Are you looking for a leisurely stroll along the beach, with your feet sinking into the soft sands and your eyes gazing at the gorgeous scenery? Well, then, you’re in luck! These 29 best white sand beaches in the United States have a lot in store for you, from stunning backdrops of lush mountainscapes to miles and miles of oceanfront.
These postcard-worthy beaches, dotted across the most beautiful states in the US, have some of the whitest sand in the world. Each of these beaches boasts a captivating natural beauty and crystal-blue waters that are sure to leave you awestruck.
From the rocky shores of Hawaii to beaches with some of the softest sand in Florida, here are 29 of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the US.
29 Best White Sand Beaches in the USA
Table of Contents
- 29 Best White Sand Beaches in the USA
- 1. Pensacola Beaches, Florida
- 2. Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii
- 3. Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico
- 4. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
- 5. Clearwater Beach, Florida
- 6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- 7. Carmel Beach, California
- 8. Siesta Key Beach, Florida
- 9. Waimea Bay Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
- 10. Orange Beach, Alabama
- 11. Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
- 12. Miami Beach, Florida
- 13. Pacific Beach, San Diego, California
- 14. Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
- 15. Cape May Beach, New Jersey
- 16. Huntington Beach, California
- 17. Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
- 18. Outer Banks, North Carolina
- 19. Cannon Beach, Oregon
- 20. Lauderdale Beach, Florida
- 21. South Padre Island, Texas
- 22. Shi-Shi Beach, Washington
- 23. Kailua Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
- 24. Emerald Isle, North Carolina
- 25. Cape Kiwanda, Oregon
- 26. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park Beach, Florida
- 27. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
- 28. Crandon Park Beach, Florida
- 29. Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
- White Sand Beaches in the US: FAQs
- What Beach Has the Whitest Sand in the United States?
- What Beach Has White Sand and Clear Water in the USA?
- What State Has the Prettiest Beaches?
- White Sand Beaches, USA | Wrapped Up
You can find plenty of colorful beaches around the US. From red-sand beaches in Hawaii to the black sands along the beaches of the Vieques, Puerto Rico island, the US is no stranger to vibrant shores.
But there’s something particularly stunning about the white sandy beaches in the USA that make their home states, cities, or towns some of the most visited places in the United States.
Keep reading to find out more about these white-sand clear-water beaches dotted across the USA, what makes them such attractive places, and why you should consider visiting.
1. Pensacola Beaches, Florida
Photo by Joe Ciciarelli on Unsplash
Pensacola boasts fluffy sand that rivals the whitest beaches in the world, and offers soft sands, shallow waters, and gentle waves.
The beach and resort community on Florida’s Panhandle is one of the best places to swim, go snorkeling, and enjoy water sports. From activities like surfing, parasailing, and taking a dolphin cruise and bay tour, Pensacola’s beaches have you covered.
You’ll find several restaurants, shops, recurring events, and a theater along the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk. The beaches are easily accessible; some are even wheelchair-friendly.
2. Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Photo by Josh Williams on Unsplash
Kaanapali is one of the best white sand beaches in Hawaii. Spotting sugary sands, black boulders, and a lush surrounding landscape, Kaanapali Beach is famous for its snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, and cliff diving opportunities.
The beach is also among the best blue water beaches in the USA, making it popular among travel photographers and magazines. Among the various activities, there are to enjoy at Kaanapali Beach, you can enjoy a surfing lesson, go speed boating, or take a snorkelling tour.
3. Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico
Image by Alejandro Ortiz-Mendez from Pixabay
It’s no secret that Puerto Rico is home to many of the clear beaches in the US. Flamenco Beach, located on the island of Culebra, boasts silky soft sands and stunning turquoise waters and offers tranquillity.
Flamenco Beach is not close to any luxe resorts, casinos, or fancy restaurants, allowing you to sunbathe, turtle watch, or take a catamaran tour of Culebra without large crowds. The beach also features an iconic landmark – an old US Navy tank- worth capturing.
4. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
Image by nathanhill0070 from Pixabay
Spanning over 1.5 miles, Coronado Beach is one of the most popular white sand beaches in San Diego. With scenic backdrops of the iconic Hotel del Coronado with its striking red roof and whitewashed facade, Coronado is a great place to unwind after a busy day.
The beach is a favorite spot for sunbathers, beachcombers, and boogie boarders. But what makes Coronado one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the US is an excellent place to witness some of the most spectacular San Diego sunsets.
