Best Beach Vacations

Beach Vacation
Beach Vacation

The best beach vacations are among the most popular of all vacation experiences. From bustling resorts to secluded quiet shores, beach vacations around the world include everything from the jet-set shores of the French Riviera to the family friendly shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and the exotic coral beaches of Zanzibar. Whether it is action-packed adventures or exquisite peaceful respite in the warmth of the sun, affordable bungalows or luxury spa resorts, beach travel provides a broad range of activities for vacationers of every variety.

Best Beach Vacations in the US – Caribbean – Mexico

Best Beach Vacations in the US – Caribbean – Mexico
Best Beach Vacations in the US – Caribbean – Mexico

The coast of California provides a variety of beaches of all types, beginning with the rugged Mendocino coast north of San Francisco and extending all the way south past San Diego and to the Mexican border. The beaches around Los Angeles and San Francisco are among the most popular, offering great surfing and numerous other water sports. The Malibu, Venice, and Santa Monica beaches additionally offer the possibility of spotting celebrities, and only minutes away, you will find glamorous Beverly Hills and hip Hollywood. The warm waters around San Diego lap up onto beautiful beaches that are easily accessible to the historic Gaslamp Quarter, the world-famous San Diego Zoo, and exciting Seaworld.

Along the Florida shores are some of the most beautiful and popular beaches in the United States, including South Beach with a lively atmosphere of activity and entertainment, Sanibel Island, offering the best shell hunting in the region, and the Florida Keys, a paradise immortalized by Jimmy Buffet and Ernest “Papa” Hemingway. Here also, you will find some of the most popular attractions in the country, including Disneyworld, the Everglades, and the famous Kennedy Space Center. From Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard to Southampton, Myrtle Beach, and the pristine Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Eastern Seaboard is dappled with scores of lovely beaches.

Another premier beach vacation destination is Hawaii, with busting streches of sand like Waikiki and the secluded black sand beaches of Maui. The Caribbean Islands offer a plethora of sandy shores, like the Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman, Trunk Bay on St. John of the U. S. Virgin Islands, and Palm Beach of Aruba. The Yucatan Peninsula is one of the most popular destinations for many vacationers, with beaches such as Cozumel, Tulum, and of course, Cancun. Enchanting is a very appropriate description for the beaches of Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco on Mexico’s Pacific shores. And, of course, don’t forget the deep sea fishing meccas of Cabo San Lucas and La Paz on the Baja Peninsula.

Best Beach Vacations in Europe

Best Beach Vacations in Europe
Best Beach Vacations in Europe

More beach vacations around the world can be had on one of the many beautiful Greek Islands, including popular Mykonos, one of the hottest destinations for gay travelers; Santorini, with its with its picturesque whitewashed villages spilling down steep cliffs; and Crete, with its ancient Minoan ruins. France offers the glittering Riviera, with its glamorous yachts and equally glamorous jet setters. One of the world’s most famous casinos is located in Monte Carlo, and Cannes hosts one of the world’s most important film festivals. The Balearic Islands (Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza, and Formentera) and the Costa del Sol on the mainland provide the best beaches of Mediterranean Spain. Known as the Algarve, the southern tip of Portugal promises a bounty of clean sandy shores. Scenic ruins and lovely beaches claim the shores of Mediterranean Turkey, christened as the Turquoise Coast.

Best Beach Vacations in Asia

Best Beach Vacations in Asia
Best Beach Vacations in Asia

Popular Ko Muk, Phuket, and stunningly gorgeous Ko Phi Phi of Thailand repeatedly appear on lists of the best beaches in Asia. Vietnam also has wonderful beaches, from historic China Beach to hauntingly beautiful Halong Bay and the dive capital of Nha Trang. All along the coast of Goa in and along the coasts of Mumbai and Chennai in India, you will find numerous magnificent beaches. In Malaysia, Langkawi beaches are known as the nation’s finest, with Pantai Cenang being the most visited. 

