10 Under-the-Radar Beach Destinations That Are About To Be Huge
There’s a reason celebs tend to flock to Kauai: Aside from its stunning natural beauty, it also happens to be a prime spot for peace and quiet. This historic little town on the island’s southeast coast is a laid-back haven where you can hang with locals, explore quaint shops, cruise down seaside bike trails, and cool off with a scoop of traditional Hawaiian shave ice.
So often when we think of jetting off to Japan we fantasize about seeing the city lights of Tokyo or the cherry blossoms of Kyoto. But, lest we forget that Japan is one big island with some seriously gorgeous coastline. This little city is actually its own island just off the mainland and surrounded by Caribbean-quality seas and coral reefs. Vacationing here is all about the beaches: travelers recommend hopping on a glass-bottom boat or taking a snorkeling trip to explore what lies beneath the surface of the mesmerizing turquoise seas.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
This Canadian gem has a rich maritime history (and a stop into the local Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a must while visiting). But the city—best seen on foot, according to TripAdvisor reviews—is also renowned for its rising food and brew scene: It has more pubs and clubs per capita than any city in Canada!
The jaw-dropping architecture and pristine location on the Baltic Sea make it difficult to imagine that this historic port town was once the infamous battleground that kicked off World War II. Exploring the reconstructed Old Town is a must, as are the city’s stunning museums, castles, and churches.
Far from the bustle of the ever-crowded Dalmation Islands, this historic town on the Istrian peninsula has a rep as one of the most photogenic towns in the Mediterranean (and that’s saying something!). But tucked behind the colorful homes that line the coast, the city is also known for its lively bars, art galleries, and restaurants.
Wilmington, North Carolina
The most difficult decision you’ll have to make in this charming Southern city is whether to hit up the lively riverfront or spend the day at one the gorgeous barrier island beaches (or both!). Wilmington’s natural beauty makes it a popular spot for Hollywood film crews, but tourists are also drawn here for its family-friendly activities and growing farm-to-table food scene.
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While everybody knows this notorious city of love from the eponymous Humphrey Bogart film, in reality, tourists often pass up Casablanca for more buzzed about destinations like Marrakesh. But this city on the Atlantic Ocean has much to be desired, from the Art Deco architecture to the fab arts scene. It’s also a hotbed for surfers and the site of the annual Quicksilver Pro surf competition.
While this Spanish resort town may already be a popular tourist hangout, it’s lesser traveled due to the lack of high-rise hotels and condos along its 10 miles of pristine white-sand shoreline. The views, coupled with the plentiful opportunities for sailing, water skiing, and scuba diving, make it a beach-lover’s paradise.
This South American town, named for the recifes—or reefs—that surround its shoreline, is blessed with beautiful beaches, but the city also holds its own as an urban epicenter, with high rises clustered along the shore and a vibrant cultural, entertainment, and restaurant scene.
The Latvian capital is conveniently perched right on the Gulf of Riga (which opens up into the Baltic Sea) giving explorers the best of both worlds: a city rich with history and long expanses of white-sand beaches. Cheap airfare (and booze!) also makes it great for the budget traveler.