No matter how we conclude a beach or how high your waterfront standards might be, MONEY has found a ideal finish for you.
The following 14 beaches, both in a U.S. and overseas, operation widely. They embody still sandy retreats, breaks surfers will love, sensuous foliage-hidden escapes, and kid-friendly options with boardwalk games. The one thing they share: All offer that ideal brew of waterfront amenities and affordability.
MONEY weighed thousands of information points about some-more than 250 renouned beach spots opposite a universe to slight a list, picking 7 domestic and 7 general destinations. Only one general leader was selected per country; domestically, we singular winners to one city in any state.
Best U.S. Beach Vacations
1. Pompano Beach, Florida
Enjoy all that Florida beaches are famous for—warm sea waters, prolonged stretches of golden sand, and tons of sunshine—at a some-more reasonable cost with a stay in Pompano Beach, differently famous as “the Heart of a Gold Coast.” Sitting on a Atlantic Ocean usually north of Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach is an “affordable and family-friendly choice to other South Florida hotspots,” says Lonely Planet‘s Evan Godt. Average rates for hotel bedrooms run usually $124 a night, according to Hotels.com. That’s reduction than what you’d compensate to stay in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, or West Palm Beach. (And it’s one reason Pompano Beach landed during No. 5 on this year’s Best in Travel list.)
Don’t consider you’ll be sacrificing any beach fun; Pompano still offers some-more than adequate to prove any kind of H2O lover. From a shore, we can entrance healthy coral reefs; scuba divers, meanwhile, can revisit 18 shipwrecks in a area. The Okinawa, located usually off a 1,000-foot-long Pompano Beach Pier (currently sealed for a vital reconstruction), creates for a good amateur dive—with a tip of a mutilate sited usually 40 feet subsequent a surface.
As befits a name, Pompano Beach attracts copiousness of competition fishers too. Every May, a city hosts a fishing rodeo (this year on May 19); some catches can acquire some-more than $18,000. Families will adore a beachside playgrounds, finish with grills and cruise tables, as good as a shoreline itself—at some-more than 100 yards wide, it gives kids some-more than adequate space to build castles and bury their siblings.
2. Asbury Park, New Jersey
Made famous by Bruce Springsteen, Asbury Park offers a classical combo of beach and boardwalk. Surfers can be seen roving a waves on this mile-long widen of a Jersey Shore.
Like many Shore beaches, Asbury Park requires a pass (weekdays $5/weekends $7). If a a object isn’t cooperating, while divided time with a horde of circuitously family-friendly activities, including a Silverball Museum Arcade (no buliding needed, passes sole staring during $10), that showcases hundreds of antique pinball games.
Looking for fun after a object goes down? The Stone Pony, one of a area’s biggest song venues, puts on an annual Summer Stage unison series. (This summer’s lineup includes New Found Glory, Boy George and a Culture Club, and Billy Currington.) Restaurants and shops are open late for a monthly “First Saturday Asbury Park.” Swing by Asbury Festhalle Biergarten for a splash (over 50 on tap) or take in a sunsets from a rooftop bar Salvation (part of The Asbury hotel).
3. Sag Harbor, New York
Sag Harbor has fewer luminary homes and summer crowds than other tools of a Hamptons — though that’s what creates it so special. Family-owned groceries, antique stores and art galleries line a streets, giving a city a laid-back vibe. The encampment also has a abounding history, including a use as a British naval port during a Revolutionary War and after standing as a refuge for African-Americans during a Jim Crow era.
A reservation during a American Hotel might give we a ambience of Sag Harbor’s story and culture; built in 1846, it stays a “epicenter of Sag Habor life,” according to Coastal Living. The hotel has a 30,000-bottle booze list and a French grill founded by a mythological booze executive Ted Conklin, where we can find local firefighters and celebrities intermingling.
Families (and dogs) adore Foster Memorial Long Beach on Noyack Bay. The waters are ease and get comfortable faster than a ocean, creation it ideal for immature children. Lifeguards are on avocation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a beach closes during 9 p.m. Bathrooms and showers are permitted on site and parking permits are $20 per day during a high season.
4. Long Beach, California
Although once a must-visit finish for surfers, Long Beach assembled wave-taming breakwaters around a beach starting in a initial half of 20th century. The ease H2O is now more suitable for recreational swimmers and children, and offers a event for several water sports like kayaking and kite surfing.
