15 Gorgeous East Coast Beaches For Every Summer Destination Bucket List

Grab a towel and prepare for the ultimate relaxation.

Last updated on May 25, 2024

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While many places on the West Coast take credit for having the best beaches, there are plenty of destinations on the East Coast that are more than worth the hype.

From secluded islands to popular beach resort towns and other family-friendly beach options, states along the East Coast have it all. So, if you're looking to plan your next getaway but don't want to venture too far, these vacation ideas are a fun car ride away!

Here are 15 of the best beaches along the East Coast, perfect for relaxation and spending time with loved ones

1. Tybee Island, Georgia

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Tybee Island is a popular hotspot for families and friends to find plenty of fun. Visitors can enjoy watersports, venture along the biking or hiking trails, or simply lounge on the beach. Arts and culture are also a big part of the Island with local events such as festivals and parades that pay tribute to the unique heritage of Tybee Island.


2. Great Point, Massachusetts

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Great Point Beach, located at the easternmost end of the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, is one of the most secluded beaches in the world. Though visitors need a permit to enter the beach, once attained they can enjoy miles of beachfront, the historic lighthouse, and other relaxing activities.

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3. Bethany Beach, Delaware

bethany beach delaware Al Jurina / Shutterstock

The relaxed boardwalk in the coastal town of Bethany Beach, Delaware is a favorite for visitors from all over the country. In this area, one can also find the barrier island beaches of Delaware Seashore State Park, and prime surfing conditions at Fenwick Island State Park. The town also hosts free live concerts, movie screenings, bonfires, and weekly activities for children from mid-June all the way to Labor Day weekend.


4. Easton Beach, Rhode Island

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Easton Beach in Newport, Rhode Island offers a wide variety of fun for anyone looking for a nice vacation on a spacious beach. It features numerous water sports, a skate park, seasonal free concerts and a snack bar, and a children’s playground. It’s everything visitors need for a fun New England vacation.

5. Main Beach, New York

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Main Beach in East Hampton, New York was on the best beaches in the country in 2013. It's known for its wide stretch of sand and breathtaking views of the ocean. Plus, it has a snack bar, bathrooms, and lockers to store all of your belongings while you're out having a blast on the water


6. Cape May, New Jersey

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Cape May is a popular New Jersey destination with one of the oldest seaside resorts in the country. Many people come for the untouched beaches, including some inside the Cape May Point State Park. There are also plenty of antique shops, historic house tours, carriage rides, outdoor concerts, and golf courses in this small and charming town.

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7. Virginia Beach, Virginia

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Virginia Beach has three additional beaches — Resort Beach, Sandbridge Beach, and Chesapeake Bay Beach — for families, couples, or solo travelers to relax and have fun. Each beach provides a different and unique feel, but all are surrounded by oceanfront vacation rentals and long walking paths.


8. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is known for its beautiful resorts and over 60 miles of pristine waterfront! There are plenty of different water sports activities located within the beach, including boating, surfing, and fishing. Myrtle Beach also features golfing, museums, and sightseeing tours.

9. Ocean City, Maryland

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Ocean City, Maryland is famous for its incredibly fun activities on both land and water. Visitor favorites include movie nights on the beach, the Family Beach Olympics competition, beach volleyball, and parades. Plus, the boardwalk provides hours of unlimited fun for people of all ages.

RELATED: 25 Of The Best, Most Picturesque Beaches In The World


10. Delray Beach, Florida

delray beach florida lunamarina / Shutterstock

Just two miles long, Delray Beach, Florida earns praise for its cleanliness and restored buildings. Past visitors have expressed their enjoyment of the abundance of restaurants throughout the downtown area, as well as the presence of lifeguards and concrete walkways that are perfect for jogging alongside the gorgeous views.

11. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

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Hampton Beach, New Hampshire has been a beloved seaside destination for quite a long time. It hosts the annual Miss Hampton Beauty Pageant in late July and concerts every night of the week from June through August. In addition, Hampton Beach State Park provides campsites and RV hookups from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It’s a perfect end destination for a road trip!


12. Madison, Connecticut

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Madison, Connecticut’s two miles of sandy shoreline on the Long Island Sound are perfect to enjoy swimming, boating, hiking and biking. The three beaches in town — Surf Club Beach, East Wharf Beach, and West Wharf Beach — offer barbecue, picnic facilities, and fishing piers.

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13. Bald Head Island, North Carolina

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Bald Head Island sits just two miles off the coast of Southport, North Carolina, and is a popular vacation spot among day-trippers and long-term travelers. Its unspoiled beaches, forest preserve areas, and temperate weather are a guarantee for a good time. The island also offers plenty of family-friendly outdoor activities, such as ziplining, fishing charters, and a plethora of water sports.


14. Bar Harbor, Maine

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Bar Harbor, Maine is a village perched on the seaside rocks of Mount Desert Island. Seasoned vacationers know that there’s no better place for beautiful beach relaxation than Maine. It serves as the perfect place for whale watching tours, shore walks, and lighthouse tourings. Sounds like paradise!

15. Palm Beach, Florida

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Palm Beach is a more gentle side of Florida, equipped with cleaner sands, warmer waters, and fewer crowds. Activities include fishing, boating, paddling, and snorkeling in the pristine waterways. But there’s really nothing better than kicking back in the sun, watching the beautiful waves ebb and flow.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.