Thursday, April 7, 2011

Top 25 Beaches in the United States — Travelers' Choice Award

Are you planning your summer vacation? Is the beach your destination? Here's the newest list  of The Top 25 Beaches in the United States from Tripadvisor, as rated by their members.

Myrtle Beach Pictures
This photo of Myrtle Beach is courtesy of TripAdvisor

  1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – "Myrtle Beach boasts some of the best beaches on America's East Coast, which are distinguished by panoramic views of the Atlantic, calm waters and soft white sand."          
  2. Cape May, New Jersey  – "Yes, Cape May is, technically, on the Jersey Shore. But it’s the antithesis of the Jersey Shore you’ll see on TV—instead of nightclubs and tanning parlors, you’ll find Victorian mansions and a famous lighthouse."
  3. Panama City Beach, Florida  – "With more than 27 miles of white, sandy beaches, Panama City Beach describes itself as "The Beach Lovers Beach." Swim, snorkel, dolphin watch, jet ski, or parasail the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, or sunbathe on the award-winning beaches."
  4. Miami Beach, Florida – "At the shore in Miami Beach, visitors can swim, surf and jet ski in the warm and crystal-clear Atlantic waters. You can also nap on the white sands, work on a tan or simply watch the beautiful people, especially at South Beach, a favorite of models and celebrities."
  5. Sanibel Island, Florida – "Saunter on the shell-speckled sands of tropical barrier island, Sanibel, on Florida's Gulf coast. Quiet, secluded White Beach, with its scurrying sandpipers, offers a respite from the holidaymaking hordes elsewhere, while Turner Beach lures those with their sights on shells or the day’s catch."
  6. Clearwater, Florida – "Swimming in the warm blue waters on Clearwater's Gulf Coast is a refreshing pleasure for kids and grown-ups, and the wide shores here provide ample room for playing on the beach, too. Volleyball, parasailing and waterskiing are all great, but relaxing on the sand and sunbathing aren't bad either."
  7. Honolulu, Hawaii – "Honolulu is a legendary surfing destination. But even if you don’t know a boogie board from a surfboard, you’ll find a beach here that appeals to you (and, if you want to learn the difference, you can find a great instructor to teach you). Swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, outrigger canoeing or just sunbathing… it’s all available in Honolulu."
  8. Captiva Island, Florida – "A bit of the Caribbean in Florida, this beautiful island is connected to Sanibel by bridge and offers a more remote tropical island feel. It's so close you can head over to check out the beach or for a meal at any of the island's fabulous restaurants."
  9. Poipu, Hawaii – "Kauai’s South Shore is home to some of the country’s best beaches—for swimming, diving and all sorts of water sports. If sunbathing on a gorgeous beach isn’t relaxing enough, try a spa (where many treatments incorporate local ingredients). And if you’re in Poipu for a romantic escape, splurge on an oceanview room—the sunsets are spectacular."
  10. Siesta Key, Florida – "Looking for world class powdery white quartz sand beaches, 100 golf courses within driving distance, and an endless selection of cultural and family activities? Siesta Key is the laid-back beach town that goes above and beyond. Right nearby in Sarasota, you'll find museums, art, wildlife, circuses, opera, ballet, symphonies, theater, film festivals, botanical gardens, baseball spring training... the list goes on."
  11. San Diego, California – "Beaches and bays dot the coast of California's second-largest city. Top-rated, family-friendly Coronado Beach is set among turn-of-the-century mansions. Other gorgeous sandy spots include Blacks Beach, where sunbathers go au naturel, and La Jolla Shores, popular for snorkeling and kayaking."
  12. Wildwood Crest, New Jersey – "Wildwood Crest’s sandy beaches, clean boardwalk and low-key, old-fashioned atmosphere are a hit with families. And rest assured—Snooki wouldn’t be caught dead here."
  13. Naples, Florida – "Sunny Naples is a popular, sophisticated and charming beach destination on the Gulf of Mexico. It boasts many world-class hotels and resorts along miles of white sand beaches. The ocean surf is gentle and the people are friendly. Shoppers delight in searching for antiques, home furnishings, clothes and jewelry. With its beautiful neighborhoods and grand architecture, the atmosphere is elegant, yet relaxing. Even though it is a busy and cosmopolitan city, Naples offers easy access to secluded islands and the wilderness of the Everglades."
