The Best Beaches in America to Visit This Fall

by Lauren Dana

The Best Beaches in America to Visit This Fall

by Lauren Dana

While summer offers gorgeous weather, we all know that fall is actually the best time to soak up the sun because of fewer crowds and not-as-hot weather -- but still, plenty to see, do, and explore. To inspire your future travels, we've rounded up the best beaches across the United States to visit this fall.

While summer offers gorgeous weather, we all know that fall is actually the best time to soak up the sun because of fewer crowds and not-as-hot weather -- but still, plenty to see, do, and explore. To inspire your future travels, we've rounded up the best beaches across the United States to visit this fall.

52
Matt Sampson Photography/iStock
1 of 52
Long Beach, NY

Nestled on the south shore of Long Island, this charming beach town -- which boasts a lively shopping and dining scene, a beautiful boardwalk, and plenty of room to soak up the sun at a social distance -- makes for an ideal easy escape from NYC. 

Nestled on the south shore of Long Island, this charming beach town -- which boasts a lively shopping and dining scene, a beautiful boardwalk, and plenty of room to soak up the sun at a social distance -- makes for an ideal easy escape from NYC. 

2 of 52
Long Beach, NY

Catch a stunning sunset (or sunrise) on the boardwalk, before heading into town for dinner and drinks. We recommend the 1920s-inspired, prohibition-era Speakeasy or Brixx & Barley, followed by a classic chocolate-dipped, soft-serve cone at Marvel Frozen Dairy in nearby Lido Beach. If you’re spending the night, consider staying at the beachfront Allegria Hotel, which offers an incredible rooftop brunch every Sunday. 

Catch a stunning sunset (or sunrise) on the boardwalk, before heading into town for dinner and drinks. We recommend the 1920s-inspired, prohibition-era Speakeasy or Brixx & Barley, followed by a classic chocolate-dipped, soft-serve cone at Marvel Frozen Dairy in nearby Lido Beach. If you’re spending the night, consider staying at the beachfront Allegria Hotel, which offers an incredible rooftop brunch every Sunday. 

3 of 52
The Hamptons, NY

Stunning beaches, rolling vineyards, extravagant mansions, and haute cuisine: Find all this and more in the Hamptons. When it comes to beaches, though, we recommend Coopers Beach, which offers sugar-white sand, picturesque dunes, and beautiful surroundings -- sans the crowds. 

Read more: 6 Ways to Get to the Hamptons (And What It'll Cost You)

Stunning beaches, rolling vineyards, extravagant mansions, and haute cuisine: Find all this and more in the Hamptons. When it comes to beaches, though, we recommend Coopers Beach, which offers sugar-white sand, picturesque dunes, and beautiful surroundings -- sans the crowds. 

Read more: 6 Ways to Get to the Hamptons (And What It'll Cost You)

4 of 52
The Hamptons, NY

While the Hamptons are often associated with the elite, the mansions here are primed for large families or groups, so rent an Airbnb if you opt to stay the night. If you love wine, be sure to visit The Wine Stand at Wölffer Estate, where you can people-watch and sample the winery’s famed rosé, aptly named Summer in a Bottle. Foodies will also love Tate's Bake Shop (the cookies are unbelievable), Cowfish for fresh sushi, and, of course, The Lobster Roll for...you guessed it... lobster rolls. 

While the Hamptons are often associated with the elite, the mansions here are primed for large families or groups, so rent an Airbnb if you opt to stay the night. If you love wine, be sure to visit The Wine Stand at Wölffer Estate, where you can people-watch and sample the winery’s famed rosé, aptly named Summer in a Bottle. Foodies will also love Tate's Bake Shop (the cookies are unbelievable), Cowfish for fresh sushi, and, of course, The Lobster Roll for...you guessed it... lobster rolls. 

5 of 52
Poipu Beach, HI

Poipu Beach is often considered one of America’s best beaches, and it’s easy to see why. Its turquoise waters and white-sand shoreline looks straight out of a fairytale or postcard. The beach, which is great for swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and sunbathing, is located on Kaui, which is also referred to as “The Garden Isle.”

Poipu Beach is often considered one of America’s best beaches, and it’s easy to see why. Its turquoise waters and white-sand shoreline looks straight out of a fairytale or postcard. The beach, which is great for swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and sunbathing, is located on Kaui, which is also referred to as “The Garden Isle.”

6 of 52
Poipu Beach, HI

Stay right on the beach at the Sheraton Kauai Resort, which offers sweeping beach views, comfortable accommodations, and, of course, a central location. If you need a break from the beach (how could you, though?) you can always visit the nearby National Tropical Botanical Garden, the Waikapalae Cave, or the Old Koloa Sugar Mill

Read more: How to Plan Your Trip to Hawaii

Stay right on the beach at the Sheraton Kauai Resort, which offers sweeping beach views, comfortable accommodations, and, of course, a central location. If you need a break from the beach (how could you, though?) you can always visit the nearby National Tropical Botanical Garden, the Waikapalae Cave, or the Old Koloa Sugar Mill. 

