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.