America’s Coastal Wonders: 21 Must-See Shorelines

The United States is fringed by over 95,000 miles of coastline, a vast collection of sandy retreats, rugged cliffs, and serene shores. From the sun-kissed beaches of California to the rocky, lighthouse-dotted coast of Maine, these coastlines are the country’s pride and joy. Pack your bags, slather on the sunscreen, and let’s embark on a journey to the 21 most breathtaking coastlines the US has to offer.

1. Maine’s Rocky Shores

shutterstock 2246457187 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sawyer Gentry

Maine’s coastline is a dramatic symphony of towering lighthouses, quaint fishing villages, and rugged shores. The Pine Tree State boasts Acadia National Park, where the mountains meet the sea in spectacular fashion. It’s where lobster is a lifestyle and sunrise views from Cadillac Mountain are unforgettable.

2. The Outer Banks, North Carolina

shutterstock 378610318 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / anthony heflin

This slender chain of barrier islands offers miles of pristine beaches, iconic lighthouses, and wild horses roaming free. The Outer Banks is a blend of history and natural beauty, where the Wright brothers took flight and pirates once sailed.

3. Big Sur, California

shutterstock 291156287 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Lucky-photographer

Big Sur is where the Santa Lucia Mountains dive into the Pacific Ocean in a stunning display of natural beauty. Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway for breathtaking views of the rugged cliffs, misty coastline, and the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge.

4. Florida Keys

shutterstock 183908402 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / ventdusud

The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles off the southern tip of Florida, forming the boundary between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. They offer a paradise of coral reefs, turquoise waters, and laid-back vibes.

5. NA Pali Coast, Hawaii

shutterstock 339637010 1 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexander Demyanenko

Accessible only by boat, helicopter, or a challenging hike, the Na Pali Coast on Kauai is a pristine paradise. It’s a landscape of towering sea cliffs, lush valleys, and waterfalls cascading into the ocean.

6. Oregon’s Rugged Coast

shutterstock 2444345785

Image Credit: Shutterstock / FahimHasan14

Oregon’s coastline is a wild, windswept wonderland of towering dunes, ancient forests, and rugged cliffs. Highlights include the iconic Haystack Rock and the historic lighthouses that stand guard over the Pacific.

7. South Beach, Miami, Florida

shutterstock 1541990411 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / mariakray

Famed for its Art Deco architecture, vibrant nightlife, and turquoise waters, South Beach is where the party meets the sea. It’s a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and colors.

8. Malibu, California

shutterstock 229395874

Image Credit: Shutterstock / turtix

Home to Hollywood stars and world-class surf, Malibu’s coastline offers 21 miles of scenic beauty, from the secluded coves of El Matador Beach to the family-friendly Zuma Beach.

9. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

shutterstock 371888023 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / lunamarina

Cape Cod’s hook-shaped peninsula is dotted with sandy beaches, marshes, and ponds. It’s a haven for maritime activities, from sailing to whale watching, with a side of delicious seafood.

10. Olympic Peninsula, Washington

shutterstock 160615529 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dan Schreiber

The Olympic Peninsula is where the Pacific Northwest meets the sea, offering a mix of rocky shores, dense rainforests, and the remote beaches of Olympic National Park.

11. Gulf Shores, Alabama

shutterstock 2313565463

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Mark Winfrey

With its white sandy beaches and warm waters, Gulf Shores is a slice of paradise on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a family-friendly destination with a side of Southern charm.

12. Monterey Bay, California

shutterstock 2145749085

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Anne M Vallone

Monterey Bay is a marine sanctuary home to sea otters, seals, and a stunning underwater canyon. The coastal town of Monterey offers historic sites, an acclaimed aquarium, and Cannery Row.

13. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

shutterstock 624972992

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Wangkun Jia

An island known for its understated charm and beautiful beaches, Martha’s Vineyard is a summer colony where simplicity meets the sea.

14. Laguna Beach, California

shutterstock 1403939765 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / PICTOR PICTURES

Laguna Beach is a picturesque coastal town known for its stunning beaches, art galleries, and tide pools. It’s a haven for artists and surfers alike.

15. Cannon Beach, Oregon

shutterstock 2444854645 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Robert Harding Video

Famous for its towering sea stack, Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach offers wide sandy beaches, artsy vibes, and cozy coastal inns.

16. The Hamptons, New York

shutterstock 1623054790 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Vincent Vuoto

The Hamptons are synonymous with seaside luxury, offering pristine beaches, elegant homes, and a favorite summer retreat for the elite.

17. Tybee Island, Georgia

shutterstock 2276529875 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Marcus E Jones

Tybee Island is a quaint barrier island near Savannah, with wide sandy beaches, historic forts, and the charm of the Old South.

18. Door County, Wisconsin

shutterstock 1832041882

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Keith Homan

Door County sits on a peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, offering over 300 miles of shoreline dotted with lighthouses, cherry orchards, and quaint coastal towns.

19. Padre Island, Texas

shutterstock 2049185009 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tim Malek

Padre Island features the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world, offering miles of untouched beaches ideal for bird watching, fishing, and soaking up the Texas sun.

20. Avalon, Catalina Island, California

shutterstock 1966649629 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / tomas del amo

A gem off the coast of Southern California, Avalon is the main city on Catalina Island, offering a unique blend of Mediterranean charm and California vibes. It’s a place where bison roam, the waters are crystal clear, and every moment feels like a getaway.

21. Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

shutterstock 1773197015 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gottography

Located in Lake Superior, the Apostle Islands are known for their historic lighthouses, sandstone sea caves, and pristine natural beauty. It’s an extraordinary destination for kayaking, exploring, and connecting with nature on the freshwater sea.

Coast to Coast

shutterstock 517485199 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Goncharovaia

From the rugged, lighthouse-dotted shores of Maine to the tropical paradise of the Florida Keys, and the serene beauty of the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin, the United States boasts some of the most diverse and stunning coastlines in the world. So, grab your camera, pack your bags, and set sail for these breathtaking coastlines!

More Articles Like This…

Barcelona: Discover the Top 10 Beach Clubs

2024 Global City Travel Guide – Your Passport to the World’s Top Destination Cities

Exploring Khao Yai 2024 – A Hidden Gem of Thailand

The post America’s Coastal Wonders: 21 Must-See Shorelines republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Lucky-photographer.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

Tips for Trip Success

Book Your Flight
Find an inexpensive flight by using Kayak, a favorite of ours because it regularly returns less expensive flight options from a variety of airlines.

Book Your Hotel or Special Accommodation
We are big fans of We like their review system and photos. If we want to see more reviews and additional booking options, we go to Expedia.

You Need Travel Insurance!
Good travel insurance means having total peace of mind. Travel insurance protects you when your medical insurance often will not and better than what you get from your credit card. It will provide comprehensive coverage should you need medical treatment or return to the United States, compensation for trip interruption, baggage loss, and other situations.Find the Perfect Insurance Plan for Your Tripimage 9133145 14418597

PassingThru is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

To view PassingThru’s privacy policy, click here.