With unprecedented temperatures, the summer season has gone from hot to hotter; meaning more people than ever are flocking to sandy beaches in an attempt to beat the heat. What better time of year for a day trip or weekend getaway than when days of blue skies and sunshine are a guarantee? To help you plan a short escape with your girlfriends, here are some of the most under-rated and prettiest beaches in the US.

Prettiest Beaches in the US

Sandbridge Beach, Virginia

A paradise for beachgoers, Virginia beach is a well-known hotspot. But if you prefer to skip the crowds, head 15 minutes South to the less crowded Sandbridge Beach. Equally pristine, this stretch of the beach offers the same views but with more room. If you’re looking for a perfect spot for a little adventure, we also recommend a trip to the adjacent False Cape State Park. This ocean-to-freshwater bay habitat features 15.3 miles of trails and a variety of unique environments, including dunes, woodlands, farm fields, salt marshes, and more!

Mohegan Bluffs, Rhode Island

If you don’t mind a bit of a climb, you won’t want to miss Mohegan Bluffs in Rhode Island for your beach getaway. After climbing down 141 steps to the sand, you’ll enjoy dramatic views of the Atlantic while surrounded by striking clay cliffs. Although this area usually has moderate traffic, it’s a laid-back way to spend the day. After a long day of laying out or hiking the stretch of the beautiful beach, you can simply travel back up the stairs to enjoy a gorgeous sunset.

Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

With 16 miles of beach and undeveloped coastline, Ocracoke Island in North Carolina is where to go if you want to enjoy a pristine beach in privacy. Why? Because this secluded beach requires at the very least a very long car ride, or a ferry and a long car ride. So it’s not a hotspot among tourists, and that’s a good thing for a perfect beach! Visit the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, where you can enjoy everything from swimming and fishing to kayaking.

If at the end of the day, you don’t want to make the long journey home, you can have a picnic and camp out on the beach beneath a sky of stars with the sound of waves crashing nearby.

Black Beach, Minnesota

Located in Silver Bay along the North Shore, Black Beach is a treat for beach-goers who aren’t exactly a fan of sand. Relatively remote and less crowded, this local hotspot features beautiful dark sand and lichen-encrusted rock, which is perfect for scrambling. Behind you lies a dense forest, which would be ideal for an afternoon of hammocking. Although the blue waters of Lake Superior remains cold year-round, with a high in the upper 60s during late summer, it is crystal clear. You’ll also want to check out the naturally tumbled stones that line the shore.

Miners Beach, Michigan

Another beach along Lake Superior, Miners Beach is similar to your typical beach, but with the benefit of crystal clear freshwater. Fed directly from Miners Lake and River, this stunning beachfront boasts a gorgeous coastline with access to the Pictured Rocks. It’s a less-trafficked area, making it ideal for launching a kayak. You’ll also want to take a swim through the very shallow waters to the nearby sandstone cliffs for pictures and a dive. The waters here are quite cold but well worth the discomfort to check out the perfectly polished stones sitting on the lake floor.

Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

Situated between Hilton Head and Savannah, Daufuskie Island is a quaint oasis. It features three miles of sand with a seriously underdeveloped city. So you won’t find grocery stores or strip malls, but rather a quiet getaway and the company of kind residents. Here you can also enjoy an array of popular activities, from bike rides to horseback riding to kayaking. Granted, you should remember that making this trip requires a ferry ride across the waters and a golf cart rental once you’re on the island.

Cumberland Island, Georgia

Georgia’s largest and southernmost barrier island, Cumberland Island features a pristine, undeveloped shoreline. Reaching the island requires a ride on the ferry, but once you’re there, you will want to grab a bike for a quick tour to one of their many beaches. Here the sand is less soft and more hard-packed, so if you plan on laying out, do so closer to the dunes and maybe pack your beach chairs. You can also enjoy boating, kayaking, and camping. But if you plan to head home at the end of the day, just be sure to head back at a reasonable time, or you stand a good chance of missing the ferry.

Tierra Del Mar, Oregon

Located on the Oregon coastline, the village of Tierra Del Mar gifts a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean. The two-mile stretch of beach is very active, and you can watch people take part in all kinds of sports, such as paragliding. While here, you’ll also want to try your hand at beachcombing, specifically for agates and Japanese glass ball floats. For the best luck, plan your visit during the outgoing tide.

Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania

Within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Presque Isle State Park is a sandy beach washed by the clear waters of Lake Erie. There are a total of 13 wide beaches to choose from in the park, each with its amenities. This family-friendly beach is perfect whether you love sunbathing, walking, or playing in the soft sand. The waves of Lake Erie are also relatively small, so you can wade rather than swim if you prefer.

Are you ready for a trip to one of the prettiest beaches in the US? Let us know which of these beach vacation spots you plan to add to your bucket list. If we missed one, be sure to share it in the comment below!