As winter approaches on record speed with its winds and rain, snowstorms and frostbites, cold weather keeps people indoors and the streets are no longer bustling with life. Under gloomy skies, most of us still cling on to the memory of summer.
If you wish to relieve those winter blues and relive your best summer days, consider taking a trip to the beach. Here are five breathtakingly beautiful US beaches that will help you escape this winter and have an exotic American staycation.
1) Siesta Beach, Florida
A barrier island located on Florida’s western coast, Siesta Key is the perfect destination for travelers chasing eternal summer. The island boasts three beaches, including Siesta Beach, all of which are famous for their fine white sand and crystal clear waters.
photo via flickr
Siesta Beach is covered in pure quartz sand that remains cool under your feet. Rest under lush palm trees, play tennis or volleyball and enjoy the warm Gulf’s wildlife. The warm bay waters are home to dolphins, manatees, pelicans and many other animal species you don’t get to see every day.
The beach is located within walking distance of Siesta Key Village and its amenities.
Siesta Beach’s shallow water and year-round lifeguard presence make it one of the safest beaches in Sarasota County. The beach has plenty to offer and is ideal for all types of travelers, from active solo travelers to families with small children.
2) Hanalei Beach, Hawaii
As one of the most exotic US destinations, the islands of Hawaii are abundant with natural wonders and attractive beaches where the summer never ends. Hanalei Bay is the largest bay on the island of Kauai, and its beach is 125 feet wide. It sits between the Waipa and Hanalei Rivers. Whilst the rivers do carry some sediment inland, the beach is mostly made of clean white sand.
photo via flickr
Hanalei Bay is home to three parks: Wai’oli Beach Park, Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park and Black Pot Beach Park. They all provide parking, showers, picnic tables and restrooms. Active visitors may enjoy surfing, boogieboarding, kayaking, or simply strolling along the beach. Whether you travel alone or with friends and family, you will certainly appreciate the warm Hanalei Beach sun in the middle of the winter.
3) Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico
Flamenco Beach has been described as “the second most beautiful beach in the world” by the Discovery Channel. As the most popular beach on the island of Culebra, Flamenco Beach stretches along the entire bay. Beautiful white sand and clear blue water with mountains in the background make for a picture-perfect summer postcard in the middle of the winter.
photo by Angel Xavier Viera-Vargas via flickr
Visit the Reserva Natural de Culebra and camp in the only campground on the island. Pitch your tent on Flamenco Beach, wake up in the morning to the sound of the waves and enjoy a day of swimming and sunbathing. You can also go birdwatching, rent a boat or snorkel over the incredibly beautiful reefs that surround the island of Culebra.
4) El Matador, California
El Matador Beach is one of the many smaller beaches that make up the Robert H. Meyer Memorial Beach. It is 10 miles west of Malibu and is located just off the Pacific Coast Highway.
El Matador’s dramatic landscape includes craggy rock formations, sea stacks and cliffs – which make it popular with both professional and amateur photographers. In fact, visitors to the beach may see a photoshoot with models in progress.
photo via flickr
If you’re dreaming of a perfect summer memento, visit El Matador and capture the power of nature with your camera.
El Matador is also popular with surfers and bodyboarders. The beach has limited amenities so visitors need to bring their own food and drinks, and lifeguards are only present during summer weekends, so be sure that it’s safe to swim before you enter the ocean. Visitors also have to navigate a 150-foot staircase to reach the beach, which means that El Matador might not be the best choice for families with small children. On the other hand, it’s the perfect solution for travelers with itchy feet looking for some summer adventure in the middle of the winter.
5) Magens Bay Beach, US Virgin Islands
The most popular beach on St. Thomas, Magens Bay is a part of a 68-acre public park. The beach is a mile long and curves around the bay. The water has very little current and few waves which make it ideal for swimming or simply floating.
The bay starts off shallow and deepens only gradually, so it’s safe for small children. Lifeguards are on duty every day, and park authorities keep the beautiful water clean and safe for visitors to enjoy.
photo via flickr
If you’re looking for an active holiday, you can rent sunfish sailboats, paddleboats and kayaks from a water sports booth on the premises. The park also has an arboretum that is home to trees from four continents, so there is plenty for eco-travelers and nature lovers to explore. The beach has restaurants and a bar where you can sip your favorite drink while enjoying a sunset on the water.
These are just some of the possibilities for a winter getaway, and the beaches cater to a wide range of tastes. Travelers who want to experience wilderness and enjoy impressive rock formations might like El Matador, while surfers would probably prefer Hanalei Beach. On the other hand, Siesta Beach is perfect for families with small children.
Whatever your choice, you’ll be able to relax in the sun, enjoy the nature and create memories that will warm up even the gloomiest winter days.
This is a guest post by Heather Redding.
Heather is an avid reader, freelance writer, coffee snob and a tech enthusiast from Aurora, Illinois. When she isn’t working, Heather enjoys swimming and hanging out with her friends. You can reach Heather via Twitter @heatherredding.