21 Of The Best East Coast Beaches To Visit In 2023

There are as many ideas of the perfect beach vacation as there are beaches in the US, and we all have our own ideal when it comes to this quintessential summer getaway.

21 Of The Best East Coast Beaches To Visit In 2023

The East Coast has some of the best beaches in the country but how to decide which to visit in 2023? 

How do you narrow down your choices when there is so much on offer? We have found 21 of the best East Coast beaches to visit in 2023, and we guarantee you will not be disappointed with our discoveries. 

Some are as traditional as apple pie, but others are little known vacation gems. Let’s dive in and find your perfect East Coast beach to visit in 2023. 

1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

When you say ‘beach’ and ‘East Coast’ there’s one place that will pop into everybody’s head and that’s Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. 

That shouldn’t be surprising as it is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country with around 20 million people every year checking it out. And it’s not hard to see why. 

First there is the fantastic beach which stretches for more than 60 miles with its warm, soft sand and gentle lapping shoreline from Cherry Grove in the north to Pawleys Island in the south. 

You could spend days just lying on the beach, soaking up the sun and the soft sound of the waves. Or playing Frisbee with the kids, volleyball with your friends or taking a dip in the ocean. Perhaps you’ll jump on a surfboard and catch some waves. 

But there is a lot more to Myrtle Beach than that. If you like golf then you are in for a treat as there are more than ninety golf courses in the area, and it is considered the golf capital of the world. 

And if golf is too tame, why not take a trip to the big-cat sanctuary for tigers, cheetahs and a Liger, the biggest cat in the world. For families there is the Wonderworks Amusement Park as well as Ripley’s Aquarium. 

Entertain the family in the evening with the Pirates Voyage show or the Medieval Times tournament.  

When you just want to eat out there is a choice from over 2,000 restaurants in the area. And if you didn’t know, Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk is the home of the seafood capital of South Carolina. 

2. Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington, North Carolina

There are three beaches at Wilmington, North Carolina so take your pick or visit all three in 2023. Whether you are looking for lots of fun and activities or just some time to kick back and relax there’s a beach here for you. 

Carolina Beach is a family oriented beach with lots of amenities close by and fun things to do. It has miles of enticing sand as well as incredible fishing, boardwalks and fantastic surfing. 

The area has good all-year-round weather, so there’s always a suitable day to go hiking in the State Park, take a bike ride along the Island Greenway or simply enjoy the ocean views. 

Stroll around Carolina Beach Lake Park which has a lake noted in the Guinness Book of Records as the closest freshwater lake to saltwater. 

Kure Beach is an unspoiled spot that is perfect for getting away from it all and just taking a dip in the ocean or lying on the beach. Or take in one of the dive shows or aquatic exhibits. 

If you have little ones in tow take them to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher which also has a six mile protected shoreline as part of the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. 

Wrightsville Beach is where you come to surf and indulge in many other water activities like paddle boarding or kayaking. Or if water sports are not your thing enjoy the resort amenities, fresh seafood dining and chic, beach boutiques. 

The white sands are perfect for taking a stroll along the edge of the crystal blue waters. Make sure Wilmington beaches are on your bucket list for 2023. 

3. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire 

Hampton Beach, New Hampshire 

Just north of the New Hampshire and Massachusetts border you will find Hampton Beach. This is a great place to take kids as it has a natural and nostalgic feel, 1 ½ miles of sand and a family friendly atmosphere. 

It’s also great if you just want to enjoy the beach without too many tourist attractions. That’s not to say there’s nothing to do at Hampton Beach. It has a very long boardwalk which is lined with restaurants, shops and arcades with all your favorite games. 

During the summer there are regular fireworks on a Wednesday night, although this is sometimes paused if the Piping Plovers are nesting. 

If nature conservation is important to you there is the Hampton Salt Marsh Conservation Area to the north of the beach as well as the Hampton Beach State Park to the south. 

Activities at the beach range from year-round fishing, camping, and swimming. You could take a charter boat or check out one of the whale watching trips. If you want to get closer to marine life visit the Blue Ocean Discovery Center which is small but open all summer.  

