6 Beach Vacation Ideas for Your Next Getaway

If you’re still trying to make up for all the trips you missed during recent pandemic lockdowns, you’re far from alone. Experts predict that the so-called “revenge travel” trend, which drove explosive tourism rates last year, will continue throughout 2024.

In other words, we’re all desperate to unwind and make up for lost time. What better opportunity is there for relaxation besides a sunny beach?

If you have your heart set on a beach trip, there are countless opportunities to explore – so many that it may feel hard to get started! The right beach vacation ideas can help you figure out your preferences, find the right destination, and make the most out of your next trip. Read on for six great beaches worth considering.

1. Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Gulf Shores area is a great weekend beach destination for travelers in the southern U.S. and beyond. If you can brave the humid summers, you’ll get to experience some of the most beautiful and budget-friendly beaches in the country. The white quartz sand and warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico await!

There are eight public access points throughout the area as well as myriad smaller private beaches. Several oceanfront venues and lodges, such as the Hangout, offer concerts, cookouts, and other entertainment staples when you’re ready to come in from the sand.

For nature lovers, the nearby Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is an absolute must. This quiet getaway boasts plenty of opportunities to see birds and wildlife, all of which are best seen via a boat rental.

2. Sarasota, Florida

With its tropical climate and warm waters, Florida beaches are hard to beat. Just south of Tampa, Sarasota tops the charts for luxurious beaches with cool, powdery sand. Even better, it’s easy to find Sarasota vacation rentals year round, whether you’re stopping by for a summer trip or you’re hoping to beat the winter chill!

For the area’s best beaches, try the laid-back privacy of Longboat Key, the nature lover’s paradise of Manasota Key, or the popular tourist boardwalks in Venice. You should also consider Siesta Key, a beachfront island off the mainland you can access via bridges on either side of the island. The island’s village offers a strip of bars, restaurants, and tourist shops to turn your beach vacation into a night out on the town!

If you’re hoping to pair your Sarasota vacation with a cultural getaway, downtown Sarasota has you covered. With museums, shops, restaurants, theaters, and cultural institutions, there’s plenty for any traveler to do.

3. The Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks (OBX) consists of a string of undeveloped beaches along several barrier islands, making it perfect for beachgoers who prefer a more active travel experience.

While you’ll still have the chance to lounge and sunbathe, this area is a prime location for surfing, windsurfing, and kite-flying. Even divers can’t stay away from the lure of OBX, thanks to the thousands of shipwrecks off the coast. Fishing and boat rentals are also popular throughout the year.

Many travelers skip the hotel in favor of beachside camping, which is best from Cape Hatteras National Seashore. However, there are also rental options, luxury resorts, and day spas available to anyone looking for relaxation!

4. Westport, Washington

Hoping to beat the heat? Head north to Westport for milder temperatures, delicious seafood, and breathtaking views of the sea from the area’s viewing tower.

Named for being the westernmost point in the contiguous United States, Westport is an ideal beach trip from Seattle or Portland. It also boasts some of the best beaches in coastal Washington as well as a quaint beach town with plenty of delicious seafood worth trying!

With surfing, camping, hiking, and long walks on the beach, this area is hard to beat. For surfing in particular, this beach is ideal: with three main surf breaks, it’s great for enthusiasts of any skill level.

5. Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

In the spring, Padre Island is a crowded nightmare swarmed with beer-guzzling college students. Anytime after spring break, however, the seashore is a beautiful and pristine beach well worth considering for your next adventure!

The island boasts 70 miles of undeveloped Texas coastline, making it ideal for nature lovers. Even better, there are no souvenir stands, bars, or clubs to detract from the area’s natural beauty.

Hundreds of bird species travel through this peaceful oasis throughout the year, and visitors exploring the grassy dunes will find tons of flora and fauna. The area is even a crucial nesting beach for one of the world’s most endangered sea turtles, the Kemp’s Ridley.

For adventure enthusiasts who want to explore further, try scuba diving, swimming, camping, or hiking along the pristine stretches of sand.

6. Kauapea Beach, Hawai’i

It’s hard to talk about beach travel ideas without mentioning the idyllic shores of Hawai’i! The island state boasts countless white-sand retreats, but many of them are packed with tourists year round.

Kauapea, located on the north coast of Kauai, is ideal for anyone hoping for a more private excursion. You’ll need to take a quick hike down a slippery path to reach the tree-lined beach, but its quiet beauty is well worth the trek.

The area’s crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and the robust waves are great for surfing and bodysurfing. Tidal pools, prime for beachcombing, dot the shore. Travelers exploring the east side will be rewarded with ebony lava rocks and even a small waterfall.

Keep in mind that as you travel further east, some visitors may shed their bathing suits. Further in, the area serves as Kauai’s unofficial nude beach.

Try These Beach Vacation Ideas

No matter what time of year you’d like to enjoy the sand and surf, these beach vacation ideas are perfect for any traveler. Whether you prefer a relaxing trip with nearby cultural experiences or a pristine getaway with undeveloped natural beauty, the locations above will serve you well! Be sure to do your homework before traveling, sift through the available vacation rentals in advance, and find the perfect stay for your group.

We hope you found this guide helpful! If so, be sure to check out our other posts for additional advice.

Mark Thompson, a seasoned pest controller, is renowned for his expertise in keeping homes and businesses free from unwanted intruders. With a passion for environmental sustainability and a deep understanding of pest behavior, Mark has become a trusted authority in the industry.

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