At any given time of year, there’s a beachfront location somewhere in the world that’s enjoying perfect conditions. Every beach has its own special character; the Mediterranean is a food and wine paradise, the West Indies have some of the clearest waters anywhere in the world, and the coasts of California and Queensland, Australia, are international destinations for serious surfers. These eight beach resort destinations represent the best of the best: sun, sand, and vibrant local color awaits along every one of these spectacular shorelines.
Australia's world-famous Sunshine Coast in the state of Queensland draws beachgoers from other continents for good reason: the region’s tropical and subtropical climate zones add up to year-round sun and perfect swimming and surfing weather. With nearly 7,500 miles of coastline, Queensland offers ample variety, too. The state capital of Brisbane was built on the banks of Moreton Bay, and in close proximity one will find offshore islands that make ideal retreats with lakes, forests, surf, and calm-water beaches. Greece
The Greek coastline is famously large and diverse, and when the Greek islands are included, the country has some of the most spectacular and beautiful beaches in the world. The waters of the Mediterranean are known for their brilliant blue color, and much of Greece’s beachfront is dappled with unique features like coastal caves, dark volcanic sand, pebble beaches, and lovely vernacular architecture in the classic white-and-blue Greek color palette. All this and some of the best seafood in the world make Greece a top beach second-home resort destination.Florida
The state of Florida boasts 825 miles of coastline, and an array of charming towns and cities dot the shoreline from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. Florida’s climate makes it a perfect getaway for those who spend most of their time in less sunny regions. Miami offers a global art and culture scene along with its Art Deco architecture, and Sanibel Island on the Gulf Coast is famous for its shimmering pink sand—the result of brightly colored seashells crashing against the shore over many years. For retirees and culture seekers alike, Florida continues to remain an exceptionally desirable location for a warm weather beachfront home. Italy
Italy’s coastline is probably the most recognizable in the world: the delicate “boot” that appears to gently tap the island of Sicily with its toe is surrounded on almost all sides by water and boasts a rugged coastline of beautiful beaches from the Italian Riviera to the Amalfi Coast. Italy’s mountainous terrain means there’s great hiking near many of its coastal resorts, and wonderful natural features like swimming coves to explore in the Tyrrhenian, Adriatic, and Ionian Seas.Hawaii
The volcanic archipelago that composes the islands of Hawaii are home to an astonishing array of wildlife, plants, flowers, and microclimates, making it a perennial favorite for nature lovers. And of course, its beaches are legendary: like California and Australia, Hawaii is a surfer’s paradise. Waikiki on the island of Oahu is one of the most popular and beautiful beaches on earth, and the black-sand Kahaluu Beach Park on the island of Kona is one of the state’s best snorkelling spots. Côte d’Azur
What do Queen Victoria, Coco Chanel, Pablo Picasso, and Brigitte Bardot have in common? Among other things, a love for the picturesque French Riviera. Well-loved since the 18th century as a winter resort, the Côte d’Azur remains one of Europe’s loveliest and most exclusive beach enclaves. Famous for the Cannes Film Festival, it’s also a haven for superyachts: half of the world’s superyachts spend time here each year.California
California symbolizes beach culture in the popular imagination. Movies and pop music since the late 1950s have celebrated the state’s surf culture and spectacular views as well as the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Like Italy, California spans several climate zones, with a temperate zone around San Francisco and tropical climes near Los Angeles. Bahamas
The Bahamas comprise more than 700 islands, cays, and islets located right between Miami, Florida and Cuba. The former British colony has beautiful 18th-century architecture, a dynamic food scene that draws inspiration from Caribbean, African, and European influences, and some of the most pristine white beaches and clear waters in the world. The Bahamas are idyllic year-round, but high temperatures make it a perfect winter getaway; high season is from December to March.