If you love beaches and are looking for the best East Coast beaches for your vacation, this list is the creme de la creme of East Coast beaches. Each of these beaches has received hundreds of glowing reviews describing them as some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast.
All of these beaches and beach towns offer a variety of wonderful and exciting vacation options. Whether you are looking to learn more about the history of the area, conservation of wild animals, or just want to enjoy a few days relaxing on the beach, these beaches have everything you need for the perfect vacation on the East Coast.
Let's explore the best beaches on the East Coast of the US.
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Myrtle Beach is not only a popular beach town, but its actual beach is one of the fantastic East Coast beaches for a getaway by the water. Myrtle Beach is very long and stretches for several miles, so there are many amazing spots to choose from.
While the main beach is quite popular, especially during the summer months, you can find a quiet spot a little further away from the centre of town. Of course, you can’t miss the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, which is an absolute must-visit if you’re in the area.
This is a great spot for lunch or a beautiful walk during sunset. You’ll love the stunning views of the coastline and many fantastic opportunities for taking photos. Watersports are also a great activity to participate in. You can surf, rent paddleboards or sea kayaks and enjoy the beach during calm seas.
Victoria | www.guideyourtravel.com
Accommodation: Where to stay in Myrtle Beach
Address: Myrtle Beach, SC
One of the best things to do on Outer Banks is spending time at the amazing beach in the town of Duck, North Carolina. Duck Beach has won many awards, including the best overall beach, family-friendly beach, and beach restoration awards. These awards are enough to recognize it as one of the best East Coast beaches in the US.
Popular activities at Duck Beach include savoring spectacular sunrises (set your alarm to see them!), beach strolls, and water sports—including skimboarding, surfing, and paddling (rent equipment from Ocean Atlantic if you do not bring your own).
Duck Beach is very popular with families and groups, especially during the summer months. Driving on Duck Beach is permitted between October and April. May to September is sea turtle nesting season, and you may catch glimpses of frequent volunteer activity and, if lucky, the baby sea turtle migration in August.
Duck has amazing restaurants—including Blue Point, Roadside, and Red Sky Cafe—and is also home to the very first Duck Donuts; although, our secret is we prefer the breakfast treats across the street at Tullio's.
Charles McCool | McCool Travel
Accommodation: Where to stay in Duck
Address: Duck, NC
Tybee Island is a small city and barrier island near Savannah, Georgia. This popular vacation spot is well known for its beaches. The beaches include South Beach, Mid Beach, North Beach, Back River Beach and Little Tybee Beach. These beaches are considered some of the best East Coast Beaches for a summer vacation.
Tybee Island is a nesting ground for Sea Turtles. There are not many beaches left that provide good nesting grounds for turtles, so from May 1st to the end of October, Tybee Island has rules in place to protect the turtles. If you are visiting, please respect these rules so that turtles will continue to visit and delight generations to come.
Dolphins are also prevalent offshore. If you are interested in learning more about either of these magnificent sea creatures, visit the Tybee Island Marine Science Center. Outdoor activities in the area include beachcombing, fishing off the piers at South Beach and Back River Beach, Kayaking, boating, and biking.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Tybee Island
Address: Tybee Island, GA
The town of Montauk is located on the easternmost point of Long Island. It takes two to three hours to get to Montauk from NYC, whether traveling by car, train (LIRR), or bus (Hampton Jitney).
Montauk has a variety of beaches to choose from when visiting. Some of the best beaches to visit are located on the south shore just below the village of Montauk: Kirk Park Beach and South Edison Beach/Nick’s Beach.
These beaches are located along the same span of the seashore, often referred to as “Montauk Beach”. These are the best beaches to visit in Montauk if you are traveling via public transit as they are located a short walk to village restaurants and shops. If you are traveling to Montauk by car, be sure to call the Town of East Hampton Parks Department before visiting to find out about current parking regulations.
After visiting the beach, be sure to stop by Montauk Brewing Company to try out their Watermelon Session Ale. For lunch, visit The Lobster Roll, which has been a popular spot for roadside lunch and dinner since the 1960s. While you are in town, also check out Montauk Point State Park for views of the iconic Montauk Lighthouse.
