40 Best Beaches on the East Coast

Written by Lev Baker
Published: May 29, 2023
© Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock.com
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The allure of the East Coast lies not only in its rich history and vibrant cities but also in its array of beaches. In this article, we will journey down the East Coast, covering some of the most popular and best beaches and delving into what makes each beach unique, thus helping you find the perfect seaside destination this summer that suits your tastes. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking water sports, a family looking for child-friendly shores, or a nature lover searching for peaceful scenery, the East Coast offers dozens of beaches perfect for you. Let’s dive in!

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Fishing Pier at Sunrise at Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. Virginia Beach, a coastal city in southeastern Virginia, lies where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean.
With gentle waves and an array of water sports, Virginia Beach is quite popular.


Virginia Beach is one of the best beaches on the east coast. It has a vast, sandy coastline. With its gentle waves, the beach offers an ideal spot for leisure and water sports. Further, is exceptional cleanliness and safety standards set it apart, making it a preference for beachgoers. Beyond sunbathing, visitors can engage in activities such as surfing, volleyball, or even a bike ride on the boardwalk.

Jetties Beach, Massachusetts

Coastal scenes from the beaches along the Cape Cod National Seashore.
You can find a peaceful beach landscape at Jetties Beach, an island off Cape Cod.

©Sunset River Photography/Shutterstock.com

Jetties Beach is a charming island off Cape Cod, popular for its picturesque and serene beach landscape. The beach perfectly balances leisure and adventure with sunbathing, swimming, and sailing. The island’s shores in the Atlantic Ocean boast fine sand, gentle waves, and lovely sunsets, offering a genuinely immersive seaside experience.

East Hampton Main Beach, New York

Main Beach, East Hampton, NY
Dunes adorn East Hampton Main Beach.


East Hampton, New York, located on the eastern tip of Long Island, is celebrated for its luxurious and pristine beach. The East Hampton shores, surrounded by dunes, offer an idyllic setting for beach activities, such as sunbathing, surfing, and picnicking. Its calm waters and splendid ocean views make it a beautiful spot for relaxation and recreation, solidifying East Hampton as another enticing beach destination.

Palm Beach, Florida

Palm Beach, Florida. Amazing aerial view of coastline.
Golden shores, blue waters, and many palms are a few of the beautiful sights at Palm Beach.


Palm Beach, FL, located on a barrier island along the Atlantic coast, is home to sun-drenched, palm-filled beaches. The golden shores and turquoise, clear waters offer a haven for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports, making it an iconic tropical retreat. Palm Beach is often associated with luxury and is home to upscale resorts, mansions, and renowned golf courses.

South Beach, Massachusetts

Wind swept beach on Martha’s Vineyard
Visitors can find South Beach at Martha’s Vineyard.


South Beach, located at Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, boasts a diverse and picturesque beach. This beach is known to be a wave-crashing paradise. Visitors can indulge in various activities, including sunbathing, swimming, boogie boarding, surfing, and shell collecting while soaking up the local natural beauty.

Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island North LightLighthouse in New Shoreham Rhode Island
Perfect for sunbathing, beachcombing, surfing, and swimming are Block Island’s beaches.

©Michael Sean OLeary/Shutterstock.com

Block Island is adorned with stunning beaches that offer tranquility and adventure. The island’s beaches are perfect for sunbathing, beachcombing, and surfing, while the clear Atlantic waters are great for swimming. Known for its natural beauty, Block Island provides a picturesque and relaxing beachside escape for all.

Saint Andrews Beach, Georgia

Beautiful driftwood formations on St. Andrew's beach, Jekyll Island, a popular slow travel destination in the southeastern United States. Cumberland Island National Seashore is seen in the background.
St. Andrews Beach blends Southern charm with coastal splendor.

©Joanne Dale/Shutterstock.com

St. Andrews Beach is a tranquil oasis famed for its expansive and peaceful beach. The island’s shores offer various activities, such as sunbathing, swimming, and horseback riding, while its location in the South Atlantic presents stunning sunrise views. It’s a captivating locale that perfectly blends Southern charm with coastal splendor.

Cape May, New Jersey

Panorama of beach with Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May, New Jersey.
Cape May is an amazing coastal getaway with a quaint and historic charm.