Read more: How to Plan Your Trip to Hawaii

Pacific City, Oregon
7 of 52
Pacific City, OR

The quaint beachfront town of Pacific City, Oregon offers many activities to see and do. Perhaps its most famous attraction is the 185-acre Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area. Here, visitors can surf, sunbathe, and picnic. It also offers incredible hiking opportunities, too. The beach is especially gorgeous at sunset, so be sure to bring your camera.

The quaint beachfront town of Pacific City, Oregon offers many activities to see and do. Perhaps its most famous attraction is the 185-acre Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area. Here, visitors can surf, sunbathe, and picnic. It also offers incredible hiking opportunities, too. The beach is especially gorgeous at sunset, so be sure to bring your camera.

8 of 52
Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, OR

Pacific City is home to Pelican Brewing Company, the only beachfront brewery in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, Green Acres Beach & Trail Rides offers guided horseback riding along the beach. In terms of accommodations, we recommend staying at the luxe Headlands Coastal Lodge and Spa

Pacific City is home to Pelican Brewing Company, the only beachfront brewery in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, Green Acres Beach & Trail Rides offers guided horseback riding along the beach. In terms of accommodations, we recommend staying at the luxe Headlands Coastal Lodge and Spa. 

9 of 52
Clearwater Beach, FL

Situated in Florida’s Gulf Coast, Clearwater Beach offers miles of sandy shorelines. Popular activities include jet-skiing, parasailing, and paddleboarding. It’s best to arrive early in the morning; that way, you can beat the crowds.  

Situated in Florida’s Gulf Coast, Clearwater Beach offers miles of sandy shorelines. Popular activities include jet-skiing, parasailing, and paddleboarding. It’s best to arrive early in the morning; that way, you can beat the crowds.  

10 of 52
Clearwater Beach, FL

Downtown Clearwater Beach is a foodie’s paradise. Here, you’ll find amazing eats like slow-roasted BBQ ribs and 100-plus craft beers at Beach Fire Beach Bar and Grill, plus fresh seafood and frozen cocktails at Salty Crab. In the evening, visit Pier 60, which is lined with street performers, vendors, and artists. If you want to be at the center of all the action, stay at the upscale Sandpearl Resort.

Read more: What to See and Do in Clearwater Beach
 

Downtown Clearwater Beach is a foodie’s paradise. Here, you’ll find amazing eats like slow-roasted BBQ ribs and 100-plus craft beers at Beach Fire Beach Bar and Grill, plus fresh seafood and frozen cocktails at Salty Crab. In the evening, visit Pier 60, which is lined with street performers, vendors, and artists. If you want to be at the center of all the action, stay at the upscale Sandpearl Resort.

Read more: What to See and Do in Clearwater Beach

11 of 52
Roque Bluffs, ME

This sleepy town is best known for the 274-acre Roque Bluffs State Park. Featuring majestic cliffs, cobble shores, three miles of scenic walking and hiking trails, and even a 19th century-era lighthouse, this unique beach is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and birders. Bonus: The beach rarely gets crowded. 

This sleepy town is best known for the 274-acre Roque Bluffs State Park. Featuring majestic cliffs, cobble shores, three miles of scenic walking and hiking trails, and even a 19th century-era lighthouse, this unique beach is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and birders. Bonus: The beach rarely gets crowded. 

12 of 52
Roque Bluffs, ME

Roque Bluffs is a destination for those in search of solitude and seclusion -- so don’t expect a lively downtown or cliche tourist attractions. The aforementioned state park is ideal for hiking, biking, cycling, kayaking, fishing, and canoeing. Visitors can also tour Welch Farm, a fifth-generation, family-owned blueberry farm that overlooks the water. Charming cottages are available for rent on Airbnb for under $100 per night. 

Roque Bluffs is a destination for those in search of solitude and seclusion -- so don’t expect a lively downtown or cliche tourist attractions. The aforementioned state park is ideal for hiking, biking, cycling, kayaking, fishing, and canoeing. Visitors can also tour Welch Farm, a fifth-generation, family-owned blueberry farm that overlooks the water. Charming cottages are available for rent on Airbnb for under $100 per night. 

13 of 52
Second Beach, WA

This scenic Washington State Beach is not to be missed. When the tide is low, you can explore the tide pools and stroll along the beach to spot wildlife like bald eagles and sea otters. And, if you look out into the distance, you may even spot a whale or two.

