We love the Outer Banks of N.C....from Manteo to Currituck, there are always new things to see and do. In addition, there are lots of attractions and restaurants in the area to keep the interest up and the boredom down!!!
While the entire coast of Laguna Beach is incredibly beautiful my favorite beach is Tablerock. It's a small, uncrowded cove surrounded by large cliffs. I can always count on Tablerock for a wonderful and relaxing day.
Definietly would be Mokuleia Beach Park on the north shore of Oahu, HI. Not only does it have everything you could possibly want in a beach - great sand, perfect temperature, refreshing water, and enough waves to surf if you want - but it also has a fantastic view of the mountains behind it! It is off the beaten path of beaches in Hawaii, so you will be able to duck the tourist crowds and just relax with the locals. When I think of the perfect US beach, this one comes as close to any I can imagine. The only draw back is that it's tucked all the way over in Hawaii!
My family and I always traveled/camped by Long Sands Beach, York Beach, Maine. There was always a point in our journey where we would roll our windows down and breathe in deep ocean air. I will never forget summers spent there.
The sparkling blue waters of the beach in Paola, Italy, remain clear in my mind even years later. What make this beach particularly special, however, are the memories shared there with family.
I'm a big fan of the South Bay beaches in Los Angeles...Torrance, Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan. They're clean, the water is nice, the scenery is pleasant, and there is plenty of shopping and eating nearby. Just south of Torrance beach begins the Palos Verdes peninsula which is excellent for skin diving, tide pooling and surfing.
Our favorite beach is in CA, north of Ventura and South of Santa Barbara. It is called Bates Beach. I grew up on that beach, it has great waves and I've even swum with dolphins before! It is usually more sunny than Ventura and without the traffic and pretentiousness of Santa Barbara. Love it!
On Hawaii Island's Southern tip you can hike a few miles to my favorite beach in the U.S.: Papakolea Beach or Green Sands Beach. After jumping off of south point, which is the furthest south point in all 50 states (Key West is only the furthest south in the continental 48), you can hike east along the coast to Papakolea. The sand is an emerald green formed from the break down of Olivine and is one of only a few green sand beaches in the world. The beach is surrounded on both sides by steep rocks forming a beautiful cove. Some people with good 4x4 make the drive out there and if you are lucky they will let you hop in the truck bed. The beach is rarely crowded and the waves are always fun.
My favorite US beach would have to be Hilton Head, SC. It's not terribly populated and you can easily walk a long length of it or take a bike, snapping photos of what's washed ashore along the way and looking at the gorgeous houses perched at the ends of the beach.
Coronado, CA is my best recommendation. Besides being just across the bay from bustling beautiful San Diego, CA that offers close by famous San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (Built in the early 1900's in celebration of the opening of the Panama Canal), Sea World and other local mainland beaches, Coronado is an old, quite beautiful little town within a big city. Home to the world famous Hotel del Coronado. A must see while your enjoying the beach in front of it. Simply beautiful. The old hotel is where the old movie "Some Like It Hot" with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis was filmed. Other notalble guests have been presidents and royalty. Prince Charles in his younger days in fact.
The public beach at the hotel, yes it is public and people welcomed to walk around the grand old hotel with all it's old world elegance, gives wonderful views of the city of San Diego, Pt. Loma, the Coronado Islands and yes, one can even see Mexico. Near great, affordable other accommodations besides the more extravagant Hotel del Coronado.
It is also home to the North Island Naval Air Station and Amphipious Base where Navy Seals are trained, somtimes being able to see their training on the north end of the "Silver Strand State Park". Another long stretch of beach connecting to the town of Imperial Beach and almost immedieately south of the Hotel del as well.
Did I forget to mention? San Diego's International airport is located downtown! Yes, minutes from almost everything. Amazingly convienient for any traveler wanting to fly in for a weekend or wishfully longer. You can't beat San Diego weather!!