We’ve already listed our favorite nature destinations, but anyone whose ever traveled knows there’s something special about the beach. Inna and I are from Southern California so we know great beaches, and we visited a lot on our trip. Here’s the list of our favorites:
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, USA
Leia loves the beach: running in the sand, sprinting around like crazy. So we found this secluded spot, one that was empty and sectioned off from the road, and took Leia’s leash off. It took her a moment, but when she realized the situation the look on her face was priceless, and then she was off!
The water was also warm here, and the scenery beautiful. This was the perfect place for a swim, so even without Leia, this beach would still be on this list.
Coney Island, USA
An amusement park on a beach? One with a pier, great sand, and one of the most iconic towers in existence? Of course this makes our list, even we didn’t spend too much time here (it reminded us a lot of home).
The shores around Mont Saint-Michel, France
France’s north coast is incredible, especially near Mont Saint-Michel. We visited the beach at the end of our visit, when the tide was low and the sand bar extended forever; it was so peaceful, it was awesome.
Zlatni Rt Forest Park, Croatia
Unlike the other beaches in this list, the water here was cold. But it was so clear and crisp that I went in regardless. It felt great. Again, we can only imagine how awesome things must be further south, where Croatia’s most popular beaches are. We can’t wait to visit them when we come back!
Mahana Point, Nusa Ceningan, Indonesia
Bali has tons of beaches but unfortunately many are filled with trash. Thankfully we were warned of this and told to stay on a smaller nearby island instead. We went to Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan, and Penida, and the beaches were amazing; we’re really glad we got the advice we did because these islands were secluded and clean and amazing!
Bai Bien Cua Dai, Vietnam
This beach may not have been as grand as some others, but even so, we enjoyed it so much. We rode bikes to get here, then rested on the shore, where Inna wrote the message pictured above. We had such a great time here, one of our favorite places in one of our favorite cities, the charming town of Hoi An.
Coconut Beach, Koh Rong, Cambodia
A private, secluded white sand beach; deluxe camping with mattresses, hammocks, bonfires, and tents; crystal clear water that was both clean and warm; puppies on land and glow-in-the-dark plankton in the water, all for only $15 per night. This place was paradise, or at least the closest to it we found on our trip.
White Beach (I think), Koh Rong, Cambodia
This is the main village on Koh Rong, and it had a great beach as well. We came here so Inna could dive, and while she did so I enjoyed the shore: the warm and clear water, soft and smooth sand, a fantastic boat tour, and I even got to spent time with locals, including a puppy and a kid I showed pictures to from my phone.
Koh Rok, Thailand
This was the ultimate white sand beach, the kind you see in photographs or movies. The sand here was the softest I’ve ever felt, and the water was so clear. This spot actually offers the Andaman Coast’s best snorkeling; I snorkeled here and it was some of the best in the world. This is also what makes this beach so crowded and popular.
Koh Lanta, Thailand
With golden sand and a tide pool only visible during low tide, this was another great beach. Most notable was the sunset, which we viewed from our resort overlooking this beach; it was incredible.
Bondi Beach, Australia
This was easily the most crowded beach we visited, but, like an LA beach, the crowd here was part of the fun. This beach actually had a lot in common with LA; it had surfers, pretty girls, fish tacos, creative murals, and a great beach community. We even saw filmmakers filming a cooking show here, and we also visited an art/sculpture show on the cliffs overlooking the beach. This place reminded us so much of home; it was great!
Myall Beach, Daintree National Park, Australia
Daintree is billed as where the rainforest meets the reef, and the beaches here were so gorgeous, it was incredible. Unfortunately, the water is filled with crocodiles and deadly jellyfish, which is a big reason why this place was so secluded: you can’t go swimming so not many people come.
Noah Beach, Daintree National Park, Australia
It’s not just Myall Beach at Daintree; the whole coast is lined with incredible beaches. We visited four on our trip, and Noah and Myall were our favorites.
Kawakawa Bay, New Zealand
This is one of the southernmost beaches in the Bay of Plenty/Northland regions, an area famous for its incredible beaches. This beach had a sand bar that must’ve been a quarter mile wide, the whole thing filled with mussels, starfish, and other sea creatures; we’d never seen so many at one beach. This place was amazing in so many ways; it was unlike any beach we’ve ever visited and we can’t wait to come back so we can continue exploring this region of New Zealand!
Kaiteriteri Beach, New Zealand
This beach was the closest we got to Abel Tasman, and with the beauty of this spot, we can only imagine how grand that national park must be. Most notable here was the golden sand and crystal clear water; it was just as beautiful as the best white sand beach, but with a gorgeous yellow hue.
Wharariki Beach, New Zealand
An ocean wind whips sand all over the place, resulting in an enormous beach where sand covers everything. This combined with the beach’s beauty and seclusion made it super-fun to explore, especially climbing and running up and down sand covered cliffs and hills. A further bonus: this is the beach that is featured in the Microsoft Windows desktop backgrounds.
Honorable Mentions: Alki Beach (USA), Omaha Beach (France), Cape Egmont beaches (New Zealand), St Kilda Beach (Australia), Crystal Bay (Indonesia), Tran Phu Beach (Vietnam), Ti Top Beach (Vietnam), Naithon Beach (Thailand), Cherai Beach (India)