12 Unforgettable Beach Vacations in the South (USA)

Photo: Antonio Cuellar

The beaches of the southern United States offer some of the most stunning and breathtaking coastlines. In states like Florida and South Carolina, endless miles of golden sand stretch as far as the eye can see, lapped by sparkling blue waters that are warm and calm in the summer. 

Photo: Sean Oulashin

These beaches are perfect for sunbathing or splashing about in the waves, offering everything from lazy afternoons spent reading a book to exhilarating adventures like snorkeling or surfing. 

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Additionally, many beaches in the south are known for their vibrant communities and exciting nightlife, making them one-of-a-kind destinations that are sure to entertain.

Photo: Natalya Zaritskaya

Virginia Beach is one of the most family-friendly beaches in the South! Start your day by heading down to the beach to sunbathe and swim with the kids. If you’re interested in surfing, surf lessons, parasailing, or standup paddleboarding, you’ll also find those options. 

Virginia Beach, Virginia


Photo: Alexandrea Sumuel

The warm waves in the Atlantic make it perfect for surfing, skimboarding, swimming, or relaxing on the white sandy beaches. The calm waters of the harbor are wonderful for standup paddling, fishing, or kite surfing. 

Outer Banks, North Carolina


Photo: Chef Denise

Not only is there a lot to see and do nearby, but the beach itself has plenty of opportunities for sunbathing, watersports, or just relaxing. The Myrtle Beach boardwalk is definitely one of the biggest attractions close to the beach, with lots of restaurants, arcades, and even a Ferris wheel.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina


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You can spend all day playing in the surf and relaxing in the sun. If you want to be more active on the water, there’s parasailing, jet skiing, kayaking, sailing, snorkeling, and diving. You can even learn how to build a sandcastle.

Gulf Shores, Alabama


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Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida, has no shortage of options to get outside and in the water. With its beautiful white sand beaches and emerald green waters, the area continues to be one of the best beaches in the South. 

Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida


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Photo: Alexandrea Sumuel