Best Beach Trips

The best beach trips in the United States can take you to the beaches of the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean, from the sun-drenched beaches in Southern California to the rocky coast of Maine, and the near-tropical beaches on the east and west coasts of Florida. There are plenty of options abroad as well, and some of the best beach trips around the world are in such exotic places as Seychelles, the coastline and islands in Thailand, and along the coast of Chile.

Many of the top beach vacation destinations in the world are in Hawaii, including Hamoa Beach in Maui and Kahanamoku Beach in Oahu. Both made the annual list of best beaches in America in 2010, created by Florida International University, but in addition, there are plenty of other great spots for surfing, snorkeling, and sunbathing on these islands and on Kauai, the Big Island, Lanai, and Molokai.

If you’re looking for East Coast vacations in the US, North Carolina is a terrific option. Cape Hatteras, in the Outer Banks, is also high on many best beaches lists, offers plenty of opportunities for swimming and fishing in the pleasant waters of the Atlantic, and also has some of the best surfing on the coast. Quaint hotels and motels along the Outer Banks area provide comfortable accommodations; this area can be a real bargain if you’re looking for a cheap vacation at the beach.

One of the top options around New England is Coopers Beach in Southhampton, New York. Located in the southern portion of Long Island, the beach is small, clean, uncluttered, and family friendly with a variety of bed and breakfasts, motels, suites, and condominiums. The classic beach options for West Coast vacations, along the California coast, are also well worth considering, particularly if your vacation isn’t in the peak beach season. For instance, Monterey State Beach is one of the best places for a beach vacation as it is family friendly, ideal for beach volleyball, and has excellent water conditions for surfers, scuba divers, and kayakers.

Internationally, Arica Chile experiences one of the lowest rainfall levels of any area in the Western Hemisphere and has beautiful beaches such as Chinchorro, La Lisera, and El Laucho that provide plenty of sun, surf, and sand year-round. Viña del Mar is another popular Chilean destination, and one of the perks of a Southern Hemisphere vacation is the option to take a summer vacation during your own winter.

Along the KwaZulu-Natal coast of South Africa in Durban, travelers have access to surfing and swimming at South Beach, one of the best beaches in the area. For more adventurous traveler, Sandy Key is the unofficial beach for nudists and at Boulders Beach, beachgoers can observe the resident African penguins.

Beach Vacation Houses

Beach Houses
Beach Houses

Beach houses are a good alternative to beachfront hotels for a range of reasons. Firstly, there can be restrictions to building developments on beaches, so hotels are often crammed on one length of beach, while stretches of beautiful sand with no tourists are left untouched. If you rent a vacation house, especially if it is privately owned, you're more likely to be able to access these beaches outside of the tourist zone. Beach house rentals can also be great for those who are particular about food, or people who want to cook for themselves, as most beach homes have kitchens. Popular beach destinations, such as the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii and Spain, have mouth-watering regional food, and vacationers who rent beach houses are free to shop at the local markets where they can really get to know the local ingredients. And when a break from preparing your own meals is in order, you can always venture out to the area restaurants, provided that you aren't staying well away from society.

Beach House Vacation
Beach House Vacation

There are a number of destinations that rank among the best to find great beach vacation houses. The Caribbean is a popular beach vacation home destination. There is a huge range of beach homes on the islands. If you're looking for luxury vacation homes, Barbados has some superb villas, owned by the upscale resorts on these islands, such as the One and Only Club on Paradise Island.

Another great destination is the East Coast of the US, just about anywhere from Maine to Florida. One of the hottest spots for beach houses, though, is Myrtle Beach, which has some of the best luxury vacation houses and oceanfront villas on the coastline, some of which offer exclusive golf packages for the Myrtle Beach National Golf Course. For those on a slightly tighter budget, Florida beach houses may be a good bet. Miami Beach plays host to a good selection of mid-range condos, some of which have a large number of bedrooms, making this popular beach a perfect family holiday destination.

Of course, some vacationers head for the beach to party. If you're looking to let your hair down, Cancun is a buzzing hot spot, with plenty of beach house rentals to choose from. Cancun is a happening destination all year round, and is a regular stop for Caribbean cruises, and an embarkation point for hundreds of booze cruises that circle around the nearby islands and take you to the world-famous clubs in the area.

Beach Condos & Villas

Beach Condos
Beach Condos

Beach condos provide a place to stay with a view. With a condo rental just steps from the shore, you'll have a nice place to relax, complete with a kitchen, separate bedrooms, and plenty of place to stretch out. Negril Beach, one of Jamaica's best beaches, offers views of nearly endless blue skies and the clear waters Caribbean Sea, lined by a ribbon of white sand. The Negril Beach Club features twenty strategically located vacation rentals right along this slice of paradise.

While the islands of the Caribbean are home to many great stretches of sand and sun, they're not the only places to look for beach condo rentals. Florida, from the beaches of Jacksonville in the north to Key West some 400 miles to the south is lined by a bevy of beautiful beaches. If you're looking to dip your toes in the Gulf of Mexico, or go for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean, you'll find plenty of Florida condos that can serve as a home base for your vacation.

Of course, cheap condos are easy to find in resort properties in Florida and other sunny places. Along the Gulf Coast of Texas, South Padre Island is a popular spring break destination, but it's a pleasant getaway in any season. Here, there is a mix of available beach properties. If you're in the market for a beach condo for sale, you'll certainly find plenty of choices.