Located in southern New Jersey, Cape May boasts a beautiful beach with a quaint and historic charm. The beach offers pristine sand, gentle waves, and breathtaking sunsets, providing an ideal setting for relaxation and strolls. Visitors can also explore Victorian architecture, enjoy local cuisine, and partake in various water activities, making Cape May a delightful coastal getaway.

Kiawah Beachwalker Park, South Carolina

Umbrellas on beach at Kiawah Island near Charleston, SC
A beautiful beachscape and pristine shoreline with plenty of sand are available at Kiawah Beachwalker Park.

©JASON TENCH/Shutterstock.com

Kiawah Beachwalker Park, nestled along the South Carolina coast, is renowned for its stunning beachscape and natural beauty. With its pristine shoreline, gentle water, and vast expanse of sand, it offers a serene retreat for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. The island’s location also provides opportunities for golfing, biking, and exploring its lush coastal marshes, making it a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

Race Point Beach, Massachusetts

The grass covered sand dunes leading to race point beach on the cape cod national seashore in massachusetts. on a sunny blue sky day.
Race Point Beach offers amazing views of the vast Atlantic Ocean.

©Dan Hanscom/Shutterstock.com

Provincetown is celebrated for its vibrant and picturesque beaches, including Race Point Beach. The beach offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, soft sand, and a lively atmosphere, making it a popular spot for sunbathing and people-watching, while swimming at this location may be reserved for more experienced swimmers. With its rich history, eclectic arts scene, and diverse community, Provincetown provides a unique blend of cultural experiences alongside its pristine beach setting.

Southampton, New York

A flock of seagulls on the beach at Cooper's Beach in Southampton, Long Island, New York.
The beach in Southampton has sparkling waters and sandy shores.

©Joe Trentacosti/Shutterstock.com

Southampton, New York, is home to a beach with sparkling waters and soft sandy shores, making it a great place to indulge in seaside picnics, swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing, all set in a charming location in the Hamptons on the eastern end of Long Island. What sets Southampton apart is its location within the prestigious Hamptons area, known for its luxurious homes, trendy shops, and vibrant art scene.

Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse towers over beach dunes of Outer Banks island near Buxton, North Carolina, US
With natural beauty and rolling dunes, Cape Hatteras is a great place for beachcombing.


Cape Hatteras, NC, is another beach renowned for its natural beauty, rolling dunes, and pristine coastline. It is a haven for beachcombing, surfing, and fishing, all set in a picturesque location on the Outer Banks. The area is characterized by its majestic rolling dunes, wide sandy beaches, and the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which stands tall as a historic landmark.

Gooch’s Beach, Maine

Kennebunk Beach, Maine
Gooch’s Beach has a rocky shoreline and stunning scenic beauty.

©CO Leong/Shutterstock.com

One of the best beaches on the east coast, Gooch’s Beach in Maine offers a charming beach experience. It offers a rocky shoreline, a serene atmosphere, and scenic beauty. Together, those provide visitors with opportunities for sunbathing, strolling along the coast, and exploring the picturesque New England town, all set in a delightful coastal location in southern Maine.

Hammonasset Beach, Connecticut

Dusk at a Rocky Beach in Hammonasset State Park located in the county of Madison, Connecticut
There are many opportunities for various water activities on Hammonasset Beach.


Hammonasset Beach boasts a delightful beach along the Long Island Sound with soft sand, calm waters, and scenic views. It provides visitors with a serene setting for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying various water activities in a charming coastal town on the Connecticut shoreline.

Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

Hampton Beach aerial view including historic waterfront buildings on Ocean Boulevard and Hampton Beach State Park, Town of Hampton, New Hampshire NH, USA.
For visitors wanting to relax and enjoy some live entertainment, Hampton Beach is perfect.

©Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock.com

Hampton Beach, NH, offers a lively and inviting beach experience with its expansive sandy shores, gentle surf, and bustling boardwalk, providing visitors with opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, enjoying live entertainment, and indulging in delectable seafood, all conveniently located along the coastline of New Hampshire.

Harveys Beach, Connecticut

Harveys Beach in CT at Sunset. Taken in winter just after sunset on a Long Island Sound beach with a huge tidal change.
The tranquil atmosphere at Harveys Beach is perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, and more.

©Kyle Lee/Shutterstock.com

Harveys Beach in Connecticut is a hidden gem known for its tranquil atmosphere, soft sand, and clear waters, offering visitors a peaceful spot for sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, and enjoying serene coastal views, all situated in a scenic location in Old Saybrook along the Long Island Sound.

