The Best Beach in Every State
Beaches might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Florida or California but likely not when contemplating Iowa, Nebraska, or the Dakotas. Yet every state has stellar beaches. Here is the best beach in each state.
Alabama: Orange Beach
Not only is there an amusement park and arcade, the opportunity to catch marlin and red snapper on a fishing excursion, and a Ferris wheel, "one of the most distinctive attractions here is flyboarding. Other popular sports and activities at Orange Beach include sunset dolphin cruise, sailing, and diving down to the state's first deliberately-sunk ship wreckage," says The Crazy Tourist.
Alaska: Black Sand Beach, Barry Arm
Unlike any other beach in America, and possibly the world, Black Sand Beach is as advertised which makes it striking—but what makes it a supremely unique destination is the "water cascading down from the hanging glaciers, sea life playing among the icebergs, and a commanding view of Barry Arm," per Alaska.org. This Alaska beach is only a quarter-mile long but what it lacks in size it makes up for in icebergs stranded on the sand. Alaska isn't the only place with this special sand—here are 12 more stunning black sand beaches around the world.
Arizona: Rotary Beach, Lake Havasu
Lake Havasu is massive, famous, and a consistent spring break destination. Of all the beaches along this famous body of water between Arizona and California, the sandy beach of the Rotary Community Park is best, with a great green space, easy access to swimming, a trio of playgrounds, and sports parks for volleyball, bocce, and skateboarding.
Arkansas: Caddo Bend, DeGray Lake Resort State Park
Arkansas State Park's official website tempts visitors to Caddo Beach with the promise of a "sand beach perfect for family outings" and a "designated swimming area [that is] off limits to personal watercraft and boats." This popular spot less than an hour from either Little Rock or Hot Springs also has picnic tables scattered under the tree canopies to provide plenty of shade during your day at Arkansas's best beach. Don't forget to pack the best family beach games in your beach bag.
California: Treasure Island Beach, Laguna Beach
Basically, the entire left side of California is a beach so there's a sandy patch to suit every need. For our money, we love the idea of a west coast love story, high Hollywood drama, and a sliver of isolation in a busy world. Coastal Living describes Treasure Island Beach in Laguna this way: "glittering Pacific views, towering cliffs that provide a sense of complete seclusion, and a secret cove make Treasure Island Beach one of California's most romantic beaches." We couldn't agree more. Laguna is magnificent as are these 15 beaches worth visiting this year.
Colorado: Chatfield State Park, Littleton
Views of the Rocky Mountains, less than 30 minutes from Denver, 26-miles of biking and hiking trails, plus an abundance of water sports like jet skiing and paddle boarding help to make this beach Colorado's best. Bonus: there are hot air balloon rides lifting off from Chatfield and an off-leash dog park here too!
Connecticut: Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison
Bigger isn't always better, but in tiny Connecticut, the best beach is indeed the biggest. Stretching two miles along Long Island Sound, this pristine beach features a boardwalk, concession stand with dog-friendly seating in the shade, a kayak launch point, and environmental programs for all ages offered by Meigs Point Nature Center. The state park has 5,000 campsites available and there's a Hilton with beach access on-site. Find out if Hammonasset's boardwalk makes our list of the best beach boardwalks in America.
Delaware: Rehoboth Beach, Rehoboth Beach
Kid and LGBTQ friendly, clean, and quaint, with copious amounts of nearby outlet shopping, an outstanding restaurant and bar scene, and a stellar boardwalk all combine to make this iconic Delaware Beach the best in the state. The most famous places aren't always the best but in Delaware, Rehobeth shines. Rehoboth is ideal for kids, here are 10 things all parents need for the perfect family beach day.
Florida: Lido Key Beach, Sarasota
With St. Armand's Circle's elegant shopping and restaurants just behind it, Lido Key's is Florida's cosmopolitan Gulf Coast beach choice thanks to soft sand, gentle waves, and a low-key family-friendly vibe. While not as well-known as South Beach or Clearwater, Lido and Sarasota itself earn high marks for charm and hospitality, just like these other Florida beaches locals want to keep secret.
Georgia: Mid Beach, Tybee Island
This unspoiled beach on the most northern of Georgia's barrier islands offers visitors a legendary fort, lighthouse, resorts, and nearly endless outdoor recreation. Of course, the beach itself is the star! Bring buckets and shovels because the sand of Mid Beach is ideal for castle construction.