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22 can't-miss U.S. beaches

By Katia Hetter, CNN
August 13, 2013 -- Updated 1934 GMT (0334 HKT)
<a href='http://www.alapark.com/gulfstate/Gulf%20State%20Park%20Pier/' target='_blank'>Alabama's Gulf State Park </a>in the city of Gulf Shores features a two-mile white sand beach for swimming; more than seven miles of backcountry trails for walking and biking; and camping and lodging facilities for people who want to spend more time at the park. Alabama's Gulf State Park in the city of Gulf Shores features a two-mile white sand beach for swimming; more than seven miles of backcountry trails for walking and biking; and camping and lodging facilities for people who want to spend more time at the park.
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Gulf State Park, Alabama
Gulf State Park, Alabama
Glass Beach, California
Glass Beach, California
Hammonasset State Park, Connecticut
Lewes, Delaware
Ponce de Leon historical site, Florida
Cumberland Island, Georgia
Cumberland Island, Georgia
Lanikai Beach, Hawaii
Rutherford Beach, Louisiana
Sand Beach, Maine
Sand Beach, Maine
Assateague Island, Maryland
Assateague Island, Maryland
Wellfleet, Massachusetts
Wellfleet, Massachusetts
Long Beach, Mississippi
Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Cape May, New Jersey
Main Beach, New York
Bald Head Island, North Carolina
Bald Head Island, North Carolina
Ecola State Park, Oregon
Block Island, Rhode Island
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Galveston Island, Texas
Kiptopeke State Park, Virginia
Cape Disappointment State Park, Washington
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Late summer is the time to enjoy some coastal gems
  • Wonderful beaches dot the western, eastern and southern U.S. coasts
  • There are less obvious choices in even the most beach-centric states

(CNN) -- As the long lazy days of summer draw to a close, beaches along the coasts of the United States are still calling to shoreline explorers.

Each coastal state has its popular beaches, where locals and tourists alike will try to squeeze in a little bit more lounging before it's time to go back to school or work.

And then there are a few spectacular or unusual beaches that stand out because of their unique geography, historical significance or simply their overwhelming beauty. It's nearly impossible to choose, especially in those states where you have a seemingly endless number of spectacular beaches.

Europe's best city beaches

Whether you prefer the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico, these U.S. beaches have your end-of-summer cravings covered. Click through the gallery to see some of this country's most intriguing beaches. What would you add to the list?

Please share your favorites in the comments section below.

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