses of the sunny climes in the states of Florida and California or the breath-taking, windswept wildernesses of some of the beaches in Massachusetts, the beaches of the United States hold something for beach-lovers of all persuasions. The following is a list of eight beaches which should not be missed on a trip to America.
1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is the most popular beach resort along South Carolina’s mammoth 60-mile-long Grand Strand. In the summer, the town bustles with revellers that flock from far and wide to sun themselves on the white sand. There are plenty of activities to keep visitors occupied, including restaurants, amusement and water parks and a wide variety of live shows.
2. Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park, Oregon
Just of the east side of Highway 101 lies one of the West Coast’s most scenic sections of coastline. The Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park is perfect for those of us for whom the hordes of beach-goers at some of the busier tourist beaches is a real turn-off. The miles of unspoiled sandy beaches are best accessed by staying at one of the few campsites along the coastal part of the park.
3. Clearwater Beach, Florida
Despite the wealth of activities available at Clearwater Beach in Florida, the main attraction is still the incredible white sands and the shallow, warm waters of its beaches. With hardly a wave to speak of and Florida’s all-year-round tropical weather, Clearwater won the 2013 prize for the “Best Beach Town in Florida”. It comes as no surprise, then, that it has become a favourite with families from all over the country looking to get away during school vacations.
4. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Hawaii
The western end of the world-renowned Waikiki Beach in Hawaii is known as Duke Kahanamoku Beach. Named in honour of perhaps Hawaii’s most famous and respected surfer, the legend Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, the beach is sheltered and has a turquoise lagoon that is perfect for swimming running along the back of it.
5. Cape May, New Jersey
Although Cape May is technically on Jersey Shore, you could not wish to find a beach that further away from the sleazy eponymous television series. Instead of the ubiquitous tanning parlours and boisterous nightclubs, visitors to this area of outstanding natural beauty will be delighted by the grand Victorian manor houses and the beach’s iconic lighthouse.
6. Nantucket, Massachusetts
Immortalised Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, Nantucket Island has left its whaling past behind and is now a thriving tourist destination in its own right. The blustery beaches are bordered by sand dunes and guarded by lighthouses that hark back to the island’s history as the whaling capital of the East Coast. A trip around the island on a bicycle will take you past charming seaside cottages, picturesque harbours and the mansions of rich whalers of a bygone era.
7. Coronado, California
No trip to San Diego is complete without a short trip across the bay to Coronado. With its sparkling sandy beaches, gentle surf and charming small-town feel, Coronado makes the perfect weekend getaway for those who are looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown San Diego. Take a stroll along the boardwalk, while away the time in the quaint seaside cafes and tasty restaurants, and wander past the iconic Hotel del Coronado, which was built in the nineteenth century and has a rather colourful past.
8. Cannon Beach, Oregon
The gorgeous stretch of beach along the Oregon coastline has been named one of the world’s one hundred most beautiful places by the National Geographic. Along with its stunning landscape characterized by the striking Haystack Rock, the village is home to a remarkable range of high-end seafood restaurants where you can enjoy the fruits of the Pacific Northwest.
The United States truly is the land of fantastic beaches, and if you like what you have read in this article, waste no time in booking you American beach holiday. As any traveller to the United States should be aware, gaining entry to the country is simple if you are from the European Union with the ESTA visa waiver scheme. Make sure to take a look at a good ESTA visa guide for more information on how you can avoid having to pay for a tourist visa. Happy holidays!