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.

Photos

5 Photos

The beach at Baga is peaceful during the day, but when the sun goes down there's a busy nightlife scene. 960 1280

Goa maintains its laid-back charm with afternoon siestas and inviting beaches like this one in Candolim. 960 1280

  

Dona Paula in Goa has gorgeous beaches fringed by rows of delicate casuarina and palm trees. 960 1280

Photo by sudeep1106 through Flickr Creative Commons  

There's plenty of charm to be found along Kovalam's 3 crescent-shaped beaches'Lighthouse Beach, Hawah and Samudra. 960 1280

Photo by agautam2y through Flickr Creative Commons  

Varkala in Kerala is an important cultural spot with mineral-rich springs and Ayurvedic spas along the beach. 960 1280

Photo by Jagels through Flickr Creative Commons  

Key West

Key West

A beach lover’s heaven, Key West is one of the most enchanting of the 1,700 islands that make up the Florida Keys. It’s also the southernmost city in the continental US. 960 1280

Ed Schipul via Flickr Creative Commons SA 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Key West

Key West

The beaches in Key West are ideal for swimming and snorkeling, and fishing is allowed off the piers at most beaches. Enjoy these activities at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Florida’s southernmost state park -- and one of its most beautiful spots -- that’s home to wide stretches of sand and tranquil waters. We recommend renting a 2-person, glass-bottom kayak if you’re looking for a fun but romantic escape. 960 1280

Katja Kreder/ AWL Images/ Getty Images  

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach

One of America’s finest white-sand beaches, Clearwater Beach spans a narrow, 3-mile stretch of the Pinellas Peninsula on the Gulf Coast. Clearwater’s proximity to Tampa offers visitors ample activities to enjoy, including beach volleyball, parasailing, a dolphin-watching cruise and a fun fishing excursion. 960 1280

Image Source/ Getty Images  

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach

Piers are a Florida shore staple, and Clearwater Beach is no different. Walk to the end of the famed Pier 60 to take in one of the state’s many beautiful sunsets, whether it’s the one in the sky or the daily festival of the same name, which is held 365 days a year. 960 1280

Matthew Paulson via Flickr Creative Commons NC ND 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

Known as one of the best shelling locations thanks to the abundant seashells that wash ashore from the Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel Island attracts collectors from all over the world. 960 1280

Gregory Moine, flickr  

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

With a small population of locals, along with breathtaking, clear-blue waters and immaculate white-sand beaches, Sanibel Island offers a fun and relaxing vacation for families and couples alike. 960 1280

ziggymaj / E+ / Getty Images  

Captiva Island

Captiva Island

Just north of its aforementioned sister island, Sanibel, Captiva Island is a tropical paradise right here in the United States. It offers some of the best fishing and boating in Florida. 960 1280

Jeff Self via Flickr Creative Commons NC ND 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Captiva Island

Captiva Island

The blue waters and white-sand beaches of Captiva Island stretch into the horizon. So we recommend watching a spectacular sunset at the end of Captiva Drive. But before the sun sets, go boating down the waterways of the island to see local wildlife, including dolphins, crocodiles, blue herons and many different species of colorful birds. 960 1280

Pete Markham, flickr  

Palm Beach

Palm Beach

The easternmost town in all of Florida, Palm Beach is lined with its namesake majestic trees and loaded with beautiful beachfront properties, high-end hotels and sprawling resorts. 960 1280

Simon Morris via Flickr Creative Commons NC 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Palm Beach

Palm Beach

This 16-mile-long, half-mile-wide island is the epitome of wealth and extravagance. In times past, it served as the winter home to the Vanderbilts, the Kennedys, the Rockefellers and other millionaires. True to form, the town still features some of Florida’s finest hotels, restaurants and shops, as well as beautiful beaches. Perched next to the Gulf Stream, this beach town also enjoys the extra benefit of warm blue water and gentle breezes. 960 1280