This scenic Washington State Beach is not to be missed. When the tide is low, you can explore the tide pools and stroll along the beach to spot wildlife like bald eagles and sea otters. And, if you look out into the distance, you may even spot a whale or two.

14 of 52
Second Beach, WA

Second Beach is located just outside the town of La Push (about 110 miles from Seattle), which is best known for the nearby beaches, scenic trails, and whale watching opportunities. The surrounding region is home to Olympic National Park and other stunning natural wonders. Misty Valley Inn, which offers charming accommodations, panoramic views, and a freedessert buffet, is also nearby. 

Second Beach is located just outside the town of La Push (about 110 miles from Seattle), which is best known for the nearby beaches, scenic trails, and whale watching opportunities. The surrounding region is home to Olympic National Park and other stunning natural wonders. Misty Valley Inn, which offers charming accommodations, panoramic views, and a free dessert buffet, is also nearby. 

15 of 52
Dry Tortugas National Park, FL

Dry Tortugas National Park is actually comprised of seven islands. Its crystal-blue waters, lush palm trees, and powdery sand set the (tranquil) scene -- whether you’re swimming, sunbathing, or just catching up on some much-needed R&R.  

Dry Tortugas National Park is actually comprised of seven islands. Its crystal-blue waters, lush palm trees, and powdery sand set the (tranquil) scene -- whether you’re swimming, sunbathing, or just catching up on some much-needed R&R.  

16 of 52
Dry Tortugas National Park, FL

The expansive national park offers much more than just gorgeous beaches. Garden Key boasts the 19th century-era Fort Jefferson, while Loggerhead Key is home to sea turtles and its own lighthouse. Meanwhile, divers should visit nearby Loggerhead Reef to see the Windjammer Shipwreck, which dates all the way back to 1875. Visitors can stay in nearby Key West, which offers an array of properties to choose from. Some of our favorites include The Gates Hotel Key West, The Makers Key West, Southernmost Beach Resort, and The Perry Hotel Key West.

Read more: A Budget Guide to Key West

The expansive national park offers much more than just gorgeous beaches. Garden Key boasts the 19th century-era Fort Jefferson, while Loggerhead Key is home to sea turtles and its own lighthouse. Meanwhile, divers should visit nearby Loggerhead Reef to see the Windjammer Shipwreck, which dates all the way back to 1875. Visitors can stay in nearby Key West, which offers an array of properties to choose from. Some of our favorites include The Gates Hotel Key West, The Makers Key West, Southernmost Beach Resort, and The Perry Hotel Key West.

Read more: A Budget Guide to Key West

17 of 52
Cumberland Island, GA

This barrier island is home to stunning beaches and coastal forests. Cumberland Island National Seashore spans nearly 10,000 acres. Here, visitors can explore miles of beaches, sand dunes, lakes, and marshes. Wildlife spotting opportunities abound, including armadillos, sea turtles, wild horses, and alligators.

This barrier island is home to stunning beaches and coastal forests. Cumberland Island National Seashore spans nearly 10,000 acres. Here, visitors can explore miles of beaches, sand dunes, lakes, and marshes. Wildlife spotting opportunities abound, including armadillos, sea turtles, wild horses, and alligators.

18 of 52
Cumberland Island, GA

Cumberland Island is full of fascinating and historic sites, including Plum Orchard Mansion (a sprawling, 22,000-square-foot mansion built in 1898) and the First African Baptist Church, where JFK Jr. wed Carolyn Bessette in 1996 -- three years before their tragic deaths. If you’re spending the night, consider a stay at the all-inclusive Greyfield Inn, which features Old World charm and stunning scenery. 

Cumberland Island is full of fascinating and historic sites, including Plum Orchard Mansion (a sprawling, 22,000-square-foot mansion built in 1898) and the First African Baptist Church, where JFK Jr. wed Carolyn Bessette in 1996 -- three years before their tragic deaths. If you’re spending the night, consider a stay at the all-inclusive Greyfield Inn, which features Old World charm and stunning scenery. 

19 of 52
Montaña de Oro State Park, CA

Montaña de Oro State Park is famous for its beautiful surroundings, including the 1,347-foot Valencia Peak, plus rugged cliffs, secluded beaches, rolling hills, and rocky cliffs. Meanwhile, the beautiful, shady beach itself is somewhat of a hidden gem. 

Montaña de Oro State Park is famous for its beautiful surroundings, including the 1,347-foot Valencia Peak, plus rugged cliffs, secluded beaches, rolling hills, and rocky cliffs. Meanwhile, the beautiful, shady beach itself is somewhat of a hidden gem. 

