The Best Beaches in Cape Cod

Seafood shacks, quaint beach cottages, and dune-lined beaches – Cape Cod is a major tourist hotspot for a good reason.

Taking up nearly 600 miles of the southeastern Massachusetts coastline, Cape Cod is the perfect destination to soak up the summer sun. And where better to take in all the sun after a harsh winter than on the best beaches in Cape Cod?

Whether you’re looking for prime surfing conditions, family-friendly beaches with tidal pools, or the perfect beach conditions for taking long walks, Cape Cod has a beach for you. Here are our tips, which we created in partnership with Hotels.com.

The Best Beaches in Cape Cod
The Best Beaches in Cape Cod

Cape Cod beach resorts

There are some incredible Cape Cod hotels on the beach. You can find a mix of luxury hotels, family-friendly beach resorts, quaint cottages, relaxing guest houses and large private rental houses.

Most travelers visit Cape Cod from June through to September to make the best use of the Cape Cod beaches. However, going during this time does mean more crowds, so make sure to book one of best Cape Cod hotels on the beach early to snap up the best Cape Cod hotels on the beach!

Best Beaches in Cape Cod

With more than 130 beaches in Cape Cod, it’s no wonder it has some of the world’s finest beaches!

Here are a few of the best Cape Cod beaches to explore.

Best family-friendly beaches in Cape Cod

These Cape Cod beaches tick all the boxes for a family-friendly outing – including chilled waves, lifeguards, bathrooms and lots of space.

Craigville Beach, Centerville

This is the most popular beach in the Barnstable area with all of the typical beach amenities you’d expect on the main beach. It’s a popular spot for kite surfers in the summer months, and a favorite hangout for college students and teenagers. The water is also a bit warmer than other beaches in the area – a bonus for kids!

Amenities include parking lot, lifeguards, restrooms, showers, chair and umbrella rentals, and a nearby snack bar. It is also disabled accessible.

Mayflower Beach, Dennis

The tidal pools at Mayflower Beach are always a hit with young explorers. During low tide, kids can walk for miles exploring the tidal pools searching for shells and sea life. It’s also large enough to set up all your beach gear.

Amenities include a parking lot, lifeguard, restrooms, a small boardwalk, a picnic area, and a snack bar.

Cold Storage, Dennis

With Dennis being a well-known beach town, it has a few family-friendly beaches. The calm waters make it a popular beach to bring your floaty – which the kids love!

There are lifeguards and restrooms, but no snack bar so make sure to bring your food and drinks.

Best surfing beaches in Cape Cod

Surfing in Cape Cod is growing in popularity as more tourists’ flock to the beaches searching for great waves. Just remember that the water is cold, so wetsuits are recommended!

While most of the beaches have surf potential, here’s the most popular ones.

Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod National Seashore

Part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, this beach is rated among the best in America. Amongst surfers, it’s known for its consistent shortboard/longboard summer swell.

Apart from great waves for surfing and boogie-boarding, this beach features amazing landscapes including marshlands and dunes. Non-residents will have to park at the nearby Little Creek parking lot and hop onto a shuttle that runs every few minutes.

Nauset Light Beach, Orleans

Nauset Light Beach is another extremely popular beach in the Cape Cod National Seashore, protected by a high dune bluff. The beach is among the most popular ones on the Outer Cape.

It’s popular for families but also an excellent spot for swimming, boogie-boarding, and surfing. The beach features a sandbar break that has quite reliable surf. When conditions are right, it can get quite crowded.

Nauset Light Beach in Cape Cod
Nauset Light Beach in Cape Cod

Marconi Beach, Wellfleet

Marconi Beach is popular for surfing due to its consistent steep right running at higher tides when the swell is up. The beach is protected by dunes and home to seals! While the beach is quite popular, its massive size means that there’s plenty of space for everyone to spread out. Note that you’ll have to carry your surfboard along a steep descending staircase to get from the parking lot to the beach.

Best beaches for the sunset in Cape Cod

There are a few prime locations in Cape Cod to witness the most amazing sunsets from the beach. Here’s a few.

