Top 10 Best Beaches on the East Coast
The 14 states that make up the U.S. East Coast offer a wide range of climates, geographic regions and cultures. They include Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, all of which have beautiful special beach towns to visit in the summer. You’ll find places as diverse as Cape Cod, the Outer Banks and the Florida Keys. The historic, charming, tropical, wild Atlantic Coast has it all. Here are some of the Best Beaches on the East Coast
Bar Harbor, Maine – Best Beaches on the East Coast
Much of Mount Desert Island is covered by Acadia National Park, home to climbs such as Mount Cadillac and an elaborate system of roadways funded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Surrounding Frenchmen’s Bay, Bar Harbor began attracting visitors back in the mid-19th century, when some of the artists of the Hudson River School, which included artists such as Thomas Cole and Frederick Edwin Church, were drawn to the landscapes of the Lower East Maine. Still picturesque, Bar Harbor has become a full-fledged tourist town with a lively main street, whale-watching tours and, of course, easy access to Acadia.
Rockport, Mass – Best Beaches on the East Coast
The North Shore, a group of towns in Greater Boston, is a culturally important swath of Massachusetts. The coastal region is known for its excellent seafood, beautiful beaches and historical sites. Many good movies have also been made here, such as Martin Scorsese’s “Isle of Damned” and Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea. There are many cities worth visiting, but Rockport is popular with travelers. Forty miles north of Boston, the city has a natural gem not to be missed, Halibut Point State Park, where visitors can see Maine 80 miles away. Rockport is also beloved by art history buffs: it’s home to a fisherman’s hut with the distinction of “the most frequently painted building in America.” It was built in 1840 and was popular because it reflected the maritime character of New England. The cabin was built in 1978, after the original was destroyed.
Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts – Best Beaches on the East Coast
Ferries bring day-trippers daily to this little town of Martha’s Vineyard, and the colorful gingerbread houses for which Oak Bluffs is known are straight out of a storybook. Visitors head straight from their boats to Ocean Park, a circular lawn overlooking the sea surrounded by the homes mentioned, with a gentle foamy gazebo in the center. Oak Bluffs has long welcomed black visitors, and today it hosts the annual African American Film Festival.
Newport, Rhode Island – Best Beaches on the East Coast
Like Oak Bluffs, Newport is a beach town known for its homes, though of a very different type. Ten huge historic mansions that were once the summer homes of the Vanderbilts, Nevada silver heiresses and other Westerners of unimaginable wealth still line the famous trail in the morning. Today, however, they are museums. Two of the most famous are the Wreckers and the Rosecliffe. Today, instead of Great Gatsby-style lawn parties where swans used to roam, Newport attracts visitors of all stripes to events like the Newport Folk Festival.
Montauk, New York – Best Beaches on the East Coast
The ultimate stop on the eastern tip of Long Island is Montauk. Because of the strong winds, rough surf, and reasonably well-preserved land, it really feels like the edge of the world. Montauk feels more remote and understated than its luxurious, picturesque counterparts in the Hamptons. Every visit to Montauk should include a stop at Montauk Point Lighthouse, which was commissioned by President George Washington in 1796. It is still in operation, and the panoramic views from the top are out of this world.
Cape May, New Jersey – Best Beaches on the East Coast
Cape May, a place of pink Victorian-era three-story houses and a lively, festive waterfront that exists as a beach town perfect in America’s collective imagination, is the kind of dreamy summer destination associated with trails of melted ice cream dotting the red-hot sidewalk. of July picnics. National Geographic also called Cape May the best place in the world for birdwatching, writing, “The narrow peninsula on Cape May acts as a funnel for birds, bringing songbirds in during their spring and fall migrations. At dawn on a good day, the legendary Higbee Beach offers front-row seats for a feathery fashion show…If you’re lucky, you can see 20 species of songbirds, each in their own colorful costume.”
Chincoteague, Virginia – Best Beaches on the East Coast
In Chincoteague you won’t find bustling promenades, elegant hotels, or entire cars with clunky bike racks stuck in traffic. This coastal town is dedicated to wildlife, especially its wild horses. Visitors flock to the island every year for the Pony Penning, which has been held since 1925. The event is hosted by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department, and it consists of a pony ride during which the animals cross the Assateague Canal. No one knows exactly how this population of horses came to be, although there are competing theories. Some say they are descendants of Spanish horses that were shipwrecked on their way to Peru in the 17th century. Others claim they were abandoned long ago by pirates. Still others say they escaped farmers from the mainland. The quaint beauty of Chincoteague includes hiking trails, beaches and a red and white lighthouse. For the best pony views, bike to the Maryland side of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
Nags Head, North Carolina – Best Beaches on the East Coast
Nags Head is a beach town on the Outer Banks, a group of barrier islands and spits sandwiched between the North Carolina mainland and the Atlantic Ocean. It is known for its sand dunes in Jockey Ridge State Park, which make up the highest true sand dune system on the East Coast. Hundreds of shipwrecks nearby, caused by quicksand and intense water movement, have earned the surrounding waters the nickname “The Graveyard of the Atlantic,” and the nearby USS Guron is a popular scuba diving destination.
Pawley Island, South Carolina – Best Beaches on the East Coast
Pauley Island is so small that its year-round population fluctuates around 100 people. It was first founded in the 1500s, making it one of the oldest beach towns in the United States. With so much history, of course, there’s a ghost story: there have been instances of the Gray Man, a ghost appearing. His appearance is said to warn of hurricanes as he struts back and forth along the beach, referring to a 19th-century storm. Summertime options on Pawley Island that aren’t scary at all – besides spanking the beach – include golf, fishing, walking through sculpture-laden gardens, and sampling low-country cuisine such as She Crab soup.
Siesta Key, Florida – Best Beaches on the East Coast
While we love the beach towns listed above, the only part of the East Coast with a true tropical climate is the lower half of Florida. Naturally, the beaches in this area are beautiful. Siesta Key in particular can be praised for its fine sand, which comes from the Appalachian Mountains and consists almost entirely of cool and reflective quartz, its waterfront restaurants and drinks, and its excellent quality for water sports such as parasailing. Three beaches worth visiting on Siesta Key are Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach.