15 of the Most Beautiful Beaches in the US: East to West

clearwater beach florida

With the Gulf of Mexico towards the south, the Atlantic Ocean in the east, and the Pacific Ocean in the west, the extensive coastline of the US are exposed to vast bodies of water.

The diversity of the United States of America spreads to over 12,000 miles of coastline, which means you can enjoy a plethora of some of the loveliest beaches in the US to relish and explore. 

The world’s 3rd largest country doesn’t fall short of mesmerizing beaches.

Still, to ensure you have the most blissful experience, we have compiled a list of some of the most stunning sandy beaches in the US.

Here, you can chug down an infinite amount of exotic drinks, basking in the glorious sun, and indulge in non-stop fun, entertainment, and adventure. 

Overview

  1. Orange Beach, Alabama
  2. El Matador Beach, Malibu
  3. Clearwater Beach, Florida
  4. Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
  5. Pensacola Beach, Florida
  6. Cannon Beach, Oregon
  7. St. Pete Beach, Florida
  8. Coronado Beach, San Diego
  9. Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii
  10. Emerald Isle, North Carolina
  11. Laguna Beach, California
  12. South Beach, Miami
  13. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  14. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  15. Ruby Beach, Washington

Orange Beach, Alabama

Orange Beach rests on a rather scenic location in the Gulf of Mexico, with miles and miles of pristine sand to enjoy.

This beach stands out because of its sand, which is primarily composed of quartz, resulting in flawless white sand that shines remarkably under the golden sun.

The possibilities of entertainment and enjoyment at Orange Beach are practically endless.

Bask in the glorious sun, sculpt your ideal sandcastle, play volleyball or toss a Frisbee, or go deep-sea fishing.

On top of that, Orange Beach houses the largest man-made fishing reef in the country, making it ideal for anyone wanting to experience a deep-sea fishing excursion.

You can also book a charter, rent a boat, or sit by the pier and fish in peace.

El Matador Beach, Malibu

Known as one of the most beautiful beach spots for vacationing, the sharp coastline of El Matador State Beach has to be one of Malibu’s most unique and breathtaking coastlines.

The area brims with extensive stretches of sands, picturesque sunsets, and the most stunning rocky inclines.

While the top cliffs offer mesmerizing outlooks of the marvelous landscape, you will have to hike down a short trail that finds its way into this spectacular beach.

With an abundance of kelp forests, anyone in the vicinity can hop on an incredible whale-watching excursion and enjoy one-of-a-kind vistas of the coastline’s jagged cliffs, enormous boulders, and hidden sea caves.

Hands down, El Matador Beach has to be the ultimate beach vacation destination in California and one of the US’s most beautiful beaches to visit.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Indulgent sands, shallow waters, and gorgeous sunny weather are the perfect excuse for all travelers to spend a fun-filled and exciting day at Clearwater Beach in Florida.

Easily deemed one of the world’s most striking white sandy beaches, it will only take a glance for you to fall head over heels in love with the breathtaking expanse of this beach, dotted with palm trees along the cool shores.

Visitors here can engage themselves in the hundreds of things available to see and do.

However, one of Clearwater Beach’s star attractions is pretty much its flawless and picturesque beach.

Clearwater Beach is the perfect relaxation spot for families, featuring endless stretches of gorgeous white sand and clear blue shallow water.

Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Without any question, Hawaii boasts the most stunning and alluring beaches.

Still, Lanikai is a one-of-a-kind treasure in Hawaii that offers its visitors secluded sunbathing and swimming and certainly lives up to its expectations of being one of the best beaches in the US.

Despite being barely a half-mile long, Lanikai is the perfect example of the breathtaking sites we see on the back of postcards and far away from the masses of people at Waikiki.

Even though Lanikai can be easily accessed, it still surprisingly manages to be one of the most peaceful and blissful stretches on the Oahu isle.

With crystal clear waters and gorgeous white sands, Lanikai offers a breathtaking landscape to soak up the sand and sun.

It is safeguarded by an offshore coral reef, which makes it the perfect place to go snorkeling and relish an array of water sports such as windsurfing and sailing.

Kayakers can also paddle their way out to some of the other desolate islands, roughly about a mile offshore.

Pensacola Beach, Florida

Pensacola Beach, situated in Florida’s Panhandle, is deeply loved for its gorgeous white and powdered soft sands that can easily surpass some of the world’s best beaches.

