You don’t need to travel outside of the U.S to find some beautiful white-sand clear water beaches. The United States, with its numerous coastlines and diverse landscapes, has some of the clearest water beaches in the world.
From Florida to Hawaii and everything in between, the United States is filled with some seriously stunning beaches that offer crystal-clear waters, pristine white sands, and spectacular views.
Based on some of our travels and experiences, we cover everything these beaches have to offer, including fun things to do, attractions, facilities, and amenities. With hidden gems and popular vacation destinations, get your breath taken and plan your next warm-weather vacation at any of these beautiful white sand beaches with clear water.
Best Clear Water Beaches In The U.S
Magens Bay Beach, St Thomas
The U.S Virgin Islands is renowned for its beaches, and Magens Bay Beach is the most famous one in all of St. Thomas. It’s also considered one of the most beautiful beaches globally and makes for quite a romantic getaway.
The soft white sand beach on the north end of the island boasts clear blue waters with a long shoreline for walking. The calm waters are ideal for swimming but may not be the best if you’re looking to snorkel. It offers amazing scenery, and it can get quite crowded during the busy season in the USVI.
There are plenty of nearby attractions like Bluebeards Castle and Drake’s seat. You’ll find the typical convenient facilities, including bathrooms, showers, parking lots, and restaurants and bars. You do need to pay a small entrance fee to get into the area, but it’s worth it in exchange for everything you get at the beach. Kayak rentals and snorkeling gear are available for rent.
It’s easily accessed, and most of the taxis across the island know how to get to it since it’s quite a popular destination. If you’re looking for a romantic beach getaway, Magens Bay Beach should certainly be at the top of your list. Read our guide to find the top places to stay in St Thomas.
South Beach, Miami
South Beach, Miami, is one of the most famous beaches in Florida and the United States as a whole. If you’re visiting the party city of Miami, the Miami Beach area is a must-stop attraction that gathers crowds all the time. It’s located on Ocean Drive, which offers more restaurants than you could ever find time to eat at, and is well known for its nightlife.
No entrance fee is required, and you’ll find turquoise blue waters along this white sand beach long-stretched shoreline. There is quite a lot you can do on the beach, from jet ski rentals to surfing. However, you will need to apply for a boating license, which is just a quick online test if you want to go jet skiing.
The waves and high winds make it a popular surfing destination, and the waters are great and safe for swimming as lifeguards are always on duty.
There are restrooms and water clean-off facilities once you leave the sandy area and enter the park. If you’re looking for a quieter beach, go farther up to Midbeach, which is around a 15-minute drive for fewer crowds and similar beach conditions. You can also always ride a bike to it on the Miami Beach Boardwalk, which spans almost 4 miles and you can also go all the way to North Beach, Miami.
You can always find fun things to do in Miami Beach, and the nearby art scene is incredible. It can be challenging to find parking nearby since Ocean Drive is always quite busy. However, there are plenty of beachfront hotels you can stay at, like Moxy Miami South Beach and the Marseilles Beachfront Hotel.
Maho Bay Beach, St John
Maho Bay Beach is famous in the U.S Virgin Islands for the number of turtles that roam its waters. If you’re trying to go sightseeing for some green sea turtles, Maho Bay Beach is the perfect beach destination. To get to it, you can easily take a taxi from Great Cruz Bay, where the main ferry entrance for the island is located and where most of the beachfront resorts are at. It’s only around a 15-minute drive to the beach.
As with most Saint John Beaches, it’s free to the public, so no entrance fee is required. Apart from snorkeling, you can swim in its calm waters and find some shade under the picnic tables covered by a pavilion. Or you can always simply lounge on the sandy beach and sunbathe.
A lot of kayaking and snorkeling tours stop by the area due to its diverse sea life. You can also go birdwatching around here, and you may be able to see some pelicans diving for fish.
There is a washroom where you can change, and across the road, you’ll find a multitude of food trucks and stands. There is also a local gear shop where you can rent snorkeling gear. Maho Bay Beach is pretty well-known throughout Saint John, so if you’re planning a visit, arrive early to find parking and grab a table.
