Essential Travel Experience #50 – Spend a Day at a Beach

   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.

Waikiki Beach

 On the North Shore of Oahu, the surf is much more spectacular. It is here that the world’s surfing championships are often held.

Waimea Bay

Also on Oahu is the beach at Hanauma Bay, which has been set aside as a Nature Park, featuring great snorkeling.

Hanauma Bay

 One of Hawaii’s loveliest beaches is Lumahai Beach, on the island of Kauai. This beach was featured in the movie, “South Pacific.”

Lumahai Beach

 On the island of Maui, Waianapanapa Beach, a black-sand beach, is found along the Road to Hana.

Waianapanapa Beach

 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.

Coronado Beach

 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.

McWay Falls

 North of San Francisco is the Point Reyes National Seashore, a very scenic area.

Point Reyes National Seashore

 Moving northward, Oregon has some of the nation’s wildest and most interesting beaches. Check out Cannon Beach.

Cannon Beach

 Washington State also has some pristine and unusual beaches, such as Ruby Beach, in Olympic National Park.

Ruby Beach

 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.

South Beach

 On the West Coast, Sanibel Island is a favorite place for sunbathers and shell-collectors.

Sanibel Island

The Outer Banks of North Carolina are another wild and often dangerous place.

Nags Head Beach

In New England, the Cape Cod National Seashore occupies the outer (eastern) edge of Cape Cod.

Nauset Light Beach

 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.

Magen's Bay

 Trunk Bay, on the US Virgin Island of St John, is relatively pristine, since there are fewer visitors here.

Trunk Bay

 The Bathsheba Coast of Barbados is spectacular.

Bathsheba Coast, Barbados

This beach on the north coast of Trinidad, is very popular with locals and tourists alike.

Paria Beach, Trinidad

  On the Mexican side of the Caribbean, Cancun is perhaps the most famous beach resort area of the Yucatan Peninsula

Cancun Beach

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.

Pink Sand Beach, Bermuda

 Also on that lovely island is famous Elbow Beach,

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

Beach near Nice, France

  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.

On Omaha Beach, Normandy


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