Best Cars for Beach Lovers in the USA

road trips for beach lovers

There are plenty of beautiful and pristine beaches all across the USA that can all be accessed easily if you have the perfect rental car. To help you choose which type of vehicle to rent, VroomVroomVroom has shared our recommendation for each popular beach destination.

Laguna Beach - California

Known for its several art galleries, scenic coves, picturesque beaches, ​and restaurants, this upscale beach community situated halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego within Orange County, offers a fun and relaxing vacation for families and couples alike.

Recommended car: If you want to catch some sun, feel the wind against your skin and experience the stunning Southern California coast, book a convertible like a Chevrolet Camaro or similar.

laguna beach in orange county, california

Useful tips: Laguna Beach metered street parking is heavily enforced daily from 8 am to 7 pm at all meters. Rates usually vary from $1-$4.50 per hour. Please note that you will need to move your vehicle to a new spot once you have reached the 3-hour limit.

Highlights:

  • The beaches in this upscale coastal destination will be familiar to almost anyone who's ever seen the reality show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County​. Some of the most breathtaking beaches in the area include Crystal Cove, Crescent Bay, Main Beach, Cress Street, and Aliso Beach.
  • Go on a day trip and explore the Pacific Marine ​​Mammal Center, visit the Laguna Art Museum, watch a show at the Laguna Playhouse, experience riding on the Laguna Beach Trolley,​ and see the Bluebird Canyon Farms.​
  • Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the Crystal Cove State Park. The park is perfect for hiking, biking, scuba diving, fishing, swimming, and surfing. If you have time to take in the scenery, don't miss California’s Pacific Coast Highway 1, which hugs the coastline and offers picturesque scenery along the way to Laguna Beach.​​​

Getting there: Laguna Beach is easy to reach. Centrally located in Southern California, around 40 miles south of Los Angeles and 72 miles north of San Diego, you can pick up your rental car in Los Angeles. Head southeast and ​take on Lakes Road to I-710 S and I-405 S ​to reach your destination​.

Cannon Beach - Oregon

Perhaps the most visited beach in the Pacific Northwest, Cannon Beach​ will appeal to couples seeking for a romantic getaway. There are plenty of events to make your visit to Cannon Beach truly unforgettable. These include a yoga festival in February, wine and culinary festival in March, spring whale-watching during mid-March through mid-April, a sandcastle contest in June, a puffin watch in July, and an arts festival in November.

Recommended car: Finding a rental car at Cannon Beach is a breeze. You can choose from ​spacious SUVs such as Kia Sorento or similar so you can easily fit your entire family. Or go for luxury sedans like Chrysler 300 or similar for an incredible ride.

cannon beach and wave in oregon

Useful tips: Remember that overnight parking is prohibited in Cannon Beach. Note that no motor vehicles are permitted on the beach, except by special permit for disabled persons. No parking and Tow-Away Zones are enforced.

Highlights:

  • Check out Haystack Rock, which is said to be the third largest monolith in the world. Standing at 235 feet tall, it is one of the most photographed rock formations on the Oregon Coast.​ Note that it can't be climbed or walked on. The iconic area also holds several nesting bird species such as Puffins and Seagulls, making it an excellent fun stop for bird-watching. ​The closest access to Haystack Rock is the Midtown Parking area at S. Hemlock and Gower.
  • Situated at the north end of Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park is another popular place for outdoor enthusiasts thanks to its multitude of hiking and some of the best walking trails. Note that a $5 State Parks day-use fee is required for parking.
  • Wander the charming sidewalks and courtyards of downtown Cannon Beach and make sure to discover art galleries, specialty shops, and public art. ​Cannon Beach also provides easy access to many great viewpoints and natural areas, including Oswald West State Park, Arcadia Beach, and Hug Point.​

Getting there: Cannon Beach is only a 90-minute drive from the Portland International Airport (PDX). You can rent a car at the airport and travel by Highways 101, 26 and 30. Note that each highway to Cannon Beach offers a dramatic landscape and plenty of opportunities to admire this unique location. ​

Wailea Beach - ​Maui

It's no secret that Hawaii has some of the most abundant and beautiful beaches. But one standout is Wailea Beach, located in a convenient area of Wailea. You’ll surely enjoy this magnificent beach on Maui’s southwest coast if it’s glitz and glamour that you are after.

Recommended car: Rent a full-size SUV like a Ford Expedition ​or a convertible like a Ford Mustang or similar for your next trip. Experience what it feels like to cruise down on the open road and to breathe in the fresh air and soak up the warm sun.

wailea beach pathway, maui hawaii

Useful tips: You can park at Ulua Beach for free and simply head over to Wailea Beach. Another option is to pay for parking in the parking lot at the Shops in Wailea.​

Highlights:

  • Offering stunning views over the Molokini Crater and the islands of Lanai and Kahoolawe, you could find yourself sitting or swimming next to A-list stars enjoying the sun along this luxurious beach​. Snorkeling and kayaking are very popular in Wailea Beach. You can also watch the Grand Wailea Luau from the beach during sunset.​
  • Nearby popular accommodation includes Four Seasons Maui, ​Grand Wailea Resort, Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Wailea Beach Villas, and Hotel Wailea.​ You can opt to travel south about six miles down the coast to reach Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve, a renowned snorkeling area and coastal lava field.​
  • Don't miss the La Perouse Bay located south of the town​, where lava from Maui's last eruption flowed into the sea. The area has some nice hiking trails, including the Hoapili Trail. The Shops at Wailea is a haven in itself with plenty of amazing restaurants and shops to discover.

Getting there: Rent a car at Kahului Airport​​ (OGG) ​and take onto HI-311 S and State Hwy 31/Piilani Highway to ​reach Wailea Beach.

Miami Beach - Florida

The crystal clear water, the white sand, and the warm temperature combine to make the experience at Miami Beach like no other. Even the pastel-colored hotels in art deco architecture style on Ocean Drive, as well as the opportunity of catching a celebrity catching some sun, are even more thrilling.

Recommended car: Cruise Miami Beach with a compact car or a convertible rental like a Mercedes-Benz E 300. This type of rental car will make your ride around the city or a drive up the coast even more special.

colourful lifeguard tower south beach, miami

Useful tips: Miami Beach operates 66 public parking lots which can be found all over the city. Remember that the cost of parking meters in Miami Beach may vary by location. The more popular South Beach charges about $4 per hour, while North Beach is priced at $1 per hour.

Highlights:

  • Enjoy a stroll along the famous Ocean Drive and find yourself in the heart of the most famous beach in Miami.​ Stretching from South Pointe Park Beach all the way to Collins Park on 21st and 22nd Streets, you will see the Bass Museum of Art and the W South Beach.
  • Most families go to South Pointe Park Beach because it has a playground and mini wading pool. The Miami Beach Botanical Garden, which is home to various collections, is not to be missed. The atmosphere at Collins Park to Indian Beach Park around 46th Street provides a more calm and relaxed atmosphere than the always crowded South Beach.
  • ​If you want a different vibe, go to North Beach. Located at Collins Avenue, you can enjoy free movies under the stars at North Shore Park Bandshell. The area is also home to the Miami Beach Food Truck & Music Fest, which usually takes place on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Live music is from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Getting there: You can book a car rental at Miami Airport​​ (MIA) and head over to Miami Beach via FL-836 and NW 17th Ave.



Other popular road trip locations