Americans make more than 400 million visits to the beach each year, according to the United States Lifesaving Association.
The seaside towns listed below attract the highest number of visitors year-round, according to data from the local tourism board.
Panama City Beach, Florida
The Sunshine State tourism board, Visit Florida, said that, according to Arrivist data, “in the first 8 months of 2021, Florida’s most visited beach towns were Panama City Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Saint PETERSBOURG”. The list was the same in 2020.
Panama City Beach has been ranked among the top 3 beaches in the United States by TripAdvisor. Here, visitors are welcome to enjoy 27 miles of stunning beaches as well as wonderful dining experiences or fabulous shopping and entertainment at Pier Park, Panama City Beach’s premier shopping and entertainment destination.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale is one of the top three most visited beach cities in Florida in 2021, 2020 and 2019 according to the Arrivalist report.
Certified Blue Wave since 1999, Fort Lauderdale Beach is the first place to discover when visiting the city. Also known as ‘The Venice of America’, visitors love the beautiful golden sands and the many shops and restaurants, especially for al fresco dining on Las Olas Boulevard while watching the world go by.
St. Petersburg, Florida
“The Sunshine City” located at the foot of the Tampa Bay Peninsula in Pinellas County, holds the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine at 768 days.
In downtown Saint Petersburg you will find everything you need, bars, restaurants, shops as well as many events and cultural attractions. St. Petersburg is home to the Salvador Dali Museum and the beautiful Fort De Soto Park. For those who like to keep it simple, looking out over beautiful Tampa Bay from downtown St. Pete is always a great option.
Santa Monica, California
Just north of Venice Beach and about a 30-minute drive from Los Angeles is the unique beach town of Santa Monica.
In 2019, before the start of the pandemic, Santa Monica received 8,413,100 annual visitors who, like the locals, love the Mediterranean climate all year round. It’s crowded at the pier, amusement park, boardwalk, and Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, but the vibe is mostly positive and cheerful.
Newport Beach, California
One of Southern California’s wealthiest enclaves, this expanse of Orange County with a mild climate and beautiful beaches attracts nearly 10 million visitors each year. As described by Visit California in Newport Beach, “Old California charm meets modern glamor.”
Known for its many events, active marina and over 400 restaurants, Newport Beach is home to approximately 86,831 people at all times.
Huntington Beach, California
Known as the Surf City, this Orange County beach is one of the most visited beaches in California, according to the city of Huntington Beach, it attracts over 11 million visitors to the city each year.
Visitors love the nearly 10 miles of sand, the laid-back lifestyle, and the many restaurants, bars, and retail stores.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
The Myrtle Beach area, known as the Grand Strand, receives more than 19 million visitors each year, according to Visit Myrtle Beach.
The Myrtle Beach area is South Carolina’s gem attracting many families to its long stretch of sand, variety of entertainment options including an amusement park, Ferris wheel, and plenty of restaurants.
Waikiki, the Honolulu neighborhood on the south shore of the island of Oahu, is a very popular destination and one of Hawaii’s most visited destinations.
According to figures from Hawai Tourism, in 2019, the average daily census showed that 114,596 visitors were in O’ahu on any given day. The majority of those on Waikiki Beach.
This Hawaiian seaside town draws hordes of tourists to its nearly two miles of golden sands, palm trees, and plenty of options for those looking for entertainment and a fun vacation.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
The city of Gulf Shores is the main beach area in Alabama. Each year, the 32 miles of sugar-white sand beaches along Alabama’s Gulf Coast attract nearly 7 million visitors.
It’s popular with families and young academics during spring break and while the long, white sand beach can get crowded, there are plenty of options for day and night visitors, including an amusement park, a zoo, chain restaurants, championship golf courses. , water sports and zip lines.
Ocean City, Maryland
The entire city spans 4.5 square miles and is home to approximately 7,000 citizens. However, according to the official Ocean City website, they receive around 8 million visitors a year, drawn by the 10 miles of beautiful sparkling sand.
Ocean City has over 25,000 condominiums, approximately 10,000 rooms and over 200 restaurants, so there are plenty of options for all budgets.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
This coastal city welcomes nearly 10.1 million overnight visitors according to official figures. Virginia Beach is home to miles of white sand beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. So it’s no surprise that the tourism and hospitality industry are two of the biggest industries in Virginia Beach.