In a time when going to a crowded place isn’t the best idea, many people still need a breath of fresh air. Taking a brisk walk in the open air is one of the best ways to do just that. For people who are fortunate enough to live near a coast, those walks are even more beautiful. Whether you’re able to drive to one of these spots now or you must put them on your bucket list for later, we’ve compiled a list of the most beautiful coastal walks in America. From the bluffs on Oregon’s border to the serene simplicity of Newport’s Cliff Walk, plan to soak in the sweet air and sunshine as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Dungeness Trail, Cumberland Island, Georgia
Cumberland Island offers more than 50 miles of trails for you to explore. They’ll take you through maritime forests, interior wetlands, marsh ecosystems, and gorgeous beaches. The Dungeness Trail is a gentle, two-mile coastal walk from the ferry landing. You’ll stroll past the ruins of a Carnegie mansion, a historic cemetery, and so much more.
Sunken Forest, Fire Island National Seashore, New York
No cars are allowed on Fire Island, and there are more beaches than sidewalks. If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation with a lot of walking, then this is definitely the spot to be. Take in the waves, a rare un-sunken holly forest, and beauty everywhere you look. It’s an easy one-and-a-half-mile hike, so be sure to pack a picnic to spend more time in this haven.
Third Beach to Oil City, Olympic National Park, Washington
Part rocky scramble and part beautiful beach walk, this hike is more strenuous than the others on this list—but the views make it worth it. You’ll find moody ocean views and mountain vistas on this coastal path, so don’t forget to bring your camera. The coastal trail at this National Park will have you itching to come back for more—luckily, there tons of different paths depending on the time of day and the tide, so you can always find somewhere new to explore.
Newport Cliff Walk, Newport, Rhode Island
Next on our list is the gorgeous Newport Cliff Walk. There’s a lot to know about the Cliff Walk, from its rich history to the best spots to spend a bit more time at. Explore Salve Regina University while it’s empty, and admire the craftsmanship and individuality of the various mansions along the walk. Take this walk each morning to get in your steps and to breathe in that fresh air!
Cape Perpetua Hike, Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon
A six-and-a-half-mile loop, the Cape Perpetua Hike is a bit longer than the others on this list—but once you’re there, you’ll never want to leave. Explore the network of trails through Siuslaw National Forest, the rugged lava cliffs, and the collapsed sea caves. Sit for a moment and enjoy the crashing waves against the jagged rocks, and then wander the old-growth forest. If you’re finally able to get outside, you might as well enjoy it!