Alamitos and Junipero beaches are walking widen from a hotels and restaurants in downtown Long Beach. Locals and visitors can suffer biking along a several scenic beachfront bike trails. If we didn’t move a bike, a city has several let options; Long Beach Bike Share, for instance, offers 60 mins of biking for $7.
For dining and shopping, transport over to a Shoreline Village party core that overlooks a Rainbow Harbor. You can possibly eat during a upscale Queensview Steakhouse or mangle on prohibited dogs during Tugboat Pete’s. Kids might suffer a Pelican Pier Pavilion’s 70 arcade games, and a center’s vast carousel. Across from Shoreline on Rainbow Harbor, we can also revisit a Aquarium of a Pacific, a largest aquarium in Southern California and a fourth-most-attended in a world. The captivate has over 50 exhibits and 11,000 animals, including sharks, squids, penguins and sea otters.
5. Glen Arbor, Michigan
Perched on a tiny frame of land using between Glen Lake and Sleeping Bear Bay, Glen Arbor offers visitors a best of Northern Michigan. Water laps during a seaside of white sand, mouth-watering still sunbathers, hikers and water-sport enthusiasts.
Glen Arbor is situated in a core of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a federally stable park, and delivers easy entrance to 65 miles of shoreline, forested islands, walking trails (including a paved Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail), and a park’s many distinguished feature: huge silt dunes. Climb to a overlooks during a Sleeping Bear, Empire, or Pyramid Point bluffs and you’ll be treated to lake views from some-more than 400 feet up.
Settle in during Peterson Beach for still lounging with views of a Empire Bluff silt dunes to a north and Platte River Point to a south. Kids might cite a stop during Esch Beach (also called Otter Creek Beach); a swimming area is located during a rivulet mouth though shoal adequate that we can transport upstream to admire wildflowers lush on a banks.
Year-over-year prices for a hotel room in Glen Arbor have forsaken 21%, according to Hipmunk, creation this a good year to have a Michigan summer.
6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
The heart of South Carolina’s Grand Strand—a 60-mile prolonged crescent-shaped widen of beaches that runs along a Atlantic Ocean—Myrtle Beach offers families all they need to keep active kids happy though pinching a wallet too much. Flights are down scarcely 13% year-over-year, according to Kayak and a weeklong outing for a family of 4 averages $3,535.
This beach review isn’t for those looking for a pacific escape. Myrtle Beach is a sepulchral vacation city hosting some-more than 16 million visitors per year. Its purify beaches are still a categorical pull though are surrounded by shops, snacks, and traveller attractions.
The 1.2-mile beachfront boardwalk is lined with arcades and commemoration stands; we can stop in during a iconic Peaches Corner for a prohibited dog or take a spin on a 187-foot SkyWheel. At night, a vast float dazzles with an dusk light show. Reach a southern finish of a route and we can ramble by silt dunes to get a some-more healthy view.
Celebrity-designed golf courses lure some-more seasoned putters to Myrtle Beach, while kids can try for a hole-in-one in a self-proclaimed “Miniature Golf Capital of a World”: There are dozens of mini-golf courses, and a over-the-top kitsch includes fire-breathing dragons and hulk volcanoes. Most courses offer full-day tickets, so we can let your kids play additional rounds though an additional cost.
For a mangle from a attractions and opening malls, revisit Myrtle Beach State Park or circuitously Huntington Beach State Park, both of that offer overnight camping and educational activities, so your family can learn some-more about alligators and loggerhead sea turtles.
7. Outer Banks, North Carolina
With over 100 miles of shoreline, a separator islands that make adult a Outer Banks offer a far-reaching operation of beach options for visitors. Those looking for footpaths, piers and giveaway parking should check out a Northern Beach towns, as they’re known—including pet-friendly Duck and a surfer’s hangout during Kitty Hawk. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore (free), on a other hand, offers a reduction blurb shoreline. This is also where we can stand a eye-catching black and white Bodie Island Lighthouse ($10). And if you’re looking to cut costs, a park offers campgrounds with nightly rates starting during $20.
