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For many Americans, summer time means HIT THE BEACH! However, if you can only take so much sun and swim, there are a plethora of U.S. beaches that have way more to offer than just sunshine and waves. Expand your beach list to include hot cultural places, spectacular museums, and alluring culinary scenes. Here are the Top 10 Beach Cities in America
1. Carmel by the Sea, California
Not many beach towns are as dreamlike as Carmel by the Sea – California’s answer to centuries-old artists communities like England’s Stratford-upon-Avon. A great deal of the spectacular historic buildings here, like Carmel Mission, are hundreds of years old. In this city, you’ll find galleries, theaters, and fine-dining. No chain restaurants!
Just like Cape Cod, this town gets crowded with tourists every summer. However, it’s for a good reason. Chilly New England needs these sunny beaches and rad beach towns.
Provincetown is artsy, beautiful, charming, and especially gay friendly which makes it a popular spot for Pride month every year. For block parties and club events, head to Provincetown in June!
Do Hawaii the right way! Experience the Hawaiian scenery and culture at the untouched parts of Maui. There are plenty of local-filled restaurants in Kihei to grab a delicious bite. Rent a beach condo in Kihei during fall time for the best chance at enjoying a less-crowded beach day. Take some surfing classes taught by locals or paddle board alongside sea turtles at this breathtaking destination.
San Diego is very popular with visitors all year-round. With its constant sunny skies and famous beach spots like La Jolla Cove, it is a wonderfully urban place. To escape the touristy parts, head to North County’s Carlsbad Beach which includes kid-friendly tidal pools, beautiful palm trees, awesome waves and easy parking.
This wonderfully southern beach is getting more and more visitors as it adopts more food festivals, breweries, and delicious restaurants. Relax and take in the white sand bright blue waves.
Housed in Maine’s Casco Bay, this hidden gem includes scenic fishing, historic Victorian architecture, intriguing art museums and breweries. Sandy East End and Willard beaches are the places to be once the cold winter comes to an end. The happening college town’s shopping, dining, and museums keep visitors interested. Go kayaking, swimming, and learn about some history and culture.
This place is quite possibly the best beach in the country. It also happens to be surrounded by the Tampa Bay area’s alluring happenings and world-class art. Clearwater is TripAdvisor’s #1 ranked U.S. beach and it’s no surprise. Visitors will find three miles of restaurant-lined, crystal blue shallows. Find dolphins and hatching sea turtles at the local Marine Aquarium. Visit the performing arts center then relax at the perfect spot to watch the sun set over the Gulf.
The spectacular shores of Lake Michigan are certainly worth the visit. Oak Street Beach is a wonderful spot for sweeping skyline views, bike rentals, beach volleyballs, or swimming in the water. Although it is a lake, there are plenty of waves, sand, and beach games to have all the beach fun you need!
In Rhode Island’s sea-front city of Newport, you’ll find colonial history, cliff trails, and immaculate beaches. The original Great Gatsby film was filmed at Newport’s famous Rosecliff mansion, pictured above. Newport’s Second Beach includes waves, tidal pools, nature trails and sand dunes. Take a swim or surf some waves or head toward the wharf for some seafood and drinks.
Washington’s jaw-dropping beaches include Pacific Coast cliffs and cool white waves. Long Beach’s surroundings make it an enjoyable destination for everyone, whether you want to kick it on the beach or explore the culture of the city.
Long Beach is made up of 28 miles of seacoast lined by boardwalks, sand dunes, and summer festivals. Compelling sights include Oddities at Marsh’s Free Museum, the World Kite Hall of Fame and kite festival, arcades, a Cranberry Museum, and Pacific Avenue’s selection of seafood dining.
Shannon McMahon, Smarter Travel | July 20
Photo Credit: Smarter Travel