US States With The Longest Coastlines

By Lisa Medeiros on June 4 2020 in Geography

Northern lights of the Alaskan coastline, shutterstock
Northern lights of the Alaskan coastline, shutterstock
  • The longest coastline in the United States is that of Alaska which runs 33,904 mi (54,563 km).
  • Many believe that California's coastline would be the second largest in the United States but Florida's is the second.
  • New Hampshire has the smallest coastline, at a mere 45 mi (72 km).

The coastline is the length of land bordering the sea or ocean. Measuring the length of a coastline is a complex process as coastlines are usually highly indented. The length also keeps changing due to the action of tides, sea levels, volcanic activities, and flooding. Every coastal country in the world has one or more coastlines while landlocked countries lack coastlines. The United States has the eighth longest coastline among the countries of the world. It has a coastline of 95,471 miles. There are more than 15 states in the United States with coastlines exceeding 1,000 miles.

1. Alaska

With 6,640 miles of coastline, Alaska not only boasts the longest coastline but is also the largest state within the US. All that room to spread out makes Alaska the most sparkly populated state and one of the smallest state economies in the country. Its coastline encompasses a variety of bodies of water to make up its 6,640 miles of coastline. 

2. Florida

Most visitors to the Sunshine State decide between the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico for their beach getaway, but Florida is actually split into ten coastal regions. First Coast is the first area to be discovered and colonized and is the first stop from travelers heading into Florida from the North. Space Coast is home to Kennedy Space Center, and Treasure Coast is named after Spanish ships loaded with treasures that sank in the area centuries ago. Gold Coast is the most affluent area of Florida, and Lee Island Coast is where the state’s barrier islands are found. Artists and musicians flock to Cultural Coast, and Sun Coast received the most days of sunshine. Forgotten Coast is quiet, and Emerald Coast is known for its majestic blue-green waters off the Panhandle. 

3. California

The coastline of California is known as Coastal California, California Coastline, and the Golden Coast. Topping the bucket list of many travelers is a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to experience all the beauty this area has to offer. From Big Sur, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach to San Diego, the route is one of the most scenic drives in America. 

4. Hawaii

Over nine million visitors each year flock to Hawaii for a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience. Hawaii has the fourth longest coastline in the US and is known for its white sandy beaches, volcanic landscape, mountain ranges, and hidden waterfalls. 

5. Louisiana

Louisiana’s coastline is 397 miles long, making it the fifth-longest coastline in the US, but for most, Louisiana doesn’t come to mind when planning a beach vacation. Grand Isle is a seaside barrier island town and the state’s most famous beach. With soft sandy beaches, unique bird-watching opportunities, and close proximity to Crescent City, it’s sure to be a memorable getaway. 

6. Texas

With 367 miles of coastline and year-round mild temperatures is no wonder Texas is a popular beach destination. Padre Island is one of Texas’s most popular beach locations. Well-known for Spring Breakers, the island does have quieter spots for those seeking a relaxing getaway. Galveston Island may not be known for its pristine beaches but offer a selection of local attractions sure to please travelers to the area. Take a relaxing walk through Moody Gardens or visit Galveston Seawall, the largest contiguous sidewalk in the world. 

7. North Carolina

North Carolina is home to over 300 miles of coastline. The state is well-known for its barrier island beaches where visitors can watch both the sunrise as well as the sunset. With a host of state parks, eateries, and golf courses, beachgoers return to North Carolina year after year. 

8. Oregon

With just under 300 miles of Oregon coastline to explore, visitors to the pacific northwest can experience the Southern Coast, Central Coast, and Northern Coast. This section of the US offers peaceful beaches and majestic views of the Pacific Ocean from its rocky coast. With plenty of seaside villages and hiking trails to explore, there’s something for everyone on an Oregon coastal getaway. 

9. Maine

Whether visiting Maine to explore Arcadia National Park, relax by its many lakes and rivers, or planning a fun-filled lobster boat outing, Maine, with its picturesque coastline, does not disappoint. Offering four seasons of outdoor adventure and recreation, Maine is a top travel destination for any outdoor enthusiast. 

10. Massachusetts

Known as The Bay State it's no surprise Massachusetts ranks as one of the states with the largest coastline. Stretching from New Hampshire to the North and bordering Rhode Island to the South, Massachusetts offers a variety of travel destinations, each guaranteeing a memorable travel experience. Whether you choose North Shore, South Shore, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket Island, or plan to travel them all, Massachusetts will be a vacation to remember. 

US States With The Longest Coastlines

RankUS StateCoastline Length
1Alaska33,904 mi (54,563 km)
2Florida8,436 mi (13,576 km)
3Louisiana7,721 mi (12,426 km)
4Maine3,478 mi (5,597 km)
5California3,427 mi (5,515 km)
6North Carolina3,375 mi (5,432 km)
7Texas3,359 mi (5,406 km)
8Virginia3,315 mi (5,335 km)
9Michigan3,224 mi (5,189 km)
10Maryland3,190 mi (5,130 km)
11Washington3,026 mi (4,870 km)
12South Carolina2,876 mi (4,628 km)
13New York2,625 mi (4,225 km)
14Georgia2,344 mi (3,772 km)
15New Jersey1,792 mi (2,884 km)
16Massachusetts1,519 mi (2,445 km)
17Oregon1,410 mi (2,270 km)
18Hawaii1,052 mi (1,693 km)
19Wisconsin820 mi (1,320 km)
20Connecticut618 mi (995 km)
21Alabama607 mi (977 km)
22Rhode Island384 mi (618 km)
23Delaware381 mi (613 km)
24Mississippi359 mi (578 km)
25Ohio312 mi (502 km)
26Minnesota189 mi (304 km)
27Pennsylvania140 mi (230 km)
28New Hampshire131 mi (211 km)
29Illinois63 mi (101 km)
30Indiana45 mi (72 km)

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