The National Parks with the Best Beaches from The National Parks with the Best Beaches

The National Parks with the Best Beaches

The snow has finally melted, the animals have come out of hiding and the kids are finally on summer break, summer is here and America’s national parks are waiting for your arrival.

When we think of national parks, we usually think about hiking, camping and kayaking. Chances are, the thought of relaxing doesn’t come to mind. That being said, you may be happy to know that some of our favorite national parks are home to gorgeous beaches.

*Related: The 5 Best Beaches for Families in the U.S.

From California to Maine and Florida, some of the best beaches in America are located in national parks. Enjoy soaking up the sun in the sand, participating in water sports, walking along the shoreline and viewing spectacular scenery.

Continue reading for the national parks with the best beaches.

Yosemite National Park, California

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Float down Merced River and have a picnic at Cathedral and Sentinel Beach. View Sentinel Falls, a popular waterfall in the spring that cascades down into the valley. Go swimming, sunbathing and view tons of nature and wildlife. Other things to do at Yosemite National Park include, visiting Yosemite Falls, rock climbing, horseback riding, visiting Glacier Point and taking a Full-Moon bike ride.

Acadia National Park, Maine

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Sand Beach is a popular beach situated between the mountains and rocky shores of Acadia National Park. Access the beach on Park Loop Road. Go surfing, sunbathing and explore the beaches unique sand of shell fragments. If you’re up for it, explore their popular hiking trails for incredible views.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

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Colorado River Beaches are absolutely stunning. Go on a rafting trip down the Colorado River to reach the beaches and admire the incredible view. The water isn’t usually very warm, but the average temperature during the summer months in Arizona can get pretty high, so jumping in will feel refreshing.

Redwood National Park, California

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Gold Bluffs Beach is home to some of the tallest and oldest Redwoods in the world. It’s a 10-mile coastal stretch that is commonly used by hikers and campers. Hike to Fern Canyon and experience walking through 50-foot-tall canyon walls. Explore grasslands, oak forests, wild rivers and dozens of beaches.

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

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This national park is a secluded cluster of islands that are located 70 miles west of Key West in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy their beautiful turquoise waters and visit a variety of wonders while you are there. Some of these include the ancient fort and the largest masonry structure in the Americas. Also enjoy snorkeling and capture views of a variety of vibrant marine species.

Olympic National Park, Washington

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Shi Shi Beach stretches 2.3 miles south to Point of Arches. It is known as one of the most memorable and gorgeous beaches in the world. Visitors enjoy the beach hike and viewing incredible rock formations, sea stacks, tide pools and wildlife.

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

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Relax at the large beach of basalt stones in Maui – the “House of the Sun”. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery, the beautiful sunrise and admire the gorgeous waterfalls. Also go hiking, biking, stargazing and horseback riding. *See: 10 Adventurous Things to do in Maui, Hawaii

Biscayne National Park, Florida

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If you have a love for the water, look no further than Biscayne. It’s made up of only 5% land. It protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, fish-bejeweled coral reefs and emerald islands, according to nps. Enjoy the beautiful coral reefs, take a walk along the shoreline and participate in a new watersport. Go snorkeling, wildlife watching and camping.

Channel Islands National Park, California

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With five gorgeous islands, visitors can have fun kayaking, snorkeling and swimming in this beautiful national park. Some of the islands include, Anacapa Island, Santa Cruz Island and Santa Rosa Island. According to National Geographic, “one of the Channel Islands, San Miguel is the only known place in the world where four different species of seals and sea lions breed.” Make sure you stop to look at their scenic views, birds and wildflowers. Also, don’t forget to visit Inspiration Point for one of the best views in the park.

Virgin Islands National Park, U.S. Virgin Islands

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The Virgin Islands National Park is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. One of which includes, Trunk Bay. A recent review on Trip Advisor says, “there's a reason this beach makes all the postcards and travel guides. It's the quintessential Caribbean beach, complete with white sand and an unbelievable hue to the water.”

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska

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Looking for something different? How about an Alaskan beach in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Go sea kayaking and explore the wilderness of Glacier Bay or go on a boating trip and view incredible scenery, wildlife and spectacular glaciers.

Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida

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Spreading for 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico is this incredible beach. Clear waters, incredible camping opportunities, kayaking, bird watching, hiking, snorkeling and swimming are just some of the many thing you have to look forward too at the Gulf Islands.