Summer is in full effect, and if you’ve decided to visit the beach, the big questions left are where and what kind.
There are the obvious sand and sun-friendly destinations, like California, Florida, and Hawaii, but places like Delaware and Michigan also have beautiful stretches of sand that probably aren't even on your radar.
No matter where you live, or whether you’re looking to relax on a secluded beach or hit up a major tourist spot, these 10 destinations should provide a little summer travel inspiration.
1. Grayton Beach, Florida
While many travelers will look to America's top-rated beach, Siesta Beach, those looking for a more laid-back experience will try other options. Grayton Beach on the Emerald Coast is a great choice. It's well known for its funky beach town appeal, and visitors can check out the state park, wander the picturesque dunes, or just relax on the water's edge.
2. Carova Beach, North Carolina
When it comes to North Carolina’s Carova Beach, it doesn’t get more secluded than this. Tucked away in the Outer Banks and only accessible by four-wheel drive (there aren't any paved roads in the surrounding area) or boat, you may just find yourself all alone out here. Well, unless you come across one of the herds of wild horses that roam the beach.
3. Roque Bluffs, Maine
While Maine isn't exactly known for its beaches, the rockbound coast more than makes up for the lack of sand in your swimsuit. Visitors to Roque Bluffs can stroll the attractive half-mile pebbled beach or explore the 274 acres of coastal scenery that the state park has to offer.
4. Enderts Beach, California
Tucked away in Redwood National Park, this beach is one of the most photogenic on this list. The rustic atmosphere stretches out to 37 miles of coastline all surrounded by lofty, 350-foot-tall evergreens. The beach is best known for its tide pools, which appear at low tide, and naturally, the forest offers up great hiking trails.
5. Hapuna Beach, Hawaii
It's no surprise that Hapuna is the most popular beach on Hawaii, being that it’s the longest one on the Big Island. The half-mile hotspot is covered with soft white sand and is usually packed with both locals and visitors looking to swim or just soak up some sun.
6. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
With 30 miles of coastline, you’ll never get bored on this beach. From kayaking to sailing and paddleboarding to surfing, there are many water activities for the sports enthusiast. If that’s not your speed, though, kick back and enjoy the scenery, or explore the manicured walking trails along the beach.
7. Saugatuck Dunes State Park Beach, Michigan
Just because you're not on the ocean doesn't mean you won't get the same vibe at Saugatuck Beach. Located on Lake Michigan, it's water as far as the eye can see. Less crowded than other parts of the Great Lake, this beach has towering dunes to explore (some are over 200 feet tall), soft sand to relax on, and trails to hike along.
8.Orange Beach, Alabama
This cute little slice of the northern Gulf of Mexico has become one of the most attractive beach destinations in the U.S. after being such a little-known vacation treasure for years. The white-sand beaches and turquoise-blue waters will instantly put you in relaxation mode.
9. Constitution Beach, Massachusetts
Why trek all the way to Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard when you can experience Boston and the beach in one day? Swimmers and sunbathers can enjoy views of Boston Harbor and Logan Airport or have a picnic in the adjacent field after a fun game of Frisbee.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: Flickr user Bill Sutton