These are the best beaches near military towns

Jessica Evans Avatar
(U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Aaron S. Patterson/Released)

Sun! Fun! Sand and beach. If you’re fortunate enough to live at an installation that’s near a beach – or if you’re willing to brave the gas prices and set out on a great American road trip for Labor Day weekend, why not check out this list of the best beaches near military towns?

Hello, Florida!

Topping our list are two installations in Florida. Because, let’s face it – if you’re assigned to Florida, you’re going to need to find a little R&R.

First up is Naval Air Station Key West. If you’re a lucky Sailor, you’ll get stationed at Naval Air Station Key West. The Florida Keys are widely known for being a tropical paradise, complete with white sand beaches and a turquoise sea. Year-round beach weather sure doesn’t hurt either. NAS Key West will have you hoping you are never transferred anywhere else. Year-round tropical weather, soft white sand beaches, and stunning turquoise seas make this joint installation among the most coveted in the country.

Just like Key West, Naval Air Station Pensacola is almost a dream come true. NAS Pensacola sits in Pensacola, Florida, on the Sunshine State’s beautiful panhandle. The base has a private beach to enjoy, though there is plenty more where that came from if you venture around the area. An extra perk of getting stationed here is its relatively low cost of living, despite the prime location. For any beach-lover out there, this installation is the perfect place to land. That’s because this installation boasts it’s own private beach! And, you’ll be looking right out into the Gulf of Mexico. Not too bad compared with some of the other places the DoD can send you.

Cmdr. John Ismach-Eastman, chaplain, takes an opportunity to learn about NAS Pensacola, reflect and enjoy the view while on his lunch break.

South Carolina, here we come

The beaches of South Carolina are stunning, so getting stationed at Joint Base Charleston is right up a beach lover’s alley. The immediate area is home to six beaches, like Folly Beach and Isle of Palms Beach. Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head are not very far either. All in all, the variety of gorgeous coastline will keep you busy in your off-hours.

Virginia is for Lovers

Naval Air Station Norfolk is in Norfolk, Virginia, right on the Atlantic coast. Ocean View Beach is nearby, just off base. If you venture a little further, you will arrive at Virginia Beach, a quaint and lively town with a sprawling beach right in the middle of it. All in all, NAS Norfolk should be on any beach lover’s “dream list.” Besides its stunning beaches, NAS Norfolk is the largest Naval base in the world. That means there’s plenty to see, do, and learn. You can get an up-close look at everything from aircraft to assault shifts, destroyers, and even frigates!

Service members and their families participate in “Clean the Bay Day” at Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex. Chesapeake Bay Foundation hosts “Clean the Bay Day” every year to clear debris from Virginia’s urban, suburban and rural shorelines and waterways. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Billy Ho/Released)

Sunny San Diego

There is no shortage of beaches in San Diego and no shortage of military installations either. Did you know that San Diego is long considered the city with the best weather in the US? So when the DoD sends you off to the west coast, it really might just be a dream come true! While any military assignment in San Diego is a lucky draw, Naval Base Coronado has extra appeal. Beaches line Coronado Island, so you won’t have to drive across town to lie in the sand, soak up the sun, and swim in either the San Diego Bay or the Pacific Ocean. While on base, you can easily fill your time with all kinds of great water sports. Be sure to try your hand at surfing and parasailing – they’re harder than they look!

Hawaii, AKA paradise

Hawaii has some of the best beaches in the world, so count your blessings if you find yourself stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. (Or even if you get assigned to Schofield Barracks!) On the tropical island of Oahu, take your pick of beach styles. Some have giant surfing waves, while others are calmer for taking a peaceful dip. The Marine base even has four of its own private beaches if you’re not in the mood to venture out. No matter where you look, the beaches and surfing are to die for. Be sure to check out the amazing hiking opportunities everywhere. And, the weather there are gorgeous volcano hikes all around, and the warm and sunny weather makes it perfect to spend your free days exploring no matter the time of year. As if all that weren’t enough, being in Honolulu means you get the cultural benefits of a city while still being surrounded by some of the most spectacular nature on the planet.