Best East Coast Beaches

Plan a beach getaway to the best beaches on the East Coast.
By: Jennifer Plum Auvil
Plan your fun beach getaway. Allow us to whisk you away to the inviting waters of the Atlantic Ocean with a few summer travel ideas. From Duck, NC, to Hyannis, MA, we picked some of the best beaches along the Eastern seaboard of the US. See if you agree with our list.
Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Photo by: Getty Images

Getty Images

As 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.
Nantucket, MA
Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Photo by: Getty Images

Getty Images

A 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 weathered grey-shingled houses surrounded by wild roses. This former whaling community has quaint neighborhoods and a beach for everyone, many of which feature calm waters and no shortage of sandcastles.
Duck, NC
Duck, North Carolina

Duck, North Carolina

Photo by: sugargliding, flickr

sugargliding, flickr

Stretching for 130 miles along the Atlantic coast, North Carolina's Outer Banks are a skinny strip of barrier islands whose hallmark high, sandy dunes front frothy surf on one side and a gentle sound on the other. Duck, an upscale residential rental community along the northern reaches of the Outer Banks, has rental homes galore and no high-rise hotels making it ideal for an old-school family vacation along the wide swaths of sand.
Kiawah Island, SC
Kiaweh Island, South Carolina

Kiaweh Island, South Carolina

Photo by: Jeffrey Unger, flickr

Jeffrey Unger, flickr

Kiawah Island is a coastal island off South Carolina, loaded with 10 miles of pristine beaches, approximately 10,000 acres of natural woodlands and every amenity to meet the needs of the entire family. Kiawah offers plenty of sun and sand, and it’s just a short drive to Charleston, a city chock-full of Southern charm.
Southampton, NY


Photo by: Michael Westhoff / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Michael Westhoff / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Unspoiled beaches, a charming village center, exclusive shops and exquisite dining have made Southampton a perfect blend of sprawling beaches, private estates and just enough places to "be seen" to satisfy the upper crust. Seven-plus miles of unspoiled shoreline, windswept dunes and waving grasses beckon visitors to escape to the Atlantic. The beaches here are perfect and secluded, irresistible to seekers of solace and plenty of art and culture back in town.

Provincetown, MA
Provincetown, Massachusetts

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Photo by: Thinkstock


Provincetown is on the northernmost tip of Cape Cod. The town became a Portuguese whaling and fishing community in the mid-18th century and evolved in the early 1900s into a distinguished art colony, which it remains today with a gay-friendly vibe and miles of galleries, shops and old mansions. There are over 30 miles of beach in Provincetown, all part of the Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS), including the 2 main beaches at Herring Cove and Race Point.
Martha's Vineyard, MA


Photo by: Andrew F Kazmierski / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Andrew F Kazmierski / iStock / Getty Images Plus

As 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.

East Hampton, NY
East Hampton, New York

East Hampton, New York

Photo by: Karen Blumberg, flickr

Karen Blumberg, flickr

Strolling 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.
Cape May, NJ
Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May, New Jersey

Photo by: Alan Kotok, flickr

Alan Kotok, flickr

As 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.
Hyannis, MA


Photo by: Oleg Albinsky / E+ / Getty Images

Oleg Albinsky / E+ / Getty Images

Hyannis in Cape Cod is best-known as the presidential getaway for the Kennedy clan who spent any available downtime at the family compound in Hyannis Port. But you don’t need political family ties to appreciate what drew this iconic American family to the region. The town of Barnstable, and Hyannis in particular, is beloved by travelers for its laid-back atmosphere, friendly vibe and Kalmus Beach where windsurfers and swimmers enjoy the water.

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