20 of 52
Montaña de Oro State Park, CA

Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of the park’s hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Nature lovers can spend time admiring wildlife like deer and oystercatchers. Alternatively, foodies and oenophiles can explore nearby-ish Paso Robles, which is best known for its 200-plus wineries and olive oil groves. Stay right in the heart of downtown (where you’re within walking distance to ample shopping and dining options) at The Piccolo.

Read more: 11 Under-the-Radar US Wine Regions

Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of the park’s hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Nature lovers can spend time admiring wildlife like deer and oystercatchers. Alternatively, foodies and oenophiles can explore nearby-ish Paso Robles, which is best known for its 200-plus wineries and olive oil groves. Stay right in the heart of downtown (where you’re within walking distance to ample shopping and dining options) at The Piccolo.

Read more: 11 Under-the-Radar US Wine Regions

21 of 52
Windansea Beach, CA

Located in La Jolla, Windansea Beach is often overshadowed by the area’s other beaches. While it’s a popular spot for expert surfers, we don’t recommend swimming here because of its strong currents and rocky shore. However, it is a great place to relax, unwind, and sunbathe. 

Located in La Jolla, Windansea Beach is often overshadowed by the area’s other beaches. While it’s a popular spot for expert surfers, we don’t recommend swimming here because of its strong currents and rocky shore. However, it is a great place to relax, unwind, and sunbathe. 

22 of 52
Windansea Beach, CA

Dreamy La Jolla is best known for its rugged coastline, excellent golf courses (including Torrey Pines), and stunning oceans views. Fashionistas and foodies alike will love La Jolla Village, which is home to dozens of eclectic boutiques and eateries. The centrally located, completely renovated Grande Colonial Hotel is a great place to call home while you're in town.

Dreamy La Jolla is best known for its rugged coastline, excellent golf courses (including Torrey Pines), and stunning oceans views. Fashionistas and foodies alike will love La Jolla Village, which is home to dozens of eclectic boutiques and eateries. The centrally located, completely renovated Grande Colonial Hotel is a great place to call home while you're in town.

23 of 52
Oak Bluffs Town Beach, MA

Oak Bluffs Town Beach (which is sometimes called Inkwell Beach) is great for swimming and sunbathing thanks to its sandy shoreline and warm, calm waters. If you look out into the distance, you'll be able to see Nantucket Sound and Chappaquiddick Island. 

Read more: 9 Places America’s Presidents Go to Get Away

Oak Bluffs Town Beach (which is sometimes called Inkwell Beach) is great for swimming and sunbathing thanks to its sandy shoreline and warm, calm waters. If you look out into the distance, you'll be able to see Nantucket Sound and Chappaquiddick Island. 

Read more: 9 Places America’s Presidents Go to Get Away

Martha's Vineyard
24 of 52
Oak Bluffs Town Beach, MA

Don't skip town without taking the time to explore charming Oak Bluffs. Start with a latte at Mocha Mott's before visiting -- and perhaps even riding -- the Flying Horses Carousel, the nation's oldest platform carousel. If you love architecture, check out the 300, 19th-century "gingerbread" cottages, located at Oak Bluffs Campground. These adorable homes, which look like they were ripped straight out of a fairytale, feature white picket fences, bright hues, and ornate trimming. You should also visit the East Chop Lighthouse; bowl at The Barn Bowl & Bistro (a buzzy bar, bowling alley, and restaurant); and grab a sweet treat at Back Door Donuts. Spend the night at the centrally located Oak Bluffs Inn.

Don't skip town without taking the time to explore charming Oak Bluffs. Start with a latte at Mocha Mott's before visiting -- and perhaps even riding -- the Flying Horses Carousel, the nation's oldest platform carousel. If you love architecture, check out the 300, 19th-century "gingerbread" cottages, located at Oak Bluffs Campground. These adorable homes, which look like they were ripped straight out of a fairytale, feature white picket fences, bright hues, and ornate trimming. You should also visit the East Chop Lighthouse; bowl at The Barn Bowl & Bistro (a buzzy bar, bowling alley, and restaurant); and grab a sweet treat at Back Door Donuts. Spend the night at the centrally located Oak Bluffs Inn.

25 of 52
Mustang Island State Park, TX

Mustang Island is home to 18 miles of beautiful beaches -- one of our favorites being Mustang Island State Park, which spans five miles of sandy beaches and crystal-clear water. The park also offers 20-plus miles of paddling trails for fishing and birding. 

Mustang Island is home to 18 miles of beautiful beaches -- one of our favorites being Mustang Island State Park, which spans five miles of sandy beaches and crystal-clear water. The park also offers 20-plus miles of paddling trails for fishing and birding. 

