The best east coast beaches in the USA

Phoebe Lowndes

written by
Phoebe Lowndes

updated 11.11.2022

With more states spanning the coastline than its western counterpart, the best east coast beaches in the USA offer style and substance to rival the most famous west coast beauty spots. So whether you’re embarking on a road trip or making a beeline for the beach, here’s our pick of vacation spots on the Atlantic coast.

The information in this article is inspired by the Rough Guide to The USA, your essential guide for visiting the USA.

The United States have stunning nature and lots of attractive destinations to visit. Choose the best option for a holiday from this list of the most beautiful places in the USA.

1. True luxury at Menemsha Beach, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Calm waters lap the shore of the peaceful haven of Menemsha Beach in Massachusetts, which boasts sprawling views of the Elizabeth Islands and surf ideal for relaxed swimming. Head to this one of the best beaches on the east coast to collect sea glass and watch fishing boats come into the small village harbour.

Make sure you stay for sundown, as Menemsha Beach is most stunning come early evening when it's one of the best spots to catch the sunset on the island. With style and romance, it's the perfect spot for couples. Bring a bottle of wine, pick up a lobster picnic from one of the convenient seafood shacks, and bundle together on a blanket to await dusk in quintessential New England style.

    Where to stay near Menemsha beach:

  • Best for enjoying nature: Inkwell Beach Cottage. This oceanfront bed and breakfast in Martha’s Vineyard is just 5 minute's walk from the ferry and features. Free Wi-Fi and full daily breakfast. The Niantic Park Tennis Courts are 10 minute walk.
  • Best for a breathtaking oceanic view: Summercamp. This historic Martha’s Vineyard hotel, Summercamp, is located in Oak Bluffs and offers oceanfront views. Featuring a game room and common lounging areas, the hotel is steps away from the beach.

What to see and do in the area: There's plenty to do on Martha's Vineyard. A great place to start is by booking a full island tour showcasing some of the island's highlight sights. Be sure to spend time in Edgartown, with its white clapboard houses and a clutch of excellent museums. Or, for a meal to remember, make for Oak Bluffs, with its charming gingerbread cottages.


Sunset at Menemsha Beach - one of the many best beaches on the east coast © Mihalachi Alin/Shutterstock

2. Eat a hot dog at Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York

For a day, swap bustling Manhattan for the retro seaside glamour of Brooklyn’s Coney Island. Here you will witness a diverse slice of New York City’s inhabitants lapping up the gaudiness whilst guzzling hot dogs and cotton candy.

Thrill seekers can get their screams on any number of roller coasters, or survey the shore from atop the 150ft tall Wonder Wheel. It's a great option for anyone with kids. When the sun shines, crowds flock to this vast beach to feel the sand between their toes and cool off in the ocean.

On gloomy days, the beach and amusement parks lining the boardwalk take on a more desolate air – which is oddly just as appealing. If you like the local vibe, check out Brooklyn hotels in our guide to the best area to stay in New York City.

    Where to stay on Coney Island:

  • Best for sky-high rooftop view: The William Vale. With a 19 m rooftop swimming pool and an award-winning chef overseeing the dining options on offer, The William Vale offers accommodation in Williamsburg, across the East River from Manhattan.
  • Best for families: Hotel Le Bleu. This boutique hotel is located in the Park Slope neighbourhood and offers free on-site parking. It is 6 blocks from the Union Street subway station and rooms feature free WiFi. Barclays Center is just 1.8 km away. It has soundproof rooms that are great for anyone with small children, and they can usually provide extra cribs/beds (dependent on availability).

For an overview of all the city's areas and the best accommodation, check out the list of options where to stay in New York City

What to see and do in the area: You could spend an entire week in New York and still just scratch the surface. A cruise around the city harbour is a good way to get a feel of the layout, while a visit to the viewing platform at the One World Observatory will give you the chance to survey the city from a whole other perspective.

There are several must-see sights in New York, from visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to marvelling at masterpieces in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and paying your respects at Ground Zero. Whatever you decide to do, save time to savour the city's superlative food joints.

Looking forward to experiencing East Coast? Our 15-day tailor-made tour is a perfect opportunity to visit 4 of the most iconic East Coast cities.

Roller coaster, Coney Island

Coney Island coaster ©/ CC0

3. Eat lobster rolls at Cape May, New Jersey

One of the USA’s oldest seaside resorts, Cape May in New Jersey is resplendent with history and offers an evocative dose of old Americana to vacationers. With its lengthy beach, perfectly preserved Victorian clapboarding and plentiful lobster rolls (arguably the east coast staple diet), it's among the best beach vacations on the east coast.

If you’re tired of the sun/surf/swim formula, wildlife lovers will relish the nature trails that lead from the beach to Cape May Point Lighthouse, which are open to the public to explore. The town offers a welcoming atmosphere for strolling and shopping, with the brightly coloured "gingerbread" houses providing a picturesque setting throughout summer or winter.

    Where to stay in Cape May:

  • Best for old Americana lovers: Congress Hall. History buffs welcome: Congress Hall has overlooked the Atlantic Ocean, in the town of Cape May, New Jersey, for over 200 years. Once known as "The Summer White House," Congress Hall has been a welcome retreat to many throughout the centuries.
  • Best for bike enthusiasts: Casablanca. Providing free bikes and free WiFi, Casablanca provides accommodation well located in Cape May, within a short distance of Cape May Public Beach, Cape May Convention Hall and Emlen Physick Estate.

What to see and do in the area: The simple pleasures are the ones to enjoy in Cape May, whether that's marvelling at its quaint Victorian architecture or chowing down on freshly caught lobster. Walking to the iconic lighthouse should be on anyone's list while taking a boat out to spot whales and dolphins is an unforgettable experience.

Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May Lighthouse / CC0

4. The quartz sand of Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Florida

A beach famed for the quality of its sand must surely be worth a mention on any "best beaches" list. Fine and white, the sand of Siesta in Flordia is often described as having the consistency of powdered sugar.

Unlike other beaches, quartz contributes to 99 per cent of the sand here – and to a beautiful effect. In addition, the waters are calm and clear: superb for swimming and paddle boarding. In fact, the calm conditions make this one of the best east coast beaches for families, too.

    Where to stay in Sarasota:

  • Best for holidays with kids: The Sea Spray Resort. Set in Siesta Key, within 200 m of Siesta Key Beach and 1.2 km of Crescent Beach, The Sea Spray Resort offers accommodation with barbecue facilities as well as free private parking for guests who drive. The property is located 17 km from the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 17 km from The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and 11 km from Sarasota Opera. The motel features family rooms.
  • Best for those looking for privacy: The Inn at Turtle Beach. This adult-only Siesta Key property features a private hot tub and patio in all studios. Guests can swim in the outdoor pool at the Turtle Beach Resort opposite or visit Turtle Beach 3 minutes walk away.

What to see and do: Dolphin and whale watching trips are on offer, but if you have keen eyes, these beautiful creatures are often visible from the shore, where you can enjoy the view and tropical breeze.

Planning a beach holiday in Florida? Check our list of the best beaches in Florida.


Siesta Beach © Suncoast Aerials/Shutterstock

5. The fantastic bluffs of Cumberland National Seashore, Georgia

The undeveloped island of Cumberland National Seashore in Georgia is a breathtaking destination for wildlife buffs and those of a more adventurous nature hoping to escape crowds. Although bikes are available to hire on the island, you must bring all your supplies with you, a proviso that discourages many. So if you can brave the lack of convenience, you’re in for a truly memorable day at the beach.

The island is currently inaccessible to visitors due to the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. To follow updates on the situation visit the National Park Service website.

Where to stay near Cumberland National Seashore:

Camping is only permitted on the island's five campgrounds. There are designated campsites at Sea Camp and Stafford Beach, while you'll find wilderness camping at Hickory Hill, Yankee Paradise and Brickhill Bluff.