Carmel Beach, California
Carmel Beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California is known for its beautiful white-sand beaches and for being an ideal and picturesque place for weddings and receptions. Carmel-by-the Sea is also one of the most famous seaside locations in all of California, perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and surfing.
The beach sits on the west coast by the Pacific Ocean and is lined with Cypress trees up and down. This makes Carmel Beach an ideal place for a scenic drive or an afternoon stroll sightseeing and gazing at the beautiful landscape. Additionally, there are various restaurants and cafes in the surrounding area of Carmel, but reservations are advised as seating fills up fast, especially on the weekends.
While being one of America's Best Beach towns, Carmel-by-the-Sea hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Carmel Art Festival and the traditional Great Sandcastle Contest.
The area is pet-friendly and home to various dolphins and otters not too far off the coast. Parking is limited and can be hard to find during the busy summer season or weekends, so arrive early if you’re coming during that time. Consider the fall if your want to avoid the tourist season, as there are fewer crowds, but the weather is still quite warm.
Popular hotels in the area include the La Playa Carmel hotel and the Hotel Carmel.
Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico
Flamenco Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Puerto Rico. The short ferry ride to the small nearby island of Culebra comes with a great view as well. There is a $2 entry fee, but it’s the only beach on the island that provides amenities, including restrooms, showers, beach chairs, and umbrellas for rent.
Known for having soft white sand beaches and turquoise and emerald-colored waters, Flamenco Beach stretches in a horseshoe shape around the bay. The surrounding bay has some great opportunities for diving, but there are no other watersports available.
There are small gentle waves on the beach, so you can swim and snorkel without too many issues. There are no restaurants or cafes, but there are a few local food trucks stationed nearby to grab some lunch. A big attraction on the island that is very popular for a lot of tourists is The Tank. The Tank is a memorial landmark reminding visitors of the US Navy’s occupancy of the Island of Culebra.
There tend to be high crowds on the weekends and lower crowds throughout the week, so time your visit carefully since it’s common for tourists and travelers to visit the beach. Grab some shade under the pine tree, try some delicious Puerto Rican food, and get a picnic table to enjoy a gorgeous sunny day on your vacation.
Clearwater Beach, Florida
Clearwater Beach, Florida, is one of the top vacation spots on the east coast. The city of Clearwater is known to be very safe and family-friendly, making it an ideal spot for all ages.
The stunning beach has powdery white sand and calm crystal blue water, making it a popular spot for water sports such as stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, jet-skiing, and parasailing. It’s one of the few beaches in Florida with lifeguards on duty every day. There are restrooms available, chairs and umbrellas for rent all up and down the beach (measuring 2.5 miles), and dozens of hotels and resorts ranging from luxurious to budget-friendly.
The beachfront road is lined with various restaurants and cafes, equipt with a bike and walking path, so it's a fantastic way to spend an afternoon exploring. The famous Pier 60 hosts a nightly market and festival each evening and hosts multiple other art festivals and events throughout the year. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is another popular attraction near the area worth checking out, and it's a great place to see diverse marine life.
This is a popular tourist spot, as well as home to various snowbirds and seasonal residents during the winter months. Since it’s such a busy area, there does tend to be a lot of crowds throughout most of the year.
If you’re looking for a peaceful place with luxury amenities, consider the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa or the Clearwater Beach Hotel. It's one of the more pristine white sand beaches in the Gulf Coast of the United States.
Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale in Florida is a lot less low-key and relaxing than its well-known neighboring city of Miami. It is known for its famous Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, including 3 miles of beach and a beautiful pier. There is clean sand, light blue waters, and loads of amenities on the city side.
This soft sandy beach offers free entry and is well-known, so it’s highly visited by locals and tourists. With limited parking available, it's easier to find spots during the week than on the weekends. Traffic and crowds tend to be lower the farther north you go on the beach. The family-friendly beach facilities include volleyball courts, showers, basketball courts, picnic tables, a playground for kids, and more.
