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Retreat to the Ocean - 12 US Beaches Perfect for Your Next Ocean-Side Vacation

A gentle breeze is blowing your hair. The warm sun beating on your face. You can almost taste the salt in the air and feel your feet sink into the sand. Birds fly overhead, and you can hear the waves gently crash against the shore.

Nothing calms the mind and restores the spirit quite like an ocean-side retreat.

A trip to the ocean is perfect for your next romantic retreat, family vacation, or getaway with friends. You may want a relaxing day sunbathing on the beach, or a leisurely walk along the coastline. Or you could have a fun-filled day playing in the water or on the sand. Whatever you have in mind, there are plenty of beautiful ocean-side retreats, lining both coasts, for you to explore.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best beaches in the continental US, perfect for your beach vacation. So, whether you are looking to relax or play, you can find the ideal ocean-side retreat for you and your travel companions.

6 Beaches Perfect for a Relaxing Ocean-Side Retreat in the US

If you are looking for a romantic ocean-side retreat in a quiet town, then Lovers Point is perfect. Located just outside Monterey, California, Lovers Point sits at the tip of Monterey Bay. It is a small beach, ideal for picnicking or taking a long walk. We highly recommend renting an electric bike and taking a leisurely ride along the coastline. While you are there, take a quick drive to Point Pinos Lighthouse and Reservation. You won’t regret it!

Drive about two hours outside Seattle, and you will find Olympic National Park, a series of gorgeous beaches. The most spectacular is Shi Shi Beach. This untouched paradise is known for its Point of Arches sea stacks and has become a popular camping spot. However, it can be a hike to access. Instead, try taking a short walk to the rocky shoreline of Ruby Beach. The most accessible beach is Rialto Beach. You can walk to the Hole-in-the Wall rock arch at low tide.

Pfeiffer Beach is perfect if you love road trips and long walks on the beach! Pfeiffer Beach is a gorgeous cove near Big Sur, California, a popular stop along the infamous Highway 1 that traces most of the California coastline. It is the perfect spot to take a scenic walk, comb the beach for treasures, or hike a nearby trail.

This incredible stretch of mostly deserted beaches is part of the Boardman Corridor outside Brookings, Oregon. They require a little effort to access, but it’s worth it. Beaches like Whaleshead and Lone are good if you only want to take a leisurely walk. If you are willing to take a gentle hike, you can visit Secret Beach to check out the private waterfall.

Nags Head is the heart of the popular vacation destination, the Outer Banks. Most people who visit fall in love and return year after year. Full of charming beach houses, boutique shops, and tasty seafood dining, Nags Head is the perfect location for a relaxing ocean-side retreat on the east coast.

Sand Beach is a tranquil retreat, a small shoreline in Arcadia National Park. It is tucked between mountains and rocky shores and is made up of primarily crushed shell sand. Chilled water, incredible views, and perfect solitude are found on this beautiful shoreline.

6 Beaches Perfect for a Fun-Filled Ocean-Side Retreat in the US

A beloved neighborhood in San Diego, California, La Jolla hosts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. You can go snorkeling, scuba diving, or exploring sea caves. You can check out the incredible restaurants and bars along the shore or take the kids to the Children’s Pool to look for seal pups.

Ventura, California is the ultimate beach and surf town. They have miles of beaches that host some of the world’s best waves. Surfers travel from all over to enjoy the swells at Ventura Beach. Not a surfer? Don’t worry. You can find plenty of family-friendly coves along the coast, protected from the big waves.

If you like to explore, the Cape Disappointment State Park is a must! There is plenty to explore, from lighthouses atop windy cliffs to overgrown ruins of military bunkers and coast defense batteries.

This island paradise contains multiple beaches brimming with activities. You can take a diving or snorkeling tour, go on a port excursion, try saltwater fishing, or even sign up for a dolphin encounter! You can do your favorite water sports at the beach, then set up a picnic on the sand. Just across from the beach, you’ll find art galleries, antique shops, and various other fun events perfect for the whole family.

Virginia Beach is known for its energetic boardwalk, incredible dining scene, and flourishing art and entertainment. For a lively good time, visit Oceanfront for live music, street performers, outdoor cafes, and the famous Rudee Inlet Marina. If you want something a little more private, try Sandbridge. It’s a peaceful beach hideaway with dunes and dancing tall grass.

For an urban beach ideal for people watching, sunbathing, and playing, check out Lummus Park Beach. It’s in Miami Beach, Florida, which has been made famous by the multiple films, tv shows, and music videos filmed there. Lummus Park has great playgrounds and bike paths, but they are most known for the grassy areas right by the beach. They are perfect for playing soccer and volleyball or laying out a picnic without dealing with the hot gritty sand.

When planning your next ocean-side retreat,

ask yourself: Do I want to scuba dive or go surfing? Would I prefer walking along the beach and playing in the sand? Am I looking for a spot that is easy to access, or am I ok taking a short hike?

No matter your preference, we hope we were able to help you find the right beach for you.

Let us know what beach you decide to visit! Are there any we didn’t include that are worth mentioning? Let us know!

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