If you 'do like to be beside the seaside', then the shores of Ecola State Park should be calling. Nine miles of Oregon coastline are protected by the park – coves, cliffs and wind-whipped strands, edged by spruce forestland.
Surfing and sunbathing are the primary attractions here, and it's dream fodder for the budding photographer: craggy sea stacks and coy deer make for perfect subjects. Depending on the season, you may also spot a whale or two.
Ecola State Park, Oregon © tusharkoley / Shutterstock
The peaks of Kauai's Nā Pali Coast State Park could be plucked straight from Avatar. They loom 4,000 feet over the sand, circled by sea birds and stalked by the tide. Flood damage has forced great swathes of the park to close over recent months, but restoration works are well underway, and it will reopen again as soon as it's safe.
The park can be explored via the Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile track hugging the coast, with the Kalalau Beach its dazzling finale. For now, though, the coastal drama can be taken in by boat, or by helicopter if you've a head for heights.
Kalalau Beach, Nā Pali Coast State Park, Hawaii © Jo Ann Snover / Shutterstock
The best way to see this park, with its glossy lakes and fir-tree-covered banks, is from the water.
You can swim, sail or scuba dive within its expanse – and its waters were designated an Underwater Park in 1994, so it's worth discovering what lies beneath the surface.
Outfitters, such as Kayak Tahoe, can get you ready for various activities, and you can stay overnight at one of a handful of campsites – the Boat-In campground enjoys a dreamy lakeside location.
Emerald Bay State Park, California © Purplexsu / Shutterstock
The impossibly clear waters of Blue Spring, the largest spring along the St Johns River, are home to a large population of Florida manatees. From November through to March, hundreds of sea cows can be spied here, best seen from the various wooden boardwalks around the park.
In the summertime, it's swimmers and snorkellers that frequent Blue Spring, attracted by the warm waters and the crystal views into the deep. The moss-draped oaks that line the spring offer pleasant shade from the sun too.
From the Blue Spring itself, keen kayakers can paddle further along St John's River – just remember to keep an eye out for crocs…
Blue Spring State Park, Florida © Jose Antonio Perez / Shutterstock
Top image: Cannon Beach at Ecola State Park, Oregon © Chris Anson / Shutterstock