Last updated: 05:10 PM ET, Mon May 04 2015

Ranking America's Most Entertaining Beach Cities

Features & Advice | Patrick Clarke | May 04, 2015

Ranking America's Most Entertaining Beach Cities

As summer inches closer and the weather heats up across the country, travelers are looking to lock in plans. 

While many will take a cruise, or visit Europe on the stregth of the U.S. dollar, others will flock to America's beaches in search of sun, fun and, above all, a memorable time.

In that spirit we count down the five most entertaining U.S. beach cities in 2015. 

In addition to offering some of the world's best beaches, these destinations deliver well beyond the shore. 

5. Galveston, Texas

If you're eyeing a trip to the Gulf Coast, Galveston Island, Texas is a must. Museums and art galleries feature heavily here, while fishing, water sports and other shore-based activities remain easily accessible. 

A number of historic homes and sites help set Galveston apart from your average beach city.

Whether you're single or traveling with family, the city has something to offer everyone, from sightseeing tours to waterparks.

Go ahead and put Schlitterbahn Waterpark on your can't-miss list. 

Must-See Attractions: Lone Star Flight Museum, 61st Street Fishing Pier, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum

4. San Diego, California

A city made famous by the mascot chicken and fictional anchorman "Ron Burgundy," San Diego is situated just miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, meaning if you get bored of "America's Finest City," you can always head south to Tijuana for a new experience in no time. 

But odds are you won't want to leave San Diego. In addition to boasting some of the nation's best food, San Diego is loaded with sightseeing opportunities. Locations like La Jolla Cove and Point Loma promise stunning views. 

If you're looking for fun for everyone, don't sleep on SeaWorld or Petco Park, both of which offer ideal afternoon or evening entertainment.

Must-See Attractions: Balboa Park, USS Midway Museum, San Diego Zoo

3. Santa Monica, California

A trip to Santa Monica Beach isn't complete without a visit to Third Street Promenade or the Santa Monica Pier.

You've more than likely seen Santa Monica as a backdrop in several movies, and for good reason. The beach is arguably its biggest draw, and don't worry, if you've had your fill of sand and ocean, Santa Monica is also a biker's paradise.

The 26-mile bike path is among its top attractions and there are numerous other places to ride and take in the unparalleled scenery. 

Must-See Attractions: Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Mountains, Third Street Promenade

2. Honolulu, Hawaii

The Hawaiian capital is in fact more than a relaxing getaway or ideal Honeymoon destination. There's tons of history and even more nature to be explored in Honolulu. 

From the USS Arizona Memorial to Koko Crater Trail, travelers are sure to have a difficult time narrowing down their itineraries. And with average sea temperatures in the upper 70s and low 80s year-round, you won't have to worry about planning your trip around the seasons.

Honolulu's Waikiki Beach (seen below courtesy of Aston Hotels) is practically overflowing with white sand and turquoise water. 

But if that doesn't do it for you, a day of scuba diving and windsurfing just might. 

Must-See Attractions: USS Arizona Memorial, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

1. Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach promises not only miles of white sand, but endless entertainment. Once you're finished hosing off after a long day in the sun, countless art galleries, museums and tours await. And don't forget the nightlife.

If you can't decide on what to do, simply stroll the boardwalk, or visit the always fun Lincoln Road or Ocean Drive. 

Of course, adding to the city's allure is its reputation for attracting well-known celebrities. You may even bump into a few during an afternoon on the beach or a late night at one of Miami Beach's world-class night clubs.

Must-See Attractions: Miami Beach Boardwalk, South Beach, South Pointe Park

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