You know the saying – If you’re lucky enough to live in Florida, then you’re lucky enough!
For those lucky Floridians, the fact that Florida beaches gobbled up 5 of U.S. News Top 15 Beaches is just one more reason to relish life in the Sunshine State.
For those who live in the other 49 states, there’s still good news – you can escape to one of the country’s best beaches – no passport required!
While some folks enjoy lengthy flights and customs lines, you can be soaking up glorious rays on Florida’s fabulous sandy shores, favorite cold beverage in hand. All ready have a favorite? See where it ranks on the list.
Who’s ready for a beach day?
U.S. News United States Beaches, Top 15, 2017
15. Key West, Florida
The southernmost point in the continental U.S., marked by a famous buoy. Bath-like waters, and a laid-back atmosphere, make you feel like you’ve stepped out of the country and washed up on a fantastic island. The locals, known as “Conchs”, will help you navigate through your chill time or shopping and dining on Duval Street.
14. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Sure, the Vineyard (as the locals call it) attracts famous faces, even Presidents. But don’t let that deter you. Step back in time and stroll along the cobblestone streets. Ferry to Cape Cod (the Cape) and nosh on lobster rolls and chowder.
13. West Palm Beach, Florida
How could you possibly enjoy a place where the digs are posh, the restaurants are top notch, and gorgeous people parade along the white sandy beaches?
If you think you could handle the mix of cultural interests, fine dining, and famous accommodations, then West Palm Beach is your new playground.
Good news: if you’re looking for a getaway with plenty of choices for shopping, dining, recreation, museums, botanical gardens, and resorts, West Palm Beach can also be easy on the budget.
12. Boca Raton, Florida
Originally designed as one of the state’s premier resort towns, Boca Raton (aka: Boca) has been attracting beachgoers for decades. And this is not your grandma’s Boca. Parks, beaches, art exhibits and community events make Boca a place to relax or bring the family for fun activities.
As far as Florida beaches go, Boca has some great ones.
11. Biloxi, Mississippi
If you find yourself in the South, you don’t want to miss out on Biloxi beaches. Situated on the Gulf Coast, this popular vacation destination is about 90 miles northeast of New Orleans.
Try your luck at some of the seaside casinos. Or take a ferry to Ship Island. U.S. News ranked it the No. 5 best family beach and No. 8 best cheap summer vacation in the country.
10. Santa Barbara, California
“Pricey but worth it,” says U.S. News. Santa Barbara was once a hub for movie-making. Since most studio heads migrated south to Los Angeles, it’s become a more typical beach town that’s equal parts fashionable and relaxed.
9. Atlantic City, New Jersey
Head to Atlantic City, where you can spend the whole day on the sand and your whole night trying win big at the roulette table on the famous boardwalk lined with gigantic casinos.
8. Monterey, California
Located well to the north of some more popular California beaches, the Monterey Peninsula offers a more laid-back approach to beach life. Experts say it is possible to plan an affordable weekend and just pretend to be a jet-setter for a couple days.
Monterey’s Pebble Beach was ranked the No. 1 golf destination by U.S. News
7. St. Augustine, Florida
The ideal spot for history buffs, the Florida city of St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the country. It boasts cobblestone streets and colonial architecture, along with white-sand beaches.
Besides all the cool historical sites (including nightly ghost tours), you can participate in all your favorite typical beach activities. There’s shopping, dining, lounging, and listening to live music.
6. Lana’i, Hawaii
Not all Hawaiian beaches are overrun with tourists. For seclusion-seeking beachgoers, the exclusive island of Lana’i abounds with remote beaches, incredible rock formations, and jaw-dropping colorful reefs.
You can enjoy some of the fine dining, five-star hotels, and exceptional service the island has to offer. Just be sure to bring your paramour, as Lana’i was rated one of the best honeymoon destinations as well as one of the best romantic getaways by U.S. News.
5. Miami Beach, Florida
If you want your beach vacation with a generous side of nightlife, then head right on over to Miami Beach. With attractions for everyone — from families with young kids to hard-living music mogels — Miami Beach truly has it all. And it’s known as “America’s Riviera.”
South Beach boasts the most exclusive upscale dining, shopping, and clubs where you definitely have to be on the list or be toting an AmEx black card to get in. Meanwhile, the sandy beaches and sun-filled days are perfectly suited to families on a more low-key vacation.
In this list, Miami is the tops for Florida beaches.
4. The Big Island, Hawaii
Unique black sand beaches, lava deserts, tropical rainforests, and hiking trails are all part of what makes the Big Island worthy of your attention. After all, it’s still Hawaii.
3. Kauai, Hawaii
If you’re looking for the more rural, wild form of Hawaii, then Kauai is the place for you. With incredible vistas and lush tropical foliage, this destination is a hiker’s dream. And it puts new meaning to the phrase “off the beaten path.”
2. Maui, Hawaii
There’s really no place like Maui. Ranked the No. 1 best romantic getaway, best luxury destination, and best relaxing getaway by U.S. News, this paradise in the Pacific Ocean is one of those places you absolutely must visit in your lifetime.
1. Honolulu, Hawaii
It should come as no surprise the No. 1 best beach in the U.S. can be found in Hawaii. Kauai has the wildlife, and Maui has the romance. But when it comes to all-around best features, the capital of the state can’t be beat.
With famous stretches of sand, such as Waikiki Beach and wild foliage in the North Shore, Oahu encompasses all the winning traits of the other Hawaiian islands in one place. Plus, Honolulu is a bona fide city, with all the delicious dining and cultural activities you could hope for. Shop, eat, play, relax, and enjoy yourself in lovely Honolulu.
This article was adapted from: cheatsheet.com and travel.usnews.com