Whether you want to stroll for seashells, ride waves, or build sand castles, our list of amazing beaches will guide you to your new favorite coastal playground.
• Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California: Steep terrain that requires a short hike is worth it for the sunset views (831/667-2100 or bigsurcalifornia.org).
• Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington: Dr. Beach’s “best wilderness beach” in the Pacific Northwest. Equal parts coastal forest and ocean beach that’s ideal for camping (800/833-6388 or nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/rialto-beach.htm).
• St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Port St. Joe, Florida: A little-known beach on the Panhandle with 10 miles of white sand and spectacular sunsets (850/227-1327 or floridastateparks.org/stjoseph)