TripAdvisor digs up 25 Best Beaches in America with the 2019 Travelers’ Choice Awards.
For the second year in a row, Florida’s Clearwater Beach is named the number one beach in America. Of the 25 best beaches in the U.S., 40 percent are in Florida and almost 30 percent are in Hawaii. Best beaches in America award winners were determined based on the quantity and quality of traveler reviews and ratings for beaches on the travel site, gathered over a 12-month period.
1. Clearwater Beach, Florida
Wide sugar-sand beaches and emerald-clear surf dotted with dolphins make this an active beach scene. Wins for its trademark white sand, clear shallow waters, water sports, winding Beach Walk promenade and passing dolphins.
Tip: Year-round destination.
2. Ka’anapali Beach, Lahaina, Hawaii
This stunning beach lies on the West Shore, Maui, about 50 minutes from Kahului Airport.
Features three miles of white sand and clear water, this was Hawaii’s first planned resort. A famous attraction here is the daily cliff diving ceremony off the northernmost cliffs called Puu Kekaa or Black Rock everyday at sunset. A a cliff diver lights the torches along the cliff and dives off Black Rock in a reenactment of a feat by Maui’s revered King Kahekili.
Tip: Features some of Maui’s best snorkeling and cliff diving
3. Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach has 27-miles of beautiful beaches to choose from to soak in natural beauty of the Gulf Coast. Swim with dolphins, snorkel in the turquoise waters, go parasailing or simply chill out with a book here. Go off the beaten path and head to Shell Island, a seven-mile stretch of undeveloped land. After a short boat ride, you reach at a secluded 700-acre barrier island where you will find coastal scrub forest and native animals like deer, nesting shore birds, and ghost crabs.
Tip: 27 miles of swimming, snorkeling, dolphin-spotting, parasailing and jet skiing
4. St. Pete Beach, Florida
Expect wide expanse of soft sand, spectacular sunsets, laid-back vibe and friendly locals. St. Pete Beach’s shores include the longest undeveloped stretch of public beach in the St. Pete/Clearwater area at Pass-a-Grille Beach. Live it up with a variety of watersports, from parasailing and stand-up paddleboarding to windsurfing and kiteboarding.
Tip: Laid-back vibe, powder white sand, chair/umbrella rentals available
5. Pensacola Beach, Florida
This narrow strip of sugar-white sand features two different waterfront experiences and historical and natural sites. With only one highway and sidewalks between the two shores, enjoy the Gulf side or opt for the serenity of the sound side. The Pensacola Beach boardwalk is home to shops, restaurants, and bars stretching to the Santa Rosa Sound. Gentle waves and shallow, clear waters make this ideal for families. You can access Gulf Islands National Seashore — the nation’s longest stretch of protected seashore — on both sides of Pensacola Beach. The secluded national park makes an ideal spot for biking, snorkeling or kayaking.
Tip: Located on Santa Rosa Island and home of the Blue Angels Navy Flight squadron
6. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Florida
Siesta Beach is famous for its sugar-fine, quartz-white sand. Turtle Beach sits beyond the sea grapes on the Key’s southern end and is a popular site for launching kayaks.
Tip: Public swimming beach known for its clean, hard-packed sand
7. Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area – Puako, Hawaii
Landscaped beach park with swimming during calm seas, bodysurfing during periods of shore breaks, sunbathing and other beach-related activities like picnic spots. Dangerous rip currents and pounding shore breaks during periods of high surf! Waves over 3 feet high are only for experts. Hiking opportunity along the coastal trail (61.8 acres).
Tip: One of the nicest sand beaches on the Kohala coast on the Island of Hawaii
8. Saint Augustine Beach, Florida
St. Augustine boasts 42 miles of beautiful beaches, from the pristine coast of Ponte Vedra Beach to St. Augustine Beach’s lively surf and south to the wide sands of Crescent Beach. Go surfing, boogie boarding, kayaking, sailing, and nature watching!
Tip: Dog friendly with white sand dunes
9. Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Stretching over 5 miles, Fort Lauderdale Beach is great for people watching. Stroll, jog, or blade along the palm tree-fringed, brick-lined beachfront promenade.
Tip: Arrive early to grab shade under a palm tree
10. Driftwood Beach – Jekyll Island, Georgia
Consistently voted one of America’s “Ten Most Romantic Beaches,” Driftwood Beach is an escape to another world. Ancient driftwood monuments line the waterfront, creating an unforgettable backdrop. Located on the north end of Jekyll Island, Driftwood beach’s beautiful driftwood and trees that resemble a tree graveyard as the north end of the island slowly erodes and is being deposited on the south end.
Tip: Year-round, pet-friendly beach
11. Cherry Grove Beach – North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Cherry Grove, the northernmost end of North Myrtle Beach, features charming beach cottages and kick-back shag music.
Tip: Look for shark teeth
12. Navarre Beach – Navarre, Florida
A compact beach community found just east of Pensacola at the far northwestern tip of the state, Navarre beckons with 12 miles of pristine white shoreline. Nestled between Gulf Islands National Seashore and Navarre Beach County Park, this beach community offers solitude and simplicity.
