It’s one of the top things on everyone’s list when they think of a vacation. At some point, you want nothing more than sun, sand and good times. There are plenty of beaches to be found the United States, but not everyone is looking for the same experience. So we’re not ranking beaches. Rather, we’re looking at those which will best fit why you love the beach.

Miami Beach

It’s a busy one, one that’s certainly popular with the tourists. For a great reason, too: If what you want from a beach stay is service and a proper luxury holiday, then you’ll find it at Miami Beach in Florida. Places like Eden Roc offer not only great service but family packages to help accommodate the oldest and youngest tourists, too. Staying that close to the beach also means that you get to hit the sands well before anyone else does. What better time to enjoy a beach than when the sun is just rising up over the horizon?

Dolphin breaching water

Key West

Sticking with Florida for one more entry, Key West is another popular tourist attraction. The reason we love it is a little more hidden: Key West has some of the best close encounters with wildlife you can find the U.S. In particular, you’ll want to come face to face with majestic bottlenose dolphins. While it’s now illegal to swim with them, you can still get really close and appreciate them. It’s much better than visiting dolphins in captivity. If the beach means magic wilderness to you, you’ll want to set off from here.

surfers in Maui

Maui

If you’re an indulgent watersports lover looking to cut back and enjoy your favorite activities, Maui is the place for you. A lot of beaches in the U.S. have great watersports communities and surf cultures, but Maui ranks right at the top. It also has some of the prettiest blue waters to explore with your latest watersports toy.

Pensacola Florida beach

Pensacola

Some of us love a vacation because it’s an opportunity to see sights we’ve never seen before. You might think that’s hard to find in a beach holiday. But there are still places rich and diverse in their ecosystem, producing vistas you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. Back in Florida, Pensacola is that beach for you wanderers and explorers. Besides a gorgeous place to relax, you can take part in some of the most scenic tours you’ll find in the U.S. There are two State Parks just in reach of the beach, too.

Breath-taking vistas. Up-close encounters. Terrific, wet fun. Luxury like none other. The right choice of beach can offer it all. We hope these four choices help you find the one that’s perfect for you.