Cannon Beach, Oregon

10 of the Most Beautiful Beaches in the US

You don't have to go all the way to Florida, California or Hawaii for some fun on the beach. In fact, you'll find lots of nice beaches in all coastal states of the US. Here are the 10 of the most beautiful beaches in the United States.

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Kacey Bradley

16. July 2019

When I realized I had a passion for travel, I thought I was going to transform myself by seeing the world. In a way, that's true. I've seen so many different cultures and learned so much from them, but one thing hasn't changed.

Sure, I have a few favorite spots I've been to that aren't your typical tourist locations, but what is apparently a key fact about me is still true. I adore vacationing on a good beach.

Ever since I was a kid, going to the beach was the ultimate way to relax. I used to dream about making sandcastles and diving into the waves all day long, and I didn't care where that was. 

Now I know that it's worth it to travel a little bit farther for a gorgeous beach. I've stepped on hidden sticks, rocks and even bottle caps too many times to count.

When I travel to a beach now, I make sure it's one that will take my breath away. These are ten of the most beautiful beaches in the US that have made it onto my bucket list, and I'm sure they'll make yours too.

1. Kitty Hawk Beach, NC

A group of boys on a beach. Kitty Hawk Beach. Flickr/Mike Fonseca. 

North Carolina is a state where there's surprisingly a lot to do, considering that it's halfway between Disney World and New York City. One thing it has plenty of is beach, since it's on the coast.

One of the first beaches I ever visited in North Carolina was at Kitty Hawk. It's the perfect place to stay if you want to have a quiet beach during the day and some of the more fun touristy things to do as the temperatures cool in the evening.

Kitty Hawk has all the cerulean waters of the Caribbean, without making you travel that far. It's also the place where the Wright brothers flew their first successful airplane. I've walked through the museum and it was fascinating, which surprised me because I'm not much into planes. 

2. Keawakapu Beach, Hawaii

A beach in Hawai. Keawakapu Beach in Hawaii. Canva/Juergen Schonnop. 

I once took a trip to Maui that was a dream, and I didn't even know then of the existence of Keawakapu Beach. You know that feeling when you're craving some time alone on the sand so you can walk with your thoughts? Keawakapu is the perfect place for that.

The beach is a half-mile stretch of sand from one of Maui's most popular resorts, so there's no need to drive to see it. The farther you walk, the quieter the beach becomes. Or you can sit down on the white sand and bask in the beauty of the ocean.

Personally, I'd love to walk out on this beach in the morning and look for sea turtles. They're known to swim there, right within snorkeling distance of swimmers. Hand me a pair of goggles and I'd be ready to make a new best turtle friend or two.

3. Blind Pass Beach, Florida

A beach. The Blind Pass Beach. Canva/JoeFox86. 

I've been out early on a few beaches and tried to find good seashells, but I've read that a great place to find them is Blind Pass Beach.

This beach has it all. It's got the white sand and palm trees of a romantic getaway, but it's also full of shells for anyone who considers themselves a collector. Anyone who's tried to collect shells in the past knows that not every beach is the same when it comes to what you can find on the sand, but Blind Pass Beach won't disappoint. 

The ultimate trip would be me visiting this beach and leaving with a good couple intact sand dollars, or even a conch shell. People are pretty much also guaranteed to find some shark teeth in the sand, so go out there prepared to comb the beach.

4. Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach in Oregon. Cannon Beach in Oregon. Canva/estivillml. 

Some people love the beach, but don't want to get in the water and I totally get that. If that's the case for you, you may love to find yourself at Cannon Beach someday.

This is more of a beach where people go to see the sunset and try out the hiking trails nearby. Because it's located in Oregon, the water is too cold to swim in for pretty much the entire year.

Want to know what makes me want to visit? The beach bunnies. Local lore has it that a woman set some bunnies loose on the beach many years ago, so now there are quite literally too many to count. They live just off the beach and may even come up to meet you if you sit on the sand and wait. 

5. Carmel Beach, CA

Cars on a road with the Carmel Valley and the beach in the background. The Carmel Valley in California. Canva/pikappa. 