26 of 52
Mustang Island State Park, TX

Roberts Point Park, which is nearby, offers ocean views, ample fishing opportunities, and incredible dolphin spotting opportunities. Additionally, the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center is home to dozens of birds, alligators, and other wildlife. And, when it comes to hotels, the oceanfront Isla Grand Beach Resort is great for kids and adults alike. 

Roberts Point Park, which is nearby, offers ocean views, ample fishing opportunities, and incredible dolphin spotting opportunities. Additionally, the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center is home to dozens of birds, alligators, and other wildlife. And, when it comes to hotels, the oceanfront Isla Grand Beach Resort is great for kids and adults alike. 

27 of 52
Chincoteague, VA

This serene beachfront destination offers visitors the chance to catch up on some much-needed rest and relaxation. Featuring white-sand beaches, stunning sunsets, and unspoiled natural beauty, it’s easy to fall in love with this charming Virginia island town.

This serene beachfront destination offers visitors the chance to catch up on some much-needed rest and relaxation. Featuring white-sand beaches, stunning sunsets, and unspoiled natural beauty, it’s easy to fall in love with this charming Virginia island town.

28 of 52
Chincoteague, VA

This beautiful beachfront destination is the gateway to the 14,000-acre Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, with beautiful beaches and wild Chincoteague ponies. History buffs can learn more about the destination at the Museum of Chincoteague Island. Chincoteague is home to an array of hotels, inns, and bed-and-breakfasts; the family-owned Sea Shell Motel is among the most charming. However, if you’re looking for something more contemporary, there’s also a Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott. 

This beautiful beachfront destination is the gateway to the 14,000-acre Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, with beaches and wild Chincoteague ponies. History buffs can learn more about the destination at the Museum of Chincoteague Island. Chincoteague is home to an array of hotels, inns, and bed-and-breakfasts; the family-owned Sea Shell Motel is among the most charming. However, if you’re looking for something more contemporary, there’s also a Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott. 

29 of 52
Lighthouse Beach, MA

Located on Cape Cod in the seaside town of Chatham, Lighthouse Beach (home to the historic Chatham Lighthouse) is not to be missed. The expansive beach is just a half a mile from the lively downtown but feels worlds away. Here, visitors can spot seals, sunbathe, swim (at their own risk; there’s no lifeguard on duty), or stroll along the sand.

Located on Cape Cod in the seaside town of Chatham, Lighthouse Beach (home to the historic Chatham Lighthouse) is not to be missed. The expansive beach is just a half a mile from the lively downtown but feels worlds away. Here, visitors can spot seals, sunbathe, swim (at their own risk; there’s no lifeguard on duty), or stroll along the sand.

30 of 52
Lighthouse Beach, MA

The Chatham Railroad Museum dates back to 1887 and displays model trains and train artifacts, while Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge offers excellent birding and wildlife spotting opportunities. Chatham’s main street is dotted with charming inns, restaurants, and boutiques. Consider staying at the luxe, beachfront Chatham Bars Inn, which boasts charming interiors, sweeping sea views, and a tranquil spa.

The Chatham Railroad Museum dates back to 1887 and displays model trains and train artifacts, while Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge offers excellent birding and wildlife spotting opportunities. Chatham’s main street is dotted with charming inns, restaurants, and boutiques. Consider staying at the luxe, beachfront Chatham Bars Inn, which boasts charming interiors, sweeping sea views, and a tranquil spa.

31 of 52
Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz is home to 29 miles of gorgeous coastline. After a day well spent at the sandy beach, stroll down the adjacent boardwalk, which has its own amusement park complete with nostalgia-inducing games and attractions. 

Santa Cruz is home to 29 miles of gorgeous coastline. After a day well spent at the sandy beach, stroll down the adjacent boardwalk, which has its own amusement park complete with nostalgia-inducing games and attractions. 

32 of 52
Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz features a walkable downtown area, complete with delicious seafood eateries, vintage clothing stores, and eclectic art galleries. Cool off with a scoop (or three) of fresh ice cream from The Penny Ice Creamery, or enjoy a tasting at nearby Birichino. Cozy studios, Tuscan-inspired villas, and spacious beach homes are all available for rent on Airbnb. 

Santa Cruz features a walkable downtown area, complete with delicious seafood eateries, vintage clothing stores, and eclectic art galleries. Cool off with a scoop (or three) of fresh ice cream from The Penny Ice Creamery, or enjoy a tasting at nearby Birichino. Cozy studios, Tuscan-inspired villas, and spacious beach homes are all available for rent on Airbnb. 

33 of 52
Rosemary Beach, FL

Rosemary Beach is halfway between Destin and Panama City Beach. In addition to its beautiful, white-sand beaches and turquoise-hued waters, it’s also famous for its New Urbanism design, which screams summer all year long. 

