Best Beaches on the East Coast, United States

Everyone is planning a luxury beach vacation in Hawaii, Bora Bora, Tahiti, or Bali. But, did you forget that there are some of the best beaches on the East Coast of the United States? Obviously, the East Coast, which stretches from Maine to Florida, offers plenty of clean, sandy, attractive, and scenic beaches.

For example, Menemsha Public Beach, South Beach Miami, Tybee Island Beach, Coney Island Beach, Siesta Key Beach, Newport Beach, Cape May Beach, and Ocean City Beach are highlights.

Especially, each of these East Coast beaches is diverse and has unique features. So, whether you are looking for a romantic beach vacation, family beach vacation, sporty beach vacation with your friends, or a solo luxury beach vacation, East Coast beaches are ready to cover all.

Here’s the list of the best beaches on the East Coast of the United States. Add them all to your travel bucket list. (from Maine to Florida)

Best Beaches on the East Coast

1. Kennebunk and Kennebunkport Beaches, Maine

Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are adjacent coastal towns that are known for long, white sandy beaches in Maine. Therefore, they have been a destination for wealthy Americans in the past. But, now these towns are famous among every beach lover.

Scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean, whale watching chances, long, white sandy beaches, and world-class shopping experiences are the most delightful features of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport.

There are plenty of small shops, art galleries, celebrity homes, and delicious restaurants as well.

Kennebunk is a perfect beach destination to visit in the summer and fall as there are so many fun activities are going on. Especially, the environment is colorful and attractive in the Fall.

Gooch's Beach, Kennebunk, Maine
Gooch’s Beach, Kennebunk, Maine

Particularly, the kid-friendly beaches, Goose Rocks Beach and Gooch’s Beach, are more popular among family vacationers. So, you can see kids are building sandcastles, hunting sand dollars, skimboarding, splashing, swimming, surfing, and kayaking in the summer.

No need to worry about the safety and facilities as lifeguards, enough parking space, and porta potty facilities are available.

Address: Kennebunk, ME 04043, United States

Best Beaches on the East Coast

2. Best Beaches on the East Coast: Bar Harbor, Maine

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Maine is Bar Harbor, a town located in Mount Desert Island, Frenchman Bay.

Neighboring Acadia National Park on one side and the stunning Atlantic Ocean on the other side, Bar Harbor is truly a paradise for any traveler.

Whether you are looking for hiking Mount Desert Island’s Cadillac Mountain, camping in the Acadia National Park, visiting Cranberry Islands, visiting the famous Sand Beach, or whatever Bar Harbor covers them all.

Best Beaches on the East Coast Sand Beach, Bar Harbor, Maine
Sand Beach, Bar Harbor, Maine

Also, Bar Harbor beaches are famous for whale watching, lighthouse touring, and relaxing shore walks as well. Perched by very large seaside rocks, Bar Harbor beaches offer you views of mountains, unique rocks, sandy spots, and scenic ocean views simultaneously.

The most famous Bar Harbor beaches are:

  • Sand Beach on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island (6 miles long).
  • Echo Lake Beach on the western side of Mount Desert Island.
  • Seal Harbor Public Beach on the southeastern side of Mount Desert Island.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

3. Best Beaches on the East Coast: Ogunquit, Maine

Ogunquit is a beautiful beach town located on the southern coast of Maine (Lying between the Ogunquit River and the Atlantic Ocean). It is filled with various exciting things to do by any traveler.

The meaning of Ogunquit is “beautiful place by the sea.” Exactly, it is. Therefore, this was a paradise for painters, songwriters, movie writers, and many other artists in the world since the 19th century.

Still, thousands of tourists are attracted to Ogunquit to enjoy its stunning seashore, bright sunshine, and art.

Best Beaches on the East Coast Ogunquit Beach, Maine
Ogunquit Beach, Maine

Ogunquit Beach stretches for 3 miles and contains white sand and grassy dunes. So, it is ideal for body surfing, shell hunting, and sunbathing.

That’s why it considers as one of the best beaches on the East Coast.

Aside from the stunning beach, art plays a major role in this town. Obviously, its stunning nature naturally has created an art-friendly environment for talented artists. If you are an art lover, there are so many things to do in Ogunquit.

For example, you can visit many art galleries, musicals at the Ogunquit Playhouse summer theater, and the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, which contains unique waterside sculptures.

So, surely add Ogunquit Beach to the top of your list.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

4. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

Hampton Beach is a famous beach town located near the New Hampshire coast. Its lively boardwalk, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, Ocean World Oceanarium, and Hampton Beach State Park are the most attractive tourist places.

