7 Best East Coast Destinations for a Fall Beach Getaway

In desperate need of a little vitamin sea? We know the feeling! Fortunately, the East Coast has a bevy of pristine beaches, seaside resorts and charming beach towns that make for the perfect fall beach getaway.

happy couple enjoy luxury sunset on the beach during summer vacations

Whether you’re hoping to relax on white sands all day, explore the waters on a boat or tee off on a luxury beach resort, you won’t have any trouble finding the ideal beach vacation to suit your needs. The Eastern Seaboard boasts an incredibly diverse range of coastal towns and beaches that have something to offer every type of beachgoer.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your beach trip, pack your vacation clothes and catch a gorgeous sunset or two at one of these East Coast destinations this fall.

Cape May, New Jersey

Located on the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May is distinguished by her Victorian-era houses and rich history. But if you’re not looking for a history lesson, don’t worry. The oldest beach town in America also boasts gorgeous beaches, a scenic promenade, charming shops—basically, all the makings for a great beach town.

For a relaxing day out on the water, consider taking a boat tour from Cape May into Delaware Bay. If you’re lucky, you may see humpback whales and Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in the estuary’s crystal waters. Afterwards, you can unwind with handcrafted farm spirits from Nauti Spirits Distillery

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Renowned for its unspoiled beaches and championship golf, Kiawah Island is perfect for those seeking a more luxurious beach vacation. Located near Charleston, South Carolina, the barrier island offers a private beach, world-class amenities and dozens of culinary options that are sure to satisfy your cravings for locally-caught seafood.

Flew the drone over the beach at sunset, taking this picture looking back at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, SC.

One thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that the Lowcountry can be hot and humid (yes, even during the fall). Remember to pack a few performance polo shirts and chino shorts so you can tee off in comfort and style. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Tybee Island, Georgia

Only a 20-minute drive from Savannah, Tybee Island is a popular weekend escape for Southerners. Home to pristine beaches with crystal waters that lap gently against the shore, this Georgia barrier island is at its best in the fall when temperatures have finally cooled down.

Whether you’re an active beachgoer or more laid-back, there are plenty of ways to unwind on Tybee Island. Rent a beachside cottage and enjoy an early morning walk on North Beach before it gets too crowded. Or, take a scenic bike ride along one of the many quiet bike paths throughout the island.

If you enjoy festivals, you’ll love visiting the island in the fall. From the Labor Day Beach Bash in September to the beloved Pirate Festival in October, you definitely won’t get bored on Tybee Island.

South Beach, Florida

If you enjoy your beaches with a side of art deco and sexiness, South Beach may be the beach for you. Considered one of the sexiest beaches in America, this international beach hotspot has made a name for itself with skimpy swimsuits, interesting architecture and its legendary clubbing scene.

While you might not achieve total relaxation at South Beach, the nightlife and dining options are second to none. After spending a day relaxing on the island’s gorgeous, white sands and dipping in turquoise waters, you’ll have no trouble finding tons of eclectic bars and eateries to end your day in style.

Folly Beach, South Carolina

If you’re seeking some R&R with a side of watersports, Folly Beach is beckoning you to her laid-back shores. A quintessential beach town, Folly Beach offers an incredible array of coastal activities, from fishing and boating to kayaking and surfing. Oh, and of course, tons of family-friendly fun at the beach! 

FOLLY BEACH, SC/USA - MARCH 30, 2015:  Residents and tourists flock to the Atlantic Ocean at Folly Beach, also known as the "edge of America," near Charleston in South Carolina.

The vibe here is definitely more relaxed, so be sure to dress accordingly. The guys tend to favor men’s long-sleeve graphic t-shirts and boating shorts, while the ladies basically live in pullover hoodies for their post-beach outings. Also, don’t forget your flip-flops! 

Chatham, Massachusetts 

Though all of Cape Cod is worth exploring, one of the nicest towns to visit on the cape is Chatham. Located at the southeastern tip of Cape Cod, the seaside town is considered one of the more upscale compared to other towns on the cape and offers picturesque views at every turn.

By far, one of the most scenic spots on Chatham is its historic lighthouse. The Chatham Light is an iconic landmark and one of the few lighthouses in the nation that operates 24 hours a day. Tours are only available from May to mid-October, so keep this in mind if you want to see the lighthouse up close! 

Emerald Isle, North Carolina

With its sugar sand shoreline and glistening waters, Emerald Isle is exactly as enchanting as it sounds. The tiny isle floating off the North Carolina shoreline is home to pristine beaches, jaw-dropping sunsets and a variety of water sports that is sure to please every water lover.

Fisherman On The Outer Banks, Emerald Isle, North Carolina

If you love to fish, you’ll have plenty of places to cast your line at Emerald Isle. In addition to fishing off the popular Bogue Inlet Pier, you can also find a fishing charter that will take you to the rich, coastal waters of the Southern Outer Banks. In the fall, Emerald Isle also hosts regular fishing tournaments and seasonal festivals that are a blast for the whole family.

After you get back from your fishing excursion, you can relax at your beachside condo and listen to the sound of gently crashing waves. What more could you ask for in a beach getaway?

A Summer Vacation to Remember

After scoping out these East Coast destinations, we’re sure that you’re now eagerly counting down the days until your next beach getaway. There are so many incredible beach hotspots along the East Coast that it can be difficult to choose just one! Whether you prefer beaches with a vibrant lifestyle or a laid-back feel, we’re confident that you’ll find the perfect place to stake your beach chair this fall.