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Fly to Atlantic and Gulf Coast beach airportsFly to Atlantic and Gulf Coast beach airports

Want a beach getaway? Check out this list of East and Gulf coast airports near the beach.

  • Flightseeing over the coast of Maine is spectacular any time of year. Photo by Jackie Robidoux, @j_robidoux.
  • Atlantic Ocean waves crash onshore at Cape Cod’s Race Point Beach. For the perfect reading accompaniment to a beach getaway, pick up a copy of “Gift from the Sea,” written in 1941 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (yes, that Lindbergh!) a classic series of meditations on life, written during a seaside vacation. Photo by Garret Voight via Flickr.
  • A ring-billed gull off Cape Cod is illuminated by the setting sun. Spending time on Cape Cod? Read “The Outermost House,” a classic of nature writing by Henry Beston. In 1925, Beston lived alone in a tiny house at the southern end of Cape Cod for one year. His book captures the seasons, changing tides, storms, migrating birds, and general beauty of Cape Cod like no other. Photo via Flickr.
  • Aerial view of Elizabeth Field Airport, at the southwest tip of Fishers Island. You’ll find this island between Long Island and the Connecticut coastline. Photo by Daniel Piraino via Flickr.
  • The long barrier islands off the North Carolina coast are perfect for flightseeing. This view is taken looking northeast from Cape Lookout toward Ocracoke. Cape Hatteras lies just beyond. Photo by Richard H. Verdier.
  • Sandpipers explore ORV tracks on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, near the Billy Mitchell Airport. Photo by Michael B. Edwards, courtesy NPS.
  • The “Grand Strand” of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Photo by Stephen Boisvert via Flickr.
  • The Myrtle Beach Skywheel is 187 feet tall, with 42 glass-enclosed, climate-controlled gondolas that each seat 2 to 6 people. Photo by Claire P. via Wikipedia.
  • Just across from Myrtle Beach International Airport, the 6,771-yard Whispering Pines Golf Course provides 200 acres of smooth grass, towering pines, and mature hardwoods. Photo courtesy Whispering Pines.
  • Everglades Airpark couldn’t get much closer to the Gulf Coast without falling in! Be aware that the runway is only 2,400 x 50 feet, there is water at both ends, and crosswinds are common. The local community is very supportive of pilots and happy to assist with transportation, if necessary. Photo courtesy Justin E. Lobb, Collier County Airport Authority.
  • Visitors who take an airboat tour of Everglades National Park are sure to see plenty of wildlife. This brown pelican seems as curious about the tourists as they are about it. Photo by Mike Mahaffie via Flickr.
  • Touring the Everglades mangroves in a fast-moving airboat. Photo by Mike Mahaffie via Flickr.
  • At Venice, Florida, you can stroll along the beach or visit Papa’s Bait and Snack Shop, which has all you need to take advantage of the adjacent 700-foot Venice Fishing Pier—no fishing license needed. Photo by Mathew Ingram via Flickr.
  • Seagulls and a gorgeous sunset at Venice Beach, Florida. Photo by Matthew Paulson via Flickr.

Eastport, Maine: Eastport Municipal Airport is the most easterly airport in the United States. You can walk to the coast from the airport, although it’s more of a rocky coast than a sandy beach. Or grab the airport courtesy car for a good seafood meal, or to visit the museums. Eastport is a town with a long history.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Provincetown Municipal Airport lies at the northern tip of Cape Cod. It’s an easy 200-yard walk to Race Point Beach. In summer, the trolley runs in to town every 30 minutes, or it’s an easy cab ride.

Maine’s Eastport Municipal Airport is the most easterly airport in the U.S. Photo by Jim Lowe.

Fishers Island, New York: Elizabeth Field Airport lies at the southwest tip of Fishers Island, in the Long Island Sound between Long Island and the Connecticut coastline. Grab a courtesy bike to “town” for an ice cream, or take the 20-minute walk. The beaches, a bit rocky, are on the other side of the runways from the aircraft parking.

Montauk, New York: Montauk Airport lies on the extreme northeastern tip of Long Island. The privately owned airport is open to the public, and you can walk to the beach from your airplane. Rick’s Crabby Cowboy Café is right across from the airport and open daily, noon to 10 p.m. They serve great seafood and barbecue, so you can dig into a bowl of chowder or their seafood clambake bowl, or munch on lobster, steamers, oysters, salads, pulled pork sandwiches, and more.

At Venice, Florida, Sharky’s on the Pier is a seafood-focused eatery and tiki bar. Photo courtesy Sharky’s on the Pier.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina: Fly to Billy Mitchell Airport during the day (it’s unattended and unlit), tie down, and walk to the long, beautiful beach. The Frisco campground is right at the beach access point. Look for shorebirds and be aware that sea turtles sometimes come onshore.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Myrtle Beach International Airport is less than a mile from the famous Grand Strand beach. Grab the FBO courtesy car, rental car, or walk. You can swim, sun, or take a ride around the Skywheel, a 187-foot-tall Ferris wheel next to the Boardwalk and Plyler Park. The Whispering Pines Golf Course and Family Kingdom Amusement Park and Splashes Oceanfront Water Park are right between the airport and the ocean, near the Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort.

Everglades City, Florida: Fly to Everglades Airpark, where you can rent a bike or just get a ride to Triad Seafood, known for their stone crab claws. In fact, most of the local businesses are happy to pick you up—that includes the airboat tour companies. Take an airboat tour and look for alligators and manatees, or charter a fishing boat and fish for snook and tarpon. The airpark is less than a mile north of the National Park Service Visitor Center, where you can rent canoes or kayaks, get camping permits, or take a 90-minute, ranger-led boat tour of the 10,000 Islands Preserve. You also can get a tour from the folks at the cottages across from the airport, or just camp right at the airport. There’s not a big, wide, sandy beach, but there are small areas nearby with beach access.

Venice, Florida: Although Venice Municipal Airport is right next to the coastline, airport fencing prevents you from walking directly to the beach. So, it’s a 1.2-mile walk to the beach from your tiedown at Suncoast Air Center. Venice beachcombers like to look for shark’s teeth. Directly between the airport and the beach you’ll find the Lake Venice Golf Club. Walk in any time, no tee time reservations needed. Twenty-seven holes, plus a practice range, pro shop, and grill room, are open to the public. Venice Boat Rentals has kayaks, snorkeling equipment, and more. The FBO doesn’t have a courtesy car, but you can reserve a rental car to explore the area further.

A rider enjoys the solitude of a Maine beach. A shoreline flightseeing trip is a great way to exercise your freedom to fly. Photo by Jackie Robidoux, @j_robidoux.
Crista Worthy

Crista Videriksen Worthy

Crista Videriksen Worthy has been flying around the United States with her pilot-husband Fred and their children since 1995, and writing about fun places to fly since 2006. She has single-engine land and sea ratings. Her favorite places to explore are the backcountry strips of Idaho and Utah's red rock country. She currently lives in Idaho and serves as editor of The Flyline, the monthly publication of the Idaho Aviation Association. To suggest future destination articles, send an email to [email protected]
Topics: US Travel

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