Going to the beach is a popular choice when it comes to vacations and family trips. In the East Coast and along the Atlantic Ocean, you can find some of the best-known beaches in the world. There are some trendy spots, beautiful scenic routes, and comfortable accommodation in several price ranges. NOTE we are intentionally excluding Florida’s fabulous beaches and have a separate Top Beaches of Florida post.
If you’re planning a trip to this area, make sure you visit at least one of the beaches below. They offer a range of memorable activities as well as the opportunity to just wind down and relax.
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May is technically part of Jersey Shore but offers a very different experience from the rest of the area. Jersey Shore is known for its nightclubs, bars, and similar activities, but Cape May has historical buildings like Victorian houses. There’s also a lighthouse, with gorgeous beaches and an overall peaceful atmosphere. It’s the perfect example of a getaway from a busy work schedule.
The accommodations consist of Victorian-style bed and breakfast inns, some of which are famed throughout the country. The clean sandy, rocky shore, and panoramic views will give visitors a chance to soak in some nature. If you’re in search for some activities, the surfing, paddle boarding, parasailing, and sightseeing are all great choices.
Myrtle Beach, North Carolina
This beach is among the more famous ones on this list. It’s considered a must-visit destination for couples, families, and groups of friends who want a fun, adventurous getaway by the seaside. The scenery is stunning, while the weather makes it possible to visit during any season.
There are many hotels, resorts, restaurants, parks, and cafes available here. This means there’s something for everyone’s taste. You’ll also get about 60 miles of sandy beaches, with amusements parks and water parks to boot. Historical sites, shopping centers, golfing, and live entertainment are just a few more of the activities you may expect here. Overall, it’s an affordable yet memorable choice for any kind of trip.
Duck, North Carolina
If you’re looking for a quieter experience in North Caroline, you may want to skip Myrtle Beach and head straight out to Duck. There are fewer crowds here, with a more laid-back atmosphere as well. This beach is overall perfect for those who want leisurely strolled, untouched natural surroundings, and a family environment.
This spot is quite popular with families and the elderly. However, the quiet charm and beauty of the area make it an ideal honeymooning spot for couples as well.
This beach village is a major attraction for tourists. It was also a vacation spot for the Kennedy family at one point. Here, you’ll find long stretches of white beaches, with sparkling blue waters and beach grass. There are fewer people than at the trendier places, so the atmosphere is one of tranquility and peace.
If you want a relaxing time to simply watch the sunset, collect seashells, and go on long walks, this is the place for you. While it might not be the most fashionable place for a holiday, it’s coveted by those who prefer to wind down rather than have thrilling adventures all day long.
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Kiawah Island is situated near Charleston and known mostly for the golfing experience. However, it’s also a beach resort, having about 10 miles of coastline with some gorgeous scenic views. There are several sand dunes, sand grasses, and clear blue waters for you to enjoy.
There have been many celebrities staying at Kiawah Island in the past, including big names like George Clooney, George W. Bush, and Joe Biden. Technically, it’s a private island where only residents can come and go as they please. However, there is a 5-star hotel called the Sanctuary where non-residents can enjoy the place is they can afford it.
Travelers have raved about this beach resort, especially appreciating the intact dunes, marshes, and the dolphin sightings. There are also ample seashells to gather, while all the beaches are dog-friendly.
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Martha’s Vineyard is another beach retreat for those who can afford a luxurious vacation. Its natural beauty has stayed preserved for many decades, attracting even more visitors every year. In fact, it attracts so many celebrities that many know it as the “Hollywood East”.
There are several kinds of beaches at Martha’s Vineyard, with shallow waters in the northeast and adventurous waves in the south. Overall, it’s a fashionable destination no matter where you stay in the area. You can also find isolated spots to relax as well as several exciting activities to keep you occupied. These include fishing, ferrying, running, and much more.
This place has also had its share of famous guests, including Barrack Obama, David Letterman, Diane Sawyer, etc. The Edgartown Lighthouse provides a breathtaking view, while the boutiques and tours provide entertainment for every taste.
This is a beautiful beach retreat where the sands are white, the water is blue, and the greenery is well-preserved. The island is known as a historic landmark, with several interesting sites to visit.
You can find Great Point there too, which is among the most isolated beaches in existence. This is partly because the beach is reserved for those who have a permit. Once you get inside, though, there are several miles of sand to enjoy, a notable lighthouse to explore, and many other activities. If you prefer peaceful pastimes like watching a gorgeous sunset, Madaket Beach is the best place to do so.
Massachusetts has a larger number of the best East Coast beaches. Provincetown is one of the best, with its location at the tip of Barnstable County, Cape Cod. There are several reasons why this place is attractive to tourists. It has a rich culture, beautiful scenery, and pristine white beaches as well. What’s more, the beaches have plenty of room for everyone so you won’t be crowded.
Overall, Provincetown is also a stellar getaway place. You can go swimming, hiking, walking, biking, or whatever else tickles your fancy.
Southampton, New York
Southampton has around 7 miles of coastline, with Cooper’s Beach being one of its major attractions. There’s a snack bar, rental chairs and umbrellas, and several activities to enjoy. If you pass by Meadow Lane, there’s some fascinating architecture on display too.
This seaside village also a quiet community that attracts many wealthy people and celebrities from the Big Apple. However, there are also some beaches that don’t have lifeguards or any regulations. You should hence swim with care when stopping by any sandy place that isn’t Cooper’s Beach.
Tybee Island, Georgia
This island might be one of the lesser known beaches, but those in the know call it ‘the best-kept secret in Georgia”. It has live music, a rich history, and a lot of natural beauty to appreciate. You also have landmarks such as the Tybee Lighthouse, Fort Pulaski, and Fort Screven to explore.
According to the beachgoers in this area, just the sunsets are worth the journey. If you’re in the mood for something livelier, you have the option of going to Savannah just 20 miles away. There are also private bicycle rides available, where you can view all the main attractions in Savannah and Tybee. If you want more excitement, you may view the same area from above in a helicopter ride.
There’s no doubt that these East Coast beaches provide some excellent vacation spots and relaxing retreats for those in need of a break. Some of them are for the wealthy alone, while others have a range of prices so that everyone can afford them. The experience of East Coast Beaches is something different, so don’t miss the chance to visit at least once.