21 No-Passport-Required Beach Destinations
No passport? No problem. These beaches feel worlds away.
Photo By: Carlos Yudica
Photo By: MN Studio
Photo By: Pgiam
Photo By: Dendron
Photo By: Jorge Moro
Photo By: Bon9
Photo By: 7Michael
Photo By: Derek Gordon
Photo By: Gary Cavanagh
Photo By: Csondy
Photo By: Mark Van Dyke Photography
Photo By: VWalakte
Photo By: Chinaface / iStock
Photo By: Robert Kirk
Photo By: Sbonk
Photo By: Beach Cottage Photography
Photo By: Laura D Young
Photo By: Education Images
Photo By: Huron Photo
Photo By: Pawel Gaul
Photo By: Purdue9394
U.S. Virgin Islands
These no-passport-required islands are popular for a reason. With aqua blue waters and lush hikes up to incredible vistas, the USVI are some of the most-visited islands in the Caribbean. While St. Thomas can become packed with cruiseship revelers, secluded St. John and the Virgin Islands National Park offer stunning, white-sand beaches and underwater snorkeling trails.
Hawaii has hundreds of beaches but the island of Kauai offers a little something for everyone from snorkeling off Tunnels Beach to spotting a Hawaiian monk seal along Poipu Beach’s sandbar. Hanalei Beach offers incredible waves for surfers through the winter, and the water calms down during the summer for swimmers to enjoy.
Can’t swing a trip to Europe? Visit this charming European-inspired village where everything is in walking distance. After hitting up the gorgeous white sand beach be sure to wander around the seaside town. Meander through hidden side streets to discover charming courtyards and cottage shops.
Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
Known as the Jewels of Lake Superior, you’ll want to visit the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in the winter as the water freezes over creating breathtaking ice caves that look out of this world. The weather doesn’t always cooperate, and sometimes the cave conditions are unstable causing the parks service to close access to hikers. Call the park’s Ice Line at (715)-779-3397 before you go.
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Only 70 miles from Key West, this National Park is made up of seven small islands. Tour historic Fort Jefferson then check out one of the many pristine beaches. If you love to snorkel, this is the place for you.
Catalina Island, California
One of California’s channel islands, this spot is known for wildlife, hiking and incredible dive sites. After all that activity, relax at luxe Descanso Beach for a lazy day under a private cabana with palm trees swaying in the breeze.
The Hawaiian isle boasts more than 30 miles of white, black and red sand beaches and attracts avid surfers, snorkelers and windsurfers. A must-do activity is whale-watching on the western coast.
Chimney Beach, Nevada
This stunning lakeshore will give any tropical island a run for its money. Located inside Lake Tahoe State Park, Chimney beach features a long, sandy stretch with crystal clear waters that feel like they should be somewhere in the Caribbean. The beach gets its name from a freestanding chimney — all that’s left of an old lakeside cabin.
Santa Cruz Island, California
The largest of California’s famous Channel Islands, Santa Cruz is completely preserved since part of the island is owned by The Nature Conservancy and the other part is owned and operated by the National Park Service. The clear water at Scorpion Beach is famous for world-class diving and snorkeling. As this island is fairly remote, it’s important to review safety information and make sure you’re geared up before visiting or camping within the park.
Pfeiffer Beach, California
This Big Sur gem is part of the Los Padres National Forest and has many natural wonders including Key Rock which is a must-see at sunset as the last rays of light shine through the arch. The northern end of the beach has unique purple sand from the garnet in nearby cliffs.
Outerbanks, North Carolina
While the Outer Banks have tons of beautiful beaches, there’s nothing like a herd of wild horses to remind you you’re not on the mainland anymore. You can spot the beautiful Colonial Spanish Mustangs at a reserve in Corolla.
Key West, Florida
This famous island city is only 90 miles from Cuba, and if you travel through the Keys by car you really will feel like you’re leaving the states — especially after driving on the famous Overseas Highway. Take turns driving so everyone can enjoy the breathtaking views.
San Juan Islands, Washington
One of the best parts about visiting these islands is getting there. If you take the ferry from downtown Seattle, you’ll really feel like you’re leaving the states and entering another country. San Juan Island’s South Beach is a nature lover’s paradise with a chance to see eagles and red foxes.
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Just 25 miles southwest of Charleston, this barrier island is home to tons of wildlife, from precious baby bobcats to Loggerhead sea turtles. Most of the beaches on the island are private but Beachwalker County Park offers public beach access on the west side.
Assateague Island, Virginia
If you love the Outer Banks for the wild mustangs, brace yourself for Virginia’s Assateague Island and the Chincoteague ponies. Visit the Assateague Island National Seashore to see these wild horses, plus tour the beaches and salt marshes with one of the park’s kayak tours.
Amelia Island, Florida
Promoted as “easy to reach but hard to forget,” this barrier island, a part of Florida’s Sea Islands chain, is surrounded by peaceful shores and pristine water. The island has tons of eco-adventures on the beach, from nature walks to fossil hunting.
St. Simons Island, Georgia
The largest of the Golden Isles along Georgia’s coast, this Low Country oasis has fun for the whole family. The most popular beach, Massingale Park Beach, has picnic areas and a lifeguard on duty during the summer. Our friends at HGTV loved the area so much they renovated a home here for the hit TV special and home giveaway HGTV Dream Home 2017.
You don’t need a passport to visit this U.S. territory with beautiful beaches. If you have time, take a quick flight to the island municipality of Vieques to explore the unforgettable beaches of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Visiting Mackinac Island is like traveling back in time to the Victorian era, when life was much simpler and horse-drawn carriages were the transportation of choice. Make time to visit the charming downtown area after you hit the beach at Mackinac Island State Park.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan
Once named the most beautiful place in America by ABC’s Good Morning America, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has unique scenery that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Towering 450 feet above Lake Michigan, serene boardwalks and overlooks boast incredible views, especially at sunset.
Sanibel Island, Florida
Bowman’s Beach is the most popular area on the island, especially with seashell hunters. The beach also provides picnic areas complete with grills for cooking out so you can stay on island time through dinner.