With more than 95,000 miles of shoreline, countless beautiful beaches and laid-back coastal communities, you’re sure to find your perfect spot by the sea in the United States. From the Pacific Ocean in the west, to the east coast’s Atlantic shores, discover the best places to relax, explore and play.
Dog-friendly surfing at Huntington Dog Beach
Since The Beach Boys put the surf scene on the map in the ’60s, California has been one of the go-to places to catch a wave in the United States, and the ultimate spot is Huntington Beach
. With 10 miles of golden sandy beaches, perfect breaks, the International Surfing Museum, and its annual U.S. Open of Surfing Competition held in the summer, Huntington Beach has rightly claimed the title of ‘Surf City U.S.A’. The city is also super dog-friendly, with a 1.5-mile stretch of sand dedicated to pooches. On Huntington Dog Beach, dogs are free to run around, take a dip and play on the bluffs between Goldenwest and Seapoint streets. This winner of Dog Fancy magazine’s ‘Dogtown USA’ award, the city is also home to dog-friendly hotels, facilities and events including the annual Surf City Surf Dog championships, where canines take to their surfboards and compete in the ultimate dog surfing contest.
Wild dunes and great swimming in Rhode Island, New England
America’s diminutive Rhode Island
is a big hitter when it comes to coastline. With almost 400 miles of rocky bluffs, wild dunes, great surf and some of New England’s best swimming strands, there’s something for all kinds of beach lover. Try South Shore Beach for a fun day at the seaside, or Goosewing Beach for R&R.
Explore the waves in Hawaii
are ringed with stunning beaches, offering adventure above and below the waves. Oahu’s Mokulua Islands make a great kayak and snorkelling trip from Kailua Beach Park, with the chance to see turtles and a myriad of fish. Back on shore, relax on Kailua’s white sands, or try kite or windsurfing on the turquoise sea.
Light up your nights in North Carolina
The natural beauty of the barrier islands that form North Carolina’s Outer Banks
amazes visitors any time of year, but in summer, the waters around Cape Hatteras National Seashore offer up even more magic: bioluminescent plankton that makes the ocean glow blue in the dark, while dazzling stars light up the sky overhead.
Paddle the mangroves in Florida
Mangrove forests protect miles of Florida’s coastline
and provide vital habitat for wildlife. The J. N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel was established to preserve the island’s precious mangrove ecosystems. Go for a paddle through the tangle of tree tunnels in Tarpon Bay to see rare migrating birds and more.
Surf near the Big Apple
Jersey’s famous, white- sand ‘Jersey Shore’ runs for 130 miles from Sandy Hook to Cape May, and offers surf, sun and fun on Long Beach Island, just a two-hour drive from New York
Where golden sand is the Maine event
Iconic lighthouses, rugged cliffs and pretty coastal towns provide picture-perfect memories of Maine
, while secluded Sand Beach, hemmed in by mountains in the state’s Acadia National Park, adds a hint of pink with its rose-coloured, granite rocks.
Unspoilt beauty on the Georgia coastline
The state of Georgia
is home to some of the most pristine stretches of sand in the USA, on the Golden Isles and the National Seashores of Tybee Island - which was used as the set for the Baywatch movie - and Cumberland Island. Accessible only by a twice-daily ferry from St. Marys, Georgia
, Cumberland Island National Seashore’s unspoiled beaches are known for their wildlife, including wild horses, manatees, dolphins and nesting sea turtles. On the interior, you’ll find unspoilt forests, marshes and historic ruins.
Paradise beaches in the Florida Keys
Most people visit the Florida Keys
for the awesome diving and watersports, but there are magnificent, palm-fringed beaches to be found in Bahia Honda State Park in the Lower Keys. With more than 2.5 miles of white-sand shores leading into sparkling turquoise waters, it's not hard to understand why these beaches are some of the most prized in the USA.
Historic cottages in Crystal Cove, Newport Beach
You’ll find some of best - and last - examples of early 20th century Southern California
architecture by the beach at Crystal Cove, Newport Beach
. This beaches is one of the most untouched on the coast of California’s Orange County. 46 pretty vintage rustic coastal cottages originally built as a retreats for artists sit along the 3.2 miles of white-sand beach at Crystal Cove. Beyond is 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness favoured by hikers and campers.