Read more: Avoid the Crowds at These 10 Overlooked Florida Beaches

Rosemary Beach is halfway between Destin and Panama City Beach. In addition to its beautiful, white-sand beaches and turquoise-hued waters, it’s also famous for its New Urbanism design, which screams summer all year long. 

Read more: Avoid the Crowds at These 10 Overlooked Florida Beaches

The Pearl Hotel
34 of 52
Rosemary Beach, FL

Rosemary Beach’s cobblestone-lined Main Street is dotted with shops and restaurants, including La Crema Tapas & Chocolate and Cowgirl Kitchen. Plus, a stay at the centrally located Pearl Hotel -- which features a pool, spa, an on-site restaurant, and dreamy interiors -- is certainly worth a trip alone. 

Rosemary Beach’s cobblestone-lined Main Street is dotted with shops and restaurants, including La Crema Tapas & Chocolate and Cowgirl Kitchen. Plus, a stay at the centrally located Pearl Hotel -- which features a pool, spa, an on-site restaurant, and dreamy interiors -- is certainly worth a trip alone. 

Asbury Park, NJ
35 of 52
Asbury Park, NJ

Bikers, surfers, beach bums, and fishers all flock to Asbury Park Beach, which truly offers something for everyone. The lively boardwalk has fun shops, live music, and incredible eats (from acai bowls to over-the-top milkshakes, to freshly shucked oysters).  

Bikers, surfers, beach bums, and fishers all flock to Asbury Park Beach, which truly offers something for everyone. The lively boardwalk has fun shops, live music, and incredible eats (from acai bowls to over-the-top milkshakes, to freshly shucked oysters).  

36 of 52
Asbury Park, NJ

No trip is complete without fresh seafood delicacies like oysters or ceviche from either Iron Whale, The Bonney Read, or Asbury Oyster Bar. When it comes to accommodations, there are plenty of hotels to choose from. Asbury Hotel and Asbury Ocean Club are both on the higher end; however, if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, consider staying at the charming Ocean View Inn in nearby Ocean Grove. 

No trip is complete without fresh seafood delicacies like oysters or ceviche from either Iron Whale, The Bonney Read, or Asbury Oyster Bar. When it comes to accommodations, there are plenty of hotels to choose from. Asbury Hotel and Asbury Ocean Club are both on the higher end; however, if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, consider staying at the charming Ocean View Inn in nearby Ocean Grove. 

37 of 52
Gulf State Park, AL

Gulf State Park, which is situated along the powdery beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, spans 6,500 acres, including two-and-a-half miles of beaches, three lakes, a scenic nature trail, a fishing pier, and a picnic area.

Gulf State Park, which is situated along the powdery beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, spans 6,500 acres, including two-and-a-half miles of beaches, three lakes, a scenic nature trail, a fishing pier, and a picnic area.

The Lodge at Gulf State Park
38 of 52
Gulf State Park, AL

Also nearby is the sprawling 7,000-plus acre Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, where you can spot dozens of species of birds along with sea turtles (if you get lucky). Children will love the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, which offers hands-on encounters with lemurs, kangaroos, sloths, and other creatures. If you want to be close to the beach, book a room at The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel.

Also nearby is the sprawling 7,000-plus acre Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, where you can spot dozens of species of birds along with sea turtles (if you get lucky). Children will love the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, which offers hands-on encounters with lemurs, kangaroos, sloths, and other creatures. If you want to be close to the beach, book a room at The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel.

Lanikai Beach, Kailua, HI
39 of 52
Lanikai Beach, HI

Lanikai Beach translates to “Heavenly Ocean,” a fitting name for such a beautiful beach. Here, you can take a dip in what seems like infinite miles of calm, crystal-blue waters. However, Lanikai Beach isn’t the best for sunbathing -- the sandy beach has since eroded -- in this case, we suggest heading next door to Kailua Beach Park. 

Lanikai Beach translates to “Heavenly Ocean,” a fitting name for such a beautiful beach. Here, you can take a dip in what seems like infinite miles of calm, crystal-blue waters. However, Lanikai Beach isn’t the best for sunbathing -- the sandy beach has since eroded -- in this case, we suggest heading next door to Kailua Beach Park. 

40 of 52
Lanikai Beach, HI

Lanikai Beach is located on the isle of Oahu. Here, you can explore Hawaii’s capital city of Honolulu, volunteer at a lo’i (taro farm), learn to hula, make a lei, take a surfing lesson, or embark on a hike. The list goes on and on. In terms of hotels, we love the ‘60s-inspired Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club, which features patterned wallpaper, colorful surfboards, and an Insta-famous pool. 