Tip: A beach for solitude and simplicity, along with the longest pier in Florida
13. Poipu Beach Park – Poipu, Hawaii
The most popular beach on the South Shore is Poipu Beach, which is fronted by Poipu Beach Park, and a few resorts. PThis beach is a series of golden sand crescents, strung together where beach-goers will find snorkeling, swimming, a natural ocean wading pool, boogie-boarding and surfing. Look out for occasional Hawaiian monk seal appearances!
Tip: Some of Kauai’s best snorkeling
14. South Beach – Miami Beach, Florida
The South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach is trendy and quirky – and just a fun place to be. Enjoy the beach or South Beach’s historic Art Deco architecture or the fine Oceanside dining. And don’t miss Haulover Park for tennis, golf and bicycle rides.
Tip: The area is known for its hip clubs, wild nightlife, excellent restaurants
15. Hollywood Beach – Hollywood, Florida
Hollywood Beach features a one-of-a-kind oceanfront promenade called the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk that stretches nearly two and a half miles along the sandy beach. Named one of America’s Best Beach Boardwalks by Travel + Leisure magazine, this brick-pavered walkway is a haven for joggers, bicyclists, rollerbladers and people watching from its cafes and bars.
Tip: For a break from the sand, rent a bike for a ride on the boardwalk
16. Coronado Beach – Coronado, California
Situated just across the bay from downtown San Diego, Coronado features gentle surf, sparkling wide-sand beaches, courtesy of the mineral Mica, that draw visitors from around the world. Relax or rent a bike and tour the islandia Coronado’s beachfront boardwalk. Try sailing, stand-up paddling, surfing, kayaking, and Venetian gondola cruises.
Tip: Popular surfing beach with gold flecks in the sand
17. Wailea Beach – Wailea, Hawaii
Known for its five beautiful, crescent-shaped beaches and golf courses, Wailea is a luxurious resort community in South Maui that spans 1,500 acres of land with staggering ocean views. The area exudes a sense of privacy, serenity and freedom spread across an area three times the size of Waikiki. Wailea Beach on Maui’s south shore is a pretty white-sand beach with fine-grained sand.
Tip: Great for snorkeling
18. Ogunquit Beach – Ogunquit, Maine
The name Ogunquit, in the language of the Algonquin Indians, literally means “Beautiful Place by The Sea”. The 3.5 mile soft white sand and gentle surf make this beach popular amongst families, perfect for building sand castles, flying a kite or splashing in the waves. The middle section of Ogunquit Beach is known as Footbridge Beach, as it is accessed by a footbridge that crosses over the Ogunquit River. At the southern end, the Ogunquit River flows into the ocean by the beach, this makes for a great fresh water spot to float on an inner tube or raft on a warm summer day.
Tip: Escape the cold water in a covered Adirondack chair
19. Newport Beach – Newport Beach, California
From sunset cruises to surf lessons, wine tastings to harbor-front promenades, there’s much to do here. Relax, unwind and enjoy picturesque views of California’s sunrise and sunsets. With the largest recreational harbor on the west coast, there are ten miles of swimming, surfing, and aquatic sports activities.
Tips: Watch for whales and dolphins
20. Waikiki Beach – Honolulu, Hawaii
One of the most famous beaches in the world, Waikiki Beach boasts more than four million visitors every year. With Mount Leahi (Diamond Head) as your backdrop, the calm waters of Waikiki are perfect for a surfing lesson.
Tip: Jellyfish are common in the area when winds change
21. Coligny Beach – Hilton Head, South Carolina
Coligny Beach, located right at the end of Pope Avenue, offering biking, walking and beach carts. It’s one of the busier parts of town because of all the hotels, shops and restaurants in and around Coligny Plaza. The city dubs it a beach park, because of its various amenities.
Tip: Check out the splash pad area for kids
22. Manini’owali Beach (Kua Bay) – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Kua Bay (Manini’owali Beach) is part of the Kekaha Kai State Park, located along the leeward coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. It marks the northern end of the state park and features several hiking trails and lookout points for great views of the salt-and-pepper coast. Swimming and snorkeling are popular in the summer, when the water is calmer. The shorebreak can be very powerful and dangerous, making it popular among bodyboarders and surfers. On calmer days, you can see turtles and dolphins. Some turtles actually swim up to the shore.
Tip: Watch out for lava rock
23. Napili Beach – Lahaina, Hawaii
Napili Bay, located on Maui’s northwestern shore, is famous for its fine golden sand. It lies between two rocky points and is excellent for swimming and other water activities. The ocean bottom is sandy, but drops off quickly to overhead depths, which can cause a powerful shorebreak when the surf is up, which is often the case in winter, attracting bodyboarders and surfers. The summer months are best for swimming and snorkeling.
Tips: Great for snorkeling
24. Race Point Beach – Provincetown, Massachusetts
Race Point Beach, one of the Cape Cod National Seashore beaches in Provincetown, has a wide swath of sand stretching far off into the distance around the point and Coast Guard station. Behind the beach are dunes. Located at the end of Race Point Road, off of Route 6 in Provincetown.
Tip: Watch for seals along the National Seashore and watch the sunset in the dunes
25. Sandbridge Beach – Virginia Beach, Virginia
Located a short drive south of the Oceanfront District, Sandbridge is a secluded beach hideaway of pristine sand dunes and dancing sea oats. It is a relaxing and peaceful community where you can truly slow down and unwind on your vacation.
Tip: Back Bay state park is great for bike rides!
Best Beaches in America list courtesy Tripadvisor.