When the forecast calls for searing temperatures, nothing sounds more appealing than a day at the beach—but that's not always easy to achieve, depending on which state you live in. While going to the beach might be an everyday activity for a Hawaiian or Floridian, it might be more of an undertaking for someone in a landlocked Midwestern state, even if their state does have a lake with a beach.
There are 5,525 public beaches in the U.S., totaling more than 5,000 miles of shoreline—but where are those beaches clustered? To find out, GetMyBoat counted the number of public beaches monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency in each state. To be included, each beach needed to be a public beach accessible to the general population.
The EPA examines coastal recreation waters in 30 states along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as well as the Great Lakes. Most of the states in the top five are cooler-weather states that have shorter summer seasons—although a walk in the sand can be just as pleasant in the fall or spring.
Keep reading to discover which state near you has the most public beaches per capita. Who knows—it might just give you the inspiration you need for an upcoming weekend getaway.