What to see and do in the area: Biking and hiking are the primary activities here, as well as wildlife spotting. Home to a number of wild horses along with wild turkeys, deer and even alligators, this park makes an exciting retreat for a few nights of beachside camping.


Cumberland National Seashore © iofoto/Shutterstock

6. The gorgeous clear waters of South Beach, Miami, Florida

Welcome to Miami, a city bursting with cultural swagger and vivacious Latin vibes. This metropolis fuses artsy panache with a tropical climate, and South Beach pulses with activity from dawn until dusk, drawing in surfers, sun worshippers and scenesters alike.

The architecturally renowned Art Deco district and Instagram-worthy palms of Ocean Drive make this beach a win for holidaymakers looking for something edgier, with a heady dose of glitz and glamour.

    Where to stay in Miami:

  • Best for intoxicating Latin vibes: Life House, Little Havana. The Life House Little Havana is located in the Little Havana district in Miami, Florida. Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Life House Little Havana is a 3 minutes walk from 8th Street.
  • Best for luxurious treatment: The Betsy Hotel, South Beach. Located amidst the luxury shopping, dining and entertainment on Ocean Drive, The Betsy Hotel, South Beach offers direct beach access, along with a courtyard and rooftop pool with 360-degree views.

For a complete overview of Miami's areas and accommodation options, see our comprehensive guide to where to stay in Miami.

What to see and do in the area: There are plenty of different options for spending time. You can enjoy an airboat ride and wildlife show at Everglades Holiday Park or marvel at the Miami skyline as the sun sets on a Biscayne Bay cruise. Or you can explore the Famous Key West.


Miami Beach, South Beach, Florida © Mia2you/Shutterstock

7. The undiscovered Beachwalker County Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Myrtle beach is the obvious option for tourists visiting South Carolina, but Beachwalker County Park (south of Myrtle) is a real treasure.

Without the crowds and usual tourist garb, this unspoiled islet can give the illusion that you’re holidaying on your own private beach. Ten miles of inviting sandy dunes ensure sun-seekers won’t have to hunt long for a secluded pitch. The water here is calm enough for beginner surfers, and lessons are on offer for all abilities.

    Where to stay on Kiawah Island:

  • Best for ultimate comfort: Andell Inn. This Kiawah Island hotel is located in Freshfields Village and is 1.2 km from Bohicket Marina and Market. Features include a full-service bar, free hot breakfast, and rooms with free WiFi.
  • Best for enjoying the lagoon in privacy: Sea La Vie. Sea La Vie in Kiawah Island features accommodation with free WiFi, 400 m from Kiawah Island Beach, 1 km from Kiawah Beachwalker Park and 38 km from Charleston City Marina. This holiday home is 38 km from The Citadel Archives and Museum and 38 km from The Citadel Daniel Museum.

What to see and do in the area: Aside from relaxing and surfing on the island proper, take advantage of the fact that you're just a stone's throw from picturesque Charleston. Soak it up on a carriage ride of the historic district or a harbour cruise. Or – for something a little bit different – book onto a bone-chilling ghost tour.


Beachwalker County Park © Matthew Kazmierski/Shutterstock

8. Play golf at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is an unmitigated stretch of commercial seaside development twenty miles down the coast from the North Carolina border. Predominantly a golf centre and family resort, it’s packed during mid-term vacations with students drinking and partying themselves into a frenzy. Fans of elaborate water parks, factory outlet malls, funfairs and parasailing will be in heaven.

The widest stretch of sand is at North Myrtle Beach, a chain of small communities centring on Ocean Boulevard. South of Myrtle Beach lies Murrells Inlet, a fishing port with lots of good seafood restaurants and Pawleys Island.

