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

On the Golden Seashore

Sea Shore Living This is what you come to the Cape for. Water, Sand, Life, and Location!!! -the excitement of waking up each day 50 feet away from “Little Beach”. Just step off your deck and walk the sand across South Beach to Atlantic breakers ...

Oceanfront at Kuleana - Condo 5 Star Rated - Price Reduced

The Kuleana Resort, the most beautiful property location in the world offers two newly renovated condominiums. These two ground floor side-by-side condominiums have been remodeled from floor to ceiling. Rent one for a party of 2-4. On the other ...

Best of Carmel, Panoramic Views, Steps to Beach

Wonderful for a family or a romantic getaway. Just 30 yards from the beach, this house provides the perfect base from which to explore or just stay and relax. Nicely decorated, this three bedroom house has comfortable living and full dining room...

River to River Estate, 3.7 Acres, Tropical Paradise,

Luxury home with endless amenities! Relax on your private balcony off the master bedroom. Witness the most amazing sunsets! Fish off the dock. Swim in the pool or melt in the hot tub after grilling on the summer kitchen. If you love to cook, you w...

beautiful semi-detached house just steps from Siesta Key Beach

Wunderschoen modernized and well maintained semi-detached house. The unit has been completely refurbished. Flat screens and free internet are available If technologies. Spacious terrace and private, non-accessible backyard. The entrance is shared ...

Luxury Gulf Front 4 BR Corner Unit ~Silver Beach Towers

"Ocean Sky" - Spacious 4 Bedroom Corner Condo with outdoor wrap around balconies surround this 14th floor end unit, Beautiful gulf views from the living room, master bedroom and kitchen! Kitchen features all NEW Stainless Appliances! providing ...

Beachfront Charm @ Peaceful 'Daydream Hideaway'

PLEASE KNOW THAT WE WILL NEVER ASK FOR PAYMENT BY WIRE TRANSFER. Charming beachfront Gulf Shores Vacation Rental beach house with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. Daydream Hideaway is located in laid-back West Beach area of Gulf Shores, just a few hundred y...

Classic Waterfront Cottage On Mason's Island

200' from Fishers' Island Sound. 4 Bedrooms (3 with 2 twin beds, and the other with 2 sets of bunks), 3 bathrooms, sleeps 10. Large living room, separate dining room, porch with picturesque ocean views. Gas grill, cable TV/Wi-Fi, DVD, washer, drye...

Cool Tahoe Cabin,1 Blk to Lake, 2 mi to Heavenly Skiing, Hot Tub, Pets, Bikes.

Located just 1 Block from Spectacular Lake Tahoe and 2 Miles From Heavenly Ski Resort! SPECIAL RATES: WINTER/SUMMER 2015: FROM $229 PER NIGHT OR 7 NIGHTS FOR $1,565! FALL 2014-FROM $182 PER NIGHT! OR 7 NIGHTS FOR ONLY $1,165! NONHOLIDAY! WE ...

Water & Mountain Views-Privacy-Immaculate-Private Entrance & Driveway

You will love this immaculate, fully furnished, open floor plan for all of your camano island fun. This is located about 4 blocks from the beach, western views of the ever changing boat traffic, awesome sunsets and the olympic mountains. It is a o...
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