Restaurants and cafes are abundant, as well as hotels and resorts lining the coastline for any budget range and for short or long-term visitors. Seabreeze Blvd and Olas Blvd are the two main roads leading to Fort Lauderdale Beach. There are multiple opportunities for shopping and nightlife and great bike paths for a morning bike ride.
Fort Lauderdale Beach is less lively than Southbeach Miami, so it’s a quieter getaway. But don’t get confused, you will still find large groups on the beach. The gorgeous beach also conveniently provides Book Boxes for bookworms spending their afternoons on the sand, allowing visitors to borrow or swap a book at no cost. This is a pretty unique offering that tends to be immensely popular with guests.
Papohaku Beach Park, Molokai
Papohaku Beach is a gorgeous, 3-mile-long beach located on the island of Molokai in Hawaii. It’s the largest beach in Molokai and is known for its gorgeous blue waters and panoramic views, as well as its secluded location that offers incredible surroundings. Beach amenities include picnic tables, BBQ grills, campsites, and restroom stations. There are also several walking areas that are great for exploring the island's tropical landscape.
This Hawaii beach is famous for the whales in its water, making it an ideal spot for whale watching! Fun water activities you can partake in are scuba diving, fishing, boating, sunbathing, and more. Unlike some other beaches on this list, you may want to avoid swimming since the water has strong currents, big waves, and riptides.
Various shops and restaurants are located just beyond Papohaku Beach, making it easy to pick up a bite to eat or shop for souvenirs after enjoying lounging on the beach. Check out Paddlers Restaurant and Bar for some fine dining cuisine.
It's the perfect white sand beach with plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. You can find several villas and beachfront resorts in the area if you're planning a trip to Hawaii.
Trunk Bay Beach, St John
Trunk Bay Beach is definitely one of the best clearwater beaches in the U.S, and it's known for its incredibly clear waters that are ideal for snorkeling. It’s situated in St. John in the Virgin Islands National Park, a US territory located off the coast of Puerto Rico.
If you plan on doing a lot of snorkeling on your beach vacation, it's the perfect area. Trunk Bay Beach is home to a beautiful underwater snorkeling trail that winds through different coral reefs, making it a perfect place to explore the underwater world.
The beach is pristine and very family-friendly, offering crystal-clear waters to relax and swim in. There are tour companies in St. John that offer boat tours and other snorkeling excursions, so you can easily spend a day or more exploring Trunk Bay Beach and its surrounding area.
This place is known for its abundance of Leatherback turtles, as well as tropical fish and other interesting aquatic life. It’s the perfect place if you're looking for a fun beach to visit that offers lots of swimming and snorkeling opportunities. You can explore plenty of other St John attractions nearby, like the Catherine Estate Ruins and the Cinnamon Bay Plantation Ruins. It's also close to other gorgeous beaches in Saint John, so you can visit more than one place on your trip.
The beach is home to a snack bar and gift shop, so you can easily find a place to grab a bite or a drink after a long day of swimming and exploring. Most of the hotels and resorts are located near the ferry entrance in Great Cruz Bay. Popular options include the Gallows Point Resort and the Lovango Resort.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Located on the northwest Oregon Coast, Cannon Beach is a beautiful sandy beach known for swimming, hiking trails, surfing, and stunning sunset views. The water here is crystal-clear and very calm, making it ideal for families to swim and paddle. There are also several rocks located offshore that are great for exploring at low tide.
Cannon Beach is a picturesque city by the sea situated in a scenic area, with forested hills and grassy fields just behind the beach. The picturesque Haystack Rock is located just offshore, making it an excellent spot for watching wildlife and enjoying gorgeous views of the surrounding landscape.
It's not far from Ecola State Park and the Ecola Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, so there are plenty of hikes you can go on. There are also many shops, restaurants, and bars to spend an entire day trying new things.
