With Memorial Day just a month away, several beaches within driving distance of the Hudson Valley have been named the best in the nation. Which one will you be visiting this summer?

There are two types of Hudson Valley people. Those who enjoy spending time at the lake, and those who prefer the ocean. I happen to be one of the latter. To me, it's not summer unless I'm spending at least some of those warm days at the shore. There's nothing that compares to the smell of salt air, the sounds of waves crashing on the beach and the feel of sand between your toes.

Travel + Leisure recently published their list of the 25 best beaches in America and luckily, several of these incredible vacation destinations are driveable from the Hudson Valley. While the list isn't ranked, all of the beaches from across the nation have been deemed the best by the magazine's editors.

So if you're planning on hitting the surf this summer, perhaps you'll want to check out one of the best beaches in the country.

Jersey Shore Beaches Open For Season On Memorial Day Weekend
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Asbury Park Beach, New Jersey

With so many beautiful New Jersey beaches, you may be wondering why Asbury Park was named the best of the best. This classic Jersey Shore destination celebrated by Bruce Springsteen in the 1970s slowly went into decline and remained a wasteland for several decades. Now, Asbury Park has emerged as the quintessential boardwalk community. Artsy cafes, fancy restaurants and family-friendly beaches have made it the fastest-growing beach community in New Jersey.

New London, Connecticut
Connecticut Tourism Department

Ocean Beach Park, Connecticut

This New London beach claims to have the "finest sugar sand beach and attractions" in all of New England. Gentle waves, a manicured half-mile beach and tons of attractions make Ocean Beach Park a popular family destination. The beach has a boardwalk with rides, an arcade, miniature golf and even an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

New York City Beaches Re-Open Memorial Day Weekend After Hurricane Sandy
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Coney Island Beach, New York

The editors at Travel + Leisure call Coney Island the "perfect seaside wonderland of nostalgia and kitschy fun". From the original Nathan's Hot Dog stand to rides like the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone, Coney Island is a living breathing slice of New York history. Just a subway ride away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, this Brooklyn beach is a summer oasis.

Rockaway Beach, New York
NYC Parks Department

Rockaway Beach, New York

Known for its massive five-mile boardwalk and huge sandy beach, Rockaway Beach in Queens is where New Yorkers head to cool off when the mercury rises. If you're not one of those people who can sit still for too long, Rockaway Beach offers plenty of activities. From volleyball courts to a skate park and playgrounds, even the most restless beachgoers will find something to keep themselves busy.

Glaring Omissions From Travel + Leisure's List of Best Beaches

While the rest of the list does include some incredible beaches across the United States like Ocean City in Maryland and Good Harbor Beach in Massachusettes, we think that there are a few local beaches that should have also been recognized as the best. The fact that only one New Jersey beach made the top 25 is almost criminal. From the excitement of Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant to the serenity of Cape May and Long Beach Island, New Jersey certainly has more to offer than just Asbury Park.

Best Beaches

Connecticut also has some fabulous beaches from Hammonasset State Park to the rocky Campo Beach. As for New York, Long Island was completely overlooked in this category. Jones Beach, Fire Island, Cooper's Beach, Long Beach and plenty of other shoreline destinations could easily have been on the list.

What do you think? Was your favorite area beach omitted from the list? Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page or by sending us a text on our mobile app.

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