I love going to the beach. My Facebook memories remind me of that quite often. As often as I can, I find a way to escape to the beach for some relaxation and fun. Apparently, I’m not alone in my love for the beach. Millions of people visit beaches every single year. In this blog post, we’ll explore the most visited beaches in the United States.
My love for the beach prompted me to use my energy to research which beaches see the most visitors each year. It’s a way for me to cure my curiosity and maybe even give you guys some inspiration for your next beach trip! So, keep reading to find out which beaches in the United States lure the most beachgoers each year!
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What are the most visited beaches in the US?
According to Newsweek, some of the world’s most visited beaches are located in the United States. People from all over the world travel to the U.S. to relax on some of the most beautiful beaches. From Panama City Beach, Florida to Santa Monica, California, America has an estimated 90,000 beaches and the number of visitors has yet to be definitively determined. So, it’s difficult to say exactly which beach has the most visitors.
However, based on estimates, the most visited beaches in the US are beaches located in Florida and California. Beaches in these two states boast the highest numbers of tourists year after year. Beaches in Hawaii and South Carolina attract several thousand visitors annually, too.
South Beach, Miami
Miami attracts about 15 million visitors a year. Most of them find their way to South Beach at some point during their trip. With beautiful white sand, blue sea and plenty of restaurants nearby, it’s not surprising this is one of the most visited beaches in the country.
South Beach not the most peaceful beach to visit, but this might be an excellent choice for you if you enjoy a fun party atmosphere. Expect high crowd levels if you are visiting during spring break, when the music and parties are taken up a notch!
What are the top attractions in South Beach, Miami?
The top five most popular attractions in South Beach, Miami are:
- South Beach (Miami Beach): South Beach itself is the main attraction and draws millions of visitors each year. Known for its iconic Art Deco architecture, beautiful white sand beaches, and vibrant atmosphere, South Beach offers a mix of relaxation, entertainment, and people-watching. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, beach volleyball, and water sports, as well as explore the nearby Ocean Drive with its colorful buildings, trendy restaurants, and lively nightlife.
- Lincoln Road Mall: Located in the heart of South Beach, Lincoln Road Mall is a pedestrianized shopping and entertainment street. It features a wide array of boutiques, galleries, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Visitors can stroll along the promenade, enjoy al fresco dining, shop for fashion, art, and souvenirs, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere. Lincoln Road Mall is also known for its street performers and frequent events and festivals.
- Art Deco Historic District: South Beach is renowned for its Art Deco architecture, and the Art Deco Historic District is a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts. The district spans several blocks and showcases over 800 preserved buildings from the 1930s and 1940s, characterized by their pastel colors, geometric shapes, and sleek designs. Visitors can take guided walking or bike tours to learn about the history and significance of these architectural gems.
- Ocean Drive: Ocean Drive is an iconic street that runs parallel to the beach and is lined with Art Deco hotels, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. It is a vibrant and energetic area, particularly known for its lively nightlife scene. Visitors can enjoy outdoor dining, experience the bustling atmosphere, and soak in the Miami Beach ambiance. Ocean Drive is also home to the famous Versace Mansion, now known as The Villa Casa Casuarina.
- Miami Beach Botanical Garden: For those seeking a tranquil retreat from the vibrant energy of South Beach, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden offers a serene oasis. Spanning 2.6 acres, the garden features lush landscapes, native and exotic plants, ponds, and sculptures. Visitors can take peaceful walks, attend educational programs and events, and appreciate the natural beauty within the heart of the city.
Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
Located on the most popular of the Hawaiian islands, Oahu, Waikiki beach is visited by most tourists to the island. Waikiki has an endless choice of hotels and is used as a base for most visitors to explore the island. It’s also close to the airport, which makes it a popular choice for visitors, too.
Waikiki Beach stretches a good distance and gets quieter as you head out of the main tourist area. You can access restaurants and shops within minutes from the beach, so it’s the perfect place to visit at any time of the day. Make sure you don’t miss the incredible views of Waikiki from the Diamond Head hike nearby!
What are the top attractions in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii?
The top attractions in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii are:
- Waikiki Beach: Waikiki Beach itself is the main attraction and one of the most famous beaches in the world. With its golden sands and turquoise waters, it offers a perfect setting for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying water sports like surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and canoeing. Visitors can rent beach equipment, take surf lessons, or simply relax under the shade of an umbrella while taking in the breathtaking views of Diamond Head.
- Diamond Head State Monument: Diamond Head is an iconic volcanic crater located near Waikiki Beach. It offers a scenic hiking trail that leads to the summit, where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Waikiki, Honolulu, and the Pacific Ocean. The trail takes you through tunnels, steep stairs, and bunkers, providing a unique and rewarding outdoor adventure.
