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Posts Tagged ‘Top 10 Beaches’

Travel Channel 2012 Best Beaches

Posted by E.G.D. on January 16, 2012

Zlatni Rat, Travel Channel's "Best Scenic Beach" 2012 (Photo by Kelovy on Wikimedia Commons)

As many of you already know, this past weekend was the Travel Channel’s big Best Beaches weekend!  I know, it’s sometimes hard to steer your mind into gear with regard to beaches in the dead of winter, but in a twisted sort of way, it’s really nice to curl up with a blanket and a cup of tea in the living room and let the Travel Channel do the beachy-thinking for you.  And hey, where some of these beaches are, it’s not winter at all!

So, without further ado, here’s the rundown of the top ones (and if you’d like to see the runners up, they’re on the website linked here: Travel Channel’s Best Beach Awards 2012):

Best Party Beach: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Best Family Beach: Cape May, New Jersey

Best Romance Beach: Lahaina Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Sexiest Beach: South Beach, Miami, Florida

Best Beach Bar: Rick’s Cafe, Negril, Jamaica

Best Beach You Haven’t Heard of… Yet: Llandudno Beach, South Africa

Best Beach for Adventure: Surfing in Playa Grande, Costa Rica

Best Exotic Beach: Anse Source d’Argent, Seychelles

Best Scenic Beach: Zlatni Rat, Bol, Brac Island, Croatia

Best Boardwalk: Santa Cruz, California

Tada!  That’s the short of it, and the long is on the website and on the TV.  Here’s the kicker, though:  the viewers’ choice award for the best beach is still taking votes!  If you have strong opinions about whether Siesta Key, St. Lucia, Lahaina, or Cabo San Lucas is the best beach, you should definitely wander over to their website and vote.  Alternately, let us know in the comment box just under this post.  What do YOU think is the very best beach in the world?  We’d love to hear your opinion.  Happy beach dreaming! -E.G.D.

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Monday Miscellaneous, Top Ten Beaches | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

“The 10 Best Beaches for Families: 2011” by Parents®

Posted by Jody on October 25, 2011

Family Post by Alaina Diehl

Parents® has taken exceptional measures to spot out the best 10 family beaches with 10 runners-up. They “combed through water-quality reports, closings, and advisories for more than 1,000 U.S. beaches,” nixing those with “persistent problems and ones where the water isn’t tested.” After that, they evaluated three more “deal breakers” that families must consider—restrooms, calm surf, and lifeguards. Finally, beaches with nature trails and other perks made the cut. Kids or no kids, these beaches look like real treasure troves of beach and beachside activities. All we need to do is pack our swimsuits and enjoy the calm, clean waters of  “The 10 Best Beaches for Families.”

North Beach at Fort De Soto Park (Photo by Christopher Hollis/Wikimedia Commons)

1. North Beach at Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde, Florida

This beach is a perfect spot for the kiddos. The water is clear and clean, and this county park beach area features nature activities, a shallow and large lagoon, a playground with a pretend pirate ship, and the nearby Gulf Pier—a good spot for dolphin spotting! Fun and American history meet at the fort, where the family can explore remnants of the Spanish-American War.

2. Coligny Beach Park, Hilton Head, South Carolina

Parents® picked this spot for its calm, shallow waters. Kids can peer into the tidal pools at low tide (look, but don’t touch!) and collect treasures off of the beach. The sand is also ideal for building sand castles and cycling.

3. Kama’ole Beach Park III, Maui, Hawaii

They got me at “Maui.” This beach, nicknamed Kam 3, is one of three beaches in the Kama’ole Beach Park. This is a fun nature spot with clear water and small waves—kids may be able to spot fish, puffer fish, and sea turtles. If you want a closer look, nearby vendors rent snorkeling equipment that can help make it happen. More family fun can be had in the grassy area behind the beach where visitors can enjoy games, fly kites, or eat shaved ice (a stand won’t be too far away!).

4. Coronado Central Beach, San Diego

Hotel del Coronado (Photo by Binksternet/Wikipedia)

A treasured memory from my childhood, this beach is a special stretch of sand. Great weather, pristine sands, and warm waters make this a great place to spend the day. Downsand from the famous Hotel del Coronado, you may find tide pools filled with sea creatures. As an extra added bonus, California beaches are smoke-free.

5. West Beach at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Porter

This beach sounds like a blast. If your family likes the hands-on educational program approach to vacationing, then this beach with a Junior Ranger program will be right up your alley. Kids can complete a list of activities to receive a “beachcomber badge.” If you’re looking to run the kids down for naptime, there are several nearby nature trails to enjoy…and burn off about 1 ½ miles of energy to boot.

6. Mayflower Beach, Dennis, Massachusetts

This beautiful Cape Cod beach has an annual sand sculpture contest! You don’t have to be a kid to like digging sand into buckets. There are categories for kids ages 3-6 and 7-11, as well as family teams.

