Top 10 Beaches in America
Whether you’re going down the shore or riding the waves in Hawaii, the beach is always a popular destination. Visit the best beaches the US has to offer.
1: Manele Bay, HawaiiHulopo'e Beach on the island of Lana'i, long considered one of the world's most perfect stretches of sand, lies at the base of the Four Seasons Lana'i at Manele Bay. The resort overlooks the bay, a designated marine preserve filled with colorful fish and the occasional spinner dolphin. In fact, snorkeling and diving spots here are considered some of the finest in Hawaii, making a swim in the 70-degree water all the more tempting. 960 1280
2: Myrtle Beach, South CarolinaAs the largest resort along South Carolina's 60-mile Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach is the East Coast's ultimate vacation hub. The town teems with summertime action: beaches dotting the Strand, amusement and water parks, restaurants and live entertainment. Myrtle Beach's actual beach is an extensive stretch of silky white sand, with opportunities for fishing, swimming, sunbathing, sailing and surfing. 960 1280
3: Nantucket, MassachusettsA trip to Nantucket is like visiting a faraway fairytale land -- one set against a bright blue backdrop of ocean and bay in a community of simple, weathered white cottages surrounded by wild roses. This former whaling community has quaint neighborhoods and a beach for everyone, including Surfside Beach and Children's Beach, both of which feature calm waters and no shortage of sandcastles. 960 1280
4: Kauna'oa Bay, HawaiiPicture Hawaii and you're probably conjuring images of Kauna'oa Bay without even realizing it. Located on the Kohala Coast of the Aloha-state's Big Island, Kauna'oa Bay is quintessential, picture-postcard Hawaii. With its abundant white sand, palm trees and clear, calm blue water, the crescent-shaped beach is a natural draw for sun worshipers, water sport enthusiasts and families in search of safe, sandy fun. 960 1280
5: Clearwater Beach, FloridaClearwater Beach has lured countless families and couples to its broad, sandy shores and beachfront hotels. Spread along a narrow, 3-mile stretch of the Pinellas Peninsula on the Gulf Coast, Clearwater Beach straddles the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and tranquil Tampa Bay to the east. Visitors enjoy sunbathing on white sandy beaches, diving into a game of beach volleyball, renting fishing boats, taking a dolphin-watching cruise, parasailing or heading to a mainland museum or aquarium. 960 1280
6: Coronado, CaliforniaCoronado Central Beach, stretches 1.5 miles behind the great houses along Ocean Boulevard in front of the glamorous Hotel Del Coronado. Swimmers, bodysurfers, boogie boarders, sand sculptors, tide poolers and, from December through February, whale watchers all take to the sand and sea. North Beach attracts surfers in the morning, and at the extreme north is Dog Beach, where leashless canines can frolic in the surf. 960 1280
7: Cape May, New JerseyAs the farthest point south on the Shore, Cape May is the crown jewel of the region with gorgeous beaches and a quaint town center filled with gingerbread Victorians and colorful bed and breakfasts. Bring your binoculars to the beach to spy the playful dolphins jumping in the wake. 960 1280
8: Martha's Vineyard, MassachusettsAs summer commences, crowds swarm Martha's Vineyard in droves, but respite can be found in the Vineyard's far eastern reaches -- up-island, as it's known locally -- at Moshup Beach. Tucked beneath the infamous Gay Head Cliffs, Moshup Beach is an unspoiled paradise of soft, white sand framed by red, brown and tan striated cliffs looming from above. 960 1280
9: East Hampton, New YorkStrolling along the broad stretches of white sand, listening to roaring waves and passing the glorious mansions of Lily Pond, it's easy to see why East Hampton is a beloved New York destination any time of year. The picturesque town is a favorite with A-listers, and at the end of Main Street ,past sprawling yards and fences surrounding huge homes, is Main Beach, where perfect white beaches and incredibly tasty lobster rolls await. 960 1280
10: Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North CarolinaStretching for 72 miles along the Atlantic coast on the Outer Banks, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a skinny strip of barrier islands from Nags Head to Ocracoke Island. The beach’s hallmark high, sandy dunes front frothy surf perfect for swimming, beachcombing and body-surfing. Visitors can climb up 248 steps to the top of the nation's tallest lighthouse -- towering at an impressive 196 feet -- for a spectacular view of the seashore. 960 1280
Koh Lao LiangOffshore from Trang province, in southern Thailand, Koh Lao Liang is an enigma for most foreign tourists, who tend to stick to Krabi province to the north. And that probably has a lot do with why Thais on weekend trips from Bangkok consider the island one of their country's best-kept island secrets. Limestone cliffs tower over a perfect crescent of white-sand beach on Koh Lao Liang, and upscale sea camping tents provide eco-minded and comfortable accommodation within earshot of the gently lapping sea. You can arrange boat tours just offshore, where reefs painted the colors of the rainbow in soft coral formations teem with clownfish and swaying anemones. 960 1280
Nai Harn BeachA one-hour flight from Bangkok, the island of Phuket, on Thailand's Andaman coast, is about as undiscovered as Disneyland. But armed with some insider knowledge, you can still experience the island's stunning beaches in relative peace and isolation. Nai Harn Beach, on the southern end of Phuket, has just a smattering of hotels along a thickly forested shore, and is a favorite destination for island locals. For a great snorkeling spot that's quieter still, take the dirt road from The Royal Phuket Yacht Club's parking lot to the tiny beach of Ao Sane. 960 1280
Koh KoodIsolation, like many good things, often comes with a hefty price tag. If you can afford the limited luxury accommodation offerings on this island in the Koh Chang chain -- situated very close to Cambodia on Thailand's east coast -- you're sure to relish a private Thai beach experience. Past problems with Cambodia have been resolved, but the fact that Koh Kood (also called Koh Kut) was inaccessible to outsiders for many years has kept it relatively off the tourist radar. The beaches here have been likened to those of the Maldives, and you'll have your run of inland waterfalls and lush hiking trails, too. 960 1280
Koh LipeAfloat in the Andaman Sea, off the southwest coast of Thailand, Koh Lipe is one of more than 50 islands in Koh Tarutao National Park. With a thick jungle interior dotted with coconut farms that opens onto perfect cove beaches lapped by crystal water, the tiny island conjures castaway fantasies. And Koh Lipe's residents -- renowned for their mind-blowing ability to free dive to great depths -- are predominantly sea gypsies who most likely originated in Indonesia. 960 1280
Railay BeachInternational rock-jocks have long had Railay on the radar. The limestone karst formations jutting eerily from the landscape here are heavily bolted with climbing routes reaching skyward. Such a sporty slant to the beach means the sugary sands at Railay remain relatively lonely -- particularly compared with the densely populated patches of beach elsewhere in Krabi province. From Krabi's chief built-up beach town of Ao Nang, it's just a 15-minute trip by longtail boat to Railay. However, perched outside your thatched bungalow with a frosty Singha beer in hand, you'll feel eons away. 960 1280
Koh AdangAlso part of Koh Tarutao National Park, Koh Adang is one of the larger islands in the archipelago. Apart from its beautiful beaches, you can explore inland waterfalls once used by passing pirate ships to replenish their water supplies. Hiking trails abound. In addition, if you visit between September and December, you're likely to see green sea turtles lumbering ashore after dark to deposit their eggs in the sugar-fine sands. 960 1280
Koh ChangAfter Phuket -- its far more popular and crowded big sister -- Koh Chang is Thailand's second-largest island. Situated in the province of Trat in eastern Thailand, near the Cambodian border, the island is famed for its national park -- a protected area of thick forests and rocky bays. The white sandy beaches are mostly found on the island's west coast, and even though development is ever-increasing, there's still a blissfully forgotten feel to the place. The aptly named Lonely Beach, on the southern end of the island's west coast, is one of the best places to soak up some solo time on the sand. For the region's best snorkeling and diving, hire a longtail boat to take you to the tiny islands just off Koh Chang's southern coast. 960 1280
St. BartsThis glamorous Caribbean island boasts glitzy nightlife and glamorous sunbathing at St. Jean beach where you can rub elbows with celebrities like Jay-Z and Beyonce or Jessica Alba, who dock their yachts at the glistening port.