Indeed, it is one of the most jaw-dropping beach spots in the US.

It allows you to savor the gentle ocean waves and crystal clear, shallow waters, ideal for swimming alongside the usual Florida feel.

The water bordering the shoreline varies in shades of blue, ranging from royal blue to stunning emerald and turquoise.

Besides that, Pensacola Beach is the ultimate beach to check out if you want to grab a sight of the most gorgeous and vibrant sunsets and snorkel through the beautiful marine life in a magical underwater world.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

National Geographic once included Cannon Beach in Oregon in the list of the top 100 most beautiful places in the world.

One major contributing factor has to be its extensive miles of vivid shoreline and sandy beaches with enormous waves booming hard against the mounting rock formations.

The legendary Haystack Rock, rising up to 235 feet into the skies above, is easily one of the coasts of Oregon’s most impressive natural attractions.

The upscale resort town boasts an array of quality restaurants and alluring boutiques, which serve as a perfect stopover after many days of long, picturesque walks and waving to the neighboring sea creatures and puffins.

Indeed, with its majestic coves, Cannon Beach is one of the most mesmerizing beaches that deserves a visit.

It is never easy to come across a clear beach in the United States. However, with ample space here, you are bound to leave arguing in favor of Cannon Beach as a must-visit beach in the US.

Don’t forget to head to Ecola Park to relish some truly mind-blowing vistas.

The lush overhangs provide an ideal spot for picnicking. If you are lucky, you might just observe an elk grazing in the nearby meadows.

St. Pete Beach, Florida

St. Pete Beach has been ranked as one of the United States’ best beaches for as long as we can remember. Millions of people visiting from all corners of the globe have voted for this beach.

Everything from its vast strip of extravagant hotels to long stretches of white powdery sands will offer you a 5-star experience.

And one trip to this stunning beach will help you comprehend why it is voted as Tripadvisor’s number 1 beach in the US and the fifth-best beach in the world in 2021.

Coronado Beach, San Diego

Coronado Island in San Diego is definitely the crown jewel of this place as it sparkles like gold under the bright yellow sun due to its intense concentration of “Mica,” a pearly and silver mineral.

Besides its picture-perfect vistas, Coronado Beach offers many opportunities for active pursuits and recreation.

The beach is perfect for beginners as the Coronado Surfing Academy provides lessons.

Therefore, whether you want to go boogie boarding, learn surfing, or just splash around with the gentle ocean waves, this is your go-to place.

Of course, a trip to Coronado Beach would be incomplete if you leave before joining the horde of people to witness the exceptionally breathtaking sunset.

Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

The Kaanapali Beach is yet another incredible and scenic white-sandy beach situated on the isle of Maui in Hawaii.

Once known as a spectacular retreat for Hawaiin royalty, Kaanapali Beach’s beautiful iconic black cliffs, sapphire waters, sugary white sands, and an impressive shoreline has it all.

It is peppered with luxurious hotels, bars, and restaurants that attract crowds of people to partake in an array of activities.

Enjoy everything from sipping exotic cocktails and basking in the sun to snorkeling, diving, surfing, cliff jumping, and stand-up paddleboarding.

Being such a popular getaway in the heart of Hawaii, you can’t help but fall in love with this enthralling beach.

Emerald Isle, North Carolina

At the west corner of Bogue Banks rests Emerald Isle, a barrier isle by the Crystal Coast offering 12 miles of seashore bordering the Atlantic.

The island is mainly safeguarded from external development and, as the name suggests, boasts an abundance of fauna and flora.

Altogether, the Emerald Isle is the perfect place to relish various activities such as scenic nature hikes, diving, paddle boarding, kayaking, and fishing.

Since there are a few hotels, visitors can enjoy total serenity.

The island also has some vacation condominiums and rental homes offering a place to stay. Visitors can relish antique shopping and golfing in the vicinity.

Laguna Beach, California

Laguna Beach in California is one of the most beautiful and top-rated beaches in the US. The 36 expanses of Orange County’s Laguna Beach are the archetype of an ideal West Coast beach escape.

You can spend your day discovering ancient caves at the famous 1000 Steps Beach, playing volleyball at the popular Main Beach, or snorkeling in the impressive deep-sea aquatic park at Crystal Cove.

