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best east coast beaches

10 Of The Best East Coast Beaches In The US

Whether you’re seeking a sandy stretch that feels like it’s yours alone or buzzing party spots, we have all the top spots on our list of the best East Coast beaches in the US.

There’s scenic lake shores, there’s plenty of sandy stretches for summer – and winter – strolls ‘n’ swims. West Coast who?

Best East Coast beaches in the US

1. Driftwood Beach – Jekyll Island, Georgia

This unusual – yet impossibly beautiful – beach in Georgia is truly magical. The beach and its iconic driftwood formed as a result of decades of erosion, and now the gnarly trees create a mysterious landscape.

The best time to visit is at low tide, when you can stroll barefoot along the shore and see the driftwood shapes in silhouette against the setting sun. Not only is Driftwood Beach one of the best East Coast beaches, it’s now the best.

2. Myrtle Beach – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

A legendary beach in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach is a long stretch of soft sand with plenty of entertainment once you’ve splashed about in the waters. For beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean, take a leisurely stroll on the oceanfront boardwalk and promenade.

3. Madaket Beach – Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket has more than its fair share of spectacular beaches, with none more beautiful than Madaket Beach. It’s located on the far west coast of the island and has a relaxed vibe. Ditch the car and cycle out to this beach for one of the best sunsets you’ll ever see.

4. Virginia Beach – Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach’s main stretch of sand, the Oceanfront has a three-mile-long boardwalk that’s perfect for biking or strolling along with Atlantic Ocean views in the background. Surfers come for the waves, while golden sand and colourful umbrellas make it a hotspot for sunbathers.

5. Coney Island – New York City, New York

New York City’s most famous summer spot, Coney Island has thrills, sun, surf and the legendary wooden Cyclone rollercoaster. Its world-renowned boardwalk stretches along the sand with views of the Atlantic Ocean. A day spent here on a hot summer’s day is an essential NYC experience.

best east coast beaches

6. Cumberland Island National Seashore – St. Marys, Georgia

St Marys is the gateway to Cumberland Island, Georgia’s largest and southernmost barrier island. The seashore here is dotted with sweeping white sand dunes, and peaceful, pristine beaches. The waves lap gently against the sand and are the perfect backdrop on a warm day.

best east coast beaches

7. Sand Beach – Acadia National Park, Maine

Sand Beach has long been considered the most popular beach in Acadia National park, and is the best spot for swimming – if you’re up for braving the chilly waters! The beach is made up of unique sand of shell fragments created by the pounding surf, giving it a gorgeous gleam.

best east coast beaches

8. Rockaway Beach – New York City, New York

“We can hitch a ride/To Rockaway Beach”... the infamous Queens beach is popular with everyone, from surfers to swimmers to the Ramones. The beach contains the only two surf beaches in the five boroughs, but there’s plenty for non-surfers too. Cute beach bars and a buzzing vibe make this one of the essential East Coast beaches in America.

best east coast beaches

9. South Beach Miami – Miami, Florida

South Beach (SoBe) sums up Miami to tee – it’s trendy and quirky with a glittering nightlife. Chill out at the beach itself or take in South Beach’s historic Art Deco architecture.

South Beach also has a whimsical collection of colourful lifeguard huts – a definite must-see. It’s fun and totally unique to Miami.

best east coast beaches

10. Hammonasset Beach State Park – Madison, Connecticut

Connecticut’s largest shoreline park offers over two miles of beach that’s an ideal place for swimming, seasonal camping, picnicking, saltwater fishing, scuba diving, hiking and boating. Basically, this pretty beach has it all.

best east coast beaches

Sarah Clayton-Lea
Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder and global head of content of Big 7 Travel, 26-year-old Sarah created the company through her passion for discovering the world's best food and travel experiences. Formerly based in Dublin, Ireland, she now travels the world sharing her finds with our readers - a community that loves travel just as much as we do.

Contact [email protected]

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