The Perfect Beach
What makes a perfect beach day? Swaying palm trees, chaise lounges and a pair of cocktails within easy reach? Or it could be a secluded swath of sand, only accessible by foot, utterly private and perfect for skinny dipping. Or a rocky stretch on the Mediterranean, perfect for after-dinner strolling? The perfect beach is all that, and more; the question is, which vision is perfect for you? For inspiration, here are four of our fave sandy spots, each beloved for a totally different reason.
We love beaches, and we love wildlife, so we especially love Costa Rica, one of the few places we’ve been able to bob in the waves and watch white-faced monkeys trooping through the treetops. (Thank you, Manuel Antonio National Park!) We also love the diversity of hotels, everything from boho-chic surfer lodges to elegant luxury resorts to eco-adventures lodges so secluded, you can only reach them by boat.
Warning: Don’t go to the Maldives if you don’t love the ocean. Because that’s pretty much the centerpiece of life there—swimming in it, diving under it, yachting over it, napping beside it. But if that’s what you’re looking for, then this is the place to do it. The waters are clear and calm, the sand powder-soft, and the resorts sumptuous. When you think it about, why would you need anything else on a honeymoon?
Asking for our favorite Caribbean island is like asking for a favorite book, or favorite song; we like different ones for different reasons at different times. Anguilla wins raves for perfectly white strands backed up by luxurious white-on-white resorts. Jamaica’s beaches run from tawny and soft to rugged and pebbled, each as distinct as the international influences that make up the island’s cultural heritage. Barbuda has the pinkest sands we’ve ever seen, while Turks and Caicos’ Grace Bay and Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile win for size and ease, with great diving and dining equally close at hand.
A long, narrow island off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is naturally stunning and refreshingly untouched. Just a 15-minute flight from the capital city of Dar Es Salaam, it’s the perfect partner to an Africa safari, where long stretches of sand give you room to stroll and contemplate your place in the universe. Plus we love Stone Town, the island’s capital, where the crumbling carved doors and time-worn Ottoman architecture are testament to the island’s unique position as gateway between Africa and the Middle East.