You can go on tours to see the area's most popular sights, such as the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. With its stunning scenery and plenty of fun things to do, Cannon Beach is a perfect day trip opportunity if you’re in the state or vacation destination. With its proximity to Portland, around one hour in a half drive, you can also visit the large city if you’re staying in Cannon Beach.
Asan Beach, Guam
While Guam isn’t as recognized as some of the other places on this list, it’s one of the most tropical places in the U.S, with its beaches. Asam Beach has its own place in history, also known as Asan Invasion Beach, which is where U.S troops landed during WW2 to retake the island back from Japan.
Today the beach offers visitors a place where they can sit back and enjoy the sweeping views of the North Pacific Ocean. There is also a war memorial commemorating all the soldiers who gave their lives during the war.
It’s the perfect place for a relaxing stroll or picnic while on vacation. History buffs will enjoy their visit to Asan Beach, with all there is to learn about its history. Those who love tropical vacations will enjoy the paradise-like conditions of Guam. Kayaking, paddleboarding, and even scuba diving are popular things to do here.
The small village of Asan features lovely weather throughout most of the year, so there is never a wrong time to visit. Visitors can also check out Two Lovers Point, a seaside cliff 20 minutes away that offers picturesque views of the sea and is another of Guam’s most famous attractions.
Best White Sand Beaches In The U.S
Lindquist Beach, St Thomas
Lindquist Beach in St.Thomas is known for its quiet and relaxed vibe and location, as well as its blue turquoise waters. It’s located within a 21-acre area called Smith Bay Park, which is considered a protected area. This is one of the most well-kept and pristine beaches in all of St. Thomas and the US Virgin Islands. It certainly rivals it's neighboring island Saint John in terms of paradise-like beaches.
The turquoise beach has a shaded and unshaded area for relaxing, with one side covered by sea grape trees. It offers ideal swimming conditions with calm, shallow water. There is a reef to the right side of the beach housing many fish and other sea life, making this a great area for snorkeling or kayaking. You can also find plenty of shells in the sand and iguanas and chickens on the land.
Lindquist Beach has a $5 entry fee per person, plus $2 for daily parking. There are various amenities, including lifeguards, restrooms, showers, changing rooms, and picnic tables. Lounge chairs are available for rent, but there are limited amounts, and they usually fill up quickly.
It’s recommended to bring snacks, as there are no restaurants or places to get food on the beach. However, locals often set up on the beach selling water, soft drinks, and other beverages along the coastline. In terms of accommodations, you can find plenty of luxury resorts a short distance away from Lindquist Beach.
Waikiki Beach, Oahu
Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, Waikiki Beach is one of the most popular pristine beaches in the United States and definitely one of the most beautiful. This beach is well-known for its clear water, white sandy shores, and scenic views. Since it’s close to downtown Honolulu, Waikiki Beach is a popular spot for locals and travelers.
You can enjoy just about any type of water activity here. This includes exciting things like parasailing, wakeboarding, water skiing, jet skiing, and much more. You can even go on snorkeling with sea turtles tours to observe these beautiful creatures in their natural environments. The calm waters allow kids to enjoy swimming in the water.
The beach itself is equipped with restrooms, showers, and water sports rental facilities. There are also plenty of walking trails that take you through the lush tropical vegetation located behind the beach. There's no shortage of hotels and resorts you can stay at and a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars to take a break for a bite to eat near the water.
This beach is also close to the Waikiki Aquarium and the Honolulu Zoo, which you can check out before or after your visit.
Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach, widely recognized as "Surf City," is a famous beach town located in Orange County, California. This beach is well-known for its wide sandy beaches, turquoise water, and consistent waves, so you can surf, swim, and enjoy other water sports. You can go on short hikes, tan, or simply relax at the beach on your chair and enjoy the views.
Since surfing is so prevalent in the area, you can take private surf lessons while visiting. There is also a pet-friendly area if you’re visiting with a furry friend and you can always visit Huntington Central Park after.
Huntington Beach is popular with both locals and travelers. Plus, with its close location to Los Angeles, you can make the most of your vacation by visiting both places on different days.