Skaket Beach, Orleans

A fantastic spot for sunset lovers and photographers, the beach offers gorgeous sunsets every evening. Skaket is a large stretch of shoreline that surrounds one of the most beautiful beaches in Cape Cod.

The nearby Rock Harbor makes this beach a prime spot for watching boats travel up and down. Which makes sunset hour even more spectacular! The beach also opens up even more during low tide, making room for long walks on the beach.

Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown

A sunset with a lighthouse view! Herring Cove Beach is part of the National Seashore, located at the Cape’s very tip, just miles from downtown Provincetown. The sunsets here are stunning, and the views wonderful any time of day.

For the athletic bunch, take your bicycle for a sunset ride on the nearby bike path.

Best beaches for walking in Cape Cod

Looking for a long, leisurely stroll on the beach? Here’s where to head to in Cape Cod.

Harding’s Beach, Chatham

Take a long walk along the tall dunes, with views overlooking Nantucket Sound and North Monomoy Islands. You can walk from Bucks Creek in the northwest to the historic Stage Harbor Lighthouse in the east.

Cape Cod Canal, Bourne

Okay, not technically a beach, but Cape Cod Canal is the best spot for walking in Bourne. There’s a total of 13-1/2 miles of paved trails great for walking, cycling and rollerblading line either side of the canal.

There are several parking spots along the trails, including at Bell Road on the Cape side and Buzzards Bay Park on the mainland side.

Cape Cod Canal, Bourne Bridge
Cape Cod Canal, Bourne Bridge

Best secluded beaches in Cape Cod

Looking to hide away from people? These hidden spots provide incredible views without the crowds.

Bound Brook Island Beach, Wellfleet

This beach is so secluded that you’ll need to navigate a few dirt roads and then walk a few hundred yards over the towering dunes and beach grass to reach the sandy shore. Depending on when you visit, you could be the only ones on the beach, enjoying the sweeping views of Cape Cod Bay all by yourself.

Crowe’s Pasture Beach, Dennis

Crowe’s Pasture Beach in Dennis offers a more rustic, old-school Cape Cod beach experience. A narrow trail through marshlands and woods in the conservation area turns into a mile-long dirt path that eventually opens up to a hidden beach. It’s one of the most secluded spots in the entire Cape, with a mix of sand, marshy lands and seagrass.

Ready to hit the beach this summer?

This region has some of the best beaches in America, no doubt about that. The best beaches in Cape Cod offer something for everyone, and we recommend visiting a few to find your favorite. Whether you’re all about the surf, building sandcastles with the kids, going for long strolls or simply laying back and absorbing the sun, a Cape Cod vacation could do the trick!

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Algarve Beaches – Discover the Less Touristic Ones!

The Algarve beaches – in Portugal’s most southern region – are popular. And for good reason.

The south coast houses over 150 km of beautiful golden, sandy beaches. Some are secluded, most are easily accessible. Some are surrounded by great rocks and cliffs. And all provide great swimming possibilities.

Most Algarve beaches you’ll find during your quick search in guidebooks or online are located west of Faro. If you’re not so much into over crowded and touristic hot spots, there are enough left on the east side of the capital of the Algarve.

Here, you can also rest your weary feet and dip into the Atlantic Ocean.

How refreshing!

With over 3000 hours of sunshine a year, even winter is soft and gentle and meets spring anywhere else. This makes the Algarve an all-year-round destination.

Besides the beaches, the Algarve is home to small villages cramped full with bright white houses, cobbled streets and donkey carts. The touristic hot spots like Albufeira, Faro (read all about things to do in Faro with kids) and Lagos and the many golf courses also make it a popular destination.

Next, you’ll find 3 beaches in Algarve that I’ve explored personally. It was a tough job that just had to be done.

Beaches in Algarve, Portugal
Beaches in Algarve, Portugal

Undiscovered Algarve beaches

Ditch the over-crowded tourist beaches in the Algarve, and head to these secret spots instead!

