US Beaches that Deserve a “Sanding” Ovation

Top Best Beaches in the USA

The United States is home to many stunning beaches. The beaches seem to have personalities as varied as the people living in the United States. Comparing the many varied beaches is like comparing apples to oranges, and while similar, they are almost nothing alike. The sand, water, temperature and surrounding activities make each beach location unique in its own way. Here are a few beaches travelers may want to consider when choosing their US beach destination.

Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts

One of the most popular beaches in the New England area is Good Harbor Beach. Located in Massachusetts, Good Harbor Beach is a brilliant stretch of white sand, surrounded by dunes, lighthouses and a lazy, rolling tide. There are many museums and tours available in and around Gloucester. If the visit is timed right, the Schooner's Festival, held in late summer, is an attraction not to miss. Located nearby is the town of Salem, where the Salem witch trials were held, and many tourist attractions highlighting those events are available today. Good Harbor Beach area is famous for its many restaurants that surround the beach. Numerous seafood restaurants offering fresh lobster, crab, seafood and chowder are located around nearly every corner. The character of this beach is laid back and relaxed, and has a secluded feel to it in spite of the popularity of it.

Ka'anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Top Best Beaches in the USA

Traveling all the way to the other side of the United States are the Hawaiian islands, specifically Maui. Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands and the beach of Ka'anapali is beyond compare.

While only a mile in length, the broad, white swath of sand is perfect in every way. While vacationing in Maui, people can entertain themselves with numerous activities such as parasailing, helicopter tours, horseback riding, hiking, boat tours and kayaking.

Whichever way the island is chosen to be explored, the views and scenery are worth the effort. For the aquatic life lovers, there are whale-watching tours and an abundance of sea turtles and underwater life to explore while snorkeling. Black Rock is at one end of this stunning beach and an evening ritual is for a cliff jumper to light the torches there, then jump from the cliff in an ancient ceremony.

While on Ka'anapali Beach, tourists may not want to relax and close their eyes, or they risk missing the stunning views and breath-taking sunsets. 

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Top Best Beaches in the USA

Florida is famous for its white-sand beaches for a good reason. This state is bordered on three sides by the whitest, finest, sand beaches and known for its recreation. Cocoa Beach has a little bit of everything to experience, from touring the Kennedy Space Center to watching endangered sea turtle eggs hatch.

There are numerous water sports to participate in such as kite boarding, surfing, kayaking and activities on dry land including golf, hiking on nature trails or strolling though the Brevard Zoo. Cocoa Beach is home to the Dinosaur Store, the world's largest collection of fossils and minerals, to browse, or as the name implies to purchase.

Right on the beach, Westgate Cocoa Pier stretches out 800 feet over the ocean and offers restaurants, bars, gift shops and even live music, should people prefer that over fishing. Astronaut Memorial Observatory and Planetarium is a must-see attraction, allowing tourists to view planets, stars and galaxies, although the scenery of the night sky over the ocean does compete on its own.

Outer Banks

Top Best Beaches in the USA

The Outer Banks area is a 200-mile string of islands located on the east coast of the United States. It is hands-down one of the most popular choices for US beach destinations.

Many travelers choose these barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia for their vacation getaway. Outer Banks vacations are selected for their historical lighthouses, over 3000 shipwrecks to explore by scuba diving or snorkeling and amazing unspoiled strips of white sandy beaches.

Many "firsts" happened in the Outer Banks, such as Orville and Wilbur Wright taking their first flight at Kill Devil Hills, or the first victory of the union army at Hatteras Bay and some "lasts" such as Blackbeard's last battle at Ocracoke.

Outer Banks vacations will not disappoint as there are activities and sightseeing around every corner.

For mystery lovers, The Lost Colony was the first attempt at settlement in the islands and settlers were left on Roanoke Island while a fleet returned to England for supplies. Upon return, they found no sign of the settlers, only a carving in a tree, one word "Croatoan," leaving them wondering if they had been lost in their journey to another island or attacked by natives. The mystery of the lost settlers remains today.

While the nightlife is not as extensive as other US beach destinations, the secluded beaches and options for exploration make this an amazing choice for a vacation. 

Laguna Beach, California

Top Best Beaches in the USA

The beaches of California rival Florida for being well known for beach vacations, but are also typically less crowded. Laguna Beach offers more for the sophisticated tastes and is rich in pageantry and art appreciation.

Kush Fine Art Gallery is open for visiting as well as hosting a Pageant of the Masters during the summer months. This pageant consists of a live narrator, actors and an orchestra that bring works of art to life in a performance.

There are many shops and boutiques along the beach and tourists will often see artists at work painting or drawing. Walking along the beach in Shaws Cove people usually see relaxing and calm waters, making this a popular spot for families to swim, especially those with small children.

The Pirate Tower is something to check out also, with its 60-foot tall tower, and stairs that lead to the beach. Located on the rocky Victoria Beach, the majestic tower is a landmark to be noticed.

If visitors are looking for physical activity, there are kayaking tours, surfing lessons and usually games of volleyball and basketball can be found on the beach. Hiking on the Valido Trail may be an appropriate choice for those that are active, but not exactly mountain climbers. The one mile trail gains 650 feet and meanders through wildflowers and across a creek bed to the ridge of Aliso Peak.

The Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park contains 4,500 acres of canyons, mountains and caves that overlook the Pacific Ocean. No complaints about the hike will be heard when viewing the panoramic view of the ocean and city from this trail. 

Whether the decision is to visit the rocky coast of California, the bustle of Florida, the historical New England area, the tropical Hawaiian islands or the vast Outer Banks, the beaches of the US will not disappoint. There are activities to please everyone, especially if that activity is laying on a chair or a towel, soaking up the sunshine and listening to the waves.

This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.


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