With international travel off the cards for the near future, American travellers can at least take comfort in the fact that there’s some amazing beach towns in the USA for a summer staycation. From laidback small towns to food hotspots, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable break in any of these places.
Take your pick from East Coast to West Coast with these top beach towns…
Best Beach Towns in the USA
1. South Padre Island, Texas
Windsurfing, fishing, kayaking, horse-back riding, paddle-boarding- you name it. No beach activity is left behind in this Texas gulf coast town. It’s famous for its wild spring break season, but come at other times of the year for a more relaxed vibe.
Explore the Padre Island National Seashore on an ecological tour, or go horseback riding on the beach.
2. Boca Grande, Florida
When you cross the tiny, narrow bridge onto the island of historic Boca Grande, nestled on the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Florida, expect to find clear blue waters, white sand beaches, good shelling, and incredible tarpon fishing. This affluent town has largely remained under the radar.
Among Boca Grande’s many charms is the Gasparilla Inn & Club, a hidden gem and luxury resort.
3. Paia, Hawaii
Paia is a town of colourful, rustic storefronts filled with local art galleries, one-of-a-kind shopping boutiques and restaurants. It has often been called the “World Capital of Windsurfing”. It’s a fun place on the North Shore.
During the winter, the big north shore waves make Hookipa Beach a magnet for pro windsurfers and kite surfers. There’s also baby turtle spotting opportunities at other beaches.
4. Cannon Beach, Oregon
Only an hour and a half away from Portland, Cannon Beach has art galleries, seafood joints, and even its own distillery! Named one of the world’s 100 most beautiful places by National Geographic, the beach itself has long sandy stretches, tide pools and the famous Haystack Rock.
Sure, it has a cool marine climate most of the year, but with scenery this incredible, who minds a bit of a breeze?
5. Santa Barbara, California
Also called the “American Riviera”, this iconic beach town also has easy access to the Santa Ynez mountains nearby. There’s watersports, whale-watching opportunities and broad, sandy beaches. It has all the Cali vibes with its own unique feel. Santa Barbara does not disappoint when it comes to food and drink, either. You can taste the very best foods that California has to offer.
No wonder that A-List celebs like Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres have homes here…
6. Provincetown, Massachusetts
This centuries-old town has grown to attract artists and has a happening LGBTQ scene. Provincetown is home to beautiful beaches, plenty of art galleries, cute souvenir shops, amazing restaurants, and pretty buildings.
There’s also walking trails and lighthouses. Spend a lazy weekend here eating fresh lobster and exploring Cape Cod.
7. Islamorada, Florida
This scenic beach town is a village of six islands just 90 minutes south of Miami. Islamorada is known as the “Sportfishing Capital of the World”.
It’s perfect for families, with lots of great places to eat and things to do. Go snorkelling in Islamorada’s Cheeca Rocks and Alligator Reef Lighthouse to see some beautiful fish and coral. You’ll get a chance to see dolphins, snorkel the coral reef or end the day with an amazing sunset. It’s a must-visit.
See more great small towns in America here.