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Visiting the beach is almost an unspoken requirement when on vacation, especially during summer. There's nothing better than the sand, sun and waves, all of which can be an incredibly relaxing break, no matter where you're from.
The most difficult part of planning a beach vacation, of course, is deciding which one to visit. With hundreds of beaches in the U.S. alone, it can be overwhelming to pinpoint just where to go.
There are also always some special beaches that stay in our heart, forever on our list to go again. One of my personal favorites is Cape May, with all of its magical lighthouses, Victorian houses and New England style food (think: lobster rolls!) I can't wait to plan my next trip back.
Here’s a tour of some of the world's best (and unique) beaches to explore or go again:
Located on Mexico's Pacific Coast, the resort town of Costalegre sits between the touristy Puerto Vallarta and the port city of Manzanillo. Costalegre really does have it all: beaches, capes, bays and lush mountains that surround you almost anywhere you go. The town has a more remote feeling that most Mexico resort locations, and buildings are colorful.
Staying anywhere in this coastal resort town is beautiful, but Costalegre also has the added benefit of having an extremely extravagant resort called Cuixmala, situated on a two-mile private beach with its own airstrip. It's no wonder celebs such as Emily Ratajkowski and Poppy Delevingne are fans.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands can feel like one of the most exotic experiences in the world. For starters, the volcanic chain of islands are scattered a little over 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. It's also one of the best places to go to view rare wildlife and many species can only be found in the Galapagos.
In terms of the beaches, Galapagos Islands also can't be beat. Tortuga Bay on Santa Cruz Island is one of the most popular destinations along with Bartolome Island Beach, which is famous for the panoramic views of its iconic Pinnacle Rock. The sand on the Galapagos Island beaches is stunningly white. Don't be surprised if iguanas, sea lions are penguins try to join you.
For fans of scuba diving, Bora Bora is world-renowned. The small South Pacific island sits northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia and is known for its gorgeous, nearly translucent turquoise waters.
Many of the best beaches in Bora Bora can be found at the top resorts such as Intercontinental Thalasso Beach. One thing that makes the landscape a little different than the typical tropical oasis is the amazing bungalow-style guest houses which often sit directly over the water.
Perhaps one of the most stylish beach locations in the world is St. Barths. The French-Caribbean island is filled with high-end shops and restaurants, and there's as much to do on land as there is on the sandy beaches.
There are 14 main beaches on the island, and Shell Beach is one of the most popular due to its location. Shell Beach is located in Gustavia (the capital of the island, also once owned by Sweden). Expect lots of Scandinavian charm.
Santorini has the kind of stunning, picturesque beaches that have been heavily influenced by the island's unique landscape. As one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, the mountainous landscape is filled with steep and rugged cliffs.
But where Santorini might lack the traditional flat sands that other beaches have, it makes up for in character. The neatly organized stark white buildings of Fira and Oia (the two main towns) and the little shops and restaurants make it worth exploring for both swimmers and shoppers.
There's no denying, Anguilla has some of the world's best beaches. The Eastern Caribbean territory is made up of a small main island and several offshore islets. Because of that, there's also a lot of variety in the kinds of beaches Anguilla has to offer.
Rendezvous Bay, perhaps the most well-known spot to visit in the area, is a beautifully long stretch of pristine blue waters and white sand, from which you can see the neighboring island of Saint Martin. Small coves on Anguilla feel more private and cozy, and some, such as Little Bay, are only reachable by boat.
Nantucket is full of New England charm and is one of the best beach destinations on the East Coast in the U.S. The island, just off Cape Cod, Massachusetts is filled with comfy cottages, classic lighthouses and quaint little boats.
Nantucket is also a great place to pick up a new water sport at one of the many sandy beaches such as Jetties Beach, which has windsurf gear and sailboats available for rent. Many people with families often head to Children's Beach, where playgrounds and activities for young kids are popular.
Coney Island is iconic for its boardwalk and its proximity to New York City. In fact, many locals take a quick subway ride to get to this location. And while the beach is fun and easy to access, it's the pop culture moments that make this beach what it is.
Before jumping in the water, stop by the original Nathan's Famous hot dog restaurant—or ride the infamous wooden Cyclone rollercoaster (first opened in 1927) or many other options such as the ferris wheel at Luna Park. There are also more candy shops, well-loved pizzerias than you can count that make visiting Coney Island more of a unique vacation experience.
Travel farther every year with Barclaycard Arrival Plus and go again and again to your favorite beaches. Visit ArrivalPlus.com to learn more about this card and to apply. Please review the terms and conditions at the time of application for additional details.
This content is sponsored by Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®. All opinions in this blog are supplied by Kristen Bateman and are for informational purposes only.
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