With summer pretty much almost on top of us, it’s time to start thinking about taking that trip to the beach. When you think about it, there’s really nothing quite as relaxing and refreshing as a trip to the beach. There’s the squish of the wet sand beneath your toes. There’s the sound of waves lapping against the shore. Oh, and there’s all the fun activities you can do at the beach, from tossing a Frisbee to simply laying out and catching some rays!
Given the above, you’re probably wondering about what beaches you should travel to this summer. That’s why we thought it would be a fun idea to take a look at the best beach that each of the 50 states has to offer. Now, you might be scratching your head here. How can there be incredible beaches in landlocked states? Ye of little faith! As it turns out, even a place like Iowa has a beach you might want to check out.
So, start putting your sunscreen on, and take a look at the list that we’ve put together. These are the best beaches in each of the 50 states, any one of which could be the ultimate destination for you and your family this summer!
1. Alabama: Gulf Shores Public Beach
A bit of a trek from Mobile, there’s plenty to see and do at this gorgeous beach from sunning oneself to playing beach volleyball.
2. Alaska: Black Sand Beach
Now, you might not want to lay out here, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a beach in the world with more breathtaking views.
3. Arizona: Lake Havasu State Park
All along Lake Havasu, it’s possible to find a stretch of beach that’s perfect for having fun with the whole family.
4. Arkansas: Norfork Lake Beaches
Up in the Ozarks is where you’ll find these beaches, which are truly something to behold, especially given their “sugar sands”.
5. California: Coronado Beach
To get a real feel for the glitz and glamor that can be found on a SoCal beach, you have to head over the San Diego’s treasure, Coronado.
6. Colorado: Medano Creek
Only around for a short period during the year, not only is Medano Creek cool to look at, it’s also fun to tube down!
7. Connecticut: Ocean Beach
Tucked away in New London, you’ll find Ocean Beach, which feels like a throwback to the beaches of decades and decades ago.
8. Delaware: Rehoboth Beach
Like Ocean beach, this one feels unstuck in time, but it’s much less traveled and surprisingly tranquil.
9. Florida: Siesta Beach
When you really want the best that Florida has to offer, choose to head out to Siesta Key and then hit this beach.
10. Georgia: Sea Camp Beach
How can you go wrong with a beautiful beach like this that’s also home to beautiful wild and roaming horses?
11. Hawaii: Lanikai Beach
In a place like Hawaii, there will be disagreement about which beach is the best. This treasure on Oahu is our pick.
12. Idaho: Bear Lake State Park
If you don’t think about beaches when you think of Idaho, it’s only because you’ve never camped at Bear Lake State Park.
13. Illinois: Oak Street Beach
When the weather gets beautiful in Chicago over the summer, it’s a singular joy to visit Oak Street Beach.
14. Indiana: Indiana Dunes State Park
Only a short trip away from several urban centers, this is where people hit the beach to unwind when they’re living in the Midwest.
15. Iowa: Lake Red Rock
If you’re looking to hit the beach while you’re taking a vacation at the lake, then look no further than this Iowan treasure.
16. Kansas: Lake Scott
In one of the flattest states in the country, you’ll find this strange beach location with its interesting landscape.
17. Kentucky: Barren River Lake
While you can certainly enjoy yourself swimming off the beaches of Barren River Lake, it’s the fishing that really draws people here.
18. Louisiana: Rutherford Beach
This Gulf Coast beach is simply the best that the state of Louisiana has to offer, due in no small part to the lack of development around it.
19. Maine: Sand Beach
So, the water here never gets above 60 degrees, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sun yourself on the beach during the summer months!
20. Maryland: South Ocean Beach
Away from the hustle and bustle of the more famous Ocean Beach, you’ll find the largely untouched landscape here simply gorgeous.
21. Massachusetts: Cisco Beach
You’ll have to take the ferry or fly out to Nantucket to reach this beach, but once you’re there, you’ll be glad that you did!
22. Michigan: Glen Haven Beach
The dunes in Sleeping Bear Lake National Lake Shore are truly something to behold, and Glen Haven Beach is the best beach that you’ll find among them.
