18 Best US Beaches in July 2024 for a Fun Summer Vacation

Dreaming of a summer beach escape? Dive into my list of the best US beaches in July, offering cool breezes, exciting activities, and the perfect beach vacation for any style!

It’s finally summer! It’s time to hit the beaches and enjoy some fun in the sun – you’ve earned it!

Buuuut.. with so many options all over the country, where’s the best spot to go? That’s where I come in. 

I have a list of US beaches that are perfect for July – for every type of beach-goer! Whether you’re heading on a family vacation, a friend’s trip, or even a solo getaway for some vitamin sea, I got you covered. 

In my list, I’ve included the BEST – as in beautiful beaches, bearable weather, fun activities, and easy to get to. 

You’ll notice I don’t have many beaches in the South or in Florida. The heat there is just not. cute. Plus it’s hurricane season in July so the weather is a crap shoot. 

But for anyone who actually loves sweltering heat (can’t relate), I still included a few beaches on the Gulf Coast. I still love you even if you’re a little weird.

With all that being said, take a look at my list of the best US beaches in July! 

Key Takeaways

  •  July is the peak of summer and temperatures in a lot of the US’s coastal cities and islands go sky high. I’ve included beaches all over the country that are actually bearable- like in Hawaii, California, and scattered all over the East Coast. 
  •  Since school is out, destinations that are popular with families will be busy. I’ve included spots that are popular like Southern California and Outer Banks, but other, quieter alternatives too like central California. 
  • Summer time in most beach towns in the US is when prices are the highest. This list includes beaches from expensive Hawaii to budget Delaware. 

Table of Contents

some of the best us beaches in july are in southern california

Best US Beaches in July

You’ll find beaches in a variety of states on my list. The Hawaiian Islands will give you the perfect beach vacation – warm (but not too warm) temperatures, gorgeous beaches, and endless activities, but at the highest price point. 

California’s time to shine is in July! While the temperatures are always pretty great, July and August are when it’s warm enough to actually get into the ocean. But California also offers SO much outside of the beach too! While a bit on the expensive side, you can find something in your budget.

The East Coast beaches vary from ritzy Cape Cod to good-old-fashioned fun in Virginia Beach. Pick your type of fun! And lastly, the Gulf Coast beaches for anyone who likes it HOT hot. 

Hawaiian Islands

1. Ka'anapali Beach, Maui

Average temperature in July: 84 High / 76 Low

A previous winner for America’s Best Beach, Ka’anapali Beach has beautiful golden sands, clear waters, and a fun vibe.

There are seven resorts that line the beach plus a neighboring mall and many restaurants and activities around. So, if you want action, this is your spot.

Snorkeling is excellent around Black Rock, especially at the north end of the beach. I saw every single color of fish when I went!

You can also visit the booths along the beach and sign up to go parasailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, on a boat, or sign up for surfing lessons.

One of the coolest (and most famous) attractions is the cliff diving ceremony every night at sunset. A cliff diver lights the torches along the cliff and dives off of Black Rock. It is awesome to watch!

Read my list of the best things to do in Maui by clicking here! 

➡️ Check out this 5-star snorkel tour!

Awarded the Badge of Excellence, this 2.5 hour tour takes you to an underwater reef with beverages included.

The Best Hotels Near Ka’anapali Beach

✅ A condo resort for the best family-friendly stay (we LOVED it): check prices and book your stay at Honua Kai Resort and Spa here!

✅ For a luxury stay with breathtaking views in front of the famous Black Rock (we LOVED it here too!): check prices and book your stay at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa here!

2. Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Average temperature in July: 85 High / 70 Low

On the north, quieter side of Kauai is Hanalei Bay. It’s a huge bay with a beautiful mountain backdrop. The beach is wide, two miles long, with white, powdery sands. The water is clear and warm.

There is a long pier to walk out on to really see the views. Restrooms, lifeguards, and picnic tables on site and rental shops and dining options within walking distance.

You’ll really feel like you’re on a tropical vacation on the North Shore. It’s peaceful, incredibly lush, with plenty of gorgeous beaches to visit—and a lot less crowds than the south.

The Best Hotel Near Hanalei Bay

✅ For a lush resort with an amazing pool: check prices and book your stay at Hanalei Bay Resort here!

3. Hapuna Beach, Big Island

Average temperature in July: 86 High / 71 Low

Not only one of the best US beaches in February, Hapuna Beach is regularly voted among the best beaches in the world! It’s roughly 200 feet wide and stretches for about a half mile. It’s a breathtaking beach with pure white sand and a gradual slope into the ocean.

