America’s Top 20 Beaches

#20. Block Island, Rhode Island
#20. Block Island, Rhode Island
Block Island, 13 miles south of the Rhode Island coast, is a popular summer tourist destination, offering bicycling, hiking, sailing, fishing and beaches next to the rock cliffs. Every year the island hosts a week-long sailing race. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
(Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#19. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii
Lanikai Beach is often rated as one of the best beaches in the world. But the small half-mile-long beach lacks basic amenities like showers and lifeguards. Photographers love it, however, because of the two picturesque islands situated just off the coast. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
(Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#18. Cumberland Island, Georgia
#18. Cumberland Island, Georgia
Cumberland Island is only accessible by ferry or kayak and has a limit of no more than 300 visitors per day. Visitors get to experience wild horses and loggerhead turtles roaming the beaches. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#17. Butterfly Beach, California
#17. Butterfly Beach, California
Butterfly Beach is a favorite of Santa Barbara residents. Locals and their dogs stroll the rocky shores, venturing further up and down the coast at low tides. Butterfly Beach is also popular with celebrities. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#16. Wainscott Beach, New York
#16. Wainscott Beach, New York
Wainscott Beach, in southeastern Long Island, is a wide and flat beach that runs along some the most beautiful and expensive real estate in the country. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#15. Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii
#15. Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii
Hanakapiai Beach can be found on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Although inaccessible by road, It is a popular tourist destination. Swimming is not recommended due to the high surf and strong rip currents. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#14. Cape May, New Jersey
#14. Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May is located at the southern tip of New Jersey, near the mouth of the Delaware Bay. This historic seaside resort, filled with Victorian houses, is often rated among the world's best beaches. Cape May is great for people watching, among many other activities. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
A 9-year-old girl died when a sand hole collapsed on her at a beach, police in the Oregon coastal town of Lincoln City said. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#13. South Beach, Florida
South Beach is more than just white sand beaches and warm ocean waters. It is an entertainment destination with night clubs, restaurants and art deco buildings. Even the colorful lifeguard stands are popular on local tours. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
A 9-year-old girl died when a sand hole collapsed on her at a beach, police in the Oregon coastal town of Lincoln City said. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#12. Outer Banks, North Carolina
#12. Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks are a group of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. Offering wide open beaches and mild water temps, the Outer Banks is also where the Wright Brothers made their first successful flight. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#11. Big Sur, California
#11. Big Sur, California
Big Sur hugs the Pacific Coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The area has plenty of scenic beaches, but swimming is not recommended due to the cold waters and shifting ocean currents. Cruise down Highway 1 for a breathtaking tour of the coast. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#10. Great Point Beach, Massachusetts
#10. Great Point Beach, Massachusetts
Great Point Beach on Nantucket is only accessible with a 4x4 vehicle, and you will need a permit to visit. But the view of the lighthouse is well worth the trouble. Swimming is now allowed, but fishing is recommended. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#9. Avalon Bay, California
#9. Avalon Bay, California
Avalon Bay is located on Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of California near Los Angeles. This popular resort destination offers scuba diving, snorkeling and glass-bottom boat tours. High rollers can visit the local casino. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#8. Ocean City, New Jersey
#8. Ocean City, New Jersey
Ocean City is a great family attraction with miles of guarded beaches, not to mention the world-famous boardwalk. Right off the beach is a quaint downtown offering shopping and dining. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#7. Clearwater Beach, Florida
#7. Clearwater Beach, Florida
Clearwater Beach is a family resort area offering white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Just 25 miles south of Tampa, this resort area offers parasailing and jet skis. Dolphins can often be spotted swimming near the coastline. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#6. Hanalei Bay Beach, Hawaii
#6. Hanalei Bay Beach, Hawaii
Hanalei Bay Beach sits on the north shore of Hawaii's Kauai island. Its white sand beaches and surrounding mountains make this a magnificent spot. Amateur and professional surfers enjoy the strong currents and powerful waves. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#5. Key West, Florida
#5. Key West, Florida
Key West, the Continental U.S.'s southernmost city, is surrounded by white sand beaches and clear ocean water, perfect for scuba diving, snorkeling and sport fishing. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#4. Bald Head Island, North Carolina
#4. Bald Head Island, North Carolina
Bald Head Island is a small remote island at the entrance of the Cape Fear River. Access is by ferry only; no cars are allowed anywhere on the island. The picturesque setting makes for a relaxing visit. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#3. Sanibel Island, Florida
#3. Sanibel Island, Florida
Sanibel Island is a barrier island located off the Gulf coast of Florida. Wildlife refuges cover half the island. But its beaches are perfect for strolling and finding seashells that wash ashore. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#2. Coronado Beach, California
#2. Coronado Beach, California
Visitors to this family beach feel like they're in the Mediterranean, with its sparkling sand and mild surf. The century-old Hotel del Coronado will even bring you food and drinks right on the beach. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
#1. Wai'anapanapa Black-Sand Beach, Hawaii
#1. Wai'anapanapa Black-Sand Beach, Hawaii
Wai'anapanapa Black-Sand Beach is situated between black lava cliffs and a tropical jungle. Its glistening water provides visitors a perfect setting to snorkel and scuba dive during low tide. (Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)
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