Summer is nearly here, and that means it's time to hit the beach. Travel booking site Tripadvisor ranks U.S. beaches based on the quantity and quality of traveler reviews and ratings for beaches on the site, gathered over a 12-month period.
Sugar-white sands and crystal-clear water were a common thread of many of these beaches. Travelers also commented on the amenities available, such as restrooms and showers, and activities in the area. Florida's Clearwater Beach was the number one beach in America, up three spots from its U.S. ranking a year ago.
Many of these beaches are great for families, but we also found five more of the most popular beach destinations for kids based on reviews at Booking.com, and added those at the end.
So grab your swimsuit and towel, here are the best beaches in the U.S.:
Clearwater Beach, Clearwater, Fla.
Beautiful white sand and clear, shallow water make this beach an ideal playground for families. Lots to do in the area, clean sand, but some say it is crowded.
Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Fla.
Known for its clean, hard-packed sand, this beach is located on Siesta Key, south of Tampa.
Ka'anapali Beach, Lahaina, Hawaii
Three miles of white sand and crystal clear water, one of this beach's most famous attractions is the daily cliff-diving ceremony off the beach's cliffs held every evening at sunset.
South Beach, Miami Beach, Fla.
This beach has fine white sand, lots of celebrities and beautiful people in skimpy swim attire, and a lively nightlife scene.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Honolulu
This nature preserve is a top destination on Oahu. Rich with marine life, it has a marine education center and volunteer booth to help visitors learn about conservation of the reef and the types of fish that live there.
Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Warm, clear water, white sand and interesting people characterize this beach, which has plenty of hotels, restaurants and shopping nearby.
Saint Pete Beach, St. Pete Beach, Fla.
This beach is on a barrier island west of St. Petersburg. Miles of sugary sand and beautiful blue water, chair and umbrella rentals, and plenty of restaurants and bars.
Hollywood Beach, Hollywood, Fla.
One reviewer said this beach north of Miami is beautiful, clean and always feels safe.
Photo: Kamira / Shutterstock
Santa Monica State Beach, Santa Monica, Calif.
This beach has a bike path, sand volleyball and a ferris wheel. During the 1930s, 40s and 50s, acrobats, muscle men and bathing beauties at the original Muscle Beach located just south of the Santa Monica Pier drew huge crowds. Today, athletic equipment like rings, parallel bars and balance bars are available at no charge.
Lanikai Beach, Kailua, Hawaii
Located on the east coast of the island of Oahu, this is a half-mile strip of beach. The name Lanikai means "heavenly sea." What more is there to say?
Panama City Beach, Panama City Beach, Fla.
This is 27-miles of beach on the Gulf of Mexico, with a wide variety of things to do including snorkeling, dolphin-watching, parasailing and jet skiing.
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu
Oahu's best known and most popular beach, this two-mile beach has several sections, and visitors can enjoy surfing, paddling, snorkeling, swimming, boogie boarding, sand combing, or just people watching.
Photo: Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock
Kailua Beach Park, Kailua, Hawaii
Kailua Beach is 3 miles of beautiful fine, soft white sand along a crescent-shaped bay of turquoise water on the island of Oahu. It has bathrooms, showers, and picnic grounds.
Photo: Osugi / Shutterstock
Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
This beach is located on Estero Island between Fort Myers and Naples.
Napili Beach, Lahaina, Hawaii
A resort beach on the island of Maui, good for snorkeling and a good place to spot sea turtles.
Wailea Beach, Wailea, Hawaii
This public beach on Maui has lots of hotels and restrooms available. It's good for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling.
Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Puako, Hawaii
This expansive state beach on the big island's Kohala Coast has parking, food vendors, picnic areas, restrooms and showers, and is good for swimming, bodyboarding, and snorkeling.
Poipu Beach Park, Poipu, Hawaii
This beach is a series of golden sand crescents on the southern coast of Kauaʻi , good for snorkeling, swimming, boogie-boarding and surfing. You may encounter sea turtles, which are protected by state and federal laws.
Manhattan Beach, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
This beach in the Los Angeles area has volleyball, good waves for surfing and a pedestrian walkway. There's plenty of shopping and restaurants nearby.
Photo: Lucky-photographer / Shutterstock
Pacific Beach, San Diego, Calif.
P.B. is a neighborhood in San Diego, and its beach is great for surfing and people watching. There are plenty of great shops, restaurants and bars in the area.
Race Point Beach, Provincetown, Mass.
Race Point Beach, a Cape Cod National Seashore beach, is a wide swath of sand stretching far off into the distance around the point. It's known for its beautiful landscape.
La Jolla Shores Park, La Jolla, Calif.
This mile-long beach near San Diego has gentle, shallow waves and it's easy to wade in the surf, so it's good for kids.
Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, Ga.
Reviewers remarked on the surreal beauty of this beach with its sculpture-like driftwood that makes it a favorite of photographers. It's located between Jacksonville, Fla. and Savannah, Ga.
Coligny Beach, Hilton Head, S.C.
One of the best and most popular places on Hilton Head, and you can't beat the amenities: it has outdoor showers, changing rooms, restrooms, chair and umbrella rentals, swings and wooden chairs under shaded gazebos, seasonal lifeguards and free WiFi.
Virginia Beach, Va.
This popular boardwalk is a hotspot for locals and tourists. It has plenty of restaurants and nightlife during the summer.
Best Beach Destinations For Kids:
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Surfside Beach, in the Myrtle Beach area, is locally known as "Family Beach." It has plenty of sand for your kids to build sandcastles, as well as water sports, kite flying and other family-friendly activities. There's also the Wonder Works upside down science laboratory and Broadway at the Beach amusement park.
Daytona Beach, Fla.
There's plenty for kids on this beach with hard-packed sand, a boardwalk with rides and arcades, free summer concerts, and a nearby water park with go-karts, laser tag and waterslides.
Photo: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock
The biggest in Texas, the popular East Beach has outdoor concerts, special events and other activities for people of all ages. At Galveston Island State Park, take the kids camping, hiking, bird watching, biking and swimming. Stewart Beach is a family beach park with lifeguards, concessions, restrooms, showers, chair and umbrella rentals, beach volleyball courts, and more.
Photo: Oleg Anisimov / Shutterstock
There are plenty of beaches in Sarasota. At Casey Key, there are picnic areas, concession stands, and on-duty lifeguards that make it attractive to families year-round.
Coronado Beach, San Diego
Coronado Beach is 1.5 miles long and good for swimming, surfing, sunning, skim boarding or just strolling. It also has tidepools, which are fun for kids. There are restrooms, showers and lifeguards.
Photo: Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock