Beach holidays to North America have plenty to offer, and as we celebrate all things American, the enviable American lifestyle, music, food and beach culture all spring to mind. Whether in Florida or California, the surf, the lifeguards and timeless Beach Boys soundtrack are all part of the US attraction. With our own spell of perfect summer weather, we just need an iconic beach holiday to go with the welcome sunshine. From the sunshine state to California dreaming, here we provide the our top 10 beach holidays to North America.
Welcome to Miami, a beach holiday with true character. From its powdery sands, you can see the gleaming high-rises and flashy cars, where art-deco influences and Latin flair make up one of the United States’ most vibrant cities. The famed South Beach is often considered one of the best beach holiday destinations in North America, where you find beautiful people draped on beautiful sands, though there are plenty of quieter spots for families or those who simply want a little less attention. Head to Key Biscayne to appreciate wildlife a little more and to take a look at the Cape Florida Lighthouse that dates back to 1845.
2. Riviera Maya
It’s easy to see why Riviera Maya is one of the top 10 beach holidays in North America. Stretching along Mexico’s Caribbean coastline, this is one of North America’s best beach holiday destinations for snorkelling and diving. If you dip below the surface of the shore, you will find an extensive coral reef and an array of marine life, plus underground caverns to explore. There is a fantastic choice of luxury resorts located along the palm-lined coast of Playa del Carmen, one of the trendiest beachfront spots, where you can make the most of this heavenly location. From here, you could also head to Paraiso Beach for the day, where you will find the incredible Mayan ruins of Tulum.
3. Orange County
If you are looking for a beach holiday to North America with some state-side swagger, Orange County in California is for you. ‘The OC’ is one of the state’s most sought-after spots, oozing SoCal sophistication, where beaches are made for sun, sea and surf. You’ve probably heard of Laguna Beach, which is easily one of the best beach holiday destinations in North America. Along its seven-mile stretch of coves and canyons, you can find plenty of artistic, cultural and shopping spots, with festivals throughout the summer. Stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel to be just a short shuttle bus ride away and request Billabong surf lessons from a professional instructor.
4. Palm Beach
You might not think of Florida as being sophisticated, but Palm Beach is one of the best beach holiday destinations in North America if you want to soak up the rays of the ‘Sunshine State’ away from the buzz of Miami or Disney magic of Orlando. The Breakers, Palm Beach is one of the area’s most iconic resorts, set in the heart of this enviable beach destination. Its five-acres of tropical beach is fantastic, though the hotel’s four swimming pools, extensive spa and championship golf course offer an escape from the sands, if you so wish. For a bit more action, you can drive out for about forty-minutes to reach Delray Beach, famed for its lively main street, with plenty of places to dine and be entertained at art galleries, shops, festivals and theatres.
5. Santa Monica
Santa Monica in California is perhaps one of the most iconic beach destinations in North America. Its palm-lined waterfront and nostalgic pier, with an old-school fun fair, cuts a classically Californian silhouette. Today, the one-hundred-and-eight-year-old Ferris Wheel is the world’s only solar-powered wheel of its kind, and still retains its charm when it lights up at night. Ocean Avenue, which runs along the coast, offers plenty of beachfront hangout spots, while the original Muscle Beach is still the haunt of pumped-up body-builders and fitness fanatics. It’s also a great place for bike rides along the twenty-two miles of coastline boasting delightful scenery. Stay at Shutters on the Beach to be close to the pier and just steps from the sand to experience one of the best beach holidays in North America.
Orlando in Florida is a heavy weight when it comes to sorting the top 10 beach holidays in North America. Its draw is mainly based on its wonderful selection of theme parks, though its beaches are just as irresistible. From Orlando, you can drive out to Cocoa Beach to find a quintessential Floridian beach town, or head to the iconic Daytona Beach, where you can enjoy a host of family-friendly activities like surfing, parasailing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Daytona Beach Pier was constructed in 1925 after its predecessor burnt down, making it a grand age by Florida’s standards, and is a popular spot for dropping a line to hook a fish or two.
7. Los Cabos
On the beautiful Baja peninsula, along the stunning Sea of Cortez, Los Cabos in Mexico boasts beautiful stretches of powdery sands and crystal-clear waters. Here, you will find the exquisite One&Only Palmilla, which has the privilege of beachfront access to one of the few swimmable beaches in the region. Originally built in 1956 by the son of the President of Mexico, its earliest guests included Hollywood royalty, who no doubt were drawn by one of the best beache holiday destinations in North America. The surrounding waters are also world class; having been described as ‘the world’s aquarium’ by legendary diver, Jacques Cousteau, they offer wonderful diving opportunities with a variety of marine-life and encounter with manta rays, hammerheads, sea turtles and sea lions.
8. San Diego
San Diego is said to be one of America’s favourite cities, but it also happens to be one of our top 10 beach holidays in North America. La Jolla Ecological Reserve is one of the best spots for natural beauty, spanning six-thousand-acres of ocean floor with its artificial reef and underwater kelp forests. While the area is protected, you can kayak around to appreciate its splendour. Mission Beach is one of the livelier beach locations in San Diego, which is great if you want to have fun at the amusement park or stop for a game of volleyball, though Coronado Beach is perhaps the most well-known. Here, the iconic Hotel del Coronado offers a seaside playground, where an array of activities will keep you busy, from painting and movies to yoga and spin classes, all set along this magical stretch of beach.
A list of the top 10 beach holidays in North America would not be complete without a mention of the tropics of Hawaii. On the island of Oahu, you will find the famed Honolulu and Waikiki beaches, the latter being one of the most recognised beach names in the world. Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is ideally placed for visiting both, plus it has exclusive access to a number of its own charming lagoons. Also nearby is Makaha Beach Park, which is renowned for its snorkelling and surfing, while you may also see playful Spinner Dolphins frolicking across the turquoise-coloured bay.
Another win for Florida, Naples has earned its place as one of the best beach holiday destinations in North America. Based in a quieter corner of the state, it sits along the west coast of the peninsula, opposite Miami, where more than eighty-percent of the land is protected by nature reserves and beach communities. The Ritz-Carlton, Naples is one of the best luxury beach resorts of this area, where three-miles of Vanderbilt Beach’s white sands offer a sumptuous place to relax in a private cabana, or head out parasailing or kayaking. About a twenty-minute drive away, you can also visit Bonita Beach with a lovely quiet atmosphere, or head to the historic Naples Pier, a favourite fishing spot.
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