Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

How Many States Border An Ocean?


by Aurelea Muncy



When it comes to states that border an ocean, the world offers a diverse array of options. From the vast Pacific Ocean to the mighty Atlantic and Indian Oceans, there are numerous states that have the privilege of being located along these magnificent bodies of water. Whether it’s the breathtaking beaches, bustling port cities, or thriving marine ecosystems, these states offer a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences.


In this article, we will explore the states that border oceans across various continents, taking a closer look at the North American, South American, European, African, Asian, and Oceanian states that have direct access to these expansive bodies of water. From the bustling cities of California to the tropical paradises of Southeast Asia, each state offers its own distinct charm and attractions.


So, if you’re seeking inspiration for your next beach vacation or simply curious about the states that have the privilege of bordering an ocean, let’s dive into this fascinating exploration of these beautiful coastal regions.


The Definition of a State Bordering an Ocean

A state is considered to be bordering an ocean when it has a coastline that directly touches one of the world’s major oceans. This means that the state’s landmass extends all the way to the shoreline of the ocean, allowing for direct access and influence from the marine environment.


It’s important to note that not all coastal regions are classified as states that border an ocean. Some countries may have territories or provinces located along the coast but are not considered a separate state in and of themselves.


When determining whether a state can be categorized as one that borders an ocean, geographical guidelines are used. These guidelines ensure that the state’s land directly abuts the shoreline of the ocean without any other countries’ intervening territories.


Additionally, the coastline of a state bordering an ocean is characterized by its length and diversity. The shape and topography of the coast can vary significantly, ranging from stunning cliffs and rocky shores to serene beaches and mangrove swamps.


Furthermore, the presence of an ocean border often brings certain benefits and challenges to a state. Economically, being located on an ocean can open up opportunities for tourism, fishing, shipping, and trade. It can also influence the climate and weather patterns, providing favorable conditions for agriculture or contributing to the occurrence of natural disasters such as hurricanes or tsunamis.


Now that we understand the criteria for a state to be considered as bordering an ocean, let’s take a closer look at the states in each continent that have the privilege of having a direct connection to these majestic bodies of water.


North American States Bordering an Ocean

North America is home to several states that boast picturesque coastlines along the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. From the rugged shores of Alaska to the sandy beaches of California, each state offers its unique coastal charm and attractions.


Starting on the East Coast, we have the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. These states are all bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, providing residents and visitors with access to stunning beaches, vibrant beachfront cities, and a wealth of water-related activities.


Moving to the West Coast, the state of California stretches along the Pacific Ocean, offering iconic destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. The coastline of California is known for its beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs, and renowned surf spots.


Alaska, the largest state in the United States, is also bordered by the Pacific Ocean. Its coastline is characterized by massive glaciers, fjords, and remote coastal communities.


Lastly, Hawaii, although not technically part of North America, is a U.S. state located in the Pacific Ocean. It is a tropical paradise renowned for its pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and rich Polynesian culture.


These North American states that border the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans offer a wide range of attractions and activities, making them popular destinations for beach lovers, water sports enthusiasts, and nature enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re exploring the historic sites of New England or soaking up the sun in the tropical paradise of Hawaii, there’s something for everyone on these North American coastlines.


South American States Bordering an Ocean

Stretching along the western coast of South America lies a collection of countries that are fortunate to border the vast Pacific Ocean. These states offer a diverse range of coastal landscapes, cultural experiences, and natural wonders.


Starting in the north, Ecuador is the first South American country to have direct access to the Pacific Ocean. Ecuador’s coast is dotted with beautiful beaches and vibrant seaside towns, with highlights such as the Galapagos Islands, known for their unique wildlife and volcanic landscapes.


Continuing south, Peru boasts a long and iconic coastline that stretches over 2,400 kilometers. The coastal region of Peru is known for its archaeological wonders, including the famous Nazca Lines, which are ancient geoglyphs etched into the desert floor.


Chile, the longest country in South America, also has an extensive coastline along the Pacific Ocean. From the arid Atacama Desert in the north to the picturesque fjords and glaciers of Patagonia in the south, Chile offers breathtaking coastal landscapes and outdoor adventures.


