You love a good road trip. You also love a great beach vacation. Why not combine the two and see what beach life is like in every direction. We looked north, south, east, and west and found one beach in each direction that we think will give you an unforgettable sand-and-sea experience this summer.
Black Beach • Silver Bay, Minnesota Quite possibly the most Instagrammable of the four beaches we picked, this serene and stunning Black Beach on Lake Superior’s north shore boasts an otherworldly beauty due largely in part to it’s black-hued sand—the result of chemical pollution forever altering the beach’s color. And while the pollution has long since been taken care of, the sand remains black, giving you a truly singular beach experience. Learn more
Padre Island National Seashore • Corpus Christi, Texas Another wholly unique beach experience, Padre Island National Seashore is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island on the planet. Wander through the dunes, grasslands, and beaches, and you’re likely to come across a magical collection of flowers and plantlife, a few hundred species of birds, and freshly hatched sea turtles. (We highly recommend attending the sea turtle releases. It’s ADORABLE.) Learn more
Cape May Beaches • Cape May, New Jersey What could be better than a 2.5-mile stretch of the best connected beaches in New Jersey? How about the nearby, legendary Victorian bed and breakfasts that pepper the area. Spend a night or two in one of these gorgeous, historic homes, and enjoy swimming, kayaking, skimboarding, and other beach activities during the day. Pro tip: You’ll need beach tags to get into the beaches. We recommend purchasing them online in advance. (Active military and veterans get them for free!) Learn more
Coronado Central Beach • Coronado, California The San Diego-adjacent community of Coronado is home to a number of excellent beaches, but we picked Coronado Central Beach because it’s home to the beautiful, iconic Hotel del Coronado onsite. You couldn’t ask for a better backdrop for your vacation photos! In addition to the built-in history lesson, this 1.5-mile stretch of literal sparkling sand provides plenty of opportunity for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, nearby shopping and the nearby Coronado Dog Beach! Learn more