Top Beaches on the East Coast of the USA

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Stretching from picturesque Maine in the north to tropical Florida in the south the U.S. Eastern Seaboard is home to a staggering array of beautiful beaches.

Forget Hawaii and the West Coast, and swap the Pacific for the Atlantic Ocean. The East Coast has over 2,000 miles of rugged coves and sandy stretches with a charm and character you won't find elsewhere. There are beaches for everyone, whether you are looking for somewhere family-friendly, a world class surf spot, or somewhere to bare all and get an all over tan.

  • Misquamicut State Beach // Rhode Island

    Misquamicut State Beach

    Misquamicut State Beach is located in the very west of Rhode Island, just over the state line from New Hampshire. Not only is this one of the longest beaches in the state, it is the most popular, and for good reason.

    Forming part of a sandy coastline that stretches off for miles in both directions, Misquamicut is a beach with something for everyone. Sitting on the edge of the little seaside town there are plenty of facilities close to hand. The beach itself also has a variety of amenities, including picnic tables,… read more »

  • Ocracoke Beach // North Carolina

    Ocracoke Beach

    Ocracoke beach is amongst the best in North Carolina, and some say the whole of America. It is indeed a beautiful stretch of pristine coastline and forms part of the protected Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

    Set on the 16-mile long Ocracoke island which froms part of the Outer Banks, the beach is accessible only by boat. This secluded, unspolit cast is perfect for fishing and beachcombing. The Atlantic Ocean beaks unfetterd on the shore here so waves can be chunky, and people do enjoy surfing here. There is a seasonal… read more »

  • Popham Beach // Maine

    Popham Beach
    ©Paul VanDerWerf

    Located at the mouth of the Kennebec River, Popham Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Maine coast. The sandy beach spans nearly two miles of sandy shoreline and is backed by dunes and marshland.

    There are plenty of activities to do at the beach including swimming, kayaking, fishing, and windsurfing. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic on the beach or take a stroll to the historic fort at the northern tip of the beach. Popham is  known for its historical significance as it was the site of… read more »

  • Goose Rocks Beach // Maine

    Goose Rocks Beach
    ©Peter Rintels

    Goose Rocks Beach is the kind of idyllic spot that conjures up images of perfect East Coast holidays. The beach runs between Cape Porpoise and Granite Point and is backed by an archetypal seaside village.

    The beach itself is a picturesque sweep of white sand stretching for almost three miles. What you won't find at Goose Rocks is waves; the beach is sheltered by a number of small islands and reefs which keeps the crystal clear water pretty calm. Whilst you may not be surfing there's plenty of other activities from… read more »

  • Good Harbor Beach // Massachusetts

    Good Harbor Beach

    Good Harbour Beach is a public beach which sits at the mouth of a river, opposite Salt Island just east of the city of Gloucester. During low tide, visitors can even walk to Salt Island. Access to Good Harbor Beach is via its dedicated car park off Thatcher Road, or via the footbridge which crosses the river mouth at the beach's western end, close to its volleyball courts.

    Surrounded by dunes and marshes, Good Harbor Beach has excellent swimming conditions, while bodyboarding is another popular way of enjoying the waves.

    Formed of… read more »

  • Coast Guard Beach // Massachusetts

    Coast Guard Beach
    ©Margo Tabb

    When you arrive at Coast Guard Beach, you will be met with an stunning view over marshlands, sand dunes to the wide sandy beach and ocean beyond. The boardwalk runs right up to the beach, and provides disabled access.

    People love the soft sand, and they come from far and wide to enjoy this pristine stretch of coast. It does get crowded in the summer, but if you walk in either direction away from the center, you will find a spot. There is limited parking unless you are a resident,… read more »

  • Kiawah Beachwalker Park // South Carolina

    Kiawah Beachwalker Park

    Beachwalker Park is located on the west end of Kiawah Island not far from Charleston in South Carolina. The park is the only public access to the beautiful beaches of Kiawah Island, but with 11 miles of silky smooth sand, this should be enough to keep most beachgoers happy.

