The Southern United States is known for its alluring beaches, characterized by tepid waters, gentle sands, and a plethora of seaside activities.
These spots are perfect for those seeking a wide array of water sports, observation of local fauna, shell collecting, refreshing dips, or simply lounging under the sun.
Spanning the stretch from Virginia to Texas, the South offers countless miles of coastline just waiting to be discovered.
Beach lovers can choose from vibrant, bustling beaches to serene hideaways tucked within national parks.
So, without further ado, here are the top 9 reader-picked beaches gracing the Southern United States.
No. 8: Virginia Beach Oceanfront - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Stretching along the Atlantic Ocean, the impressive expanse of Virginia Beach offers plenty of sandy space for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing.
Complementing the beach itself, a lively boardwalk runs parallel, teeming with a wide assortment of shops, restaurants, and entertainment spots, adding a dynamic urban edge to the seaside experience.
No. 9: Mustang Island State Park - Corpus Christi, Texas
Gracing the coast of Texas is Mustang Island State Park, renowned for its breathtaking sandy shores, crystal blue waters, and diverse coastal ecosystems.
Here, outdoor enthusiasts will find an array of activities to immerse themselves in, from swimming and camping to hiking, surfing, kayaking, and even kiteboarding.
The promise of adventure and fun at this site is practically limitless.
No. 7: Stuart Beach - Stuart, Florida
Renowned for its family-friendly ambiance, Stuart Beach in Florida flaunts a vast sandy shoreline, conveniently located across from local attractions, including the Elliott Museum and the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center.
Besides swimming and sunbathing, visitors can enjoy beach wheelchair program, ensuring that the beach is accessible to individuals of all abilities.
Lifeguards are on duty every day, adding an extra layer of safety.
No. 6: Gulf Shores Beach - Gulf Shores, Alabama
Nestled in Gulf Shores, Alabama, the enchanting Gulf Shores Beach showcases soft, sugar-white sand against a backdrop of emerald-green waters.
This much-loved destination provides a plethora of activities, from swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing to water sports.
Coupled with spectacular sunsets and a vibrant beach culture, Gulf Shores Beach perfectly balances relaxation and fun.
No. 5: Folly Beach - Folly Beach, South Carolina
Known for its relaxed bohemian vibe, Folly Beach welcomes visitors to 6 miles of wide sandy beaches. Its proximity to Charleston and a surfer-friendly environment further enhance its appeal.
Beyond the beach, the surroundings invite exploration with a range of eclectic shops and casual dining options.
No. 4: Venice Beach - Venice, Florida
Dubbed the "Shark Tooth Capital of the World," Florida's Venice Beach promises not just pristine white sand and clear blue waters, but an added thrill of hunting for fossilized shark teeth along the shore.
Beyond this unique attraction, visitors can explore natural coral reef formations offshore and enjoy a full range of amenities.
No. 3: Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Beach - Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida
An epitome of a "lovely, relaxing destination," Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is a quaint small town home to a 2.5-mile-long sandy beach lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops.
Known as the "Beach Diving Capital of Florida," this beach is a haven for divers and snorkelers, offering a vibrant coral reef system that's easily accessible from the shore.
No. 2: Emerald Isle Beach - Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Emerald Isle Beach, named for its shimmering emerald-green waters, is nestled on North Carolina's Crystal Coast.
Perfect for families, the beach provides a tranquil coastal retreat with opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, and water sports.
While parking requires a nominal hourly fee from April through September, the serene environment more than justifies it.
No. 1: Clearwater Beach - Clearwater, Florida
Renowned for its immaculately groomed white sand and bustling social scene, Clearwater Beach is where Florida's heart beats.
This beach, nestled against the warm Gulf of Mexico waters, blends relaxation with an active beach life, featuring water sports, beach games, live music, and a variety of dining options.
The daily sunset celebration at Clearwater's Pier 60, teeming with local artisans and street performers, is a must-see.