Besides being beautiful, the beach has everything you will need. There are restrooms, picnic tables, beach and gear rentals, food concession stands, lots of trees for shade, lifeguards, and a large parking lot. Snorkeling is good on the north and south sides too. 

I absolutely loved my time on this beach, I stayed for almost the full day! (And the fish tacos at the food stand were delish!)

Note: the beach is currently undergoing water work that will make showers unavailable until sometime in 2024.

➡️ Check out this 5-star Night Manta Ray Adventure tour!
Take a short cruise at sunset to swim with manta rays! All equipment and light refreshments are included.
And if you don’t see any manta rays, they’ll book you on another tour for free.

The Best Hotel Near Hapuna Beach

✅ For the ultimate luxury stay: check prices and book your stay at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort here!  

4. Waimea Bay, Oahu

Average temperature in July: 86 High / 69 Low

If you want a quieter beach experience on Oahu, head to the North Shore. And once you’re on the North Shore, Waimea Bay Beach is THE beach to visit.

It’s one of the most beautiful islands not only on the island, but probably in all of Hawaii! The water is crystal clear with amazing views everywhere you look, plus there are fun activities like cliff jumping!

On the North Shore, you’ll be near countless other amazing beaches, the Dole Plantation, Waimea Falls, and the famous Polynesian Cultural Center (that you MUST visit!) 

➡️ Check out this 5-star surf lesson on the North Shore of Oahu! 

This Badge of Excellence surf lesson is two full hours and family friendly too, so bring the kids!

The Best Hotels Near Waimea Bay

✅ For the most renowned North Shore hotel: check prices and book your stay at the Turtle Bay Resort

✅ For an affordable family-friendly stay: check prices and book your stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Oahu North Shore 

California

5. Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles

Average temperature in July: 70 High / 62 Low

Santa Monica is the quintessential SoCal beach town. It has beautiful beaches, delicious dining, tons of events, shopping, and just an overall fun, vibrant atmosphere.

Santa Monica Beach is three miles long and it’s also very wide. Its split into three different beaches.

Santa Monica Beach is the active area next to the famous Pier. You’ll see muscle beach and a set of aerial rings. Ocean Park Beach is further south and is a pretty active area with volleyball nets, beach tennis, surfing, and beach loungers. South Beach is less crowded and more of a local beach near downtown.

There are plenty of restaurants, rental shops, and playgrounds just steps away. 

Read my full guide to Santa Monica, including 19 things to do, by clicking here! 

The Best Hotels Near Santa Monica Beach

✅ A hotel of suites a short stroll from everything: check prices and book your stay at Le Merigot Santa Monica here! 

6. Pismo State Beach, Pismo Beach

Average temperature in July: 71 High / 53 Low

The central coast of California doesn’t get as much attention as the other sides, but it should! Pismo Beach is a charming little beach town in the middle of San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

Pismo State Beach has it all. A wide beach with soft, golden sands, a playground, a variety of restaurants and shops, and amazing hotels steps away. 

Nearby, there are plenty of parks (even ones on top of cliffs!), a famous monarch butterfly grove, sand dunes, and tons of outdoor activities.  

Read my ultimate guide to Pismo Beach by clicking here! 

The Best Hotels Near Pismo Beach

✅ A beachfront hotel in a perfect location with an on-site coffee shop and wraparound patio with fire pits (and s’mores kits!): check prices and book your stay at the Sandcastle Hotel on the Beach by clicking here!

7. Main Beach, Santa Cruz

Average temperature in July: 74 High / 53 Low

Santa Cruz is a classic California beach town with a relaxed vibe. I’ve visited many times in the summer since I live near it, and every time I discover something new. 

Main Beach offers something for everyone. The beach itself is huge, lined with volleyball nets, kayak and paddle board rentals, surfers, and has food options nearby. But the most exciting part is the famous Santa Cruz boardwalk – a huge amusement park right on the beach. 

Biking is the best way to get around and you’ll want to rent one to get around town. You’ll love coasting around enjoying the beach vibes all around town! 

Read over my Santa Cruz weekend guide, including an itinerary, by clicking here!

The Best Hotels Near Main Beach

✅ The most famous hotel in Santa Cruz with a retro vibe, on the beach, and on-site coffee shop: check prices and book your stay at The Dream Inn by clicking here!