Beach Villas
Beach Villas

Beach villas offer access to sand, surf, and sun and the ease that turns a trip into a getaway from everyday cares. A beach villa in Bali, while a world away from a Caribbean villa, has a lot of common with its counterpart a half world away. Both of these seaside hideaways offer privacy and beautiful views in abundance. This island, a part of Indonesia, gained attention with Eat, Pray, Love, but vacationers have been enjoying this beautiful place long before the book was written or the movie began filming. Life seems to move at a slower place here, but that doesn't mean you won't find your share of gourmet restaurants and shopping boutiques, especially close to Kuta Beach. Many of the resorts include beachfront accommodations in view of Kuta or Nusa Dua beaches in their list of options. When you stay at a beach villa in Bali that's part of a resort, you'll have all the privacy that villas afford with all that resort has to offer, just steps from the lovely beaches. It's the best of both worlds, a world away from home-and the ordinary.

Beach Wedding Packages

Beach Wedding Packages
Beach Wedding Packages

Some couples want to plan a destination wedding, but don’t want to drag all their friends and family to an international location. The compromise is a beach wedding in Florida. In the Sunshine State, you won’t have to wait for the summer to get married in the pleasant temperatures. It is possible to get married in Florida almost year-round under sunny, warm skies. There are many popular places for a beach wedding in Florida including Miami, Naples, the Florida Keys, and more. Receptions work the same way as it would at home, generally you pay a fee per guest. The packages also offer discounted rates on hotels, and typically, the bridge and groom stay in the honeymoon suite for free on their wedding night.

Other couples will think that the best beach wedding spots are a bit more exotic. For this, there is no better place than Hawaii to tie the knot. Dramatic cliffs, sugary white beaches, and spectacular sunsets are sure to make your special day even more memorable. Resorts in Hawaii specialize in beach wedding packages, and they’re experts at taking care of the all the details from flowers to food to music. Wedding planners are often part of the staff at the top resorts and they will ensure that your destination wedding goes smoothly. While each couple will have their own opinion on the best beach wedding spots in Hawaii, people love the romantic island of Maui with its gorgeous resorts.

Another popular place for beach wedding packages is the Caribbean. Throughout the Caribbean there are endless options for every type of couple. Whether you want to plan an extravagant wedding with 300 guests or an intimate wedding with 20 guests on a secluded island, the Caribbean will deliver. With a wedding in the Caribbean, couples might have a hard time narrowing down the options. One way to narrow down the choices is by considering where they would like to take their honeymoons, and also where their guests would enjoy a vacation. For example, an island like the Bahamas or Aruba that has more nightlife, casinos, and dining might be more enjoyable for a wedding party than an isolated island with no entertainment.

Beach Honeymoons

Beach Honeymoons
Beach Honeymoons

Beach honeymoons are the most popular choice for newlyweds, by a landslide. They’re romantic, scenic, and a great way to relax after the stress of planning a wedding. The list of top beach honeymoon destinations fluctuates every year, but islands of the Caribbean are always included. This is where newlyweds will want to do their research, as sometimes cheap honeymoons at the beach can be enticing, but might not deliver the experience you’re looking for. Some islands are perfect for families while others are noted for their romantic atmosphere and sophistication. Choose from smaller, more intimate islands including St Lucia, St Thomas, and Antigua. These islands offer resorts that were designed for couples, and often are adults-only properties. In this kind of environment, you are guaranteed the landscape to relax.

The coastline of Mexico is also typically included in a list of the top beach honeymoon destinations. These resorts offer a combination of cuisine, culture, and nightlife that other popular honeymoon destinations just don’t deliver on. Couples who are seeking cheap honeymoons at the beach might also find options in Mexico. Resorts in Mexico offer a range of options to suit different budgets, and couples will get great value for their money. And beautiful destinations such as Cancun and Cozumel have packages that cater specifically to honeymooning couples

Beach Resorts & Timeshares

Beach Timeshares
Beach Timeshares

Beach timeshares are available in many popular destinations around the United States. Florida and Hawaii timeshares are particularly popular. Additionally, a Virginia Beach timeshare or a timeshare in Myrtle Beach will hold their value quite well in comparison to other places, even during difficult financial times. This is because these areas are reliably popular vacation destinations and many of the timeshares available here are located in luxury resort complexes that are in high demand throughout the year. As in Hawaii and Florida, look for respected franchises like Marriott, Westin, Hilton, Hyatt, and Starwood. In all cases, be wary of time pressure to make your decision, offers that sound "too good to be true," and companies that guarantee they can resell your purchase at a later date. If you aren't in the market to purchase, timeshares offer wonderful accommodations for those looking for vacation rentals, especially as many offer many of the facilities and services of luxury hotels, including multiple swimming pools, dining options, fitness centers and full-service spas, and even housekeeping service.

Beach Resorts
Beach Resorts

Some of the best resort vacations can be had on the East Coast of the US, particularly in Florida. The Florida Keys are known for their great resorts, and for families, the Cheeca Lodge and Spa Resort in Islamorada in the Florida Keys is one of the best beach resorts. This luxurious destination allows guests to indulge in the turquoise waters of the Keys, relax on the private beach, enjoy a couples' massage, or play a round of golf on the resort’s 9-hole course. Cheeca Lodge offers vacation packages and specials for every taste and itinerary from their romance package to the family snorkeling vacation package.

Also in the Florida Keys, the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort on Longboat Key provides a luxury beach resort vacation in one of the most beautiful areas of Florida. Located near Sarasota and the barrier islands, this is one of the best environments for outdoor activities around the water, and vacationers can go snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, and sport fishing. Museums, botanical gardens, and state parks are all within easy driving distance from Longboat Key.

On the West Coast, a great option for a luxury beach resort vacation is Santa Catalina Island, better known as Catalina. The Catalina Canyon Resort and Spa is one of the best beach resorts in California, and it’s the only true resort on the island. The rooms include private balconies or patios, access to the lush garden courtyard, and high-quality furniture and amenities. It also has one of the only day spas on the island.

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