There are lots of different hotels, resorts, and AirBnbs, so finding accommodations isn’t the hardest, but it might come at a price due to the popularity of the city. Local amenities on the beach include washrooms, showers, and gear rental shops. The Huntington Beach Pier, which hosts events and festivals, is also a cool place to walk along while enjoying views of the beach.
If you're in need of some clear water, great waves for surfing, and plenty of sunshine, this beach town has everything you need for an incredible day! The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort And Spa is a great place to consider for your stay.
Turtle Beach, St Croix
Turtle Beach is another gorgeous beach located in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. This beach is slightly less crowded than Trunk Bay, making it a great spot to relax and get away from crowds. The water is just as transparent, so you can spend the day swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking.
One of the top perks about Turtle Beach is its exotic location. Situated on the southwestern edge of St. Croix on Buck Island, this beach is only accessible by boat. It's surrounded by tropical rainforests and other gorgeous scenery, making it one of the more scenic beaches with a peaceful atmosphere.
Unlike other close beaches in the area, there are no restaurants or bars located directly on its premises, so you'll get the wilderness feel when you visit. Restrooms, grills, and picnic areas are on the beach, so feel free to pack a lunch and make a day of it.
Several tour companies provide snorkeling and diving excursions in Saint Croix if you're looking for guidance from pros. You can also find a number of trails nearby that take you through the vegetation, ideal for hiking enthusiasts.
This amazing beach destination offers plenty of opportunities for tranquility and adventure and is one of St. Croix's most beautiful natural treasures. Since it’s technically on a different island than St Croix, you don’t have to worry too much about other people as it's one of more isolated beaches in St. Croix.
Smathers Beach, Key West Florida
Smathers Beach located in Key West is a half-mile long and situated on the south side of the island, along the Atlantic coast. It’s considered one of the most stunning beaches in all of the state of Florida and the U.S. The beach is family-friendly due to its tranquil and shallow waters that let you walk quite far out.
Beach activities include things like beach volleyball and tanning, while water sports include windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and more. You can even rent sailboats, paddleboards, kayaks, and jet skis.
Smathers Beach offers beach chair rentals, public restrooms, showers, snack bars, bike paths, and picnic tables. Its location makes for a dream wedding, so don't be surprised if you see a couple getting married.
There are many bars and shops located beyond Smathers Beach. This beach is also close to a number of different attractions, including the Key West Aquarium and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
Whether you're looking to relax in the sun or check out some local attractions, this Atlantic Ocean beach has you covered. It’s open to the public every day from 7 am to 11 pm, with no entrance fee required.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Although South Carolina isn’t commonly thought of as a tropical paradise, the family-friendly Myrtle Beach offers the closest thing you’ll get to it in the state. The city as a whole has various white sandy beaches with palm trees and miles of shoreline to explore.
The main Myrtle Beach (there is also a North Myrtle Beach) has popular attractions like its SkyWheel and Boardwalk, where events are commonly hosted. The boardwalk is also a great place to go on a relaxing stroll with nice sights of the beach. Ripley's Aquarium is near the area and is an excellent place to visit with children.
The beach is safe to swim with small gentle waves barely hitting the shore and lifeguards on duty. While jellyfish live in the water, they rarely sting visitors. Dolphins also frequent the waters but tend to be farther out onshore. You can find lot’s of tour companies that take you far out into the Atlantic Ocean for dolphin sightseeing.
You’ll find plenty of restaurants on the pier, offering easy access to lunch or dinner. You can find plenty of hotels and resorts in the city if you’re looking to plan a vacation in South Carolina. For luxury places to stay at, check out the Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes or the Coral Beach Resort and Suites, which gas their own swimming pools.
Siesta Key Beach, Florida
Siesta Beach is located off the coast of Sarasota, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. The beach has won plenty of awards for being one of the best beaches in the US. With soft waves and calm water for swimming, families, and beginner swimmers can enjoy a cool and relaxing day.