Read more: 4 Exhilarating Water Adventures on Oahu

Lanikai Beach is located on the isle of Oahu. Here, you can explore Hawaii’s capital city of Honolulu, volunteer at a lo’i (taro farm), learn to hula, make a lei, take a surfing lesson, or embark on a hike. The list goes on and on. In terms of hotels, we love the ‘60s-inspired Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club, which features patterned wallpaper, colorful surfboards, and an Insta-famous pool. 

Read more: 4 Exhilarating Water Adventures on Oahu

41 of 52
Weatherswood Beach, WA

The small and sleepy hamlet of Gig Harbor dates back to the 1800s. It’s best known for its Mount Rainier views, lovely harbors, laid-back vibe, and crowd-free beaches. Weatherswood Beach is among one of our favorites. Its sandy shoreline makes it a great place to picnic, stroll, or sunbathe. 

The small and sleepy hamlet of Gig Harbor dates back to the 1800s. It’s best known for its Mount Rainier views, lovely harbors, laid-back vibe, and crowd-free beaches. Weatherswood Beach is among one of our favorites. Its sandy shoreline makes it a great place to picnic, stroll, or sunbathe. 

42 of 52
Weatherswood Beach, WA

Popular activities include sailing, kayaking, canoeing, and boating. You can also opt to take a scenic gondola ride around the sound. Many businesses and restaurants surround the waterfront Skansie Brothers Park, including Tides Tavern, Heritage Distilling Co., and 7 Seas Brewing. While Gig Harbor is only 20 minutes outside of Tacoma, you can opt to spend the night in town at The Inn at Gig Harbor.

Popular activities include sailing, kayaking, canoeing, and boating. You can also opt to take a scenic gondola ride around the sound. Many businesses and restaurants surround the waterfront Skansie Brothers Park, including Tides Tavern, Heritage Distilling Co., and 7 Seas Brewing. While Gig Harbor is only 20 minutes outside of Tacoma, you can opt to spend the night in town at The Inn at Gig Harbor.

43 of 52
Stuart Beach, FL

Stuart is best known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” Here, you can expect lots of water sports and other outdoor recreational activities, like boating and fishing. Its namesake Stuart Beach is perfect for families of all ages. Here, you can surf, snorkel, and swim, and, when you need a break from the ocean waves, head to the sand where you can lounge out, play volleyball, or shoot some hoops. 

Stuart is best known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” Here, you can expect lots of water sports and other outdoor recreational activities, like boating and fishing. Its namesake Stuart Beach is perfect for families of all ages. Here, you can surf, snorkel, and swim, and, when you need a break from the ocean waves, head to the sand where you can lounge out, play volleyball, or shoot some hoops. 

Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, Golf & Marina
44 of 52
Stuart Beach, FL

Stuart is also home to a vibrant, walkable downtown area lined with shops, dining, and entertainment venues. Meanwhile, culture vultures will appreciate a visit to both the Stuart Heritage Museum and the Road to Victory Military Museum. Spend the night at the oceanfront, 200-acre Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, Golf & Marina.

Stuart is also home to a vibrant, walkable downtown area lined with shops, dining, and entertainment venues. Meanwhile, culture vultures will appreciate a visit to both the Stuart Heritage Museum and the Road to Victory Military Museum. Spend the night at the oceanfront, 200-acre Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, Golf & Marina.

45 of 52
Naples Beach, FL

Naples Beach boasts seven pristine miles of sugary-sand beach, along with blue waters, a fishing pier, and a laid-back atmosphere. Keep your eye out for some dolphin sightings, too. 

Read more: A Classic Florida Getaway for Less in Naples

Naples Beach features seven pristine miles of sugary-sand beach, along with blue waters, a fishing pier, and a laid-back atmosphere. Keep your eye out for some dolphin sightings, too. 

Read more: A Classic Florida Getaway for Less in Naples

1200x1200_naples_istock.png
46 of 52
Naples Beach, FL

Visit the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and stroll along the two-and-a-half-mile-long boardwalk, where you can spot alligators, birds, and maybe even a panther or two. Alternatively, fashionistas will appreciate a stroll down Fifth South Street, which is home to several eclectic boutiques and big-brand shops. Afterward, refuel at either the chic Sails Restaurant, the elegant French Brasserie Rustique, or the hip Sea Salt. Some of our favorites hotels in the area include 474-room Naples Grande Beach Resort, along with the centrally located Inn on Fifth.

Visit the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and stroll along the two-and-a-half-mile-long boardwalk, where you can spot alligators, birds, and maybe even a panther or two. Alternatively, fashionistas will appreciate a stroll down Fifth South Street, which is home to several eclectic boutiques and big-brand shops. Afterward, refuel at either the chic Sails Restaurant, the elegant French Brasserie Rustique, or the hip Sea Salt. Some of our favorites hotels in the area include 474-room Naples Grande Beach Resort, along with the centrally located Inn on Fifth.

