Clearwater Beach, Florida
Jon Bilous/Shutterstock Since Clearwater Beach is essentially an island that barriers Tampa Bay from the Gulf of Mexico, you have double the opportunities to hit the waves and soak up that Florida sun. If you want to get out of the sun, close by is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the Dolphin, star of the movie Dolphin Tale. (Science says dolphins are probably smarter than you.)
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Tom Hirtreiter/Shutterstock The perfect combo of a beach and a carnival, Myrtle Beach is a central hub on South Carolina’s Grand Strand, a 60-mile string of beaches. Plus, the boardwalk is known for its Family Kingdom amusement park and the SkyWheel, one of the largest Ferris wheels in the country at 187 feet tall.