Hit The Beach! Your Guide to the Best Beaches in the USA

by Lindsay Shapka in , , ,


Winters are long and cold, and I find myself dreaming of the beach for most of the year (who am I kidding, ALL of the year).

There are so many incredible tropical locations to explore in the world, but when the warm weather hits, the beaches in the US are well worth a visit.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the total length of the US shoreline (which includes outer coast, offshore islands, sounds, bays, rivers, and creeks), is a staggering 95,471 miles (153,646 km)!

That’s a lot of beach to explore!

What’s interesting about the beaches in the States is that they are so varied. Some do feel like a topical paradise, others are stormy and rocky, while others are deserted and isolated. Because of the sheer size of the country, there is no way you could visit all of the beaches in a single visit, but there are some more famous and popular ones that are definitely worth planning your trip around.

Surf Spots

Is catching a wave your idea of the perfect day at the beach? There are some amazing surf spots in the States. Here are two of the most famous:

Huntington Beach

Orange County, California
Also known as “Surf City,” this beach attracts serious crowds. There are actually four different surf spots in the area that cater to all levels — from the novice to the expert.

According to Gear Patrol, “longboarders should head to the northwest beaches, while shortboards are best in the south, by Huntington Beach Pier.”

Pipeline

North Shore, Oahu
I couldn't talk about surf spots and not mention a beach in Hawaii!

Considered to have the some of the world’s biggest and best waves, this spot is for serious surfers only. The currents are strong and the reef is sharp and cavernous, but that’s the reason for the incredible 30-foot waves and the large, hollow tubes of water that surfers are often photographed on. If you aren’t experienced enough to ride the waves yourself, it’s the perfect spot to take some amazing photos of world-class surfers!

Suntanning + People Watching

Located on opposite sides of the country, these two spots are the best beaches to see and be seen in America.

Miami Beach

Miami, Florida
This famous beach has more than 13 million visitors each year (!) making it the ideal spot to people watch.

The southern portion, or South Beach, is known for being the spot where models, celebrities, and other millionaires hang out (get ready for some celebrity spotting!), and this is where you will find the famous Ocean Drive with its stunning Art Deco architecture.

Venice Beach

Los Angeles, California
More than 16 million people visit the quirky and charter-filled Venice Beach every year to experience the sights and sounds of this one-of-a-kind spot.

Stroll down the boardwalk, purchase some unique souvenirs from a street vendor, get your fortune told, play some basketball, go dancing, relax in the sand, or get a little surfing in — there is so much to do here!  

Sunsets + Romance

Walk barefoot in the sand and catch the sunset at one of these locations that seem made for romance.

Your guide to the best beaches in America

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach, North Carolina
This gorgeous spot in the Brunswick Islands has a mile-long beach that is south facing, which means that you can watch the sun both rise and set over the water.  

Located at one end of the beach is the Kindred Spirits Mailbox, where lovers can pen notes to each other, or leave behind wishes for the future.

Montauk Point State Park

Montauk, New York
A favorite escape for New Yorkers, couples love this destination for its peace and serenity.

Go for a romantic horseback ride, take in the stunning views from the majestic rocky shore, or explore the beautiful 200-year-old lighthouse that sits on the cliffs in the park.

Get Your Party On

It’s 5 o’clock all day at these destinations that are always ready to party!

Your guide to the best beaches in America

Wildwood Beach

Wildwood, New Jersey
The famous Jersey Shore is known for its boardwalk and amusement park with more than 100 rides!

There are a variety of clubs and bars that turn up the heat when the sun goes down, and are where you can enjoy great food, indulge in some cocktails, or spend the night tearing up the dance floor.

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach, Virginia
The beach’s boardwalk is home to a strip of bars that is perfect for those that are looking to bar hop the night away. There are also some pretty incredible happy hour prices along the strip — some starting as early as 11 am!

LGBTQ-Friendly Destinations

Sun, sand, and all-inclusive fun await you at these LGBTQ-friendly destinations!

Race Point Beach

Provincetown, Massachusetts
Dubbed “P-town,” this free-spirited beach town has been a must-visit destination for LGBTQ travelers for years.

You’ll find a thriving art scene, whale-watching, incredible seafood, and lots of romantic and secluded spots to stroll.

Will Rogers State Beach (aka Ginger Rogers Beach)

Santa Monica, California
Located right off the Pacific Coast Highway, this is the closest (unofficial) gay beach to Los Angeles, so you may have a chance to do some movie star spotting here!

This is also the beach where the movie Creature From The Black Lagoon was filmed, as well as the TV series Baywatch!

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Your guide to the best beaches in America
Your guide to the best beaches in America



12 Photos That Will Make You Want To Visit Nova Scotia in Canada

by Lindsay Shapka in , , , ,


Though Canada’s east coast has been occupied and built up longer than most of Canada by outsiders who brought farming, building, and industry to the “New World”, there is still something raw, wild, and just beautiful about this part of the country.

