What’s better than fresh crisp air and the soft sound of waves hitting the sand? Hanging out on beaches is one of my favorite summer pastimes. That and a glass of red wine will make me forget every unchecked line on my “to-do list.”
Picturesque pure white sand, booming palm trees, clear blue endless water … from Maldives to Fiji, I’ve compiled a list below of ten gorgeous (and a few weird) beaches that scream, “Take a photo of me!”
True, we typically hit the same few beaches as a family every summer, but there are dozens of beaches around the world I’d love to visit at some point, not just for the photos ops, but for the experience of witnessing different cultures and landscapes that we don’t normally see while vacationing on the U.S. beaches we frequent.
Check out the list below and let me know if I’m missing any “dream beach” destinations!
1. Seychelles islands, by the coast of Africa – With more than 115 different islands to explore, Seychelles’ beaches boast large boulders, palm trees, turtles, and natural swimming pools.
2. Bora Bora, French Polynesia – Nicknamed “the romantic island,” secluded pieces of paradise (complete with snorkeling excursions) can be enjoyed and photographed on Bora Bora island, along with visits to a number of unique boutiques, restaurants and museums.
3. Maldives’ “glow in the dark” beach – Yes, this is a real thing. “Ostracod crustaceans” create an otherworldly glow on certain beaches in Maldives for seconds to minutes at a time. If you want to experience this enchantment closer to home, you can also check them out in San Diego.
5. Hot Water Beach, New Zealand – Maybe standard sandy beaches and waves aren’t your thing. At Hot Water Beach, you can dig a pool around yourself while hot water bubbles up through the sand. Lots of quirky photo ops here!
6. Chincoteague Island, Virginia – Part of a 14,000-acre National Wildlife Refuge (with herds of wild ponies) Chincoteague’s low-key beach is less swarmed with crowds than other destinations, and perfect for those seeking small town charm and authenticity. With mom and pop ice cream shops and evening strolls encouraged, this would be a great summer getaway for the whole family.
7. Fiji – Fiji is home to perhaps more postcard worthy beaches than any other area in the world, and is often the first place that comes to mind when I (and many others) think, “beach paradise.”
8. Sanibel, Fort Myers – Well-known for having a crazy amount of shells, Sanibel is a fun place to explore (and “treasure hunt” in) with kids at your side.
9. Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos – Breathtaking beaches and a coral reef provide some awesome views for photos at Grace Bay. Another photo-worthy site: Chalk Sound, a nearby turquoise water lake.
10. Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico – One of the most popular beaches in the world to visit, Flamenco Beach is an ideal classic beach getaway, complete with stunning ocean views and stretches of seemingly untouched white sand.
Studies show being near the ocean can make you a happier and more relaxed person. Make a “beach bucket list” this summer (even if you have to stay local) and reap all kinds of benefits and new adventures while building up your photo portfolio.