The Outer Banks also offers some-more than usually beaches. Travel behind in time during Raleigh National Historic Site (free) to learn how European settlers and Native Americans fared, and learn about a puzzling disappearance of a Roanoke Island settlement. Aviation buffs can see a site of a initial successful moody during a Wright Brothers National Memorial ($7). The categorical visitors’ core is underneath renovation, though a smaller proxy trickery is adult and running.
Best International Beach Vacations
1. Bali, Indonesia
Famed as a pleasing paradise, Bali’s existence doesn’t disappoint. Whatever waterfront anticipation you’ve envisioned—from tranquil, removed strands to big-wave surfing to rough beach parties—Bali has a mark for you. The best part: Paradise has gotten cheaper. Flights are down 8% on normal given 2016, according to Kayak.
Surfers looking to plea their skills should revisit a waves violation off Balangan Beach. This embankment mangle in a Bukit peninsula offers vast unchanging barrels for gifted surfers. Beginner surfers (or those looking to learn) should conduct to Kuta Beach. One of a many most-visited places on a island, it is also one of a easiest places to surf, with several internal businesses charity lessons.
If you’re looking for undersea treasures, stop off during black-sand Amed Beach, on a island’s eastern shore. The coral-filled waters, with mixed shipwrecks, are a strike with scuba divers. And those pacific to work a bit can learn mostly removed dark beaches all opposite Bali. Nyang Nyang Beach, for instance, requires some movement though rewards a brave with dull stretches of sand.
Finally, no outing to Bali would be finish though a revisit to during slightest one overwhelming temple. The shoreline hosts several overwhelming options, including Tanah Lot Temple, that sits on a vast offshore rock. It is one of 7 sea temples that run along a southwestern coast, and offers a perspective of a subsequent site in a chain.
2. Mallorca, Spain
Famed mostly for a beach clubs and nightlife, this Spanish island also offers easeful beach coves and pacific towering towns. “Even among a traveller swarms of mid-August we can find pockets of silence,” says Tom Stainer, a Lonely Planet finish editor.
To get to a island, fly into a stylish city of Palma, and spend some time exploring. Take in a commanding Catedral de Mallorca, afterwards have lunch at Marc Fosh—the Michelin-starred chef’s namesake restaurant. A three-course dish of weekly specials, such as salmon and coffee panna cotta, will set we behind reduction than $40.
Then go over a city limits: Stainer recommends visiting a circuitously coves, movement to hilltop monasteries, or cycling by a surrounding villages. One scenic beach, Platja des Coll Baix, is usually permitted by vessel or by foot—and a route down can be high and hilly in places. Lonely Planet suggests nearing early or late to see a beach during a many serene.
3. Crete, Greece
At over 3,200 block miles, Crete is Greece’s largest island, home to an contentment of ancestral sites, healthy beauty, and outward attractions—ranging from farmers’ markets to towering biking excursions and glass-bottomed-boat rides.
Check out spots like Elafonisi Beach, famous for a pinkish sand. Balos Beach and Lagoon, set in a inlet preserve, is also a stunner with transparent bluish waters. World-famous archaeological sites embody a Palace of Knossos, located outward Heraklion.
Crete also has a graphic enlightenment and a good food scene; a engorgement of tavernas offer uninformed seafood and house-made raki and cheeses. Be certain to representation some of this Mediterranean island’s wines during a Lyrarakis winery—tastings start during around $10—and check out a world-famous olive oil.
4. Jeju Island, South Korea
South Koreans have been vacationing on Jeju for decades, though a wider universe has usually recently started to try this volcanic island. Most group to a renouned Jungmun Beach, though we can also suffer a powdery white sands of a pacific Hyeop-jae Beach.
Located 60 miles off South Korea’s southern coast, Jeju offers outward wonders, says Lonely Planet’s Megan Eaves. At a core of a island, Hallasan towering soars above a surrounding inhabitant park (admission is free). It’s a country’s top peak, with 6 hiking trails that let we try a walls. To a north is another vestige of a island’s geological past: Manjanggul Lava Tube, a 5-mile-long inlet dirty with volcanic stalactites, shelves and bridges.
Jeju island’s comparatively tiny size—it’s usually about 20 miles wide—means a sea is never distant away, so fresh, internal seafood is abundant. Some of that collect is held by a Haenyeo, normal womanlike divers.