5. Clearwater Beach, Florida
Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay
Easily the best white sand beach in Florida, Clearwater is known for its 2.5 miles of soft sand, crystal clear waters, and abundant opportunities for outdoor activities. Clearwater Beach’s calm waters are great for parasailing, jet-skiing, and boating.
The beach offers a bustling promenade dotted with shops, seafood eateries, and cafes. You’ll also enjoy the famous Sunsets at Pier 60 daily festival, featuring performances, crafts, and artisans. The festival happens 364 days a year; it starts two hours before sunset and ends two hours after sunset.
6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Photo by Meg Jerrard on Unsplash
Nestled along a 60-mile stretch of beaches known as the Grand Stand, Myrtle Beach is a family-friendly destination with interactive museums, art galleries, arcades, and aquariums. The calm waters are ideal for kayaking, surfing, parasailing, and jet-skiing.
If you’d like a more relaxed beach experience, Myrtle Beach offers a forest trail full of birdlife and palm trees you can slowly stroll through. You can also take a unique horseback riding excursion along the sandy shores. Don’t miss out on an authentic Polynesian fire luau and dinner show.
7. Carmel Beach, California
Image by 3157171 from Pixabay
The West Coast is one of the best places with white sand beaches in the US, and Carmel Beach is at the top of the pile. The sandy crescent-shaped beach is filled with many pleasures, from marine life sightings of whales, dolphins, and sea otters along the coast to sports like surfing and beach volleyball.
Carmel Beach’s crystal clear waters attract lots of swimmers and surfers. It’s a dog-friendly beach, so your four-legged friends can enjoy a day along the coast. You can enjoy other attractions in the charming village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. It’s one of the best places to stop on a road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
8. Siesta Key Beach, Florida
Photo by Connor Anderson on Unsplash
Apart from having some of the whitest sand in Florida, Siesta Key Beach boasts lovely aquamarine-colored waters and shallow waves ideal for paddleboarding, swimming, kayaking, and jet-skiing. It’s also a wonderful place for dolphin watching.
Siesta Key Beach’s sands comprise finely crushed quartz, making it one of the softest sand in the world. The quartz attracts less heat from the sun than normal sand, so it never gets too hot to burn your feet. A good way to end a day here is with a bike sunset tour along the beach.
9. Waimea Bay Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Photo by Michael Pfister on Unsplash
Characterised by dramatic black-rock boulders along its shoreline, Waimea Bay Beach is among Hawaii’s best white sand beaches. This idyllic beach along Oahu’s North Shore is famous for its dolphin and turtle sighting opportunities and incredible 30-foot waves in winter.
In the summertime, the calm waters are excellent for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Make sure you take a tour to Waimea Falls to discover one of the beach’s best-hidden gems. Remember, though, that Waimea Bay Beach is one of the best clear-water beaches in the USA, so it often gets crowded in peak seasons, and parking is tight.
10. Orange Beach, Alabama
Photo by Steven Van Elk on Unsplash
Orange Beach’s perfect location along the Gulf of Mexico makes it one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the United States. The beach’s soft white sands partially consist of quartz washed down from the Appalachian Mountains nearby.
There are many things to enjoy on Orange Beach, from Gulf Coast dolphin cruises to deep-sea fishing and stunning sunset sailing experiences. Pair that with delicious Southern cuisine and world-class golf courses, and you’ll see why Orange Beach is arguably the prettiest beach in Alabama.
11. Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
Photo by Julie Canfield on Unsplash
Cape Hatteras National Seashore boasts over 70 miles of untouched, partially empty white sand beaches that offer a pristine and tranquil getaway thanks to the preservation efforts of the National Park Service.
The beaches on Hatteras Island are perfect for surfing, fishing, and even birdlife spots along the scenic coastline. The island’s proximity to the Gulf Stream means it has a warm climate all year. So you can enjoy kite flying, sandcastle building, or long beach walks in solitude.
12. Miami Beach, Florida
Image by tammon from Pixabay
Famous for this buzzing party scene, Miami’s South Beach is undoubtedly one of Florida’s best white sand beaches. The 35-mile-long stretch of soft sands is flanked by stunning turquoise waters perfect for sunbathing on sunloungers, swimming, and speed boating.
Along the Miami Beach Boardwalk, you’ll find tons of fun things to do. It’s lined with everything you could ask for, from charming restaurants to surfing, shops, and boutiques.
