I don’t understand people who don’t love beaches. How can you not love the sun shining, the waves crashing and an afternoon stretching out in front of you with nothing to do but read, nap, listen to music, walk with your toes in the water and maybe toss a football around?
Beaches are the ultimate vacation destination for a reason: it’s impossible to be stressed out on sand. Waves crashing are a favorite of relaxation soundtracks everywhere, and there aren’t any power points on the beach. Granted, the proliferation of smartphones is quickly ruining the disconnect—so recharge yourself on these incredible beaches before they figure out how to finally bring the office to the sand:
A laid-back and friendly town in Southern California , San Clemente represents the best of active Orange County: play some beach volleyball, go rollerblading, head for a swim or a surf. And when you’re sick of sunning yourself on the beach, head to Fishermans on the pier to indulge in clam chowder, fresh oysters or killer fish and chips.
This is the ultimate place for cheap holiday packages: you can find beachfront bungalows for less than $10 a night. Once you head to the sand, you don’t have to leave for a dose of luxury: massages, manicures and pedicures are all offered on mats along the beach. Order a pina coloda, and take your relaxation to the next level.
Even though Maui is known as the Valley Isle, it still features some of the best spots for water activities in the Hawaiian islands. Spot a Hawaiian green sea turtle on a snorkel trip to Molokini and Turtle Town, go stand-up paddle boarding on the calm waters in Kihei or head up to Lahaina to learn how to surf. And if you’re still looking for activity on land (or in the air), head up the volcano to try out ziplining or paragliding.
Ko Phi Phi
Located one limestone cliff away from the shooting location of the “The Beach,” Ko Phi-Phi is a strikingly scenic island. A popular stop with backpackers on the Southeast Asian circuit, there are plenty of places to get loose and dance until sunrise. However, the best views require a bit of hangover-free effort: climb up to the viewpoint and then hike over to Tohko Beach to get some waves all to yourself.
Cape Le Grande
Perfect seems a bit too cliché, but honestly, each little grain of sand is so perfectly spherical that it squeaks when you walk. Seriously. And each perfectly spherical grain of sand is so white that not only does it look like snow from a distance, but it was voted Australia’s whitest beach. The best part? The kangaroos that hop along the edge of the water: it’s the ultimate Australian beach.
Californian Christine Amorose is a full-fledged Francophile, aspiring street art photographer and semi-professional beach bum. Since earning a degree in journalism, Christine has backpacked solo through Europe, bartended on the French Riviera, worked in marketing in Melbourne and ate from many a street cart in Southeast Asia. Follow her adventures at C’est Christine or on Twitter at @camorose.
This article was sponsored by Escape Travel