Autumn is a time for a change, refreshing and new beginnings.
It’s also the perfect season to take a break from the daily grind.
If you’re looking for unique beach destinations that are off-the-radar of most tourists, then this list is for you!
Here are 10 US Beaches to visit in the Fall.
Best beaches to visit in the Fall
Here, we have rounded up some of the most picturesque beaches to visit in all 50 states as you prepare for a fun autumn getaway.
The last stop is one that should be on every person’s bucket list: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Located just south of San Francisco and is known as California’s oldest amusement park.
This beach has been ranked among the best in America for its vintage rides, seaside arcades, and beachside food.
Here are some of our favorite beaches to visit this fall!
- Coronado Beach- California
- Atlantic City Beach – New Jersey
- Cape Cod Beaches – Massachusetts
- North Shore Oahu Beaches- Hawaii
- North Manitou Island Beach – Michigan
- Mendocino Headlands State Park/Fort Bragg Beaches- California
- Gilligan’s Island, Texas
- New Smyrna Beach Boardwalk – Florida
- South Padre Island Beach -Texas
- Santa Cruz Boardwalk – California
Things to do at the beach in Fall
- Take a stroll on the beach, breathe in that ocean air
- Bring your camera for some amazing photos of you and friends with fall foliage as a backdrop. It’s magical! All those gorgeous trees just exploding with color!
- Take a hike through the forest trails to enjoy the fall colors.
- Grab a hot drink or snack at the pier or beach town; I often do this when I visit in Fall or Winter
- Try some kayaking and paddle boarding if hiking is not your thing, but want an “off season” adventure too
- If you want to try fishing then also sign up to do this; some people love to relax and fish
- Take the Pacific Highway Road trip; the the perfect time to explore new beaches in California
- Dine at the pier or local beach shops
- Visit the historic district; find out what makes this beach unique
Fall Beach Destinations
1. CORONADO BEACH -CALIFORNIA
Coronado Beach is one of the most popular beaches in San Diego and fall is a great time to visit.
The water temperature here stays fairly warm all year round, making it perfect for fall visits.
One of the most popular things to do at Coronado beach in California is swimming, sunbathing, and paddleboarding.
However, there are also a few other activities that you can enjoy here.
For example, you can go for a walk or jog on the well-maintained path that runs alongside the ocean.
If you want to Coronado to see fall colors reflecting in the water, walk along miles of sandy beaches, and be charmed by the best fall festivals. Check out our Coronado Beach guide here.
2. Atlantic City Beach -New Jersey
Atlantic City Beach is a world-famous beach located on the Jersey Shore.
The wide, white-sand beaches and gentle waves make it a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing.
There are also several restaurants and bars available in the area.
Atlantic City Beach is definitely worth a visit during your stay in New Jersey!
Atlantic City Beach is definitely a family-friendly beach.
There are plenty of activities to keep everyone busy, such as swimming, sunbathing, and playing in the sand.
The wide beaches and gentle waves make it perfect for kids.
Families will also appreciate the many restaurants and bars available in the area.
If you’re looking for a great beach to visit with your family, Atlantic City Beach is a great option!
If you’re looking for more beaches to explore nearby, check out these great options:
Seaside Heights Boardwalk in Seaside Heights Wildwood Beach in Wildwood Crest Cape May Beach in Cape May Point Sandy Hook Beach in Highlands
3. Cape Cod Beaches -Massachusetts
Cape Cod is well known for its beautiful beaches, which are also popular with surfers.
The best way to enjoy the Cape Cod beaches in autumn will be to take advantage of great water conditions and go surfing!
There are some sandy areas along with parts of the coast, but there are more pebbles than sand at these famous Massachusetts Beaches.
The Cape Cod National Seashore is a beautiful place to take a walk, relax on the sand and listen to the waves crash against the shore.
There are also plenty of hiking trails that offer great views of the coastline.
One of the most popular beaches on Cape Cod is Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, which offers wide expanses of sand, as well as dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
If you’re looking for a place to take a swim or go kayaking, try Marconi Beach in Wellfleet.
This beach is also great for fishing, and it’s known for its tidal pools that are filled with marine life.
Race Point Beach in Provincetown is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a quiet afternoon and great views.
4. North Shore Oahu Beaches- Hawaii
Beaches on the North Shore of Oahu are some of the best beaches in Hawaii.
They provide both gentle waves for swimming and surfing opportunities, depending upon what you’re looking to do.
If you want an even more secluded beach experience along this part of the island, plan your trip during off-season months like March or April.
The first beaches on the North Shore of Oahu are Waimea Bay Beach Park and Haleiwa Beach Park.
They’re both suitable for swimming, snorkeling, bodysurfing, or surfing depending upon your skill level and interests.
The water is mainly calm with gentle waves thanks to a protective rock formation.
If you want to avoid crowds, plan your trip during off-peak months like April or September.
The next beaches along the North Shore of Oahu are Sunset Beach Park and Banzai Pipeline, which have a variety of surf breaks that can provide opportunities for surfing lessons if needed.
Each beach has gentle waves overall, but there may be some bigger waves during certain times of the year.
