December 9, 2021

Best Beaches in the United States and its Territories

With summer gone, one of the things you might be thinking about is planning your next vacation. If you’re looking for great beaches in America, we have got you covered! This article will provide reviews and ratings for some of our favorite US mainland beaches for couples, the highest Google ratings, best surfing…etc. It also includes reviews from US territories like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

What are the Best Beaches for Couples in the US and its Territories?

Couples are typically looking for a beach that’s not too crowded and is ideal for relaxing. The following beaches in the US and its territories fit the bill nicely:

  • Lanikai Beach in Oahu, Hawaii: This beach is frequently crowned one of the most beautiful beaches in the world by travel websites. Located in Oahu, Lanikai Beach is surrounded by miles of relaxing pure beauty and calm, aqua blue waters.  The word “Lani Kai” means “Heavenly Ocean,” and true to form, you will be mesmerized the moment you set eyes on it.
  • Ofu Beach in American Samoa: If you’re looking for seclusion and a desert island fantasy that’s perfect for couples, Ofu Beach is just what you’re looking for. This gorgeous stretch of pink sand is made for strolling hand and hand, and its crystal clear waters remain mostly untouched by the outside world. So if you’re lucky enough to visit this gem in Samoa, it’ll be like stepping back in time to a more peaceful era.
  • Mermaid’s Chair Beach in St. John, US Virgin Islands: Another great beach for couples, Mermaid’s Chair is perfect for those who want to snorkel or take pictures of the amazing underwater life. This small island has many hidden gems so if you’re looking to spend a day exploring this beautiful Caribbean Sea, look no further than St. John and its beaches like Mermaid’s Chair.
  • Siesta Beaches, Siesta Key, Florida: If you’re looking for a beach that’s perfect for couples, look no further than Siesta Beach. In a call out to its namesake, Siesta Key, the beaches there seem to beckon you to rejuvenate and relax. There, you’ll enjoy beautiful turquoise waters, powdery sand between your toes, and little to no crowds. 
  • La Jolla Cove, San Diego, California: This is a great beach for swimming, snorkeling and exploring, and it will blow your mind by how amazing it is. San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park, which is part of an Ecological Reserve, is also located in La Jolla Cove. The waters at the underwater park are extremely clear so that you can see ample wildlife such as playful seals, giant sea bass and orange garibaldi, as well as the surrounding ocean floor. 


What are the Highest Rated Beaches in the U.S Territories?

The following stretches of sand and tranquil waters are rated as the highest in each U.S territory based on factors like size, amenities and activities available to visitors:

  • Hawksnest Beach in St. John, US Virgin Islands: This is one of the highest-rated beaches in all of the Virgin Islands, and one of the primary reasons for that is it’s absolutely stunning! From its white, sugary sands to its crystal clear waters that are perfect for swimming or exploring by boat, it’s an unforgettable experience. Hawksnest Beach also has some of the best snorkeling spots on St. John, and the coral there comes in all colors of the rainbow. 
  • Tachonga Beach in Tinian, Northern Mariana Islands: Tachonga Beach is one of the highest-rated beaches in all of Micronesia. If you’re looking for an outstanding beach that’s perfect for diving, then this is it! This gorgeous stretch of sand on World War II’s historical Tinian Island has clear blue waters and many types of sea life to explore. 
  • Tumon Beach in Tumon, Guam: Tumon Beach is breathtakingly beautiful, not too crowded, and full of amenities. Additionally, the water is excellent for taking a dip and snorkeling. A short swim from the shore brings you face-to-face with gorgeous coral reefs that have a kaleidoscope of tropical fish darting through them. The beach area is perfect for strolls in the evening, where you can take in fiery sunsets sinking behind Guam’s mountains. 
  • Palagi Beach, Poloa, American Samoa: This secluded beach along the coastline of Amanave is one of the most scenic beaches anywhere. Amenities there include playgrounds, street parking, and concessions. The clear waters at Palagi Beach, which allow you to explore all the fantastic sea life below, make it a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling, 
  • Playa Flamenco in Puerto Rico: If you’re looking for a beach that’s perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or just relaxing on the beautiful sands after spending an entire day exploring nearby attractions like El Yunque Rainforest, this is definitely one of those beaches. The water on this top-rated beach is crystal clear, almost waveless and great for sightseeing as well!

What are the Best Beaches in USVI (according to Google)?

There are multiple beaches in the USVI that might give the United States beaches a good run for the money regarding being the best. For example, Magens Bay, Point Udall and Hawksnest consistently reign as the best beaches in the USVI because of their clear waters, amenities, sugar-white sand and large stretches of gorgeous beaches.

  • Magens Bay, St Thomas (4.7 on Google): Magens Bay is world famous and ranked as one of the best beaches in all of the Virgin Islands. This gorgeous beach has many amenities close by like restaurants and shops on Magen’s Bay Rd and spacious villas like Magens Hideaway, which has striking views of Hans Lollick and the azure waters of Magens Bay. There are also plenty of activities available if you’re visiting during certain times of the year, including parasailing, snorkeling and much more.
  • Point Udall, St Croix (4.8 on Google): Point Udall is a secluded beach that’s perfect for snorkeling, swimming, or just relaxing on the white sands after spending time exploring nearby Buck Island Reef National Monument. This beautiful stretch of sand has great sightseeing opportunities as well. 
  • Hawksnest, St. John – (4.8 on Google): This national park beach has beautiful views and crystal clear waters perfect for exploring by boat. Hawksnest also provides swimming conditions, and nothing compares to swimming in crystal clear waters and watching the wildlife swim underneath and beside you as you glide off the shoreline. Amenities there include plenty of parking, picnic tables and BBQ pits where you can make friends with the locals.