I travel way too much to adopt a dog at this point in my life, but I still need that puppy love sometimes! Carmel Beach is where you can go to enjoy the sun and pet more than a few dogs. 

When I read that, I was basically won over, but it gets even better. The reason Carmel is open to dogs is because Doris Day declared it so. Oh, and that was before Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel.

Basically, this beach has been the home to legends and I'm all about visiting it one day. Surfing, swimming, dogs and celebrities. What else could you possibly need?

6. Pensacola Beach, FL

The white and pristine Pensacola beach. Pensacola Beach. Canva/stockphoto52. 

There's a reason Pensacola draws in so many tourists every year, and I don't believe in avoiding places just because they're popular. 

Pensacola Beach is bursting with beauty and fun things to do. Sure, you may have to walk a bit to find a spot to lay down your towel, but when you're not relaxing by the waves, you can go diving, boating or even dolphin watching.

People in Pensacola are as proud of their town as they are of their beach. There are many small local shops to visit that you won't find anywhere else, plus it has a rich history to learn about.

All I needed to know was that it was settled by Spaniards in 1559 and the actual Spanish king and queen stopped by to visit in 2009 for the region's 450th anniversary. Pensacola is that big of a deal.

7. Folly Beach, South Carolina

Bright orange sunset on the Folly Beach in South Carolina. Sunset at the Folly Beach. Canva/TheBigMK. 

I'm not a big into fishing, but if I were, I'd want to go to Folly Beach. It's known for its boating and fishing, with deep sea fishing even available to tourists. It's only a few minutes away from Charleston, so this serene getaway spot isn't too far from the main roads.

Folly Beach is surrounded by smaller beach towns, which is also nice. When people go to visit, they stay in rental homes. A big bonus of South Carolina is that they have very low property taxes, so if I were to invest in a vacation home, that would be the first place I'd look.

8. Siasconset Beach, MA

A path leading to Siasconset Beach. The path to Siasconset Beach. Canva/John Santoro. 

Another part of traveling so often is getting to know your way around a camera. I love being able to take pictures of the beautiful places I get to visit, which is why Siasconset Beach makes my dream beach list.

This is not your average beach. You must walk down a mile-long path to reach it, although the path is kept clear and very friendly to visitors. After you reach the beach, you can hang out all you want, but people typically go for long walks.

There are beach mansions on the cliffs overlooking the water, plus lots of natural wildlife to see. Seals often swim up onto the shore and sun themselves, not too far away from anyone out on an afternoon stroll.

When you're heading back to your car, look out for wild raspberries that grow along the trek back to where you parked. Just watch out for thorns, since they go hand in hand with the berries.

9. Short Sands Beach, ME

Short Sands Beach in Maine. Short Sands Beach, Maine. Photo: WikimediaCommons. 

If you're looking for a quick beach stroll in a place that looks like it's straight out of a painting, you'll have to visit Short Sands Beach. It's only a quarter of a mile long, but it has a walkway, basketball courts, a park and even a gazebo.

It's basically the perfect place to relax with your shoes off, without all the fanfare of typical tourist beaches. I want to stop by this beach one day while I'm taking a tour of Maine. It may not be a big enough beach to hang out at for a weekend, but the serenity is what draws people in while they see what Maine has to explore. 

10. Laguna Beach, CA

An aerial view of Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach. Canva/nata_rass. 

I'm an adventurer at heart, which is where my passion for traveling comes from. It's also why I'm in love with the idea of seeing Laguna Beach one day.

It's eight miles of coastline that has over 30 coves and beaches to explore. Plus, there are caves just off the shoreline that you can wander into if you want an extra thrill.

When you're not walking over the pristine sand, you can always go snorkeling, swimming or exploring the many tide pools that cover some parts of the beach. 

Map Things Out

There are endless places to see all over the world, but if you've got a love for beaches like I do, then you should check some of these shores out.

Want some expert advice? The key to traveling around the globe is to map things out. Where do you want to travel in the coming months? What will be around those places?

Guide yourself through the world by hopping from place to place, instead of making giant leaps and bounds from one continent to the next. In time, we'll all eventually see the beaches we long to visit and be able to cross them off our destination list.