I’m a big fan of spending long days on the beach. Give me a cooler full of bottled water and snacks, a big umbrella and a beach towel, my iPhone full of my favorite songs and a good book, and I am in heaven.
There’s something so relaxing about laying on the beach, with the surf at your feet, the sunshine on your face and the kids playing in the sand!
So I thought I’d share a few of my favorite beach spots, just in time for you to make your summer plans!
Smathers Beach in Key West, FL
Located on the North East side of Key West, Smathers Beach is a free public beach, and it really is the best on the island. With at least a mile of white sandy shoreline and plenty of shady palm trees, you can seriously waste away an entire day there. Hungry? There are food trucks lining the street! Thirsty? Buy a freshly opened coconut from one of the many drink vendors waiting in the shade and sip away under a a palm tree!
If you are hitting the beach without the kiddies and aren’t the lay-in-the-sun all day type, no worries. There are also jetski rentals and para sailing options right there on the beach.
Santa Monica Beach in Santa Monica, CA
Now, I’ve only been to Santa Monica Beach once, but it made a big impression on me. I plan to go back as soon as possible!
On Santa Monica Beach, the shoreline stretches for miles. The sun is warm, the water is cold and the people are friendly.
There is a pier, the famous Santa Monica Pier, where Route 66 ends. It is full of funky little tourist shops, ice cream parlors, amusement rides and of course…street performers.
I spent a few hours walking the beach, photographing the mountains, the people, the fishermen – yes, they were fishing on the beach – and then having fun with friends at the Pier. If you’re on the West Coast, Santa Monica Beach is the place to be!
Maracas Bay Beach in Port of Spain, Trinidad
I fell in love at first site with Maracas Bay, a small fishing village outside of Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Nestled in the mountains, the bay opens up to the ocean and on one side, you have the lovely mountains covered in fog, and then the beautiful ocean. You can purchase handmade jewelry made by local artisans across the street, or just sit back and relax with a Bake and Shark sandwich and a Ginger beer (their version of Ginger Ale) under a palm tree.
It rained the entire time we were there, and it was still the best experience I had in Trinidad!
Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island, FL
I love Bradenton Beach for it’s sugary fine white sands and the thousands of shells littering the shoreline. It truly is a shell collector’s dream beach!
The Gulf Coast has some of the best beaches in the world, and they are frequently featured on top 10 Beaches articles and television shows. The sands are soft and fine, the water is aquamarine, warm and inviting. We’ve made the drive three times to Brandenton to visit family there, and always get a hotel room near Anna Maria Island so that we can visit the beach in the morning!
And last, but certainly not least…
Miami Beach in Miami, FL
While South Beach is world known for its nightlife, most people don’t realize that a little further up the road lies Miami Beach – the old stomping grounds of the rich and famous back in the 60′s. The beaches are lovely, they are uncrowded, and there are hotels, restaurants and shops just across the street.
Miami Beach is the perfect place to take the family for the day to enjoy the warm Florida sunshine – and some of the best Cuban food you’ll ever taste!
Where ever you go this summer, I hope it’s as lovely as these beaches!