47 of 52
Crescent Beach, ME

The mile-long Crescent Beach features a sandy shoreline, saltwater coves, sand dunes, and, of course, tons of natural beauty. It’s also a great place for beachcombing, boating, surfing, and sunbathing. 

The mile-long Crescent Beach features a sandy shoreline, saltwater coves, sand dunes, and, of course, tons of natural beauty. It’s also a great place for beachcombing, boating, surfing, and sunbathing. 

48 of 52
Crescent Beach, ME

Crescent Beach is located in Cape Elizabeth, right outside of Portland. Here, visitors can check out the area’s several lighthouses, including the 1791-era Portland Head Light. There are plenty of good eats to choose from, as well: Don’t miss The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, The Good Table, or The Well at Jordan’s Farm. Reserve a room at the charming, luxurious Inn by the Sea, which is right next to Crescent Beach. 

Crescent Beach is located in Cape Elizabeth, right outside of Portland. Here, visitors can check out the area’s several lighthouses, including the 1791-era Portland Head Light. There are plenty of good eats to choose from, as well: Don’t miss The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, The Good Table, or The Well at Jordan’s Farm. Reserve a room at the charming, luxurious Inn by the Sea, which is right next to Crescent Beach. 

49 of 52
Bald Head Island, NC

This car-free North Carolina island offers 14 miles of beaches. East Beach is great for surfers or adventure junkies. Meanwhile, if you prefer to simply relax, visit South Beach, where you can rent umbrellas, chairs, and games. North Beach is perfect for beachcombing, shell collecting, fishing, and paddleboarding. West Beach is on the quieter side, but it’s great for couples or those in search of solitude.

This car-free North Carolina island offers 14 miles of beaches. East Beach is great for surfers or adventure junkies. Meanwhile, if you prefer to simply relax, visit South Beach, where you can rent umbrellas, chairs, and games. North Beach is perfect for beachcombing, shell collecting, fishing, and paddleboarding. West Beach is on the quieter side, but it’s great for couples or those in search of solitude.

50 of 52
Bald Head Island, NC

In addition to the beautiful beaches, Bald Head Island offers 10,000 acres of nature preserves, where travelers can kayak, hike, or go birding. It’s also not uncommon to encounter dolphins, deer, or other wildlife. While there are few hotels on the island, it’s worth renting an Airbnb and taking in all that this beautiful isle has to offer. 

In addition to the beautiful beaches, Bald Head Island offers 10,000 acres of nature preserves, where travelers can kayak, hike, or go birding. It’s also not uncommon to encounter dolphins, deer, or other wildlife. While there are few hotels on the island, it’s worth renting an Airbnb and taking in all that this beautiful isle has to offer. 

51 of 52
Lucy Vincent Beach, MA

While Lucy Vincent Beach is only open to residents in the summer, visitors are welcome in the fall months. Along the coast, you’ll spot majestic rock formations (although, the signature spire fell into the ocean in May 2020; read more here). Meanwhile, the beach’s white, soft sand is perfect for sunbathing and swimming; however, according to the town of Chilmark, nude bathing is allowed -- just not within the first 1,500 feet of beach entrance -- so don’t be alarmed. 

While Lucy Vincent Beach is only open to residents in the summer, visitors are welcome in the fall months. Along the coast, you’ll spot majestic rock formations (although, the signature spire fell into the ocean in May 2020; read more here). Meanwhile, the beach’s white, soft sand is perfect for sunbathing and swimming; however, according to the town of Chilmark, nude bathing is allowed -- just not within the first 1,500 feet of beach entrance -- so don’t be alarmed. 

52 of 52
Lucy Vincent Beach, MA

Golfing, biking, hiking, fishing, and more: Find all this and more in Martha's Vineyard, an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. Other popular recreational activities offered on the island include windsurfing, waterskiing, kayaking, canoeing, and sailing. We also recommend taking a scenic aerial tour of the island with Classic Aviators, Ltd. Martha's Vineyard offers dozens of hotels to choose from, including Isabelle's Beach House, Mansion House Inn, and Harbor View Hotel

Golfing, biking, hiking, fishing, and more: Find all this and more in Martha's Vineyard, an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. Other popular recreational activities offered on the island include windsurfing, waterskiing, kayaking, canoeing, and sailing. We also recommend taking a scenic aerial tour of the island with Classic Aviators, Ltd. Martha's Vineyard offers dozens of hotels to choose from, including Isabelle's Beach House, Mansion House Inn, and Harbor View Hotel. 

Up next...

22 Incredible Cruise Itineraries for 2021 & 2022

Longtail boats on a beach in Phuket, Thailand
Go Back
Find The Best Cruises
Find a cruise

Find the best deals!

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices