Best USA Beaches : A Visitors Guide

National Seashore in Pensacola, Florida

Photo: National Seashore in Pensacola, Florida, Courtesy Visit Florida

The Best USA Beaches: Our 6 top picks for beaches featuring powdery white sand, a scenic backdrop, and an unspoiled shoreline

The best USA beaches are characterized by soft white sand, dunes, and many activities in the communities adjoining the beaches. Many of these beaches feature wildlife habitat and a large variety of maritime plants

The Best USA Beaches

The Hampton's, New York
Popular with celebrities and well heeled summer vacationers. The unspoiled shoreline begins around West Hampton and runs east to Amagansett. Facing south on the Atlantic Ocean, they are a series of beautiful, un crowded public beaches with windswept dunes and grasses.

Gulf Islands National Seashore - Pensacola, FL
Considered to be one of the world's whitest beaches. Open year-round, the park is rich in natural resources. There are sparkling blue waters, magnificent snowy-white beaches, fertile coastal marshes, and beautiful winding nature trails. More than 80 percent of the park is submerged lands teeming with marine life. Marshes collect fresh rainwater and support diverse communities of plants and animals. Live oak forests are home to resident and migrating bird populations. It is also home to Fort Pickens, one of only four forts in the South that were never occupied by Confederate forces during the Civil War. The Seashore is sunny and warm most of the year. June through September are the most humid months and afternoon thunderstorms are common.

Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Located 21 miles south of historic Charleston, SC, it has over 10 miles of pristine beaches and dunes. The warmer weather maintains a comfortable water temperature from April through October. This is an eco-sensitive private residential and resort community with 10,000 acres of maritime forest, lush marshes, rolling sand dunes, lagoon, and rivers.

Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
The waters are cool and relatively calm for un crowded sunbathing and castle building. Quidnet Beach offers a great view of Sankaty Head Lighthouse. Madaket Beach is known for its rough surf gorgeous sunsets.

South Padre Island, Texas
Located along the south Texas coasts warm Gulf waters, there are 70 miles of beautiful gently sloping sandy beaches with bright shells and driftwood. Non college students and families are advised to avoid the crush of college spring breakers. While the hotel beaches can get crowded, the public beaches off the right of the Causeway usually retain their family atmosphere even in the middle of spring break.

Island Beach State Park, New Jersey
This barrier Island beach has miles of sand dunes and white sandy beaches with habitat, maritime plants, and diverse wildlife that is almost the same as it was thousands of years ago. It's one of the few undeveloped barrier beaches on the north Atlantic Coast, Island Beach is nationally known as a unique resource with over 400 plants identified, including the largest expanses of beach heather in New Jersey.

Places To Stay

East Hampton House
East Hampton, NY
This 54 room Hotel with swimming pool, fitness center and a tennis court on the property is close to main street and the farmers market in Amagansett. They also provide beach passes to most of the area's beaches.

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Kiawah Island, SC
This 255 unit beach front resort is an upscale property with a PGA championship golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, fitness center, and more.

White Elephant
Nantucket, MA
This 64 unit upscale property located on the water, and a short walk into town offers cottage style accommodations.

Asbury Hotel
Asbury Park, NJ
This new luxury hotel blends Asbury Park's Victorian-era history and rock-n-roll present with a futuristic, new kind of social hub. Iit's an action-filled center of activity with it's rooftop bar with stunning views of the town and ocean, The Baronet, rooftop garden, theater and Concert venue, a Beergarden, and nthe Soundbooth, ans a casual lobby bar