In 2017, tradition has become so passé that classic summer activities like a neighborhood backyard barbecue or beachside vacation seem too old-fashioned to be any fun. People are swapping out sunsets for simulated adventures and it makes us want to cry an ocean. After enduring one too many of these outburst against nature in favor of technology, we’ve decided enough is enough. We love technology more than the average Joe or Jane, but when planning the ultimate summer getaway nothing beats a breath-taking beach. You get a day in the sand with waves washing up to tickle your toes all punctuated by a shining sun painting the sky in multi-colored rainbows before nightfall. That’s not so bad now, is it? Hopefully, the thought of warm sand and blue water has enticed you celebrate beaches again. If not, here are some gorgeous spots along the North American coast to convince you further.
HULOPO’E BEACH, HAWAII
It’s hard to find a beach in Hawaii that isn’t one of the prettiest oceanic spots you’ve ever seen, but even in the sea of competition, this spot stands out. Situated at the base of Manele Bay, this perfect stretch of sand is a marine preserve filled with colorful fish and the occasional dolphin. Snorkel out for a peek at the wildlife or take a leisurely wade in the 70-degree water. Either way, the treasure trove of surprises will steal your heart.
MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA
The Grand Strand has long been one of the East Coast’s favorite vacation hubs. Lined with towering resorts and other attractions, it’s a seaside world where shimmering man-made attractions collide with the peaceful sandy shore. Dotted with popular beaches, amusement parks, and live entertainment, you’re sure to get a multi-faceted experience that blends nature’s best with the summertime action of a city.
Far removed from the tropical paradise of Hawaii and Southern extravagances in South Carolina, this bayside community in New England started as a clump of white cottages surrounded by wild roses. Today, it is famous for Surfside Beach and Children’s Beach, both excellent spots to practice your boarding skills and build epic sandcastles. If mild and calm vacations are your preference, Nantucket is the answer.
CLEARWATER BEACH, FLORIDA
All the beachfront hotels and sandy shores you could ask for line this narrow, 3-mile stretch of coastline. Serving up classic Floridian beach fare every day of the year, Clearwater gives you the chance to experience beach volleyball, deep sea fishing, parasailing, and a dolphin-watching cruise all in one weekend. Hoping for a beach with the same personality but fewer people? Head over to Melbourne beach on the Atlantic shore.
CORONADO CENTRAL BEACH, CALIFORNIA
With Cali’s famous laid-back attitude permeating every inch of shore, Coronado is a West Coast fan’s ultimate dream spot. On these shores, you’ll brush arms with swimmers, bodysurfers, boogie boarders, sand sculptors, and every other brand of ocean artist you can imagine. For epic surf scenes, head up to North Beach, and if you’re a genuine dog lover, keeping going until your reach the leashless wonderland that is Dog Beach.
CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY
There’s not much in Jersey to make it worth a trip, but this southern tip of a beach is one of the few exceptions. Lined with a gorgeous beach and covered in gingerbread Victorian homes, it feels like a trip back in time. Stay at one of the colorful bed and breakfasts to fully immerse yourself in this little slice of heaven hidden away in the most crowded state of the union.
EAST HAMPTON, NEW YORK
Expanse upon expanse of white sand greets anyone who visits this choice patch of New York shoreline. Stroll past the decadent mansions of Lily Pond for a vintage treat, then straight into the water which is only a few hundred feet from the end of Main Street. Once you’ve had your fun in the water, head back up for one of the finest lobster rolls in existence.
Don’t discount a trip to the beach. Whether you’re headed there for the day or an entire week’s worth of vacation, you’ll find plenty of things to do. And never underestimate the power of silence. Sometimes all you need after a tough year is quiet time alone with your thoughts while you watch a brilliant sunset.
— Julie Grossman