21 Best Beaches

Get ready to dig your toes in the sand: From white strands to secret coves, we've found the ultimate spots by the shore, plus fabulous lodging so you can stay as long as you like.

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Pine Knolls Shores, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina

Photo: Will & Deni McIntyre/Corbis

Pine Knolls Shores

Atlantic Beach, North Carolina

North Carolina's best-kept beach secret is the small resort town of Atlantic Beach in the largely uninhabited Bogue Banks barrier islands. The coastal community of Pine Knolls Shores stretches west from the city center, a strip of fine white sand that's home to the North Carolina Aquarium.

Hotel Recommendation: Stay at the pet-friendly Atlantis Lodge. Read our review.

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