BY JAMES REYES
We’ve just flipped the calendar over to 2017, and for many of us travel plans for the year ahead aren’t quite solidified. There are several months left between now and beach season in much of the world, which leaves plenty of time to plan a few getaways to some coastal areas you might want to check out.
A Caribbean getaway or an excursion to Southeast Asia can be appealing when you’re eyeing a beach vacation, but we’re going to look at some destinations that may be a bit more accessible. The United States is home to countless amazing beaches, and we’re going to look at five in particular that would make for terrific destinations once warmer weather arrives.
1. Duck, North Carolina.
There is a lot of reasons why the North Carolina Outer Banks are increasingly looked at as their own American paradise. The weather and water are usually nice, the beaches aren’t quite as crowded as those at less remote coastal towns, the area is steeped in history, and the seafood is terrific. It’s difficult to pick a single town or beach in the area to recommend, but it’s also tough to beat Duck. It’s a small stretch of beautiful beach where you can rent a gorgeous vacation home and have a relaxing time away from it all.
2. La Jolla Shores, California.
California has a lot of great beaches, but La Jolla Shores stands out. In a list last year of America’s 10 best beaches, this was the only beach included that was not located in Florida or Hawaii, which should tell you a little something about its reputation. It has everything you might imagine of a southern California beach like great swimming and surfing, nearby shopping and restaurants, and lively, constant company—not to mention a great deal of raw natural beauty.
3. South Beach, Miami, Florida.
South Beach may be a predictable selection, but it’s one of the most famous beaches in North America for a reason. What makes this beach so unique is its array of curious combinations. It’s at the base of a major American city, yet feels like an exotic paradise at times, it’s filled with tourists but still feels distinctly local, and it combines an energetic and artistic atmosphere. There’s just a little bit of everything at South Beach, whether you prefer lying out on the sand, eating at a beachside café or taking in a fashion festival.
4. Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan.
Michigan isn’t most people’s first thought when looking into American beaches, but the truth is that Lake Michigan is so vast it has some pretty great coastal areas of its own. Among them, it’s hard to top the Sleeping Bear Dunes, which comprise a 65-mile stretch of shockingly large and beautiful dunes along the lakeshore. Filled with hiking paths and flawless views, this area was once voted the most beautiful place in America.
5. Hulopo’e Beach, Hawaii.
Choosing just one beach in all of Hawaii is a difficult task, but Hulopo’e is about as good as it gets. Located on the island of Lana’I, it’s the main stretch of sand for the Four Seasons at Manele Bay, which means there is a certain resort atmosphere around. The bay itself is beautifully preserved, making snorkeling and diving here some of the finest in Hawaii. You won’t find a much more breathtaking paradise in the U.S. than here!
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