For the ultimate getaway why not consider a beach city destination; after all it’s the best of both worlds – soaking up the culture and history one day, and lounging by the beach on powdery sands the next!
Rio de Janeiro Beaches Immortalized In Song
Strolling in a westerly direction along Ipanema Beach affords the opportunity to view the Twin Brothers/Dois Iramos Mountains. Lifeguard towers, aka postos, separate the beach into sections. At postos 9, a rainbow flag identifies Rua Farma de Amoedo as a gay-friendly beach. Best known for girls sporting skimpy tanga bikinis and guys attired in dental floss-esque crocheted g-strings, the Travel Channel lists Ipanema as the world's sexiest beach. Be sure to visit Rua Vincius de Morais, the place that served as the inspiration for the hit song 'The Girl from Ipanema.”
At Copacabana Beach, one must-do is to strut across the wave-patterned concrete Copapromenade walkway. In addition to being the beach that served as the inspiration for the song “Copa Copacabana,” this is the place where American football made its debut in Brazil.
Barcelona; Home To City Beaches
Barcelona Beach is included on the National Geographic and Discovery Channel listings for the Top 10 world city beaches. Along the 8-mile, seven-beach strand of Barcelona Beaches lie Barcelonata and Somorrostro, two of the city's oldest, biggest and most popular sun-and-fun spots. For those who prefer a quieter lifestyle, Mar Bella Beach is the perfect place for windsurfing, hobie catting and kayaking. Away from the beach, there are ideal areas for rollerblading, jogging and cycling. For a more up-beat lifestyle and designated nude beach area, Nova Icaria is the place to be.
Cape Town; The Land of Atlantic and Indian Ocean Beaches
Cape Town in South Africa, is the first non-European country to have blue-flag recognised beaches. Cape Town's three blue-flag beaches: Clifton, Mnandi and Bikini are recognized for safety, cleanliness and water quality. On the Atlantic side, the area stretching from Table Mountain to Hout Bay is known as the Riviera of Africa. Table Mountain is a kite surfer's heaven, while Hout Bay is deemed by the locals as a crowd-dodger's paradise. In the opinion of the locals, Indian Ocean beaches are more family-oriented and require less commute-time from suburban Cape Town. A favourite Indian Ocean spot is False Bay. Along West Cape Town's Garden Route, Robbery Beach is a mecca for whale watchers.
Hong Kong Beaches; The Place To Dream Your Cares Away
For beach aficionados seeking a spot with no lifeguards and overnight camping on the beach, Tai Long Wan is sure to fit the bill. Lamma Power Station is known as Hong Kong's dogs-are-welcome beach. Not only are dogs permitted to run leash-free; their presence is readily accepted at bars and eateries. Upper Cheung Beach offers a haven for those desiring to be far from the maddening crowd, but close to eateries. Comprised of two coves, one is regarded as more family-friendly since swimmer safety is carefully monitored from lifeguard stations. With no eateries, the other cove is often described as deserted to the point that it feels like one's personal, private strand of beach.
Beaches in Honolulu, Hawaii; America's 50th State Capital
Duke's At Waikiki is named after Olympic surfer and swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku. Near Barefoot Bar is the area where Duke, “the father of international surfing,” honed his surfing and swimming skills. Jimmy Buffett's At The Beachcomber draws large crowds of parrot-heads who are regaled with free, live, onstage entertainment. Guests can partake of steak, Hawaiian seafood or local cuisine and wash it down with a margarita. Since swimming conditions are deemed to be unsafe, Makapu'u Beach is a mecca for surfers.
Vancouver; Where The Beach Meets The Street
English Bay Beach in British Columbia’s Vancouver, is a unique, soft, sandy beach directly across the road from eateries and boutiques. This beach is the site for a fantastic three-day fireworks event. The annual Light International Fireworks Contest draws crowds of spectators, fireworks designers and pyrotechnical aficionados. Kitsilano Beach affords the opportunity to swim and play all day and cross the street at sundown for a party lifestyle. Nudity and hippie vibes prevail at Vancouver's Wreck Beach. This beach is famed for its annual Bare Buns Run and skinny-dipping competition.
Tel Aviv; An Unusual Beach Scene
The pristine Tel Aviv beaches are on the list of top beaches on Planet Earth and Israeli is a dedicated beach nation. Not only is The Separated Beach a religious-oriented scene, two weekdays are designated one-sex-only days. Saturdays draw large crowds of non-orthodox beach lovers who do not honour it as a sacred, worship day. Caesarea Aqueduct Beach combines history and enviable lifestyle as the breathtaking and secluded beach is set around a ruined Roman aqueduct. Beit Yannai Beach offers a rural getaway and Herzliya Beach, just outside of Tel Aviv is quieter yet offers all the expected mod-cons.