You can never go wrong with a summer beach trip. Whether you take a long weekend or go on vacation for the week, the beach can be the perfect destination to rest and recharge. Since you can play in the waves, join a volleyball game, or read a book while working on your tan, there’s an activity for every traveler type.
If you’re looking to visit a domestic beach this summer and maybe want to redeem a free night certificate, here are a few to consider.
Clearwater Beach, Florida
Located on the Gulf of Mexico just outside Tampa, Clearwater offers pristine white sand and clear water. If you watch long enough, you can even see a dolphin or two as well! Although you might only visit the actual beachfront in the morning or early afternoon hours, check out the nightly Sunsets at Pier 60 festivals to enjoy live music while taking in the sunset.
South Beach, Florida
A trip to Miami isn’t complete with a visit to South Beach. This beach area consists of all Miami’s barrier islands. You can enjoy the Atlantic oceanfront by taking a walk along the shore of the Sunshine State. There are also many shops and art galleries to explore if you’re craving a change of scenery.
Be sure to notice the beautiful Art Deco architecture. You can even take a tour of Miami on a “Miami Vice” speedboat.
Asbury Park, New Jersey
Asbury Park is just a skip away from New York City, making this an easy spot to visit if you’re planning to visit the Big Apple this summer or live nearby. There’s a thriving music scene at Asbury Park. You can also add the Asbury Lanes and Paramount Theatre to your sightseeing list too.
If it’s been a few years since you’ve visited Asbury Park, come take a second look. The 1.25 mile beachfront has received massive private investment to revive this beach city to become a Northern beach getaway.
Lahaina, Hawaii is on Maui Island and contains the Ka’anapali and Kapalua beach resort areas. Once you arrive, you might consider going snorkeling in the clear blue water, attending a luau, whale watching, and hiking the Kapalua coastal trail. This can be an excellent beach destination for couples or families.
Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
You might think of Cape Cod as the perfect getaway for the rich and famous or seeing the fall colors. Visiting Coast Guard Beach at Cape Cod during the summer can also be a divine experience for sunbathers. The water is still fairly cool even in the summer heat so you’ll want to pick a different spot if you live in the water when you take a beach trip.
If you want to visit the beach and soak in the New England experience, it’s hard to beat Coast Guard Beach.
Panama City, Florida
You’ll avoid the rowdy spring break crowds by visiting Panama City, Florida in the summertime. You can relax at Panama City Beach or also visit St. Andrews State Park, Shell Island, and the Gulf World Marine Park. If you are going with children, they will especially love Shell Island because they can collect plenty of shells, as you might have already guessed from the name!
Manhattan Beach, California
A hop, skip, and jump from LAX Airport, Manhattan Beach is the perfect beach destination if you’re in the Los Angeles area. You can visit the pier, relax on the beach, or cool off in the water. There’s also the nearby Sand Dune Park which has a tall sand dune that’s open to the general public. Many professional athletes come here to train and test their stamina.
As you’re only a few miles away from downtown Los Angeles, you can also visit the many city landmarks that have helped put the city on the map. Check out my recommendations of hotels for every type of traveler when in the Los Angeles area.
Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
Movie fans might recognize Coronado Beach from the world-famous Marilyn Monroe film, “Some Like It Hot.” Or, you might be familiar with the Victorian-style Hotel del Coronado with its whitewashed walls and vibrant red roof. Located on one of the islands surrounding San Diego, you will enjoy Pacific Ocean beachfront access. You can also visit the world famous San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park.
La Jolla, California
Nestled just north of San Diego, La Jolla is known for its gentle waves and sandy beaches. In the background, you can enjoy the scenery of rocky cliffs. You might consider visiting La Jolla if you enjoy scuba diving or paddleboarding. La Jolla is also a fun destination for children with a children’s park, hiking areas, caves for exploring, and looking at wildlife. Adults can enjoy the beautiful oceanfront and the local shops. A stay at the iconic La Valencia Hotel is also a must.
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
There are several different island beaches that surround Charleston, South Carolina. Kiawah Island is one of the southernmost islands and a great getaway for enjoying the dark brown Carolina sand and wildlife. This island isn’t as developed as some of the more bustling Charleston beaches like Isle of Palms, making it great for nature lovers.
On the island, you will find 123 acres of parks, hiking trails, and even a world-class golf course.
Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
Ocracoke Island is the southernmost island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks barrier islands that double as a summer beach getaway. You even have to take a ferry to access Ocracoke Island and it’s where the locals go to take their beach vacation. When you’re on the island, you can choose to stay on the oceanside or sound side for true tranquility.
You can go swimming, look for shells, and enjoy the big tide at Ocracoke Island while you stay here.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island in South Carolina has one primary public beach area—Coligny Beach—but many hotels and plantation villas offer beachfront access, too. There are several golf courses and plenty of places to shop when you visit Hilton Head Island. There’s even a lighthouse you can climb in the Harbour Town district on the southern end of the island.
You can also take a day trip to Charleston or Savannah to visit a historical coastal gem while enjoying the Lowcountry culture.
You won’t regret visiting any of these beach destinations. If a beach destination is nearby, you can take a long weekend to recharge. Or, you might decide to try someplace new for your family beach vacation this summer too. You can even use rewards points to get additional perks on your hotel stays. Check out my review of the best travel credit cards of 2018 for more ways to save.
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