- Category: Top 10
Top Beach Destinations
Nothing feels more like a vacation than a trip to the beach! This year, why not plan and sand-and-shore getaway to one of these terrific locations? Whether you’re after water sports like sailing, body surfing, jet skiing, and paragliding or are just hoping for some quiet time on the sand, listening to the rushing waves, you’re sure to find your heart’s desire at these superb beach camping destinations.
Matagorda Island State Park, Texas
The warm seas of the Gulf Coast make this a fabulous family destination. Matagorda is a barrier island that’s seven miles off the Texas coast. This car-free area is only accessible by walk-on ferry (bikes and park shuttles are also permitted). You’ll find world-class fishing, tons of sand dollars and sea shells, and stunning island scenery.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
If you’re willing to put up with cooler temperatures on your beach vacation, you won’t find a better spot than Cannon Beach. This is where you’ll find Haystack Rock, a 235-foot-tall plinth that dominates the sandy shore near town. The top of the rock is a protected National Wildlife Refuge. On the sand down below, you can enjoy whale watching, three wheeling, beachcombing, and long hikes. Don’t miss the annual Sandcastle Day in early June!
St. George Island State Park, Florida
Set on the glorious Florida panhandle, this sunny island is linked to the mainland by a 29-mile long bridge. The eastern side of the island is a 2,000-acre state park with miles of beaches and fishing spots. Be sure to watch for loggerhead turtles and shiny seashells! The water is warm and the seafood is always fresh in St. George.
Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
Charming, peaceful Nantucket is the perfect place to get away from it all. This historic whaling village offers plenty of spring and summer fun, from the Daffodil Festival in April to the climax of cranberry season in mid-November. You’ll find plenty of sandy beaches, rolling surf, and lighthouses on this car-free island.
Channel Islands National Park, California
This island may be tricky to reach, but it’s well worth the boat trip! Set ninety miles off the coast of Los Angeles, the Channel islands offer 177 miles of coastline, spread out among five islands. The rocky cliffs teem with sea lions, pelicans, and other wildlife, including more than a hundred animals that are unique to these islands. These islands are famous for their amazing scuba diving.
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May offers a unique combination of history and natural beauty. This was a getaway spot for the founding fathers, and today it offers golden beaches, blue ocean shores, and fabulous bird watching. The town is a National Historic Landmark that’s full of ornate Victorian homes and stunning antique hotels.
Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
North Carolina’s outer banks include 130 miles of pristine coastline, offering secluded beaches, warm sands, and beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. On shore, you’ll find great times at The Lost Colony, America's oldest outdoor drama, and the Roanoke Island Festival Park and Elizabethan Gardens. You can visit historic Kitty Hawk, tour the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and take a picnic lunch to the Bodie Island Lighthouse and the majestic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Crescent Beach, Block Island, Rhode Island
With wildflower-studded sand dunes leading down to the shore, you’ll find plenty of beauty at Crescent Beach. The area offers plenty of family fun, from sea kayaking and boogie boarding to biking, horseback riding, and body surfing. Take a dip in the ocean, pedal through town, or just settle back on the sand and let yourself unwind.
Stunning Maui puts its best foot forward at Kapalua Beach, a treasure-trove of golden sands surrounded by swaying palms. Black lava formations protect this beach from the wind, making this a fabulous place to enjoy swimming, snorkeling and whale watching. This public beach is close to some of the most exclusive spas, golf courses, and restaurants in the state.
Head to the northernmost tip of Cape Cod and step back in time to the early 1900s, when Provincetown was a famed art colony and whaling community. You’ll find 30 miles of gorgeous beach, all of which belongs to the Cape Cod National Seashore, and excellent shopping, art galleries, and sumptuous restaurants. Rent a bike and explore the town at your own pace! x