Best Beaches in the U.S. for 2023: Top 4 Destinations Recommended by Travel Experts

Planning your next getaway, but not sure where to go? For many of us, a beach vacation is the first idea that comes to mind. As one recent study found, where you live often determines where you prefer to vacation. City-dwellers unsurprisingly opt for beaches (39%), but even 37 percent of those who live in beachy surroundings still want to visit other tropical beaches. Beaches and tropical getaways might be more accessible than you think — some of the best beaches in the world can be found right in the U.S.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, coastal counties of the U.S. are home to over 128 million people, or almost 40 percent of the nation’s total population live near a beach or coastal community.

Heading to the beach is an especially good idea if you’ve been battling stress and need some mental uplift. A study out of Barcelona reports that taking a walk along the shorelines improves well-being and is an instant mood-booster. In addition to mood, researchers say the data shows improvements in participants’ energy levels and mental health after taking a stroll near a “blue space.”

The U.S. is home to some of the best beaches, ranging from family-friendly to adventurous. Looking to lounge under swaying palm trees with a drink in hand? Looking for paddle-boarding, snorkeling, or kayaking? We’ve got you covered. From cooler rocky coasts to white sand beaches with boardwalks, there is a beach destination for everyone!

StudyFinds visited eight of the best travel websites to find the best beaches in the U.S. and help you start planning next year’s local getaway. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended beaches in the US.. across these sites. 

The List: Best Beaches in the US, According To Experts

1. Coronado Beach – San Diego, California

Coronado Beach offers all the best of sunny California without the cliche or crowds of Santa Monica or Malibu. Watch the gorgeous sunsets or sunbathe on a dog- and family-friendly beach.

“Coronado Beach is the toast of Southern California; it is a veritable oasis by the sea that is hundreds of yards wide. With its subtropical vegetation, unique Mediterranean climate, and fine sparkling sand, beach-goers flock to this beach for great ship-watching and the summer’s warm and mild surf,” writes Dr. Beach.

Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.
Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. (Photo by nightowl on

Coronado is also famous for the Hotel del Coronado, the perfect place to grab a bite in the fresh air.

“Miles of white sand and gorgeous views! The ends are bordered by military property, and it is awesome to see the Navy Seals training and doing drills,” writes TripAdvisor.

2. Moshup Beach – Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Take in the beauty of the New England Coast and walk the beach under the famous Gay Head Cliffs, which is the perfect place to explore year-round.

“A true New England getaway, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts — located 7 miles off the coast of Cape Cod — lures travelers to its shores with its history, charm, and natural beauty,” writes HGTV.

Shoreline off Clay Cliffs in Aquinnah, Martha's Vineyard.
Shoreline off Clay Cliffs in Aquinnah, Martha’s Vineyard. (Photo by Shannyn on

Moshup Beach is a great place to bring a picnic, enjoy the coastline, then get some exercise. Moshup is also home to larger waves, making it a home for body surfers and boogie-boarders.

“Martha’s Vineyard fills up with holidaymakers in the summer, but most stay on the northern edge of the island. Down south, or ‘up island’ as it’s known, locals and island veterans head to Moshup Beach in the community of Aquinnah,” writes TimeOut. Located below the sandy cliffs, at what was once called Gay Head (before its Native American name Aquinnah was officially reinstated), the white sand beach is a sanctuary from the horde.”

3. Clearwater Beach – Florida

Clearwater Beach boasts white sandy shores that stretch for miles and a relaxing environment for both adventurers and loungers.

“This 3-mile beach, located on a barrier island in Clearwater, Florida, is ideal for active travelers and relaxation seekers alike. There are plenty of opportunities for paddleboarding, snorkeling, sunset cruising and sailing,” writes US News.

Sunset on Clearwater Beach in Florida.
Sunset on Clearwater Beach in Florida. (Photo by Ken Cheung on Unsplash)

Clearwater is walkable to great dining options downtown, as well as waterfront parks and a state-of-the-art aquarium.

“With airbrushed sunsets and white sandy shores, Florida is one of the top beach destinations in the U.S. On Clearwater Beach it’s apparent why,” writes Travel and Leisure. “The beach boasts a gorgeous shoreline that stretches two and a half miles along the Gulf of Mexico.”

4. Waikiki Beach – Hawaii

Oahu’s most famous beach is famous for a reason! If not directly on the beach, most hotels and dining here are a short walk to the beach.

“This well-known stretch of sugar-like sand (two miles of it!) is one of the busiest place on Oahu. Don’t let its popularity hold you back. Waikiki offers plenty of activities, from surfing to snorkeling to catching radiant sunsets, to keep everyone in an aloha state of mind,” writes Southern Living.

Waikiki Beach in Hawaii
A memory of our 2017 vacation at Hawaii’s most popular beach – Waikiki. There’s only one like it, where the long sets of waves allow even the most inexperienced to hire a Malibu Longboard and give surfing a go. So much to enjoy in Waikiki, even with it’s popularity. Somehow people get absorbed into the many hotels, bars, shops, tours and, of course, the beach and Pacific Ocean. We hired a convertible Mustang to tour the island – great day out! Photo taken from the Sheraton Hotel through glass. (Credit: AussieActive on Unsplash)

Be sure to catch the fireworks show at 7:45 P.M. every Friday night! The display lats 10 minutes and launches from the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort and can be seen throughout Waikiki. Most people gather on the beach to watch the show.

“Every year, more than 4.5 million people visit this stunning beach community on Oahu, enjoying the tropical climate, white sand, and turquoise water,” writes Travel Awaits.


US News
Travel + Leisure
Southern Living
Dr. Beach 
Travel Awaits

Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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