Best Beaches – Hidden Gems and Old Favorites

Published by Rick Seaney on January 10, 2020

Shells on a beach

If you’re looking for a seaside holiday, say no more. This list of best beaches, hidden gems and old favorites, includes some of the most popular beaches around the world. Already have a favorite beach? Use the Getaway Map to find the cheapest days to fly there.

Best Beaches – Hidden Gems

First, some beaches you may not be totally familiar with; the hidden gems. Information links have useful travel tips and fun suggestions.

North America

Ogunquit Maine
Best Beaches – Ogunquit Maine

Ogunquit, Maine: A beautiful, quiet coastal town south of Kennebunkport features a lovely beach and walking paths by the sea. There is also a summer playhouse, a museum of American art, plus splendid shops and restaurants. More information.

Find flights to Portland, Maine

Lighthouse in Cape Cod
Cape Cod Lighthouse

Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Cape Cod is actually a collection of charming towns and villages, from Provincetown to Woods Hole, filled with beautiful beaches including a National Seashore, as well as hidden gems that will likely be unknown to you. If you get tired of swimming and collecting shells, visit a working lighthouse or one of the many art galleries and boutiques; then take a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket or enjoy a whale-watching excursion. Whatever else you do, don’t miss the wonderful seafood. Tip: The Cape is very popular but you can bypass some of the crowds by visiting in May, early June, late August or September. More information.

Find flights to Boston, Massachusetts

Venice, California

Venice Beach, California: There’s so much more to this bohemian beach town than the characters on the boardwalk. Walk along Abbot Kinney Boulevard for unique shops selling everything from exotic jewelry to colorful board shorts and don’t miss the award-winning restaurants. Then stroll neighborhoods surrounded by picturesque canals before heading to Muscle Beach and yes, all those characters on the boardwalk. More information.

Find flights to Los Angeles


Fanad Head, Ireland
Best Beaches – Fanad Head

Fanad Head, Ireland: Not a beach but a peninsula although there are plenty of beaches nearby. See the historic lighthouse and spectacular rocky cliffs; you may even spy some seals or even a whale. All part of Ireland’s ruggedly beautiful Wild Atlantic Way. More information.

Find flights to Dublin

Hvar, Croatia
Best Beaches – Hvar, Croatia

Hvar, Croatia: This island off the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia boasts medieval buildings, modern resorts and plenty of beautiful beaches. Suggestion: Drive along the beautiful coast road from Dubrovnik to Split, then take a water taxi. More information.

Find flights to Dubrovnik


Penguins at Boulders Beach

Cape Town, South Africa: Two unconventional choices. First, the Cape of Good Hope (about an hour and a half drive south) is a place to revel in awesome scenery including massive, craggy cliffs and pounding surf. More information here. Then head north again for a 30 minute drive to Boulders Beach, home to a delightful (and delightfully photogenic!) penguin colony. More information.

Find flights to Cape Town


Best Beaches - Phuket
Best Beaches – Phuket, Thailand

Nai Harn Beach: You’ve heard of Phuket but are you familiar with Nai Harn? Find it on the southern end of Phuket; look for a forest-lined shore, fewer hotels, and fewer tourists. It’s also close to Ya Nui, described as a sandy cove popular with snorkelers. More information.

Find flights to Phuket

Best Beaches – Old Favorites

These are some of FareCompare‘s most searched-for beaches, the popular favorites. Click the name to find a cheap flight.

Best Beaches – Finding the Cheapest Flights

Rule number one: Always compare airfares. If you only go to one or two airline sites, you could miss out on big savings. Two ways to compare:

  • If you know exactly where and when you want to go: FareCompare
  • If you just want to fly to a great beach when it’s cheap: Getaway Map

Now go have a wonderful trip, and don’t forget the sunscreen.

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