In the evening visit Hampton Beach Casino or catch a show in the Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach’s most famous concert venue. 

For those who like a spooky story, take a drive down Haunted Island Path Road which is allegedly haunted by a woman accused of being a witch. Definitely not a trip for the faint hearted. 

If that’s you, why not instead try one of the many excellent seafood restaurants and sample the famous New England seafood. 

4. Fire Island, New York

Fire Island, New York

If you are looking for an incredible beach and a vacation where your kids can safely ride their bikes, Fire Island is the place for you. The only way to reach the island is by ferry, so it is completely car free and there are no paved roads for traffic. 

The island is the center of the barrier islands that run parallel to the south shore of Long Island. This is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city with its pollution and noise. 

Come to Fire Island and explore the abundance of nature here. The island is 8 square miles and unique for its size and atmosphere. There are only about 1000 residents on the island, and they mostly reside near the town of Ocean Beach. 

There are long stretches of coastline that you can explore including the Sunken Forest which is a maritime holly forest that can be found behind the well established sand dunes. It is about one and a half miles long by a quarter mile wide. 

Take a trip to the Robert Moses State Park which is a 875 acre preserve where you can go angler fishing, surf or try to spot some local deer. Take in a tour of the iconic and interactive Fire Island Lighthouse which is situated on the Great South Bay and is the tallest in the area. 

Climb to the top of the lighthouse to catch an amazing 360 degree view of the shoreline and perhaps the New York City skyline in the distance before chilling out on one of the beautifully clean beaches. 

5. Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport has so much to offer that it has to be on your list of beaches to visit in 2023. It has unparalleled ocean views, fantastic accommodation and an event for almost every month of the year. 

When you come to the beach you can walk for miles and there are some very scenic hikes such as the Cliff Walk trail, which is great for adults but probably not suitable for children.

There are plenty of things to keep the kids happy though including playgrounds and a skate park. For those who love to shop Newport is home to a multitude of eclectic shops and always has something new to offer. 

With so much to see you could take advantage of one of the park and ride lots around the town. Trade your four wheels for two and take a ride along the coast or one of the other many biking trails here. 

For those who would rather walk then the Fort Adams Bay Walk is a two and a half mile loop around the State Park. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Newport’s harbor, bridge as well as Narragansett Bay. 

Take to the water and enjoy one of the harbor’s tours aboard an America’s Cup yacht, a lobster boat, a sailboat or your choice of vessel. 

If you are looking for the best surfing spots in Newport, Easton Beach is the place to go. It offers the most reliable breaks and is a great place for those new to surfing. 

A trip to Newport would not be complete without a walk along the waterfront to admire the mansions of the Gilded Age. Not only do they offer a fascinating look at the architecture of the time, but many also hold considerable art collections. 

6. Duck’s Beach, North Carolina

Duck’s Beach, North Carolina

The award winning Duck’s Beach is one of the most scenic and is recognized as one of the best East Coast beaches. Nestled in the Outer Banks the beach edges the quaint town of Duck, famous for its duck hunting and history of providing duck feathers for ladies hats. 

Nowadays, there are plenty of other things to do at Duck Beach including water sports such as surfing, paddle boarding and skimboarding.

Or if you are here to kick back just take a stroll on the beach and if you’re up early enough catch a spectacular sunrise. 

The island is just half a mile wide, so it is fun to cross to the other side and enjoy some stunning sunsets too. One of the best vantage points to enjoy the sunset is the public boardwalk behind the water tower. 

This is a very popular beach for families and groups particularly during the summer months. There are lots of private accommodation options including seaside cottages. 

The fantastic Sanderling Resort has an amazing spa, gym and tennis courts. Enjoy views of Currituck and Albemarle Sounds from one of their rooms or suites.  

From May to September you may see volunteers helping with sea turtle nesting season and if you are really lucky, catch a glimpse of the baby sea turtle migration. 

You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to eating out in Duck. Choose from a range of great restaurants many of which serve fresh local seafood including crab soup and spicy shrimp.

