Patrick Clarke | August 01, 2016 3:30 PM ET
America's Best Beach Is Your Favorite Beach
The beach is synonymous with summer. And while everyone has their favorite stretch of coastline that they look forward to visiting each year, it's that reason why no beachfront destination stands alone as the best.
I say that despite a recent survey conducted by recreational information hub Tipspoke that found Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to be America's favorite beach. Not to disparage one of the U.S.'s most beloved summer vacation destinations, but Myrtle Beach was only singled out by 62 of 1,000 survey respondents.
That means just 6.2 percent of Americans consider Myrtle their favorite beach.
The rest of the top nine beaches were comprised of waterfronts located in either Florida or California. Sure, those states are famous for their coastal hotspots and year-round warmth and sunshine. But places like Miami and Venice Beach are perennial tourist destinations.
What's more, they're oftentimes showcased in movies and television. Therefore, even travelers who haven't experienced those beaches for themselves may be inclined to consider them their favorite.
I'll admit, part of my fascination with the study stems from my own personal heartbreak.
My favorite beach for the past two decades, Ocean City, Maryland, missed the cut. While certainly lesser-known to people outside of the Northeast considering Maryland hardly conjures up images of palm trees and crystal clear waters, I and countless others would tell you that this 10-mile stretch of beach has something for everyone starting with the beach itself.
Not only Ocean City, but some of the best beaches in New England, Hawaii and Texas were overlooked by survey respondents.
Like movies and music, finding the best beach in America is an impossible task given the response is guaranteed to be subjective. After all, so much of how we view a particular destination depends on how our own experience was and more importantly, how we remember it. And if you're experience was good, you've likely been back to make more memories.
It's why most people don't have to think twice when asked to name their favorite beach.
Nonetheless, any effort to uncover the best beach in America would require looking at a plethora of factors, including cost, ease of getting there and local attractions. Breaking it down even further and rewarding beaches on the strength of their nightlife offerings or the degree of their serenity would level the playing field and make it possible for North Carolina's Outer Banks to compete with a destination as prominent as Miami.
But even then, the ranking or score wouldn't take into account what you or I value most in a trip to the beach.
Myrtle Beach may be the most popular beach in America, but there are simply too many contenders for us to ever know which is the best. And that's good news for travelers in search of sun and sand this summer.
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