Best Beaches – Oceans, Lakes and Pools – for Summer Destination Fun

When most of us think beach we think Atlantic or Pacific – and FareCompare can help you find cheap flights to any number of seaside destinations. But there are plenty of other options for summer water fun from Great Lakes to man-made parks and even a few surprises.

Are these the best of the best? Destinations are always debatable but these are some of our favorites within the continental U.S. with an eye toward affordability. Click the city name to find the cheapest available flights.

Best family beach:

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is served by several carriers including discounters Allegiant and Spirit. This pretty not-so-little coastal town boasts beautiful beaches, amusement parks, golf, fishing and lots of other water-related recreation. More attractions here.

Best Florida beach:

Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa- and there is a lot of airline competition in these cities which helps keep airfares low. One or all of these towns will have what you’re looking for whether it’s white sandy beaches, a lively club scene or amazing Cuban delicacies and other cuisines of the world. More attractions here.

Best Great Lake beach:

Oval Beach, Saugatuck on Lake Michigan. Some say this beach has the warmest waters of all the Great Lakes. And with Chicago just 130 miles away, you’re close to big city fun and lower airfare prices. More attractions here.

Best scenery lake beach:

Lake Tahoe. You could fly into Carson City, Nevada, but California’s Sacramento may have cheaper fares and it’s just a two-hour drive. The water is chilly but there are plenty of boats for fishing and other fun plus breathtaking views of mountain and alpine forests and outdoor activities galore. Or move indoors and try your hand at the gaming tables. More attractions here.

Best New England beach:

Wellfleet, Massachusetts. This’ll set off some arguments since there are plenty of best beaches on Cape Cod (not to mention throughout New England) but there’s no question that flying into Boston can be quite a bargain – and the boardwalk and dramatic dunes of Wellfleet’s Marconi Beach make it a popular favorite. More attractions here.

Best bird beach:

The Penguin Encounter at SeaWorld, San Diego. Not all the best beaches are for humans; watch nearly 300 penguins swim, slide and socialize in this nicely chilled, 25-degree Southern California habitat. More attractions here.

Best surfing beach:

Malibu and Newport Beach in Southern California and you can find good airfares at LAX and Orange County’s airports. We mention Malibu for its iconic status and Newport for The Wedge. More attractions here.

Best waterpark beach:

Schlitterbahn between Austin and San Antonio, two cities where we’re seeing better and better-priced airfares. This New Braunfels, Texas, landmark on the banks of the Comal River is sometimes called the best waterpark in the world and it’s certainly one of the biggest with 65 acres of slides, rides and – well, a whole lot of water. More attractions here.

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Published: June 27, 2013