East Coast Beaches
Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks covers a swath of islands, with the main portion being the familiar Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Hatteras. But there’s plenty more to discover, whatever your mood. Whether you’re in search of a lighthouse to explore, family sand and sun time, or are hoping to get some fishing in, you can’t go wrong with this east coast jewel that sits on the midline of the coast. It’s easy to get to whether you’re coming from the north, south, or west.
Marco Island, Florida
Neighboring Sanibel Island may get more attention for their unique Sanibel Stoop due to the influx of shells, but Marco Island is a perfect place to sneak away to when you’re looking for a quieter vacation. Consider Marco Island over the busier beaches of Miami or Fort Lauderdale. This gulf-side gem is one area you won’t want to miss.
Cape May, New Jersey
This charming town offers a Victorian feel with pristine, white sandy beaches and a great location that brings flexibility. Come for the low-key feel or take a quick drive to the ever-popular boardwalk one town over with the family and then head back to the serenity of quieter Cape May after you’ve had your fill of amusements.
Jetties Beach and Children’s Beach are two recommendations if you have kids. The gentler waves of these North Shore beaches also offer amenities like restrooms which make these a good choice for families. If you’re looking for something with a little more oomph, Surfside Beach is a beach on the South Shore, and a popular choice.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is a nice option when you’re looking for somewhere to go in the Mid-Atlantic region. This is a massively popular beach during the summer months but is a bit quieter on the cusp of the season, while still offering gorgeous weather and less crowds. White sandy beaches and a wide berth of activities make Virginia Beach a popular destination.
Amelia Island, Florida
While Marco Island sits on the gulf-coast, Amelia Island gives you a taste of the ocean that you love. It’s not flashy like Miami, not crowded like going to Disney World, and is the perfect COVID getaway choice. Here’s another great reason to check out Amelia Island. As per their tourism website, “… Mobi-Mat semi-permanently installed at the Main Beach boardwalk access ramp. This environmentally-friendly and ADA-compliant matting provides safe and easy access for wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers to maneuver on the beach sand.”
Pawleys Island, South Carolina
While most people think of Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach when it comes to South Carolina, head just a little south of Myrtle Beach and you’ll find the lower-key vibe of Pawleys Island. It’s family friendly and let’s you avoid the crowds, which is perfect for a COVID beach vacation.
Midwest Beach (Yes, really!)
Yes, there are beaches to visit in the Midwest. While Galveston and Corpus Christi from Texas usually get the spotlight when it comes to the Midwest, we wanted to offer another option you might not have heard of. Saugatuck, Michigan is a gem just waiting for you to discover. It’s a boater’s and fisher’s paradise, perfect for families, and even got a prestigious nod from National Geographic Traveler for its freshwater beach, along with a nod from Conde Nast Traveler.
Coronado Beach, California
California has so many amazing beaches that could be listed due to its location, but we wanted to point out this beauty. The Coronado Beach has graced many popular lists, including The Travel Channel’s! It’s easy to see why. It offers gorgeous golden beaches, perfect spots for families, and even a dog beach at the northern end. You’ll recognize the famous resort from the Marilyn Monroe movie Some Like it Hot.
If you’re looking for something in the northwestern region, we’ve got you covered. Head over to Cannon Beach and enjoy the unique landscape. The unique features of this beach set it apart with massive boulders that accent the horizon, with Haystack Rock being the most famous. Be sure to put Ecola State Park on your list of must-see areas, and wind through the trails which offer amazing views.