Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday Thirteen

Well, it's pouring snow here again on the east coast. I am not a big beach fan, but lately I've had visions of sitting in the sun under a palm tree somewhere, preferably with someone on hand to bring me cold, icy drinks and keep me company.

So here are some beaches somebody might like to put on their bucket list:

(The first 10 are from the National Geographic book The 10 Best of Everything. The last three are my additions. The photos are from Myrtle Beach, SC, which is where we usually vacation when we got to the beach.)

One of the most photographed beaches in the world, the pale pink sands of Anse Source d’Argent unfurls across the island of La Digue, one of the 115 components of this archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The sands sparkle against a backdrop of towering granite boulders, worn by time and weather. The turquoise water is relatively shallow and protected from the ocean’s waves by a reef.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Whether your dream beach trip consists of spending a few pampered nights in a four-star resort or swimming among tropical fish some 80 feet (24 meters) underwater, the Maldives are the sort of islands where either—or both—can come true. Straddling the Equator southwest of Sri Lanka, the 1,102 islands that make up the Maldives form 26 atolls. The soft air enveloping the archipelago blends into a beautiful palm-fringed haze.

3. Bora Bora,
This is one of the magical islands that make up French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Just 18 miles (29 kilometers) long, this lush little slip of land lies in a protected lagoon edged by white sandy shores, the best being at Matira Point. Bora Bora boasts the nickname the “Romantic Island,” a moniker easy to appreciate with its isolated beaches, intimate hotels, and quiet atmosphere.

Better than snow, right?

4. The Hamptons, New
One of the hip spots for the air-kissing, well-heeled set, the Hamptons boast some of the prettiest beaches on Long Island. The unspoiled shoreline begins around Southampton and runs east to the end of the island at Montauk. Windswept dunes and waving grasses border the Atlantic Ocean.

5. Lanikai Beach,
Half a mile of sparkling sand, palm trees swaying over a white beach, lush tropical plants, and endless sunshine make Lanikai one of Hawaii’s most scenic beaches. The shore is protected by a nearby coral reef, which keeps the surf relatively calm. The water is always deep green and postcard-perfect.

Myrtle Beach, again.

6. Nantucket Island,
The most popular beaches on this island in the North Atlantic are Surfside and Children’s. The waters here are relatively calm, and there’s plenty of sand to use for sunbathing or castle-building. Madaket Beach is known for its rougher surf and not-to-be-missed sunsets. Quidnet Beach provides great views of Sankaty Head lighthouse.

7. Fraser Island,
Perched on the sunny Queensland coast 161 miles (259 kilometers) northeast of Brisbane, Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and home to a wonderful beach. This World Heritage Site is an ecologist’s dream, with 640 square miles (1,664 square kilometers) of unspoiled natural paradise. Rain forests with 1,000-year-old trees sprout from the sand. Lodgings here accommodate a wide range of tourists, from the backpacking ecology lover to pampered resort fans.

8. St. Bart'
One of many islands in the Caribbean Sea, St. Bart’s stands out with its blend of French chic and island relaxation. With beautiful secluded beaches, fine French cuisine, and gracious hotels, this tropical playground is popular with the Jet Set. The 8-mile-long (13-kilometer-long) island is edged by 20 beaches and small coves for swimmers and sunbathers, with sparkling water and white sand.

9. Langkawi,
The name “Langkawi” translates into “the land of one’s wishes,” a welcoming concept that somewhat belies the island’s historic origins as a reputed refuge for pirates. Langkawi has since become a modern hideaway for the traveler seeking an escape. If your vacation wishes extend from uncrowded white sands and clear waters to lush green forests, you will find yourself content here. Datai Bay, located on Pulau Langkawi, is a heavenly retreat on the Andaman Sea.

10. Kauna'oa Bay, Hawaii
Located on the Kohala Coast of the Aloha State’s Big Island, Kauna’oa Bay is the quintessential Hawaiian spot. The 0.25-mile-long (0.4-kilometer-long), crescent-shaped beach has plenty of white sand, palm trees, and calm, clear, blue water. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, beachgoers here can snorkel or ride boogie boards. (Be careful swimming, however, because there are no lifeguards on this public beach.) At night, nestle into the sands and peer out into the water to see if you can catch a glimpse of manta rays swimming.

A palm tree. Because, you know.

11. Mellon Udrigle Beach, Scotland. Mostly because I want to go to Scotland, but I may as well see a beach while I am there, right?

12. Bettystown County Meath, Ireland. Again, mostly because I want to go to Ireland someday. Apparently this beach is known for horseracing and because a famous brooch, the Tara Brooch, was allegedly found here.

13. Woolecombe in Devon, England. Well, I want to go to England, too.

What beaches have you been to? Anywhere special you want to go? Dream away while the snow falls!

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 384th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. My Beloved Sandra's the beachist. I am decidedly NOT. My preference is a cabin in the woods by a lake. She's talked me into 10 days at Cape Hatteras this June, though, which won't be so bad as we're renting a large lux condo and hooking up with her 3 beautiful daughters and their various spouses and children, all of whom are wonderful people. I suppose I'll survive.

  2. I grew up along Stony Beach and Nantasket Beach. I once went to a beach in Margate England and have been to Martha's Vineyard several times, which I hear is a lot like Nantucket but there is no limerick for it.

  3. A warm beach is really sounding good right now, I don't care how easily I burn. Thanks for visiting my T13 on Split, Croatia!

  4. Let's see... Galveston, South Padre Island, Venice Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Corpus Christi, Cozumel, Cancun, Roatan, Belize. I would love to visit the Maldives. Since I live in Texas, I'm not in a hurry for winter to end. It's either winter or summer here, not really any in between, and the summers get HOT! Have a great weekend!

  5. I am currently visiting my mom at San Clemente, but haven't even driven to the beach. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow. We used to live in Kailua and it has a great beach. My parents used to have a house right on the beach in Laie and we stepped off the deck and walked right to the water. That was great.

  6. I've been to BoraBora, Hawaii and Fraser Island. You can't go wrong with beaches in Australia and New Zealand. White sand or black sand they're both good.


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