8. Coronado Central Beach, San Diego

Average temperature in July: 75 High / 66 Low

Coronado Beach is pretty famous—it was voted #1 beach in America by Dr. Beach, top US beaches on TripAdvisor, and even featured in the old film “Some Like it Hot.”

It’s a picturesque California beach town. It’s long and wide and even sparkles due to the mineral mica in the sand. There are beach chairs and cabanas, volleyball, firepits, tidepools, and calm waves for swimming or boogie boarding.

Orange Avenue, full of restaurants and shops, is just a stroll away. 

Read my full guide to San Diego by clicking here! 

The Best Hotels Near Coronado Central Beach

✅ The absolute best resort in San Diego for everyone: check prices and book your stay at Hotel Del Coronado here!

9. South Bay Beaches, Los Angeles

Average temperature in July: 76 High / 63 Low

Los Angeles South Bay beaches, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach, offer the laid-back California vibe in their own distinct ways. And they’re all connected by a bike path called The Strand, so getting to each of them is easy!

They share the same beautiful stretch of sand, tall palm trees, and lifeguard stations. Each of them has their own bustling boardwalk area— Manhattan Beach is a bit ritzy, Hermosa Beach is a vibrant boho chic, while Redondo is down-to-earth casual.

The best part about the South Bay is that it’s so walkable. Wherever you stay you’ll be minutes away from exceptional dining, shopping, treats, culture, events, you name it.

Read over my top things to do in Hermosa Beach here!

The Best Hotel Near The South Bay Beaches:

✅ For a beachfront hotel—also on The Strand—with all the amenities you need: check prices and book your stay at The Beach House Hermosa Beach by clicking here!

10. Main Beach, Newport Beach

Average temperature in July: 72 High / 64 Low

One of my favorite beaches on the list! Newport Beach is 10 miles of soft, sandy beaches with an exciting atmosphere perfect for any type of beach trip. 

The beach buzzes with energy – there are volleyball nets set up, kayak rentals, and beachfront restaurants that line the sand.  Master surfers can head to The Wedge for monstrous waves, while families can enjoy the playground right on the sand. 

Become a kid again at Balboa Fun Zone, a small amusement park with rides and classic games. Or you can just stroll along the pier or boardwalk and take in all of the beauty. There’s something for everyone here! 

The Best Hotels Near Main Beach in Newport Beach

✅ For a budget-friendly hotel just a mile from the beach, with free breakfast and a pool: check prices and book your stay at Holiday Inn Express Newport Beach by clicking here!

East Coast

11. Cape Cod Beaches, Massachusetts

Average temperature in July: 79 High / 64 Low

If you want to experience classic New England charm, Cape Cod is your spot. There are hundreds of miles of different beaches spanning the shoreline, along with a beautiful landscape, rich history, and amazing seafood. 

There are different beaches for whatever you are looking for on your vacation. Families will like Mayflower Beach and Veterans Park Beaches, while Nauset Beach’s strong waves are great for surfing and boogie boarding. Coast Guard Beach is regularly on Dr. Beaches best beaches list, but note that you’ll need to take a tram to the beach from a parking lot in the summer. 

 

The Best Hotel Near Cape Cod

✅ For a beachfront resort with multi-room suites, multiple pools, a lounge, and private beach check prices and book your stay at Winstead Beach Resort by clicking here!

12. Ocean City Beach, Maryland

Average temperature in July: 81 High / 69 Low

Ocean City is known for its 10 miles of beaches and lively boardwalk, making it a popular family vacation spot in the summer months. 

The downtown area is vibrant and fun with the 3-mile long boardwalk, plenty of fun water activities and tours, events, and beach amenities like lifeguards and public restrooms. 

Don’t worry about crowds though – as you go past the downtown beaches, you’ll see less crowds and hotels. If you REALLY want to get away, Assateague Island offers a secluded option.

The Best Hotel Near Ocean City Beach

✅ For a beachfront resort with multi-room suites with kitchens, an indoor pool, on-site restaurants, and a sundeck in a prime location, check prices and book your stay at the Princess Royale Oceanfront Resort by clicking here!

13. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Average temperature in July: 85 High / 72 Low

Delaware’s most visited city, Rehoboth Beach is a quintessential beach town experience and has everything you need for a fun family vacation. 