1. Cacela Velha, the Algarve beach with a view

This small, scenic village is located at the end of the lagoon of Parque Natural Ria Formosa, about 8 km east of Tavira. The village was mainly developed during the 17th century, when it became part of a defense line and a fort was built.

The view from the historic centre down on the ocean is incredible. You can see the sandbanks and the lagoon that are part of the Nature Park. From the sandbanks, that separate the lagoon from the ocean, Cacela Velha appears as an old fortress. Small fishing boats will bring you to the sandbanks, leaving from the factory close to Cacela Velha.

Algarve beaches - Cacela Velha
Cacela Velha – an undiscovered Algarve beach

2. Praia do Barril, the Algarve beach with a scenic train

Picture a big sandy surface, decorated by huge anchors from ships that are placed in the dunes as artefacts. This is what Praia do Barril looks like. With its tranquillity, nice water temperature and few catering businesses, it’s the right place to escape the over crowded beaches, but still enjoy some level of comfort.

Praia do Barril is also part of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. You can reach it from the touristic complex Pedras d’El Rei (entered through the N125) by picturesque train or by walking alongside the train track for about 1 kilometer (for free). You can also get to it by boat from Ilha de Tavira.

3. Fuseta, the Algarve beach surrounded by fishermen

The fishing village of Fuseta is situated between Olhão and Tavira. It has restaurants and cafe’s and you can still get a taste of the Portuguese life on the main square of this small and cozy village. Fishing is still an activity the men proudly practice, hence the colourful fishermen’s boats in the small harbour.

From here, a boat takes you to the sandy beaches of island Ilha de Armona within 10 minutes. This boat runs regularly from April through October. If you miss the last one back, you can call a taxi from the beach. In winter, you can call a taxi to get you to the beach and back.

If you want a more secluded place to sunbathe, you can call a water taxi (phone number, 4 locations and pricing – starting from €5,- per person – are mentioned on an advertising board at the harbour) that brings you a bit further out to the island, where you’re probably one of the few to enjoy the Portuguese sun.

Fuseta also has a beach that is connected to the mainland and therefore easy to reach. Just park your car in one of the many free parking spots along the water and get yourself comfortable at the beach, right outside the village centre. This beach is an ideal place to hang out if you are traveling with small children as the water is very calm.


The Best Beaches in Key West

You’re all set with your beach towel and sunscreen, ready to hit up some of the best beaches in Key West.

But, which Key West beach are you going to pick to kick back and relax?

For such a small island, there are several to choose from.

Are you looking for a family-friendly beach for the kids to run free on, do you want a super beachy vibe with nearby bars and restaurants, or are you looking for somewhere more remote and quiet? Lucky for you, there are plenty of options to consider.

So, let’s jump right in with a list of the best Key West beaches to visit this summer.

The Best Beaches in Key West
The Best Beaches in Key West

Related Post: How to Get to Key West

Here’s a list of the best beaches in Key West

Smathers Beach

This two mile stretch of white tropical sand is the largest public beach in Key West. Offering wide views of the Atlantic Ocean, this is a beach you could spend the whole day enjoying and if the sand between your toes feels like it did on your last trip to the Bahamas; you’re right! 

As with all the sand on our beaches in Key West, it was imported, this one from the Bahamas. Smathers offers volleyball, snorkeling, and other water sports right from the beach.  

There are picnic areas to enjoy a snack from the local beach vendors. Public restrooms can also be found nearby. Several moderately priced hotels can be found all along this beach, making it a favorite of the Spring Break crowd. As with parking anywhere in Key West, be prepared to pay a meter.

Higgs Beach

This beach is located ½ mile further south of Smathers on Atlantic Blvd. near White St. This little beach with its shallow water and beach side playground has much to offer families with small children. Along with swimming and water sports, you can find a pier, restaurant, volleyball, tennis, and handball courts nearby. Dogs are welcome at the dog park across the street. There is even a civil war era fort and garden to enjoy with your children. A limited amount of free parking is available for this beach.