Best Beach Vacations in South America

Best Beach Vacations in South America
Best Beach Vacations in South America

Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world will be found in Brazil. The country’s Atlantic coastline is extremely long, and great beaches abound. You can choose the famous city beaches of Rio de Janeiro, like Ipanema and Copacabana. Or you can head to Bahia State to choose from hundreds of beaches and experience a taste of the region’s rich African history. South of Rio de Janeiro are some of the most secluded and beautiful beaches in the country, and you can even find idyllic beaches along the mighty Amazon River - usually accessed on Amazon River cruises. For more Caribbean beaches, you may want to look at Venezuela. The beaches of the Galapagos Islands lying off the coast of Ecuador offer pristine beaches with crystal clear waters where you can snorkel with penguins, golden rays, seals, and even marine iguanas in a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Best Beach Vacations in Africa

Best Beach Vacations in Africa
Best Beach Vacations in Africa

Egypt boasts great Mediterranean beaches around Alexandria as well as superb beaches on the Red Sea around Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh. Also known as the Swahili Coast, the Kenya and Tanzania shores are where several cultures collide, creating a melting pot and a popular destination with gorgeous beaches. In Kenya, the most popular beaches will be found around Mombasa. In Tanzania, most beachgoers head to the exotic Spice Island of Zanzibar. Further out in the Indian Ocean you will find the beaches of Seychelles, which are all on islands, Beau Vallon being the most visited. South Africa offers fabulous beaches from Cape Town at the foot of beautiful Table Mountain all the way to Durban. The beaches here are famous surfing spots. Mozambique also has lovely long stretches of Indian Ocean beaches, and on the other side of the continent, Namibia offers beaches that line the sands of the Namib Desert and are almost all protected as national parks.

Best Beach Vacations in Australia & Pacific

Best Beach Vacations in Australia & Pacific
Best Beach Vacations in Australia & Pacific

The southern hemisphere is said to offer some of the best beaches in the world. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia offers a number of sandy islands and shores, from Lady Eliot Island to Whitehaven Beach and Dunk Island. This area is world famous for its superb coral snorkeling and scuba diving. In Sydney and along the Gold Coast, travelers will find Kirra Beach, the area’s most famous surfing beach, Coolangatta, among the most lovely, and Broadbeach for families. Here, surf lovers come from around the world for what is reputed to be some of the world’s best surfing. Dozens upon dozens of enchanting shores line the Pacific Islands, among the popular destinations for beach vacations around the world, including those of Fiji, the Cook Islands, Samoa, and French Polynesia.

Beach Vacation Ideas

Beach Vacation Ideas
Beach Vacation Ideas

Florida might be one of the most popular winter getaways—but this is for good reason. Destinations such as Miami and Naples will never go out of style, but now there are more choices than ever about where to either rent a beach villa or stay in a charming hotel. This year, research to get outside of your Florida comfort zone. Some beach trip ideas beyond the usual suspects in Florida include St Petersburg (with its fantastic bird sanctuary), Vero Beach (for treasure hunting), Sanibel Island (for travelers who love collecting shells), and Siesta Key (for its pure-white sand). These and many more options continue to make the Sunshine State one of the best places for a winter getaway.

Some travelers might be surprised to learn that a few of the best beaches to visit have remained under the radar of the travel industry. For example, if you’re planning a city break to Savannah Georgia, it is also possible to take a drive out to nearby Tybee Island for a day on the beautiful beach. Small towns along the Outer Banks of North Carolina might be better known, but have remained intimate in size. The coastline from Florida through the Carolinas is full of small beach towns where you can soak up the sun and go for a long walk. These beach vacation ideas are often passed over for their lack of glitz, but some travelers will find that to be the attraction, and destinations such as Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach are well developed and cater to the tourism industry.

Looking for beach trip ideas that will take you farther away? Think about Hawaii. Skip the Big Island and Maui in favor of some of the lesser known spots. Get off the beaten path and head for Lanai or Oahu; you can hop in a rental car and explore the dramatic coastlines and quiet beaches of these islands.

Sometimes the best beaches to visit are the ones that are closest to home. This summer, give your local beaches a try and make a reservation for a rental far in advance. The beaches of New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Delaware all offer beautiful shorelines without having to travel far from home. With all the money you will save on travel expenses you can splurge on restaurants, new beach activities, or shopping. Wherever you decide to put your beach chair this year, remember your sunscreen and a good novel to pass the time!

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