Shannon Hara | Traveling Teacher Girl
Accommodation: Where to stay in Montauk
Address: Montauk Beach, Montauk, NY 11954
Also Read: The Best Weekend Road Trips From NYC
Virginia Beach is located in Southeastern Virginia, where the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet. It is considered one of the best East Coast beach vacations because of the wide variety of things to do and entertainment options available.
Virginia Beach has been rated by the Guinness Book of World Records as the "longest pleasure beach". There are over 35 miles of beach to explore. A popular destination is the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. This 3-mile-long path winds its way past 59 blocks of Virginia Beach's most popular entertainment options.
If you fish, visit the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. If you are looking for something closer to nature, you might enjoy False Cape State Park or Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Both offer fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, boating, and educational activities.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Virginia Beach
Address: Virginia Beach, VA
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Virginia Beach
Rehoboth Beach is located along the Atlantic coastline of Delaware. It is South of Cape Henlopen State Park and North of Delaware Seashore State Park. This quaint Delaware beach-side town is one of the best East Coast beaches for a summer vacation.
Sandwiched between two state parks, there is plenty to do here for the nature lover. Take a sunrise or sunset walk, jog or run along the beach, or head to one of the state parks for a day hike.
For museum fans, there are quite a few unique options. Check out the Rehoboth Beach Museum to learn more about the history of the area. The Anna Hazzard Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum are small local history museums in historic buildings.
This next one may seem silly, but shopping is a popular activity in Rehoboth Beach. The biggest reason is that this Resort offers tax-free shopping. So have fun and buy all the souvenirs you want.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Rehoboth Beach
Address: Rehoboth Beach, DE
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Delaware
With miles of shoreline, Martha's Vineyard has plenty of scenic beaches in the East Coast region. Many of Martha's Vineyard beaches are either permit-restricted to town residents or privately owned beaches.
All our favorite three beaches named below are actually the same shoreline but became separate beaches with separate names because they are separated by restricted access beaches or private beaches.
Of the public beaches on Martha's Vineyard, we have several favorites depending on what we want to do. For families with young children, Long Point Beach is a favorite because there is a wide sandy beach on a freshwater pond that is perfect for little children to wade and build sandcastles. On the other side of the sand dunes, there is the Atlantic Ocean with its crashing surf, which is fun for older children and adults.
South Beach in Edgartown is also facing the Atlantic Ocean and is the preferred spot for teens and college-age kids. The surf is strong, and the location means the sun is warming the beach all day. Moreover, South Beach is an easy bike ride from Edgartown on a cycle path. For families, there is a sheltered beach area on the Katama Bayside of South Beach.
The last of our beloved beaches in Edgartown is Moshup Beach (also facing the Atlantic Ocean). Moshup Beach is a famous surf beach. The colored clay cliffs of Moshup create a stripey rainbow effect. Moreover, there are great hiking trails near Moshup Beach, and it's a great place to end the day and watch the sunset.
Shobha George | Martha's Vineyard Tourist
Address: Martha's Vineyard, MA
Also Read: The Best West Coast Beaches You Must Visit
A popular resort town on the Delmarva peninsula Ocean City, Maryland, is less than a 3-hour drive from Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia. As one of the best East Coast beaches in the U.S., it truly has something for everyone.
To start, there are 10 miles of wide sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. You can find every kind of beach activity, including surfing, kayaking, stand-up paddling, jet skiing, and of course, swimming and sunbathing. As the White Marlin capital of the world, Ocean City also has many possibilities for deepwater fishing boat charters or pier fishing.
The 3-mile Ocean City boardwalk is a must-visit. Fuel up for a long walk with some of the locals’ favorite snacks. Thrasher’s French Fries claims the best French fries on the planet—so good they don’t need ketchup, just some malt vinegar. If you need to cool down, Dumser’s Ice Cream will be the answer. Or, if you’re looking for a sweet snack to share, Fisher’s Caramel Popcorn is the best on the boardwalk.
If you’d like to get away from the bustle at the beach and incorporate some nature, the Assateague Island National Seashore is just 8 miles away. Famous for its wild ponies, which are really horses, there are also hundreds of bird species and miles of hiking trails. The beach here can be a little quieter if you’re away from the 4-wheelers driving on the sand.
