The Seven Most Beautiful Beaches in America

Though it's always fun to mix it up a bit, everyone can agree that most people dream of a vacation curling up by the sea on a warm sandy shore, and taking in the beauty of the ocean. Whether you prefer the east coast or the west, the north shores of New England and Washington or the southern waters of California and Florida, there's a perfect beach out there for everyone. But with so many out there, how can you choose? No matter what type of beach you prefer, we've pulled together seven of our favorites with many qualities, but one sharing the same -- the beauty!

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Famous for vacation-friendly shores filled with kites, sandcastles, and paddleboats, Hilton Head is a classic spot for student trips. Try heading over to Coligny Beach (a small offset of the island shore) for man-made fountains, wi-fi benches, swings and more all built-in for an optimal family-style beach experience.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

For a more cool, west-coast feel of a beach, try taking your student group to Cannon Beach, Oregon! Named for a real cannon that washed ashore in 1846, this forested beach combines the best of a small, quaint art-town with a locally favorited beach, sprinkled with great monoliths across the brown shores.

North Shore Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii

For massive waves and an even larger shoreline, head to Hawaii's most beautiful shore! Filled with colorful marine life and tons of collectible seashells across the sand, this secluded beach is a gorgeous getaway for any student group -- especially a more mature crowd for a senior trip or college graduation.

Montauk, New York

For the picturesque rocky New England-style beach, Montauk is your best bet. With traditional lighthouses as far as the eye can see, cliffs perfect for hopping off into the clear waters below, and calm, wave-free waters, Montauk is a great stop if you're going to enjoy a slice of city life in NYC paired with a relaxing beach vacation.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The waters of Cape Cod don't stop at the shore. Visitors can explore bogs, freshwater ponds, marshlands and forests sew their way all along the coast which stretches an impressive 30 miles. On this pleasant mix of beach and countryside, you can go biking, hiking, horseback riding, or even whale-watching. Post up a campfire at night for the perfect way to end a perfect day at sea.

Laguna Beach, California

You may remember it from the MTV show, but what Laguna Beach has to offer is so much more than that. 20 miles of Pacific coast give way coastal canyons and coves perfect for exploring, and a stretch of rock formations where kids can crab hunt all day long. For a little surf action, walk down to the nearby 1,000 Steps beach for perfectly sized waves for any beginner or expert surfer.

Clearwater, Florida

This 3-mile stretch of the Pinellas Peninsula on the Gulf Coast, straddling the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, is perfect for families and children's groups. With tons of shoreside museums and tourist attractions, visitors can find something to do in and out of the water! Catch a dolphin tour or go parasailing, but no matter what you do, take in those beautiful sandy-white views.