Yes, a lot of that beauty is a result of human occupation, but there seems to be a symbiosis between the land and the people who live in it, and a respect for the roaring ocean that is always close by.

These 12 photos show some of my favourite parts of this stunning province, and showcase why it is worth the visit.

The boardwalks that take you from a gravel parking lot on the side of the road, through the sand dunes, and out onto the beach that is stunning if it is shrouded on fog or glowing under the blue sky!

The happy, multi-coloured buildings found everywhere you look — in cities, villages, and on farms!

Sleepy fishing villages with moss covered roofs in quiet coves.

Fishing nets, boats, traps, colourfully painted floats, and the fishermen themselves are full of character.

The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove — it doesn’t matter how touristy it is, this will always be one of my favourite spots!

Short ferry rides that give you views of small villages along the water and shorten your drive time.

Stunning parks are found throughout the province, like this one in Halifax.

Weathered, historic buildings that have held their own through winter storms and bright sunshiny days.

It’s just so ridiculously beautiful — I mean, look at those colors!!

Everywhere you turn, you seem to be at the beach, which is almost more beautiful in the fog than it is in the sunshine.

I could stare at the rough and wild Atlantic Ocean that crashes against the shoreline for days.

The colourful buildings in the North End of Halifax that have so much character!

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Visit Nova Scotia in Canada
Visit Nova Scotia in Canada


Your Guide to The Top Cities and Countries to Visit In 2019

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


Lush green rainforests, storybook castles, rugged mountain peaks — where are you dreaming of visiting in 2019?

There are a lot of articles out there already about the top places to visit in 2019 so, to make things easier, I've rounded up the best to give you a one-stop spot to plan your 2019 adventures.

Here are the top five destinations for the year according to National GeographicLonely PlanetTravel + Leisure, and Conde Nast Traveller — four of my favourite travel publications!

National Geographic’s “Where to Travel in 2019”

1. Mexico City, Mexico (see image above)
The local food scene is the biggest draw according to the article, with a focus on handmade corn tortillas.

2. The Peruvian Amazon
Did you know that the Amazon rainforest covers more than half of Peru?!

3. Fanjinshan, China
This sacred Buddhist site is China’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4. Dakar, Senegal
The center of the fashion world in Senegal, this city is known for its incredible nightlife.

5. Dordogne, France
An annual celebration in this region called the Félibrée turns 100 in 2019 and the castles and landscape make this destination look like it’s out of a fairytale!

Click here to see all of the destinations on this list.

Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2019”

*Note: This article contains multiple lists, but I’ve focused on the cities for this post.

1. Copenhagen, Denmark
Dubbed the “capital of cool”, this city is a hub of fashion, food, and culture!

2. Shenzhen, China
Considered to be the ‘Silicon Valley’ of China, this city is bursting with tech innovation.

3. Novi Sad, Siberia
The 2019 European Youth Capital, this city is quickly developing its cultural assets as it is set to be the 2021 European Capital of Culture.

4. Miami, USA (see image above)
Always a popular destination for beaches and nightlife, Miami has transformed into a “burgeoning center for the arts, a foodie destination and an innovator in urban design”.

5. Katmandu, Nepal
Still rebuilding after the 2015 earthquake, this city is in a phase of rejuvenation — tourism dollars can only help!

Click here to see all of the destinations on this list. 

Travel + Leisure’s “The 50 Best Places To Travel in 2019”

1. The Adirondacks, New York
”Clear lakes, pure air, and 46 high peaks to climb” — what more could you want?!

2. Alberta, Canada
The majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains, incredible museums and art galleries, and a robust foodie scene — this province in Canada has a lot to offer!

Read The Anthrotorian’s Guide to Trekking The Sulphur Skyline Train in Jasper, Alberta

3. Alsace, France
This region produces some of the best wine in the world and has incredible dining to go with it.

4. The Andaman Islands
This chain of more than 300 islands is between India and Thailand and is the definition of paradise.

5. Armenia (see image above)
A new liberal government has made this stunning country more welcoming and accessible to tourists.

Click here to see all of the destinations on this list.

Conde Nast Traveller’s “Top Holiday Destinations 2019”

1. The Peloponnese, Greece
Escape the crowds of Santorini and check out this even more stunning under-the-radar Greek destination.

2. Egypt
If museums are your thing (they are definitely mine!), the Grand Egyptian Museum is opening in January of 2019.

3. Matera, Italy
This romantic and historic city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4. Perth, Western Australia
A foodie and wine destination, this city is also a great jumping off point for adventures in Australia’s “wild west”.

5. The Scottish Highlands
Step into the wild wilderness that looks like a movie set or cuddle up near a fire in the local pub.

Click here to see all of the destinations on this list. 

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Your guide to the best cities and countries to visit in 2019
Your guide to the best cities and countries to visit in 2019