    Where to stay near Myrtle Beach:

  • Best for its location: Hampton Inn Georgetown-Marina. This waterfront hotel is located in Georgetown next to the Georgetown Landing Marina. The hotel features an outdoor pool, continental breakfast and spacious guest rooms. A number of shops and restaurants located on the waterfront are within walking distance of the hotel. Myrtle Beach is 30 minutes away.
  • Best for a big company: Palmetto Place by Peace Vacations. Palmetto Place by Peace Vacations is set in Georgetown, 100 m from Debidue Beach, 40 km from Garden City Pier, and 49 km from Myrtle Beach State Park. The Witch is 46 km from the holiday home. The nearest airport is Georgetown County Airport, 23 km from Palmetto Place by Peace Vacations.

What to see and do in the area: Georgetown near Myrtle beach has a serious historical background. The Rice Museum in the Clock Tower tells of the Low Country’s long history of rice cultivation and its dependence on a constant supply of enslaved Africans. There are also displays of local heroes such as Ruby Forsythe, who taught at the region’s little one-room schoolhouse for 53 years.

Myrtle Beach South Carolina © StacieStauffSmith Photos/Shutterstock

Myrtle Beach South Carolina © StacieStauffSmith Photos/Shutterstock

9. Lovely sandy beaches of North Beach, Tybee Island

The rich history of Tybee Island dates back to the 1800s when Fort Screven and Fort Pulaski served as integral parts of America’s Coastal Defense systems. Today, thanks to the Tybee Island Historical Society, many of the landmarks are preserved and highlighted by informative markers. The historic Fort Screven district showcases a variety of opportunities to soak up some of the island’s history while enjoying the tropical surroundings.

North Beach encompasses Tybee's portion of Highway 80 all the way to 2nd Avenue. Home to such a large portion of the island, this area of Tybee boasts a wide range of historic attractions, unique eateries, funky shops and, of course, sandy beaches.

    Where to stay on Tybee Island:

  • Best for those who appreciate comfort: Tybee Island Inn Bed & Breakfast. This homey seaside bed and breakfast is 5 minute's walk from Tybee Island Beach and 0.8 km from the Tybee Lighthouse. It offers landscaped gardens and private balconies.
  • Best for couples: Surf Song Bed & Breakfast. Situated in Tybee Island, Georgia, this bed and breakfast offers an outdoor swimming pool. Daily breakfast and free Wi-Fi are offered. It is 2 minute walk from the beach.

What to see and do in the area: North Beach visitors can experience a variety of water adventures from deep sea fishing to fast airboat rides. The list of saltwater thrills is impressive, to say the least. Head to Tybee Island for a delicious lunch, a dolphin cruise, and ocean-view photo opportunities.

North Beach With Historic Tybee Island Light Station, Tybee Island © Billy McDonald/Shutterstock

North Beach With Historic Tybee Island Light Station, Tybee Island © Billy McDonald/Shutterstock

10. The nightclubs of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia

The massive resort of Virginia Beach has grown to become the largest city in the state, with nearly half a million people. Although the oceanfront commercial activity can be a monument to tackiness, the relaxed atmosphere actually leads some to stay longer than planned. The city’s focus is its long, sandy beach, lined with hotels and motels, and backed by a boardwalk strip of bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

Virginia Beach is also a major surf centre, hosting the East Coast Surfing Championships in late August. The beach is the site of dozens of high-spirited annual festivals, few better than the American Music Festival, which draws big-name artists to jam on the sands over Labor Day weekend.

    Where to stay in Virginia Beach:

  • Best for a holiday with kids: Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront has a restaurant, free bikes, a fitness centre and a bar in Virginia Beach. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is 3.4 km away and The Virginia Beach Convention Center is 3.8 km from the hotel.
  • Best for getting to know the city: The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center. Situated in the Virginia Beach Town Center, an upscale shopping, dining and entertainment centre, only a short drive from beautiful beaches, this hotel features state-of-the-art amenities along with exceptional accommodations.

What to see and do in the area: High-tech exhibits and an IMAX theatre are featured at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, which explores all things aquatic, including tanks devoted to sharks, rays, sea turtles and jellyfish.

