To many of us, there's no greater vacation than a day―or a week―at the beach. But if you aren't prepared, your day could be easily ruined.
First, make your own "Beach Kit" with this great list of items:
- Bottled Water
- Extra set of clothes
- Two towels per person
- Beach/picnic blanket
- Flip flops or beach shoes
- Beach umbrella
- Small sealed container to hold watches, glasses, keys, etc.
- Coins for the parking meter
- Small bottle of white vinegar (for the occasional jellyfish sting)
Don't forget your individual preferences, like books, sand shovels, and body boards.
By the time you get all this packed up, you may feel like you're taking everything except the kitchen sink, but you'll be thankful for that beach umbrella when you arrive and all the pavilions are full, and for water bottle as the heat presses down.
Beach trips take some planning. Perhaps you want to go somewhere close-by, or you're going to spring for a trip to the Islands. To help you choose the perfect destination, here's a short list of great American beaches for you to explore.
Of course, the islands of Hawaii are full of beaches. Among those are Lanikai Beach, Oahu; Hanalei Bay Beach, Kauai; Hulopoe Beach, Lanai; and Papohaku Beach, Molokai. The only thing you'll find more difficult than pronouncing these gorgeous stretches of sand is deciding on which one to visit!
Be sure you find out which beach is safe for your family before you go. Each island has its rough spots, some only appropriate for the best surfers. If you have kids, you'll want to avoid the beaches with ten foot waves, so don't even bother booking a hotel near one.
The warm waters of Hawaii attract tons of colorful tropical fish, and some beaches have calm man-made lagoons for snorkeling or wading. Try feeding the fish― they come take food right out of your hands.
Tybee Island, Georgia : Located near Savannah, this small beach town has wide, white beaches, and a fun, and delicious seafood restaurant. Be sure to check out The Crab Shack for a memorable, fun, and delicious meal.
Daytona Beach, Florida: This sunny town offers miles and miles of open beach, with a new boardwalk full of shops and restaurants.
Ponce Inlet, Florida: Located just south of Daytona Beach, this quaint point provides a great pet beach for your dog to go swimming.
Myrtle Beach, North Carolina: This beach is an East Coast favorite, with over 60 miles of white sand. Amusement and water parks dot the landscape.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina: Nature lovers will fall in love with the 130 miles of beach comprising the Outer Banks. This is also a great destination for history buffs.
Corona del Mar, California: This beach is popular with swimmers, divers, and surfers all seeking a special experience.
La Jolla, California: Only a few miles north of San Diego, the Mediterranean atmosphere of this area has earned its nickname as the "Jewel" of California. The different beaches offer up-close observation of harbor seals, top-notch snorkeling and diving experiences, and unparalleled surfing opportunities. Be sure to stop by La Jolla Cove to snap some breathtaking photos. La Jolla also offers world-class shopping and dining opportunities.
Pismo Beach, California: Sunsets, fishing, and surfing draw visitors to this beach located between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Santa Barbara, California: Most of the beaches in the Santa Barbara area are unique in one aspect: many face the south, instead of the west. Play volleyball, skate the various sidewalks along the beaches, or walk the wharf; there's always something to do here. Be sure to watch for dolphins if you make it to El Capitan.
Panhandle beaches of Florida: The Emerald coast features hundreds of beaches, each with its own unique personality. Fort Walton, Panama City, and Pensacola have earned fun reputations as spring break and party beaches. For family vacations, check out Destin, Seaside, and St. George's Island.
St. Petersburg: This string of beaches offers seclusion, wildlife sightings, family activities and romantic escapes; just about anything you could want in a beach vacation.
South Padre Island: Offers an abundance of activities, or an abundance of seclusion; it just depends on what you're seeking! From amusement parks to wildlife refuges, from turtle farms and treasure hunting, South Padre offers something for everyone.
Of course, we couldn't pack every single beach that exists into this tiny article. So do some research on your own before you book a trip. Just don't forget your new beach kit!
Other Topics in This Section
- Tent or RV Camping
- How To Pull A Trailer
- Pre-trip Maintenance
- How To Map Your Route
- Planning Your Getaway
- RV Handling & Driving Tips
- Finding a Place to Park Your RV
- Getting Off the Beaten Path
- Roadside Attractions: Stopping Along the Way
- How To Reach Your Destination Safely
- How To Buy a Sailboat
- How To Buy a Power Boat
- Vintage Cars and Rallies
- Should You Join a Car Club?
- Fun with ATVs
- Saving Money on the Road
- How to Plan a Road Trip
- Stocking Your RV
- Top Ten Seasonal Scenic Drives
- Traveling With Your Pet
- National Parks
- Hitting the Slopes
- Preparing An Emergency Kit
- Preparing A First-aid Kit
- Crossing the Border
- Gambling Getaways
- Paper Maps and Online Guides
- Guide to GPS
- Wireless Maps on Cell Phones
- Beach Excursion
- Avoiding Road Construction
- Sample Trip Itineraries
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