5. El Nido, Philippines
Use El Nido, surrounded by bluish lagoons and limestone formations, as a bottom to try a beauty of a Bacuit Archipelago. Both flights and hotel rates have forsaken big-time over a past year: The normal cost of a hotel room dipped 24%, according to Hotels.com, while flights are down 37%, Hopper found.
Rent kayaks to knowledge a best of a area, or book a vessel debate to revisit sites like a Small and Big Lagoons, Snake Island, and Pinagbuyutan. The region’s islands underline limestone cliffs, forlorn white beaches, and tiny coves and caves to explore, while a coral reefs will lure we to fist snorkel or scuba rigging for a closer view.
Nacpan Beach on El Nido’s categorical island is some-more touristy, though with a repute for beauty. You’ll find miles of white silt and palm trees as good as easy entrance to restaurants, food shacks, and even powerful seats for rent. For overwhelming nightfall views, meanwhile, revisit Las Cabanas beach. You can fist in some final swimming for a day before settling into one of a many bars for a splash as we watch a object descend.
Scuba divers should revisit South Entalula, this site hosts some of a many colorful and pleasing coral formations in El Nido. More gifted scuba divers can risk a Dilumacad underwater tunnel. This inlet arrangement extends for 50-65 feet before opening into a inlet where tiny fish and crabs can be glimpsed, afterwards we contingency float out a opposite slight 32-foot exit tunnel.
6. Cozumel, Mexico
Cancun might be one a some-more popular transport destinations for Americans, though we could arguably find some-more pleasing beaches and excursions, and somewhat reduction crowds, during a adjacent island of Cozumel.
Known for a scuba diving, Cozumel’s transparent H2O allows for prominence of 100 to 200 feet. You can counterpart into a Great Mayan Reef, a second-largest embankment complement in a world, during Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park. For usually a $2 donation, we can select from any of a park’s wide-ranging dive sites, creation it suitable for both beginners and modernized divers.
If you’d rather suffer Cozumel from dry land, we can revisit one of a island’s dozens of beaches. The turf varies depending on either you’re on a easterly or west side of a Island; easterly seashore beaches tend to be hilly and unprotected, creation them ideal for private transport or snorkeling, while a west seashore has some-more grown and tourist-focused sites. If you’re venturing to a easterly side, take your dear to Playa Bonita, deliberate one of a many romantic beaches on a island: It’s got peaceful waves and powdery sand, and is nestled in a inlet with a possess restaurant/bar called Punta Chiqueros.
If we wish to stay circuitously a beach clubs on a west side, try Playa Corona for some snorkeling or a Playa Palancar, where we can find vast crowds and options for drinks and dining.
7. The Azores, Portugal
A tiny archipelago of 9 islands roughly 1,000 miles off a seashore of Portugal, The Azores are home to volcanic towering peaks, whale watching, and 15th-century encampment architecture. There is no wrong time to visit: Mild year-round temperatures meant there is no “off season,” and while summer is rise traveller time, we can see a hydrangeas freshness in early open and soak in skin-nourishing geothermal pools in a tumble and winter.
The dual islands with a many renouned beaches are São Miguel and Santa Maria. The Western half of Santa Maria, a oldest island in a Azores, has a dry, comfortable heat identical to a Mediterranean, while a easterly side is hilly and green. The many famous beach, Praia Formosa on a Baia de Praia bay, has white sandy beaches and has a island’s hillsides in a background.
São Miguel, meanwhile, is a largest island of a Azores and famed for a twin lakes (one blue and one green). Some of this island’s beaches embody a Praia da Vinha da Areia, located circuitously many vital hotels and a vast waterpark, and a surfer-friendly Praia de Santa Barbara.
There are also copiousness of ways to see Azores on dry land. Horseback riding, bicycle tours, hiking, and volcanic scrutiny are particularly popular, as are visits to a area’s ancient villages and churches.
To find a beach destinations that broach a best value, MONEY deliberate some-more than 3,500 information points for some-more than 250 of a many renouned beach destinations worldwide. For both U.S. and general beach cities, we ranked a 7 that scored top on altogether cost factors, giving a many weight to a cost of airfare, lodging, and food, as good as a biggest year-over-year cost drops. We also deliberate a series of beaches any city offered, as good as traveller activities and knowledge factors like low crime rates and pleasing weather.