With an entrance five miles west of Virginia Beach the woodland of First Landing State Park was the site where the first English settlers touched land in 1607 before moving on to Jamestown. it’s Virginia’s most popular state park, good for boating, cycling and camping, with a beach on the Chesapeake Bay.

A few miles up and down the coast from Virginia Beach are some beautiful and peaceful stretches of golden sand. To the south lies the nine-thousand-acre, four-mile-long Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Virginia Beach, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia © Jay Yuan/Shutterstock

Virginia Beach, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia © Jay Yuan/Shutterstock

11. The visually stunning Sand Beach, Acadia National Park, Maine

Stretched out over most of Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park is the most visited natural place in Maine. It’s visually stunning, with all you could want in terms of mountains and lakes for secluded rambling, and wildlife such as seals, beavers and bald eagles.

The one and only sizeable beach, five miles south of Bar Harbor - Sand Beach. It’s a gorgeous strand bounded by twin headlands, with restrooms, a parking lot and a few short hiking trails. The water, unfortunately, is usually arctic.

    Where to stay near Acadia National Park:

  • Best for its hospitality: Bar Harbor Manor. This Bar Harbor property is located just 5 minute's drive from Acadia National Park and half a kilometre from the Bar Harbor pier. Facilities include free Wi-Fi and lush gardens.
  • Best for the ocean view: Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Conference Center. Offering rooms with an ocean view, this Bar Harbor waterfront property boasts daily nature cruises from its private dock and has both indoor and outdoor pools. Acadia National Park is 1 km from the hotel.

What to see and do in the area: You can explore the rich foliage, stunning vistas, and scenic lookouts of Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine with this self-guided driving tour or indulge on a 3-hour culinary walking tour.

Maine is famous for its lobster industry more than any other state. While there, don't forget to visit one of the best lobster places on our list.

The Sand Beach, at Acadia National Park, Maine © Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

The Sand Beach, at Acadia National Park, Maine © Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

12. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire - one of the best beaches on the east coast

Hampton Beach is a village district, census-designated place, and beach resort in the town of Hampton, New Hampshire, United States, along the Atlantic Ocean. Hampton Beach is in Rockingham County, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Portsmouth. The community is a popular tourist destination and the busiest beach community in New Hampshire.

Ocean Boulevard, the main street along the beach, includes a boardwalk, many shops and businesses, several seasonal hotels, and the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, which hosts national acts in the summer.

    Where to stay on Hampton beach:

  • Best for its location and ocean view: Atlantic Breeze Suites. Located on Ocean Boulevard, this waterfront hotel is 15 minutes walk from downtown Hampton Beach. It features spacious accommodations with private balconies and free Wi-Fi.
  • Best for antique enthusiasts: Lamie's Inn & The Old Salt Tavern. Enjoy the traditional New England atmosphere and great food of this charming, historic inn located in Hampton with easy access to the city centre and beach.

What to see and do in the area: Hampton beach provides its visitors with dozens of different things to do. You can rent a scooter at Hampton Beach Scooter Rentals, or head straight to one of the casinos. Participate in Hampton Beach Yoga or take a tour arranged by the Hampton Historical Society.

Hampton Beach aerial view including historic waterfront buildings on Ocean Boulevard and Hampton Beach State Park, Town of Hampton, New Hampshire NH, USA © Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock

Hampton Beach State Park, Town of Hampton, New Hampshire NH, USA © Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock

13. Ocean City, Maryland — Maryland's number-one resort

With more than ten miles of broad Atlantic beach and hordes of visitors, Ocean City is Maryland’s number one summer resort, accessible across the Eastern Shore. There’s a lively, three-mile-long beach boardwalk, along which are numerous fast-food and trinket vendors hawking their wares, and a pair of amusement parks with the usual carnival-style thrill rides.