Since this is a fun, family-friendly beach destination, people come with their kids to enjoy the sun and sea.

Also, the beach offers you plenty of pizzerias, souvenir shops, ice cream parlors, kids’ arcades, carnival food vendors, clam shacks, and live music along its famous Broadwalk.

Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

There are so many celebrations and fun festivals in the summer. For example, sand sculpting events, sailboat racing competitions, kite festivals, nightly concerts, and more.

Also, you can catch live shows of famous singers and comedians at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.

Another fun thing to do with your kids when you are in Hampton Beach visiting the Ocean World Oceanarium.

And do not miss visiting Hampton Beach State Park, which is located on the southeastern edge of New Hampshire. It is a 50-acre state park that provides scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Address: NH-1A, Hampton, NH 03842, United States

Hampton Beach all about beach fun and entertainment. So, plan it for this summer.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

5. Best Beaches on the East Coast: Menemsha Public Beach, Massachusetts

Looking for a relaxing beach for swimming? Menemsha Public Beach in Chilmark, Massachusetts, offers you calm waters and perfect surf for swimming. Also, it offers scenic views of the Cuttyhunk, other Elizabeth Islands, and Martha’s Vineyard.

Lifeguards are always on duty, and other beach amenities are also available. So, totally safe and perfect for swimmers. But, bring extra towels as the water is a little chill.

Since Menemsha is a small fishing village, you can observe many fishing boats coming to its small harbor.

So, try to visit in the early evenings, to catch the boats and the fantastic sunset.

Menemsha Public Beach, Massachusetts
Menemsha Public Beach, Massachusetts

As this beach does not attract too much crowd, you can spend a relaxing evening with your loved ones. So, do not forget to bring your favorite bottle of wine, snacks, and seafood packed with a blanket to make a lovely New England-style beach evening.

Obviously, since this is a fishing village, you can easily find fresh fish and fresh, tasty seafood meals. For example, Larsen’s Fish Market is one of the best places to grab seafood.

Menemsha Public Beach has a colorful collection of sea glass which you are allowed to pick some favorites. So, your kids will love it.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

6. Best Beaches on the East Coast: Cape Cod Beach, Massachusetts

Cape Cod is a famous summertime destination located in Massachusetts.

It is a hook-shaped peninsula filled with seafood shacks, traditional villages, lighthouses, marshlands, forests, a bay, ponds, and magnificent beaches. That means Cape Cod is truly a paradise for nature lovers.

This beautiful peninsula boasts long sandy beaches that offer whale watching, chartered fishing cruises, lighthouse tours, scenic bike trails, and many beach activities.

Therefore, Cape Cod has some of the best beaches on the East Coast.

Cape Cod Beach, Massachusetts
Cape Cod Beach, Massachusetts

For example;

  • Mayflower Beach is ideal for families.
  • Marconi Beach on Cape Cod National Seashore is perfect for swimmers and watching seals.
  • Race Point Beach is ideal for surfers.
  • Veterans Park Beach is a small, charming beach suitable for picnickers.
  • Ballston Beach is a scenic Cape Code beach ideal for any water sport.
  • Sandy Neck Beach is famous for exciting walking trails and exploring diverse nature in Cape Code.
  • Nauset Beach is ideal for summer vacationers.

There are some more pristine beaches. That’s why Cape Cod is one of the most visited beach destinations in the world. So, do not hesitate to plan your summer beach vacation to Cape Cod.

Looking for the best hotels to stay in Cape Cod?? Here are some options that match your budget and other requirements.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

7. Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts

Coast Guard Beach is also another wonderful beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It is located in the stunning beach town, Eastham.

Being a part of the Cape Cod National Seashore Coast Guard Beach features unique dunes, large marshlands, big waves, soft sand, seals, sharks, and more exciting things.

Therefore, this beach is perfect if you are looking to escape from the hustle world.

Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts
Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts

Although Coast Guard Beach is not suitable for swimming as it has big waves, cold water, and sharks, it is suitable for expert surfers. If you are in here with kids, surely pay attention.

Also, its soft sand offers you a chance to play beach games like volleyball comfortably.

Coast Guard Beach’s on-site parking is only allowed for residents. So, the best way is to catch the free shuttle that runs from the Little Creek parking lot on Doane Road.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

8. Jetties Beach, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

Nantucket Island is a stunning isolated island located in Massachusetts. It is a famous summer destination as well. And it offers plenty of wonderful dune-backed beaches for beach lovers.

For example, Jetties Beach on Nantucket Island one of the favorite beaches among locals.

