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 Learning to Swim
Crescent Beach, Rhode Island
At the southern end of Block Island's Crescent Beach, a stretch of sand suits young families so well that the locals call it Baby Beach. Here toddlers wade in shallow tide pools, discovering mussels, crabs, and sand dollars while their parents recover on the crowdless sands. As a bonus, you don't have to worry about traffic: At the ferry, bike rentals with optional trailers or child seats are available for the short ride to Baby Beach, only three quarters of a mile away.
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