Sand Beach, Maine

The Sand Beach, at Acadia National Park, Maine.
With golden shores, transparent waters, and stunning views of the Acadia National Park, Sand Beach is stunning.

©Jon Bilous/Shutterstock.com

Sand Beach in Maine is a scenic seaside utopia boasting golden shores, transparent waters, and stunning vistas of the robust Acadia National Park. It presents an ideal locale for swimming, sun-soaking, and discovering the neighboring hiking paths.

Fire Island, New York

Beautiful warm golden sunlit clouds during sunset perfectly reflecting in the sand on a beach. Fire Island National Seashore - New York
Fire Island is located in New York and offers beautiful sunsets.

©Scott Heaney/Shutterstock.com

The beach at Fire Island, New York, is a tranquil oasis that boasts miles of soft, sandy shores, gentle ocean breezes, and mesmerizing sunsets. Visitors can enjoy swimming, surfing, picnicking, and birdwatching in this secluded barrier island location.

Bethany Beach, Delaware

Drone photo of Bethany Beach Delaware
Bethany Beach boasts white shores, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and more.

©Zach Chilelli/Shutterstock.com

Another captivating seaside treasure is Bethany Beach. Many celebrate it for its white shores, welcoming environment, and an assortment of leisure pursuits. Those include swimming, sun-soaking, fishing, and promenade walks. Its advantageous position makes it a favored retreat for aficionados of the beach.

Nags Head, North Carolina

Beautiful  sunset over Jennette's Pier , Nags Head North Carolina. Originally built in 1939, Jennette’s is the oldest fishing pier on the Outer Banks, NC USA
A picturesque beach with beautiful dunes, visitors can find Nags Head in North Carolina.

©Jay Yuan/Shutterstock.com

Nags Head in North Carolina offers a picturesque beach getaway with beautiful dunes, gentle waves perfect for surfing, fishing opportunities, and a scenic location within the Outer Banks region. Visitors can also explore Jockey’s Ridge State Park, home to the tallest sand dune system on the East Coast, where they can go hang gliding, fly kites, or simply enjoy panoramic views from the top.

Ocean City, Maryland

High aerial view of a long row of hotels along the Atlantic Ocean beach in Maryland USA
A lively and busy promenade makes Ocean City a popular beachfront destination.

©Real Window Creative/Shutterstock.com

Ocean City is a lively beachfront hotspot boasting a busy promenade, a sandy beach perfect for sun-soaking, swimming, and aquatic adventures, along with an extensive selection of amusement parks and nearby attractions. 

Tybee Island, Georgia 

Tidal Flats on North Beach  Tybee Island, Georgia, USA
The laid-back atmosphere at Tybee Island is perfect for relaxation.

©Billy McDonald/Shutterstock.com

Tybee Island in Georgia charms visitors with its laid-back atmosphere, expansive beach, rich wildlife, and historic lighthouse. It provides a tranquil retreat for relaxation, water activities, and exploring nature.

South Beach, Florida

South Beach, Miami Beach. Florida.
If you seek a pristine beach and vibrant nightlife, South Beach is a popular destination.


South Beach, Florida, is a glamorous and vibrant coastal hotspot renowned for its pristine sands, clear blue waters, trendy nightlife, luxurious resorts, and diverse culinary scene, attracting sun-seekers, party-goers, and culture enthusiasts.

Long Beach, New York

Long Beach Boardwalk - Long Island, New York
An escape from city life is available at Long Beach, with its sandy shoreline and peaceful atmosphere.

©Alon Adika/Shutterstock.com

Long Beach offers a serene escape from the city with its long stretch of sandy shoreline, peaceful atmosphere, opportunities for swimming, surfing, and beach volleyball, and its proximity to various recreational facilities and nearby attractions.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Last Light on Rehoboth Beach,Delaware
Rehoboth Beach is a beach in Delaware that has a charming boardwalk and clean shores.

©Bruce Goerlitz Photo/Shutterstock.com

One of the best east coast beaches, Rehoboth Beach in Delaware offers a delightful coastal experience with its clean sandy shores, a charming boardwalk lined with shops and restaurants, and various recreational activities such as swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, and exploring nearby state parks. Located on the Delaware coast, it provides easy access for visitors from nearby cities.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
A tranquil retreat with pristine beaches, golf courses, and natural beauty is on offer at Hilton Head Island.

