Winters are long and cold, and I find myself dreaming of the beach for most of the year (who am I kidding, ALL of the year).
There are so many incredible tropical locations to explore in the world, but when the warm weather hits, the beaches in the US are well worth a visit.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the total length of the US shoreline (which includes outer coast, offshore islands, sounds, bays, rivers, and creeks), is a staggering 95,471 miles (153,646 km)!
That’s a lot of beach to explore!
What’s interesting about the beaches in the States is that they are so varied. Some do feel like a topical paradise, others are stormy and rocky, while others are deserted and isolated. Because of the sheer size of the country, there is no way you could visit all of the beaches in a single visit, but there are some more famous and popular ones that are definitely worth planning your trip around.
Is catching a wave your idea of the perfect day at the beach? There are some amazing surf spots in the States. Here are two of the most famous:
Orange County, California
Also known as “Surf City,” this beach attracts serious crowds. There are actually four different surf spots in the area that cater to all levels — from the novice to the expert.
According to Gear Patrol, “longboarders should head to the northwest beaches, while shortboards are best in the south, by Huntington Beach Pier.”
North Shore, Oahu
I couldn't talk about surf spots and not mention a beach in Hawaii!
Considered to have the some of the world’s biggest and best waves, this spot is for serious surfers only. The currents are strong and the reef is sharp and cavernous, but that’s the reason for the incredible 30-foot waves and the large, hollow tubes of water that surfers are often photographed on. If you aren’t experienced enough to ride the waves yourself, it’s the perfect spot to take some amazing photos of world-class surfers!
Suntanning + People Watching
Located on opposite sides of the country, these two spots are the best beaches to see and be seen in America.
This famous beach has more than 13 million visitors each year (!) making it the ideal spot to people watch.
The southern portion, or South Beach, is known for being the spot where models, celebrities, and other millionaires hang out (get ready for some celebrity spotting!), and this is where you will find the famous Ocean Drive with its stunning Art Deco architecture.
Los Angeles, California
More than 16 million people visit the quirky and charter-filled Venice Beach every year to experience the sights and sounds of this one-of-a-kind spot.
Stroll down the boardwalk, purchase some unique souvenirs from a street vendor, get your fortune told, play some basketball, go dancing, relax in the sand, or get a little surfing in — there is so much to do here!
Sunsets + Romance
Walk barefoot in the sand and catch the sunset at one of these locations that seem made for romance.
Sunset Beach, North Carolina
This gorgeous spot in the Brunswick Islands has a mile-long beach that is south facing, which means that you can watch the sun both rise and set over the water.
Located at one end of the beach is the Kindred Spirits Mailbox, where lovers can pen notes to each other, or leave behind wishes for the future.
Montauk Point State Park
Montauk, New York
A favorite escape for New Yorkers, couples love this destination for its peace and serenity.
Go for a romantic horseback ride, take in the stunning views from the majestic rocky shore, or explore the beautiful 200-year-old lighthouse that sits on the cliffs in the park.
Get Your Party On
It’s 5 o’clock all day at these destinations that are always ready to party!
Wildwood, New Jersey
The famous Jersey Shore is known for its boardwalk and amusement park with more than 100 rides!
There are a variety of clubs and bars that turn up the heat when the sun goes down, and are where you can enjoy great food, indulge in some cocktails, or spend the night tearing up the dance floor.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
The beach’s boardwalk is home to a strip of bars that is perfect for those that are looking to bar hop the night away. There are also some pretty incredible happy hour prices along the strip — some starting as early as 11 am!
Sun, sand, and all-inclusive fun await you at these LGBTQ-friendly destinations!
Race Point Beach
Dubbed “P-town,” this free-spirited beach town has been a must-visit destination for LGBTQ travelers for years.
You’ll find a thriving art scene, whale-watching, incredible seafood, and lots of romantic and secluded spots to stroll.
Will Rogers State Beach (aka Ginger Rogers Beach)
Santa Monica, California
Located right off the Pacific Coast Highway, this is the closest (unofficial) gay beach to Los Angeles, so you may have a chance to do some movie star spotting here!
This is also the beach where the movie Creature From The Black Lagoon was filmed, as well as the TV series Baywatch!