Argentina, although primarily known for its vast interior and the bustling city of Buenos Aires, also has a small stretch of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. Mar del Plata, located south of Buenos Aires, is a popular coastal destination famous for its sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife.


Heading to the northeast of South America, the country of Guyana shares a small border with the Atlantic Ocean. Guyana’s coastline is characterized by mangrove forests and a rich biodiversity, offering opportunities for exploration and wildlife encounters.


Lastly, Suriname, another northeast South American country, also enjoys a coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. The beaches of Suriname are relatively untouched and offer a serene atmosphere for visitors seeking tranquility.


These South American states that border the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans provide a wide range of experiences for travelers. From ancient ruins to stunning landscapes and vibrant seaside towns, each coastal region offers its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage.


European States Bordering an Ocean

Europe is surrounded by several bodies of water, including the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea. Consequently, numerous European countries have the privilege of having coastlines along these beautiful waters, offering a mix of cultural richness and natural beauty.


Starting with the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal and Spain are the key European countries that border this vast body of water. Portugal boasts a stunning coastline renowned for its golden sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, and picturesque fishing villages. Spain, on the other hand, offers a diverse coastal landscape, from the vibrant beaches of the Costa del Sol to the rugged beauty of the Costa Brava.


Heading north towards the Arctic Ocean, Norway and Iceland are the prominent European countries with direct access to this icy expanse. Norway is famous for its breathtaking fjords and majestic coastal mountain ranges, providing a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Iceland, known as the “Land of Fire and Ice,” offers otherworldly landscapes, including volcanic black sand beaches and steaming geothermal pools.


The Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by a plethora of European countries, plays host to a multitude of charming coastal destinations. Italy boasts stunning coastlines along the Adriatic, Tyrrhenian, and Ionian Seas, featuring iconic destinations such as the beautiful Amalfi Coast and the picturesque islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Greece, with its numerous islands scattered throughout the Aegean Sea, offers pristine beaches, ancient ruins, and a rich cultural heritage.


Other European countries bordering the Mediterranean include France, with its glamorous French Riviera, and Croatia, known for its stunning Dalmatian Coast and historic cities such as Dubrovnik. Additionally, countries like Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, and Slovenia offer their unique coastal charm and attractions along the Mediterranean coastline.


These European states that border the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea offer a diverse range of coastal experiences. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on sun-soaked beaches, exploring historic cities, or indulging in delectable cuisine, the coastal regions of Europe have it all.


African States Bordering an Ocean

Africa, the second-largest continent in the world, is blessed with an extensive coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea. These coastal regions are home to a variety of countries offering stunning landscapes, vibrant cultures, and rich biodiversity.


Starting on the west coast of Africa, we have countries such as Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Namibia, and South Africa. The vast stretch along the Atlantic Ocean boasts beautiful beaches, rugged coastlines, and bustling port cities.


On the east coast, countries like Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa have access to the Indian Ocean. This region is famous for its stunning white sand beaches, coral reefs, and abundant marine life.


In the northeast, Egypt has a coastline along the Mediterranean Sea, known for its historical significance and stunning coastal cities like Alexandria.


Moving over to the northwest, Morocco and Western Sahara also touch the Atlantic Ocean and offer a blend of Moroccan culture and Saharan landscapes along the coast.


Additionally, the island nations surrounding Africa, such as Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, and Mauritius, provide stunning coastal escapes with pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and unique flora and fauna.


These African countries that border the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea offer a wealth of experiences for travelers. From vibrant coastal markets to breathtaking wildlife safaris, each country offers its distinct blend of natural wonders and cultural heritage for visitors to explore and enjoy.


Asian States Bordering an Ocean

Asia, the largest continent on Earth, is home to a vast array of countries that are fortunate to have coastlines along the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and various seas. These coastal regions offer a wealth of cultural diversity, stunning landscapes, and vibrant coastal cities.


Starting with the Pacific Ocean, countries like Russia, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines boast extensive coastlines along its shores. Each country offers a unique coastal experience, from the volcanic islands of Japan and the pristine beaches of Thailand to the bustling coastal cities of China and the tranquil beauty of the Philippine archipelago.


On the Indian Ocean, countries like India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar, and Bangladesh have captivating coastal regions. India’s coastline stretches over 7,500 kilometers, offering a mix of bustling cities, serene beaches, and historic landmarks. The Maldives, known for its luxurious resorts and stunning coral reefs, is a tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean.