Dog Beach

Located on the southern end of Vernon & Waddel Streets this is the only beach in the Keys were dogs, as well as other pets, can go to freely swim and play. 

It is a favorite of families with pets but don’t plan on having the kids build sand castles or laying out on your towel to catch some rays while Fido is frolicking with Fifi; it is a dog’s beach!  It is not cleaned by the city; just by responsible pet owners. 

This parcel of land is squeezed between Louie’s Backyard and The Reach Resort.  To make sure I don’t steer you wrong I called our friends at Louie’s Backyard and confirmed your pooch is still welcome at the bar during lunch hour so you can grab a delicious bite to eat while your dog catches the waves.

As a side note: if you want to go to Louie’s for dinner and bring the dog, to be on the safe side, you should give the manager a call first to see what the crowd is like.

Rest Beach

Located next to Higgs Beach, Rest Beach is wheelchair accessible and where you will find the White Street Pier.  This is a great place to fish, relax, and enjoy the natural vegetation.

Fort Zachary Taylor

This 54 acre state park is where the Atlantic meets the Gulf of Mexico and home to probably the all around best beach Key West has to offer. 

If you prefer to sit in the shade; no problem. If you like to roast under the sun; no problem. If you want to swim or snorkel; no problem. If you’d rather sit on a beach chair but forgot to bring one; no problem. If you like to bike or walk along the wooded park; no problem! 

I think you get the idea. 

In addition to all that there is also the Civil War fort, which you can get a guided tour of, and fishing is allowed on the western end.  It is a wonderful place to see the famous sunset views Key West is known for.  Public restrooms, a food and drink kiosk, chair rentals, picnic tables and BBQ grill pits are there too. The beach can be a bit rocky so I advise bringing your flipflops. There is an admission fee. To get to the beach you enter through the Truman Annex at Southard Street.

South Beach

Despite its name the beach is not related to its Miami namesake. This small and open area is a favorite of locals. The beach is nice and sandy and the water is fairly shallow allowing you to walk out quite a way. There is also a concrete pier.  

There are no restrooms or facilities but there is a snack bar and you can easily walk to nearby restaurants. The beach is located at the south end of Duval Street on the Atlantic Ocean.

Broken Glass Beach

At first glance this probably was not the best choice in names for a public beach area in a tourist town, however; there was method to the madness and it has to do with a bit of Key West history, albeit the less exciting side. 

This strip of the Atlantic shoreline is best accessed at low tide and getting to it does require steeping down off a retaining wall. The terrain is somewhat rocky and thus this not my first recommendation for beaches. 

The name Broken Glass Beach stems from when the local garbage dump used to be situated on the site many years ago and it has been obviously well cleaned up since. Well some of the broken glass remained and after years of being pounded by the surf and being rolled back and forth over the rocks, corral and sand, these glass pieces are now nicely rounded and are much sought after by jewelry makers!

Simonton Beach

We love our town and all its charm to bits and I want you to enjoy every part of what I share with you, however; suffice it to say Simonton Beach is not really a place you need to visit. We added it here to cancel any doubt about not having included it, just in case you wonder why when you see it on a map.

Fort Jefferson on the Dry Tortugas

Articles like this wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention the most inaccessible national park in America, 70 miles off the shores of Key West, out on Garden Key. 

This group of seven small islands, first discovered by Ponce de Leon, is home to the largest coastal fort; the majestic Fort Jefferson. The only ways to get there are by high speed ferry or seaplane, both of which depart from Key West and since seating is limited on each trip out you are best advised to book in advance

The trip is worth it though. The palm lined beaches are pristine and snorkeling over the living reef is an experience you’ll never forget!

Apart from some of the best beaches in the US, Key West is also known for watersports, lively nightlife, historic sites, and, of course, their Key Lime Pie.


Best Beaches in New Zealand

Looking for the best beaches in New Zealand?

If you are looking for a place where you can enjoy a perfect beach holiday, you should consider going to the newest country on earth – New Zealand.

