USA Beach Holidays

America's beach holiday hot spots

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Russ Sanchez

Russ Sanchez
HomeAway travel expert

US BeachesFrom the iconic white sands and almost otherworldly blue waters of Hawaii in the Pacific, to such famous East Coast haunts as Martha's Vineyard in the Atlantic – where the American elite have watered for centuries – the USA's sprawling coastline contains beaches to suit every holiday temperament. For example: there are to be found here both lively beaches backed by glamorous resort hotels and strewn with beautiful, scantily clad people in various states of repose; and quiet, secluded ones with shallow crystalline waters that stretch to the horizon – and every point between. So whatever it is you desire from your beach holiday, you can find it – somewhere – in the US.

And since HomeAway has private rentals all across the globe, you can be sure to find the perfect hacienda to host your USA beach holiday. But with so many options – and so many coasts! – which will you choose? That IS the question. Here are our suggestions as to where to locate your holiday bliss amongst the stars and stripes' top beaches.


The very best beaches in the US of A


USA beach holidays at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina USA beach holidays at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

A long-time East Coast favourite, South Carolina's Myrtle Beach is one of America's best-known beaches. Miles of soft, even sands (dotted with the occasional loggerhead sea turtle), and clean sparkling surf. Daytime temperatures average 28°C – 33°C, so bring your sunscreen. Pets are not allowed on the beach 10AM to 5 PM, May 1st through to September 1st (although they are allowed elsewhere in Myrtle Beach State Park, if kept on a lead).  

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USA beach holidays at Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii USA beach holidays at Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Waikiki is one of the most famous beaches in the world, known for its crystalline blue waters – which are very shallow in many areas, extending far into the ocean – white sands, and the concentration of ritzy hotels that form its backdrop. It is, in short, the classic picture-postcard beach; indeed, it was the playground of Hawaiian royalty in the 1800s! It's also known as an excellent site for beginning surfers.  

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USA beach holidays at Venice Beach, California USA beach holidays at Venice Beach, California

As a Cali boy, myself, I'd be lynched in my home state if I didn't include a couple Californian entries on this list – and the first of these is Venice beach. Surely you've heard of Venice beach. Not for the beach itself, which, though lovely, with soft sands and sun aplenty, is pretty par for the course for CA beaches. What truly distinguishes Venice Beach is the circus that is Ocean Front Walk, an over two-mile-long promenade-cum-street theatre extravaganza. There you'll find roller skaters, fortune tellers, street performers, artists, burn-outs, vendors, and, of course, body builders. Few places outside LA so characterize So Cal quirk like Venice Beach; it shouldn't be passed up.

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USA beach holidays at Matador Beach, California USA beach holidays at Matador Beach, California

My second Californian entry, and perhaps the polar opposite of Venice Beach, is Matador Beach, in Malibu. There is nothing to the beach – other than the frequent fashion photo shoots that take place there – beside the beach itself. But the beach itself is a doozy: long, softly sandy, and pristine, with iconic coves and rock arches that time has worn into the cliffs. And the sunsets here? Almost beyond description. If relaxation is a top priority for your US beach holiday, without the city being entirely out of reach, Matador Beach is it. Just be aware that its seclusion comes at a price: it's a steep climb down to the beach, and is not easily accessible to those with limited mobility.   

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USA beach holidays at St. Pete Beach, Floriida USA beach holidays at St. Pete Beach, Floriida

Florida is another state with a deserved reputation as a beach lover's Mecca. Choosing a favourite from among its beaches is extremely difficult, but St. Pete is definitely one of the best. Located in St Petersburg, Florida, southwest of Tampa, St. Pete has some of the snowiest sands in the US, and is lapped by the clear warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Schools of dolphins are known to frolic in its waters. It is often a quiet beach, but any number of activities, like sea kayaking, are available for those who haven't mastered the art of being exquisitely idle.  

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Beach Holiday Homes in the USA

Cactus Flower - Organic Beachliving

Cactus Flower is a one-bedroom guest house designed from the ground up as a sustainable luxury building with solar electric power, solar-thermal hot water systems, reverse osmosis water filtration, organic cotton towels and linens and non-toxic cl...

Caribbean 403

1057 West Beach Boulevard ~ 1 Bedroom ~ 1.5 Baths ~ Master Queen ~ Hall Bunk Beds ~ Sleeper Sofa ~ 2 TVs ~DVD ~ Wireless Internet ~ Washer/Dryer ~ Indoor Pool ~ Outdoor Pool Heated Seasonally ~ BBQ Grills ~ Exercise Room ~ Steam Room ~ Sauna ~ Ele...

La Puerta 4-231 Isla Del Sol Golf Course View - internet, w/d, balcony

Enjoy the golf course view from this second floor Isla Del Sol Condo! This unit has wireless Internet Access too! This condo sleeps six with a king size bed in the master bedroom, twin beds in the guest bedroom and a queen size sleeper sofa bed in...

Fall Wks $200 Off Beautiful Mustique 1402, 4 Bd/4.5 Ba Luxury Condo Beach+Lagoon

PLEASE KNOW THAT WE WILL NEVER ASK FOR PAYMENT BY WIRE TRANSFER. We have several Mustique condos. If this one is already reserved, contact us--the others are every bit as beautiful! Beautiful upscale condo on the 14th floor offers amazing v...

Halekai III Gulf Shores Premier Beachfront Home

PLEASE KNOW THAT WE WILL NEVER ASK FOR PAYMENT BY WIRE TRANSFER. This is it! With 11 bedrooms and 11 full baths, this beautiful new designer home will accommodate up to 36 people. Two full kitchens, including one custom designed for catering, i...


Madeira Norte condominium building sits directly on the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico. Our 940 sq. ft. condo faces the Boca Ciega Intercoastal waterway where you can enjoy the daily beautiful sunrise from your huge balcony. In the evening tak...

Ocean Front/South Beach Penthouse 09 W/ Private Roof Jacuzzi

Sole penthouse in enclave & South Beach w/ the above 2 miles of spectacular South East Ocean Front View. One-of-a-Kind 700 SF Marble Private Ocean Front Rooftop Terrace w/ Jacuzzi encased in Muguet du Bois, 4 Person Dining, Wetbar, Outdoor Music ...

Top Floor Oceanfront Condo Suite w/Beach View & Pool - Ocean Drive - South Beach

Quiet top floor Oceanfront Condo Suite offering ocean views from balcony. Centrally located on Ocean Drive right next to the former Versace Mansion. In the heart of South Beach, walking distance to all the attractions. Amazing location across fro...

Waterfront, Quiet With Outstanding Views!

The ocean is right outside your door! This family-friendly home is on the North Shore of the island with unforgettable sunrises and sunsets. The view of Mt. Baker is breathtaking. You can access the beach easily. Two large bedroom suites with Ki...

Updated Townhome Steps to the Beach, Shopping, Dining, Entertainment & Nightlife

LAUDERDALE BY THE SEA LIVING AT IT'S BEST! Whether you are looking for a tranquil retreat to relax and unwind or a action packed South Florida experience of sun, surf, sand, and entertainment this property has something for everyone. IT’S ALL AB...
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