Beaches are some of the world’s most popular outdoor locations. They are fun for all ages. Some just sit and read; some seriously tan; some swim and otherwise frolic in the waves; and some build sand castles. Whatever your particular pleasure, beaches draw crowds. Some are simply beautiful; some are great for children; some have dramatic and sometimes dangerous surf; and some just have the right kind of sand.
Although I do not consider myself a “beach person” anymore, special beaches are always on my list of places to visit whenever we are in an appropriate place. So what follows is a pictorial survey of some of the beaches that we have sampled over the years.
Let’s start in Hawaii, which certainly has some of the most beautiful and excellent beaches in the world. Waikiki, of course, is the featured beach of the Capital, Honolulu.
On the North Shore of Oahu, the surf is much more spectacular. It is here that the world’s surfing championships are often held.
Also on Oahu is the beach at Hanauma Bay, which has been set aside as a Nature Park, featuring great snorkeling.
One of Hawaii’s loveliest beaches is Lumahai Beach, on the island of Kauai. This beach was featured in the movie, “South Pacific.”
On the island of Maui, Waianapanapa Beach, a black-sand beach, is found along the Road to Hana.
California’s beaches are also legendary. One of the most famous is Coronado Beach, in San Diego. The beach is on the grounds of the Hotel del Coronado.
A gorgeous, secluded beach can be found in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, just south of Monterey. This beach features a waterfall, McWay Falls, which dramatically plunges onto the beach.
North of San Francisco is the Point Reyes National Seashore, a very scenic area.
Moving northward, Oregon has some of the nation’s wildest and most interesting beaches. Check out Cannon Beach.
Washington State also has some pristine and unusual beaches, such as Ruby Beach, in Olympic National Park.
On the Atlantic side of the country, Florida is the place most associated with great beaches. South Beach, Miami, is the Mecca, at least for the 20 & 30-something set, and the rich-and-famous. The beach here is fantastic, but it is the nightlife that seals the deal.
On the West Coast, Sanibel Island is a favorite place for sunbathers and shell-collectors.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina are another wild and often dangerous place.
In New England, the Cape Cod National Seashore occupies the outer (eastern) edge of Cape Cod.
The Caribbean Islands offer some of the best beaches in the world. Check out Magen’s Bay, on the island of St Thomas, one of our favorites.
Trunk Bay, on the US Virgin Island of St John, is relatively pristine, since there are fewer visitors here.
The Bathsheba Coast of Barbados is spectacular.
This beach on the north coast of Trinidad, is very popular with locals and tourists alike.
On the Mexican side of the Caribbean, Cancun is perhaps the most famous beach resort area of the Yucatan Peninsula
The beach at Tulum is also popular with visitors to the Mayan ruins.
Moving on, the island of Bermuda is famous for its pink sand beaches.
Also on that lovely island is famous Elbow Beach,
In Europe, Lee and I don’t often go to beaches — there are too many other things to do and see, but we did check out a few, such as, at Torremolinos,
and in Nice
The beaches at Normandy are significant, not for sun ‘n’ fun but for their history as locations of the Allies’ landings during World War II.