With over 12,000 total miles of coastline, the United States is home to thousands of beautiful beaches waiting to be explored. Nestled in all corners of the country, the best beaches in the United States provide countless activities and hours of fun. Take a surf lesson, plan an idyllic picnic, attend a sand castle competition, or play an arcade game on the boardwalk at these iconic beach locales. Spring break and the summer months prove to be the busiest times of the year at these vacation spots, but the beach towns provide entertainment all year around.

01Kauna'oa Bay, Hawaii

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Kauna'oa Bay, Hawaii is the picture of paradise on the Big Island of Hawaii. The crystal blue water remains relatively calm, making this an ideal spot to swim and snorkel. After the sun goes down, enjoy dinner and a show at the Mauna Kea Oceanfront Luau. The luau tells the history of Hawaii through hula and fire dances while you get to enjoy fresh meat and tropical fruit. The beaches of Kauna'oa Bay are public, and parking is free, but be sure to arrive early to secure a prime spot.

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02Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

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Hawaii may take all the credit, but the United States is home to many picturesque islands. Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts is one such island. The rocky cliffs and iconic lighthouses show Martha's Vineyard's beauty in postcards and in person.  Martha's Vineyard has a rich history and was originally inhabited by the Wampanoag. Book a lighthouse tour to learn about these historic buildings dating back to 1817.

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03West Palm Beach, Florida

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Add an element of glitz to your next vacation by visiting West Palm Beach, Florida. West Palm Beach is home to a number of luxury retailers, five-star restaurants, and exciting nightlife. During the day, catch some sun and snorkeling on Singer Island. If you are looking for some culture, Norton Museum of Art is Florida's largest art museum. And music lovers should book their trips for early May when SunFest, Florida's largest waterfront music festival, comes to town.

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04East Hampton, New York

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Each summer, thousands of hardworking citizens of New York City pack their bags and leave the hustle and bustle of Manhattan to spend their weekends in beautiful East Hampton. East Hampton provides miles of scenic beach to bicycle down, sunbathe, or have a clambake with friends. Rent a kayak or canoe for an upper body workout while enjoying the water. East Hampton is also home to a number of wineries that offer tours and tastings.

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05Monterey, California

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In a state with hundreds of great beaches to choose from, Monterey is a gem offering some of the best views, dining, and shorelines California has to offer. Rent a convertible and take a road trip down Highway 1 for some of the best coastal photo ops in the country. Or visit Monterey Bay Aquarium, a non-profit aquarium home to a variety of sea life and reptiles.

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06Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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The boardwalk and coastline of Myrtle Beach make it a cant-miss vacation spot for thousands of visitors every year. The cluster of family-friendly beaches is known as the "Grand Strand" and invites you to hop from beach to beach in search of your favorite. Beat the heat with ice cream on the boardwalk or take in an evening show at the Carolina Opry.

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07Gulf Shores, Alabama

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Travel down south to enjoy the warmer waters of Gulf Shores, Alabama. The city offers beaches, a pier, walking trails, and golf courses. Tour boats ship out daily during the summer for fishing excursions and dolphin watching. If you have had enough of the salt water, head to Waterville USA, a family water park in Gulf Shores.

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08St. Augustine, Florida

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St. Augustine, Florida holds the claim as the oldest city in the United States. It offers breathtaking views of its Spanish colonial architecture. The white sands of St. Augustine Beach are perfect for an afternoon picnic or a round of sand volleyball. After a day at the beach, take a haunted trolley tour or visit the World Golf Hall of Fame.

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09Hilton Head, South Carolina

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Avid golfers agree that Hilton Head, South Carolina is one of the top coastal towns for golf. This island community is under 70 square miles, and residents and tourists alike prefer to travel by golf cart around the island. Rent a beach cruiser bicycle to ride along the shoreline and then head to Salty Dog Cafe for some of their famous crab soup.

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10Santa Monica, California

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Santa Monica and its famous pier are known as one of the most recognized beaches in California. On any given day, you will find residents rollerblading down the beach and street musicians performing for the tourists. Pacific Park is the seaside amusement park with games and rides for the whole family.

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