The East Coast of the United States boasts some of the most stunning beaches in the country. From the tranquil shores of the Carolinas to the pristine islands of Maryland and Massachusetts, there is a beach destination to suit every traveler’s taste. Whether you are seeking relaxation, adventure, or simply a gorgeous backdrop to soak up the sun, the East Coast has it all.
With its vast coastline and diverse geography, the East Coast offers a wide range of beach experiences. From sprawling stretches of sand to rugged cliffs and dunes, each destination has its own unique charm. Whether you are a surf enthusiast, a nature lover, or a history buff, you will find something to captivate you on the East Coast beaches.
So, grab your sunscreen and beach towel as we take you on a virtual tour of the 7 best beaches on the East Coast. Each of these destinations offers a unique blend of natural beauty, recreational activities, and cultural attractions, making them the perfect choice for your next seaside getaway.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
Located along the barrier islands of the Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a true coastal gem. Stretching over 70 miles, this pristine shoreline offers endless possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
One of the main highlights of Cape Hatteras is its iconic black and white striped lighthouse, which stands tall as the tallest brick lighthouse in North America. Climbing to the top of this historic structure provides breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and nearby islands.
In addition to its picturesque lighthouse, Cape Hatteras is renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities. Whether you prefer surf fishing, pier fishing, or chartering a boat for deep-sea fishing, the waters off Cape Hatteras are teeming with a variety of fish species.
For those seeking adventure, Cape Hatteras offers world-class surfing. With consistent waves and offshore winds, it is a surfer’s paradise. There are also plenty of water activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and kiteboarding to keep visitors entertained.
Nature enthusiasts will delight in exploring the diverse ecosystems found within Cape Hatteras National Seashore. From sandy beaches and dunes to maritime forests and salt marshes, the area is home to a wide array of plant and animal species. Birdwatchers will have the opportunity to spot migratory birds and even glimpse the rare piping plover.
With its unspoiled beauty and abundance of outdoor activities, Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a must-visit destination for beach lovers and adventure seekers alike.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
When it comes to beach vacations on the East Coast, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina is a top choice. With its wide sandy shores, warm waters, and vibrant atmosphere, it has something for everyone.
Myrtle Beach is not only famous for its beautiful beach but also for its entertainment options. The iconic SkyWheel offers panoramic views of the coastline, while the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is lined with arcades, shops, and restaurants. Visitors can also enjoy live music, theaters, and amusement parks that make this destination perfect for families and thrill-seekers alike.
For water enthusiasts, Myrtle Beach offers a multitude of activities. From swimming and sunbathing to jet skiing and parasailing, there’s no shortage of ways to get out on the water and enjoy the coastal breeze. The calm and clear waters make it an ideal spot for beginners to try their hand at activities like paddleboarding and kayaking.
Golf enthusiasts will also be in paradise in Myrtle Beach, which is renowned as the “Golf Capital of the World.” With over 100 golf courses, including championship designs by renowned architects, it’s a golfer’s dream come true. The combination of pristine greens, stunning coastal views, and challenging fairways makes Myrtle Beach a top destination for avid golfers.
When you need a break from the beach, Myrtle Beach offers a plethora of other attractions. Explore Ripley’s Aquarium, visit the Myrtle Beach State Park, or take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Brookgreen Gardens, known for its stunning sculptures and botanical gardens.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, family-friendly attractions, or simply a relaxing beach getaway, Myrtle Beach has it all. Its diverse range of activities and vibrant atmosphere make it a top beach destination on the East Coast.
Assateague Island, Maryland and Virginia
If you’re looking for a beach destination that combines natural beauty with unique wildlife encounters, Assateague Island is the perfect choice. Located off the coasts of Maryland and Virginia, this barrier island is famous for its wild ponies and untouched landscapes.
The most iconic feature of Assateague Island is undoubtedly the wild horses that roam freely along its shores. These majestic creatures have become the symbol of the island and are a sight to behold. Visitors can observe them from a safe distance, admiring their beauty and capturing unforgettable photos.
In addition to the wild horses, Assateague Island offers miles of pristine beaches that are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. The untouched coastal dunes and marshlands provide a scenic backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts, and the island’s tranquil ambiance makes it the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
For nature lovers, Assateague Island is a haven of biodiversity. The island is home to over 300 species of birds, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. Visitors can spot herons, egrets, ospreys, and even the elusive bald eagle. The surrounding waters are also teeming with marine life, making it a great spot for fishing and kayaking.
