With a shoreline roughly four times as long as the equator, America has more than its fair share of beautiful beaches. There are so many excellent seaside strands that standing out from the sandy crowd requires a degree of specialization. That's why our list of the best beaches in the U.S. is not all about towel lounging. These beauty queens offer adventure, wildlife, and great food – because it's not enough to be beautiful if you don't nail the talent portion.
Best for Families
Cannon Beach, Oregon
The frigid water is honestly never swimmer-friendly here, some 80 miles northwest of Portland, but the kids don't care. There's plenty to do on land, including combing for sand dollars at low tide and watching comical puffins nesting in a sea stack just offshore. Try Ecola State Park a mile north of town for a walk among the sitka spruce and hemlock forests to tide pools. After sunset, bonfires break out up and down the Cannon Beach dunes, sites of mellow marshmallow roasts and stargazing sessions.
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