Beaches in North America
North American beaches are truly one of a kind. That’s because no other region on earth has beaches quite as famous or as popular. For example, the entire continent offers every kind of beach imaginable, ranging from the wild and dangerous Kodiak Island in Alaska, to the pounding surf of Playa Higuero in Puerto Rico, to the exhibitory lifestyle of Haulover Beach in Miami, and the excellent fishing and camping of the Outer Banks. On that note, this guide will point out some of the more well-known and pristine beaches in North America.
Off the Beaten Path
If you’re looking for a little adventure, and don’t mind venturing into the wild, then Alaska’s Kodiak Island is definitely for you. The island has several wonderfully isolated beaches, like Buskin beach, where a camper can fish for salmon, watch Kodiak bears feeding, and go kayaking with whales all in the same day! However, if dealing with bears sounds a bit too dangerous, then Canada’s Vancouver Island might be just right for you. While the island is completely covered in lush pine forests and offers every sort of outdoor activity ranging from surfing, fishing, whale watching, and even skiing, the island does also have some very quaint coastal towns. For example, the small local town of Tofino has earned the nickname “Canada’s surf city”, for its proximity to beautiful beaches like Cox bay or Wickaninish and for its overall “laid back” vibe. The flora and fauna in the area are remarkable, and while the water is cold, the fishing is fantastic!
North America as a whole has some of the best, and most crowded, surf in the world. If you are feeling the need to get barreled, then check out the Outer Banks in North Carolina, where the local beach breaks offer up epic waves for a hundred miles up and down the coast. Malibu beach, otherwise known as Surfrider state beach in Southern California, is an excellent right point break that has been at the center of surfing culture in the U.S. for decades. South of the border, the dangerous Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca, Mexico is commonly known as the “Mexican Pipeline”, and its deadly barrels have claimed countless boards and can easily reach heights of 20 feet or more! A more gentler wave, but equally as popular, is Playa Higuero in Puerto Rico, where surfers from around the world come to relax, immerse themselves in the local culture, and of course, surf.
The City Life
For those who want to soak up the sun and lay out on the sand, but don’t have much interest in surfing or hiking through the wild of Alaska, a beach closer to civilization might be perfect for you. Santa Monica is an excellent little getaway for a family vacation, as there is quite a bit to do. The local Santa Monica pier has a several bars and restaurants, and not to mention a theme park with a roller coaster and Ferris wheel. The local area, such as 3rd street, which is only a short distance away from the actual pier, offers great shopping, eating, and much more. It also goes without saying, that the local Santa Monica beach is great to just hang out, catch some rays, and watch some of the unique people that call Southern California home. However, if you want a little more racier atmosphere, Miami’s South Beach, is located right next to the famous Ocean drive, has a party reputation that is known throughout the world. Overall, while there are many beaches to visit in North America, these select few are some of the ones that can’t be missed.
Beaches in Asia
Asian beaches have it all! White sand, coconut palms, amazing marine wildlife, and a thriving traveler scene. For any beach enthusiast, Asia offers endless possibilities and infinite variety. Such a huge continent can be intimidating for a potential traveler – let this quick guide give you an idea of what’s available.
If you want to be pampered, Asia is full of luxury beach resorts which are often less expensive than their European equivalents. Goa, on the West coast of India, is the perfect place to unwind, with gorgeous beach-side villas and warm, crystalline water. Kerala, hidden in India’s south-west corner, is quieter and less commercial, and is a great place to relax. The resorts at Sanya, on the Chinese island of Hainan, offer lavish accommodation set against the beautiful backdrop of the South China Sea.
Making the Most of Asia’s Beaches
On top of its gorgeous resort destinations, Asia is home to countless secluded beach paradises. Island-hopping in Thailand is the best way to discover enchanting hidden coves and bays, along with world-famous beach parties. Bali, in Indonesia, is a great place to experience the tropical lifestyle without sacrificing too many western comforts. If you really want to get away from it all, then Honda Bay in the Philippines is home to some of the least developed beaches in the world – just make sure you travel with an experienced guide, and bear in mind that piracy is still considered a problem in the area. If you’re not feeling too adventurous, Vietnam’s beaches are equally beautiful, and are a favourite destination for young back-packers.
With its incredibly diverse marine wildlife, Asia has some of the best dive sites and snorkeling beaches in the world. Diving enthusiasts come from all over the world to enjoy the astonishing coral reefs at Sipudan, in Malaysian Borneo – one of the few places where you are almost guaranteed to see a wild sea-turtle. But even for casual snorkelers, there are many beautiful reefs to be seen around off beaches of Cambodia or Burma. Whatever you’re into, you’ll be able to find your perfect beach paradise somewhere along Asia’s endless coastline.