Between the Pacific Coast, The Atlantic, the gulf and the great lakes, there are thousands of beaches in the U.S. worth exploring. We’ve come up with a list of beaches to add to your travel bucket lists and to help fuel inspiration for the endless bucketlist of a beach lover. To make any beach adventure convenient, you can use one of our backpacks as a beach cooler backpack to carry a picnic with the family or drinks with friends.
First Beach near La Lush, Washington is known for driftwood and being located in the Quileute Indian Reservation.
This beach is a crescent-shape shoreline popular for camping and surfing. You may find seals or the remains of giant, ancient trees. This is the only beach near La Push that can be accessed via a car. However, you can hike to Second and Third Beaches nearby. It’s legal to camp on the beach, so bring your beach cooler backpack to enjoy fresh snacks and beer.
Cape Kiwanda is a state park in Pacific City, Oregon known for its dunes and views of Haystack Rock. It is located along the Three Capes Scenic Route, a breathtaking route of Oregon landscape. A hike up Cape Kiwanda reveals panoramic views of Oregon’s rugged coast as well as Nestucca Bay, a nearby wildlife refuge. Pacific City offers dining, local art, breweries, bed-and-breakfasts and more.
Carmel City Beach offers unbeatable beauty. It is a white sand beach lined with cypress trees and plenty of surf. It is famous for its rich artistic history because artists, writers and poets flocked to the beach to devote their lives to their art. Clint Eastwood served as the mayor in 1986.
There are plenty of dining options, but you can always bring a beach cooler and enjoy snacks on the beach. Don’t miss annual events such as the Great Sand Castle contest and Poodle Day.
Sunset Beach is located on the Brunswick Islands in North Carolina. There are plenty of beaches and communities to check out on this stretch, each unique and full of character. Sunset Beach is known for its wildlife and the Kindred Spirit Mailbox. This is a mailbox that holds notebooks where visitors are invited to fill the pages with their hopes, dreams, fears and grief. This beach is uniquely placed to see the sun rise and set over the water from late fall to early spring. The beach also hosts plenty of places of accommodation, museums, nature preserves, dining, shopping, fishing and much more.
Visit https://www.ncbrunswick.com/islands/Sunset-Beach for more information.
Tybee Island is just 20 minutes from Savannah and known for being a relaxed beach town with long stretches of beach. If you enjoy wildlife, sea turtles and variety of bird species frequent the beaches. There are also designated nature trails for hiking. The town offers quirky, colorful cottages to vacation in as well.
The town of Tybee Island is only 5 sq. miles, so exploring on foot is enjoyable and accessible to a variety of ages. You can also enjoy surfing lessons, a dolphin adventure, or rent a private sailboat. Like New Orleans, you can enjoy beverages on the go, or pack them in a beach cooler backpack. There are also quirky festivals to enjoy like the Beach Bum Parade and the Tybee Island Wine Fest.
Key Biscayne offers miles of aqua blue beaches, just 7.7 miles from Miami. Crandon Park and Bill Baggs Cape State Park are located on the island and offer activities for the whole family.
At Crandon Park Marina, you can rent a canoe for a 180-minute moonlight tour or enjoy canoeing during the day to explore caves, canals, wildlife and in February, see bioluminescent microbes light up the ocean floor.
Pack a lunch in your beach cooler backpack and enjoy long stretches of beach at Bill Baggs State park on the south part of Key Biscayne. You can also enjoy dinner at Lighthouse Cafe which boasts Cuban fare. Key Biscayne also offers a coastal barrier reef and a federally recognized “underwater archaeological trail”.
For a unique and off the beaten path beach adventure, check out Black Sand Beach in Barry Arm Alaska. It is popular among sea kayakers paddling in Prince William Sound. You’ll find endless glaciers with cascading waterfalls surrounding the beach, and icebergs spread along the black sand. The beach is ¼ mile long and can accomodate lots of campers. It is geographically placed so that travelers are protected from the wind as well.
Hanalei Bay and its beaches are getting more popular every year for good reason. The bay offers two miles of beaches with three beach parks. Winter brings big swells and pro surfers along with it. Summer is great for mellow swimming days as well. You can kayak along the incredible Napali Coast located due west where you'll find sea caves, waterfalls and unbelievable mountain views. The town of Hanalei offers a great food truck scene, locally owned businesses galore, and it’s all resort free.
This National Lakeshore has pristine beaches that rival California. There’s plenty of sand to sunbathe, enjoy cold beverages from your beach cooler backpack, or go for a swim on a hot day. The entirety of Lake Michigan is open for swimming, but according to the National Park System website, there are no lifeguards present, so be aware of your own swimming capabilities.
There are several beaches to enjoy in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. They include Peterson Beach, Esch Beach, North Bar Lake, Glen Haven Beach, Country Road 669 Beach, and Country Road 651 Beach. You can find more information on the beaches here.
Bonfires are allowed on the beach, but not near any vegetation. Remember LNT rules for beach cleanup. The National Park System website also encourages visitors to help maintain the cleanliness of these beaches with their Adopt-A-Beach program run by the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes.
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