I am always hunting for a fabulous beach to explore. These really caught my attention. Especially during the cold winter months. I thought you may enjoy a little day dream in prep for our next vacation. Let me know if you have been to any of these or plan to go.
Jacqueline Jax – Editor Blondi Beach
THE FLORIDA KEYS
Why Go: The archipelago stretching off southern Florida is made up of 1,700 islands; when narrowing down which to visit, put Key Largo on the list so you can visit the only living coral reef off the mainland US. Key West is another must: there’s always something going on at Smathers Beach, from Jet Skiing to volleyball tournaments.
Where to Stay: Accessible only by boat or seaplane, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa offers luxurious castaway isolation. The quaint Marquesa Hotel, on the other hand, is set in Key West’s lovely historic district.
ST. MARTIN AND ST. MAARTEN
Why Go: It’s like visiting two countries in one on this sun-soaked, half-French and half-Dutch island. Thirty-seven beaches include Cupecoy and its dramatic sunsets; the windsurfing-friendly Orient Bay; and surfer spot Mullet Bay, where the beach scene is refreshingly tranquil. The Gallic influence on the cuisine in the gourmet hub of Grand Case makes the restaurant scene one of the best in the Caribbean, with Creole fish shacks, high-end French spots, and everything in between.
Where to Stay: The villas of La Samanna front the island’s largest beach. Bide your time in the casino at the The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort & Spa between stretches of sunning.
Why Go: Maui offers some of the world’s loveliest drives, such as The Road to Hana, lush with rainforests and waterfalls, and a winding tour through Haleakala National Park to the world’s largest dormant volcano, with breathtaking overlooks along with the twists and turns. Wai’anapanapa State Park, not only consists of pristine waters and a black sand beach, but also stunning fresh water caves and cliffs crying out for jumping.
Where to Stay: The palatial Four Seasons Resort Maui is strewn with gardens alongside its beachfront property and many of its guestrooms include volcano views. The stylish Andaz Maui features a restaurant from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
Why Go: Only eight of the 40 islands in this archipelago are inhabited. Providenciales is the center; Grand Turk is the capital; and North and Middle Caicos are quiet getaway spots. Divers and snorkelers enjoy the show along the world’s third largest barrier reef, while Long Bay beach is the place to take up kite boarding. Blue marlin fill the surrounding waters, making the islands a great spot for fishing, too.
Where to Stay: Seven Stars Grace Bay includes a vast seawater pool and private cabanas on the beach. The entire island of Parrot Cay is devoted to the resort Parrot Cay by COMO, with its unspoiled mile-long stretch of beach.
Why Go: Hawaii’s own “Grand Canyon,” Waimea, is a colorful, 10-mile-long and 3,500-foot deep gorge that visitors have to see to believe. Hiking the Nã Pali cliffs offers picture-perfect coastline views while Po’ipu Beach brims with activity and water sports. Those seeking seclusion love Kalapaki Beach. The gentle rapids of Kauai’s various rivers allow for fun, scenic, and mellow kayaking expeditions.
Where to Stay: The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is an Art Deco gem with a sprawling seawater pool. The renowned butler service in the top-category rooms and a new spa set the St. Regis Princeville Resort apart.