Perhaps you have your favorite beach and possibly I have mine, but there are many beaches around us that may interest you. Being in Arizona, we are many miles from the Pacific Ocean, but just a day’s drive gives us a selection of fine California locations.
The San Diego area has some 70 miles of wonderful waves and sand. La Jolla Shores is one of the best in Southern California. Coronado’s beaches stretch 1-1/2 miles with fine homes in the background and the famed Coronado Hotel, which is more than 100 years old now. The water along the Pacific is not warm as that in Florida, so you may want a wet suit.
North of San Diego are the fine beaches in Carlsbad and Oceanside and further north in the Los Angeles area is Laguna Beach, one of Orange County’s most fashionable towns, which is also culturally rich.
Newport Beach is for the jet-setter contingent, with fine docking space for the zillion dollar yachts that spend summers there. Here, the trendy surfing set hangs out as well as the sunbathers. All along the coast are affordable motels and hotels as well as high-end spas and resorts.
Hermosa Beach takes pride in its abundance of outdoor beach activities that include surfing and swimming. Bike riding is popular as well as roller skating, jogging and strolling. At night, the Strand is a great people-watching spot.
Catalina Island is located 22 miles off the Southern California coast and you may take water taxis there from Long Beach and Los Angeles harbors. This is a small island with a myriad of outdoor activities in and around the town of Avalon. There is a fine beach facing the town, which is convenient. There are a couple nice restaurants that feature seafood and several bars. You’ll find small motels and a couple hotels for overnight stays. You can see the underwater gardens from a glass-bottom boat, do some deep-sea fishing and go horseback riding along the shoreline and mountain paths.
Bordering Los Angeles is Venice Beach, which attracts all kinds of people. Surfers, preening weightlifters, sand sculptors, an Ocean Front Walk, stores and a flea market and bars and fast-food spots.
Just north of here is Santa Monica where there is never a shortage of seaside fun. You have the Santa Monica pier at the boardwalk, short order restaurants, surfing, and an assortment of stores and bars. A lot of fun can be had in and around Santa Monica. Inland a few miles from here are Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Hollywood. You can see movie stars all over the place if you look hard. The ladies won’t be wearing makeup and the guys usually look 10 to 20 years older than they appear in the movies.
Malibu Beach is another place where your chances are also good to see the movie crowd, although you may not recognize them at first. It’s just north of Santa Monica.
Further north of Los Angeles is Santa Barbara and the beginning of the Central California Coast. There is good swimming from here up to Avila and Pismo Beach and usually good waves for surfing. Be aware, the water is cold!
At the other end of the United States is Florida. Many rave about the fine sands on the beach at Siesta Key, which is central Sarasota’s gateway to the sparkling waters of the Gulf and also boasts fine resorts. You have a large swath of public beach along this 8-mile barrier reef island. Close by are numerous restaurants and pubs, docks for yachts, stores and all kinds of beach fun. You can rent pontoon boats, try parasailing and do some snorkeling.
Clearwater Beach, Fla. is a great beach town with miles of fine, white sand and it is often voted number one in the nation, but so are several others.
Key West in the Florida Keys is a popular vacation spot and the town is most interesting with good lodging. In fact, all over Florida there are wonderful beaches for you to explore. You might rent a car in Orlando, see the fun parks such as Disneyworld and then check out beaches along both the east and west coasts. There are also many interesting communities around the state.
Virginia’s Assateague National Seashore on Assateague Island, where wild ponies roam, is rated 7 in one survey. You may wish to investigate this location.
Mexico has some good beaches. Cancun offers some of the finest in the country. The resort city was created several decades ago to cater to an up-scale clientele from around the world. There is much to do here any time of day or night. The resort hotels are some of the finest anywhere. Good air service from the States to Cancun is also a benefit. An all-inclusive resort may be your best buy.
The highest rated beach this year is on Hawaii’s fine island of Maui. Kaanapali Beach at Lahaina was the number one pick of the experts. Other top Hawaii beaches are: Lanikal Beach; Kailua on Ohau; Wailea Beach, Wailea; and Hanauma Bay near Honolulu, Oahu; Poipu Park Beach, Kauai; Manini’owali Beach, Kailua; Big Island, Wai’anapanapa State Park and Hana, Maui; Hanalei Beach, Kauai. Waikiki Beach at Honolulu is not bad if you can stand the crowds of tourists.
Overseas some of the top-rated spots for sand and sun are: Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy; Brace Bay in the Turks and Caicos; Whitehaven Beach and Airlie Beach, Australia; Bahia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil; Blamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico; Playa de las Catedrales, Ribadel, Spain; Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda; Eagle Beach, Aruba; and Rhossili Bay, Swansea, Wales.
I also like the several beaches at St. Johns, Virgin Islands. You will find good beaches all over the Caribbean area and they are there for the picking.
Wherever you go, be sure to take plenty of sun block, dark glasses, bathing suit and hat. They will be necessary on any beach.