The most beautiful beaches in the USA 2023

Summer is here! Therefore, on vacation in the USA, it's time for a relaxing day at the beach. But which beaches in the United States have the best summer vibes? Forbes has published its ranking of the best beaches in America in 2023.

Hawaii, California, or North Carolina? Where do you have peace while sunbathing on American beaches? Where are the gentle waves and nature most beautiful?

"Dr. Beach," a.k.a. Dr. Stephen Leatherman, professor, and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University compiles an annual ranking of the best beaches in the USA, published in Forbes Magazine.

Based on 50 criteria, the top beaches in the United States are ranked not by fame but by things like wave characteristics, water color, temperature, noise, safety, and density of use.

Here are the 10 best beaches in the USA in 2023:

#1. St. George Island State Park

St. George Island State Park in Florida

Although St. George Island was hit hard by Hurricane Michael in 2018, the island's legendary shoreline made it into the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the US.

The area in the Florida Panhandle has recovered well, and the sugar-fine white sand beach is once again inviting you to swim in pristine natural surroundings. St. George Island is a wonderfully secluded place to relax by the sea.

Visit St. George Island State Park
Location: Florida Panhandle
Length: about 14.5 km
How to get there: By car via US-319 S, US-98 E, or FL-65 S
Book your beach vacation at St. George Island State Park now!

#2. Duke Kahanamoku Beach

Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Hawaii

Beautiful Kahanamoku Beach is located at the western end of the world-famous Waikiki Beach and is thus far away from the large crowds that haunt Hawaii's most famous beach day after day.

Furthermore, Kahanamoku is protected by an offshore coral reef, so you can let children into the water without worrying. A special highlight of this enchanted little corner of the world is the sunsets.

Visit Duke Kahanamoku Beach
Location: Oahu, Hawaii
Length: about 3.2 km
How to get there: Domestic flight to Hawaii
By car: via Queen St and Ala Moana Blvd
By bus: Line 2 to Kalakaua Avenue + Ena Rd
Recommendation: If you need inspiration for activities, take a look here!
Book your beach vacation at Duke Kahanamoku Beach now!

#3. Coopers Beach

Coopers Beach in Southhampton, New York

Coopers Beach is located on the south shore of Long Island in New York State. Shielded from the cold currents in the surrounding area, it has some of the best stretches of beach in the Hamptons.

Coopers Beach sand is clean and white, with no rocks and not too much seaweed. Plus, everything is well-maintained, and on weekdays, you can sometimes relax here all by yourself.

Visit Coopers Beach
Location: Southampton, New York
Length: about 2.5 km
How to get there: By car via I-495 from Manhattan
Book your beach vacation at Coopers Beach in Southhampton now!

#4. Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi Island State Park in Florida

Caladesi Island Beach welcomes you with white sand of crystalline quartz, a quiet bay, and a lot of relaxation. Around the beautiful island, you can see dolphins, pelicans, and manatees. On some days, you won't meet a soul while walking along the water.

Visit Caladesi Island State Park
Location: Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
Length: about 6.4 km
How to get there: Take the car over the Clearwater Memorial Causeway or go by ferry.
Recommendation: If you need inspiration for activities, take a look here!
Book your beach vacation at Caladesi Island State Park now!

#5. Old Lighthouse Beach

Old Lighthouse Beach in North Carolina

Old Lighthouse Beach is the second North Carolina beach to make the top 10. At this idyllic spot in Buxton on Hatteras Island, lifeguards watch over you while you enjoy swimming, surfing, or paddling.

The beach owes its name, "Old Lighthouse Beach," to the legendary Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - a unique diagonally striped lighthouse that had to be moved offshore to a safer location due to erosion in the 1990s.

If you spend a day on this gorgeous beach, you'll always have something to look at. There are anglers, boats, kayaks, surfers, stand-up paddlers, and bodyboarders, and every now and then, even a horse comes by.

Visit Old Lighthouse Beach
Location: Buxton, Outer Banks, North Carolina
Length: about 4.3 km
How to get there: By car: via US-258, US-64, and North Carolina Hwy 12 S
By ferry: Swan Quarter towards Ocracoke and then NC-12 towards Hatteras
Book your beach vacation at Old Lighthouse Beach in North Carolina now!