Located a quick bus ride away from Broad Street, Jetties Beach offers you crystal clear water, clean sand, and scenic views of the ocean.

It literary begs you to swim. Obviously, its gentle waves and warm water make it a perfect swimming destination as well.

Also, its sandbar runs for a considerable distance and offers shallow water. That means the beach is a safe swimming zone, even for kids.

Jetties Beach, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
Jetties Beach, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

On the other hand, its nearby playground is ideal for playing any beach game. If you like fishing, Jetties Beach is perfect for that too. It is rich in bluefish, bonito, striped bass, and many other fish varieties. So, just rent a boat to catch some fish.

After swimming, playing beach games, and fishing, you may surely feel hungry. The Sandbar restaurant is waiting for you.

It is an impressive open-air restaurant that serves you grilled fish, sandwiches, tasty snacks, burgers, and more delicious food items for affordable prices.

Jetties Beach on Nantucket Island has all the features for a perfect family beach vacation. Isn’t it?

Best Beaches on the East Coast

9. Best Beaches on the East Coast: Newport Beach, Rhode Island

Newport is a famous beach destination in Rhode Island that stretches for 400 miles of coastline. Especially among wealthy people in the United States. Therefore, you can plenty of impressive summer vacation bungalows in front of the Newport coastline.

Apart from that, Newport RI is famous for its annual music festivals, folk music, and jazz music. Therefore, Newport attracts travelers who love pristine beaches, nature, and music.

Newport Cliff Walk is one of the most scenic beach walks in the country. It covers all the impressive mansions, lighthouses, and other major attractions in Newport.

Newport Beach, Rhode Island
Newport Beach, Rhode Island

Apart from that, Newport has plenty of fun beaches. For example:

  • Easton’s Beach is a fun beach located at the beginning of Cliff Walk is more famous for water sports, fun concerts, kids’ play zones, and many other beach activities. (explained below)
  • Gooseberry Beach is a calm and relaxing beach located along Ocean Drive.
  • Fort Adams State Beach is a small swimming-friendly beach on Ocean Drive.
  • King Park is an ideal beach for picnickers.

After visiting New Port’s beaches and Cliff Walk, you can try Norman Bird Sanctuary to observe birds and wildlife for a difference.

However, Newport is undoubtedly a wonderful beach town located on the East Coast. Surely try.

Looking for more things to do in Newport RI? Here’s the list.  

Best Beaches on the East Coast

10. Block Island Beach, Rhode Island

Block Island is an island located in New Shoreham, Rhode Island. Its 1800s Southeast Lighthouse on the Mohegan Bluffs and the North Lighthouse are the most iconic landmarks.

Apart from that, Block Island is a famous beach destination on the east coast as well.

Filled with diverse, untouched beaches, this island offers you a great opportunity to escape from the busy world. Yes, its beaches are natural, wild, and secluded.

Spreading for 17 miles of attractive coastline, Block Island’s beaches are surrounded by rolling green hills, wild walking trails, and bike trails. So, you can try hiking, biking, and paddleboarding like activities on these beaches.

Block Island Beach, Rhode Island
Block Island Beach, Rhode Island

Some of the most popular beaches on Block Island are:

Cow Cove is a famous scenic beach.

Charlestown Beach is a family-friendly beach ideal for watching the sunset.

Baby Beach is a secluded locals’ favorite beach for swimming.

Surf Beach is obviously ideal for surfing and snorkeling.

Black Rock Beach is the best surfing destination on Block Island.

Mohegan Bluffs Beach is famous for its 200-foot tall cliffs and scenic views.

That’s why Block Island is on this list. It is truly an amazing beach destination on the East Coast, USA.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

11. Easton’s Beach (First Beach), Rhode Island

Easton’s Beach or First Beach is a fun beach located in Newport, Rhode Island. It features entertaining seasonal events, any beach rental, a 1950s carousel, a snack bar, a shop with anything you need, and many other facilities.

Being the largest beach in Newport, it starts at the Cliff Walk, the biggest tourist attraction in the area.

Easton's Beach (First Beach), Rhode Island
Easton’s Beach

And there’s a raised walking path along the beach that leads you to some of the most impressive Newport mansions. For example, Marble House, Rosecliff, Beechwood, and The Breakers. Also, this path offers you spectacular views of the Rhode Island Sound.

But, be careful as sometimes this path disappears, and you may have to walk on slippery rocks.

Although a bit rocky, Easton’s Beach has a white sand area that runs for three-quarters of a mile. Also, it has a well-kept boardwalk.

