New England and Southeast Beach Destinations


8 minutes

The whole Atlantic Coast from Maine to Florida offers a wide variety of beach destinations. On Day 3 of our beach series, we’ll visit the historic coastal towns of New England, the family-friendly spots of the mid-Atlantic, and the lively and vibrant beaches of Florida and the Keys.

New England Beach Destinations

Connecticut - Mystic Seaport

Ideal for the history enthusiast, Mystic Seaport in Connecticut can rightfully boast of some of the impressive maritime museums in the country, historic revolutionary war era re-enactment villages and impressively preserved ships. Mystic Seaport is a fantastic place to stroll along the picturesque waterfront for a true taste of New England. During the Fall, there are many scenic drives through Mystic for “leaf peepers” and featured wineries along the way as part of the Connecticut wine trail.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

Mystic is approximately 2 hours from mid-town Manhattan. By train, Amtrak’s Northeast Service from New York Penn Station stopping at Mystic station.

By bus, several bus companies provide service from Port Authority Bus Terminal to the Mystic Country region, including Foxwoods Resort Casino, and Mohegan Sun:

Maine – Old Orchard Beach

One of the top beaches in Maine, this destination boasts seven miles of white sand and is popular for visitors almost year round. The 200-year history has made this beach a distinct community with a quaint and historic feel. Visitors can enjoy deliciously fresh Maine seafood on the main pier, and enjoy the amusement park by the coast.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

By driving you can take Exit 36 off of Interstate 95, it is located 2 hours north of Boston, and 5 hours north of New York City. Fly into Portland, Maine, at Portland International Jetport and either rent a car or take a taxi to your final destination. Amtrak also stops close to the city center.

Massachusetts – Nantucket Island

Nantucket Island is a true American gem in the Northeast region. This island in Massachusetts is a popular warm weather destination that serves as an escape from exhausting urban environments. Despite its popularity, it has managed to retain a relaxed, classy, old timey vibe with lots to do. There are beaches that suit every preference from family fun to romantic sunsets. The historic district in the center of the island is lined with cobblestone streets and boasts state of the art architecture. Tourist season is long and starts in April and ends in mid November. This unique island captures the rustic charm of a different time and is truly a delightful sample of classic American vacation culture. Please note that visits to this island should be booked far in advance and can be expensive due to its popularity.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

Nantucket Island is located 25 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. To learn how to the island, visit the Nantucket Guide.

Southeast Beach Destinations

South Carolina - Myrtle Beach

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A perfect summertime getaway right on the East Coast of the United States! This bustling summertime destination attracts tourists from all over the world to its silky white sand beaches. The beach is beautiful and makes for the perfect setting for swimming, surfing and sunbathing. One of the many beach towns along South Carolina’s 60 mile strand, this resort town differentiates itself with the largest number of water and amusement parks, restaurants and bars the area has to offer. During the summer, the population of the town swells from 26,000 to over 400,000! If you don’t mind the crowds you can see what all the excitement is about yourself.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

Visitors from afar can fly directly to Myrtle Beach International Airport. Once you get there you can either rent a car or take a taxi, or even a limousine to your final destination. You can also drive to Myrtle beach and find directions online.

North Carolina – Cape Hatteras

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For a different type of beach experience, you can check out historic Cape Hatteras to experience what the U.S. coastline was like during the Native American inhabitant days of the land. Surrounded by a historic fishing village, this beach boasts the most famous lighthouse in the world and was designated as a coastal area for preservation.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

Please see these detailed directions on how to get to the Caper Hatteras.

Florida – Beach Paradise

For beach time in the continental United States, there is no place better than the beautiful beaches that stretch across this peninsula state that juts into the warm Gulf waters in the southeast region of this the US. With a whopping 663 miles of beaches dotting the Florida Coast, this state promises a beach for every type of vacationer.

Delray Beach

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Delray Beach is a two-mile stretch of sandy coast that is perfect for swimming and sunbathing and other water based activities. Located at Ocean and Atlantic Avenues, Delray is a lovely town by the beach that is complete with the natural splendor of the ocean as well as shops, fabulous seafood restaurants, interesting architecture, and a popular Arts District.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

Delray Beach has 3 surrounding airports, the closest being West Palm Beach, and the other two being Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Once you fly in, the best way to get there is to drive. Delray Beach is located off of historic U.S. Highway 1. You can check Google Maps for directions on how to get there from where you are coming from.

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach spans a 3-mile stretch and is unique in that it straddles two bodies of water making for an unforgettably beautiful destination. As it faces both the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, this beach is ranked among the best beaches in the country. It boasts white sandy beaches and has a great combination of peaceful tranquility and fun-filled activities.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

The closest Airport is Saint Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport. Service is also available by Amtrak and Bus Routes. The most convenient method is by driving.

Naples Beaches

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Over 10 miles of sandy beach along the Gulf of Mexico, Naples is great for all sorts of beach activities and watching sunsets. Visitors can also admire the awesome mansions that make up Millionaires’ Row. A popular beach lies on 12th Avenue South, as well as a few miles north of Old Naples, at the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. You can rent water sport gear directly from the beach and enjoy loads of activities.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

You can fly into Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers. Otherwise, it’s about a two-hour drive from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale airports. Once you are there, public transportation is available from 7 AM to 9 PM via Lee Tran.

South Beach

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South Beach, a neighborhood in the city of Miami, is a world-renowned destination and getaway featuring the superior nightlife of a major city with beaches that rival any resort destination. To some, South Beach might just have it all. It is home. South Beach is known for it’s unique architecture, art and music festivals, and the infamous nightlife that makes it a destination year round.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

You can fly into Miami International Airport. From the airport you can take the J or 150 Bus to South Beach. Other options include rental cars, taxi/shuttle bus services.

Key West

Key West is an island to the southern most tip of the United States located in the Florida Keys. This island is located 90 miles away from Cuba, and home to some of the most beautiful spots in Florida. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches and tranquil water that surrounds the small island. The island boasts beautiful coral reefs making it a snorkeling destination. Everything is within reach, and in addition to the unbeatable beaches, visitors can explore the island and learn about its history through a variety of activities.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

You can fly into Key West International Airport directly, or it may be cheaper to fly into the other major airports in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. From the airports you can either take a Greyhound bus, the Keys Shuttle, or a public bus.

Palm Beach

A high-end destination along the Florida Coastline, Palm Beach is a 14-mile long and half mile wide island for the rich and fabulous. It boasts a number of extravagant hotels, restaurants and shops, and some of the most beautiful beaches around.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

You can fly into Palm Beach International Airport. From the airport you can either call a cab (Palm Beach Transportation 561-689-4222), or take the Tri-Rail Commuter Bus Service or you can take the city bus service the Palm Tran.

Ani Kington Ani Kington

Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Ani is a fan of exploring new places through photography and the local cuisine. After earning her BFA in photography from NYU and gaining communications experience at International Planned Parenthood Federation, she joined InterExchange in 2012, and worked as the Marketing Producer until 2016.

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