A-List Accommodations: Eden Rock, Hotel Saint Barth Isle De France 960 1280
Lake Como, ItalyOne name -- George Clooney -- comes to mind when you conjure up images of Lake Como. Can't you just see yourself relaxing at his oceanfront 18th-century villa alongside Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and half a dozen of his other famous pals? Well, one can daydream.
A-List Accommodations: Villa D’Este, Grand Hotel Tremezzo 960 1280
Rio de Janeiro, BrazilBefore the excitement of the upcoming World Cup and Summer Olympics, celebrities like Madonna, Gerard Butler, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem have long flocked to Rio's Ipanema Beach for a piece of tropical paradise (and perhaps a few caipirinhas at Carnival).
A-List Accommodations: Fasano Hotel, Copacabana Palace 960 1280
St. Tropez, FranceThis Cote d'Azur seaport continues to attract celebrities including Cindy Crawford, Tom Cruise, Rihanna, P. Diddy, Jack Nicholson and Catherine Zeta-Jones to its over-the-top beach clubs like Club 55, first made famous by French beauty Brigitte Bardot.
A-List Accommodations: Intercontinental Carlton Cannes, Villa Romana Club & Restaurant 960 1280
Bondi Beach, SydneyWith its world-famous surfing and sailing under the Harbour Bridge to Coogee's cliff tops, Bondi Beach attracts celebrities like Nicole Richie, Hugh Jackman, Paris Hilton and Leonardo DiCaprio when they are looking for a little adventure Down Under.
A-List Accommodations: The Park Hyatt in the Rocks, InterContinental Hotel 960 1280
Cabo San Lucas, MexicoJust a 2-hour flight from Los Angeles, it's no wonder this Mexican resort city has become a mainstay for stars like Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Ryan Seacrest and Julia Roberts looking for a little rest, relaxation and … margaritas.
A-List Accommodations: Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Esperanza, One&Only Palmilla 960 1280
Maui, HawaiiOf Hawaii's many islands, Maui seems to attract the most star power, whether it’s Paris Hilton vacationing with her flavor of the week or Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox tying the knot on its romantic coast. Who are the other stars giving Hawaii a resurgence of star power? Owen Wilson, Oprah, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears, to name a few.
A-List Accommodations: Four Seasons Resort Maui, Grand Wailea 960 1280
South Beach, MiamiShe may still be "Jenny From the Block," but it's no secret that Jennifer Lopez has spent plenty of time in sexy South Beach. Miami's bustling nightlife and Art Deco charms have also convinced stars like the Kardashians and Shakira to vacation stateside.
A-List Accommodations: Fonatinebleau, The Delano 960 1280
Necker IslandRichard Branson's 74-acre private island estate has been rebuilt after a tragic fire in 2011 (when Kate Winslet heroically carried his mother to safety). We're sure it will continue to host the very rich and very famous, such as Oprah, Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg, for years to come.
A-List Accommodations: You have to join the ranks of these gazillionaires to afford to rent out this private estate. 960 1280
Turtle Island, FijiWhat superstar doesn't value their privacy? This super-secluded resort has nearly 100 staffers on hand to cater to a maximum of 28 guests at a time. Both Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears have honeymooned here (with their now exes).
A-List Accommodations: Turtle Island 960 1280
Amalfi Coast, ItalyBrad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's mutual attraction is rumored to have been sparked at the picturesque cliff-side Hotel Santa Caterina while filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith -- and with vistas like that, who could blame them?
A-List Accommodations: Hotel Santa Caterina 960 1280
Bora Bora, French PolynesiaThe privacy that these over-the-water bungalows provide (not to mention the romance) have attracted stars like the Kardashians, Nicole Kidman, Eva Longoria, Rob Lowe, Sharon Stone and Charlize Theron.
A-List Accommodations: Four Seasons Bora Bora, Bora Bora Nui Resort 960 1280
Malibu, Los AngelesOf course, the No. 1 beach for celebrity-spotting would be right in their own backyard. Here, David Beckham catches a wave with sons Cruz, Brooklyn and Romeo in Malibu.
A-List Accommodations: Malibu Beach Inn, Four Seasons Los Angeles, Chateau Marmont 960 1280