Have you ever wondered whether there are states without beaches in America? You are not alone. I, too, have been wondering.
Beach destinations are among the most frequented holiday destinations as they offer an ideal environment to relax and unwind.
The United States is home to some of the best beaches in the world. From California to Florida, there is something for everyone.
So, what states don’t have beaches?
However, it is essential to note that there are states without beaches because they are landlocked.
The contiguous United States of America runs from the Atlantic Ocean in the East to Pacific Coast in the West. The eastern and western borders of the country face the ocean.
The country shares the longest international border with Canada to the north.
The United States shares a border to the south with Mexico that runs 2,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.
The states of Arizona, California, Texas, and New Mexico share a border with Mexico.
The Coastal Appeal
Beach destinations have always held a special place in the hearts of travelers.
The allure of the sun, sand, and sea is irresistible to many, making beach destinations some of the most popular vacation spots around the world.
States like Florida and California are iconic for their beautiful beaches.
Florida, known as the “Sunshine State”, boasts a staggering 1,350 miles of coastline with famous beaches like Miami Beach and Clearwater Beach.
On the other side of the country, California, the “Golden State”, offers a diverse range of beaches from the picturesque shores of Laguna Beach to the iconic surf spots of Huntington Beach.
But what about the states without beaches? Well, they have their own unique appeal too.
States Without Beaches – Everything You Need to Know
A state without a beach means that the state is landlocked. Landlocked states are surrounded almost entirely by land and have no access to seaports or ocean coastlines.
So, what states don’t have beaches in the USA?
In total, 27 states are landlocked in the USA.
20 of these 27 states are completely landlocked, meaning they have no access to any water body.
The remaining 7 out of these 27 landlocked states border the Great Lakes.
States Bordering the Great Lakes
Despite not having access to large water bodies like oceans, these states border the Great Lakes.
However, by sailing from any of these Great Lakes out to the Atlantic Ocean, you can access the ocean.
This connection happens through the Saint Lawrence River.
These seven states include Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
27 States that Don’t Have Beaches
Colorado is a double-landlocked state with access to the Atlantic Ocean blocked by both New Mexico and Mexico.
The state of Arizona is single-landlocked. Mexico to the south and California to the west block the state’s access to the Pacific Ocean.
Illinois borders Lake Michigan, but the state is double-landlocked despite that. The state of Kentucky blocks access to the Atlantic Ocean and then Virginia.
Arkansas blocks the state’s access to the Gulf of Mexico.
Idaho is a single-landlocked state. The states of Oregon and Washington block access to the Pacific Ocean.
Indiana is a double-landlocked state. The state borders Lake Michigan.
Virginia and Kentucky block Indiana’s direct access to the Atlantic Ocean.
Texas and Oklahoma block the state’s access to the Gulf of Mexico.
The state is double-landlocked in terms of direct access to the ocean, with Canada and Minnesota blocking the state from the Hudson Bay.
Also, Iowa is triple-landlocked at its southern tip, with Kentucky, Illinois, and Virginia in between the Atlantic Ocean and the state.
The state of Virginia blocks Kentucky’s access to the Atlantic Ocean.
The state is single-landlocked with access to Hudson Bay blocked by Canada. Minnesota borders Lake Superior.
The state is single-landlocked, with Canada blocking its access to Hudson Bay.
Michigan borders four Great Lakes: Superior, Huron, Erie, and Michigan.
These great lakes provide indirect access to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River.
The state of Missouri is double-landlocked. Louisiana and Arkansas block its access to the Gulf of Mexico.
This state is a single-landlocked bordering Canada. Access to the Pacific Ocean is through British Columbia in Canada.
Nevada is single-landlocked state. The state of California blocks access to the Pacific Ocean.
Nebraska is a triple-landlocked state in the United States. The states of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas block access to the Gulf of Mexico.
New Mexico is a single-landlocked state whose access to the Gulf of Mexico is blocked by Texas.
This state is single-landlocked. You must travel through the Canadian province of Manitoba to access the ocean.
Ohio is a single-landlocked state whose access to the ocean is blocked by Canada. You have to go through Ontario to access Hudson Bay.
Stateside, Ohio is double-landlocked with access to the Atlantic Ocean blocked by West Virginia and Virginia.
The state of Oklahoma is single-landlocked, and the state of Texas blocks its access to the Gulf of Mexico.
Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and New York block Pennsylvania’s access to the Atlantic Ocean. A small part of Pennsylvania borders Lake Erie.
South Dakota is a double-landlocked state whose access to Hudson Bay is blocked by Manitoba and North Dakota.
A total of five states block Tennessee’s access to the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.
The state is single-landlocked, and the states blocking its access to the Atlantic Ocean include Georgia, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Mississippi or Alabama blocks the Gulf of Mexico’s access.
Utah is double-landlocked, and California and Nevada block its access to the Pacific Ocean.
Vermont is surrounded by other states and Canadian provinces, blocking its direct access to the Atlantic Ocean.
New York, Maryland, and New Hampshire are the three states that block access to the Atlantic Ocean.
This state is single-landlocked, and the states of Virginia and Maryland block its access to the Atlantic Ocean.
Wisconsin is double-landlocked, and Canada’s Ontario province and Michigan block its access to the Hudson Bay. The state borders the Great lakes, namely Michigan and Superior.
Wyoming is a double-landlocked state whose access to the Pacific Ocean is blocked by the states of Idaho and Oregon.
States Without Beaches – Single-Landlocked States
There are 16 single-landlocked states in the USA. They include Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, and West Virginia.
