7 States with Most Coastline

One of the best views RVers have on the road can be found traveling along, or even stopping at, the amazing coastlines the U.S. has to offer.

That’s why I took notice when the folks at WorldAtlas.com did a story on the “U.S. States with the Most Coastline.”

As TravelTrivia.com notes, measuring a state’s coastline can be a pretty tricky process because land formations tend to dip, indent, and swell along the water rather than form straight lines. Also, erosion, tidal changes, and other natural occurrences tend to change the coastline, making it hard to figure out just how long a state’s coastline actually is.

That being said, the following seven states are generally considered to offer more coastline than the others.

7. Texas

Beaches might not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Texas, which is why the Texas coastline is one of America’s best kept travel secrets. It offers all the beauty of the rolling waves without the difficulty of trying to find a spot to put your towel down. Offering 3,359 miles of coastline, the Texas Gulf Coast is sometimes referred to as America’s Third Coast. Among other things, it features quirky seaside towns and pleasantly warm water.

6. North Carolina

It might be hard to believe, but North Carolina has nearly as much coastline as California  with 3,375 miles of coast. How is it possible? A number of islands and twisted little beach inlets make for a winding coastal journey. Not only that, but each of the regions along the North Carolina coast offers its own unique take on beachside culture, ranging from the historical sights of Wilmington and the Inner Coastal Plain to the natural wonders of the Outer Banks and Currituck, where wild horses run free.

5. California

From the sunny and sandy beaches of southern California to the rocky cliffs of Northern California some 3,427 miles away, the beaches in California are considered some of the best in the world. As a result, it’s no surprise that coastal life is a driving source of tourism for the state. From Coronado Beach in San Diego to Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, California’s beaches will take your breath away.

4. Maine

Maine offers a vast amount of coastline — 3,478 miles to be exact. As a result, exploring it all can be quite the undertaking; tourist sites dedicated to Maine suggest doing so one region at a time to get the full experience. If you decide to travel the Maine coast, there are plenty of charming, historical beachside towns to discover. Such towns include Old Orchard Beach, where you can explore a seaside amusement park called Palace Playland, and Ogunquit, a traditional lobster and fishing town.

3. Louisiana

At 7,721 miles (though shrinking rapidly), the so-called Cajun Coast has a lot to offer in the way of food, music, and culture, both in New Orleans and in the surrounding area. Grand Isle and Pelican Beach are just two of the most lovely places to enjoy the coastal breeze in the Pelican State.

2. Florida

Given that the state itself is a peninsula with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, it’s no surprise to find Florida on this list with 8,436 miles of coast. Not only that, but much of this coastline is unspoiled, featuring natural beaches where a diverse array of wildlife can gather, seek refuge, and thrive. Of course, there are also some beloved tourist destinations included among Florida’s coastal communities, including Miami along the Gold Coast, the Kennedy Space Center along the Space Coast, and the beachcombing lifestyle of the Florida Keys.

1 Alaska

As the largest state, it makes sense that Alaska has more than four times the coastline of any other state — a whopping 33,904 miles. As a result, this means that no other state offers more opportunity to view the open sea. On top of that, the arctic lifestyle in the country’s northernmost state means that the seaside experience there is unlike any you’ll find elsewhere in the U.S.

For what it’s worth, here is what the list looks like, courtesy of WorldAtlas.com:

Rank US State Coastline Length
1 Alaska 33,904 mi (54,563 km)
2 Florida 8,436 mi (13,576 km)
3 Louisiana 7,721 mi (12,426 km)
4 Maine 3,478 mi (5,597 km)
5 California 3,427 mi (5,515 km)
6 North Carolina 3,375 mi (5,432 km)
7 Texas 3,359 mi (5,406 km)
8 Virginia 3,315 mi (5,335 km)
9 Michigan 3,224 mi (5,189 km)
10 Maryland 3,190 mi (5,130 km)
11 Washington 3,026 mi (4,870 km)
12 South Carolina 2,876 mi (4,628 km)
13 New York 2,625 mi (4,225 km)
14 Georgia 2,344 mi (3,772 km)
15 New Jersey 1,792 mi (2,884 km)
16 Massachusetts 1,519 mi (2,445 km)
17 Oregon 1,410 mi (2,270 km)
18 Hawaii 1,052 mi (1,693 km)
19 Wisconsin 820 mi (1,320 km)
20 Connecticut 618 mi (995 km)
21 Alabama 607 mi (977 km)
22 Rhode Island 384 mi (618 km)
23 Delaware 381 mi (613 km)
24 Mississippi 359 mi (578 km)
25 Ohio 312 mi (502 km)
26 Minnesota 189 mi (304 km)
27 Pennsylvania 140 mi (230 km)
28 New Hampshire 131 mi (211 km)
29 Illinois 63 mi (101 km)
30 Indiana 45 mi (72 km)
 
 

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