From the East Coast to the West Coast, Atlantic to Pacific oceans, there are miles and miles of ocean coastline in the U.S. to enjoy. Most states boast four seasons of weather, with cool to cold winters, though strolling along a beautiful waterfront is lovely during any time of year. However, with southern states like Florida and California’s year-round warm weather, you can find a comfortable beach during the wintertime too.
Florida’s best beach towns are spread throughout this delightful tropical state, so no matter where you’re going, you’ll surely be near one. This southeastern destination is a hub for water sports, azure waters, and soft sandy beaches, which both tourists flock to from around the world and people come to live. The busiest season in …
Beaches by State
While oceanside beaches get all the hype, there is countless lakeside, and even riverside beaches to relax along. With a vast, varied terrain, the United States isn’t lacking in nature. There are top beach towns found along the Great Lakes, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico, and you can even find some beaches in Alaska on the Arctic Ocean (although the water is a bit frigid).
Map of American States with Beaches
Top Beach Towns by State
From the West Coast to the East Coast and Alaska to Hawaii, there are beach towns in all corners of the United States of America. They boast a range of climates, cultures, and populations, assuring something for everyone. Classic beach towns in Hawaii, Florida, and California welcome vacationers year-round, while those in the northern states are lovely for more quiet retreats in the off-season.
Featured US Beaches
Guide to Visiting the Beaches in America
The United States of America and its territories have an impressive 95,509 miles of coastline, meaning there are many excellent beaches. Each ocean and freshwater shore offers unique characteristics to their area, providing locals and tourists with plenty to do and see.
With beaches on three oceans, two gulfs, and the great lakes, a lot of the USA has an accessible coast within a day’s drive. Many Americans and foreign visitors like to make road trips to the water, especially during the summertime when tourism is at its peak.
While only 30 states have official coastlines accounted for by the NOAA, many inland regions have lakes, rivers, and other water areas that create lovely beaches for leisure and recreation.
- States shaded dark blue have ocean coastline.*
- States shaded light blue have Great Lakes coastline.*
- States shaded white have no coastline.
- * New York has both ocean and Great Lakes coastline.
States with Oceanside Beaches
Here are the states with coasts organized by bodies of water. These destinations are home to some amazing coastal communities, with some of the best beach towns in the US available on the both Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Keep this information in your back pocket for your next trip around the country.
The arctic ocean is the smallest of the world’s five primary ones and also the coldest. Even this far north, some beaches have intriguing features like black sand and frozen coasts. The only state that shares a coast with this ocean is:
Covering about 20% of the Earth’s surface, the Atlantic Ocean is the second biggest in the world. It’s home to the largest island on the planet, Greenland. States along the Atlantic shoreline include: (listed north to south)
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts are also the three states on the Gulf of Maine.
Other states border the Atlantic Ocean through an estuary or a partially closed shoreline with access to the ocean via streams and rivers.
- Washington D.C. (Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River)
- Alabama (Gulf of Mexico)
- Louisiana (Gulf of Mexico)
- Texas (Gulf of Mexico)
- Mississippi (Gulf of Mexico)
The globe’s most significant and deepest ocean is on the western side of the country. Even though fewer states border this body of water, some of the most spectacular beaches can be found there.
States that share a coastline with the Pacific include: (listed north to south)
States with Great Lakes Beaches
Home to the biggest freshwater sand dunes in the world and the most extensive freshwater system on Earth, this part of the USA is home to many popular beach areas.
Sharing an international border with Canada, the Great Lakes Region has eight U.S. states with coastlines along it:
- New York
No matter which part of the country you travel to, there are some fantastic options for lodging near or on the beach. Vacation rentals are becoming increasingly popular in coastal towns, and developed tourist areas often have resorts by the water. Travelers that enjoy camping can discover many recreation areas, campgrounds, and even primitive beach spots to pitch a tent for the night.
Popular Beach Activities in the United States
The beach is an easy place to get fresh air and exercise. When planning to participate in water sports, gear rentals or purchases usually have to be arranged ahead of time. Especially during the peak season to visit the coast in the U.S. (May through September), many destinations are prepared with the right equipment to make it easy for visitors to do activities by the water.
To experience a beach in the United States to its fullest, plan an activity such as ocean swimming, fishing, kayaking, surfing, boating, snorkeling, diving, and jet skiing. Some trendy things to do on the sand include beach volleyball, sunbathing, running, flying kites, and fishing from shore.