Denise | Chef Denise
Accommodation: Where to stay in Ocean City
Address: Ocean City, MD
Don’t listen to the critics, Jersey Shore is a legitimate contender for some of the best beaches on the East Coast of America. One of the finest beaches of the New Jersey coastal strip is Cape May Point State Park Beach. Located in the Southern part of New Jersey, it is a great place to spend time with family.
Open from dusk to dawn, the state park boasts a clean and sandy beach and many other activities. Just relax or make sandcastles, it is worth spending a day at. It even makes for a wonderful day trip from Philadelphia.
There are so many other things to do in the State Park, making it suitable for all ages. There is the famous Cape May Point LightHouse at the entrance of the park. When the lighthouse is open, at an additional fee, you can climb to the top for some fantastic views of the ocean.
There is even an old WWII bunker in the park. Besides this, there are many hiking trails and lookout points around the state park. Cape May Beach is unique and famous as it is the place to watch the migratory birds in autumn enroute south. It is a haven for bird enthusiasts who throng in many numbers.
Neha | Travelmelodies
Accommodation: Where to stay in Cape May
Address: Cape May, NJ
Kiawah Island is not only among the most beautiful East Coast beaches to visit but also makes one of the best day trips from Charleston, SC. Kiawah Island is located just 24 miles from Downtown Charleston and offers the perfect escape from the city’s hustle. The island is full of natural beauty and tons of wildlife, like bobcats, sea turtles, and butterflies, and it’s the ideal spot for a peaceful getaway.
Since most of the properties on Kiawah Island are privately owned, the only public beach access is on the island’s west side at Beachwalker Park. Here, you can try paddleboarding, kayaking, or boogie boarding in the ocean or simply walk up and down the beautiful, clean beach. You can rent paddleboards just north of Kiawah Island at Water Dog Paddle Co. or Charleston Paddleboard.
If you travel a few miles away from the beach, you can play a round of golf on one of Kiawah Island’s many popular golf courses, like The Ocean Course, Cougar Point, or Turtle Point. Or, travel to Freshfields Village and Bohicket Market for a delicious lunch or dinner!
Brittany | Travel By Brit
Accommodation: Where to stay in Kiawah Island
Address: Kiawah Island, SC
Also Read: Best Tropical Destinations in the US
Located in Cape Cod, the Cape Cod National Seashore is actually the first of America's ten national seashores and one of the favorite beach vacation destinations on the East Coast.
The National Seashore has miles of sandy beachfront. With a permit, you can start a fire on the beach and have a bonfire or a clambake. Some of the most stunning beaches are Race Point Beach, which has amazing sunsets but strong surf, and Coastguard Beach, which is more family-friendly. You can spot seals who come ashore at Nauset Beach and Ballston Beach.
There are also trails for hiking and biking, lighthouses to explore and kayaking in the waters. This national seashore is also a birdwatcher's paradise. Hundreds of bird species call it home, including a wildlife reserve on the edge of the Cape Cod National Seashore run by the Massachusetts Audobon Society.
There is no camping allowed in the Cape Cod National Seashore. You can, however, car camp with special permits because over sand vehicles are allowed with permits. There are plenty of places to stay in the nearby towns though, from the Ralph Lauren charm of pretty Chatham to the artsy bohemian flair of Provincetown.
Shobha George | Just Go Places Blog
Accommodation: Where to stay near Cape Cod
Address: 99 Marconi Site Road, Wellfleet, MA 02667
Anna Maria Island is a 7-mile-long barrier island located off the west coast of Florida and about 50 miles south of Tampa. Until 1921, Anna Maria Island was only accessible by boat, but then the Cortez Bridge was built, making access a lot easier.
Anna Maria Island is known for its beautiful calm waters, white sand beaches, and old Florida charm, all of which make for a laid-back beach vacation on the East Coast of the USA. The island is home to some of the best beaches on the East Coast, including Coquina Beach in the south of the island, Manatee Beach in the centre and Bean Point Beach in the north.