States Without Beaches – Double-Landlocked States
Ten states are double-landlocked. They include Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
States Without Beaches – Triple-Landlocked States
Nebraska is the only state that is triple-landlocked
Let’s explore some surprising inland beaches in states that are typically considered “beach-less”:
Sand Dunes in Colorado
The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America.
These dunes cover an area of about 30 square miles and are estimated to contain over 1.2 cubic miles of sand.
Visitors can enjoy a beach-like experience by sand sledding and exploring the diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, forests, alpine lakes, and tundra.
Inland Lakes in Kansas
Despite being a landlocked state, Kansas has numerous man-made lakes that offer beach-like experiences.
For instance, Kanopolis Lake located inside Kanopolis State Park offers water recreational activities like swimming, boating, and fishing.
Wilson Lake is known as one of the cleanest lakes in Kansas and offers activities like swimming, boating, and nature trails.
Reservoir Beaches in Nevada
Nevada has several reservoirs that serve as popular beach destinations.
For example, the Lahontan State Recreation Area surrounds Lake Lahontan, a 17-mile-long impoundment of the Carson River.
It offers a beach-like experience with opportunities for boating, fishing, sightseeing, and outdoor recreation.
These destinations offer a unique twist on the traditional beach experience.
Instead of ocean waves and saltwater, visitors can enjoy freshwater lakes and reservoirs or explore vast expanses of sand dunes.
Yet, they still provide that relaxing beach vibe with opportunities for water sports, sunbathing, picnics, and beautiful sunsets.
Embracing the Outdoors in States that Do Not Border the Ocean
States that don’t have beaches offer several outdoor recreational opportunities that are just as exciting and fulfilling. Let’s explore some of them:
Hiking and Mountain Activities
States like Colorado, Utah, and Idaho are renowned for their mountainous landscapes, offering endless opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, and even skiing in the winter months.
For instance, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park is a hiker’s paradise with over 300 miles of trails.
Many landlocked states boast beautiful lakes that are perfect for camping.
In Kansas, the Wilson State Park offers stunning lakeside campsites.
Similarly, Arkansas’s Lake Ouachita is known for its scenic beauty and is a popular spot for camping and fishing.
States like Arizona and Nevada offer unique desert landscapes where visitors can enjoy off-roading, horseback riding, or even hot air ballooning.
As for national parks and scenic spots, each state has its own gems.
The Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado are just a few examples.
So, if you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking to explore new horizons, don’t let the lack of beaches deter you.
These states offer diverse landscapes and experiences that are sure to satisfy your adventurous spirit.
Cultural and Historical Attractions in States with No Beaches
Let’s delve into the unique cultural and historical aspects of these states without beaches:
- Native American Heritage: Many of these states have rich Native American histories. For instance, Arizona is home to the Navajo Nation Council Chamber, a site specifically created to commemorate the contribution of Native American cultures1. New Mexico, on the other hand, has a significant Native American population, with influences seen in its art, music, and cuisine.
- Pioneer History: The pioneer history is particularly prominent in states like Colorado and Nebraska. Pioneers were settlers who migrated westward from the Thirteen Colonies and later the United States to settle in and develop areas of North America. The Homestead Act of 1862 was one significant development in western settlement, providing formal legislation for settlers.
- Art and Music Scenes: Each state boasts its own unique art and music scene. For instance, Baltimore, Maryland is known for its bustling art scene with a treasure trove for all types of art enthusiasts. Albuquerque, New Mexico is another city known for its vibrant arts scene and world-class food and drink offerings.
- In Arizona, you can visit the Grand Canyon or the Petrified Forest National Park to witness the state’s natural beauty and learn about its Native American history.
- Arkansas is home to the Hot Springs National Park, a testament to the state’s natural wonders.
- In Colorado, you can visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve or take a trip to Denver to explore its thriving arts scene.
- Idaho offers attractions like Shoshone Falls and various outdoor recreational areas.
- In Kansas, you can visit the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve or explore one of its many man-made lakes.
These are just a few examples. Each state offers a unique blend of history, culture, art, and natural beauty that makes it worth exploring.
Final Thoughts on States Without Beaches
In total, there are 27 states without beaches in America. Sixteen out of these are single-landlocked, while ten are double-landlocked. Only one state is triple-landlocked.
Having this information is vital as you plan for your holiday vacation. However, you can enjoy your favorite beach destination despite the states having no beaches.
Twenty-three states have direct access to the ocean, meaning several miles of stretches of sand for you to relax and unwind.
So, why don’t you pack your bags and head to one of these states with beaches for a rejuvenating beach vacation?
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all 50 states have beaches?
NO, not all the 50 states have beaches. There are 27 states that are landlocked. 7 of these states border the Great Lakes meaning you can have access to a lake beach. The rest are completely cut-off from water bodies by other states or Canada, meaning they do not have beaches
What is America’s number one beach?
Hulopoe Beach in Hawaii is the number one beach in America. It has some of the best stretches of white sand in the world and is famed for kayaking, swimming and snorkeling. In fact, snorkeling and diving spots here are considered some of the finest in Hawaii, making a swim in the 70-degree water all the more tempting
How many states in America have beaches?
23 states have access to the ocean meaning they have beaches. Additionally, the states that border the Great Lakes have access to lake beaches.
Which US state has the best beaches?
Hawaii has the best beaches in America. Four of the Best World's Beaches are in Hawaii. Hawaii provides some of the world's most spectacular beaches. From rugged coves with a small patch of sand to large coastlines with huge waves