Some areas of the beach are covered with red seaweed.

The only challenging thing in Easton’s Beach is parking. But, coming early can avoid it too.

Address: 175 Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI 02840, United States   Phone: +1 401-845-5810

Best Beaches on the East Coast

12. Best Beaches on the East Coast: Bridgeport Seaside Park, Connecticut

Bridgeport is an old seaport city located in Connecticut, United States. And it is the largest city in the state as well. So, simply Bridgeport is a combination of history and wonderful nature. Especially stunning beaches.

If you are looking for a family-friendly beach destination for a day trip, Bridgeport Seaside Park is perfect. It is located in Bridgeport’s South End neighborhood.

It is a part that shows the perfect combination of history and nature. That’s why it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Bridgeport Seaside Park, Connecticut
Bridgeport Seaside Park

Bridgeport Seaside Park’s 3 miles long beach is the most attractive thing. It was designed in the 1860s and perfect for swimming, even for kids. Its gentle waves help it.

On the other hand, nature lovers can walk along the park’s nature trails towards its western tip. Then you will find the adventurous breakwater. Just cross the breakwater to reach Fayerweather Island nature preserve and experience more nature.

Bridgeport Seaside Park is surely one of the places on the East Coast to visit with your whole family.

Address: 1 Barnum Dyke, Bridgeport, CT 06604, United States

Best Beaches on the East Coast

13. Best Beaches on the East Coast: Coney Island Beach, New York

Coney Island is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. It is an entertaining summer destination that attracts thousands of locals and tourists each year.

Why does it attract such a crowd? Because it features an entertaining beach with soft sand and cool water. So, this whole beach turns into one beach party every summer.

Swimming, sunbathing, and entertaining are the obvious things to do on Coney Island Beach.

Coney Island Beach, New York

You can ride the iconic Wonder Wheel, a 150-foot-tall eccentric Ferris wheel in Coney Island, while getting breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Also, another fun amusement park near the beach is Luna Park that features the famous Cyclone roller coaster.

Aside from those amusement parks, Coney Island Beach always has Circus Sideshows, street performers, and many other summer events. For example, the Mermaid Parade and the hot-dog-eating contest every June.

Expect to have too much crowd every day in the summer.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

14. Best Beaches on the East Coast: Montauk, New York

Montauk is a small beach village located at the east end of the Long Island peninsula, New York. So, obviously, it is famous for its wonderful sandy beaches, scenic views, and diverse wildlife.

If you visit Montauk, you can experience mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, camping, playing tennis, golf, and plenty of other outdoor activities.

Best Beaches on the East Coast Montauk, New York
Montauk Beach, New York

On the other hand, Montauk Beaches are perfect for almost every watersport. For example, SCUBA diving, kite surfing, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, jetski, and many more.

Montauk Lighthouse is also a famous tourist attraction located at the easternmost point of Long Island. You can visit there too.

After doing so many fun things, you can visit a restaurant to eat delicious seafood as there are plenty of dining options and hotels in Montauk. Also, there are many shopping options as well.

That’s Montauk became a famous family travel destination. Especially among beach lovers.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

15. Main Beach, East Hampton, New York

Another attractive beach destination on the East Coast is Main Beach, East Hampton, NY. It is a popular summer beach that contains clear sand and water.

Therefore, even celebrities visit this awesome Hampton beach in the summer. So, you may probably meet your celebrity crush there.

Main Beach, East Hampton, New York
Main Beach, East Hampton

Main Beach is totally a swim worthy beach. But waves are quite powerful. But, there’s a lifeguard. So, no need to worry about safety. Still, it is not ideal for kids. So, watch out.

If you worry about other facilities, Main Beach contains a pavilion, bathrooms, a snack bar, and any other amenity you are looking for.

Another attractive thing about Main Beach is the incredible mansions located along the shore. So, do not miss taking a walk to see them.

The most challenging thing when visiting Main Beach is obviously parking because it allows only for permits. But, there are several parking lots nearby. Especially, you can find them on weekends. However, try to visit as early as possible.

Address: 101 Ocean Ave, East Hampton, NY 11937, United States 

Best Beaches on the East Coast

16. Best Beaches on the East Coast: Cape May Beach, New Jersey

Cape May is a lovely seaside resort located at the tip of southern New Jersey’s Cape May Peninsula. So, you can obviously experience swimming, boating, fishing, and any other fun water activity.

Stretching for 127 miles along the Jersy Shore, Cape May Beach converts into one large beach party in the summer. Yeah, it is filled with fun and entertaining things, especially in the summer.