You can spend a romantic time at the beach with your significant other or take the kids out to build sandcastles. The water is clean and clear, letting you see the bottom of the ocean floor while swimming in the shallows. There are cabanas you can rent to make your stay more enjoyable. Water activities are abundant, with kayaking, boating, parasailing, and jet skiing being quite popular.
You won’t have any issues finding beachside accommodations as there are plenty of hotels and vacation rentals to stay at. Sarasota, in particular, its downtown area, is a lively place to visit with attractions like the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Sarasota Opera House.
With panoramic views of the ocean and no costs to enter, tourists flock to it during the busy summer season. Other facilities include beach volleyball courts, tennis courts, and picnic tables. Convenience stands are found throughout the beach, perfect for a small snack or drink.
Coronado Beach, California
Coronado Beach is a popular surfing beach in Coronado, California. It’s a long stretch of land, perfect for walking and enjoying beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. It’s only a 15-minute drive from downtown San Diego to the beach, and you just need to cross the San Diego-Coronado bridge to get to it.
It offers tranquil waters with gorgeous white sand and a beautiful view, especially of the sunset if you come in the evening. There are plenty of fun activities to do at Coronado Beach, like paddleboarding, surfing, kayaking, and much more. However, the water can get quite cold so that’s one thing that might stop you from swimming. Umbrella and chair rentals are available, plus live music is played sometimes.
Hotel Del Coronado is one of the most popular places to stay as it’s only a couple of minutes from the beach. The beachfront resort offers plenty of its own amenities with rooftop hot tubs, ice cream socials, and studios or one-bedrooms or two-bedroom stays.
It’s not hard to find public street parking, so it’s quite convenient to visit, and you’ll find plenty of public restrooms and washing stations. It’s not as crowded as other beaches in California due to its location, so it offers a more peaceful getaway. With its close location to San Diego, you can explore the large city for an entire day or two.
Playa Caracas, Puerto Rico
Flamenco Beach isn’t the only pristine beach in Puerto Rico, and with the number of alluring beaches throughout Puerto Rico, that would deserve an article all on its own. Playa Caracas is located in the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Caribbean Sea, and on the small island of Vieques. Vieques as a whole is famous for the impressive beaches on its coasts.
Playa Caracas has gentle, turquoise-colored waters that make activities like paddleboarding and snorkeling accessible. You can find some coral and lots of different fish in the water. Due to its location in the refuge, you won’t find any restaurants or washrooms, but the beautiful views of the landscape and sea make up for it. After your beach trip, consider going on a jungle hike or trying many of the different food trucks throughout the land.
It’s a great place for a picnic with gazebos and palm trees that provide shade. The beach has a rich history to learn about, given its “Red Beach” nickname by the navy. Playa Caracas Beach is the perfect place for a tropical vacation.
Since it’s much more secluded than some of the other beaches in Puerto Rico, you get fewer crowds and more beautiful and natural landscapes. To get to Vieques and Playa Caracas, you can take a ferry from Ceiba or fly into the Antonio Rivera Rodríguez airport.
Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, Hawaii
While Hawaii has plenty of famous beaches, Waimanalo Bay Beach Park is one of the more lowkey options that doesn't get as many tourists. It’s located on the southeastern end of Oahu and easily accessed by taking the Pali Hwy or the H-1 Hwy routes.
There are miles of shoreline to walk along with panoramic views of the surrounding areas. The waves aren’t as large as other beaches in Hawaii, so while it’s not the best surf spot, it’s a good option for swimming. Bodysurfing is also very common due to the smaller waves.
Facilities include showers and restrooms, which are convenient, but there are not many businesses around. Waimanalo Beach is also close to Honolulu if you stay in that area, only around a 30-minute drive. If you're into outdoor adventures, it’s worth camping overnight at the nearby Sherwood Forest.
If you’re up for a small hike, visit the Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail. It overlooks the sea, providing striking sights of the coast and nearby islands. If you’re lucky enough, you may also be able to spot whales from here or try birdwatching. There are other beach parks within a short distance you can explore if you have time remaining in your day.