The Best Beaches in the U.S. 2016

Where to go in America to put your toes in the sand

Cherry Grove Pier, North Myrtle Beach
••• Check out America's best beaches to hit the surf and sand. Getty

Just in time for Labor Day, we're bringing you the rankings for best beaches in the United States! A survey of more than 1,000 people from, a site dedicated to helping people find fun things to do, revealed America’s favorite spots to hit the surf and sand. Here are Americans' favorite beaches on the East and West Coasts, including what makes them so special.

1.    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Family-friendly Myrtle Beach is the top summer destination in the U.S. and for a good reason: They have the perfect ocean weather with average temperatures being around 90 F/32 C and lows around 70 F/21 C. If you’re looking for a relaxing day of tanning in the sand or an adventurous day in the ocean, Myrtle Beach is the place to go because you can choose to lounge around or try watersports such as jetpacking. The most popular activity at Myrtle Beach is their ferris wheel called the SkyWheel, which is famous for it’s beautiful views of the entire area. 

2.    Miami Beach, Florida

Known for its Latin flair and hot nightlife, Miami Beach does not disappoint. Grab a fruity drink and stay out until dawn if you feel like it: Many clubs in the South Beach part stay open until 5 a.m. There are also tons of water activities and restaurants to enjoy. This may not be the best beach for a family vacation, but this is definitely the best party spot.


3.    Clearwater Beach, Florida (Tie)
Clearwater Beach is exactly what it sounds like—clear waters, dazzling white sand, and a beautiful photo waiting to be taken. While you’re here, be sure to experience Pier 60’s breathtaking sunsets and fisherman casting their lines—sights you will not want to miss!


       Destin Beach, Florida (Tie)
Looking for a beach trip that you can bring the kids on? Look no further! There are tons of family-friendly activities here on Destin Beach and the waters on this Gulf Coast of Mexico tend to be calm so it is a good for place for children to swim. Destin is also a great place to golf and bike. 

4.    Daytona Beach, Florida
Calling all NASCAR fans: It's infamous for its racing culture. For all of you adventurers, this is a beautiful place to watch the races and you can even try out these sports for yourself if you’re interested! Just note that spring here is especially busy, as Daytona is also a classic Spring Break destination. 

5.    Siesta Key, Florida
This laid-back island in Sarasota is the place to relax and take a nice weekend off. Fly a kite, join a Sunday drum circle, or just lay your towel down in the sand to completely unwind from the daily grind.

6.    Cocoa Beach, Florida
We almost feel guilty putting Cocoa Beach on this list because it’s the ultimate quiet beach. It's also home to one of the largest surfing shops in the world. If you’re not in the mood to party in Miami or tear up the sand in Daytona, check out Cocoa Beach for a calmer, quieter trip.


7.    Venice Beach, California
Venice Beach is the best place for on-beach entertainment! From a go-go dancer known as 'The Candyman' to the 'Venice Beach Glass Man' who walks on—you guessed it!—shards of glass, there are always tons of street shows going on. It's also great people watching as it's where many locals go to workout (it didn't get the nickname "Muscle Beach" for nothing). 

8.    Huntington Beach, California
Known for perfect surfing weather and waves, Huntington Beach is the beach for surfers—novices and experts alike. Even if you aren’t a surfer yourself, it’s always fun to lay back and watch the waves (and the people in them!).

9.     Jones Beach, New York (Tie)
Jones Beach is a New York beach and a relaxing way to get away from the bustle of the busy city. It also boasts a boardwalk and has The Bay Stage for small, intimate concerts.

       Malibu Beach, California (Tie)
One of the most famous beaches in America, Malibu is about 33 miles south of Los Angeles and home to some gorgeous beach houses. There are plenty of smaller beaches within Malibu so there are lots of places to choose from. You may even spot a celebrity!

     Newport Beach, California (Tie)
Right outside Disneyland, Newport Beach is waiting for you if you’re planning a Disney vacation. Many birds like to hang out here and it’s a great place to watch a sunset after a day running around theme parks.

     Panama City Beach, Florida (Tie)
Another spring break hotspot, Panama City has also been dubbed one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Wildlife is the thing to look for—you might get lucky and see some dolphins, whales, birds, or other exotic animals. Located in Northwest Florida, Panama City has an average high of a pleasant 77 F.