You can take a Miami Beach bike tour to see the top attractions around the city, like the Versace Mansion and the Art Deco District. Feeling a bit more adventurous, how about a segway tour or, better yet, rent a pair of rollerblades and skate through one of the places to visit in Florida?
13. Pacific Beach, San Diego, California
Photo by Claude Piché on Unsplash
“PB”, as the locals call it, is one of the most stunning stretches of coastline in the US. The stretch comprises three beaches, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Tourmaline State Park. While the latter is ideal for surfing, Mission Beach appeals to a younger crowd with its casual drinking spots—it can get a bit rowdy, though, so perhaps you should avoid it if that’s not your vibe.
So where would you go? Pacific Beach! It boasts an idyllic 3.2-mile paved Ocean Front Walk ideal for taking strolls or biking between the different beaches. Many amenities are nearby, including eateries, clothing boutiques, and watersports schools or outfitters.
14. Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
Photo by Zane Persaud on Unsplash
Tunnels Beach is one of the best white sand beaches in Hawaii. Its picturesque backdrops of lush mountains and soft white sands make it a big tourist attraction on the island. The crescent-shaped beach is also an epic spot for surfing, snorkeling, and diving, so there’s something to enjoy for everyone.
The beach boasts many intriguing underwater caves formed by its lava caves. This gives the shoreline its dramatic scenery, making for an unforgettable experience. If you’d like to marvel more at this gorgeous beach, take a Kauai island air tour and see its beauty from a bird’s eye perspective.
15. Cape May Beach, New Jersey
Image by Carolyn Sullivan from Pixabay
Cape May Beach is one of the places for a family getaway or if you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby metropolitans like New York City. Victorian-style homes and a boardwalk with lively restaurants line this charming white-sand beach.
You can enjoy various things at Cape May Beach without large crowds. Even if it’s just laying out the whole day or dipping your feet in the water, Cape May is the best place to do just that.
16. Huntington Beach, California
Photo by Josh McCausland on Unsplash
Located Southeast of Los Angeles, Huntington Beach is one of the best places in California for a coastal getaway. The beach is a surfer’s paradise with perfect swells, an International Surfing Museum boasting memorabilia, and a longboard collection worth seeing.
Huntington’s central park boasts gardens, lush fields, lakes, and an equestrian center you can explore. Huntington Beach Pier is the most photographed structure on the beach, so it’s an excellent place to take pictures. The pier is also a popular spot to catch the best sunsets in California.
17. Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Photo by john ko on Unsplash
Often labeled the best beach in Oahu, Lanikai Beach is the perfect place to unwind, enjoy outdoor activities, and enjoy scenic views of the Mokulua islands. The half-mile stretch of powdery white sand boasts a serenity that most beaches in Hawaii lack at times.
Lanikai Beach is flanked by palm trees and an offshore reef, making the water conditions ideal for windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Note: There is no parking at the beach. That said, you can access the shore by following a walking path close to the houses nearby.
18. Outer Banks, North Carolina
Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash
The Outer Banks are North Carolina’s best-kept holiday destination. This incredible 200-mile stretch of barrier islands is home to some of the whitest beaches in the US, state parks, and historic shipwrecks.
You can enjoy plenty of things along the beach fronts on the Outer Banks, including shopping, visiting museums, hiking trails, and horseback riding.
19. Cannon Beach, Oregon
Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash
Famous for its dramatic offshore boulders, Cannon Beach is one of the best white sand beaches in the US to enjoy magical experiences. Why? How about being the background for thousands of marriage proposals and weddings?
Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock is the main attraction. Standing at a whopping 235 feet, the boulder leaves many jaws on the floor. The beach also offers great nature viewing opportunities and easy access to nearby Ecola State Park.
20. Lauderdale Beach, Florida
Photo by Lance Asper on Unsplash
Lauderdale Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in the US. Its pristine turquoise waters and soft sands draw in many tourists, and it’s easy to see why. The beach is lined with towering palm trees that provide shade, but you can also rent a beach umbrella.
Las Olas Boulevard is a great place to shop up a storm, grab a bite, and do anything else that’s not water-related. While here, why not head down the boardwalk or take a Lauderdale water taxi for a unique cultural experience?
21. South Padre Island, Texas
Photo by Joe Cavazos on Unsplash
If you thought there was nothing but cacti and a rugged desert landscape in Texas, South Padre Island is here to change that. Located on the state’s off the southern coast, this 30-mile stretch of land has some of America’s best white sand beaches.
South Padre Island’s soft sands and calm waters are ideal for water sports like swimming, parasailing adventures, and dolphin-watching excursions.
