31 can't-miss U.S. beaches

Story highlights

  • There's still time to enjoy United States coastal and lake shores
  • There are lovely swimming spots all over the country
  • Lower gas prices mean it's more affordable to drive to many beaches

The crash of the waves on the shore, the sand beneath your toes and even the smell of suntan lotion are still calling your name.

No matter that there are too few summer days left. There's still time to squeeze in a trip to a U.S. coastal or lake beach, lay out a towel and enjoy the fading sounds of summer.

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And it's getting cheaper to drive there. For those wanting to hit the road, gas prices for many travelers are the lowest they've been at this time of year since 2010, according to AAA. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline was $3.44 per gallon heading into the Labor Day weekend. Last year the price of gas on Labor Day was $3.59.

Surf's way up in Southern California

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    Surf's way up in Southern California

Surf's way up in Southern California 02:48
Wanna get away? Five really hot beaches

    Just Watched

    Wanna get away? Five really hot beaches

Wanna get away? Five really hot beaches 00:49

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Why not drive to California, Florida or Massachusetts? Or head to peaceful water-focused havens in Oregon, Michigan, Virginia or Washington? Or maybe it's time to break the bank and go to Hawaii, where the beaches are some of the loveliest in the world.

Risking his life for the perfect wave

Click through the gallery to see a collection of America's loveliest and most intriguing beaches. What would you add to the list?

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