Coronado beach located in San Diego, California has been identified as the No. 1 beach by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University. This beach stretches 1.5 miles in front of the iconic Hotel Del Coronado with its pointed red roof and classic Victorian architecture. The beach is famous for swimmers, bodysurfers, sunbathers and sand sculptors. The beach is very flat, making it perfect for taking a romantic walk and the sand gives a silver shine because of the presence of mica.
Kahanamoku Beach is located right in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel on the west end. This beach is great for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and tanning. Kahanamoku Beach features a shallow offshore reef that protects this beach from the big waves. This provides a great swimming area that is relatively safe for families with children.
Beach provides the perfect blend of nature and built environment. Wealthy summertime residents flock here to the beaches protected by a conservation easement, dating back over 300 years. Main Beach is a great place for star-spotting, since many actors and actresses frequently visit this beach for its idyllic setting in a small village. The big, wide sandy beach made of quartz has towering sand dunes and beautiful clean and clear blue water. The best way to get around this beach is on bicycle in order to avoid parking and to take in the beautiful vista.
The Florida panhandle beaches are back as oil from the BP spill has vanished, and the sand is squeaky clean (just rub your feet on the sand and hear them squeak). The brilliant white sands and clear waters of St. George Island were fortunately not even impacted last summer. Stingrays are sometimes resting in the shallow waters so shuffle your feet when entering. Birding and fishing are very popular activities here.
This pocket beach is rimmed by cliffs, covered by coconut palm trees and beautiful flowering vegetation. This crescent beach, which is a mixture of coral and lava sand, is the most famous of Maui's Hana beaches. The beach is actually inside a breached volcanic crater. To get to Hamoa Beach, one has to take the "Road to Hana", the treacherous road with drop-offs of over 1,000 feet and sporadic guardrails, which can be an adventure in itself! Taking it slow on this road, with over 50 one-way bridges, is probably the safest bet.
Coast Guard Beach, accessible by bicycle or via shuttle bus from the Salt Pond Visitor's Center, was formed where a sand spit attached to the glacial cliffs. The sand is fairly coarse, so the beach slopes steeply into the water. The picturesque old Coast Guard station still sits atop the glacial bluffs, allowing for a spectacular view down upon the Nauset Spit barrier system and bay. During the summer, beach-goers take quick, refreshing dips in the ocean as water temperatures only reach 60-70 degrees.
This park has ample parking, restrooms, outdoor showers, and a good beach for swimming. While not as stunning as some other Hawaiian beaches, it is a safe beach because big waves and dangerous currents are rare and lifeguards are present. Hawaiians who live on Oahu frequent this beach.
Cape Florida State Park, located at the south tip of Key Biscayne, provides clear, emerald-colored waters and gentle surf. This fine, white coral sand beach is great for swimming, as waves are knocked down by a large sand shoal offshore. In addition, the Cape Florida Lighthouse allows for a breath-taking view of this beautiful beach.
South of Charleston, Beachwalker Park is the public beach located on the southern end of Kiawah Island. Tennis and golf are featured here, as well as interpretative tours of the fauna and flora of the island. This is certainly a nature-lovers coast, so visitors should pack their canoes and kayaks to paddle through the tidal inlets or walk down to St. Sam's Inlet to see thousands of birds. The water is not clear here, but it is clean and provides for fantastic seafood for low-country cooking. Visitors can also pack their bicycles, since the sand is compact enough to ride along the 10-mile long barrier island.
Bulging far offshore of the mainland coast as a barrier island, Cape Hatteras was the first National Seashore. Providing some of the best board surfing along the East Coast, as well as the most famous lighthouse in the United States, Cape Hatteras attracts beachgoers to its historic fishing villages. Nature lovers adore the excellent beachcombing and superb fishing.