5 USA Beaches You Might Not Have Heard Of

21 June 2014

Home to hidden lagoons, alluring bays and endless coastline, the United States of America is a generous purveyor of the essential summer trifecta: sun, surf and sand. From a coastal playground in Massachusetts to an other-worldly Maui hideaway, you might not have heard of these five beaches, but that's what makes them great.

 Quiet beach days at Martha's Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

In the 19th Century, upper-class families from Boston and New York would decamp to Martha's Vineyard for a summer vacation. Although the Vineyard’s fan base has since widened, its seaside appeal has remained intact.

At Martha’s Vineyard you can hire a wooden sailboat and head east to Moshup Beach. This stretch of soft, white sand, sheltered under the rugged Gay Head Cliffs, is a famous holiday haunt with the Kennedy family. The Vineyard’s proximity to some of the busiest fishing spots on the eastern seaboard also makes it a wonderland for seafood enthusiasts.

Coronado Central Beach, California

Unfolding around 2.5 kilometres and bordered by the luxurious Spanish-style mansions that line San Diego’s Ocean Boulevard, Coronado is a heavenly alternative to many of Los Angeles’ busier shores.

Known for surging waves and silky mineral sand, Coronado is the heart of Southern California’s surfing community, while also attracting whale watchers from December to February. For fun out of the water, you can head to the Hotel Del Coronado; a lavish 19th-Century building that offers Maine lobster and flawless ocean views.

Cape Florida, Key Biscayne

If you think Miami is defined by neon swimwear and around-the-clock parties, you may want to reconsider your point of view. Key Biscayne, a pristine white-sand beach, is a short drive from South Beach and is one of Miami’s most tranquil seaside getaways, particularly if you've got children.

Key Biscayne is known for its gentle waves and shallow green waters, which create a safe environment for anyone learning to swim or surf. Nearby, the Bill Baggs National Park and Cape Florida Lighthouse let you combine beach frolicking with sightseeing.

East Hampton, New York

What do you get when you cross dove-white sand dunes with a high quota of celebrity summer houses? East Hampton might feel like a quaint seaside village, but it also represents some of the country’s most sought-after real estate.

Pack a pastel sweater and head to an alfresco eatery for fresh clam chowder and fiery sunset views, or swap Main Beach for Montauk, a wind-swept coastal town known for late-night bonfires, vintage boutiques and a bohemian vibe. The Hampton Jitney, a private bus service that departs from Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, proves that getting there is sometimes half the fun.

Red Sand Beach, Hawaii

Although Maui’s impressive swells and crystalline waters lure surfers and snorkelling enthusiasts from around the world, Hawaii’s largest island is also home to offbeat beaches that are equally deserving of being featured on postcards.

Red Sand Beach is one such area. This unusual beach is tucked away in the secluded Kaihalulu Bay and features red-black sand and azure water. Accessing Red Sand Beach requires a challenging hike along trails that run across a steep ridge jutting over the ocean. It’s the ideal destination for those who like unique beaches with a side of adventure.

Neha Kale

Neha Kale is a writer and editor covering arts, design and culture at large. For Neha, a one-way ticket to London sparked incurable wanderlust and a decade of memorable trips – from exploring street art in San Francisco and sailing down the Nile to mapping galleries in New York and getting lost in the backstreets of Paris.