©Christian A Perry/Shutterstock.com

Hilton Head Island boasts pristine beaches, lush golf courses, and abundant natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for relaxation, water sports, biking, and wildlife spotting. Its location on the Atlantic coast offers a tranquil retreat with a touch of southern charm.

Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts

A path leads to the sea during the early morning.
Find picturesque trails and varied wildlife at Cape Cod National Seashore.

©James Kirkikis/Shutterstock.com

Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts is a unique coastal treasure renowned for its pristine allure, picturesque trails, and varied wildlife. Tourists can partake in swimming, fishing, camping, and uncovering the delightful coastal hamlets spread across the Cape Cod shoreline. 

Assateague Island, Maryland

Wild pony on the ocean coast at Assateague State Park
Wild ponies roam free along the shoreline of Assateague Island.

©Andrey Vishin/Shutterstock.com

Assateague Island, Maryland, offers a unique beach experience with its untamed beauty, wild horses, and peaceful atmosphere; visitors can enjoy camping, birdwatching, kayaking, and observing the wild ponies that roam freely along the pristine shoreline.

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Cocoa Beach pier in Cape Canaveral of Florida near Orlando
Cocoa Beach has warm waters and consistent waves, making it a preferred destination for surfers.


An amazing beach on the east coast, Cocoa Beach in Florida is a haven for surfers, with its consistent waves, warm waters, and vibrant beach town atmosphere. Visitors can also enjoy fishing, beach volleyball, and exploring the nearby Kennedy Space Center, making it a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

Amelia Island, Florida

Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida
The laid-back coastal atmosphere at Amelia Island is particularly charming.

©Madison Y Photo/Shutterstock.com

Amelia Island exudes a laid-back coastal charm, featuring a beach, historic landmarks, and a wide range of outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, golfing, and exploring nature reserves. The island’s location on Florida’s northeast coast provides a peaceful and picturesque retreat.

Sandbridge Beach, Virginia

Virginia coast at Sandbridge
You’ll find an uncrowded shoreline and clean sand at Sandbridge Beach.

©Alexandr Junek Imaging/Shutterstock.com

Sandbridge Beach in Virginia offers a secluded beach experience with its uncrowded shoreline, clean, bright sands, and abundant nearby wildlife. Visitors can indulge in swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and enjoying the tranquility of this coastal paradise.

Asbury Park, New Jersey

Aerial view of beach goers in Asbury Park, New Jersey on Memorial Day Weekend 2019
A particularly busy beach is Asbury Park in New Jersey.

©Sky Cinema/Shutterstock.com

Asbury Park in New Jersey represents a dynamic seaside hotspot, distinguished by its bustling promenade, thriving music sphere, and diverse art scene. Tourists on this east coast beach can partake in swimming, sunbathing, and cycling while delving into the unique boutiques and diverse eateries lining the waterfront.

Newport, Rhode Island

The Breakers and Cliff Walk aerial view at Newport, Rhode Island RI, USA. The Breakers is a Vanderbilt mansion with Italian Renaissance built in 1895 in Bellevue Avenue Historic District in Newport.
A stunning coastline dotted with beautiful beaches and historic mansions keeps Newport unique.

©Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock.com

Newport in Rhode Island showcases stunning coastal beauty with its historic mansions, picturesque beaches, and world-class sailing opportunities; visitors can enjoy beach activities, tour the magnificent Gilded Age estates, and savor fresh seafood in this charming New England town.

South Beach (Key West), Florida

Pocket Park southernmost beach and waterfront in Key West view, south Florida Keys, United states of America
Key West boasts many stunning beaches, including South Beach.


Key West offers a tropical paradise getaway featuring pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters for snorkeling and diving, lively nightlife, and a vibrant island atmosphere. Visitors can explore historical sites, enjoy water sports and beach days at places such as South Beach, and indulge in the unique blend of Caribbean and American culture.

Duck Beach, North Carolina

Duck North Carolina Beach Sunrise
Pristine beaches and rich biodiversity are on offer at Duck Beach.

©R. L. Taubenberger/Shutterstock.com

Duck Beach in North Carolina is one of the best beaches on the east coast and a captivating seaside haven recognized for its pristine beaches, serene ambiance, and rich biodiversity. Tourists can partake in swimming, fishing, kayaking, and relishing the scenic sunsets that grace this tranquil segment of the Outer Banks.