23. Minnesota: Lake Nokomis Main Beach
If you know what “going to the lake” is all about, then you’ve got to visit this place in order to do just that!
24. Mississippi: Long Beach
Located not at all that far away from Biloxi, this beach along the Gulf Coast is a perfect place to take the entire family.
25. Missouri: Osage Beach
If you’re looking for a party, then look no further than Osage beach which draw revelers all summer long!
26. Montana: City Beach
One of the best parts about hitting up this hidden treasure of a beach is being able to swim in a beautiful glacial lake.
27. Nebraska: Lake McConaughy
If you ever find yourself in Nebraska looking for a place to enjoy some watersports, then this is your destination.
28. Nevada: Sand Harbor
Lake Tahoe is home to some truly amazing beaches, but this one located along the east side is our pick for the best.
29. New Hampshire: Hampton Beach
Situated on what little coastline New Hampshire has on the Atlantic Ocean, this beach is popular with all manner of New Englander.
30. New Jersey: Cove Beach
Part of the Cape May Shore, there are many – including us – who believe that this is the best beach there.
31. New Mexico: Cochiti Lake
This manmade beach that’s just off of the Rio Grande is the perfect place to escape the scorching hot New Mexico weather.
32. New York: Ditch Plains Beach
Tucked away in the beautiful town of Montauk, there’s something infectious about this beach that cannot be denied.
33. North Carolina: Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Provided a hurricane isn’t bearing down on the state, the sand and surf here rival that which you’ll find in Southern California.
34. North Dakota: Lake Renwick
Part of the Icelandic State Park, this lake has plenty of swimmable beaches and plenty of places to camp.
35. Ohio: East Harbor State Park
With beautiful shallow waters for swimming all along the shore, this beach is perfect for little kids.
36. Oklahoma: Keystone State Park
Just outside of Tulsa, you’ll find three gorgeous beaches in Keystone State Park that are perfect for kicking back.
37. Oregon: Cannon Beach
With Haystack Rock looming just off the shore, there’s something otherworldly about the landscape here.
38. Pennsylvania: Presque Isle State Park
Sticking out into Lake Erie, there are plenty of beautiful swimming holes to enjoy here during the summer months.
39. Rhode Island: East Beach in Watch Hill
Located beneath the famed Ocean House in the Watch Hill neighborhood, this beach is a hidden gem that you’ve got to see for yourself.
40. South Carolina: Kiawah Beachwalker Park
One of the only public beaches on Kiawah Island, this beautiful stretch of sand is only a short trip away from Charleston.
41. South Dakota: Angostura Reservoir
There’s 36 miles of beach to be enjoyed along this reservoir, not to mention the unexpectedly crystal clear waters.
42. Tennessee: Percy Priest Lake Swimming Beach
Only a short drive away from downtown Nashville, there’s plenty to see and do at this beautiful beach.
43. Texas: Malaquite Beach
If you’re looking for a quiet beach time while you’re in Texas, then this is absolutely the place for you.
44. Utah: Wahweap Marina
Located on Lake Powell, this is absolutely our pick for the best place to go swimming in all of Utah.
45. Vermont: Sand Bar State Park
You won’t find much beach in the state of Vermont, but there is this beautiful gem on the shores of Lake Champlain.
46. Virginia: Chincoteague Island Shoreline
Not a place to go if you’re looking to lay out on the sand, this is a place to go if you’re looking for unspoiled and beautiful coastline.
47. Washington: Ruby Beach
All of the natural beauty that can be seen in the Pacific Northwest can be experienced directly here.
48. West Virginia: Summersville Beach
The beautiful clean water is perfect for swimming here, and the landscape is something to see as well!
49. Wisconsin: Big Bay State Park
The absolutely breathtaking sandstone bluffs are what give this incredible Wisconsin beach its signature charm.
50. Wyoming: Firehole River Swimming Area
Part of Yellowstone, this little swimming area isn’t just perfect for taking a dip; it’s also excellent for fishing!