There is no place like the beach. Swimming in clear ocean water, sticking your toes into warm white sand, and viewing spectacular wildlife are just some of the many things to look forward to.

But, then there’s a dirty beach, where you run the risk of cutting your foot on glass, or lying on top of cigarette butts, not to mention swimming pollution and harmful toxins.

Plan a trip to the cleanest beaches in the U.S.

Luckily, some of the cleanest beaches in the world are right here in the U.S. From Newport Beach in California, to Gulf Shores Public Beach in Alabama, you will find the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to be extremely helpful.

The NRDC “works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.” The organization has also done work testing beach water quality in U.S. beaches.

Visit these beaches for a relaxing day of sun, sand and surf. Then leave the beach feeling refreshed, accomplished and most of all… clean.

1. Dauphin Island Public Beach, Alabama

5509325f-Jorg Hackemann / Shutterstock

(Jorg Hackemann / Shutterstock)

Dauphin Island Public beach is known for its beautiful beachfront parks and clean sand. According to the National Resources Defense Council Staff Blog (NRDC), this beach has met the national water quality benchmarks 98% of the time over the past five years. Bonus: It is the only pet friendly beach in the region.

2. Long Beach City, Nassau County, New York

According to reviews on Trip Advisor, Long Beach’s water is safe, clean, and has great waves! The beach is 3.3 miles long and has a 2.2 mile boardwalk. There are no animals permitted on the beach, no barbeques allowed, and alcohol is prohibited. This results in one of the cleanest beaches in the United States.

3. Newport Beach, California 38th St.



The water at Newport Beach is frequently monitored, making it the perfect beach for aquatic sport activities. According to The Orange County Register, the beach “was the only one in California to make it on the Natural Resources Defense Council’s beach superstar list for the environmental nonprofit’s 24th annual beach report card.” In addition, Newport Beach didn’t exceed bacteria levels once over the course of 50 tests.

4. Po’ipu Beach park, Kauai

Visit the most popular beach on the South Shore, Po’ipu Beach for white sand beaches, and spectacular reef formations. According to poipubeach.org, “Poipu Beach was named America’s Best Beach by The Travel Channel, ranking top among the 10 “best” beaches selected nationwide.” Here, you are free to go swimming and snorkeling in the clear waters.

5. Hampton Beach State Park, New Hampshire

hampton beach

Hampton New Hampshire Coastal Beach City, East Coast USA (iStock)

Go swimming, fishing and camping at Hampton Beach State Park. According to the NRDC, They have met the national water quality benchmarks 98% of the time over the past five years. Hampton Beach State Park has a “Carry-In/Carry-Out” program; they encourage everyone to keep the park clean by carrying out whatever they brought in.

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