Forget Greece—These 11 Breathtaking Beaches Happen to Be Stateside

Updated 06/11/18

Raise your hand if you'd rather be at the beach. It's pretty impossible not be dreaming of sunshine, paddleball, summer beach reads, the sand between your toes, the sound of crashing waves, and a salty sea breeze . So if you're itching to get out of the office but don't have time to renew your passport or enough PTO left for a grand overseas vacation, don't fret... It's definitely not too late to plan a quick by the water. In fact, some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world happen to be in our own backyard.

So without further ado, prepare your pinning finger and scroll through the most beautiful beaches in the U.S.

From gorgeous lookout points to sunny seaside lounging spots—and even some freshwater beaches for our landlocked friends—there's a bit of everything. Whether you're craving New England charm, Southern hospitality, California ease, or tropical bliss, this American will have you in no time. So without further ado, get to know the most beautiful beaches in the U.S., from sea to shining sea. Plus, take note of where to stay and what to do while you're there, and don't forget your sun hats.

Maui, Hawaii

Best Beaches in America
Lauren Stephanie Wells

The Destination: Maui, Hawaii

Local Flavor: If you want to take the tropical route, we suggest visiting Punalu'u Beach on . This way, you'll have the best of both worlds since you'll get a taste of the tropics and all it has to offer (think balmy climate, lush greenery, pretty views, and swim-friendly warm waters) while also enjoying the unique beauty of a black-sand beach.

Where to Stay: Hotel Wailea

Similar Vibes: Big Sur's black sand beach in California

Laguna Beach, California

Best Beaches in the U.S.
Bon Vacationer

The Beach Destination: Laguna Beach, California

Local Flavor: For a quintessential California experience, head to Laguna Beach in Southern California. It's one of the few places in the Golden State that really does live up to the reputation of feeling like summer year-round. Aside from the beach, there are plenty of local art galleries, delicious Mexican food, and laid-back California vibes to soak up.

Where to Stay: The Inn at Laguna Beach or The Ranch

Similar Vibes: Monterey or Caramel by the Sea in Northern California and La Jolla in San Diego

The Hamptons, New York

Best Places to Visit in America
@simoo000oone

The Destination: The Hamptons, New York

Local Flavor: East Coast tradition—think lobster boils and hole-in-the-wall specialty shops—meets hip, up-and-coming scenes, all against the backdrop of the Long Island Sound. Depending on where you go, the vibe will vary.

Where to Stay: 1170 House in East Hampton, Gurney's in Montauk, or Latch Pop Up Inn in Southampton

Similar Vibes: Greenwich and Westport, Connecticut

Lake Tahoe, California

Best Lakes in California
Bon Vacationer

The Destination: Lake Tahoe, California

Local Flavor: We get it: Some people are drawn to mountain towns and freshwater lakes rather than the wide-open ocean. Here's a gorgeous Northern California option with crystal-clear water, crisp mountain air, and endless outdoor adventures to pursue when you're not exploring the shores of the lake.

Where to Stay: The Ritz for something elegant, or any local rental house for something more private and lodge-like

Similar Vibes: Lake Erie, Ohio, and Crater Lake, Oregon

Sullivan's Island, South Carolina

Best Beaches in the South
Gal Meets Glam

The Destination: Sullivan's Island, South Carolina

Local Flavor: Spanish moss, weeping willows, and Southern hospitality make Sullivan's Island one of the most darling beaches in the world.

Where to Stay: The Drewberry, Zero George, or 86 Cannon in Charleston

Similar Beaches: Orange Beach, Alabama, or Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, right outside Savannah

Honolulu, Hawaii

Best Beaches in Hawaii
Lauren Stephanie Wells

The Destination: Honolulu, Hawaii

Local Flavor: Located on the south shore of the island of Oahu, Hawaii's largest city also happens to be paradise. The many palm trees, Waikiki Beach, and nearby Diamond Head crater set this beachy city apart from the rest. There are endless opportunities for outdoor adventures and historical excursions.

Where to Stay: The Royal Hawaiian

Similar Vibes: Stay in Oahu, but ditch the city of Honolulu for a slower pace at Lanikai beach.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Best Beaches on the East Coast
@mollzzy

The Cape Cod Beaches: Monument and Ballston

Local Flavor: If you're dreaming of New England charm, look no further than Cape Cod. It's similar to Nantucket but less of a trek to get there since you'll be staying continental.

Where to Stay: Little Inn on Pleasant Bay

Similar Vibes: Martha's Vineyard and Point Reyes in California

Santa Barbara, California

Best Beaches in California
@stacieflinner

The Destination: Santa Barbara, California

Local Flavor: Right along the California 1 highway and in the middle of Southern California wine country, Santa Baraba hits the sweetest of spots on the map. While you're not surfing, be sure to check out all the beautiful historic missions and explore the charming town of Montecito.

Where to Stay: Belmond El Encanto

Similar Vibes: San Diego and Santa Cruz, California

Harbor Springs, Michigan

Best Lakes in the U.S.
@itsannaboyer

The Destination: Harbor Springs, Michigan

Local Flavor: This tiny resort community is beyond picturesque. Right on Little Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan, it's quaint yet lively, charming yet casual—everything you could want from a lakeside town.

Where to Stay: The Inn at Bay Harbor or a local rental home

Similar Vibes: Door County, Wisconsin

Miami Beach, Florida

Places to Visit in Florida
@babba.c

The Beach Destination: Miami Beach, Florida

Local Flavor: Tropical locale meets urban adventure in Miami's South Beach area. From world-class shopping to beachside lounging, colorful art deco architecture, authentic Cuban cuisine, and bustling art scene, there's no shortage of excitement and beauty in this Sunshine State locale.

Where to Stay: The Faeana or Freehand

Similar Beaches: Siesta Beach in the Keys

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket Tips
Lauren Stephanie Wells

The Destination: Nantucket, Massachusetts

Local Flavor: Nantucket is the ideal vacation town for travelers seeking a picture-perfect experience on a New England island. You'll find streets neatly lined with shingled widow's walks, hydrangea bushes, open Jeeps, and the occasional lighthouse. You'll want to keep your cameras nearby everywhere you go.

Where to Stay: The White Elephant Inn

Similar Vibes: Newport, Rhode Island and Kennebunkport, Maine

And now, the to keep you at the edge of your beach chair all summer long.

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