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Best Beaches in the USA

We've narrowed down the field of the United States' diverse and abundant beaches to help you choose the spot best suited for your next vacation. In addition to user votes and expert opinion, U.S. News Travel considered which beaches boast smooth sand, clear blue waters, picturesque views and high-quality tourist attractions and facilities, in order to bring you this list of the best beaches in the U.S. What's your favorite sandy spot in the country? Cast your vote below to play a role in determining next year's list. 

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Why go: Big Island is called "Big Island" for a reason: Its offerings are abundant, and so are its beaches. Here you'll find some geographical oddities (ever been to a beach with green sand?) and awe-inspiring natural wonders. Hapuna, Kaunaoa or Kua Bay offer picture-perfect sands for your island getaway. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Hawaii - The Big Island

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Why go: Travelers flock to Maui for its diversity of attractions and unforgettable geography, but its bountiful beaches are another major selling point. Be sure to check out the burgundy-hued sands of Kaihalulu, and if you want to try your hand at surfing, visit Ho'okipa Beach. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Maui

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Why go: Oahu is the most popular tourist destination in Hawaii, and its sprawling, white-sand beaches play a big role in its high demand. Scattered throughout the island's coastline, you'll find several highly ranked state beach parks, including the famous Kailua Beach Park and the resort-heavy Waikiki Beach, where the creamy sands and safe swimming conditions cater to families. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Honolulu - Oahu

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Why go: This Caribbean getaway has everything you'd want in an American beach destination: bright blue waters, beautiful sandy strips and excellent shopping. The island of St. Thomas has the perfect shore for every beachgoer, plus access to plenty of watersports. St. John's beaches are harder to reach, but you'll be rewarded with fewer crowds. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in U.S. Virgin Islands

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Why go: The Outer Banks offers seemingly endless sandy stretches to please any landlocked traveler. And OBX's largely undeveloped landscape means you'll have plenty of unobstructed photo ops. While many beaches lack lifeguards, the surf is usually calm enough for swimmers of all levels. (Just be sure to check swimming conditions before entering the water.) Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Outer Banks

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Why go: With its pristine beaches, this South Carolina retreat attracts East Coasters looking for the golden sands of Myrtle Beach with more than a hint of luxury. Along with its powdery shores, Coligny Beach touts a shopping area and plenty of dining options. But you'll find fewer crowds and better swimming conditions at the calmer Alder Lane. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Hilton Head

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Why go: Miami Beach caters to both the glamorous, party-hungry elite and the average, sun-hungry beachgoer. You can spend your days soaking up the rays at Lummus Park in trendy South Beach or lounge on the quieter sands of at Haulover Beach Park. Come nightfall, you can revel in plenty of seaside entertainment. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Miami Beach

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Why go: Some travelers consider Fort Lauderdale a laid back alternative to Miami Beach. Stretching across 23 miles, Fort Lauderdale Beach boasts plenty of realxing real estate to go around. Should you crave a more rowdy night scene, South Beach is just a quick drive down Route 1A. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale

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Why go: Just a short drive from beautiful Charleston, S.C., Myrtle Beach's oceanfront resorts and boating culture have dazzled East Coast beachgoers and families for decades. If you're a golfer, look no further. You can enjoy the links at any of the area's 120 golf courses. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Myrtle Beach

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Why go: Sure, Cape Cod's breezy seaside has drawn influential politicos and celebrities for decades, but don't think that the Cape is all about glitz and glamour. Revel in the laid-back atmosphere of the Rail Trail or the National Seashore. Or visit Nauset, Marconi or Herring Cove Beach for an extra dose of R&R. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Cape Cod

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