One of the best ways to explore Assateague Island is by taking a hike along one of its many nature trails. The Assateague Island National Seashore offers a variety of trails that wind through the island’s diverse ecosystems, allowing visitors to get up close with the flora and fauna.
Camping is a popular activity on Assateague Island, with several campgrounds scattered across the island. Falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves and waking up to the sight of wild ponies grazing nearby is an experience like no other.
Whether you’re captivated by the wild horses, eager to immerse yourself in nature, or simply seeking a tranquil beach getaway, Assateague Island offers a unique and unforgettable experience that has something for everyone.
St. Augustine Beach, Florida
Located on the northeastern coast of Florida, St. Augustine Beach is a charming seaside town that offers a perfect blend of history, natural beauty, and relaxation. With its pristine beaches and rich cultural heritage, it is no wonder why St. Augustine Beach attracts visitors from all over the world.
St. Augustine Beach is known for its wide, sandy shores that stretch for miles along the Atlantic Ocean. The warm, gentle waves make it ideal for swimming and water activities. Whether you want to soak up the sun, build sandcastles, or take a leisurely stroll along the shore, you’ll find plenty of space and tranquility on St. Augustine Beach.
Aside from its stunning beaches, St. Augustine has a fascinating history that dates back to its founding in 1565. As the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States, the town boasts a rich heritage that can be explored through its historic sites and architecture.
One iconic landmark in St. Augustine Beach is the Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th-century fort made of coquina stone. Visitors can take a step back in time as they explore the fort’s rooms, cannons, and exhibits, learning about its significance in protecting the city from invasions.
Beyond its historical attractions, St. Augustine Beach is home to a vibrant arts and culture scene. The town is dotted with galleries, boutiques, and restaurants that showcase the local talent and flavors. Visitors can enjoy browsing through art galleries, sampling delicious seafood, or catching live music performances.
Nature lovers will find St. Augustine Beach a paradise, with ample opportunities for outdoor adventures. The nearby Anastasia State Park offers hiking and biking trails that wind through lush marshes and dunes. Visitors can also enjoy kayaking, fishing, or birdwatching, immersing themselves in the diverse ecosystems that thrive in this coastal region.
From its picturesque beaches to its rich history and cultural offerings, St. Augustine Beach is a destination that offers a little something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, outdoor exploration, or a taste of history, you’ll find it all in this charming beach town.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a stunning stretch of barrier islands that offers a unique coastal experience. Known for its untouched natural beauty and rich maritime history, the Outer Banks is a paradise for beach lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and history buffs.
One of the main attractions of the Outer Banks is its beautiful beaches that span for miles along the Atlantic Coast. From the serene beaches of Corolla to the vibrant shores of Nags Head and Cape Hatteras, each beach offers its own charm and breathtaking views. Whether you’re looking to relax on the soft sand, go for a swim, or try your hand at surfing, the Outer Banks has you covered.
What makes the Outer Banks truly special is its maritime heritage. History buffs can explore the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, climb its spiral stairs, and learn about its fascinating history. The area is also home to several historical sites, including the Wright Brothers National Memorial, where the first powered flight took place in 1903.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find ample opportunities for adventure in the Outer Banks. Explore the vast Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which encompasses miles of pristine beaches, sand dunes, and maritime forests. Take a kayak tour through the tranquil sound waters, go windsurfing or kiteboarding, or try your luck at deep-sea fishing.
The Outer Banks is also renowned for its wild horses, known as the Banker horses. These majestic creatures roam freely along the beaches and marshlands, adding a touch of wild beauty to the landscape. Visitors can go on guided tours or even spot them while exploring the area.
For those seeking a break from the beach, the Outer Banks offers a plethora of other attractions. Visit the charming coastal towns, such as Duck and Manteo, where you can explore local shops and indulge in fresh seafood. Take a ferry to Ocracoke Island, known for its quaint village and undeveloped beaches.
With its untouched natural landscapes, rich history, and endless outdoor adventures, the Outer Banks is a true gem on the East Coast. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, excitement, or a deeper connection with nature, the Outer Banks has it all.
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Tucked away on the South Carolina coast, Kiawah Island is a hidden gem that offers a pristine and luxurious beach experience. Renowned for its stunning beaches, world-class golf courses, and lush natural surroundings, Kiawah Island provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxing and indulgent getaway.
One of the main highlights of Kiawah Island is its pristine and secluded shoreline. With over 10 miles of sandy beaches, visitors can find their own slice of paradise to unwind and soak up the sun. The gentle waves and warm waters make it perfect for swimming, while the soft sand is ideal for beachcombing and building sandcastles.