There is also a fantastic seafood market where you can pick up your favorites as well as some delicious key lime pie. 

7. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Sitting seven miles off the coast of Massachusetts Martha’s Vineyard is a favorite summer destination for many celebrities. With its many beautiful beaches and idyllic location it’s not hard to see why it’s such a popular vacation spot. 

There are nineteen beaches skirting the edge of Martha’s Vineyard, sadly a great many of these are either privately owned or permit restricted. 

However, there are also some wonderful public beaches including South Beach, Long Point Beach, Moshup Beach and Menemsha Beach. 

South Beach has good surf so is great for body surfing. It is a popular place for teenagers and college-age kids.

Long Point Beach is better for younger children as it is a wide, soft, white sand beach on a freshwater pond. Kids can wade and build sand castles. 

Moshup Beach is a famous surfing beach, and its clay cliffs create a great rainbow effect. 

Menemsha Beach is also great if you have small children as it has calm surf and there are restrooms and food close by. It is also thought to have the best vantage point for enjoying the sunsets on Martha’s Vineyard. This is a rocky beach. 

There are plenty of activities to do on the island too. You can take a charter boat and go fishing, go horseback riding in West Tisbury, or play golf at one of the many golf courses. For a more sedate afternoon there are several art galleries to enjoy. 

If you are into more active pursuits you can go cycling on one of the island’s many bike paths that run alongside most roads. Or take a hike at Moshup Beach cliffs or in the Cedar Creek Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. 

8. Westport Compo Beach, Connecticut

Westport Compo Beach, Connecticut

Westport’s Compos Beach is a 29 acre park which has an extensive stretch of sandy beach along the shore of Long Island Sound, bordering the Saugatuck River. It is a petite but sweet location and perfect for a relaxing weekend. 

To access the beach you have to buy a day pass which is limited to 100 per day. This ensures that you can enjoy the beach and not have to fight crowds to get a good spot.

Access via daily passes runs from May 1st through September 30th and is from 4am to 10pm.  

There are also plenty of things to do at Westport Compo Beach. There are two sand volleyball courts and a large wooden playscape for the kids. If you are feeling energetic there are two lighted basketball courts, a skate park and a softball field. 

You can also take your dog to Compo Beach but make sure they are on a leash and close to you at all times.  It is possible to surf at the beach, but it’s a good idea to check out the surfing forecasts online before you do.

If all you want to do is enjoy the beach and the views you will get great vistas of the surrounding banks and marinas. When you’re feeling thirsty or hungry there is a pavilion and concession stands for outdoor refreshments. 

Westport Compo Beach has good access for less able bodied visitors with a wheelchair accessible boardwalk and access to a floating beach wheelchair. 

There are also four wheelchair accessible picnic areas on the south beach as well as Mobi Mats which are also located on the main beach. 

9. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia

One of the most popular beaches on the East Coast, Virginia Beach is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest pleasure beach. With more than 35 miles of golden sand to explore it’s not hard to see why it has this title. 

The beach is located in Southeastern Virginia at the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. It has a family friendly environment but is also renowned for its large range of amenities, and quick access to the city. 

If you are taking little ones on vacation then you should head for Chick’s Beach. Its gentle lapping waves are perfect for small children to safely enjoy time in the water. 

Older kids will be thrilled with the go karting while teenagers and college kids will love the party atmosphere. The beach is perfect for swimmers and surfers while also being a great social place to hang out with friends. 

To enjoy a more sedate activity you can stroll through the Virginia Beach Aquarium and Marine Science Center. During the day you can take one of their boat tours and learn about marine and coastal conservation. 

For nighttime entertainment check out Sharks After Dark at the center which is for adults only, free from daytime crowds, enjoy the exhibits and have a drink while you’re there. 

There’s plenty of other night time fun to be had, try the Funny Bone Comedy Club or the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. 

There are many great restaurants and places to eat out as well as some fantastic shopping destinations. Whether you are watching your budget or splashing out there is a great hotel waiting for you at Virginia Beach. 

10. Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park is not your run of the mill beach vacation, but you should definitely visit this stunning location in 2023. There are two beaches, Sand Beaches and Echo Beach. 

Sand beach is a pretty little stretch of sand nestled between rocky shores and the mountains of Mount Desert Island.

The beach has been created by the pounding surf smashing shells into tiny fragments and the level of the water can vary a lot between high and low tide. 

This is a family beach but be aware that the water seldom exceeds 55 degrees so be prepared to brace yourself when first jumping in. It is an exhilarating experience, however. 

Echo Beach is on the shore of a freshwater lake and a beautifully relaxing place for the whole family. The water is warmer than Sand Beach, and it is shallow for quite a distance so perfect for smaller children. 

The setting is spectacular with high cliffs along the west side which are part of Beech Mountain. You can access a great hiking trail up the side of the cliffs from the parking area at Echo Lake. 

There is a slightly less challenging trail that you can take you to the top which is accessed from the west side of the mountain.

Take a bike ride through the island via the famous carriage roads, crushed rock traffic free trails connecting various points of interest. 

For a more leisurely view of your surroundings take Ocean Path, a fantastic hiking trail. It starts at Sand Beach and follows the east coast of Mount Desert Island in a southerly direction for approximately two miles until you reach Otter Point.

11. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

One of the best beaches in the tiny but perfectly formed state of Delaware, Rehoboth Beach is worth a visit in 2023. If you enjoy retro 1950s Americana this is the perfect vacation spot for you. 

The beach is located north of Delaware Seashore State Park and south of Cape Henlopen State Park, so there is plenty to do here. 

If you come to Rehoboth Beach with the kids you have the choice of go-karting at Midway Speedway which has karts for all sizes and ages. 

Or when the weather is warm take to the White Water Mountain Water Park to cool off in the most fun way. For some volcanic excitement check out Fire Mountain Golf for the best mini golf in the state. 

The resort has some fantastic restaurants serving, as you would expect, fresh local seafood including crabs, oysters, clams and the best lobster bisque. You can enjoy tax free shopping here in Delaware so take advantage and stock up on some bargains. 

A short walk away from Rehoboth Beach is Dewey Beach nestled between Rehoboth Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s famous for its nightlife, dancing, live music and great restaurants. 

During the day check out the beach’s activities and sports. In the summer you can enjoy family activities here such as bonfires and movies on the beach. Other activities here include kayaking, surfing, skimboarding, paddle boarding and sailing. 

Alternatively, explore the shoreline at your leisure and hang around to catch one of the majestic sunsets. There is always something to do at Rehoboth Beach no matter what the time of year, so check it out. 

12. Kiawhah Island, South Carolina

Kiawhah Island, South Carolina

The Carolinas are home to some of the best east coast beaches and Kiawhah Island, in South Carolina is one of them. Just 24 miles from downtown Charleston you will find this unspoiled beautiful beach with ten miles of soft sand to sink your toes into. 

There are perfectly preserved maritime forests to explore as well as sand dunes and marshes. Some of the wildlife you may see here include whitetail deer, bobcats, alligators and sea turtles. 

Kiawhah Island is a residential area and most of the properties are privately owned. The only public access to the beach is from the island’s west side at Beachwalker Park. This is the perfect place to have a go at kayaking, boogie boarding, or paddle boarding. 

The island is also an amazing place to play golf as it is one of the premier golf destinations in this part of the country with 5 championship golf courses. In fact, Kiawah Island Golf Resort hosted the 2012 and more recently, the 2021 PGA Championship. 

You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to dining out on Kiawhah Island. The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary has some of the best steaks and amazing, locally sourced, sustainable seafood, and it is Forbes Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond rated. 

For something a little different, try the Turtle Point Grill and Bar where they serve all things Italian with fresh pasta and pizzas made every day.

Kiawhah Island is one of the most beautiful places you will ever visit and the only problem you may have is tearing yourself away. Make sure to come here in 2023 and make some memories that will last a lifetime.