Narragansett, Rhode Island

Narragansett Beach, Rhode Island. Tower landmark building in distance.
In Rhode Island, Narragansett offers a coastal escape with its sandy beaches and surf spots.

©Laura Stone/Shutterstock.com

Narragansett, located in Rhode Island, offers a scenic coastal escape with its relaxing sandy beaches, excellent surf spots, and a lively beach town atmosphere; visitors can indulge in swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and exploring the charming shops and restaurants along the waterfront.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach South Carolina Drone Skyline Aerial.
Famous for its beautiful and vast sandy beaches is Myrtle Beach.

©Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock.com

Myrtle Beach is a well-known east coast beach celebrated for its vast sandy beaches, thrilling aquatic adventures, attractions suitable for all ages, and lively after-dark scene. Travelers can engage in activities like swimming, jet skiing, golfing, and visiting amusement parks while also partaking in live shows, creating an energetic and varied beachfront retreat.

Ditch Plains, New York

Morning Fishing in the Hamptons
Boasting huge waves, Ditch Plains is a well-known surfers’ beach.


Ditch Plains is a renowned surfers’ paradise with its consistently larger waves, stunning natural scenery, and laid-back atmosphere; visitors can enjoy surfing, sunbathing, picnicking, and exploring the surrounding trails and coastal landscapes in this scenic area of Montauk.

Cape Charles Beach, Virginia

Windy day along the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay in Cape Charles, Virginia
Beautiful, soft, sandy shores and calm waters adorn Cape Charles Beach.


Cape Charles Beach in Virginia is a tranquil coastal escape with its soft sandy shores, calm waters, and stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay. Visitors can enjoy swimming, beachcombing, fishing, and admiring the beautiful sunrises and sunsets along this peaceful stretch of the Eastern Shore.

Long Beach Island, New Jersey

Beach scene on Long Beach Island, New Jersey.  Fence, dunes and moody sky.
Long Beach Island has every amenity you may need, including shopping opportunities and waterfront dining options.

©Carolyn Cochrane/Shutterstock.com

The final best east coast beach on our list is Long Beach Island in New Jersey. This beach is a haven for beachgoers and families. Specifically, its sandy shores, delightful coastal towns, and an array of recreational options, including swimming, boating, and fishing. Further, those are alongside abundant shopping opportunities and waterfront dining, making it a favored destination for those who adore the seaside.

Summary of Best Beaches on the East Coast

Virginia BeachVirginia
Jetties BeachNantucket
East Hampton Main BeachNew York
Palm BeachFlorida
South Beach Martha’s VineyardMassachusetts
Block IslandRhode Island
Saint Andrews Jekyll IslandGeorgia
Cape MayNew Jersey
Beachwalker Park Kiawah IslandSouth Carolina
Race Point ProvincetownMassachusetts
SouthamptonNew York
Cape HatterasNorth Carolina
Gooch’s Beach KennebunkportMaine
Hammonasset Beach MadisonConnecticut
Hampton BeachNew Hampshire
Harvey’s BeachConnecticut
Sand BeachMaine
Fire IslandNew York
Bethany BeachDelaware
Nags HeadNorth Carolina
Ocean CityMaryland
Tybee IslandGeorgia
South BeachFlorida
Long BeachNew York
Rehoboth BeachDelaware
Hilton Head IslandSouth Carolina
Cape Cod National SeashoreMassachusetts
Assateague IslandMaryland
Cocoa BeachFlorida
Amelia IslandFlorida
Sandbridge Beach   Virginia
Asbury ParkNew Jersey
NewportRhode Island
South Beach Key WestFlorida
Duck BeachNorth Carolina
NarragansettRhode Island
Myrtle BeachSouth Carolina
Ditch PlainsNew York
Cape Charles BeachVirginia
Long Beach IslandNew Jersey

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About the Author

I have been a freelance writer for the past 2 years. My two biggest loves in the world are music and animals. I have even gone on to start my own personal blog called Frontman Philosophy. I have a huge love of animals and I love building my knowledge of animals through research. I love sea creatures in particular, my favorite being the octopus because of their intelligence, and I mean, come on, what's not to love! I have a rescue boxer named Dante who is the friendliest pup a man could ask for.

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