Laguna Beach has something of interest for everyone, and you are bound to experience an incredible summer vacation here.

South Beach, Miami

If there is one beach that requires absolutely no introduction for visitors worldwide, it has to be Miami’s most popular spot, the South Beach.

The South Beach in Miami speaks nothing but a plethora of happening party scenes, making it one of the world’s most unique beaches.

Filled with glitz and glamor, raving and partying, every night here at South Beach is expected to be one hell of a sparkly and hip night.

Besides dancing and drinking, you can shop at the popular boutiques, take a leisurely stroll at Ocean Drive, explore Jungle Island, and dine at some of the most incredible 5-star restaurants.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

With more than 60 miles of breathtaking shoreline, Myrtle Beach on the East Coast offers you a tad bit of practically everything, and visitors will never find themselves feeling bored.

Bathe in the sun, immerse in the sound of the tranquil Atlantic Ocean as the waves hit across the shore, play volleyball, build a sandcastle, throw a Frisbee, or just grab your surfboard and head out into the cool waters.

When your children get bored, you can uplift their mood by taking them to WonderWorks.

This fantastic 50,000 sq. ft. complex comprises obstacle courses, rides, more than 100 practical educational exhibits, and a spectacular glow-in-the-dark indoor ropes course.

You can also spend some time at Ripley’s Aquarium before taking a ride down the Myrtle Beach Skywheel, which offers mesmerizing vistas from 200 feet atop the boardwalk.

Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape God is a sanctuary for sun worshippers and is packed with some truly stunning beaches. Despite a plethora of beaches, the Coast Guard Beach is a clear winner in our eyes.

Apart from its dramatic sand dunes, vast stretches of sand, giant surf, head-to-head marshlands, and breathtaking vistas, the famous Coast Guard Beach pretty much brags all you would hope to see.

Spend your entire day here enjoying the lovely sands and azure waters doing things like surfing, seal-watching, swimming, building sandcastles, and playing games.

Ruby Beach, Washington

The Olympic National Park offers an array of unique landscapes, making it practically impossible for visitors to see everything in a single trip.

Still, it is highly recommended to venture off Highway 201 and check out all the beautiful outlooks along the coast, particularly those at Ruby Beach.

The Beach is famous for its unique and remarkable rock formations and its ability to truly seize the Pacific northwest’s moody splendor.

In addition, a 10-minute drive from Ruby Beach will take you to Kalaloch Lodge, which offers viewpoints on the best location in the national park.

Despite the rustic lodgings, you are bound to get some genuinely beautiful vistas.

FAQs

What is the prettiest beach in the United States?

There is no definitive answer to this question as beauty is subjective. However, some of the most beautiful beaches in the US include Laguna Beach in California, South Beach in Miami, and Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod.

What is the number 1 beach in the USA?

Again, there is no definitive answer to this question. However, some of the most popular beaches in the US include South Beach in Miami, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, and Ruby Beach in Washington.

Where is the clearest beach in the US?

Crystal clear water can be found at a number of beaches in the US, including South Beach in Miami, Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod, and many different beaches in Hawaii. It’s a matter of what exactly you’re looking for and what your definition of clear water is.

What are the top 5 beautiful beaches?

Some of the most beautiful beaches in the US include beaches like Ruby Beach, Washington, Capecod, Massachusetts, Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii, El Matador beach in California, and others.

Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world include White Beach in Boracay, Philippines; Navagio Beach in Zakynthos, Greece; Playa Paraiso in Cayo Largo, Cuba; and Anse Source D’Argent in La Digue Island, Seychelles.

Conclusion

While there are countless beaches to choose from in the US, we’ve narrowed it down to 15 of our favorites – one for each coast.

You can choose from the gorgeous west coast that has nothing but mountains, beaches and all year round nearly perfect weather!

Or you can choose from the east coast that has gorgeous blue turquoise waters to beautiful nature. Each coast is unique in its own way. You cannot go wrong!

Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot to relax or want to catch some waves, these beaches have something for everyone.

So pack your sunscreen and hit the beach! Have you been to any of these amazing East or West Coast beaches?

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Jess and Jeanette
About Jess and Jeanette

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.

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Hi! This is Jess and Jeanette. Two sisters & beach travelers. We built this blog to share our travels in hopes of helping you plan your next beach vacation. Cheers! ❤️

 

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