    Where to stay in Ocean City:

  • Best for bike rides along the beach: Beach Walk on the Ocean. Located in Ocean City, Beach Walk on the Ocean Formerly known as Inn on the Ocean offers free bikes. The property is located right on the Ocean City Boardwalk. If you feel like visiting the surroundings, check out Jolly Roger at the Pier (1.4 km) and Ripley's Believe It or Not (1.4 km).
  • Best for a calm and comfy holiday: Atlantic House Bed & Breakfast. Featuring a complimentary daily breakfast, Atlantic House Bed & Breakfast is located in Ocean City. Free WiFi access is available. The bed and breakfast is 400 m from Ocean City Harbor, 500 m from Ocean City Boardwalk and 900 m from Jolly Roger at the Pier. Cambridge-Dorchester Airport is 85 km away.

What to see and do in the area: Take a trip down memory lane in Berlin, Maryland's charming historic town on a food tour. Enjoy an informative culinary journey while you taste your way through the revitalized Main Street. Also, Ocean City is a fisherman's paradise, providing wonderful fishing opportunities over hundreds of square miles.

Ocean City offers a lot of free family activities such as movies on the beach, concerts and even a dance party.

Ocean City, Maryland © Eliyahu Yosef Parypa/Shutterstock

Ocean City, Maryland © Eliyahu Yosef Parypa/Shutterstock

14. The dramatic bluffs of Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island, nestled in the Atlantic 12 miles from coastal Rhode Island, offers the vacationer what does not seem possible anymore - simple relaxation in a startlingly beautiful place. The Island is famous for its miles of free public beaches, sparkling clear waters, dramatic bluffs, preserved open spaces, and fun-filled activities for visitors of all ages.

    Where to stay on Block Island:

  • Best for enjoying the combination of beach and bar time: Block Island Beach House. Located on Block Island, this Block Island Beach House resort offers on-site dining. Each room has a private bathroom, and select rooms have views of the Atlantic Ocean. A beach bar is available for guests to enjoy.
  • Best for all sorts of activities: Island Manor Resort, a VRI resort. Block Island is located about twelve miles off the Rhode Island coast. To reach the island you must take a ferry or a small plane. Once you arrive, you will be overwhelmed by the island's elegant beauty and small-town charm. Activities include biking, parasailing, hiking on the many nature trails and beaches, sunbathing, kayaking, shopping, horseback & moped riding.

What to see and do in the area: You can choose from a wide range of island rentals depending on what kind of vehicle you prefer for exploring the island. Bikes, cars and scooters are available. There are also lots of tours Block island can offer: by land, by air or by sea.

 Block Island, Rhode Island © ESK Imagery/Shutterstock

Block Island, Rhode Island © ESK Imagery/Shutterstock

15. Bethany Beach, Delaware — one of the best beaches on the east coast

Driving into Bethany Beach you’ll be greeted by the intimate shops leading you to a quiet sense of calmness. You breathe in the ocean air, and you can suddenly feel that this is your coastal home away from home. Bethany is the kind of place that's perfectly suited to beach-house gatherings of extended families, who find their sunny days filled with an endless array of do-as-you-please activities.

    Where to stay on Bethany Beach:

  • Best for its location: Hotel Bethany Beach. Located 5 minutes walk from the beach, this hotel features an outdoor swimming pool and a daily hot breakfast. Several shops and restaurants in Bethany town centre are within 10 minute's walk from the hotel.
  • Best for all-inclusive lovers: Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Residence Inn by Marriott offers accommodation in Bethany Beach. The hotel has a seasonal outdoor pool and spa centre, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar.

What to see and do in the area: Visit South Bethany Seafood Market which is open for takeout from noon to 8 pm. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants in the area. The Bethany Surf Shop located in the quaint town of Bethany Beach offers a wide variety of surf, body, and skimboards, apparel, and accessories as well as commemorative T-shirts, surf tours and rentals.

Bethany Beach, Delaware © PinkTwig Photography/Shutterstock

Bethany Beach, Delaware © PinkTwig Photography/Shutterstock

16. Goose Rocks Beach, Maine

There’s a reason former presidents George Herbert Walker Bush and George “W” Bush summer in genteel Kennebunkport – it’s beautiful, historic and full of great places to eat.

