Warm sand soothing our feet. The wonderful sound of ocean waves. A glorious suntan. These experiences make a day or weekend on the beach breathtaking.
Now is the season for warm summer days on the East Coast. Planning a trip and need to know the best east coast beaches? We can help. Here are the best east coast beaches to visit.
Our Best Beaches List
From the top of the state of Maine to the southern East Coast, you’ll find delightful beaches. Each area features wonderful things to enjoy in and around the beach.
But whether you’re sunbathing on the sand, taking a boat in the water, or taking a walk along a wooden boardwalk, you need to know how to prepare for the sun and sand. Check out this guide to ensure a great day at the beach.
1. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
It’s well-known that Cape Cod houses million dollar estates. When budget isn’t an issue, head to the towns of Weston, Dover, Carlisle, or Sherbourne for the ultimate in high society beaches, amenities, and activities.
Travelers on a budget can enjoy Cape Cod’s Outer Cape beaches with summer cottages with bunk beds and hostels.
Looking for an LGBTQ-friendly coastal town with an artsy ambiance? Then head to Provincetown. You can easily get there from Boston.
2. Cape May, New Jersey
Situated less than 50 miles from Atlantic City, you’ll find Cape May, New Jersey located on the southern tip of the state. Cape May serves as one of the Jersey Shore’s most popular beach destinations.
It houses the oldest coastal resort. When visiting this historic town, view all the Victorian architecture. Cape May features many untouched beaches such as the Cape May Point State Park beaches.
Take a carriage ride. Peruse antique shops. Or go on a historical tour of the coastal town. Or experience a whale-watching tour in neighboring Wildwood, New Jersey.
3. Delray Beach, Florida
Vacationers head to Delray Beach for the sand, sun, and plethora of entertainment. Hit downtown located right on the beach.
The town features beautifully restored buildings, a clean environment, and a concrete walkway for jogging. Do some shopping on Atlantic Avenue.
When the sun sets, the nightlife rises. Enjoy many buzzing establishments that make the ultimate party atmosphere.
4. Folly Beach, South Carolina
Looking for some good ole Southern charm and hospitality? You’ll find it at Folly Beach. The locals call this barrier island town the “edge of America.”
Enjoy adorable B&Bs and budget-friendly lodging, quaint beach houses just 12 miles south of Charleston.
While you’re there, visit the long pier. Go surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing, or biking. Anglers love the fishing. Don’t want to bring your own gear? You can rent it.
5. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Situated along New Hampshire’s 13-mile coast, Hampton Beach provides stunning views of the Atlantic. The Hampton Beach Village District attracts seafaring enthusiasts from miles away.
Visit the stage in the shape of a seashell hosting concerts and a yearly beauty pageant. Head to the historical society to learn about the area, drawing travelers since the turn of the 19th century.
Try your hand at a casino. Visit the marine life study center. The area features many lodging options, including hotels and campsites at Hampton Beach State Park during the season.
6. Madison, Connecticut
Looking for beaches galore? Then head to Madison. Madison features two miles of coastline, attracting one million seasonal visitors.
Visit Hammonasset Beach, State Park. They house 550 campsites, a nature center with turtles kiddos love, and a pristine beach. Along the shore, enjoy biking, hiking, or take a boat ride.
Want to stay around town? Choose from three beaches for the ultimate in sun and surf fun. Enjoy picnic facilities with barbecue grills at Surf Club Beach. Or go fishing off the piers at East or West Wharf Beaches.
7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach offers an abundance of South Carolina coastlines. Sixty miles to be exact. The area boasts 14 million visitors year-round.
Take a stroll along the boardwalk. Stop into its revolving shops. Get a bite at a wide variety of restaurants and view the Skywheel Observation Wheel.
Other points of interest, include Brookgreen Gardens, a saltwater estuary, and plenty of golf to try your swing.
8. Old Orchard Beach, Maine
You can head to upscale beaches like Ogunquit for scenic beauty. But if you’re on a budget, consider Old Orchard Beach off the beaten path.
Old Orchard Beach lies 15 miles southwest of Portland, Maine. It’s more private and you won’t need to deal with as many tourists. It makes a great spot for couples.
Enjoy a wide variety of restaurants and a big selection of campgrounds. Kids love the huge arcade and the rides. Don’t want to deal with traffic? Take the Amtrak Downeaster train or public transit from Portland.
9. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Heard of a beach town with a curfew? Well, now you found one. To keep a family-friendly atmosphere, the town enforces a curfew. Cussing is also against the law.
At Virginia Beach, you’ll discover blissful sands, casual dining, and beach lifeguards throughout the season. Enjoy the beach. Then go camping and biking in First Landing State Park.
10. Outer Banks, North Carolina
The barrier islands at historic Outer Banks, North Carolina is home to the best beaches in the state. But be prepared to pay high prices in this upscale region.
In the area, you’ll discover art galleries and quaint restaurants in Southern Shores, Duck, and opulent Corolla. Points of interest include Nag’s Head Millionaires Row, fishing piers, an old lighthouse tour, and days of sun and sand.
Sun, Sand, and Beyond: The Best East Coast Beaches Revisited
Now you know ten of the best east coaches beaches to visit. Each one features its own unique style with historical and coastal charm, lodging options, and a wide variety of activities and budgets.
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