Keep in mind that Sunset Beach Park is known for its large and dangerous shore break, so be careful if swimming or surfing here.
If you continue driving down the North Shore, you’ll come to Ehukai Beach Park (locally known as “The Pipeline”).
This beach is world-famous for its large and dangerous waves that attract surfers from all over.
If you’re not interested in surfing, it can still be an interesting stop to watch the pros ride the waves.
5. North Manitou Island Beach – Michigan
The water is still warm enough to swim in, but the crowds have dissipated and the leaves are changing color, making it a perfect time for a visit.
If you’re looking for a change of scenery, North Manitou Island Beach is definitely worth checking out.
With its white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters, it’s easy to see why this spot is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
Plus, with plenty of hiking trails to explore, you’ll never get bored while spending time here.
6. Mendocino Headlands State Park/Fort Bragg Beaches – California
Mendocino headlands state park is located on the northern California coast.
It has miles of secluded beaches and bluffs to explore, as well as hiking trails that lead through the redwoods forests at Headlands Dunes Natural Preserve.
The best part about Mendocino beach? There are no lifeguards so you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the coastline. Just watch your little ones as safety is always number one!
Fort Bragg is located just south of Mendocino Headlands State Park, and it has a number of great beaches to check out as well.
Glass Beach is one of the most popular destinations in Fort Bragg, due to its colorful glass pebbles that line the shore.
MacKerricher State Park is also a great option for those looking for some hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Sea lions, harbor seals, and otters are all common sights at MacKerricher State Park.
So if you’re looking for an autumn beach getaway on the California coast, Mendocino Headlands State Park/Fort Bragg should definitely be on your list!
Mendocino Headlands State Park is definitely a great option for families, as it offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and hiking.
There are no lifeguards at the beach, so it’s important to keep an eye on your kids at all times.
Fort Bragg also has a number of family-friendly beaches, including Glass Beach and MacKerricher State Park.
So whether you’re looking for a quiet getaway or some fun activities with the kids, Mendocino Headlands State Park/Fort Bragg should be able to accommodate!
7. Gilligan’s Island -Texas
Gilligan’s Island might come to mind when you think of Texas beaches, but the Lone Star State actually has plenty of other beautiful coastlines to explore.
From Padre Island National Seashore on the Gulf Coast to Mustang Island State Park near Corpus Christi, there are plenty of stunning seaside destinations to choose from.
And if you’re looking for a bit more adventure, check out Brazos Bend State Park, where you can go hiking and fishing in addition to swimming and sunbathing.
So grab your sunscreen and head for the beach this fall!
Padre Island National Seashore – This sprawling national seashore is one of the largest in the country, stretching over 130 miles along South Texas’ coast.
With over 70 miles of beaches, it’s also one of the best places in Texas to go for a swim.
Mustang Island State Park – If you’re looking for more amenities than Padre Island National Seashore has to offer, Mustang Island is home to great campsites and RV parks as well as excellent fishing spots.
The park also offers plenty of activities like surfing lessons and kayak rentals during the fall months when fewer visitors are around.
Brazos Bend State Park – While Brazos Bend doesn’t have any actual sandy shoreline, there are over 12 miles worth of trails.
You can enjoy swimming holes or just splash about under waterfalls on cooler days or evenings.
You’re almost guaranteed to spot some wildlife during your visit.
8. New Smyrna Beach Boardwalk- Florida
The boardwalk in New Smyrna Beach, Florida is a great fall beach destination to take.
The wide variety of shops and restaurants make it the perfect spot to find something for everyone in your group.
And if you need some time to relax, the beach just steps away.
Plus, with temperatures still in the 70s and 80s during most of October and November, it’s easy to enjoy a sunny day by the ocean.
This place is perfect for families because you can enjoy your time with your family walking the restaurants and the popular Flagler Beach.
In addition, if you have a dog then you can head out to the dog park and take Fido along with you.
9. South Padre Island Beach- Texas
South Padre Island Beach is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and windsurfing.
The beach is also great for spotting dolphins and sea turtles.
The water temperature usually stays around 70 degrees Fahrenheit all year long, making it perfect for a swim.
South Padre Island Beach is definitely worth a visit if you’re in Texas during the fall!
10. Santa Cruz Boardwalk- California
Santa Cruz Boardwalk is a California beach town landmark, first opened in 1907.
It’s home to the Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster, one of the oldest in the world, as well as dozens of other rides and attractions.
There are also several restaurants and shops on-site.
The boardwalk is open year-round, but it’s especially popular in the fall when the weather starts to cool down.
Admission is free for walkers and cyclists; fees apply for those who want to ride the rides.
As we move into the fall, it’s time to start thinking about where you want to go on your next vacation.
Looking for the perfect fall beach destinations shouldn’t be hard.
With the U.S having some of the most gorgeous places, we gather this list just for you!
If you are looking for a relaxing evening or an adventure with family and friends, these 10 beaches in North America will be perfect destinations this autumn!
Have any of these been your favorite beach destination during the fall?
Let me know what they were below!
Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who created Unseen Beaches. This beach travel site was inspired by their family beach vacations while growing up. Helping you discover the best U.S. beach destinations worth visiting, staying, and eating.