5 Best National Parks for Beach Bums

Oftentimes, visiting national parks involves lots of walking and hiking to explore each landscape. While this may sound fun for many, not everyone wants to walk so far for a view. Luckily, there are a few national parks in the U.S. that beach lovers can enjoy in both tropical and forestry areas. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sand or get a wide-open view of the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean, here are five national parks for every  beach bum.


Redwood National and State Parks

5. Redwood National and State Parks, CA 

Redwood National and State Parks not only has 40 miles of protected coastline, it also includes open prairies, rushing rivers, and the tallest trees on earth. Immerse into this diverse landscape by driving your RV on the 2.25-mile Enderts Beach Road to spot whales and stunning coastal scenery. RVs are not advised to go past the Crescent Beach Picnic Area, but you can still access the Crescent Beach Overlook or relax at Enderts Beach. For those who actually crave a bit more adventure, they can obtain a permit online to conquer the popular 4.5-mile Tall Trees Grove hike to see sights like Libbey Tree, which is one of the world’s tallest known trees to exist. 


Channel Islands National Park in California

4. Channel Islands National Park, CA

Located 22 miles off the coast of California, Channel Islands National Park is a paradise for beach lovers. This park is home to five islands that protect over 2,000 plant and animal species and several resources. While here, visitors can do everything from island hopping by boat to kayaking and scuba diving off the shores. Several wildlife species call this place home, such as California sea lions, gulls, seals, whales and dolphins, and the quickest bird in the world, the peregrine falcon. Avid adventures will also love the Potato Harbor Overlook hike, which offers breathtaking views of Santa Cruz Island from above.


Olympic National Park in Washington

3. Olympic National Park, WA

From snow-covered mountain tops to more than 70 miles of coastline, Olympic National Park is one of the most diverse landscapes in the U.S. Visitors can take a bus or ferry to the Olympic Peninsula and explore its rushing waterfalls and rivers, beautiful beaches, and temperate rainforests. While here, swim in the deep blue waters of Lake Crescent or view the lake from above by hiking Mount Storm King. In addition, visitors can walk on reddish sand at sunset on Ruby Beach or check out marine mammals, such as wolf eels and sea urchins, by the rocks and coves at Salt Creek Recreation Area


Virgin Islands National Park in Florida

2. Virgin Islands National Park

When one thinks of a tropical paradise, they often picture blue-green waters, white-sand beaches, and endless coconut trees. That’s what it’s like at Virgin Islands National Park—a place where visitors can discover ancient petroglyphs and the remains of Danish Colonial Sugar Plantations, snorkel or swim above coral reefs and through crystal-clear water, and hike past old trees and historical rock carvings on Reef Bay Trail. What’s more, there is also so much marine life to explore here, such as squid, shrimp, and crabs.


Acadia National Park in Maine

1. Acadia National Park, ME

It’s no surprise that Acadia National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the U.S. It’s picture-worthy lighthouses, cliff-covered coasts, and stunning hikes makes it a fun place to go for those seeking some paradise in the northeast. Easily walk to Thunder Hole and watch waves crash along an inlet or hike the Beehive Loop if steep trails and cliffs excite you. After exploring this park, head to Bar Harbor afterward to check out some downtown shops, art galleries, and top-rated seafood restaurants.


From easy walks along the shore to hard hikes by the beach, there are so many ways to enjoy these national parks by the ocean. There’s nothing like watching the sunset over calm waters or seeing a whale jump out of the sea. If you’re looking for more ways to be by the beach on your next trip, here is a guide for amazing waterfront campgrounds to consider exploring as well.

See you on the road!

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