13. Tybee Island, Georgia

Tybee Island, Georgia

This barrier island is just 20 minutes from downtown Savannah. It has been a popular vacation destination since the 1800s, and it’s not hard to see why. It has five clean beaches with warm waves lapping the shore, tall palm trees and river grass swaying in the breeze. 

Each of the beaches has its own personality. North Beach is the largest of Tybee Island’s sandy stretches and has lots of activities to keep you busy. 

Choose whether you want to chill with some deep sea fishing, go jet skiing, give surfing a try or have an exhilarating airboat ride. If you want something a little more sedate, then take a kayak and skim the clear, warm waters or take in the fun salt marsh paddle tour. 

At South Beach, take a stroll on the iconic Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion to enjoy the shopping and eating experiences. Tybrisa Street is where the nightlife happens with lots of live entertainment, cocktail and karaoke bars. 

And if you’ve overdone it the night before, take an afternoon ride around the island on an electric bike, which takes the hard work out of cycling. 

True to its name, MidBeach takes some of the best aspects of both North and South Beach to create a relaxing but interesting experience. Here you will find some of the island’s best eating places serving fresh, local seafood. 

Little Tybee Island is home to a nature preserve and completely uninhabited, it is only accessible by boat but worth a visit. Back River Beach is often regarded as Tybee Island’s secret beach and from here you can enjoy spectacular sunsets and go dolphin watching. 

14. Cisco Beach, Massachusetts

Cisco Beach, Massachusetts

If you are looking for a beautiful East Coast beach where you can enjoy great surfing then you have found it. 

Cisco Beach in Nantucket isn’t your typical beach resort full of amenities and water sports. Instead it is a haven of natural beauty and serenity, apart from the 5 foot high crashing waves of course. But if you love surfing then this is all you need. 

Or if you just want to sit on the beach and enjoy the ocean view this is the place to do it. The beach is popular with young adults and not so much a family oriented destination because of the lack of amenities. 

Be advised there are strong rip currents here and the water can be quite cold. The large submerged sandbar which allows waves to break away from the shore and the strong current on the south shore makes this a surfer’s paradise. 

You will need to be a strong swimmer to take to the waters here and there is a lifeguard on duty in the summer months. If you are a surfing beginner it is best to take instruction at one of the local surf schools. 

This is also a great fishing spot and there are often dozens of fishermen on the shore at dawn or dusk trying to land a striped bass. 

For bird watchers the Northern Harrier can be spotted cruising over the dunes looking for prey throughout the year. In the fall Cisco Beach sees an influx of migratory birds such as the Peregrine Falcon, Merlin and American Kestrel. 

15. Montauk Beach, New York

Montauk Beach, New York

The town of Montauk is on the most easterly point of Long Island and located east of the Hamptons. There are several beaches at Montauk and if you speak to anyone from New York they will tell you they are the best beaches in the world. 

Whether that is true or not they are certainly some of the best beaches on the East Coast and well worth a visit in 2023. You’ll find some of the best beaches on the south shore including South Edison Beach and Kirk Park Beach. 

These are on the same stretch of sand that is commonly referred to as Montauk Beach due to its proximity to the village of Montauk. This area is not overly developed, so there are no boardwalks here, only natural rolling dunes or towering cliffs and wide, white sands. 

Some of the beaches require permits, but these can typically be obtained from the accommodation where you are staying. 

Ditch Plains is one of the best known and most popular beaches in Montauk primarily because of its reputation as a great surfing spot. It’s also a hot spot for stand-up paddle boarding so grab a board and jump in. 

Hither Hills State Park is the only beach that allows public camping in tents as well as RVs (Also check out the Best RV Parks In Phoenix).

Situated on miles of uninterrupted soft, white sand this is the perfect place to just catch some rays or stroll on the beach. You can fish from here or take a hike or bike ride in the park. 

When you want to eat, head to Montauk Yacht Club which has some excellent food, and you can eat in the dining room overlooking the beach. 

16. Ocean City, Maryland

Ocean City, Maryland

For those who enjoy a beach with lots going on, Ocean City, Maryland is the perfect vacation spot for 2023. There is an enormous beach and plenty of facilities for every type of vacationer. 

