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Top 5 U.S. Beaches Revealed In New Report (And They Might Surprise You!)

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Where are the best beaches in the United States?

A new report reveals the rankings and the best beaches might not be what you're expecting.

According to Travel + Leisure, these are the top U.S. beach destinations for 2024.

View of a beach in the USA

You'll find a mix of East Coast and West Coast beaches on this list, including a few picks that might surprise you.

Criteria used to determine the best beaches include the quality of sand, the waves, how much seclusion is offered, public transport and parking, whether there's a boardwalk, beach activities, and the amount of shade.

Without further ado, here's a look at the top beaches according to this ranking:

5. Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Florida is one of the top beach destinations in the United States, home to many beautiful beaches that can get crowded with tourists flocking to the Sunshine State.

According to Travel + Leisure, the best Florida beach is Clearwater Beach.

Located on Florida's Gulf Coast near Tampa, Clearwater Beach boasts powder-white sand, calm and clear turquoise waters, and year-round warm weather and sunshine.

Popular activities at Clearwater Beach include stand-up paddle boarding, Jet-Skiing, parasailing, fishing, and watching the sunset.

4. Pope Beach, Lake Tahoe, California

Pope Beach in Lake Tahoe, California

Another one of the best beaches in the U.S. is Pope Beach at Lake Tahoe in California.

It's unique compared to the other beaches on this list because it's not on the ocean. Rather, this beach is located on the southern shores of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, one of the most beautiful lakes in the United States.

This beach has a wide stretch of sand where you can relax in the sun, surrounded by tall pine trees with mountain vistas in the distance.

3. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California

Coronado Beach in San Diego

Coronado Beach in San Diego, California ranks as the third-best beach in the country.

This city beach on Coronado Island is easily accessible from downtown San Diego, and it's flanked by the iconic Victorian-era Hotel del Coronado.

The beach is popular with swimmers, surfers, and sunbathers. It's a great beach for the whole family, and there's also a dog-friendly section to the north.

With its year-round sunny weather, San Diego is a great destination to visit at any time.

2. Ocean City, Maryland

Aerial view of Ocean City, Maryland

According to Travel + Leisure, the nation's second-best beach is Ocean City, Maryland. This Atlantic Coast beach town might not immediately come to mind when you think of beautiful beaches, but it's a classic summer destination with tons of things to do.

Maryland is a surprisingly popular destination, with more than 40 million annual visitors, and Ocean City is one of the top spots for tourists within the state.

The beach itself is long and sandy, and there's also a huge boardwalk stretching along the beach where you'll find amusement parks, ice cream shops, beachfront boutiques, bike rentals, restaurants and cafes, and so much more to keep you entertained.

All of this makes Ocean City one of the surprisingly best beaches in the United States!

1. Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

Poipu Beach in Kauai

The winner of this list is Poipu Beach on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. In a state filled with hundreds of gorgeous beaches, Poipu Beach stands apart from the rest of the pack.

Kauai, far less visited than the popular islands of Oahu and Maui, is known as a tranquil escape full of stunning natural beauty and hidden places.

One of those hidden gems is Poipu Beach, a protected sandy beach with clear, shallow waters that is popular for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and windsurfing.

It's not hard to see why this slice of paradise was named the best beach in the United States!

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.