We’re headed straight into the dog days of summer, when the air is still and heavy and all we want is a cold margarita and a beautiful beach. For those of us not lucky enough to live at the shore or make an annual pilgrimage to the sea, here are our current five favorite beach destinations to covet (and research for a trip next summer)!
1. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is the perfect beach destination for East Coasters who want easy travel but a big reward. San Juan is just a couple of hours (or less) by plane from most major eastern cities and, as a US territory, doesn’t require a valid passport. Once you breeze through customs, though, you’re in the middle of island paradise: blue Caribbean waters, an alluring local vibe and gorgeous natural wonders like the bioluminescent bays. We’re dreaming of these serene beaches and the cultural activities of the city of San Juan.
2. North fork, Long Island
No, Long Island isn’t exactly exotic, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its charms! The North Fork is a completely reasonable distance from New York City, ferries from Connecticut, and two major airports, which makes it a great destination for a long weekend or cheap getaway. The North Fork is quieter and more laid-back than the Hamptons (Long Island’s most famous beach destination) and is perfect for a relaxing week with family or a romantic weekend with your SO. And we can’t forget to mention the amazing wineries that abound in the area—mornings on the beach and evenings sipping vino under a huge blue sky? We’re there.
Nestled right on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, Croatia is a perfect beach getaway. Beautiful natural waterfalls, gorgeous beaches, and ridiculously blue water are side-by-side with some of the oldest towns in Europe. Where else can you get equal parts beach time and Old-European culture? This is a perfect time to go—Croatia is just starting to blow up as a tourist hot spot, so get there now before it gets ridiculously expensive.
If you couldn’t tell, we love beach destinations that offer a combination of activities—beaches plus wine, beaches plus history, beaches plus rich Caribbean culture. Now enter Sydney, Australia, where you get a healthy helping of beaches with the added bonus of a huge cosmopolitan city. No sleepy beach town here—the sparkling crescents of Bondi Beach, Bronte Beach, Manly Beach and more are snuggled right up against the bustling city of Sydney on the east coast of Australia. It literally can’t get any better than walking beach cliffs during the day then cleaning up and getting classy at night in the world’s most iconic opera house.
A girl can dream, right? What ocean lover hasn’t dreamed of cozying up in one of these luscious overwater bungalows? And yes, I know “luscious” doesn’t make sense in that sentence, but how else can I describe the dreaminess here? Forget beach + _____ combinations: here it’s all about the sand. We love planning our “someday trip” to the Maldives for the ultimate in luxury R&R.
Where is your ultimate beach destination?