It’s feels like a lifetime ago since I’ve felt sand between my toes and the ocean’s breeze. I’m missing beach life. There’s something so hypnotic about watching the tide come in and out. I love the water, and that’s quite a statement considering I cannot swim for the life of me. Whenever we go on vacation, my first choice is usually involves a beach or places where we can beach hop. Luckily I’ve been to many fabulous ones.
BEACHES THAT TOP MY JOY LIST:
- Polihale Beach – Polihale State Park. Kauai, Hawaii
- El Matador State Beach – Malibu, California
- Crandon Park – Key Biscayne. Miami, Florida
- Dunes Beach – Sandbanks Provincial Park. Prince Edward County, Ontario
- Wai’anapanapa State Park – Hana. Maui, Hawaii
1. POLIHALE BEACH – POLIHALE STATE PARK. KAUAI, HAWAII
You know the quote, “It’s about the journey, not the destination”? Well, THIS place is about both. Polihale boasts the longest stretch of beach in Hawaii at the westernmost end of Kauai. It’s literally where the road ends. Seemingly stretching to eternity, it’s actually seventeen miles of the softest, most pristine white sand you’ll ever see. There’s nothing like it. An isolated beauty, you’ll be welcomed with a breathtaking view that you’ll remember for a lifetime (it’s been over 20 years since our trip and this beach is still crystal clear in my mind and heart). With the intimidating ocean at front, the dramatic cliffs of the Na Pali coast at right, and to the left, an endless beach that’s feels almost all yours since it’s a rare sighting to see others. How can such a massive beach be so secluded? That’s the journey part. This place is so special it deserved a post of its own, read more here.
2. El Matador State Beach – Malibu, California
There are countless of beaches along the California coast, what makes this one special? It’s simply beautiful. There are no facilities or services at this beach, you come here because it’s a natural wonder. The dramatic rock formations with its arches and caves beg to be explored. It’s the perfect place for a sunset stroll which was exactly what we did. This is the place where California dreams are made of.
3. Crandon Park – Key Biscayne. Miami, Florida
When we go to Florida we hit the usual hotspots like South Beach, Bal Harbour and Fort Lauderdale, but for our last trip we asked my dad where to go. A former resident of the Sunshine State back in his University of Miami days, he’d surely know the gems that only the locals know. Wow, dad did not disappoint. He sent us to Key Biscayne which was close to the city yet a world away. It was not packed with tourists, only palm trees majestically along the shore. If you’re looking for a postcard-perfect picturesque beach, Crandon Park is it. Fun fact: the area was once part of the country’s largest coconut plantation explaining the abundance of palm trees. Plus, here’s an added fun tip: come on Food Truck Thursdays where Virginia Key (northern part of Key Biscayne) becomes home to a festive destination for foodies! We stumbled on this by chance and it became a very memorable part of our trip. Picnic on the beach while enjoying the Miami skyline at sunset, life doesn’t get any better.
4. Dunes Beach – Sandbanks Provincial Park.
Prince Edward County, Ontario
We’ve been in love with Sandbanks Provincial Park for over 10 years, long before it became the popular destination it is today. Back then the beaches were ours to enjoy in solitude, a little hidden oasis a short road trip away from home. Now it’s become a crowded destination with everyone vying to get in. Don’t even bother if you haven’t reserve your access pass in advance. This secret getaway was too amazing to stay a secret. White sand beaches and clear waters, it’s the closest you’ll get to the Caribbean in this part of Canada.
The park consists of three beaches: Sandbanks Beach, Outlet Beach and Dunes Beach. Our personal fave has always been Dunes Beach. A sight to see, The Dunes are fun to explore and no summer is complete until you’ve run from top of the dune all the way into the water. The shallowness of West Lake makes it family-friendly. We like to hike towards to back to find a secluded corner. It’s truly a little paradise just off the 401.
5. Wai’ānapanapa State Park – Hana. Maui, Hawaii
I’ve always been on a quest to find the whitest of sand beaches. Never did I expect to stumble upon one of the most spectacular beaches in the opposite colour spectrum. Wai’ānapanapa, which means “glistening waters” is known for its famous black sand Pa’iloa Beach and 360 degree stunning panoramic views. To say it’s breathtaking would be an understatement. You’re immediately mesmerized by the sight of the vibrant and lush green vegetation contrasting against the dramatic black basalt lava coastline and deep blue ocean. You’ll wonder if this is real or just a dream? Feeling the mist from the waves crashing into the rugged cliffs confirms that it’s very much a beautiful reality.