The Best U.S. Beach Vacation Spots

Relaxing on the beach may be closer than you think! With over 12,000 miles of coastline, thousands of lakes and an abundance of both developed and non-developed waterfront areas, it's no secret that the United States is home to some fantastic beach vacation spots. From striking natural scenery and cozy beach towns to boardwalk amusements and tropical getaways, there's something here for everybody. With so many options, however, choosing the perfect spot for a beach vacation can seem a bit overwhelming. To help narrow things down faster, here are the questions that should be asked about the best U.S. beach vacation spots.

 

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  1. What is the Best Tropical Beach for a Vacation?
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    Americans are lucky to have multiple tropical beach options, especially when it comes to the states of Florida and Hawaii. That said, tropical beach vacationers should not forget about the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, home to the highly-rated and incredibly tranquil Flamenco Beach. Stay at a sleepy nearby hotel at night and enjoy pristine white sands and clear blue waters by day— no passport required!

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  2. What is the Best Beach for Whale Watching?
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    Whales are known to inhabit the ocean waters all around the U.S., but they particularly seem to congregate just off the coast of Santa Barbara in California. Here, visitors have the opportunity to spot more than 27 different types of whales and dolphins! Some can be viewed from the beach and pier areas themselves, although there are numerous whale-watching boat options available. Stay at a quaint bed and breakfast or go with one of the area's many hotels. 

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  3. What is the Best Beach for Surfing?
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    It's tough to beat Hawaii's Hanalei Bay when it comes to surfing vacations. Surfers of all skillsets will find waves they can manage (and be challenged by) here on this area of Kaui'i, also regarded as one of the state's most beautiful beachfront areas. Oh, and there are tons of dining and hotel options nearby. 

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  4. What Beach Has the Best Hotel Area?
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    Gorgeous beach hotels abund all over the U.S., but it's tough to deny the difference that is Hotel Del Coronado in the resort city of Coronado (just off the coast of San Diego). Beautiful, well-groomed and magnificently historic, this hotel is home to dozens of its own shops, restaurants and lounge areas. It also sits right on the Coronado Central Beach, which has soft sand, great waves and regular sandcastle competitions. 

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  5. What is the Most Family-Friendly Beach Vacation Spot?
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    It's also tough to choose here, but Clearwater Beach, Florida edges out the competition with its wide sandy shores and waterfront hotel options along three miles of the Gulf Coast. Rent boats for the day or go dolphin-watching, or head just a bit inland and visit the aquarium and play around all the family-friendly amusements. Clearwater's also known for its large amount of family-friendly hotels. 

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  6. What Beach Has the Best Boardwalk?
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    Head to where the world's first boardwalks began— New Jersey! The Jersey Shore is home to tons of great vacation options, but Wildwood (all the way at the bottom of the state) really has it all: miles of beautiful sand, waters that warm pleasantly in the sun and boardwalk with tons of day and nightlife that rivals that of Atlantic City (but with a free tram and more family-friendly options). 

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  7. What Are the Best Lake Beach Vacation Spots?
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    Few U.S. lakes boast more stunning scenery than the Great Lakes. All of these lakes have beach areas, but those looking for the ultimate vacation spots should head to the Mackinac Island / St. Ignace / Mackinaw City region of Northern Michigan (right around where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron). The waters are beautiful and bright blue, and charming shops (think fudge!), kayak rentals and boutique hotels make for one relaxing, memorable getaway. 

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  8. Is There a Natural (Undeveloped) Beach I Can Vacation At?
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    For real seclusion and untainted natural beaches, head to Georgia's Cumberland Island. On this protected barrier island you'll find wildlife like deer, armadillos and even wild horses roaming freely, making for some unforgettable memories (and striking photo opportunities!). Most visitors have to stay inland and only visit this beach area during the day via ferry, but this gorgeous beach flies so under the radar that it's well worth the trip.

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