Beach vacations can be some of the most fun and the most romantic getaways, making them the perfect vacation for couples. With so much to offer, like relaxing time spent sunbathing, long walks by the water, and hours exploring local shops and restaurants, the beach is the perfect place for some quality one on one time. So if you’re looking for the perfect beach town to explore and a sprawling sandy shoreline to stroll, look no further than these 10 beach destinations right here in the US.
The Best U.S. Beaches for Couples:
1. Islamadora, Florida
Florida is chock full of beautiful and fun beaches, but if you’re looking for a romantic and less crowded destination, then you may want to skip Miami and head for the six island chain known as Islamadora. The water here offers amazing fishing and breathtaking snorkeling in Keys Reef, and the small island community (there are only about 6,000 full time residents) offers a small town feel. For time away from the sun and sand, check out the History of Diving Museum, take a yoga class, explore the tropical landscape, or feast on some local seafood. The best and most popular time to visit is between December and May, making this the perfect destination to cure the wintertime blues. If you’re looking for a quieter getaway, try visiting during the 'shoulder season' between peak and off-peak times and book your trip between September and November. Either way, Snowbirds who will be in Florida during these months should certainly make a visit!
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2. Cannon Beach, Oregon
For the adventurers at heart, it doesn’t get much better than the beaches of the Pacific Northwest. Cannon Beach offers all of the picturesque and awe inspiring beauty that couples would expect from a beach vacation, but without the high temperatures and humidity that can accompany other tropical locations. This laid back beach is the perfect place to take a long walk, fly kites, watch the sunset, or even brave the chilly Pacific waters and go for a swim. Couples can marvel at Haystack Rock, ride bikes by the water at low tide, or explore the tide pools and see stunning starfish and anemones.
Downtown Cannon Beach is a classic beach town, and the locals are friendly and welcoming. Grab an ice cream cone, visit the Tuesday farmers market, or check out the local art galleries. The town is a West Coast hot spot and has a ton to offer visitors. Make sure to visit in the summer or fall for warmer temperatures (usually in the 60s and 70s), but if you’re looking to visit in the off season, Spring brings beautiful wildflowers and winter is the perfect time to watch storms brewing off the coast.
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3. Shell Beach, California
Shell Beach sits in between Los Angeles and San Francisco and is a favorite spot among visitors and locals alike. It’s the perfect place to park the car and enjoy a stunning coastal view or wander down to the shore to explore tide pools and coves. Don’t be afraid to set out on its gentle waters, as a kayaking tour is highly recommended for a romantic paddle along the coast line. From the cliffs along Shell Beach you can fish, sit on a bench and take in the expansive ocean, or bring a picnic basket and have a tasty lunch with a view.
Shell Beach is an unincorporated area of Pismo Beach, California, and this fun California town offers plenty of activities for couples. The area has great golfing, ATV rides, shopping outlets, an award winning boardwalk, and romantic area wineries. Summer is the most popular time for visitors, but the area is blessed with great weather year round, so keep in mind that winter is the best time for whale watching!
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4. Nantucket, Massachusetts
Nantucket sits 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. This tiny island may be a destination for the rich and famous, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be the perfect haven for a romantic adventure. In fact, this beloved Massachusetts vacation spot attracts couples and families from far and wide. Surfside Beach, just a quick bike ride from downtown, boasts a wide beach that is perfect for picnics, a game of paddle ball, and early morning shelling. For super a private beach experience, head to Coatue Beach, where visitors can spot harbor seals and take a relaxing stroll along the salt marshes and rolling dunes.
While you’re on the island, make sure to visit some of the charming and historic lighthouses that are scattered along the shores, and book a seaside rental for a romantic stay. Explore the town by bike, visit boutique stores, and dine at some classic chowder shacks. Visit during the shoulder season in March and April or September and October to avoid the tourist hordes and high prices.
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5. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Carmel-by-the-Sea was named the #3 Best City for Romance in the World by Travel & Leisure in 2014. Couples accompanied by their pets are in luck, as the beach offers off-leash dog walking. Make the most of your beach time in Carmel by surfing, cozying up around a beach bonfire, and planning a sunset picnic on the sand. Keep your eyes peeled for Carmel's marine wildlife, which include sea lions, otters, dolphins, and whales that can be spotted just off the coast line.
