The Most Beautiful Beaches in America
Half Moon Bay State Beach, CA
This quintessential beauty spot has all the hallmarks you'd dream of in a Northern California beach—rugged cliffs, dramatic dunes, fine golden sand, and a magnificent sweep of Pacific Ocean. Extra style points for being home to the regal Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay.
Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Outshining even its gorgeous neighbor Kailua Beach, this Oahu stunner is a standout for its white powdery sand and perfectly framed views of the Mokes. It also offers gentler surf for beginner wave-riders.
Barefoot Beach, FL
This barrier island near Bonita Springs on Florida's southwest coast steals hearts thanks to its tranquil tropical vibe and myriad opportunities to get close to nature. Visitors can stroll wooden walkways, bird-watch, and kayak. Kick your shoes off and join the fun.
Table Rock Beach, Laguna Beach, CA
The SoCal city of Laguna Beach is known for its superlative stretches of sand, and Table Rock takes the beauty queen crown for its Instagram-worthy rock formations, tidal pools, and spotless golden sand.
Ditch Plains, Montauk
Surfers have long set their sights on this fabled Montauk spot, but it's not just the break that makes it: the wide sand, gentle dunes, and magical misty mornings here make this a Long Island standout. Be sure to refuel at the famous Ditch Witch food truck, a post-surf staple.
Ocracoke Beach, NC
Follow in the footsteps of notorious pirate Black Beard on this Outer Banks island treasure. The beach here is known for its wild beauty: think clean, windswept sand, grassy dunes, superior beachcombing, and the occasional big wave, particularly in the summer months.
Sanibel Island, FL
Reached via a 3 mile-long causeway, this gorgeous escape on Florida's Gulf Coast is particularly renowned for its seashells, some 250 varieties of which can be found on its white-sand beaches. Post-beachcombing, cool off with a mission fig gelato or mango sorbet at Pinocchios Ice-Cream.
Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, MA
If quintessential New England scenery is your cup of tea, make haste for this lovely swimming beach, with its undulating golden dunes, salt marshes, and abundant bird and sea life.
Hunting Island State Park, SC
Head to this semitropical barrier island if you're after a beautiful crowd-pleaser: there's five miles of beach, a host of scenic trails through maritime forest, a saltwater lagoon, and a jaunty lighthouse that dates from 1870.
Cape Lookout, OR
Wild, sweeping beachscapes are the reward for journeying to Cape Lookout State Park, situated an hour and a half west of Portland. Take a walking trail through old-growth forest, join the hang gliders floating overhead like butterflies, or just stroll the seemingly endless miles of coastline. Fancy overnighting? You can even stay in one of the park's 13 yurts.