Cape May Beach, New Jersey
Cape May Beach, New Jersey

And Cape May Beach is more famous for the unique grand Victorian houses located along the beach. For example, the Emlen Physick Estate and Museum.

Also, this charming beach has some relaxing and quiet areas as well. Cape May Beach in New Jersey is a good option for those who expect to escape from the hustle.

Since there are all the amenities like luxury hotels, sports equipment rentals, art shows, shops, and restaurants, there is no need to worry about facilities.

If you like to get scenic views of the whole area, just head to the Cape May Lighthouse, which offers you views of the magnificent Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

When you are done with the sun and beaches, surely visit the Cape May County Park and Zoo and Cape May Fireman’s Museum located near the beach.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

17. Best Beaches on the East Coast: Ocean City, New Jersey

Are you looking for more fun beach destinations in New Jersey? Well, take a look at Ocean City, located on the Jersey Shore.

Stretching for 8 miles, Ocean City shoreline is home to some of the best beaches on the East Coast.

Best Beaches on the East Coast Ocean City, New Jersey
Ocean City, New Jersey

Ocean City is all about beach fun and entertainment. Especially, its boardwalk helps you with that. It contains plenty of eateries, shops, restrooms, amusement parks, or whatever you expect to have in a beach city.

But, keep in mind, Ocean City is an alcohol-free area. So, you can take your kids without any doubt.

The most highlighted amusement parks are Playland’s Castaway Cove and Gillian’s Wonderland Pier.

Playland’s Castaway Cove features themed mini-golf courses and several fun roller coasters, while Gillian’s Wonderland Pier features the Giant Wheel, a classic ride wheel.

For nature lovers, Ocean City offers Corson’s Inlet State Park. It is a state park that contains a boat launch, exciting nature trails through its dunes and wetlands, and plenty of shorebirds.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

18. Wildwood Crest Beach, New Jersey

Wildwood Crest Beach is a wonderful kids-friendly beach in New Jersey.

Major kids-friendly features of Wildwood Crest Beach are safe waves, having 24 hours trained lifeguards service, and being an alcohol-free beach.

Aside from that, Wildwood Crest is a beautiful coastline to have a relaxing time with anyone.

Wildwood Crest Beach, New Jersey
Wildwood Crest Beach, New Jersey

Especially, Wildwood Crest’s summer months offer plenty of entertaining events for the whole family. For example, yoga and fitness classes, concerts, and many more.

Wildwood Crest’s Rambler Beach is perfect for you as there are no kayakers and swimmers if you are a surfer.

Don’t worry about dining and accommodation. Wildwood Crest Beach has plenty of options that match your budget.

The only drawback of Wildwood Crest Beach is pets are not allowed.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

19. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach is an entertaining Atlantic Coast town in Delaware.

Its long boardwalk along the beach presents plenty of entertaining events, shops, restaurants, shops, hotels, and amusements.

The summer is obviously the most attractive season in Rehoboth Beach. Rehoboth Beach Bandstand features free live shows, concerts, and parties for entertainers.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Other than that, Rehoboth Beach features many family-friendly events. For example, Elvis festival, a film festival, a pet festival, Parades, contests, and many other celebrations throughout the year.

Rehoboth Beach is also famous for its great hotels, lavish homes, and delicious dining options.

Aside from those fancy features, Rehoboth Beach is ideal for any kind of water activity as well. So, it attracts many kayakers, swimmers, surfers, and sailors from all over the country.

On the other hand, Rehoboth Beach Museum features the town’s history through vintage exhibits like books, postcards, etc.

Plan your Rehoboth Beach tour for this summer.

Best Beaches on the East Coast

20. Best Beaches on the East Coast: Ocean City, Maryland

Another Ocean City on the East Coast. But, this one is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Isle of Wight Bay in Maryland. Ocean City, Maryland, is also an entertaining resort town that offers you tons of fun things to do.

Miles of attractive beach, entertaining wooden boardwalk, and Trimper’s Rides Theme Park are the most attractive features of Ocean City, Maryland.

Best Beaches on the East Coast Ocean City, Maryland
Ocean City, Maryland

Being one of the best family vacation spots in the United States, Ocean City Beach is perfect for any kind of water activity as well. Ex: boating, kayaking, swimming, surfing, and more.

Other fun beach activities are playing beach volleyball, picnicking, night camping, parades, kite flying, and more.

Ocean City offers great accommodation options and campgrounds near the beach for those coming from outside of Maryland. Also, this beach city has many dining and shopping options that match any budget level.

Are you ready to have fun?

Best Beaches on the East Coast