Kiawah Island is a golfer’s paradise, boasting several championship golf courses designed by renowned architects. The most famous of them all is the Ocean Course, which has hosted prestigious tournaments like the PGA Championship. The lush green fairways, stunning ocean views, and challenging layouts make Kiawah Island a top destination for golf enthusiasts.
Nature lovers will be in awe of Kiawah Island’s diverse ecosystems. From pristine marshes and maritime forests to peaceful lagoons and tidal creeks, the island is teeming with wildlife. Explore the miles of biking and hiking trails, spot a variety of bird species, or take a guided kayak tour to discover the island’s natural beauty up close.
Kiawah Island is also a haven for luxury and relaxation. The island boasts world-class resorts, spas, and fine dining establishments, offering visitors the ultimate indulgence. Experience rejuvenating spa treatments, savor gourmet cuisine prepared with fresh local ingredients, or simply unwind on a private balcony with views of the ocean.
For those seeking more active pursuits, Kiawah Island offers a range of recreational activities. Play a game of tennis on one of the island’s courts, go kayaking or paddleboarding along the tranquil waterways, or take a scenic bike ride around the island and soak in the natural beauty at your own pace.
Whether you’re looking to relax, play golf, immerse yourself in nature, or indulge in luxury, Kiawah Island offers a beach experience that is unparalleled. With its pristine beaches, world-class amenities, and serene natural surroundings, Kiawah Island is a true coastal paradise.
Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts
Nestled on the eastern coast of Massachusetts, Cape Cod National Seashore is a breathtaking destination known for its stunning beaches, charming coastal towns, and rich maritime history. With its picturesque landscapes and diverse range of activities, Cape Cod offers a quintessential New England beach experience.
Cape Cod’s coastline spans over 40 miles, offering a variety of beaches to suit every preference. From the tranquil shores of Nauset Beach to the scenic dunes of Race Point Beach, there’s a spot for everyone to bask in the sun and enjoy the refreshing Atlantic Ocean.
One of the highlights of Cape Cod National Seashore is its iconic lighthouses. The Highland Light in Truro and the Nauset Light in Eastham are not only historic landmarks but also offer stunning views of the coastline. Climb to the top for panoramic vistas and a glimpse into the seafaring heritage of the region.
The coastal towns of Cape Cod are charming and offer a unique blend of history and culture. Explore the narrow streets of Provincetown, known for its vibrant art scene and diverse community. Visit Chatham, a picturesque town with its iconic lighthouse and charming shops. Enjoy fresh seafood and traditional New England cuisine in one of the many restaurants scattered along the coast.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the abundance of recreational activities available in Cape Cod. Explore the numerous hiking and biking trails that wind through the Cape Cod National Seashore, immersing yourself in the area’s natural beauty. Kayak or paddleboard through the tranquil marshes and estuaries, or embark on a whale-watching tour to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.
History buffs will find plenty to discover in Cape Cod as well. Visit the Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum that recreates the early Plymouth Colony. Explore the Cape Cod Maritime Museum to learn about the area’s rich maritime heritage and the important role it played in the development of the United States.
With its scenic beaches, charming coastal towns, and rich history, Cape Cod National Seashore offers a unique and captivating beach experience. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, outdoor adventures, or a glimpse into the region’s past, Cape Cod is a destination that promises to leave a lasting impression.
The East Coast of the United States is truly a treasure trove of stunning beaches and captivating islands. From the rugged cliffs of Cape Hatteras to the sandy shores of Myrtle Beach, each destination offers its own unique charm and allure.
Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a blend of both, the East Coast has it all. You can indulge in water activities like surfing, kayaking, and fishing or immerse yourself in the natural beauty of national seashores and wildlife reserves. History buffs can explore the rich maritime heritage and visit iconic lighthouses and historic sites.
The East Coast beaches also cater to a wide range of interests and preferences. From family-friendly destinations with amusement parks and arcades to luxurious resorts and spa retreats, there is something for everyone. The coastal towns add an extra layer of charm, offering a mix of boutique shops, art galleries, and delectable seafood restaurants.
Whether you’re drawn to the tranquil shores of Cape Cod, the wild beauty of Assateague Island, or the vibrant atmosphere of Myrtle Beach, you are sure to be captivated by the East Coast’s natural splendor and cultural richness.
So, pack your beach essentials and get ready to embark on an unforgettable beach getaway on the East Coast. Whether it’s a romantic retreat, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, the East Coast beaches and islands have something to offer every traveler. Get ready to create lifelong memories and experience the beauty and allure of these coastal wonders.