The sun’s out, and the water is finally heating up. Now’s the perfect time to book that beach getaway on your bucket list. Land-mermaids like me can’t stay away from the waves for too long! If you’re ready to pack your bags and relax in the sand, check out these top beach destinations that will have you dreaming of summer all year long.
Trinidad and Tobago
Top Destinations: Las Cuevas, Toco Beach, Hundred Steps Beach, Grande Rivière Beach, Mayaro Beach, Paragrant Bay
Creole traditions and Caribbean vibes intersect in the wonderful dual-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. If you’re in the mood for a taste of paradise that has remained seemingly untouched by the tourism industry, you might want to pack your bags now before the word gets out on this lovely destination.
Mangroves, rainforests, beaches, and of course, Carnival, the iconic festival that takes place each year in the Caribbean, but no other island nation does it quite like Trinidad and Tobago!
Top Destinations: Zihuatanejo, Cozumel, Mazatlan, Playa del Carmen, Manzanillo, Tulum
Cancun and Puerto Vallarta have solidified their spots as one-stop party shops for spring breakers looking for an all-day fiesta under the sun. But if you need a slower pace, a jungle backdrop, and a tangy margarita, look no further than Mexico’s eastern coast, particularly the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea that crash against towns such as the ever-Instagrammable Tulum.
Mexico’s east coast beaches rival some of the best in the world, with white sand, clear, lukewarm water, and more than affordable grub to get you through your vacation, because let’s be honest, basking in the sun is no easy feat!
Top Destinations: Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Phangan, Koh Samet
Tropical beaches, bustling city centers, full-moon parties, expansive night markets, gourmet street food, and ancient ruins, is there anything that Thailand doesn’t have? There’s a reason tourists flock to this country for an escape from the cold, the ordinary, and the mundane.
Sure, parts of Thailand have become overcrowded with tourists and selfie sticks, but there is so much untouched beauty here that you will still be able to find unique hideaways that give you everything you need out of a beach vacation.
Top Destinations: Praia da Marinha, Praia da Rocha, Praia da Nazaré, Praia do Guincho
As one of the most budget-friendly countries in Europe, Portugal is a dream destination for anyone who wants to experience old-world charm, creamy local delights, and some of the world’s best surf!
In fact, beach life is so essential to the people that live here, that many coastal coworking spaces have storage for surfboards and other aquatic gear. Whether you’ve got the skills to take on skyscraper waves or would rather sip a caipirinha on shore, this country is full of gorgeous beaches, so choosing your adventure is easy.
Top Destinations: Coronado Beach, La Jolla Shores, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Big Sur, Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, Carmel Beach
With a coastline that just won’t quit, California is the natural choice when it comes to a beach getaway because the options are truly endless. If you want to cheer on street performers while zigzagging through the crowds of skaters, bikers, and runners, head to Venice Beach! Want to paddle board through crystal waters with Mexico in the rear view? Head down to San Diego!
Southern California might be famous for beaches, sun, and Hollywood, but if you prefer a slower pace, all you have to do is drive a few hours north up the Pacific Coast Highway to Big Sur—a true oasis in the California desert.
Top Destinations: Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, Edisto Beach
When you think of a beach vacation, does your mind immediately drift to the United States’ eastern coast? It should! South Carolina is home to Hilton Head Island, voted the number one beach in the entire country.
Whether you’re interested in family-fun or relaxation, there are over 200 miles of coastline for you to find your groove. Shallow water, nature reserves, salt marshes, river inlets—it’s all here. And of course, there are sprinkles of all-American entertainment across the coast, so you’ll never have to look for something to fill your time.
Top Destinations: Meads Bay, Shoal Bay, Barnes Bay, Sandy Ground
Few things are as quintessentially luxurious as a getaway to the island paradise of Anguilla. With year-round weather that will make you want to quit your day job and beaches that look like they’re straight out of a postcard, it’s no wonder this small nation is a top choice for destination weddings, picturesque honeymoons, and romantic elopements.
Even though this Caribbean island has become a hotspot for the rich and famous, it still has a unique charm and authenticity that should not be missed.
Top Destinations: Palawan, El Nido, Boracay, Panglao Island, Cebu, Puerto Princesa, Coron
Year around, hordes of backpackers, adventurers, and nature junkies head to Southeast Asia for cheap travel experiences in some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. However, because most travelers choose to stay in Thailand or Vietnam, the stunning beaches of the Philippines have still managed to fly under the radar.
For the past 20 years, the Philippines has celebrated the Month of the Ocean in May, so what better time to book your next trip? The beaches in this country seem unreal, and with government protection and a shifting mindset for locals, hopefully, they’ll stay that way.
Does this list make you want to sip something tasty on the shore? In 2019, all travel should be sustainable. Before you gulp another drink, BYOS (Bring Your Own Straw)! Companies like Sip make sustainability simple. It’s innovation our planet needs.