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

2 bedroom condo in OCEANFRONT Del Mar Shores Terr. !

Del Mar Shores Terrace is a gated, OCEANFRONT complex in Solana Beach and offers a fabulous oceanfront pool, Jacuzzi and club house, all for your enjoyment, plus stairs to the beach. This unit is a 2bd/2ba and quite spacious and open. There are ...

Beautiful RARE 3 bedroom OCEANFRONT condo!

Views to La Jolla! Oceanfront CORNER unit with panoramic ocean views from almost every room; upgraded, lovely furnishings, stainless steel appliances, partial travertine flooring, mirrored wardrobes and plantation shutters. Plasma TV in living r...

Charming one bedroom, OCEANFRONT Condo

Light, bright oceanfront condo offers gorgeous views. Tommy Bahama style furnishings, open floor plan with high ceilings, 50" flat screen TV, high speed internet,. Community features four pools, two spas, tennis courts, fitness room, an oceanfr...

Oceanfront Single Family Home! Spacious Patio! (68133)

Enjoy your beach vacation at this 2 bedroom single family home on the sand! Located between 36th and 37th street, this corner unit is walking distance to shops, restaurants, the Newport Pier, grocery store and bike rentals. This home features beau...

Luxury Oceanfront Single Family Home! Rooftop Deck! Incredible Views! (68168)

“Majestic Manor” is a luxury four-bedroom, three and a half-bathroom single-family oceanfront home located on a gorgeous stretch of Newport Beach. Enjoy swimming, surfing and sunbathing on the beautiful white sand beach accessible directly throug...

Beautiful Oceanfront Upper Duplex! Come & Relax at the Beach! (68300)

Just South of the Balboa pier, this upper condo has unparalleled views of beach activity. The beach is wide at this part of the peninsula so there is plenty of space for the kids to play on the sand. The living room is spacious and bright, with a ...

Lovely Oceanfront Single Family Home! Come & Enjoy the Views! (68280)

Relax in this luxurious 3 Bedroom/2.5 Bathroom Oceanfront property located in the quiet neighborhood of Peninsula Point. With a large oceanfront patio and gorgeous upper balcony with views, this home is the perfect place for a vacation. It feat...

Enjoy the Beach at this Luxury 3 Bedroom Oceanfront Duplex! (68258)

Relax and enjoy this ground level oceanfront unit on the Newport Beach Peninsula! Located just East of the Balboa Pier, this 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom luxury rental is perfect for a family beach vacation. The property features a gourmet kitchen with...

Oceanview Hilltop Condo with Pools and Gym! (68313)

Available for relaxing stays of 31 nights or more! This lovely 2BD/2BA condo in the Villa Balboa Community has a fantastic balcony with views of the harbor, ocean, and Newport Pier. A gas BBQ and seating for 4 at a small table on the balcony are i...

Beautiful Oceanfront Lower Unit of a Duplex! Incredible Views! (68260)

This spectacular 3 bedroom, 3 bath oceanfront ground floor unit features a large entertaining patio on the sand with built-in gas BBQ, elegant seating for large gatherings, dining table for enjoying dinner outside on a warm summer night, and a mod...
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