The most popular variant for family beach vacation is the Caribbean - Turks and Caicos. You want it all -- remote, windswept strands, glittering resort beaches and easy access to diving and snorkeling. Then you'll never want to leave Turks and Caicos, made up of six primary islands and many more uninhabited cays, where you'll find some of the best sand in the Caribbean. Here, you'll also find dozens of prime snorkeling and diving opportunities.
Most people visit the beach to catch some sun, but for a more unusual Caribbean glow, visit Puerto Rico Bioluminescent Bay or Mosquito Bay on a moonless night. The curious, natural green light created by bioluminescent microorganisms in the water is unforgettable. For more classically beautiful beaches, try Culebra, an island nature preserve where you can relax on the white sand of Flamenco Beach.
A beach vacation should not just relax the body, but rekindle your sense of fun. Think about US beaches. Perhaps the grandeur of Oahu's towering surf or the peaceful refuge of North Carolina's grassy, windswept dunes appeal to you the most. Or maybe one of these beach getaways best matches your vacation style: rowdy Corpus Christi or athletic, lighthearted Santa Cruz.
Sparkling water and sunny weather are musts for any great beach. If you want not just a beach, but a new discovery, consider the following favorite beach vacations from around the world, whether you want to explore the sights or just people-watch while you sunbathe in an exotic locale. Below you will find three main spots of beaches for explorers.
Baleairic Islands. This island group is made up of Majorca, Ibiza, Minorca and tiny Formentera. On the northern coast of Majorca, you'll find craggy cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean and unexpected sites like the ornate former monastery, Real Cartuja. Es Trenc Beach is undeveloped, bordered by a pine forest, and stretches for miles along the southeast coast of Majorca. Go to Ibiza to check out the rave scene, and to Formentera for quiet, secluded beaches.
French Riviera. The luxurious grande dame of beach destinations, the French Riviera continues to dazzle. You'll find it difficult to leave without a sun-soaked reverence for simple pleasures. Small beaches are tucked between charming ports and rocky shores throughout the region, but if you want a chic sandy strip, you'll want to settle in St. Tropez.
Sydney, New South Wales. A panoply of beaches awaits you in Sydney. Famous Bondi Beach tops the list, and it deserves its rare reputation, combining easy urban access, local flavor and extraordinary surfing. Get there early, and by the time the crowds have descended, you can head off to brunch at one of the many nearby cafes.