The 31 Best Beach Vacations

Whether you want to stroll for seashells, ride waves, or build sand castles, our list of amazing beaches will guide you to your new favorite coastal playground.

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Alys Beach, Florida
Courtesy of alysbeach.com

More Beaches With High Style

Alys Beach, Florida: This luxe, European-feel New Urbanist town takes full advantage of its gorgeous setting along white sands and emerald Gulf water (866/732-1760 or alysbeach.com). The new airport at nearby Panama City should boost its jet-set appeal.

Gold Coast, Barbados: So many celebrities now decorate the west coast beaches of graciously British Barbados that the nickname has inflated; it’s now usually the “Platinum Coast.” Whatever you call it, you can enjoy white sand, people-watching, and such beyond-lavish resorts as Sandy Lane (866/444-4080 or sandylane.com).

Main Beach, East Hampton, New York: It’s relatively uncrowded—because parking is a challenge—and surprisingly rustic, but with a high celeb quotient (631/324-0362 or easthamptonchamber.com).

Zuma Beach, Malibu, California: Call this much-filmed beach (310/456-2489 or malibu.org) just “Zuma,” like the locals do. Watch or join the pickup volleyball games and beautiful people.

More Ways To Get Coastal Living

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20 Beautiful Beach Cottages

From polished and sophisticated to rustic and casual, browse through this roundup of beach cottages to find your favorite coastal style.

Room to Breathe