#6. Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach near San Diego, California

Coronado Beach in San Diego is a true oasis by the sea and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the US West Coast. With glistening golden sand, absolute cleanliness, and the culinary and sanitary facilities in the area, your beach day here will be the perfect vacation experience!

Tip: There are fixed fireplaces for romantic evenings on the beach.

Visit Coronado Beach
Location: San Diego, California
Length: about 2.4 km
How to get there: By car: via I-5 S and CA-75 S
By bus: Line 901 to Orange Av & Park Pl
Recommendation: If you need inspiration for activities take a look here
Book your beach vacation at Coronado Beach now!

#7. Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach on Maui, Hawaii

The white coral sand beach of Wailea Beach is perfect for snorkeling and swimming, provided the sea is calm. When there is a swell, this expansive beach in the southwest of Maui is simply a feast for the eyes in a great setting.

Here, you can swim in pleasant temperatures, meet sea turtles, witness beach weddings, enjoy an all-evening fireworks display, and then crash at a stylish beach hotel. So romantic!

Visit Wailea Beach
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Length: about 0.5 km
How to get there: Domestic flight to Hawaii
By car: via State Hwy 31/Piilani Hwy
By bus: Line 10 to Wailea Ide Drive
Recommendation: If you need inspiration for activities, take a look here!
Book your beach vacation at Wailea Beach now!

#8. Beachwalker Park

Beachwalker Park in South Carolina

Beachwalker Park in South Carolina is located at the southern end of Kiawah Island. Although the water at this lovely beach is not crystal clear, it is considered pretty clean. Beachwalker Park is a standout for dog lovers because, in addition to the pet-friendly community, there are even tiny dog showers!

Here, you can relax in peace with only a few other people and even a little comfort: there are hot dogs and fries, toilets, and changing rooms.

Visit Beachwalker Park
Location: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Length: about 17.7 km
How to get there: Take SC-700 W, US-17 S, and State Rd S-10-20 by car.
Book your beach vacation at Beachwalker Park now!

#9. Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach in Hawaii

As you approach Poipu Beach, you will notice a feature that sets it apart from other beaches - a narrow sandbar that stretches from the shore to an island, dividing the beach into two picturesque paradises.

Behind the sandy beach is a large open area. Here, you can set up your base camp for an unforgettable day of adventure. If you love the underwater world, you are in luck! You can rent snorkeling equipment and dive into the fascinating world of the coral reef, teeming with lively sea creatures.

Visit Poipu Beach
Location: Koloa, Hawaii
Length: about 1.5 km
How to get there: Domestic flight to Hawaii

By car from Lihue Airport via HI-50 W Maluhia Rd

Book your beach vacation at Poipu Beach now

#10. Coast Guard Beach

Coast Guard Beach in Massachusetts

Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is a perfect place to walk and daydream. Always in view: the picturesque old coast guard station that towers over the wide bay.

On some days, you can take a refreshing dip in the cool surf together with the seals that have moved from the Monomoy Island Wildlife Refuge to Coast Guard Beach. But beware: there have been shark sightings here, too!

Visit Coast Guard Beach
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Length: about 3.2 km
How to get there: Travel by car via US-6 E
Book your beach vacation at Coast Guard Beach now!

The most famous beaches in the USA

Do you miss your all-time favorite US beaches on the Forbes list? Some very famous stretches of beach never make it to the top spots because Dr. Beach's ranking focuses primarily on healthy, clean, noise-free relaxation in nature.

So if your favorite beach is not in the top 10, it could be because it is usually crowded with tourists, has produced a lot of trash in recent years, or allows smoking. But don't worry: the most popular beaches in the USA are not forgotten here! The editors of American Dream have selected their personal favorites for you:

Cannon Beach in Oregon

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach is home to long, golden sandy beaches perfect for leisurely walks or family sandcastle building. The highlight here is Haystack Rock, a tall monolith that juts out of the ocean and serves as a sanctuary for seabirds. At low tide, explore the tide pools around the rock, teeming with fascinating marine life.