 There’s a mile-long boardwalk lined with restaurants and shops, an amusement park, free summer concerts at the bandstand, and water sports like kayaking. The beach is 2 miles long so you’ll have plenty of room to find space, plus amenities like lifeguards and public restrooms.

Looking for quiet instead? Head south to nearby Bethany Beach! 

 

The Best Hotel Near Rehoboth Beach

✅ For a beachfront suites-only spot with an indoor pool, free parking, steps from everything, check prices and book your stay at Brighton Suites Hotel by clicking here!

✅ And if it’s an adults-only trip, check out this upscale boutique with modern rooms, yoga and pool activities, golf cart ride to and from the beach and boardwalk, daily wine and cheese, and more – book the Coast Rehoboth Beach, Tapestry Collection by clicking here!

14. Nags Head Beach, North Carolina

Average temperature in July: 86 High / 73 Low

The Outer Banks of North Carolina are barrier islands off the coast boasting over 100 miles of open, sandy shores and seaside villages. It’s a refreshing break from the built up beach resort towns nearby.  

One of the most popular beaches that make up the Outer Banks is lively Nags Head. The 12 miles of soft, light sand is the main attraction – but it offers a lot more! 

Sand dunes, boutiques, surf shops, a variety of delicious bites, and even an outlet mall all make Nags Head a great summer retreat. And if you want a quieter spot, just head south – the further south you go, the less busy the beaches get! 

 

The Best Hotel Near Nags Head Beach

✅ For an oceanfront hotel with an indoor pool, free breakfast, and free parking in a great location, check prices and book your stay the the Holiday Inn Express Nags Head Oceanfront by clicking here!

15. Oceanfront Resort Beach, Virginia

Average temperature in July: 87 High / 71 Low

Virginia Beach is a vibrant coastal city in Virginia, lined with over 30 miles of beaches. Whether you’re traveling with family or need a quiet escape, you’ll be able to find a beach for you.

If you want to stay in the action, Oceanfront Beach is your spot. Famous for the iconic three-mile boardwalk, this area is bustling with food, entertainment, and events with an old-timey beach feel.   

The beach is wide, with soft golden sand, and the water is warm enough to swim in. There are also plenty of beach activities offered – boat tours, dolphin tours, and paddleboarding. 

And if you’re in the mood for quiet, go down to secluded Sandbridge Beach. It’s picturesque and a great place for bird watching and dolphin spotting! 

The Best Hotels Near Virginia Beach

✅ For an oceanfront hotel also on the Boardwalk with views from every room, an indoor pool, and oceanfront bar, check prices and book your stay at Hyatt House Virginia Beach by clicking here!

✅ If it’s an adults-only getaway, you MUST check out this upscale beach resort with gorgeous grounds, a pool, free bike rentals, multiple on-site restaurants – book your stay at The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club by clicking here!

16. Jersey Shore, New Jersey

Average temperature in July: 87 High / 67 Low

Cabs are here! (IYKYK lol). 

Don’t let the show fool you, the Jersey Shore offers a great summer escape for any type of vacation you’re looking for. 

Families enjoy Spring Lake and Stone Harbor, boasting quaint downtown shops, parlors, and relaxed atmosphere, while Avalon and Cape May are upscale escapes with luxury accomodations, world-class dining, and great nightlife. If you want relaxation, Lavallette and Long Beach offer long stretches of sand perfect to lay out with a book. 

There are plenty of activities offered  like a bustling boardwalk, kayaking, paddleboarding, or exploring all of the different beach towns. And if you’re a gambler, Atlantic City is a short drive away! 

The Best Hotel Near The Jersey Shore

✅ For a beachfront hotel with an indoor and outdoor pool, on-site dining, and multi-room suites,  away from the hustle and bustle, check prices and book your stay at the Grand Hotel Cape May by clicking here!

Gulf Coast (if you like it HOT)

17. 30A Beaches, Florida

Average temperature in July: 89 High / 76 Low

Florida’s Panhandle hides a secret: 30A Beaches! Right in between Destin and Panama City Beach, 30A offers a charming escape with pristine white sands and turquoise water.

30A isn’t just one beach – it’s a collection of unique communities. Family-friendly Seaside and Watercolor have shops, restaurants, and activities, quieter Seagrove and Rosemary Beaches offer relaxation, Grayton Beach is artsy and full of natural beauty with hiking trails at Grayton Beach State Park and upscale Alys Beach will make you think you’re in the Mediterranean with swaying palm trees and gorgeous architecture.