7. Coquina Beach Park, Bradenton, Florida

The “coquinas” (mini colorful shells) make this beach a popular treasure collecting spot. Other fun activities include walking the paved nature trail, enjoying the warm water, and kayaking – lucky kayakers will spot sea life favorites, such as the manatee (this beach is located in Manatee County), dolphin, or stingray!

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon (Photo by Postdlf/Wikimedia Commons)

8. Cannon Beach, Oregon

This lovely beach has the beach critters and the gorgeous views beach vacationers crave. The state-protected tidal pools are filled with colorful starfish and other creatures. Bring a camera to get snapshots of picturesque Haystack Rock, just off the beach. Even in the summer, the water stays cold enough to deter swimmers from diving right in. If you want to get in past your toes, you’ll want a wetsuit—fortunately for the kiddos, the Cannon Beach Surf Shop rents out toddler-sized suits.

9. Main Beach, East Hampton, New York

Are the people on this beach judging me for my department store swimsuit? According to Parents®, even though this white sand beach is overlooked by mansions, it retains a “down-to-earth” atmosphere. The real downside? Parking is by permit only on weekends. It’s a good idea to bike in or stay at a hotel that will drop you off.

10. North Beach, Racine, Wisconsin

If the beach isn’t enough to keep your kids busy, this Lake Michigan beach sports one of the state’s largest playgrounds. The zoo isn’t too far away, either.

Last but not least, you may want to check out one of the 10 runners-up: Siesta Key Public Beach, Siesta Key, Florida; South Beach, Virginia Beach, Virginia; Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oaho, Hawaii; South Beach, Tybee Island, Georgia; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; Misquamicut State Beach, Westerly, Rhode Island; Hapuna Beach Park, Big Island, Hawaii; Cape May Point Beach, Cape May, New Jersey, Aliso Beach Park, South Laguna Beach, California; and Gulf State Park Beach, Gulf Shores, Alabama.

So many beaches, so little time!

Everyone will enjoy “The 10 best beaches for families!

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Tallies & Tips, Tide Pools, Top Ten Beaches | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

National Geographic’s Top Ten Beaches!

Posted by E.G.D. on August 2, 2011

I was surfing the net this morning, trying to think of what would make a good “Tuesday Top Ten” for today.  I started out by looking for an authoritative top-ten Mexican beaches, and oddly enough, I couldn’t really find one I liked.  Or one that had ten.  Then I struck PURE TOP TEN GOLD!!!!!  Did you know that National Geographic has published a book called The 10 Best of Everything?  I didn’t, but I think that if any publishing organization has ever been in a position to make such a book, it is definitely National Geographic.  Inside this apparently awesome book, there is an article that lists what are, in National Geographic’s opinion, the top ten beaches in the world!  Even more awesome is the fact that they published the entirety of the article (complete with links) on their website for our viewing pleasure.  These beaches truly span the globe, from an island in the Indian Ocean, to New York’s Long Island, to Hawaii, to Australia, to name but a few!  Actually, two of the National Geographic Top Ten Beachesare in Hawaii, so that’s half of the broad locations on the list.

Lanikai Beach (National Geographic's #5 Beach Pick!) Photo by Sullynyflhi from Wikimedia Commons

I am happy to report that I have recently been to a party on what they listed as the world’s #5 beach ^_^.  Lanikai Beach, located on the windward side of Oahu, is basically in the city of Kailua.  Kailua is a pretty amazing little city, actually, in that a ton of people there have the beach in their back yard.  Here’s the kicker: especially for Lanikai Beach, the only place to park is somebody’s driveway (or the street in front of somebody’s house).  The beach is by no means private, but really the only way to enjoy it is to visit someone who lives on it.  This is doubly true because the beach has no public bathrooms, changing rooms, or showers, and let me tell you, you are ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEED to get sand in uncomfortable parts of your swimsuit.  You will really want that post-swim shower.

On the other hand, if you ever wanted to buy your dream home on a beach, Lanikai may very well be the place for you.  My friend’s beach home is ten different kinds of spectacular (beautiful and open and in a perfect location to catch cool sea breezes), AND it is easy driving distance from two Costcos and a Wal Mart, not to mention more than one University of Hawaii campus.   Also, if you’re the sort to enjoy a swim, this beach is great for daily exercise swimming, due in part to the clear landmarks in the water (jutting rock island things), which you can use to gauge your distance.

I don’t have any first-hand knowledge of the other nine beaches, so I highly recommend you go check out the article!  Let me tell you, if Lanikai is number five, I’d love to someday visit the four that are ranked higher.  In the meantime, I’m off to bask in my aloha memories and to give that beach-going-party-throwing friend a call.

Mahalo, everyone- E.G.D

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Tallies & Tips, Top Ten Beaches | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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