It is regularly patrolled by lifeguards, so it is also one of the safest beaches to spend warm, sunny days. Along the boardwalk you will find shops, restaurants, gift shops as well as play areas and an amusement park for the kids. 

Have a go at a new experience such as sea fishing or jet skiing here or for a truly unique experience visit the Assateague Island National Seashore where you see wild horses roaming around. 

You can also hike for miles and try to spot some of the hundreds of bird species that live here. 

Along the ten miles of Atlantic coast you will find every kind of activity that you can think of to do at the beach such as surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, deep sea fishing and of course, swimming. 

If you do want to go fishing you can either do that from the pier or charter a boat and try your hand at catching some White Marlin. Ocean City is the White Marlin capital of the world, so there’s no shortage of facilities to land a catch on your vacation. 

Take a stroll along the 3 mile long boardwalk lined with quirky attractions and fill up along the way. Try the best french fries ever, an ice cream to cool you down or some tempting, caramel popcorn. 

17. Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Old Orchard Beach, Maine

For a traditional beach resort for the whole family Old Orchard Beach will have everything you could want. The beach is wide, and safe with lifeguards stations and regular patrols. 

To keep the kids entertained there are lots of amusements and rides including a Ferris wheel, carousels and roller coasters. Or take them to Palace Playground, an amusement park that has been around for over a century and is still operational. 

If you are vacationing without little ones then the beach offers the opportunity to try jet skiing, kayaking, body surfing or even parasailing.

If you just want to unwind then there’s more than seven miles of sand so plenty of space to lie in the sun without being surrounded by crowds. 

When you want to eat or do some shopping head to The Pier in the middle of the beach where you will find restaurants, bars, and gift shops. 

At night there’s live entertainment, including comedy, karaoke and DJs playing all the right sounds for you to put your dancing shoes on. The Pier also hosts weekly firework displays during the summer months. 

Out on the water you can enjoy kayaking or canoeing particularly in the Saco River or nearby Scarborough salt marsh. This is a habitat for a variety of wildlife and species of birds. Have a productive day on the water and take a fishing or a lobster trip. 

With an experienced captain showing you the ropes you may catch mackerel, bluefish or striped bass.  Back on dry land you may take a while to get your land legs back so take a bike trip along the Eastern Trail that stretches for 28 miles. 

18. Madison, Connecticut

Madison, Connecticut

Connecticut may not be the first place that springs to mind when you are looking for East Coast beaches to visit in 2023, but that’s because they have a well kept secret. 

Hammonasset Beach has more than two miles of sandy beach and has been nicknamed The Hidden Gem of Madison. This is because it is quite secluded but is still accessible by car and public transportation. 

There’s plenty to do here with facilities for scuba diving, boating, saltwater fishing and of course swimming. There are lifeguards on duty throughout the summer for your safety. 

Hammonasset Beach State Park offers over 1000 acres to explore including the Meigs Point Nature Center where young and old alike can learn about the natural world. 

Hop on a bike and take to the Shoreline Greenway Trail which offers views of woodlands, marshes and a tidal stream. This is still under development but hopes to stretch for an impressive 25 miles linking local communities. 

For mountain biking, Rockland Preserve has 650 acres and seventeen different trails to choose from. 

Time at the beach can be spent playing volleyball or if you are feeling adventurous hire a stand-up paddle board or go surfing. 

The historic and quaint town of Madison is a joy to explore whether you are searching for a great place to eat or want to do a little vacation shopping.

The downtown area is pedestrian friendly and allows you to explore the family-run shops and restaurants. 

There’s also an art cinema and one of the country’s best independent bookstores which has many famous visitors to its name including Hillary Clinton and Jane Fonda. 

19. Coney Island, New York

Coney Island, New York

Perhaps one of the most famous East Coast beaches, Coney Island is a place that should be on everyone’s bucket list. So if you haven’t already been, make 2023 the year you visit this historic destination. 

This is the classic city beach experience, but the city just happens to be New York.