Manatee Beach is a public beach with all the facilities you could possibly need, while Coquina Beach is more natural with some facilities. Bean Point is the quietest beach on Anna Maria Island, with no facilities. If you are looking to get away from the crowds, it is ideal, and it is the perfect spot to bring a picnic and enjoy the sunset.
Being an island with calm waters, there are plenty of water sports for you to try, including paddle boarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. There is also an abundance of wildlife, including dolphins, migrating birds, sea turtles and manatees, which you can sometimes see swimming around the canals of Bimini Bay on the east coast.
Jacquie Hale | Flashpacking Family
Accommodation: Where to stay in Anna Maria
Address: Anna Maria Island, FL
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Florida
Set on a barrier island off of North Carolina’s gorgeous Crystal Coast (sometimes called the Southern Outer Banks) and overlooked by a historic lighthouse, Cape Lookout National Seashore is a hidden gem among East Coast beaches. In addition to the experience of visiting the beautiful Cape Lookout Lighthouse, this calm, tranquil beach is perfect for swimming, shelling, and relaxing.
Its distance from the mainland means that the Cape Lookout National Seashore is an ideal day trip in the region--though if you’re up for booking ahead of time, bringing a tent, camping is also allowed on the beach. Ferries to Cape Lookout National Seashore run from both Harkers Island and Beaufort, North Carolina each summer--and the ferry ride is a decent part of the fun.
While riding the ferry to the beach, be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins in the water, as well as wild horses living on the unoccupied barrier islands you’ll pass along the way! If you don’t want to take a ferry, private boats can also access the beach.
Be sure to leave time for visiting the small Cape Lookout Lighthouse museum, which explores the history of the island and the lighthouse keepers who once lived there.
Kate Storm | Our Escape Clause
Accommodation: Where to stay near Cape Lookout
Address: Cape Lookout Rd, Harkers Island, NC 28531
South Beach, or SoBe, is a locality in Miami that's full of energy and is picture-perfect, exactly as seen in the movies! There are numerous colorful Art-Deco buildings located here, and the area is full of palm trees and pedestrian-only regions, making it a fabulous location where one can have an enjoyable time.
The stretch of the beach here, which's nine miles long, is called Miami Beach. It is divided into three beaches, with South Beach in SoBe being the most popular, which stretches from South Pointe Park to 23rd Street in the south.
There are numerous ways to get to the beach. The easiest way is to get a local taxi, Uber or Lyft. If you'd rather prefer other means and if you'd like to get here from the airport, there's the Express bus service that runs between the airport and the beach every twenty minutes or the most convenient is to rent a car if you're planning to spend a few days in Miami.
One can spend hours on the beach as there's sunshine almost year-round and the best spots to do so are Lummus Park and South Pointe Park. One can also go parasailing here in some locations. Ocean Drive is where you'll find boutiques, restaurants and bars, making the location even more enjoyable.
Lavina Dsouza | Continent Hop
Accommodation: Where to stay in Miami Beach
Address: Miami Beach, FL 33139
Also Read: The Best Beaches in Florida
Sand Beach is a small but incredibly beautiful ocean beach in Acadia National Park. At 290 yards long, it isn’t the longest beach in the country, but it’s definitely one of the most beautiful East Coast beaches. Nestled between wooded hills behind it and rocky outcrops on each side, its setting is second to none.
As its name suggests, it is a sand beach, but the sand here is a little different. It's made of tiny pieces of shells that have been pounded into a powder by waves over the course of thousands of years.
From the parking lot, there are clear views of the Beehive, a nearby mountain that has one of the most famous trails in the park. The beach is also the starting point for an oceanside hiking trail to Otter Cliff via Thunder Hole, which is highly recommended.
The beach is a popular place with visitors to Acadia National Park. There is a lifeguard (and no dogs are allowed) between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year. There is a parking lot (just after the park’s main entrance), as well as restrooms and changing rooms. The park shuttle also stops there.
James Ian | Parks Collecting
Accommodation: Where to stay in Bar Harbor
Address: Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Enjoy exploring any and all of these beautiful East Coast Beaches. Whether you stick to your favorite activities or try something new, these beaches and towns have a lot to offer. These beaches stretch from Georgia to Maine and offer a great vacation no matter where you are from.