Beaches are among the world's most popular travel destinations. As a beach vacation typically features sunny skies, pleasant stretches of sand, and rolling waves, they area great spot to relax and enjoy the warm weather, as well as numerous water sports. Great beaches are found all over the world, and each destination is unique. Whether you’re headed to French Polynesia and Australia, the East and West coasts of the US, South America, or Africa, there will be fine options for spending time in the sand. The variety of beaches and locations make for a great weekend trip or superb week long getaway across the globe—it just depends on what you’re looking for.

Coastal Beach
Coastal Beach

It will take a little research to choose the best destination for your trip, but as it will depend on where you are, where you want to go, and the type of beach you are looking for. Some beaches are more secluded and ideal for relaxing, while others are livelier, packed full of people, sports, and activities. There are family-friendly beaches in most destinations, but some also have nudist beaches as well. Many beaches are safe for swimming, snorkeling, or surfing, but some have rougher waters and are meant for just relaxing on the sand.

The East Coast and West Coast beaches in North America come in a wide range, and some are less tropical than what traditional beach-lovers would like, but they still provide great options for those looking to spend some time in the son. The northern part of the East Coast only receives a few months of good beach weather each year, making the majority of beaches quite crowded as soon as it warms up. The Mid-Atlantic and Southern parts of the East Coast are blessed with more mild temperatures and a larger number of beaches, and parts of the South, such as Florida, are particularly known for its snowbirds, travelers who escape the cold winters in other parts of the country. The West Coast mirrors somewhat what the East Coast has to offer. The varying weather of the Pacific Northwest gives Oregon and Washington only a few months of beach weather, but Southern California in particular boasts sunny skies and warm temperatures year-round.

Just south of the border lie the beach hot-spots of Mexico. From all-inclusive resorts and a variety of water sports to quaint, coastal beach towns this area offers a plethora of choices. The warm temperatures throughout the year make it a great destination for those looking to soak up some rays. Cozumel, Cancun, and Cabo San Lucas tend to be the most popular destinations in Mexico with their unparalleled beach culture and large expanses of beach. Although these spots are a draw for spring breakers, the rest of the year sees friends, families and couples staying at these beach resorts. Due east of Mexico is the Caribbean, famous for its palm trees, white sand, turquoise waters and luxurious beach resorts. The Caribbean is the popular go-to beach spot for Americans and those taking a cruise. The variety of islands and beach space here allow travelers to find the ideal beach to suit all of their travel desires. The Bahamas, Aruba, St. Thomas, and the Dominican Republic are easily some of the busiest beach destinations in the Caribbean. Atlantis, situated on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, is a beach playground with acres of forest and beach to explore. Magen's Bay in St. Thomas is one of the most secluded, romantic and idyllic beaches in the world. Situated away from the droves of tourists, the bay is a pristine getaway. The Dominican Republic is famous for its all-inclusive resorts and great bargains. Punta Cana and Puerto Plata are two of the best destinations with plenty of beach and year-round sunshine.

Africa is often not thought of as a great beach destination, but visitors will see that the African beaches are well worth a visit. South Africa is home to the most famous and vibrant beaches that Africa has to offer. With cities near by, beautiful people and a long list of restaurants, shops and activities to choose from, one will never be bored. Clifton Beach, near the popular Cape Town area, and South Beach, on the outskirts of Durban, are two of the best beaches in South Africa. Off the coast of Africa lies the Seychelles, an absolutely idyllic string of islands that provides unspoiled natural beauty and calm waters. The Seychelles are on the more expensive side for a beach vacation, but they are well worth the splurge if you want a secluded sunning trip.

Southeast Asia and the areas surrounding Australia are also known for their marvelous beaches. The warm weather here stays in place year-round and attracts visitors from all over the globe. French Polynesia and its famous islands of Bora Bora and Tahiti are popular honeymoon spots with over-water beach huts and a tropical vibe, while Fiji is also popular for its traditional culture and lush, unspoiled landscape. Australia is loaded with beaches due to its lengthy coastline and is home to some of the best surf in the world. The beaches here are loaded with locals and tourists who look to escape the routine of every day life and just enjoy the sun and water.

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