- Waikiki Aquarium: The Waikiki Aquarium is a popular attraction that showcases the vibrant marine life of Hawaii and the Pacific. Visitors can explore various exhibits featuring colorful tropical fish, sharks, corals, and other fascinating creatures. The aquarium offers educational programs, daily feedings, and interactive displays, making it an engaging experience for all ages.
- Honolulu Zoo: Located near the eastern end of Waikiki Beach, the Honolulu Zoo is home to a diverse collection of animals from around the world. Visitors can see elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, reptiles, and many other species. The zoo features lush gardens and offers educational programs, animal encounters, and guided tours.
- International Market Place: The International Market Place is a renowned open-air shopping center in the heart of Waikiki. It features a mix of high-end boutiques, local shops, and restaurants. Visitors can browse for souvenirs, apparel, jewelry, and unique Hawaiian crafts. The marketplace also hosts live entertainment, cultural performances, and events throughout the year.
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Santa Monica, California
Located close to Venice Beach, and about thirty minutes from Los Angeles, Santa Monica receives over 7 million visitors each year. Visitors love to take in the Santa Monica Pier with its fun rides and attractions. Relaxing on the beach is another activity that visitors to Santa Monica love. Don’t miss out on Muscle Beach, an excellent spot for people-watching!
What are the top attractions in Santa Monica, California?
- Santa Monica Pier: The Santa Monica Pier is a must-visit attraction and an iconic symbol of the city. It offers a wide range of activities and entertainment for visitors of all ages. You can take a ride on the Ferris wheel, roller coaster, and other amusement park rides at Pacific Park, enjoy games and arcade fun, explore the Aquarium, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the pier while enjoying the beautiful ocean views.
- Third Street Promenade: Located in downtown Santa Monica, the Third Street Promenade is a vibrant pedestrian street filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, street performers, and entertainment options. Visitors can indulge in retail therapy, dine at diverse eateries, catch a movie at the theater, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere. The Promenade is also known for its art galleries, street art, and frequent live performances.
- Santa Monica State Beach: Santa Monica State Beach is a beautiful stretch of coastline offering sandy beaches, blue waters, and a variety of recreational activities. Visitors can sunbathe, swim, play beach volleyball, or engage in water sports such as surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. The beach is also home to the original Muscle Beach, where fitness enthusiasts can watch or participate in outdoor workouts and acrobatics.
- Santa Monica Pier Aquarium: Situated beneath the Santa Monica Pier, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium provides an opportunity to discover and learn about the marine life of the Pacific Ocean. The aquarium features interactive exhibits, touch tanks, educational programs, and marine animal feedings. Visitors can observe local sea creatures, including sharks, rays, octopuses, and colorful fish.
- Palisades Park: Palisades Park is a scenic park overlooking the Pacific Ocean and offering breathtaking views of the coastline. It provides a peaceful retreat from the bustling city and is ideal for picnics, leisurely walks, or jogging along the well-maintained pathways. The park is adorned with beautiful gardens, palm trees, and benches where visitors can relax while enjoying the ocean breeze and sunset views.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
A popular spot with locals and visitors alike, Myrtle Beach offers a more laid-back beach experience and a more refined vacation destination. The area is renowned for fresh seafood, and there is plenty to keep families busy along the beachfront. This is the perfect spot to rent a vacation home with your extended family. You can relax and enjoy a view overlooking the crashing waves.
What are the top attractions in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?
The top attractions in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina are:
- Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade: The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade stretches for 1.2 miles along the oceanfront, offering a lively atmosphere with shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment options. Visitors can enjoy scenic views of the beach, take a leisurely stroll, ride the SkyWheel for panoramic views, play arcade games, and indulge in delicious local cuisine.
- Broadway at the Beach: Broadway at the Beach is a popular entertainment complex that features a wide array of attractions, including shopping, dining, nightlife, and family-friendly activities. Visitors can explore specialty shops, catch a movie at the cinema, experience thrilling rides and games at the amusement park, watch live shows and performances, or visit the Ripley’s Aquarium for an up-close look at marine life.
- Myrtle Beach State Park: Located just south of the main tourist area, Myrtle Beach State Park offers a tranquil natural setting with beautiful beaches, camping grounds, and hiking trails. Visitors can relax on the pristine shores, go fishing from the pier, observe native wildlife, have a picnic, or explore the park’s maritime forest. The park also provides educational programs and nature center exhibits.
