I don’t know about you, but every year around mid January my day dreams turn to beach vacations – the soothing sounds of the waves lapping the sand, warm tropical weather, blue skies, sunshine, and clear water to chase away the winter pale. If you too are looking for some beach inspiration, look no further.
Whether you crave a quiet spot under the sun, great surf, calm waters for snorkeling, a party atmosphere, or building castles in the sand, there’s a beach somewhere for everyone. Check out these photos from beach destinations in the USA, Europe and Asia, taken by travel bloggers around the world. I’m sure you’ll find a place that will have you booking a beach vacation in no time.
My personal recommendation is South Beach, Miami, Florida. For those of us on the north American continent it’s close to home, easy to get to, and the food is amazing with all the cuban and latin influence in Miami. South Beach is truly a unique experience and often known as a party place, but during the day, the beach is for everyone. In my opinion some of the prettiest beaches anywhere.
Most of the hotels in the area provide towels and umbrellas, but as you can see there are also umbrella and chair rentals on the beach. How much easier could it be?
Bethaney Davies – Flashpacker Family
This is one of the beaches on the beautiful Perhentian Besar in Malaysia. The sand is squeaky white and the water is crystal clear. There isn’t a lot to do… but that’s the whole point! You can snorkel right off the beach, take one of the boats over the the local village on a neighbouring island or just relax & read on the beach. The resorts are all quite basic (no TV, no wifi) so it’s a great place to take a digital detox.
Jen Miner – The Vacation Gals
My family and I are so lucky to have been able to travel to Hawaii every Christmas for the past six years. this year we were extra lucky, because we went to Kauai and it only rained for 15 minutes (during the day) the entire two weeks. That’s pretty amazing because Kauai contains the rainiest, wettest spot on our planet, and much of its interior is a rainforest. The beaches, on the other hand, vary greatly. The south side of Kauai includes Poipu, and its beach has the hands-down best easy-access snorkeling on the entire island. We love staying in the Poipu area because it’s a lot sunnier and less windy — more kid-friendly waters, in other words. This year we split our time between Poipu, and Hanalei Bay on Kauai’s north side. Hanalei Bay is one of the iconic parts of Kauai’s geography, but often rainy for a couple of hours a day (you don’t get all that green without some moisture, after all). Beautiful and restful, Hanalei Bay also has access to some wonderful hikes. I recommend Kauai for anyone wanting outdoor adventure with their Hawaiian vacation.
Valen Dawson – This Way To Paradise
The beaches of Gili Air are some of my favorite beaches in the world. This small island off of the coast of Lombok has beautiful turquoise waters and plenty of chill-out spaces. The world is your living room and all you have to do is listen to the ocean waves and the relaxing music that lingers in the background on this beautiful island.
Bret and Mary Love – Green Global Travel
Española Island was the last stop on our amazing week-long Galapagos Islands cruise, and it was definitely one of our favorites. The beach at Gardner Bay was almost impossibly picturesque, with hundreds of Galapagos Sea Lions nursing, sleeping, swimming and fighting all along the shore. The afternoon we spent hanging out amongst them is definitely among my very favorite travel memories.
Cat Gaa – Sunshine and Siestas
Voted “The Best Beach in the World” by the Guardian UK a few years back, Playa de las Rodas on the archipelago of Las Islas Ciès is a bird sanctuary and a fine sand beach. Only a limited number of visitors are allowed on the islands daily, assuring that the pristine water and the well-kept hiking trails are free of trash and too many humans. Las Rodas is located on the central island and can be reached by ferry from Vigo, Spain.
Micki Kosman – The Barefoot Nomad
Long Beach, on Phi Phi Don, Thailand is a popular place. It’s usually packed with sun worshipers from the nearby guesthouses and with tourists stopping by as part of an organized tour. We snapped this photo early one morning when there were just a handful of people on the beach. Later that day, we snorkeled in crystal clear water with white tipped reef sharks just offshore.
DJ Yabis – Dream Euro Trip
Paradise Beach, Mykonos is one of the most popular beaches in Europe and the party starts early!
Aleah Taboclaon – Solitary Wanderer
As an archipelago, the Philippines has A LOT of wonderful and world-class beaches. One of the best is the small island of Siquijor. It’s undeveloped, and when I went there, there was no one except a few locals fishing. Fine white sand, warm waters, and no other tourists. What more can you ask for in a beach?
Matthew Hirtes – Gran Canaria Local
We love Playa de San Felipe because it’s the very antithesis of what you think of when you hear the expression “Canarian beach”. It’s on the rugged north coast. A stretch of the shoreline which is largely tourist free.”
Elle Draper – Spain Buddy
Playa del Papagayo. These stunning coves are located at the southern edge of Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. Although the islands are Spanish, they are located close to the northeastern coast of Africa. The Papagayo beaches are regularly voted amongst the best in Spain. They are very popular with tourists and locals, and are comprised of a number of sandy coves, some of which are popular with naturists. Access is via either a dirt track by car and cost €4 to enter, or on foot from the Los Coloradas area of Playa Blanca for free.
Jessie Voigts – Wandering Educators
Named the most beautiful place in the US, Sleeping Bear Dunes is located in northern Michigan, on Michigan’s Sunset Coast. Here at Empire beach (a few miles south of Sleeping Bear Dunes), you can see the dunes in the distance. One of the joys of swimming in Lake Michigan is the clear water (warm, at times!), the variety of waves, depending on the wind, the fine, clean sand, and the view.
Kate Voyage – 30 Traveler
Lanikai Beach is on the East Coast of Oahu. It’s about 30 minutes drive from Waikiki and you can kayak out to the islands pictured.
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