1: Cape Hatteras (Buxton, North Carolina)
What better place to start than the first National Seashore named by America in 1953? There’s something for everyone at Cape Hatteras, whether it’s fishing by the docks or jet-skiing across the waves, and the view is even better once night falls and a thousand stars dot a deep, unpolluted sky.
2: Myrtle Beach (Myrtle Beach, South Caroline)
With everything from ferris wheels to live concerts on the pier, a trip to Myrtle Beach will be action-packed and full of fun, perfect for summer vacationers or anyone looking for a little adventure.
3: Surfside Beach (Nantucket, Massachusetts)
With its quaint cottages and historic lighthouses, Nantucket is a town straight out of a storybook, and Surfside Beach is just as picture-perfect. Build sandcastles by the shore; answer the seagulls on the water; take off your shoes and explore the sand dunes.
4: Poverty Beach (Cape May, New Jersey)
Poverty Beach completely belies its name by being a beautiful and bountiful beach in the northern area of Cape May. It hasn’t gained national attention yet, which means it’s still pure and unspoiled by the masses, offering gorgeous waves and gently-swaying shade in a blissfully temperate climate.
5: Barefoot Beach (Bonita Springs, Florida)
Far from the city but close to a number of shops, cafes and restaurants, Barefoot Beach offers an all-in-one opportunity to enjoy a tropical getaway without sacrificing modern conveniences and umbrella drinks. Lay back and enjoy a lazy day on the beach while secure in the knowledge that air conditioning is okay a few miles away.
6: Daytona Beach (Daytona Beach, Florida)
With sand so thick and luscious you can actually drive on it, Daytona Beach has gained an international reputation as one of the best vacation spots in the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a family suite in the Ramada or a romantic getaway at Bluegreen resorts: Daytona Beach has something to accommodate all travelers.
7: Silver Strand State Beach (Coronado, California)
As the Soul Kids once sang, there’s bounce in California, and with the swimmers, surfers, snorklers and skaters all around Silver Strand State Beach, you’re sure to get swept up in a wave of glorious activity.
8: Main Beach (East Hampton, New York)
The home of the wealthy and elite, East Hampton provides amazing views of both the ocean and New York’s most famous. It isn’t uncommon to spot celebrities and supermodels frolicking on shore, though if you want to see them for yourself, you should hurry and visit soon: As more people learn of this gem, it gets more crowded and less likely to attract the stars.
9: South Beach (Miami, Florida)
There’s always something happening at South Beach, one of the great party capitals of the U.S. Grab a drink, follow the crowd and enjoy the excitement, because anything goes when you’re on vacation!
10: Hulopo’e Beach (Lana’i, Hawaii)
You can’t talk about beach vacations without including Hawaii, but Hulopo’e Beach is something else even by the standards of the world’s greatest tropical island. Dolphins jump in faraway waves; white sand glistens under a stunning sun; the water remains a perfect 70Â°F all year round. If you’re looking for the ultimate beach vacation, this is it.