The beach is synonymous with summer but some shorelines are in a league of their own. Even so, you don’t have to travel to an exotic destination far away to experience an otherworldly beach as there are plenty of epic coastal locales you can visit without a passport.
Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California
This hidden gem is a favorite among those venturing off the beaten path in Big Sur, California and stands out for its photogenic purple sand as well as the distinct Keyhole Rock formation featuring an eye-catching natural arch.
Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland and Virginia
This barrier island located just south of Ocean City is renowned for the wild ponies that roam its beaches. Assateague Island National Seashore is one of the few places in the U.S. where you can view wild horses in a natural habitat.
Boneyard Beach, South Carolina
Visitors to Charleston, South Carolina will want to take the short trip out to Bulls Island to experience Boneyard Beach, a serene setting named for the scenic white trees that have been dried and bleached after years spent in the sun and salt.
Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California
Glass Beach is known for its plethora of smooth colorful glass pieces. The product of a former trash dump, the once-broken bottles have since been transformed into tiny treasures that visitors can examine as they stroll through the sand.
Singing Beach, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts
Located about 30 miles northeast of Boston in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Singing Beach gets its name from its “singing” sand, which makes noise as you walk on it or whenever the wind blows.
Papakolea Beach, Hawaii
Located on the Big Island, Hawaii’s Papakolea Beach is one of only four green sand beaches in the world and one of only two in the U.S. The famous green crystals that the beach is named for are also mixed with black and white sand that originates from lava, coral and shells, giving it a unique hue.
Cape Alava, Washington
Few places in the Pacific Northwest are as cool as Cape Alava located in Washington’s Olympic National Park. This popular hiking spot features a spectacular beach that will have you feeling as if you’ve landed on a different planet.
Bowling Ball Beach, Point Arena, California
California’s Bowling Ball Beach gets its name from its numerous round rocks resembling that heavy sports equipment, making it an excellent spot for tide-pooling during low tide. You’ll find this picturesque beach along Schooner Gulch State Beach about three hours north of San Francisco.
Caspersen Beach, Venice, Florida
Florida’s Venice Beach has been dubbed the Shark Tooth Capital of the World and it’s easy to see why once you step onto Caspersen Beach. This shelling paradise features an abundance of prehistoric sharks’ teeth.
Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico
The ultra-calm Flamenco Beach is an ideal place to lounge, swim or snorkel on Puerto Rico’s Culebra Island and features iconic landmarks in multiple rusting, graffiti-covered tanks that serve as a reminder of the U.S. Navy’s occupancy of the island.
Trunk Bay Beach, USVI
One of the most photographed beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Trunk Bay Beach on the island of St. John is as beautiful as Caribbean beaches come and every bit as appealing under the water’s surface, where visitors can experience a self-guided underwater snorkeling trail.
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