For those travelers who love the ocean and are passionate about hikes, nothing equals a walk with beautiful views of the sea or trails that end on a beach for sunbathing or swimming. So when planning your next summer vacation, consider adding a hiking adventure to make the most of your seaside experience. Here’s a list of the best coastal hikes with stunning views in the U.S.
Kalalau Trail—Na Pali Coast in Hawaii
Kalalau in Hawaii is one of the most famous coastal trails in the world. Hikers embark on an 11-mile journey from Ne’e Beach to Kalalau Beach through the lush Na Pali Coast, lined with cliffs and waterfalls on North Kauai. Kalalau offers an opportunity to walk along a coastline soaked in Native Hawaiian history and culture.
Secret Beach Trail in Oregon
Secret Beach is known for its beautiful scenery on the Oregon coast, from fern-filled forests to waves lapping against sea stacks and a calm stretch of sand. This 1.6-mile round-trip trail is a moderately demanding path and is dog friendly. This place is famous for bird watching. The most pleasant season to visit this trail is between March and October.
Cabrillo National Monument Bayside in California
This beach hike overlooking the Cabrillo National Monument is one of the most incredible attractions in San Diego, California. The 2-mile route is perfect for an easy, family-friendly trek along the Pacific coast. You can access the trail by walking towards the lighthouse from the visitor center. This course offers one of the most beautiful views in the area despite being a short hike.
Cliff Pond Trail in Massachusetts
This trail near Brewster, Massachusetts, is ideal for those who want to combine a hike with a swim. There are several places to cool off in the water on this beautiful 3.2-mile loop hike. The Cliff Pond Trail is a 90-minute hike that is mostly level, though steep in places. Visitors can swim near the beautiful Flax Pond beach.
Big Wallace El Capitan Trail in California
This California trail in Santa Barbara is challenging, but its beautiful scenery and views are worth completing. Near Goleta is the Big Wallace Trail, a small town that stands out as a great hiking place. This trail begins at El Capitan State Beach and goes past the coast, up the mountains, and into the El Capitan Canyon. Visitors can do the 12-mile round-trip loop.
Kincaid Beach Trail in Alaska
Alaska’s vast undeveloped terrain and towering mountains attract hikers, climbers, and campers worldwide. Nearby Anchorage is Kincaid Beach, a natural beauty and the only sandy beach in the region. This roughly two-mile one-way path leads to the ocean, but you can walk another mile for expansive beach views. The best time to visit is when the tide is out. Also, be aware that moose and bears may be in the area.
North Cape Flats Trail in Florida
North Cape Flats Trail is a 1.2-mile out-and-back trail in Florida near Cape Coral. It is considered an easy route, which can be completed in 20 minutes. This route is excellent for walking, where dogs are welcome but must remain on a leash.
Tuna Canyon in California
Tuna Canyon is a well-known and highly recommended trail for hikers in Malibu despite its distance from the ocean compared to other famous courses. This route features spectacular views of the Santa Monica Bay and the Pacific Ocean. This trail will take you through a meadow and a forest on the way back to the shore. Tuna Canyon has considerable elevation gain and is at most 5 miles long.
Cook’s Monument Trail in Hawaii
The Captain Cook Trail is one of the best hikes on the Big Island and along the Kona Coast. This challenging hike begins at 1,300 feet, descending to the Captain Cook Monument in Kealakekua Bay. This monument commemorates the location of Captain James Cook’s first European land encounter with the Hawaiian Islands. This location is part of the Kealakekua Historical Park, and the bay is a Marine Life Conservation District.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Florida
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is called the “Crown Jewel of the Florida Panhandle” and a must-see in Panama City Beach. There are roughly fifteen miles of hiking trails in this park. The No Name Lake Trail, which accesses the park’s smallest of its several dune lakes, and the Morris Lake Nature Trail, which integrates some of the area’s remarkable natural diversity, are two highlights.
Hike to Find the Most Stunning Ocean Vistas
This list includes some of the finest coastal hiking trails in the United States with breathtaking ocean views. The complexity of these routes ranges from beginning to advanced, and they contain a variety of landforms, such as dunes and volcanic formations. Check the park’s website for conditions, permits, and closures before deciding on a route.