This post was most recently updated on August 16th, 2018

Picking a beach getaway can be tricky. Not all beaches are the same and no two beach breaks are designed alike. The good news is that there’s a beach out there for everybody and a seaside vacation for all interests.

Here’s our breakdown of different beaches for different desires with destination ideas for each type of beach getaway.

First Resort

man sitting by a poolside

If your ideal beach break includes an infinity pool with ocean views, a steady supply of cocktails and meals coming your way as you lay on a lounger in the sun from where you can enjoy it all, and plenty of sleep – then you should look into booking an all-inclusive resort vacation. Top choice for you is the Caribbean with good value, high-quality resorts in places like Jamaica, the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and many other islands catering to sun seekers. There’s Mexico too, with its famed Caribbean resorts of Cancun, Tulum, and more!

Bright Lights and Big Waves

Need some urban fun in the sun when you go on vacation? For those keen to hit the beach AND the streets with equal enthusiasm, seaside cities like Los Angeles, Miami, Honolulu, and Barcelona await with everything you crave about being in a big city plus world-class beaches for when you want to wiggle your toes in the sand. Building your trip around a city with a beach means that you’ll probably be able to find a range of accommodation options for most budgets, and should the weather turn on you, there’ll still be plenty of things to do.

Moonlight Dancing in the Sand

people partying on the beach

South Padre Island on the Gulf coast of Texas and Provence Town on Cape Cod are well known stateside beach destinations with plenty of nightlife and opportunities to socialize. Washing up on foreign shores? The all-night celebrations on the beaches of Thailand are legendary, and the same goes for those on the Spanish island of Ibiza and the Greek island of Mykonos. For some dancing on the sand to a throbbing techno beat, Croatia is a top choice for many European holidaymakers. For a beach bash with an exotic edge and jungle interior, beautiful Bali is bound to please party animals.

Sand Castles with the Kids

father and child playing on beach

When considering a family friendly getaway to the beach, think east. The Carolina Coast – both North and South – offer fun times at affordable prices. North Carolina’s Outer Banks and South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach are particularly welcoming to little ones and folks in search of activities for all ages. On the west coast, the dramatic dunes and the craggy coast of Oregon are great to explore with the whole family. Likewise for Southern California cities like San Diego and Huntington Beach, where attractions such as Disneyland, Sea World are easily accessible, are also a great choice!

Surf and Turf

person eating shrimp

Does seaside mean seafood to you? Then you need a beach within reach of a great restaurant scene. For the ultimate gourmet getaways, there’s the South of France, Cinque Terre and the Ligurian coast of northern Italy, and the Amalfi Coast of southern Italy. Lovers of Latin sabour should keep Peru in mind with its sensational cuisine and much-lauded restaurants in Lima. In the good ole U.S.A., there’s Pensacola, the city with the highest number per capita of James Beard Award-winning chefs, Ocean City and the Maryland coast–home to world-famous crab cakes, Maine with its amazing lobster rolls, and Georgia which offers big portions of finger-licking BBQ across its laidback shoreline.

All Out Adventure

historic monuments on the beach

The Big Island of Hawaii (and pretty much all of the Hawaiian Islands), Alaska, British Columbia, the South Island of New Zealand are all gorgeous places with the right type of terrain for outdoors lovers who want to hike, camp, and go wild. For a really wild time, the Skeleton Coast of Namibia — with its thousands of seals, shipwrecks, desert landscapes, and African big game (lions, giraffes, elephants, etc) — offers the ultimate surfing safari. If diving is your thing, Australia, Egypt, and Belize are but three of a number of awesome SCUBA-riffic destinations. Nature lovers should also keep the Galapagos in mind. Travelers in search of the of more off-the-beaten-track and unique experiences should put Easter Island at the top of their bucket lists.

How about you? What’s your favorite kind of beach break and where do you like most to be by the sea?

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About The Author

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, curator, and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world. He's called London home since 2001.