22. Shi-Shi Beach, Washington
Photo by D. Lok on Unsplash
Shi-Shi Beach has some of the most dramatic offshore landscapes. The remote area along the Olympic Peninsula boasts breathtaking scenery with massive, rugged boulders dotted along the coast.
While Shi-Shi Beach’s white sands get less attention, a stroll along the beach is worth doing. You can even mix it up by exploring the nearly eight-mile out-and-back trail close to the beach for a rainforest hiking experience.
23. Kailua Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Photo by Isaac Ordaz on Unsplash
Kailua Beach is rated as one of the best beaches in Oahu. Situated about a 30-minute drive from downtown Honolulu, Kailua is also one of the most popular beaches on the island.
Beachgoers can enjoy various activities like boogie boarding, windsurfing, and kayaking. If you’re more of an adrenaline seeker, maybe a shark diving experience will be right up your alley.
24. Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Photo by James Hose Jr on Unsplash
The Emerald Isle has some of the white-sand blue-water beaches in the US. Located on Bogue Banks Island, along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, the beach boasts stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The idyllic beach town is famous for its fishing spots, soft white sand beaches, and an up-and-coming local food scene along the pier.
25. Cape Kiwanda, Oregon
Photo by Peter Thomas on Unsplash
Oregon’s State Natural Area, Cape Kiwanda is one of the best places to enjoy remote white sand beaches and sweeping coastal views with iconic landmarks in the background.
Cape Kiwanda boasts a fascinating coastal landscape with white dunes, natural arches, and strangely formed boulders dotted along its shore.
The beachside is a great place to take coastal hikes. You’ll find many Instagrammable spots along the trek, so bringing a camera is best.
26. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park Beach, Florida
Photo by Lynn Danielson on Unsplash
Florida’s Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is the most southern state park in the US. It boasts idyllic white sand beaches with turquoise waters. The beach is an excellent place to enjoy the great blue sea while surrounded by a historical landmark.
The state park beach’s gentle waves make it a perfect paddleboarding, snorkeling, and swimming spot. Fishing is also a popular activity on the beach.
27. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Image by KathyBarclay from Pixabay
Situated along the Cape Cod National Seashore, Coast Guard Beach has some of the whitest sands in the United States. The 44,600-acre seashore is home to over 450 t species of wildlife and several powdery white-sand beaches.
On Coast Guard Beach, you can enjoy one of the six guided walking trails along the shore, take in some Vitamin D from the sun, and cool off by dipping.
28. Crandon Park Beach, Florida
Image by Damon Warren from Pixabay
Located in the tropical oasis of Key Biscayne, Crandon Park is one of the best white beaches in Florida. This beach has all you need for a tropical getaway, boasting lush mangroves and a forest teeming with birdlife, butterflies, and loggerhead turtles.
Cradon’s palm-lined shores are great for sun lounging, but you’ll also find several acres of walking trails to enjoy a lovely stroll. The coastal barrier reef here is home to the only underwater archaeological trail in the US, so make sure snorkeling is on your list of to-do’s.
29. Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Photo by K on Unsplash
Last but certainly not least, Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous white sand beaches in the US and one of its prettiest. It’s located in the most famous neighborhood of Honolulu, surrounded by high-rise apartments, surf shops, and streets lined with vibrant cocktail bars.
About 71,000 people visit Waikiki Beach daily, so it can get crowded. However, this is one of the sunniest places to visit in the US, so you’ll have year-round pleasant weather (well, for the most part). This means you can visit in the off-season to avoid the crowds.
White Sand Beaches in the US: FAQs
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the white sand beaches in the US.
What Beach Has the Whitest Sand in the United States?
Siesta Key Beach in Florida has the whitest sand in the US, comprising 99% ground quartz. Another Florida beach, Clearwater Beach, is a close second.
What Beach Has White Sand and Clear Water in the USA?
Waimea Bay Beach on Hawaii’s Oahu Island has the best white sand and clear waters in the United States.
What State Has the Prettiest Beaches?
Although Florida is a big contender, Hawaii is hands down the state with the prettiest beaches in the US.
White Sand Beaches, USA | Wrapped Up
There you have it. Twenty-nine of the best beaches with white sands in the United States. You can find stunning beaches with azure blue or turquoise waters from coast to coast. So next time you’re looking for a coastal weekend away or a warm winter getaway, (make sure to be careful if you visit one of the shark infested beaches in the US) you have lots of great options.
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