    Facing out over the Atlantic Ocean, the beach is backed by the Kiawah river. Beachwalker Park has a designated swimming area with lifeguards during the summer season. You will also find a boardwalk with a wheelchair accessible ramp, as well as… read more »

  • Sand Beach // Maine

    Sand Beach

    This imaginatively named beach can be found in the beautiful surrounds of Acadia National Park. A landscape of pine forests, lakes and glacially-carved granite peaks this is a true wilderness. The wildlife won't disappoint either with bears, moose and whales found in the area.

    With a backdrop like this it wouldn't take too much for any beach to make it onto a list of Maine's best beaches. But Sand beach manages to live up to its name and more. As well as a 300 yard stretch of sandy beach there is… read more »

  • Higgins Beach // Maine

    Higgins Beach
    ©Ken Gallager

    Higgins Beach is located in Maine's Cumberland County, approximately ten kilometres south of Portland. With a length of just over half a mile, Higgins Beach makes for a charming and easy escape from the big city.

    Its attractions include the quaint uncommercialised community of around 300 oceanside cottages, many of which are only occupied seasonally, alongside the shipwreck trapped by the beach's white sands and the chance to fish for striped bass. At low tide, the Atlantic reveals shallow rock pools which are sure to be a hit with the kids.

    Although… read more »

  • Mohegan Bluffs Beach // Rhode Island

    Mohegan Bluffs Beach

    Mohegan Bluffs Beach is situated on the southeastern coast of Block Island. The beach takes its name from the towering cliffs which reach up to 200 feet above the coast. From atop the cliffs, visitors can admire some stunning views out over the Atlantic Ocean.

    The beach itself is fairly sandy but littered with large rocks close to the cliffs - which are in a constant state of erosion, so don't put your towel down too close.

    Mohegan Bluffs Beach takes a little effort to get to and for this reason remains… read more »

  • Cape Lookout // North Carolina

    Cape Lookout

    The beach at Cape Lookout forms a continuous V of gorgeous sand which wraps around the cape's Atlantic shoreline for mile after mile. The widest extent of sand can be found at the base of the V, where the beach ends at Cape Lookout Shoals. However, that's not to say that the long ribbons of pristine sand which stretch out to either side of this area are narrow or uninviting.

    Forming the coastline of Core Banks barrier island, family-friendly Cape Lookout Beach has a range of activities capable of entertaining all… read more »

  • Skaket Beach // Massachusetts

    Skaket Beach

    Skaket Beach lies on the west coast of Cape Cod facing into the sheltered waters of Cape Cod Bay. This makes it a very different proposition to the Atlantic facing beaches on the east coast.

    Just a stone's throw cross-country from Nauset Beach on the opposite coast, Skaket Beach is different in nearly every way imaginable. Instead of being pounded by some of the biggest waves on the Cape, Skaket is always calm. Another positive if you are thinking of taking a dip is the water here is considerably warmer -… read more »

  • Singing Beach // Massachusetts

    Singing Beach
    ©Vitor Pamplona

    A picturesque crescent of soft golden sand between rocky headland is what makes Singing Beach one of the most popular on the North Shore. At around half a mile in length the beach here is backed by grassy slopes and woodland giving it a somewhat sechluded and peaceful feel.

    Singing Beach is one of a select few beaches globally where the sand "sings". We put that in quotes because it is actually more of a squeak than some sort of choral performance! It is only the dry sand that emits this… read more »

  • Greenwich Point Park // Connecticut

    Greenwich Point Park

    Greenwich Point Park Beach is located on a narrow peninsula of land that juts out from the northern shoreline of Long Island Sound. A private beach with public access via a day pass system costing around $10 per person plus parking, it was known to the Siwanoy people as Monakewego, or 'shining sands.'

    Visit at low tide and you'll see exactly why, although most beachgoers choose to wear beach shoes or sandals because of the presence of small stones that can be uncomfortable under foot. At high tide, much of the… read more »

  • Fort Lauderdale Beach // Florida

    Fort Lauderdale Beach

    Fort Lauderdale beach is a beautiful stretch of white sand that runs alongside the crystal clear blue waters of the ocean. It is quieter than Miami, with more of a family-friendly feel than a wild college party destination. The promenade that runs behind the beach is lined with palm trees and there is always plenty going on.

    This beach at Fort Lauderdale is clean with generally calm waters that are safe for kids. Also it's a big enough beach that even in the middle of the summer you won't… read more »