Today, the United States boasts countless spectacular beaches along its coastlines that visitors from all over the world come to enjoy. Public beaches, however, are actually a relatively new concept that has only become mainstream over the last century or so. Some of the oldest beaches in the country are, in fact, the best to visit.
The oldest beach in the US is a hotly debated topic. Still, there is a certain degree of consensus as to several beaches that are indeed the oldest. Revere Beach opened in 1896, while Sound View Beach began its life in 1892. St Augustine Beach’s opening date is unknown, but it is one of the oldest.
There are countless beaches across the US, some of which are situated in some of the oldest towns in the country, dating as far back as 1565. Because public beaches did not become popular until the late 1800s, however, the oldest towns do not necessarily have the oldest beaches.
5 Oldest Beaches In The US
There is an ongoing debate about which beach is the oldest in the US, but there is a general consensus that puts St. Augustine Beach, Florida; Sound View Beach, Massachusetts; and Revere Beach, Massachusetts, as the oldest beaches in the US.
These three historical public beaches are followed closely in age by Ocracoke in North Carolina and Carmel-By-The-Sea in California. Some other highly notable old beaches include Newport in Rhode Island, Cape May in New Jersey, and Key West in Florida.
Little information is known about the exact dates on which most of these beaches were actually opened, but it is possible to gauge an estimate by understanding the city or village in which the respective beach is found.
St. Augustine Beach, Florida
St Augustine Beach is found in the historic town of St. Augustine that has become an extremely popular holiday destination over the years. There are several spectacular beaches in the area, each boasting its own exciting features that make for a unique experience no matter which beach you decide to visit.
The St. Augustine Beach itself has been named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Upon arrival, it’s not difficult to see why this is the case. Fourteen miles of sandy paradise await you at St Augustine Beach, and the options are endless as to how you can enjoy the space.
Whether you opt to go body-boarding or fishing, or you prefer to lounge on the beach with a book and watch the dolphins in the surf, you are assured of a relaxing time on this beach.
The area surrounding the beach offers plenty of activities, including shops, boutiques, restaurants, kayak rentals, and more. The area also boasts a farmers market as well as sporting facilities such as volleyball courts, ensuring there is something for everybody to enjoy.
Revere Beach, Massachusetts
According to some sources, Revere Beach was the first public beach to be opened in the United States. There is some debate over this fact, but sources say this famous beach was officially opened on July 12, 1896, with over 45,000 visitors arriving to celebrate the grand opening.
Revere Beach, situated around five miles from downtown Boston, hosts the well-known Revere Sand Castle Competition that brings around 900,000 visitors to the area every year. The beach itself is over three miles long, meaning tons of space for visitors to enjoy everything the beach has to offer.
Revere Beach is also known for having the first amusement park that served as the inspiration for Disneyworld in later years.
Sound View Beach, Massachusetts
Reputed as being one of the few public beaches to be found in Connecticut, Sound View is also one of the oldest. Sources claim that Sound View Beach was opened to the public in 1892, making it older than Revere Beach if these sources are correct.
The beach itself is only around one hundred feet long but remains extremely popular during summer.
This only means that in order to secure a spot at this historic beach with its pristine waters, you will have to make your journey there early in the morning and beat the crowds. There are other attractions that make Sound View Beach a worthwhile destination, including two bars situated right near the water’s edge.
Ocracoke, North Carolina
Ocracoke beach was named the second-best beach in the US in 2020 and forms part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The beach is exceptionally large, ensuring there is always plenty of space no matter how many visitors can be found there.
This beach is not short on well-maintained facilities, including more than sufficient parking, public restrooms, outdoor showers, water fountains, and an access ramp for those who use wheelchairs.
There are certain parts of this beach that can be driven upon, but this will require a permit, either lasting an entire year or only ten days.
Carmel-By-The Sea, California
Carmel Beach constantly attracts scores of visitors to its shores due to its incredible natural scenery and countless enjoyable activities on offer. The beach boasts a scenic park along the bluff that assures its visitors of an endless supply of spectacular views.
One of the biggest appeals of Carmel Beach is the fact that it is dog friendly, allowing dogs to frolic in the waves without their leashes. Simply watching the local dogs enjoy themselves on the beach here can be a particularly wholesome way to pass the time.
This beach also features the usual amenities, including parking and restrooms, but visitors should bear in mind that there is no lifeguard service here.
The five oldest beaches in the US are found in some of the oldest settlements in the US, and this makes for an exceptionally interesting and rewarding holiday experience at any time of the year. When you visit one of these beaches, you are not simply visiting a beach.
You are experiencing a significant part of the rich history surrounding the development of the nearby area. In exploring these areas, you will be exposed to an incredible array of historical marvels while enjoying the simple pleasure of lounging on the beach.