Panoramic Images/ Getty Images  

Siesta Key

Siesta Key

Situated between Roberts Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, just a short distance from downtown Sarasota, Siesta Key is as laid-back and enjoyable as any beach you’ll find in Florida. 960 1280

Thomas Orger via Flickr Creative Commons NC ND 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Siesta Key

Siesta Key

Spend the perfect family vacation in Siesta Key, a barrier island off Florida’s central western coast that boasts beachside picnic areas and playgrounds. Go shell collecting, kayaking or hop on a catamaran for more active pursuits. For adults who want a more low-key experience, spend a candlelit dinner at a restaurant or rent a cozy cottage for a romantic getaway. 960 1280

Mike Miller, flickr  

Naples

Naples

Located in southern Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, Naples offers phenomenal fishing experiences along the pier, top-notch outdoor restaurants and fun — but difficult — golf courses. 960 1280

Marcus Andersson via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0  

Naples

Naples

Watch the rolling waves and gaze at the mansions that line some of Naples’ most popular beaches along 12th Avenue South. For a family looking to camp out on the beach for the day, we recommend heading a few miles north of Old Naples to Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. Food stands and on-site rentals for umbrellas, kayaks and snorkeling gear are available nearby. 960 1280

Getty Images  

South Beach

South Beach

Take a dip in the crystal-blue waters of Miami’s South Beach, an international playground that offers non-stop nightlife, high-end shopping, luxurious boutique hotels and unique Art Deco architecture. This man-made beach is perfect for early morning runs and topless sunbathing. 960 1280

photosvit/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

South Beach

South Beach

Take in a beautiful sunrise accompanied by blue skies and colorful clouds as you walk along one of the world’s most renowned beaches. 960 1280

ventdusud / iStock / Getty Images Plus  

Delray Beach

Delray Beach

Each year, nearly 1 million people visit family-friendly Delray Beach to enjoy the 2-mile-long beach that’s ideal for fun beach activities, including sandcastle-building. Take a break from the beach and hit nearby Atlantic Avenue, lined with boutiques, seafood restaurants and the luxurious Seagate Hotel and Spa. 960 1280

ddmitr/ Moment Open/ Getty Images  

Delray Beach

Delray Beach

From sailing and surfing to snorkeling and paddleboarding, water-sport lovers are in for a treat when visiting Delray. 960 1280

Visit Florida / Pete Cross via Flickr Creative Commons NC ND 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach

Relaxing is easy on Atlantic Beach: Sand as soft and white as sugar, brilliant sunshine and azure waters abound. And while Atlantic Beach has heaps of small-town charm, it’s also just a short drive from Jacksonville, making it convenient for day-trippers and vacationers who want a short airport-to-beach commute. 960 1280

By AndrewAvitus (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach

History buffs can learn about the development of the Atlantic Beach and neighboring Jacksonville beaches at the area’s Beaches Museum and History Center. After spending the afternoon strolling the shores, head to Beaches Town Center’s pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets and check out the town’s restaurants, galleries, boutiques and frequent special events, including live music and the monthly North Beaches Art Walk, held on the third Thursday of every month. 960 1280

By Ebyabe (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Koh Lao Liang

Koh Lao Liang

Offshore 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

wahahaz / Getty Images  

Nai Harn Beach

Nai Harn Beach

A 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

Steve Ogle / Getty Images  

Koh Kood

Koh Kood

Isolation, 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

dolontheway / Getty Images  

Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe

Afloat 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

AkaratPhasura / Getty Images  

Railay Beach

Railay Beach

International 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

Patrick Foto / Getty Images  

Koh Adang

Koh Adang

Also 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

Thoungkung / Getty Images  

Koh Chang

Koh Chang

After 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

John W Banagan / Getty Images  

The Hot List

Explore America’s most stunning scenery.
Join the conversation on Social Media!
Stay updated on the latest travel tips and trends.
Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.