Coronado Beach, Coronado, California
Stretching 1.5 miles on a wide, sandy strip off San Diego, Coronado Beach is popular for all water activities. Even architecture buffs and Hollywood history fans will be intrigued by the Hotel Del Coronado, which sits in the background. Built in 1888, this Victorian grande dame was featured in the Marilyn Monroe hit “Some Like It Hot.” And the main street of Coronado, about a mile long, feels like small town America with manicured lawns and restaurants from brew pubs to fine dining - reach it by ferry or soaring bridge from San Diego.
Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
Heard of surfing? Thank this beach’s namesake Duke Kahanamoku, the Olympic swimmer who popularized surfing outside Hawaii. Ironically, at this beach on Honolulu’s most famous shoreline, there’s an offshore reef that reduces the waves, though that makes this beach a prime destination for families with children. Get away - if you like - from nearby boat and catamaran piers.
Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
It’s a trek to get here, via the Road to Hana on Maui’s eastern shore. But once you reach this intimate beach, which Dr. Beach calls “rimmed by cliffs, covered by coconut palm trees and beautiful flowering vegetation,” you’re actually inside a breached volcanic crater, which explains the mixture of coral and lava sands underfoot.
Main Beach, East Hampton, Long Island, New York
The Hamptons, on the eastern end of Long Island, are the summer playground of New York’s well-to-do. Once you’ve finished with the chic boutiques and tony house parties, the quartz sand and dunes of Main Beach make for a great escape (though, at $25, even the parking isn’t cheap).
St. George Island State Park, Florida
A barrier island off the Florida Panhandle, southwest of Tallahassee, is home to Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park, popular for swimming and sunbathing plus birding, hiking and camping. Anglers fish for flounder, sea trout, Spanish mackerel and more. If you’re worried about aftereffects of the BP oil spill two years ago in the Gulf of Mexico, Dr. Beach says it’s not a concern here. Do be careful of stingrays, though (shuffle your feet as you walk through the shallow waters).
Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, Massachusetts
Part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, Coast Guard Beach is sandwiched between dunes of undulating grasses and the vast Atlantic. Water can be chilly even in summer, so plan on spending time on the shore too, exploring some historic lighthouses and First Encounter Beach a few miles away on the Cape’s bay side, where in 1620 the pilgrims and native Americans had their, well, first encounter.
Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii
Dr. Beach says that locals love this beach on Oahu’s east coast, about 15 miles’ drive from Honolulu. “While not as stunning as some other Hawaiian beaches, it is a safe beach because big waves and dangerous currents are rare and lifeguards are present.”
Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, Florida
Officially called Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, it’s on Key Biscayne, the southernmost of the keys that can be reached by causeway from Miami. Dr. Beach cites its clear, emerald green waters, white coral sand and gentle surf. The Cape Florida Lighthouse is here, and as an island off the Atlantic coast, it’s got views of both the sunrise and the sunset over the water.
Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Kiawah Island, south of Charleston, may be best known for golf (the PGA Championship will be held here in August), but Dr. Beach rates this public park one of America’s best beaches, with kayaking, cycling, bird-watching and interpretive tours. “The water is not clear here,” he says, “but it is clean and provides for fantastic seafood for low-country cooking.”
Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
Let the landmark lighthouse be your beacon to America’s first national seashore. The southernmost of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the cape is a barrier island 72 miles long and, at its farthest, and over 30 miles from the mainland. Surfing in the strong waves, beachcombing and fishing are all popular activities, and historic fishing villages provide a change of pace.
(Source: forbes.com)@12 months ago
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