  14. Virginia Beach, Virginia – "Virginia Beach has all the elements of a classic seaside resort: gorgeous beaches, a lively boardwalk, plenty of restaurants and nightspots, and amusement rides sure to appeal to kids. Sports enthusiasts will find celebrated golf courses in Virginia Beach and the surrounding area, as well as sea kayaking and miles of hiking trails. Many believe Virginia Beach is at its best in the off-season, when the town is less crowded but the weather is still mild."
  15. Ogunquit, Maine – "Ogunquit's three-mile stretch of beach is one of the longest in Maine, and also one of the least rocky. The water may never warm up, but it's pristine, and this quaint New England town's attractions make it a perfect, picturesque seaside destination."
  16. Provincetown, Massachusetts – "Visit Provincetown and have a blast enjoying some of Cape Cod’s best beaches (Race Point Beach and Herring Cove Beach are favorites of TripAdvisor travelers). Plenty of cool boutiques, restaurants and art galleries give this town a fun and funky vibe. It’s an exceptionally LGBT-friendly destination as well. One tip: if it’s high season, take the ferry or a quick flight from Boston (unless you enjoy spending hours sitting in traffic)."
  17. Hilton Head, South Carolina – "With more than 12 miles of white sand and sparkling waters you can explore by boat, canoe or kayak, Hilton Head Island offers a plethora of options for beach lovers. Pitch your umbrella, go bird-watching or fishing or play any kind of water sport along the shores."
  18. Laguna Beach, California – "The quaint oceanfront town of Laguna Beach prides itself on its laid-back attitude and artistic sentiment. Seals, sea lions, dolphins and people are all attracted to isolated coves along the town's six miles of coastline, and strict prohibitions keep watercraft far from the beaches."
  19. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware – "Enjoy an old-fashioned beach vacation, complete with a boardwalk, at one of Delaware's most popular resort towns. Long a traditional summer getaway for families, Rehoboth Beach is now also a favorite of gay and lesbian travelers. Along with enjoying the famous beach and strolling the boardwalk, there's also a nearby amusement park called Funland to check out."
  20. Kamuela, Hawaii – "The Kamuela area of the Big Island has been inhabited for tens of thousands of years. Now known for opulent resorts, luxurious spas, dramatic golf courses, historic former cattle farms and breathtaking nature reserves, Kamuela is a largely unspoiled gem. Mauna Kea Resort Golf Course is the top choice for going green. Other relaxing activities include checking into Spa Without Walls and Mauna Lani Spa, or stretching out on Hapuna Beach. A rental car is the best way to explore Kamuela's many attractions."
  21. South Padre Island, Texas – "Although South Padre Island is considered the Spring Break Capital of the Southwest, if you avoid those times you'll find plenty to do on 113 miles of beaches, dunes and tidal flats. Treasure hunters thrill at the history buried here, the fishing is great and you can get a great view of it all from Port Isabel Lighthouse."
  22. Nantucket, Massachusetts – "Windswept beaches, sand dunes, blinking lighthouses and a charming pace of life await on this 50-square mile island. The world's former top whaling port is now designated a National Historic District. Leave the car and take the shuttle or bike around. Seaside cottages, old whaling captains' mansions and historic harbors contain quaint inns, boutique stores, chowder shacks and upscale dining delights. Swim, surf or load up the tackle for Nantucket's excellent striper, bluefish and bonito fishing."
  23. Nags Head, North Carolina – "With eleven miles of sand, it's no surprise the beach is everyone's favorite attraction in Nags Head. This Outer Banks town just south of Kitty Hawk offers ocean fans every sort of shoreline sport, from sailing and kayaking to snorkeling past shipwrecks or hang-gliding over the sand dunes of Jockey's Ridge State Park. Step into the past with a walk through the historic district and enjoy the area’s distinct architecture."
  24. Chatham, Massachusetts – "This pleasant, walkable town right at the elbow of Cape Cod is a classic New England vacation spot. Bringing kids? Check out calm beaches like Cockle Cove Beach and Harding’s Beach. If you’re looking for stunning scenery, however, try Chatham Lighthouse Beach. Its tides can be strong (heed the posted warnings), but it’s one of the most beautiful beaches on the Cape."
  25. Santa Barbara, California – "Santa Barbara's beaches have palm trees, wide shores, world-class surfing and annual beach volleyball tournaments--what's not to love? Families should fire up a grill at Leadbetter Beach, swimmers should take a dip in East Beach's calm waters and couples should share a view of the sunset at Butterfly Beach."

