As we enjoy our last drop of summertime, we can’t help but wish we had a few more months of this vacation state of mind. This is an opportunity to treat your future self by planning a beach getaway down the road. Whether a girl’s trip or an anniversary is on the horizon, the time to plan is now!
While the thought of traveling to some remote Mediterranean port sounds quite ideal, a flashy international trip isn’t in everyone’s budget. Luckily, there are plenty of beautiful shorelines right here in the U.S., where a passport isn’t required.
Without further ado, here are our favorite spots for an awesome beach getaway.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Cape Cod in the summertime is quite the vacation. The sand is thick, the weather is somewhere in the high 70s and the people are all wearing their most impressive Vineyard Vines attire.
Riding a bike through town — with one hand steering and the other grasping onto an ice cream cone — is basically a prerequisite for New England visitors. And don’t forget about the lobster roll with a side of “clam chowdah” for dinner.
In all seriousness, every beach in Cape Cod is stunning (which helps the locals forget about the freezing winters). There are nearly 600 miles of coastline and a wide range of diverse shores.
For sandy bluffs and some wicked bodysurfing, head to any one of these beaches:
- COAST GUARD BEACH
- MAYFLOWER BEACH
- MARCONI BEACH
- RACE POINT BEACH
- NAUSET BEACH
Sanibel Island, Florida
It wouldn’t be a list of the best beach getaways without Sanibel. These unique barrier islands are known for their abundance of seashells and for miraculously melting stress away.
There’s around 15 miles of shoreline, with much of the island protected from further development. It’s the perfect spot for nature lovers. The wildlife and locals have a mutual agreement to coexist and not bother one another.
For some colorful sunsets and prime “shelling,” head to one of these Sanibel Island beaches:
- BOWMAN’S BEACH
- GULFSIDE CITY PARK BEACH
- LIGHTHOUSE BEACH PARK
- TARPON BAY BEACH
Hilton Head, South Carolina
When venturing to Hilton Head, you’re almost guaranteed to see thousands of “dudes” and/ or “bros” wearing salmon-colored short shorts. Highly likely they were president of their fraternity back in 2012 (you may even be a peach-pantsed post-pledge yourself!).
But it doesn’t stop there. You’re also guaranteed to see some pristine beaches with miles of boardwalk leading you to them. This southern paradise, otherwise known as Hilton Head, is damn near perfect. The weather is warm, the waters are calm and the town has an indescribable charm.
For quaint shops and restaurants paired with the Atlantic coastline, head to these Hilton Head beaches:
- Coligny Beach
- Hilton Head Island Beach
- Burkes Beach
- Folly Field Beach Park
- Driessen Beach Park
Big Sur, California
This is a different kind of beach trip. You won’t be casually swimming in the water or spending the day on buttery-soft sand. But you will be clinging to the side of some big cliffs that tower over 1,000 feet up. Big Sur is the perfect destination for adrenaline junkies who like to stray off the beaten path.
Picture this: mountains that drop sharply into the vast Pacific Ocean and views that span for miles. Big Sur is all about soaking in those one-of-a-kind sites. It’s like city skyscrapers — but make it nature.
For some intense mountaintop hiking and elevated ocean overlooks, head to these beaches:
- PFEIFFER BEACH
- MCWAY BEACH
- SAND DOLLAR BEACH
- PARTINGTON COVE
- KIRK CREEK CAMPGROUND BEACH
For crystal-clear water in the heart of Miami, check out these beaches:
- South Beach (because of course)
- North Beach Oceanside Park
- Haulover Beach
- Sunny Isles Beach
- Crandon Park Beach
If we had to sum up Miami in a few images — vibrant colors, flashy cars and Art Deco architecture. Whatever you’re envisioning for a fun beach getaway, it’s all here in Miami.
Deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, water sports, boat rentals, jet skiing, paddle boarding — they really have it all. Need we say more?
If so, not a problem. The food is yummy, the local culture is thriving and the downtown is always worth a fist bump or two. Not to mention that the white-sand beaches are unlike any other in all of Florida.
P.S. — don’t forget your SPF and a cute hat. Miami rays are pretty strong.