30A caters to everyone! Soak up the sun, explore charming towns, or kayak and paddleboard. Nearby Destin and Panama City Beach provide excitement, just a short drive away.

The Best Hotel Near 30A Beaches

✅ For an upscale beachfront hotel with an outdoor pool, on-site dining, and an on-site spa,  in a perfect location on Rosemary Beach, check prices and book your stay at The Pearl Hotel by clicking here!

18. Orange Beach, Alabama

Average temperature in July: 90 High / 74 Low

Most people don’t think of Alabama when they’re searching for a beach escape, but you should! Orange Beach is a charming, relaxing little hidden gem on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. 

If you just want to get away and enjoy some tranquility, this is your spot. You can enjoy the intense beauty of the beach with its pristine white sands and clear emerald water.

If you want to get on the water, rental shops line the beach for all types of water activities.

And after the beach you can head to the Wharf for all kinds of dining options, a Ferris wheel, events, an arcade, and boat tours.

Speaking of dolphin tours—check out this highly rated dolphin tour that’s earned a Badge of Excellence by clicking here!

And if you can make it an adults-only night, try this 5-star sunset cruise on a tiki bar (where you also might spot dolphins)! 

The Best Hotel Near Orange Beach

✅ A crowd-pleasing beachfront hotel with something for everyone: check prices and book your stay at the Perdido Beach Resort by clicking here!

19. South Padre Island, Texas

Average temperature in July: 90 High / 78 Low

Did you know you can get tropical vibes in Texas? South Padre Island is 34 miles of light sand beach between the Gulf of Mexico and the Laguna Madre Bay. And with 300 days of sunshine, this is a great spot for a beach vacation any month.

Isla Blanca Park is known as the best beach in the area. Besides lounging on the beach, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing are also popular activities. for the more adventurous, there’s beach horseback riding, jet skis, and parasailing. There are plenty of food options to choose from in the area too.

The Best Hotels Near South Padre Island Beach

✅ For an upscale resort on the beach: check prices and book your stay at Margaritaville Beach Resort South Padre Island here! 

some of the best beaches in july are all over california

FAQs: US's Best Beaches in July

Where is the best place to vacation in July? 

Every state has something to offer, but beach-wise, California and Hawaii will offer you amazing beaches,  terrific temperatures, and endless activities. 

 

Is Florida too hot in July? 

To put it simply, yes. The temperatures are sky high, and the humidity makes it feel much hotter. Not only is it scorching, but there are frequent rain storms during July. But if you love the extreme heat, you will enjoy Florida in July!

 

What beach towns aren’t packed in July?

Since July is the peak of summer, many areas on the coasts will be jam packed. Beach towns in northern and central California don’t get as busy as some other areas – plus, the weather is much cooler! 

the best us beaches in july are in hawaii

Wrapping Up: US's Best Beaches in July

Whether you want to surf in Hawaii, enjoy family activities in San Diego, or eat amazing seafood in Cape Cod, you’ll be able to find your spot this July. 

While most of the country is sweltering, there are plenty of spots to give you some cool breezes. (Unless you like scorching hot weather, and there’s options for you too!)

So hurry up and get to booking! 

some of the best us beaches in july are in san diego

MEET BESA

Your Go-To Girl for Beach Travel

Hi! I’m Besa. I’ve always been a travel-loving beach bum… and then I had kids. Two boys, born 19 months apart. But I didn’t let that stop me. I still travel, even with a couple little boys in tow – and I want to help other parents like you do the same!

I’ll be sharing all my travel tips, beach hacks, and guides for some of my favorite family vacation beach spots.

POPULAR POSTS

FAVE PLACES

Why Trust Beaches and Babies?

Why Trust Beaches and Babies?

Besa has been a frequent traveler for almost 20 years, and the last five years of her travels have included her two toddler boys, 19 months apart.
Years of flying and beach bumming with her kids has given her plenty of hard-earned experience in the travel world.

Need Help Booking Your Trip?
Use My Favorite Resources!

FLIGHTS
Kayak searches hundreds of travel sites for the lowest prices plus the flexible calendar tells you which days are the cheapest to fly.

LODGING
booking.com is easy to use and gives options for all types of lodging. When I know I want a big rental house, I use VRBO.

RENTAL CARS
rentalcars.com scans multiple agencies at your destination to give you the best price.

ACTIVITIES
Viator lets you search for a specific activity at your destination or scroll all available.

Read over my full list of the best sites to book with on my Resources page.