This amazing country is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world that lie below a picturesque mountainous topography that features glorious, untouched indigenous forests, breathtaking waterfalls and stunning lakes.

Beaches NZ attract millions of tourists from across the globe every year, and you will simply love to be counted among this lucky group. The only problem you will have is choosing specific beaches in New Zealand where you can enjoy your holiday. This is because the country has so many remarkable beaches stretching from north to south.

Fortunately, I’ve made this job easier for you, and here are the five New Zealand beaches that are considered to be among the best, not just in New Zealand, but in the rest of the world.

Best beaches in New Zealand

1. Cathedral Cove, Coromandel 

This exotic-looking beach in New Zealand’s North Island can only be accessed by boat, sea kayak or foot from the town of Hahei. However, you do not have to worry about getting tired since it is just half-an-hour walk distance from this Coromandel town. The Cathedral Cove New Zealand beach is considered one of the best places where you can go diving and snorkeling, especially at the Stingray and Gemstone bays. It is also surrounded by a national marine reserve, which you can take time to explore and discover the wonderful, diverse New Zealand marine life.

Check out these Cathedral Cove activities.

Best beaches in New Zealand
Cathedral Cove in New Zealand

2. Raglan, Waikato 

The magical Raglan beach is an hour’s drive from the city of Hamilton. It is regarded as one of the best beaches in New Zealand where you can go surfing. In fact, it ranks among the top left-hand breaks on the planet. Aside from catching waves, this beach is a perfect place for para-gliding and sport fishing. The fantastic town of Raglan also many great dining places, pubs and cafes where you can enjoy live music as you watch cool, beautiful sunsets.

Book a private surfing lesson here.

3. Cannibal Bay, Catlins

This breathtaking beach lies on the south-east of the South Island’s rugged coastline. You can access this amazing beach from either Dunedin or Invercargill. While on a day trip at cannibal bay, you will get a chance to spot fabulous New Zealand wildlife, including elephant seals, fur seals and the rare yellow-eyed penguin. The highly scenic bays and water falls will also keep your camera busy.

4. Papamoa Beach, Bay of plenty 

This beach is the quieter version of the hugely popular Mt. Maunganui Beach. It takes approximately 30 minutes to drive to the Papamoa beach from Tauranga town. Some of the activities you can enjoy here include, sport fishing, surfcasting and blokarting – an indigenous invention, which is more like land-based yachting. If you love sailing and speed, you will certainly enjoy blokarting.

5. Karekare Beach, West Auckland

This beach is famous for its unique black sand. It is located about an hour’s drive from Auckland. The film – The Piano, was shot on this very beach. If you are looking for a romantic beach getaway, the Karekare beach is a perfect choice. The dark, cool mood of the beach, which is enhanced by the charcoal-black sand and grey-brown cliffs gives the landscape a sentimental atmosphere that will leave a permanent impact on you.

We love this luxury Karekare holiday home. It’s perfect for a family holiday or trip with friends, featuring three-bedrooms and just a 10-minute walk to the beach!

Book here.


Beautiful Beaches and Accommodations in Turks & Caicos

If the thought of jumping on a plane and flying to a Caribbean paradise island has stumped your mind, then you probably have imagined one of the Turks & Caicos beaches.

The Turks & Caicos archipelago is surrounded by waters so turquoise that they appear to be glowing at times, plus it has endless stretches of white sandy beaches. Then there are the historical ruins, the museums, and other attractions. But if you are visiting Turks & Caicos for the first time, you will find it very difficult to stay too long from its beaches.

 

Popular Islands and Beaches in Turks & Caicos

It is not easy to find the ideal beach as everyone has their definition and personal expectations. However, according to the Conde Nast Traveler’s list of the world’s best beaches, Grace Bay on Provo is the number one beach in the world.

Leeward Beach is another stunning beach located east of Grace Bay. Its turquoise waters and startlingly white sand beaches are quite memorable. Although there are no hotels along Leeward Beach, there are many modern beachfront villas for rent and several private residences.

Sapodilla Bay and Long Bay Beach are two more beaches found on Providenciales that are also very popular. Sapodilla Bay has shallow and calm waters, making it ideal for families, whereas Long Bay Beach is known for its kiteboarding.

Other Turks & Caicos Islands that should be on your list are Parrot Cay, Grand Turk, South Caicos, and Pine Cay. Parrot Cay is the home of some of the most luxurious villas for rent in the Turks & Caicos archipelago. At the same time, South Caicos is mainly known for its long stretches of undeveloped sandy beaches and cozy villas.

 

Accommodation in Turks & Caicos

You can choose from Turks & Caicos villas for rent, beach houses, and the standard resort hotels for accommodations. The common nominator for almost all types of accommodations in Turks & Caicos is that you will never be more than a few meters away from the beachfront.

Whether you prefer to be pampered in a luxury villa with all the amenities, or a basic one featuring just the essential furniture, the wealth of options is pretty much endless.

Furthermore, there is an almost endless choice in terms of location. Visitors can choose from a very quiet place for absolute peace and solitude to one surrounded by other villas full of other people eager to socialize.

 

Turks and Caicos private villas for rent

Most of these villas have large bedrooms, contemporary bathrooms, the massive patios or decks, and a view to die for. In terms of style, most of the villas are modern with minimalist interiors. Typically there is an abundance of glass framing so that you never miss a moment of the spectacular views that surround you. The neutral finishing is quite comfortable. Another common thing about most villas for rent is that they come with modern, well-equipped kitchens that include washers, dryers, and even a video and audio system.

Curacao

Nice Beaches of Curacao, Netherlands Antilles

 

Curaçao’s beaches are concentrated on the southern coast, especially the western side.

Find these from Kaap St. Marie up to Westpunt.

– Playa Grote Kenapa, also known as Big Knip is a large sand beach west of the town of Lagun.

– Playa Kalki, also know as Alice in Wonderland, is located at the far west end of the island past the town of Westpunt. Kura Hulanda Lodge has a restaurant at the beach and Ocean Encounters West which is a full service dive shop. For a small fee, you have use of a dive locker for storage of personal items while diving/snorkeling and use of fresh water showers and equipment cleaning area.

– Westpunt Beach

– Playa Kleine Kenapa, also known as Little Knip is another beach past the town of Lagun. It is a nice secluded beach with plenty of shade trees if you desire to stay out of the direct sun. The bar/restaurant on this site operates on a sporadic schedule, so visit prepared.

– Playa Jeremi is a small secluded beach slightly north of Lagun. There are no facilities here.

– Playa Lagun, is a secluded bay towards the western end of the island in the town of Lagun. It is a small sandy beach on a rectangular shaped bay with tall cliffs on each side. The waters adjacent to the cliffs is excellent place for snorkeling. Both sides of the bay along the cliffs are teaming with a wide variety of marine life and corals. The left side of the bay has a greater variety of underwater structure for a better experience. The beach has the Discover Diving Curaçao dive shop which also has a small restaurant.

– Playa Porto Mari is a large beach with a full service restaurant, and a complete dive dive shop including fresh water showers and restrooms operated by Porto Mari Sports

– Cas Abao is a beach on a plantation. It is a long stretched sandy beach with lots of facilities including huts, beach chairs, restaurant, fresh water showers and bathrooms.

– Hook’s Hut is located on the Piscadera Bay. The location is a short drive a few miles west of downtown Willemstad near The Marriott and Hilton hotels. It has many beach amenities including showers/bathrooms, Hook’s dive center and an excellent full service restaurant.

– Kontiki Beach is is about a ten minute drive east from downtown Willemstad near Breezes hotel. Kontiki is a full service beach offering watersports, shops, beachbar and a restaurant.It is also serviced by Ocean Encounters dive center.

– Mambo Beach is next door to Kontiki beach and is the place where locals and tourists alike visit for the nightlife partying here.

– Seaquarium Beach

– Jan Thiel Beach

– Caracasbaai

– Barbara Beach