Carmel-by-the-Sea is the perfect destination for couples looking to getaway to a charming and artistic town, offering plenty of window shopping and sight seeing. Downtown is full of high end cafes, boutique shops, galleries, and antique stores. The area is a haven for artists, so be on the look out for plenty of unique, local artwork. With a beautiful beach and a thriving downtown area year round, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a great destination for all seasons.
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6. Ho’okipa Beach Park, Maui
Maui beaches never disappoint, and the laid back island vibes and amazing sunsets are sure to inspire romance. Ho’okipa is not only one of the best beaches on the island, but it’s one of the most famous beaches in the world. Ho'okipa Beach Park is a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, or surf lessons during the spring and summer, and the winter months offer up Humpback Whale watching and a front row seat to watch international water athletes tear up the heavy surf.
The nearest town is Paia, and it’s one of a few authentic little towns in Hawaii away from the resorts. The town is full of fun surf shops, tasty Mediterranean restaurants, and an eclectic mix of locals and visitors.
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7. East Hampton, New York
The luxury and low stress vibes of the Hampton’s make it the perfect ocean side stop for lovers, and Main Beach is exactly what you would expect from a Hampton’s seaside spot. The water stays pretty calm, making it perfect for swimming, and the soft flat sand will make youwant to lay on this beach all day long. Set up an umbrella for some quiet time by the water or pick out a book to read together. When exploring downtown, stop off at the newly renovated Parrish Art Museum or duck into one of the local music venues. Don’t miss wine tasting at a local vineyard, and be sure to take advantage of the fresh gourmet food. Once you and your partner have been sufficiently wined and dined, return to the water and take a sunset sail on a catamaran. For the best weather without the summer crowds, visit in the late Spring and early Fall.
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8. Rehoboth Beach, Deleware
Rehoboth Beach is an old-fashioned resort town, perfect for a cozy and romantic getaway. The beach is great for sand castles, surfing, dolphin watching, or even an early morning run along the coast. Walk along the famous Rehoboth boardwalk, one of the city’s most beloved attractions, and peruse the eclectic shops, restaurants, and local businesses. Win a prize for your sweet heart at one of the corny-cute arcade games, have dinner in an open air restaurant, or head over to the Beach Bandstand for live music.
If you’re looking to experience all the hustle and bustle of this fun beach town, visit in the heat of the summer, but if you’d rather have a little more privacy on the beach and boardwalk, aim for June or August. These months offer warm weather without the crowds, and most of the attractions will still be open.
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9. Port Townsend, Washington
It’s hard to beat the rustic beauty of the Washington Coast, and the beaches of Port Townsend are a picture of the rugged and rocky coastline that characterize this area. Visit Fort Worden State Park, a retired army base, for acres of saltwater beaches, wooded hills, and beautiful views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. It’s the perfect spot for nature lovers to take in the view, explore tide pools, or comb the beach for sea glass.
Port Townsend is the gateway to the Olympic National Park and boasts a beautiful Victorian-era downtown area. The city is full of boutique shopping, waterfront seafood
restaurants, and a harbor full of sail boats and yachts. For the adventurous couple, take a five mile hike out for a tour of the Dungeness Lighthouse or drive into the Olympic National Park forsome deep wilderness exploring. The best time to visit the Washington Coast ranges from mid or late summer to early fall, as this time of year offers mild temperatures and little rainfall.
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10. St. Simons Island, Georgia
This unspoiled hideout in the deep south is the largest of Georgia’s four Golden Isles. Find a room that overlooks one of the island’s historic lighthouses and spend your time on one of the two white-sand beaches. The tides on East Beach leave the sand flat and firm, perfect for a couple’s bike ride along the edge of the ocean.
If you’re looking to be more active or to explore the island, play a round of golf at one of the many breathtaking courses, take a trolley tour of an island plantation, or challenge your partner to a match at one of the local public tennis courts. For a romantic look out point, climb to the top of St. Simons Light House for a magnificent view of the island. The best time to visit St. Simons is between late spring and early fall when the temperatures are warm and couples can easily spend long days at the beach or exploring the island.
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This article was written by Alexis Hartmann and edited Tripping.com Content Specialist, Lexi Perman.
Hero Image Credit: Joseph Barrientos