A beach vacation is the perfect way to spend time as a family and is a great opportunity to reconnect and forget about the stresses life can bring. The combination of the sea and the sun is ideal for creating unforgettable memories you and your family can cherish forever.
However, with over 1,000 beaches in the United States, it can be difficult to decide where to go.
So this time, we’re discovering which beaches in the whole of the US are the most picture-perfect of them all.
We took a deep-dive into Instagram and Tripadvisor data to determine which beaches are the most beautiful, and which you absolutely cannot miss visiting.
The Most Beautiful Beaches in the US
To calculate which beach in the US can officially be crowned the most beautiful, we looked at Tripadvisor reviews and found the total number and percentage of reviews mentioning the word, ‘beautiful’. We also looked at how many times each beach had been hashtagged on Instagram, to create an overall score of how beautiful each beach is.
And it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that every single one of the country’s top 5 most beautiful beaches can be found in Florida.
Here’s how the top 100 stacks up…
1. Panama City Beach, Florida – 9.52 beach beauty score
Panama City Beach has been crowned the most beautiful beach in the US. The mixture of white sand and blue clear water has this Florida beach topping our list, and after enjoying some of the best things to do in Panama City Beach with kids, you can round the day off with a phenomenal view of the sunset. This beach will certainly give you and your family that ‘wow’ factor.
2. Pensacola Beach, Florida – 9.12 beach beauty score
Runners-up on our list is Pensacola Beach, just eight miles along the coast. This beach in Florida also boasts beautiful sea and sand, which makes it a great place to make a sandcastle or two. After a busy day in the sun, you’ll want to put your head down on a comfy bed. For a list of hotels for any budget, check out our guide to the best family-friendly hotels in Pensacola.
3. Clearwater Beach, Florida – 8.74 beach beauty score
Completing the top three Florida beaches is Clearwater Beach. This beach is a great place to go with the family. The amazing weather and white sandy beaches make it a wonderful option to explore. Its calm waters also make this beach a great place to jet ski or paddleboard, which could be a fantastic experience for you to share with your family.
Check out the best hotels in Clearwater Beach for families to make sure you get the perfect accommodation for your trip!
The Most Picturesque Beaches in the US
The contrast of blue waters and sky against a white beach can make for a killer photo for your Instagram. That’s why we looked at which beaches have been posted the most on Instagram.
1. Newport Beach, California – 3.7 million Instagram posts
With almost 1 million posts more than our runners-up for Instagram posts, Newport Beach in California takes the top spot. Newport Beach boasts some breathtaking views, especially with the addition of tall palm trees. Certainly a great picture to add to your Instagram profile. There are plenty of things to do in Newport Beach with kids, making for numerous opportunities to click some fun pictures to add to your feed, too!
2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – 2.8 million Instagram posts
This beach takes second place in our list of picturesque beaches. On the East coast, the best time to visit Myrtle Beach is at sunrise or sunset due to the amazing views. The buildings behind the beach also make for some incredible scenery for you to add to your Instagram.
Looking for a hotel with a difference to really make your Instagram feed stand out? We’ve listed the best Myrtle Beach hotels with a lazy river that will impress your followers.
3. Virginia Beach, Virginia – 2.3 million Instagram posts
There’s a theme developing here, and it is white sandy beaches and clear blue water. Once again, it is these factors which make Virginia Beach such an Instagrammable place for people to come to. Like Myrtle Beach, there are some nice buildings, including some of the best hotels for families in Virginia Beach, ensuring you never run out of scenic photo opportunities.
The Most Beautiful Beaches According to Visitors
You want to be amazed when you take your family to a beach. That’s why we looked at Tripadvisor to see how many reviews contained the word ‘beautiful’ for each beach.
1. Waikiki Beach, Hawaii – 4,839 reviews mentioning ‘beautiful’
Hawaii’s Waikiki beach has left numerous impressions on its visitors, with almost 5,000 reviews describing the beach as ‘beautiful’. We can see why too – it has palm trees, gorgeous buildings and a stunning mountain in the background. Its great scenery certainly makes it a memorable beach to visit with your family.
Make sure you stay in one of these hotels in Waikiki for families to truly have a memorable vacation!
2. Clearwater Beach, Florida – 4,575 reviews mentioning ‘beautiful’
Another mention for Florida’s Clearwater Beach and it takes second place in our list. Some visitors have described it as ‘one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida’! A serious accolade, considering there are almost 200 beaches in Florida.
3. La Jolla Cove, California – 4,446 reviews mentioning ‘beautiful’
As one of the beaches in California with the clearest water, it’s no wonder thousands of visitors describe La Jolla Cove as ‘beautiful’. One unique thing about this beach is the addition of seals and sea lions you could see during your visit. What a day that could be with the family!
Highest Percentage of Reviews Containing The Word ‘Beautiful’
It’s likely that the highest number of reviews mentioning ‘beautiful’ may be a result of popularity. That’s why we calculated the percentage of reviews mentioning ‘beautiful’ against the total reviews, so you can discover a hidden gem with your family.
1. Santa Rosa Beach, Florida – 53.26% of reviews mention ‘beautiful’
With over half of the reviews mentioning ‘beautiful’, Santa Rosa Beach takes our top spot. With 890 reviews, it may not be the most popular beach in Florida, however, the clear blue water against the white sand makes for a phenomenal view.
2. Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida – 52.27% of reviews mention ‘beautiful’
Although this beach is difficult to get to, it’s certainly worth the journey. It has over 1,200 reviews and the average rating is 5/5. It also has an incredible view of the sunset which makes for a skyline for you and your family to remember.
3. Navarre Beach, Florida – 49.63% of reviews mention ‘beautiful’
Navarre Beach completes the top three Florida beaches, with just under half of the reviews mentioning ‘beautiful’. This beach in northwest Florida is a great option for a peaceful family beach visit. It’s well away from any theme parks, which could make for a quieter beach visit.
To get our original list of the best beaches in the US, we used Tripadvisor and got the top 100 rated beaches.
To decide the most beautiful beach, we looked at Instagram posts with the hashtag of the beach name, the number of reviews that mentioned ‘beautiful’, and the percentage of reviews by dividing the reviews mentioning ‘beautiful’ by the total number of reviews.
We calculated the number of reviews mentioning ‘beautiful’ by searching within the Tripadvisor reviews.
Finally, we gave each factor a normalized score out of ten for each beach, before taking an average of these scores to create an overall score out of 10, with 10 being the most beautiful beach.