Get the feel of a city beach without all the crowds when you stay in St. Petersburg. Tons of parking, showers, bathrooms, and boardwalks make it easy to get from the heart of the city to the water at Fort De Soto Park. Spend the night at a campsite or rent a picnic pavilion for a party.
The nearby kayak and boat rental makes this a great place to explore the waters, too. There's a playground for kids and a lifeguard on duty, and then there's a food and snack bar, a museum, and a tour of the old fort. And a dog park. And a dozen or so nature trails. Basically, you could live on this beach and have everything you need and more. Despite its many amenities, it isn't crowded.
Port St. Joe, Florida
Florida Panhandle sand is bright white while the water is clear. This bay beach is also protected from harsher tides and waves (although there are plenty enough for boogie boarding). Walk around the downtown to explore its antique shops or head out to the secluded Cape San Blas.
This public beach is never crowded as you have to go a bit out of your way to get to it, but once you do, get fishing supplies from one of the nearby tackle shops and spend hours in the clear water. Rent a kayak, take a boat out to one of the nearby islands and peninsulas, or stay on the bay side and collect seashells.
Nestled between Santa Barbara and Malibu, the Oxnard area and beaches are the perfect spot to enjoy miles of sand and the typical but underappreciated California beach town. Stay in Oxnard and make use of the town's free parking when exploring nearby boutiques, delicious cafés, and restaurants. This was a popular beach with celebrities back in the 1930s, and it's still a beautiful and safe beach, thanks to summer lifeguards.
Like St. Petersburg, the beach at Waimanalo Bay State Park has restrooms, showers, and plenty of parking. And like Oxnard, it boasts several lifeguards. Don't worry about strong tides, either; this is one of the safest beaches in Hawaii. It's still got a lovely view of the oceans and surrounding mountains, perfect for locals and tourists, too.
Sandbridge Beach, Virginia
A quiet beach just a few miles away from the famous Virginia Beach resorts, Sandbridge offers beautiful sand dunes, kayak and boat rentals, and the neighboring Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Relax on the uncrowded beach or take to one of the trails through the marshes and woods in the wildlife refuge. Enjoy the park and fishing pier or have dinner at the waterside Baja Restaurant.
What's the best beach you've been to?
(Photo by sunova_surfboards via Flickr)
Article written by Miles Y.