If you love the outdoors, don't miss a hike along the coast. Nearby Ecola State Park offers scenic hiking trails with breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

Grayton Beach, Florida

Located on Florida's beautiful Emerald Coast, Grayton Beach is a hidden gem that offers a quiet and unspoiled coastal experience. With its pristine white sands and crystal clear turquoise waters, this beach is often called one of the most beautiful in the country.

Grayton Beach State Park is the heart of this coastal paradise. The park's dune lakes offer a unique opportunity to kayak or canoe amidst breathtaking scenery. Nature lovers will find an abundance of wildlife and scenic hiking trails in the area.

East Hampton Main Beach, New York

East Hampton's main beach offers vast stretches of soft, white sand for sunbathing or a refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean. Lifeguards ensure a safe and enjoyable stay for beachgoers of all ages.

The beach is surrounded by elegant villas and breathtaking landscapes that reflect the upscale ambiance of the Hamptons. While visiting, explore the charming village of East Hampton, known for its elegant boutiques, art galleries, and world-class restaurants.

South Beach in Miami, Florida

World-famous South Beach offers warm water and white sand as far as the eye can see. Whether relaxing in a lounge chair, playing beach volleyball, or strolling down famous Ocean Drive, South Beach is perfect for a beach vacation.

In addition to the beach, South Beach has a thriving nightlife. Enjoy the trendy clubs, bars, and restaurants that line the streets and experience the vibrant energy that Miami is known for.

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California

Venice Beach is known for its colorful boardwalk with street performers, local merchants, and talented artists who display their work. Walk along the boardwalk, soak up the vibrant atmosphere, and experience the creativity that permeates the area.

The beach is a hotspot for surfers, skateboarders, and beach volleyball players. You can rent equipment or take lessons to try out these popular sports. If you prefer a quieter pace, find a spot on the sand and soak up the California sun or have a picnic overlooking the ocean.

Coligny Beach in South Carolina

Coligny, a hidden gem on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, has long, soft sandy beaches with plenty of room for sunbathing, sandcastle building, and playing. The beach is known for its gentle waves and warm water.

A highlight is Coligny Beach Park, an ideal place to relax in the shade, enjoy a picnic with loved ones, or just take in the beauty of the surroundings. Coligny Beach offers a quiet and family-friendly coastal experience and is an ideal destination for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty.

Mustang Island State Park, Texas

Mustang Island State Park is a coastal oasis on the Gulf of Mexico. This pristine beach resort offers a quiet and peaceful retreat if you are a nature lover or outdoor enthusiast.

The beach stretches for miles. You can relax on the soft sand, take a stroll along the shore, or enjoy a picnic with friends and family.

It's also home to numerous bird species, including herons, egrets, and the endangered piping plover. For the more adventurous, Mustang Island State Park offers activities such as kayaking, fishing, and camping. Pitch a tent or rent a cabin and spend the night under the stars, surrounded by the sounds of the ocean.

Singing Beach, Massachusetts

Known for its unique sand that makes a squeaking sound when you step on it, Singing Beach offers a unique experience for beachgoers. The shape and composition of the sand grains create the phenomenon.

The soft, white sand and clear water invite you to relax, swim and enjoy the tranquil environment despite the excitement. Singing Beach is family-friendly and even has lifeguards and restrooms.

Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

With its soft sand, turquoise water, and the famous Diamond Head mountain in the background, Waikiki Beach is synonymous with Hawaiian paradise. The beach is ideal for water sports enthusiasts and offers visitors plenty of opportunities for surfing, paddling, and snorkeling.

As the sun sets, enjoy the mesmerizing sight of hula dancers and fire artists entertaining beachgoers. Hawaiian culture and traditions come alive at Waikiki Beach for a tropical adventure.

Driftwood Beach at Jekyll Island, Georgia

Driftwood Beach is a hidden treasure on the Georgia coast that will enchant and inspire you with its unique, surreal beauty. It is known for its driftwood trees, sculpted over time by the tides and the elements.

The weathered growths create an eerie landscape, making Driftwood Beach a popular spot for photographers and nature lovers. The beach itself offers a quiet atmosphere that invites you to take long walks along the shore or simply sunbathe.

Have you packed your bathing suit yet? Then let's go on your beach vacation in the United States! We are happy to help you with your travel arrangements and ESTA approval.

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Image sources

Peetlesnumber1, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons