Thanksgiving Weekend Top 10 USA Beach Destinations

Waikiki Beach Leads The List That Includes California & Florida

Waikik Beach sunset sailboats
Sailboats frame a gorgeous sunset in Waikiki Beach.

You don’t have to be huddled around a fireplace, freezing when you step outside and stuck watching football for four days during Thanksgiving weekend in the USA .

You can be on a beach!

And here are Surfside Sam’s top beach destinations for Thanksgiving Day Weekend.

Top Beaches List

1.) Waikiki Beach

This is a fun, lively beach with tons of activities. But the reason it’s #1 is because there’s also a big bonus – on the Friday after Thanksgiving there’s a Christmas parade right down Kalakaua Ave. Plus, the water is warm, the temperature is great and it offers the perfect combination of being laid back without the possibility of anyone getting bored.

2.) Kaanapali Beach, Maui

This beach near Lahina offers good snorkeling, a walkway with a few popular outdoor restaurant/bars, sunset cruises and serves as a launching point for seeing the rest of the island.  This is prefect for couples and families but single people can have a good time, here too.

3.) Hermosa Beach/South Bay, CA (Los Angeles)

Hermosa Beach, CA
The wide beaches of Hermosa Beach make for plenty of beach recreation.

The South Bay Beach Cities have a bike path – take a guided tour with Beach Cities Bike Tours – great weather and a long, sunny beach. Hermosa Beach is the center of activity but there’s also Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. All connected by the bike and running path known as The Strand. And oh, the sunsets!

4.) Mission Beach, CA (San Diego)

How does riding a rollercoaster sound? Not one of those really scary ones but a milder one, right at the beach! There’s one at Mission Beach in San Diego. There are tons of restaurants, a good beach and, like the above South Bay beaches, a bike, walking and running path that connects to Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach. La Jolla, too, is just up the coast.

5.) Key West

Of course the Conch Republic has to be on this list.  There’s so much to do in Key West and yet so little if you choose to spend your time just wastin’ away. Of course, one must-do daily ritual are seeing the sunsets from Mallory Square

6.) St. Petersburg, FL

Ft. DeSoto Park is continually ranked as one of the nation’s best beaches (this is in addition to St. Pete Municipal Beach and others), there’s the St. Petersburg Marina with all kind of boating and fishing opportunities, plus the usual Florida activities such as Par-3  and themed putt-putt golf courses.

7.) Siesta Key, FL

If Surfside Sam were doing a list of top family destinations, this would probably be at the top. This beach by Sarasota is as white, as, well, someone who has not been to the beach in a while. And while there’s enough activities to keep you busy, it’s also pretty quiet. In other words, it’s a good place for a siesta for a few days.

8.) Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Always active Ft. Lauderdale provides for boating, hanging out on a warm beach, going for a swim, walking along it’s intracoastal waterways and having food and drinks at any of its many restaurants and bars overlooking the beach. Surfside Sam likes it better than South Beach because it’s less “intense.”

9.) Florida Keys

This is a different kind of way to spend your long weekend – on the move! You can make your way down the Keys by staying in the little towns along the way: Key Largo, Islamarada, Marathon.  Make your Thanksgiving dinner at at Dockside Tropical Cafe at Sombrero Beach where you’ll hear the best live trop/rock music in the Keys.

10.) Tybee Island, GA (Savannah)

Historical Savannah is 20 minutes away and Tybee Island provides a beachy place to stay for Thanksgiving. The summer crowds are long gone and you can enjoy peel-and-eat restaurants, a couple of bars with character and there’s even a Civil War fort to explore.