While I'm not affiliated with Tripadvisor, it is my "go to" place when I'm planning a vacation and I've written several reviews on the site of places I've visited. I like Tripadvisor because I can read "real people" reviews on locations, hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and attractions. Click on any of links above to learn more about each of the Top 25 Beaches in the United States. You can also find similar lists for other countries around the globe.

Still working on setting up my new little business, but when I got an email this morning from Tripadvisor, I thought it was a perfect time to take a little break and share it with you. Are you planning your summer vacation? Where are you going? Are any of these places your destination?

Note that of the 25 beach destinations listed, 7 of them are right here in Florida!

Come on down!!!!!!

Thought you might like to see me hard at work…

I know, it's a dirty job, but someones got to do it!

16 Thoughtful Comments:

Completely Coastal said...

Always good to know!! Don't quite understand why people like Myrtle beach so much, haha. I guess it's subjective.

Blondie's Journal said...

Wow...I have been to six of these beaches...pretty good for a Midwestern gal!!


Loui♥ said...

Been to many of the stateside beaches,,
unfortunately have NEVER been to Hawaii..
make that YET!
Just returned from Panama City,,
still trying to re-acclimate to Denver weather!
Thinking of you as I edit my pics..
all 2500+ of them!!!
warmest sandy hugs..

gpc said...

I want to work hard -- like you do! Wishing I were on one of those beaches!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I love the list, but I'm surprised there weren't more Atlantic Beaches listed. Jax Beach used to be in the top ten on some surveys. I do love the Gulf, though. Love, love, love it. Grew up going to it. I like Long Boat Key best because it reminds me of my parents.

I still want to take you to one of my favorite "secret" beaches where there are lots of shells. When you get up St. A. way, we'll go.

Am still dealing with the trees. Oh, Rhonda, this has been a week I don't care to repeat, and Mr. Magpie battling some flu bug, sleeping in a chair so he can breathe. But thank the good Lord that the trees missed our house. Five feet. Five feet over, and the back porch would have been sheered off. But it wasn't. YEA!

Got my hair cut tody. I was starting to look like Morticia Addams or Lily Munster's long lost sister. My stylist shook his head when I came in, and the girl in the chair next to me said it looked like I had been through a makeover. LOL! It was THAT bad.


Sheila :-)

Playing with Shells said...

So many great beaches, so little time! I love that 7 of the top beaches are in Florida! Virginia Beach, and Rehoboth are pretty awesome, too!

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

I have to re-think my job. I want one where I am forced to walk on the beach all day, work on my tan, watch the sun rise or set and listen to the shore birds. I wouldn't mind a little dirt under my fingernails if I was digging out a nice shell. That's exactly the dirty job I need. Sigh..... Some day..... I'll just keep visiting your blog and dream! :-)

The Decorative Dreamer said...

I really don't want to sound so negative...but Myrtle Beach is at the top of the list? Seriously? LOL!
I would love to see some of your beautiful Florida beaches and the Nags Head beach in NC too. I bet they are totally awesome! I know we will be going to the beach this year but were not sure where yet at this point. Thanks for this post, it will be a great help for deciding..and I am sooo ready for a vacay!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I may print these out...wouldn't it be nice to visit them all! Hugs to you! Don't work too hard! Have FUN! ♥

Sue said...

I saw this list today. I love tripadvisor...use it all the time. My dad's beach (Siesta Key) made the list...I think it should have been first. I was suprised to see Myrtle Beach take that honor!

CHERI said...

I haven't been to the beach in a few years and this post makes me want to go soooo badly! I didn't know about tripadvisor but definitely plan to check it out. Now, girl, don't you work too hard! You look like you are just slaving away!

Anonymous said...

Are you looking for an assistant? Pick me! LOL. It may be a bit of a commute from Phoenix but I'm up to the job. :-)

Happy to see your blog. Went to Miami Beach/SOBE. Very international. Sanibel is next on my list.

BTW - have you seen Inside Job, the documentary? Thought of you when I saw it and blogged about it a couple days back. Take care of yourself.

CrazyCris said...

I DID notice the large proportion of Florida beaches! Particular enjoyed recognising the name "Sanibel" from having read your posts about so often! ;o)

I don't usually pick beach destinations for holidays as my skin isn't fond of the sun (downside of being a redhead) and I'm not good with the heat... plus I live right next to the beach!!! I prefer my holidays in the mountains or old cities with plenty to explore. Of course "exotic" beaches (i.e. vastly different from my Mediterranean ones) are always attractive! But even then I'll probably be more into looking for a dive club than a spot under a parasol! :p

Good luck with the shelling and crafts work!!!

rjerdee said...

Yep! 7 of them in Florida and I know most of them. Siesta Key is the closest to where we live...lovely white sand, ever so fine!!!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Sounds wonderful to me!
Thanks for sharing Rhonda, I hope to fit a beach or two into my summer vacation
And we are finally getting spring here!
Hugs friend,

michelle said...

They all sound perfect!! I have been to Provincetown, Nantucket and Chatham. We went to the Cape on our honeymoon and went to all them, they are spectacular and would love to go back again.
It looks like you are hard at work and enjoying every minute of it. :)

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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