Whenever people think about the best beaches in the country, many times their minds drift off to the west coast. Places such as San Diego and Malibu, as well as many others see tourists and guests flock to their shores by the millions every year. 

But what often gets overlooked by those who may not be familiar with the eastern part of the U.S. is the fact that there are also a number of quality beaches in this region. Now, before we go through our favorite surf and sand spots on the east coast, let's take a look at a few of the beach supplies you will need to take with you:

Common Items and Accessories for Beach Trips

There are quite a few things you should make sure you have before heading off for a day at any beach. Some of these items are essential. Sunscreen is one such example and you should get at least an SPF 50+. Neutrogena makes a great less oily ultra-sheer dry touch sunscreen that works really well.  Some type of shade or covering is another. Although many of these places on our list may have a boardwalk and/or retail and dining area, there are still those that may not. 

Then let's not forget that having a beach chair can make the day more enjoyable. Rio makes backpack beach chairs that are absolutely fantastic. This really helps from getting from the parking lot to the beach much easier as you can wear your chair and carry your other beach items.

Additionally, you and your family or friends may simply prefer to enjoy the less crowded and commercialized areas. Regardless of where you go, you will almost assuredly want to bring chairs, ice chests, towels, water, and as always on any trip, a first aid kit. Now, with all of that being understood, let's take a look at a few of the top vacation spots for beach lovers on the east coast:

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is in the middle of a shoreline referred to as the "Grand Strand". This South Carolina tourist area has been in operation since the early 1900s and now attracts over 14 million people each year. Lifeguards patrol the 10-mile long beach during its busy season every year; May 1st through October 1st. People love the entertainment and activities available on the boardwalk and accommodations are available for visitors of all budgets.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

The Guinness Book of World Record's once named Virginia Beach the longest stretch of pleasure beach in the world. The 35-mile beach is located about 20 miles from Norfolk. The boardwalk is a big hit with younger tourists and local students due to its affordable prices. It is packed with shopping outlets and casual dining choices, as well as many other entertainment options. Virginia Beach also plays host to a number of festivals and events each year.

Cape Cod National Seashore: Cape Cod, Massachusetts

While the inner sanctuary of the Cape Cod peninsula houses numerous multi-million-dollar estates, budget-conscious vacationers may choose to opt for the more affordable and less populated beaches on the outer portions of the region known as Cape Cod National Seashore. There are a few very reasonably priced lodging options here which offer cozy and comfortable, rustic summer cabins. 

Ocean City, New Jersey

Ocean City enjoys a particularly favorable reputation among those looking for a more family-friendly beach vacation. This is partially due to the fact it was founded as a Christian summer resort town in the late 1870s by a group of Methodist ministers. It is even known as "America's Greatest Family Resort". The boardwalk hosts Gillian's Wonderland Pier amusement park and offers many fun activities.