Walking down the boardwalk at Coney Island you may get the feeling that you’ve been here before, but that’s probably because you have seen it so many times in the movies and on TV. 

It is one of the most recognizable boardwalks in the whole country and is full of rides, arcades and concessions. It is also now an official New York City landmark.  

But let’s not forget the beach. It is more than 3 miles long and welcomes an incredible 5 million visitors a year. You can swim, surf or fish here. There’s also a beach gym if you’re feeling energetic, a skate park and a volleyball court. 

For the little ones there’s a great playground right on the beach. Steeplechase Pier was built in 1904 and is the only pier remaining on the island. It has been battered by the sea, boats, hurricanes and fires over the last 119 years. 

The latest rebuild was done in 2013 following damage by Hurricane Sandy the previous year. 

Events at Coney Island include the annual Sand Sculpting Competition, weekly Friday fireworks, and Flicks on the Beach. 

And of course, no trip to Coney Island would be complete without purchasing a hot dog from one of the food vendors. After all, this is the alleged birthplace of that iconic fast food. 

20. Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island is yet another hidden treasure among East Coast beaches that should be on your must-visit list. 

This is the kind of beach you come to in order to unplug from the stresses of everyday life and a vacation in this secluded paradise will set you up for the rest of the year. 

Just a short ferry ride from the mainland, the island surrounded by sandy beaches just waiting to be explored and enjoyed. If you don’t enjoy ferry rides you can also take a flight to the island.

Fred Benson Town Beach has some of the softest sand you’ll find at any resort and has gentle waves, ideal if you have small children. The secluded Mansion Beach has bigger waves and is best accessed by bike as the car park can quickly fill up. 

If you enjoy hiking take one of the many trails along the Mohegan Bluffs. These can be quite challenging so may not be suitable for younger children but if you do manage to make it to the top you may be able to see Montauk on Long Island. 

You could also visit the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge which is famed for its migratory songbirds. 

The island is hilly so if you think you’ll need it, hire a bike to get around, you won’t want to miss visiting the two lighthouses. One is at the southern end of the island and the other at the northern end. 

If you’re hungry after all that exercise there are plenty of great places to eat on the island including traditional diners, seafood restaurants and a Southeast Asian inspired eatery with unique cocktails. 

21. Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach, Florida

No list of east coast beaches to visit would be complete without Miami Beach and if you have never been, this is the year to visit. 

The shoreline is almost two and a half miles long, giving you so much to choose from and has great surfing spots, including Penrod Park at South Beach.

It may be a popular destination, but you’ll always find a place to kick back and relax on Miami Beach. 

The inviting, warm waters draw crowds all summer long, it is a national symbol of summer culture. But the beach is not all that is on offer here, as inviting as it is. 

There is so much to do and see at Miami Beach beyond the sand and sun. While it does set the gold standard for resort destinations, the area is constantly evolving and renewing to maintain its attraction. 

As a result, you will find world-renowned nightlife, art galleries, top notch restaurants and the ultimate in designer shopping. 

Miami Beach is also home to an eclectic mix of architectural styles, from the Art Deco district to Española’s Way at South Beach. This district is home to European inspired outdoor cafés and bistros. 

If food is your thing, there are a multitude of different gastronomic styles to choose from, including pan Asian, fusion cuisine or haute cuisine. 

Of course, you’ll find plenty of restaurants serving fresh local seafood, but you’ll also find some of the best steaks and burgers. 

Check out the Lincoln Road area, which is a pedestrian-only promenade offering a host of unique shops, sidewalk cafés and a vibrant buzz. Make sure Miami Beach is on your beach bucket list this year. 

Final Thoughts

A beach vacation can be as laid back and relaxing or as adventurous and exhilarating as you want, you just need to find the right destination to meet your expectations. 

The East Coast has so much to offer that you are bound to find the perfect beach vacation to suit you and your family. With a little luck this will be the year you make memories that will last a lifetime. 

We hope our guide to the 21 best beaches on the East Coast has helped you narrow down your choices.

Alex Kallen
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