School is starting just around the corner so you want to squeeze every last inch of sunshine out of your summer as possible. No matter how you picture your ideal beach vacation, we have the perfect place for you. Whether you want a family-friendly getaway far from the throngs of tourists or a coastal hot spot with incredible nightlife, here's our list of 11 beaches located across the U.S. that you can't miss before summer is over.
Relaxing Beaches For End Of Summer Vacations
Before you get back to the hustle and bustle of school carpool lines, plan one last getaway at Chincoteague. This island is perfect for fishing, bird watching and stargazing. This untouched piece of paradise doesn't have restaurants, bars, or other commercial developments, so you can enjoy the winding bike paths and sunrise kayak tours is peace.
After your family trip to Disneyworld, unwind a bit at Flagler Beach which is about an hour away. Another place for excellent fishing, you can also enjoy amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean. Take an early morning bike ride or send your kite soaring. Something really fun for the kids is to go wildlife spotting as you kayak through the mangroves at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area.
Imagine two miles of untouched white sand beach ideal for swimming. Add seven miles of backcountry hiking and biking trails. Finally, add camping and lodging facilities. Sounds like the perfect end of summer vacation. The Gulf State Park Pier is also the largest in the Gulf of Mexico measuring in at 1,540 feet long!
This beach actually used to be a dumping ground for cars, appliances, household trash, and you guessed it, glass. Dumping has been prohibited since the 1960s and the waves have since smoothed the glass waste into beautiful, smooth glass pebbles. Tell your kids that they can look but not touch. Collecting is strictly prohibited.
Hop on a bike and go for a seaside ride or take a free tour of the sea turtle research center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s lab. Don't forget to bring comfortable shoes. There's plenty to see and do with 14 museums and 20 art galleries. The entire family will also love a day at Moody Gardens which has an aquarium, theater, replica of a tropical rainforest, and more. Once the sun goes down, there's also plenty of bars and restaurants along Seawall Boulevard to wet your whistle.
Ever dreamed of surfing like a pro? Here's your chance. There's no coincidence that Surf City is named after the sport. This family friendly beach has small summertime waves which is perfect for beginners to take a lesson or two. The Surf City Pier is also a great for the whole family to enjoy the sunset and grab a chocolate dipped ice cream cone.
Osage Beach is located at the cusp of Lake of the Ozarks State Park which counts as a beach in our book. The park has miles of shoreline with two beaches that are even specifically for swimming. Catch plenty of rays without being blocked by someone else's umbrella because this promises to be less crowded than your more typical beach destinations.
While Hammonasset Park has your typical sandy beaches, most people come here to see the huge rocks and boulders, especially at Meigs Point. The two mile beach is also a great spot for saltwater fishing, scuba diving, hiking and boating, not to mention swimming and camping. Meigs Point Nature Center is an environmental learning center open to all ages where you and your family can enjoy more than 50 species of local wildlife.
With the classic Delaware Breakwater East End Light in the distance, Lewes looks like a scene right out of a Nicholas Sparks book. Founded in 1631, this town is still all about enjoying the sand, sun and sea. Here, you'll find miles of beautiful beaches, nature trails and bird sanctuaries. Lewes is also a walking town where you can find the Historic district, museums, many charming inns, Bed & Breakfasts, fine restaurants, and a variety of fine shops all within a half-square mile.
Hawaii may be the farthest destination on our list, but as peak tourist season is coming to an end, the travel prices are dropping, making is the perfect place to hit before summer is over. This beautiful beach in Kailua, Oahu features the breathtaking crystal blue water and white sand that Hawaii is famous for. "Lanikai" means "heavenly sea," and after one visit, you'll understand why this half-mile beach is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world.
This "Sportsman's Paradise" is known for its world-class fishing. Besides fishing, Grand Isle is known for its birding trails which consists of nearly 60 acres of marsh and Chenier forest habitat. Birdwatchers flock here for an annual three-day event called The Grand Isle Migratory Bird Festival usually held in March or April. You'll fall in love with the miles of beaches, incredible wildlife, and the southern hospitality.
This article was written by Lauren Gaw.