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Rain or shine, winter or summer: These beach towns are always worth a visit.
There’s something so satisfying about a weekend getaway. Whether you book a Friday through Sunday adventure or take off Thursday and Monday to elongate your minivacation, simply getting away for a bit can do a world of good for the mind, body, and soul. While you likely have go-to locations logged in the back of your mind for the very occasion—say, one of the world’s most beautiful hidden beaches or your favorite Florida beach—we’re here to remind you that it doesn’t have to be summer to enjoy a jaunt to the beach.
With that in mind, we’d like to introduce you to the 12 best weekend beach getaways across the United States. Whether you live on the East, West, or South coast—or are willing to fly to one of them—these beaches have everything you could ever want for a rejuvenating weekend away. From vast sandy beaches and coastlines that stretch beyond the line of sight to state-of-the-art golf courses, five-star spas, all-inclusive resorts, and plenty of activities to keep kids entertained for hours on end, the beaches in the slides ahead will leave you wishing to return time and time again.
Virginia Beach is nestled along the southeastern shores of Virginia. As if the three-mile-long oceanfront boardwalk (which has a designated bike path) isn’t enough to draw you in, perhaps the 35 miles of ocean and bay beaches (a Guinness world record!) will do the trick. Of course, Virginia Beach has much more to offer than its sandy shores. The beach is also home to a plethora of highly rated restaurants and bars, including Doc Taylor’s and Waterman’s Surfside Grille.
BOOK YOUR STAY IN VIRGINIA BEACH
If you’re looking for a more low-key beach experience—sans crowded beaches and expansive boardwalks—then check out Assateague Island National Seashore, which spans 37 miles. While Chincoteague, the beach town adjacent to the nature reserve shore, has notably fewer restaurants and entertainment venues, it does tout quaint shops, tasty eateries, and, best of all, wild horses galloping down the beach that are an absolute sight to behold.
BOOK YOUR STAY IN ASSATEAGUE
Many people have heard of the Outer Banks—either because of Nicholas Sparks books and movies, the popular Netflix show, or various accolades surrounding the 200-mile string of barrier islands. Most often, though, fanfare surrounds the towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk, and Nags Head. However, if you head to the southern tip of the Outer Banks—and if you’re willing to take a ferry—then you’ll find Ocracoke Island. Dotted with delicious restaurants (make sure to pop into the iconic Howard’s Pub), coffee shops, and outdoor adventure huts, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy.
BOOK YOUR STAY IN OCRACOKE
Hilton Head Island is a great place to head to the beach, but it’s a seaside town known beyond its sandy shores. It has seemingly endless bicycle trails, a variety of world-class golf courses, a zip-line adventure park, waterfront dining, a beautiful five-star spa, and so much more.
BOOK YOUR STAY IN HILTON HEAD
If you love nature, seashells, warm water, and just about the most breathtaking beach experience in the U.S., then you have to visit Sanibel Island. Visitors to the wildlife refuge along the Gulf of Mexico can see a variety of beach creatures up close and personal, including sea turtles, manatees, and rare birds. That said, you can also accidentally come across gators, so be mindful when you head out to the beach.
BOOK YOUR STAY IN SANIBEL
Bethany Beach boasts a 12-foot-wide, 0.38-mile-long boardwalk stretching down Delaware’s coast. Unlike the much louder, not-listed neighboring beach of Ocean City, Bethany Beach is known for being a family-friendly beach destination. The beach is surrounded by state parks, a nature center, an ecological preserve, and other fantastic destinations for expanding your knowledge of the natural world. Of course, there are plenty of delicious restaurants and fun attractions, like Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf, too.
BOOK YOUR STAY IN BETHANY BEACH
Popularized by classic novels (The Great Gatsby) and chick flicks (Something Borrowed and White Chicks) alike, The Hamptons is a ritzy beach destination on Long Island offering everything from beautiful white-sand beaches and luxury shopping to gorgeous wineries and world-class restaurants. Of course, if you find yourself wanting to explore beyond the beaches, then you can’t beat the architecture of the Gold Coast mansions, which are all within a short drive.
BOOK YOUR STAY IN THE HAMPTONS
Looking for an unbeatable lobster roll and an overall laid-back beach experience? Cape Cod is waiting for you. Welcoming millions of visitors each year, the Massachusetts peninsula is beloved for its Shaker houses, abundance of ice-cream shops, breweries, wineries, and restaurants galore. Although it seems quite quaint, the cape spans more than 500 miles, so there’s plenty to explore on a weekend getaway.
BOOK YOUR STAY ON THE CAPE
Although most people think of the East and West coasts when pondering beaches in the U.S., the South has a handful of beaches to offer too. Namely, Galveston Island on Texas’s Gulf Coast. The island is home to Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, which features rides, restaurants, shops, and more. As such, it’s a destination fit for the whole family.
BOOK YOUR STAY IN GALVESTON
California isn’t the only West Coast state boasting beautiful beaches. In Washington, you’ll find Olympic National Park, which is situated on the state’s Olympic Peninsula. In addition to the Pacific coastline, complete with sandy beaches, park visitors can enjoy hiking, climbing, and out-of-this-world stargazing. If you wish, you can even camp on the beach.
BOOK YOUR STAY IN OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
The beaches in the Pacific Northwest have long, wide shorelines, but the water is perpetually cold. Still, the beautiful setting is a fantastic place to visit for all kinds of outdoor adventures, including sightseeing, hiking, up-close encounters with wildlife, and more. As for the tall sea stack, known as Haystack Rock, standing in the waves off Oregon’s Cannon Beach? It’s a sanctuary for adorable orange-beaked tufted puffins, making Cannon Beach a fantastic place for birdwatchers too.
BOOK YOUR STAY IN CANNON BEACH
Whether you’re a big fan of HBO’s Big Little Lies or you’re well-versed in California beach towns, there’s a good chance Monterey, California, is on your list. If it’s not, then it ought to be. In addition to plenty of sandy coastline to lay out on the beach, the town has a host of seafood restaurants, small-town eateries, gift shops, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It’s a relaxing place to plan a weekend stay.
BOOK YOUR STAY IN MONTEREY

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