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America has no shortage of beaches. The country has over 12,000 miles of coastline, some of which is cliff but most of which is beach. These beaches attract tourists not just from all over America, but from all over the world. But which are the best strips for those wanting the ultimate holiday by the sea? Here are just five of America’s most prided and popular beaches for anyone planning a US beach vacation.

Clearwater, Florida

Clearwater often comes up on top of most people’s lists. The 3 miles stretch is located on barrier island and has all the fine ingredients of a dream beach – white sands, palm trees and a perfect blue sea. The waters are also a hotspot for turtles and dolphins, with many of these injured marine creatures being rehabilitated at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Meanwhile, there are nightly festivals and plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. Clearwater also holds the World record for the longest run of sunshine. Need another reason to go?

Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica beach is perfect for active beachgoers that want to do more than lounge on the sand. Swimming, skating, biking, yoga, outdoor chess and beach volleyball are just some of the activities commonly seen along this three mile stretch. You’ve also got the country’s famous pier with an amusement park at the end of it called Pacific Park containing scary rollercoasters and an iconic giant Ferris wheel. With plenty of places to eat and go shopping on your doorstep, it’s practically got everything you could ask for.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Like Santa Monica on the opposite coast, South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach is a beach for those that want an active vacation. On top of sporting celebrity-designed golf courses, you’ll find an amusement park here called Family Kingdom and an array of arcades and restaurants. There’s plenty of luxury accommodation overlooking the beach such as Marriott’s OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes, so you can wake up to the sand and sea. Myrtle Beach happens to be part of a string of beaches called the Grand Strand, so can always try out these neighbouring beaches too if you want some variety.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach is in fact an entire city, but unsurprisingly it has a beach and it’s one with a lot of history behind it. Virginia Beach was in fact where the first English settlers landed in 1607. Nowadays, the beach is a buzzing hotspot for tourists with activities such as parasailing and ziplinining available. There are plenty of restaurants in the area to try local seafood and a number of luxury hotels with sea views such as Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

Ka’anapali, Hawaii

When it comes to perfect Hawaiian beaches, there’s a lot of competition, however Ka’anapali is arguably the most idyllic. It’s a paradise for sunbathers and surfers alike with white sands and great waves. Head over to Black Rock and you can even take up the scary sport of cliff-jumping.

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