The best beach in these parts is Goose Rocks, about three miles north of Dock Square (the town centre) on King’s Highway. It’s a premium stretch of expansive sand, though you will need a permit to park here ($15 daily, $50 weekly). Neighbouring Kennebunk is home to a trio of attractive beaches; permits for these (from $16 daily, $52 weekly) can be purchased at kiosks on-site.

    Where to stay near Goose Rock Beach:

  • Best for both relaxing and active holidays: The White Barn Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection. This Kennebunkport inn is 600 m from the beach and boasts an on-site restaurant and a full-service spa and massage treatments. An outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi are also available. Guests can enjoy afternoon tea.
  • Best for its location: The Grand Hotel. Boasting an art gallery in the heart of Kennebunk, The Grand Hotel offers free WiFi access throughout the property. Each room has luxurious bedding and an iPod docking station. The private bathrooms feature a heated tile floor and free toiletries.

What to see and do in the area: as far as spending time Kennebunk can offer you a bunch of water tours on kayaks or luxurious catamaran sailings. If you are interested in history, we suggest you visit St. Anthony's Monastery, Saint Ann's Church or First Families Kennebunkport Museum. Also not to forget about some popular hiking destinations.

Goose Rocks Beach, Maine © Joe Viger/Shutterstock

Goose Rocks Beach, Maine © Joe Viger/Shutterstock

17. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod National Seashore

One of the most celebrated slices of real estate in America, Cape Cod boasts a dazzling, three-hundred-mile coastline with some of the best beaches in New England. A slender, crooked peninsula, it’s easily accessed from the region’s snug villages, many of which have been preserved as they were a hundred or more years ago.

After the bustle of Cape Cod’s towns, the Cape Cod National Seashore really does come as a proverbial breath of fresh air. These protected lands, spared by President Kennedy from the development further south, take up virtually the entire Atlantic side of the Cape, from Chatham north to Provincetown. Most of the way you can park by the road, and strike off across the dunes to windswept, seemingly endless beaches.

    Where to stay on Cape Cod:

  • Best for a romantic holiday: Long Point Getaway. Providing free WiFi throughout the property, Long Point Getaway is located in Provincetown, 400 m from Ryder Street Beach and 1.2 km from Dog Beach. The property is set 2.7 km from Long Point Beach, 3.5 km from Race Point Lighthouse and 3.5 km from Beech Forest. Old Harbor Life Saving Museum is 4.9 km from the hotel and Truro Historical Museum is 13 km away.
  • Best for a family holiday: Cape Point Escape. Located in Provincetown, 500 m from Ryder Street Beach and 1.4 km from Dog Beach, Cape Point Escape provides accommodation with free WiFi, air conditioning and a garden. It is set 2.9 km from Long Point Beach and offers an ATM. A children's playground is available on site and cycling can be enjoyed within close proximity of the apartment.

What to see and do in the area: Displays and movies at the main Salt Pond Visitor Center, on US-6 just north of Eastham, trace the geology and history of the Cape. A road and a hiking and cycling trail head east to the sands of Coast Guard Beach and Nauset Light Beach, both of which offer excellent swimming.

 Coast Guard Beach in the Cape Cod National Seashore in Eastham, Massachusetts © Danita Delimont/Shutterstock

Coast Guard Beach in the Cape Cod National Seashore in Eastham, Massachusetts © Danita Delimont/Shutterstock

Inspired by the best beaches on the east coast? Read our list of the best beaches in the USA to find more ideas for your perfect beach holiday.

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to the USA without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

Ready for a trip to the USA? Check out the snapshot of The Rough Guide to Southwest USA or The Rough Guide to The USA: The South. If you travel further in the USA, read more about the best time to go, the best places to visit and the best things to do in the USA. For inspiration use the USA itineraries from The Rough Guide to the USA and our local travel experts. A bit more hands-on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Top image: Miami Beach, South Beach, Florida © Mia2you/Shutterstock

Phoebe Lowndes

written by
Phoebe Lowndes

updated 11.11.2022

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