No Passport Needed: 8 Best Beach Vacations Across The United States

By , August 10th, 2018

The United States coastline is an astounding 12,383 miles stretching down the Atlantic around to the Gulf of Mexico then over and back up the Pacific. Within this expanse, we are fortunate to find miles upon miles of beautiful beaches.

Armed with that statistic, it’s easy to see why so many stick within our borders in search of a beach resort. While every state blessed with a coastal frontier has an array of enticing beach resorts, we’ve picked out some favorites among them that are as much a destination as the beaches themselves.


8 Best Beach Vacations in the United States

Peaches by the sea at Sonesta Resort

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

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The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is lucky to be on one of the prettiest island communities in the continental United States. The beach resort has won a slew of awards, but the glowing accolades of returning visitors are what makes it stand apart from the pack of accommodation options on the popular Hilton Head Island.

The lush subtropical gardens surrounding the resort lead the way to the white sand beach and rolling Atlantic surf. Even at its busiest, nearby Bass Head Beach feels exclusive, with your nearest neighbor out of eyesight.

Sonesta also has a full range of pools, including a zero-entry lagoon pool, a children’s area and even a shade pool for days when the sun is just too strong. Kids can also be taken off your hands by the lovely staff supervising the kids club who take them on beach excursions while you enjoy a post-breakfast nap. 

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Swim in a sea of activities at Blockade Runner Beach Resort

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

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Everybody has their own version of the perfect beach experience. (Mine involves a regimented schedule of sunbathing and leisurely backstroke to cool off.) But no matter your preference, the Blockade Runner Beach Resort fulfills all beach wishes. The laid-back resort is located on a sprawling section of Wrightsville Beach with plenty of blue umbrellas and beach chairs easy to spot when you exit the water without your glasses.

For the adventurous beachgoer, paddling, SUP, surfing, and sailing are all offered by the resort with certified instructors guiding your way to pro-status. If reading is your top beach priority, there’s plenty of space to partake without distraction or accompanied by a poolside drink. For foodies whose favorite part of the ocean is dinner, EAST oceanfront dining has a tidy seasonal menu offering a fresh-as-can-be catch of the day.

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Sunset sessions at Surf and Sand Resort

Laguna Beach, California

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Perched high to optimize on the cooling breeze of the Pacific Ocean, Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach is the perfect respite for sea enthusiasts. Rooms and private balconies are designed around the view which hits its peak when the sun starts sinking. Down below on the gorgeous half-moon beach, chairs and umbrellas are provided for lounging while upstairs the pool area is equipped with cabanas and a bar.

I’m a firm believer that food tastes better with a view of the sea and onsite Splash restaurant is close enough to the surf to feel the tickle of the sea mist on a windy day. Their Mediterranean-inspired offerings are focused around sun-ripened SoCal produce and what’s been hauled fresh from the ocean.

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Savor the seafood of Winnetu Resort

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

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Devoted fans of Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard return year after year. Offering a bit of something for everyone, the family-owned oceanside resort has access to the best beach on the island, whose wide golden sand swathes make it perfect for kids and privacy seekers alike.

Back at the resort, grownups relax in the adults-only jacuzzi as the kids take part in children’s program activities. They even offer teen adventure camps which take them across the island on mountain bikes and kayaks with new friends.

New England seafood is exceptional and the resort ensures you get your fill during their weekly clambake on the lawn. Juicy clams, lobster, corn, and potatoes are all part of this traditional Cape campfire cookout gathering.

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Long walks on the beach at Surfsand Resort

Cannon Beach, Oregon

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Revisit not only the filming location for The Goonies and Twilight, but also the traditional charm of a seaside town stay at the Surfsand Resort. You’re within walking distance to the restaurants and mom-and-pop shops of downtown Cannon Beach but nestled against the seemingly endless miles of coastline with views of the landmark Haystack Rock. One highlight of this friendly resort is their community bonfires and s’mores for guests and locals.

There are extensive perks for families including movie nights, bike rentals and ice cream socials. The beach cabana service includes not only food and drinks but also kites to fly along the Pacific winds, beach umbrellas and plenty of toys for sand castle building. As a bonus, the resort is pet-friendly and the beachside location can’t be beaten for doggies who love to play in the waves.

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All-inclusive beach fun at Amelia Island Plantation

Amelia Island, Florida

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Sitting on the tip of a barrier island off the northeastern Florida Coast, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation boasts a 3.5-mile stretch of blissfully uncrowded private beach.

The resort is upscale but still totally family-friendly with Camp Amelia offering kids ages 4 through 14 daily activities while the parents innocently sample tequilas varieties at the bar, swim in the adults-only infinity edge pool or putt through the three championship golf courses.

The resort actually offers an all-inclusive package, rare in the continental U.S., which includes food and drinks at the nine on-site restaurants, free golfing, fishing on the lake and a whole slew of other amenities. The onsite nature center has wildlife-oriented tours on foot, bike, or Segway to unlock the wonders of the local ecosystem through sea turtle discoveries and crabbing workshops.

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Rose-tinted views at Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina

Fort Myers, Florida

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Pack the heart-shaped sunglasses and straw hats with a return to the glory days of resort vacationing at the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina. Epic views accompany the beachside location of the pink and green shutter property. Rise to the shining sun and venture out for a quick sunrise dip in the warm lazy Gulf of Mexico water. Then stake your claim to your favorite chair and umbrella on the beach or pool before hitting up the omelet station and fresh waffles at breakfast.

Take advantage of the beachside location with water sports including kayaks and Stand Up Paddle Boards or rent a WaveRunner for a spin across the Estero Bay. Families will love the poolside movie nights and seaside campfires with s’mores. While the resort can’t quite take credit for them, the colorful sunsets make a great backdrop to a romantic white tablecloth, four-course beachside candlelit supper.

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Oceanic adventures at Turtle Bay Resort

Kahuku, Oahu

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The Turtle Bay Resort is located on the unspoiled North Shore, where the land and sea coalesce to form the divine Hawaiian landscape. It’s remote, and far from the crowds of Waikiki and Honolulu, but the isolation of this beach resort rewards the adventurous with a slew of activities for active tourists offered on site.

SUP, snorkeling, paddling, hiking, sunset or sunrise horseback rides along the beach and yoga make the most of the coastal location. The surf draws in local crowds with its luscious swells and whether you’ve been dying to try or consider yourself a seasoned surfer, the resort has partnerships with reputable local coaches who can school any level — you can even have a pro surf dog join you on the board.

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Cover image by Ryan Wilson on Unsplash.  All other photos from trivago.