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.

Van Damme Beach, Mendocino Coast, California
Photo: DeeDee DeGelia & Brent Winebrenner & DeGelia/moodboard/Corbis

Van Damme Beach

Mendocino Coast, California

Three hours north of bustling San Francisco is the lush and serene Van Damme State Park. Follow towering redwoods down to the quiet gray-sand shoreline to explore sea caves by kayak, dive for abalone, poke through tide pools, or commune with sea lions.

Hotel Recommendation: Stay at the Little River Inn. Read our review.

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Top 21 Beaches, Coast to Coast

Plan your summer getaway now: 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.

The Cove Beach, Cape May, New Jersey