There’s nothing quite like escaping to the coast. When vacation time approaches, choose from this list of the country’s greatest beach communities.


If your ideal vacation includes sugar-fine sand, a calm blue sea, and plenty of exciting activities, who doesn’t?—finding lodgings at Clearwater Beach is a dream come true. Every time, millions of people flock to this town on Florida’s Gulf Coast because of its three miles of white sand. Just half an hour from Tampa, Clearwater Beach was named Florida’s best beach town in a USA Today poll. This could be the place for you if you’re searching for a pleasant, small-town vibe that’s also family-friendly.

Walk along Beach Walk, the palm-lined seaside promenade, to stretch your legs. After that, take the kids to the Marine Aquarium to see Winter, the star of the film Dolphin Tale. Lively In the evenings, Pier 60 hosts street musicians and artists, but for a quieter experience, take the ferry to uninhabited Caladesi Island, a popular site for putting up a picnic and gathering shells.


Consider choosing a hotel in Puerto Rico for your next fantastic beach holiday. You’ll see some of the most stunning island shores—imagine colourfully rich scenery without the tourist trappings.

Don’t miss the sleek and trendy Playa Candado during the week, when it’s more relaxed and less busy. Alternatively, visit Escambron Beach, located between Old San Juan and Condado. The beach’s coral reef soothes the chilly water for snorkelling and scuba diving, and the golden sand is picture-perfect for even the most carefully maintained social media accounts. When the kids grow tired of all the beach time, they can visit the adjacent Bateria del Escambron (Escambron Battery), a historic stronghold built by the Spanish at the end of the 18th century.


If you’re looking for an adventure, head to the barrier islands and book a hotel along North Carolina’s Outer Banks—you’ll have a beach vacation to remember. Big stretches of undeveloped beaches with no commercial or residential developments can be found along the coast’s seventy miles.

Some of the good surfing on the East Coast can be found here, and excellent windsurfing, kayaking, and skimboarding. On Roanoke Island, enjoy the mini-golf course and aquarium and a tour of the island’s famed lighthouse, but don’t expect much in the way of tourist traps. The Outer Banks’ calling cards are natural beauty and outdoor adventures. Beachcombing is fantastic, and surf fishing is great. Some beaches allow four-wheel driving, and most will enable you to bring your dog along. Think 3,000 shipwrecks for scuba divers to explore from this network of barrier islands.


Head to the beaches of Southern California for warm sand and unending waves. Right across the bridge from downtown San Diego hotels, Coronado offers one of the best beach vacations in the United States. It has the feel of a beautiful, verdant island, complete with perfect summer weather and Victorian mansions.

Central Beach, a wide ribbon of sparkling sand lining a blue ocean, is the focal point. It’s ideal for swimming, bodyboarding, surfing, and other activities. Explore Coronado’s trails and bike routes by riding or rollerblading when you’re not at the beach. Whale watching is a must-do if you visit when many blue and grey whales migrate south in the winter.


A pristine island with 10 miles of windswept beaches and acres of natural woodlands is hard to beat. When you rent a hotel in Charleston, you’ll be close to Kiawah Island, which lies just off the coast of South Carolina and has its sense of tranquilly.

Although much of the island’s beaches are private, Beachwalker Park on the island’s southern tip is open to the public. Nature lovers will enjoy swimming, canoeing, or kayaking on the tidal inlets. Hike or bike to Captain Sam’s Spit, a channel on the island’s southern tip, to witness swarms of seabirds. The island also has some of South Carolina’s best golf courses.


Staying in Santa Cruz, which is located south of San Francisco, has long been a popular, laid-back experience, and it still ranks high on many lists of best beach vacation destinations. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is located directly adjacent to a long expanse of golden beach, ideal for sunbathing, picnicking, and body surfing. The beach is full of joyful people—come here in the summer, and you’ll hear laughter, hear music, and have a good time.

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