Moving to the Arabian Sea, countries such as Oman, Yemen, and Iran enjoy coastlines along this body of water. Oman’s coastline is famous for its rugged cliffs and turquoise waters, while Yemen boasts pristine beaches along its southern coast.


Additionally, Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Brunei, and Timor-Leste have access to the South China Sea and the Java Sea. These nations offer a combination of urban charm, tropical beauty, and cultural diversity.


It’s important to note that some Asian countries, such as landlocked countries or those located in Central Asia, do not have direct access to an ocean. However, they may have access to various seas or bodies of water that are connected to the larger oceans.


These Asian states that border the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and various seas provide a fascinating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re exploring the buzzing metropolis of Tokyo, diving in the vibrant coral reefs of the Maldives, or immersing yourself in the ancient temples of Thailand, the coastal regions of Asia are sure to leave a lasting impression.


Ocean Bordering States in Oceania

Oceania, a region composed of scattered islands and archipelagos, is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean. This region is home to several countries that offer stunning coastal landscapes, unique cultures, and vibrant marine ecosystems.


Australia, the largest country in Oceania, is renowned for its diverse coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. From the iconic Great Barrier Reef to the pristine white sand beaches of the Whitsunday Islands, Australia’s coastal regions are a paradise for water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers.


New Zealand, consisting of two main islands, also enjoys a coastal connection to the Pacific Ocean. The country’s coastline is characterized by fjords, stunning beaches, and active marine environments, providing opportunities for outdoor adventures and wildlife encounters.


The island nations in the Pacific Ocean, such as Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands, offer idyllic tropical beaches, coral reefs, and a rich cultural heritage. These nations provide a tranquil escape where visitors can immerse themselves in the laid-back island lifestyle and explore the underwater wonders of the Pacific.


In addition, countries like Papua New Guinea and Palau showcase some of the most pristine and diverse marine ecosystems in the world. These nations are home to breathtaking coral reefs, vibrant marine life, and unique indigenous cultures.


French Polynesia, a group of islands including Tahiti and Bora Bora, is famous for its stunning overwater bungalows, crystal-clear lagoons, and lush tropical landscapes. This destination offers a luxurious and romantic coastal experience.


These ocean-bordering states in Oceania enchant visitors with their natural beauty, warm hospitality, and rich cultural heritage. Whether you want to relax on a secluded beach, explore vibrant coral reefs, or learn about indigenous cultures, the coastal regions of Oceania offer an unforgettable experience.



States that border an ocean around the world are privileged to have direct access to some of the most magnificent bodies of water on our planet. From the vast stretches of the Pacific Ocean to the vibrant coastlines along the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, these states offer a diverse range of coastal landscapes, cultural experiences, and natural wonders.


In North America, the states along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, such as California, Florida, and Maine, provide stunning beaches and bustling coastal cities. In South America, countries like Peru, Chile, and Brazil offer pristine coastal regions with a mix of archaeological wonders and picturesque landscapes.


Europe boasts a range of countries with access to the Atlantic, Arctic, and Mediterranean coasts. Portugal, Italy, and Greece are just a few examples of countries with renowned coastal destinations that blend history, culture, and natural beauty.


In Africa, the Atlantic, Indian, and Mediterranean coastlines offer a wealth of experiences. From the stunning beaches and rich biodiversity of countries like South Africa and Kenya to the unique cultural heritage of Egypt and Morocco, the African coast showcases its diverse charm.


Asia’s coastal regions, including Japan, Thailand, and India, boast stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and cultural diversity. The Pacific Islands of Oceania, such as Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji, provide paradisiacal beach destinations with pristine waters and thriving marine ecosystems.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, coastal regions across the globe offer an array of choices. From sun-drenched beaches to rugged cliffs, vibrant cities to remote islands, the states that border an ocean provide a dazzling fusion of natural beauty, cultural richness, and aquatic wonders.


So, whether you’re planning your next beach vacation or simply curious about these enticing coastal regions, the states along the oceans are waiting to be explored and admired. Embrace the allure of the ocean and embark on a journey to experience the coastal magic of these remarkable states.