What are the Best Beaches on St. John, USVI? 

St. John has some of the best beaches in all the US—not just in the USVI. These beaches listed below consistently find their way onto travel sites’ “Top Beaches” lists every year, and if you’ve experienced their soft white sands and crystal clear waters that are great to look at but even better to swim or snorkel in, you’ll know why! 

  • Hawksnest: We’re listing this gorgeous beach again since it’s consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in all of the Virgin Islands (and due to the fact that it’s in sunny St. John!).  Hawksnest Beach has soft sand beaches and plenty of shade from the sea grapes that line the water. The beach isn’t crowded most of the time, and you can spread out and relax during your Caribbean vacation. 
  • Honeymoon Bay: The waters in romantic Honeymoon Bay are typically calm and clear, with a brilliant turquoise color that’s almost pool-like. And like a swimming pool, the waters are great for swimming and wading. The clear blue waters of the bay also provide ample opportunities for sightseeing and looking at all of the tropical marine life below.
  • Cinnamon Bay: With its ½ mile of beach land, Cinnamon Bay is the longest beach on St. John. It is also ranked among the most lovely and pristine beaches in USVI National Park. Cinnamon Bay doesn’t get too crowded either, and it offers lots of amenities like camping, a snack bar/grill and water sports. The clear blue waters here are perfect for swimming, snorkeling or super fun wind sailing. 
  • Lameshur: Lameshur is one of the many secluded beaches on St. John that will make you feel like you have your own private beach all to yourself! The beautiful, clear waters are perfect for swimming or snorkeling as you explore the teeming sea life below.
  • Maho Bay: This secluded beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling or just relaxing on the beautiful sands with a cocktail in hand after spending an entire day exploring the Cinnamon Bay Camps.

Best Snorkeling Beaches in St. John USVI

If you are an avid snorkeler, then St. John USVI is definitely the island for you! There are so many spectacular snorkeling beaches with such a wide array of sea life that your underwater adventures will be never-ending. You can spend all day exploring these beautiful waters and still not see it all. Here are three that we highly recommend. 

  • Hansen Bay: Hansen Bay is a secluded beach full of sea life and coral. The blue waters make it perfect for sightseeing as you explore the underwater terrain that is home to sea turtles, mahi-mahi and crustaceans.
  • Salomon Bay: The waters here are typically calm and filled with marine life for snorkeling. You can get there by kayak or hiking, but once you arrive, the clear blue water is perfect for swimming, exploring, sunbathing and sightseeing! 
  • Oppenheimer: Oppenheimer is the perfect place to snorkel with sea turtles, stingrays and reef sharks! The beautiful blue waters are calm for swimming or exploring, but you’ll need a boat if you want to snorkel there.

Best Surfing Beaches in St. John, USVI

If you like to hang ten, then St. John USVI has excellent surfing beaches for your next wave-riding adventure! Expert and amateur surfers alike can have an incredible experience every time out. Here are some of our favorite surfing spots in St. John that we highly recommend checking out while you’re there.

  • Turner Bay: This beach is a favorite for surfing and has great waves with perfect conditions. The water here is typically calm, but the waves can get big, so we recommend it more for experienced surfers than beginners.
  • Reef Bay: Reef Bay is a great place to surf if you are staying at one of the nearby campgrounds. The waves here aren’t typically big. But the bay has calm conditions and many days with flat water amidst paradise as you imagine it in your work cubicle before arriving, making it perfect for beginners or even just sightseeing!
  • John’s Folly: John’s Folly is a secluded beach that’s great for beginners as well as experienced surfers. Perfect conditions there, such as waves breaking in shallow water, make it ideal for learning how to surf and improve your existing skills.

Tortola Beaches vs. St. John Beaches

There are so many beautiful beaches to explore on both of these islands that it’s hard to compare them. Tortola in BVI has a lot more secluded and private coves, while St. John is great for swimming, snorkeling or exploring since it has the calmest, clearest water with a wide array of sea life. 

Trunk Bay Beach, St. John vs. The Baths Beach, Tortola

The Baths Beach on Tortola is a great place to explore the rock formations while staying in calm waters. It’s not very suitable for swimming or snorkeling, so if you want that, then Trunk Bay Beach on St. John USVI  is the better choice.

Apple Bay Beach, Tortola vs. Gibney Beach, St. John

Both of these beaches are great for surfing, but Gibney Beach on St. John is better if you’re looking for calm conditions to swim, snorkel or sightsee. If you want some waves however, then Apple Bay Beach on Tortola is perfect!

Cane Garden Beach, Tortola vs. Salt Pond Beach, St. John

Both of these beaches are beautiful and great for swimming, but Salt Pond Beach on St. John has better conditions with calm waters that are perfect for snorkeling or sightseeing. 

Where to Stay in St. John USVI

If you are looking for a great place to stay in St. John, US Virgin Islands, then check us out. Offering the most luxurious of amenities in Cruz Bay, Vacation VI has some of the most comprehensive offerings of US Virgin Island and British Virgin Islands vacation rentals. 

We can also connect you with other services prior to and during your stay, including day sailing and boating, water sports, provisioning, entertainment booking and more! 

For inquiries, you can email us at or call us at +1-800-727-6610. Alternatively, you can contact us online and we will quickly get back to you.

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