- The Carolina Opry: The Carolina Opry is a renowned music and variety show that showcases talented performers in a state-of-the-art theater. Visitors can enjoy live music, singing, dancing, and comedy acts, featuring a mix of genres such as country, rock, pop, and Broadway hits. The show offers an entertaining evening for the whole family.
- Myrtle Beach SkyWheel: The Myrtle Beach SkyWheel is a prominent landmark and an exciting attraction that provides stunning views of the coastline. Standing at 187 feet tall, it offers climate-controlled gondolas that take visitors on a peaceful and scenic ride above the city. Riding the SkyWheel at sunset or during the evening offers a particularly enchanting experience.
Clearwater Beach, Florida
In the perfect location for a day trip from Orlando, Clearwater Beach receives sunshine almost every day of the year! The perfect escape from the local theme parks, this is a naturally beautiful beach and allows for a relaxing day out. You can enjoy water sports and outdoor dining here, and make sure you take a trip to Pier 60 to watch the sunset. This is a great beach for all ages and is a good twin-center vacation option to pair with Orlando.
What are the top attractions in Clearwater Beach, Florida?
The top attractions in Clearwater Beach, Florida are:
- Clearwater Beach: Clearwater Beach itself is the main attraction and one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. Its pristine white sands, clear turquoise waters, and gentle waves make it a perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and beach activities. Visitors can also enjoy water sports such as parasailing, jet skiing, and paddleboarding. The beach is known for its stunning sunsets, so make sure to catch the daily sunset celebration at Pier 60.
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium: The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a popular attraction known for its rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine animals, particularly dolphins and sea turtles. Visitors can see the resident dolphins, including the famous Winter, star of the movie “Dolphin Tale.” The aquarium offers educational exhibits, interactive experiences, and opportunities to learn about marine conservation.
- Pier 60: Located on Clearwater Beach, Pier 60 is a vibrant hub of activity. It offers fishing opportunities, beautiful views of the beach, and a lively atmosphere. Visitors can stroll along the pier, shop for local crafts and souvenirs at the nightly sunset market, enjoy street performers, and participate in family-friendly events and festivals. The pier is also a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts.
- Clearwater Beach Walk: The Clearwater Beach Walk is a scenic pathway that stretches for 2.5 miles along the beachfront. It offers a pedestrian-friendly route for walking, jogging, or cycling while enjoying panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. The walk features parks, recreational areas, and public art installations, providing a pleasant and relaxing experience.
- Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise: For a unique and family-friendly adventure, Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise offers a fun-filled experience aboard a pirate-themed ship. Visitors can set sail on a pirate adventure, complete with pirate stories, games, music, and treasure hunts. The cruise provides entertainment for all ages and is a memorable way to explore the waters surrounding Clearwater Beach.
What are some other popular beaches in the United States?
- Huntington Beach, California
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Malibu Beach, California
- South Beach, Florida
- Panama City Beach, Florida
- Coronado Beach, California
- La Jolla Cove, California
- Jones Beach, New York
- Siesta Key Beach, Florida
- Cannon Beach, Oregon
- Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
- Laguna Beach, California
- Cape May Beach, New Jersey
- Long Beach, California
- Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
- Kiawah Island, South Carolina
- Montauk Beach, New York
- Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
- Newport Beach, California
- Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
- Emerald Isle Beach, North Carolina
- Pfeiffer Beach, California
- Folly Beach, South Carolina
- Block Island Beach, Rhode Island
- St. Augustine Beach, Florida
- Outer Banks Beach, North Carolina
- Cannon Beach, Oregon
- Bethany Beach, Delaware
- Tybee Island Beach, Georgia
- Cape Cod Beach, Massachusetts
- South Padre Island, Texas
- Ocean City Beach, Maryland
- Atlantic City Beach, New Jersey
- Gulf Shores Beach, Alabama
- Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
- Sanibel Island Beach, Florida
- Hilton Head Beach, South Carolina
- Bethany Beach, Delaware
- Carmel Beach, California
- Hapuna Beach, Hawaii
- Gulfport Beach, Mississippi
- Paradise Cove Beach, Hawaii
- Pensacola Beach, Florida
- Sandbridge Beach, Virginia
- St. Pete Beach, Florida
What family beach essentials should you have?
If you travel to the beach frequently, there are certain items that you should have on hand. Quality sunglasses, swimwear, towels, and sunscreen top the list. But, there are also things you might not have thought about that may help you have a better experience while you’re at the beach.
Check out my list of beach essentials to make sure you pack everything you need for your next escape to the sea!
Beach items also make great gifts for the people in your life who love the beach.
There you have the most-visited beaches in the United States. Have you visited any of these beaches before? Where do you have planned for your next beach trip? Let me know in the comments below!