Even though your summer wardrobe is still stored away, now is the perfect time to plan your beach vacation. So before the temperatures heat up and you forget to schedule a summer beach getaway, take out your calendar and block off a few days. C’mon now, no excuses! You need the beach and the beach needs you. And hopefully you won’t even have to travel far – there are great beach destinations located across America. They all offer something different too, so you’re bound to find one that’s a perfect fit for you and your crew. With that in mind, check out the RELAXnation 2011 Picks for Top 5 U.S. Beaches to find your perfect beach getaway!
White sandy beaches: Clearwater Beach, Florida
Located just outside of Tampa, Clearwater Beach lives up to its name and then some. For years, it has lured families and couples alike to its broad, white sandy shores and beachfront hotels located along the Gulf of Mexico. You can choose to either relax on the beach your entire vacation or take advantage of a load of other activities. Charter a boat, play beach volleyball, sail off on a dolphin-watching cruise, hit the skies with a parasailing adventure or head to a delicious local seafood restaurant. In Clearwater, you’ve got the chance to experience everything you’d expect in a beautiful, laid-back and fun beach vacation.
Luxury: Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
Coronado Beach is a luxurious escape located just two miles from downtown San Diego. But don’t let the proximity to the city fool you, for Coronado is a world away. The beach basks in a Mediterranean-like climate and offers the perfect refuge for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, snorkeling and fishing. And if you’re going to head to Coronado, there’s no better place to stay than in the cities most famous landmark, the glamorous Hotel del Coronado. Built over 120 years ago and listed as one of the “Top 10 Resorts In The World” by USA Today and “Top 20 Hotel Spas in the World” by Travel + Leisure, the Victorian masterpiece will absolutely wow you in every way imaginable. If you’re looking to save some money, we recommend staying in one of the area’s budget friendly hotels. Then you can visit the Hotel del Coronado to get the feel of being royalty without breaking the bank!
Family: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, much like Clearwater Beach, offers everything you’d expect in a wonderful beach vacation. The difference comes in the quality of the actual beach and assortment of other activities to do. If you’re looking for a gorgeous sand and water, stick to the Gulf Coast and Clearwater. But if you’re looking for the whole enchilada in activities, look no further than Myrtle Beach. You’ll have plenty of great Atlantic-style beach to play with, but you’ll also have a host of hotels to choose from, countless dining options, an amusement and water park, golf courses, nightly entertainment, water sports, outlet malls and tons more. It’s no wonder it’s considered the East Coast’s ultimate vacation hub.
History: Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, located within the Outer Banks, is another beautiful beach along the Atlantic. Stretching for more than 70 miles, the beach was named the first national seashore in the country and includes a host of natural and historic attractions to explore. In Cape Hatteras, you’ll want to spend less time on the actual beach and more time sightseeing. You can visit the Civil War Trail, Wright Brothers National Memorial and climb up 248 steps to the top of the nation’s tallest lighthouse – perfect for a spectacular view of the seashore.
Peaceful: Nantucket, Massachusetts
Seaside cottages and endless natural beauty are what you’ll experience with a visit to Nantucket. This picture-perfect Cape Cod community offers bay and ocean beaches – choose from the peaceful waters of Nantucket Sound or brave the Atlantic waters of the south shore. Then, stroll the quaint historical streets filled with boutique shopping, restaurants and art galleries. And nearly 40% of Nantucket if protected conservation land, so there’s nothing but gorgeous views ahead with this tranquil Cape Cod vacation.