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10 Beaches for a Winter Escape

Want to hit the beach this winter? Get ready to run ashore at any one of these 10 beach destinations. 

1.Maracas Beach on Trinidad

Lined with palm trees and buffeted with warm Caribbean breezes, this crescent of golden sand is home to food stalls hawking the local specialty, bake and shark: a deep-fried fish sandwich with an array of toppings.

2.Wai‘ānapanapa State Park on Maui, Hawaii

Rarely crowded, this remote black sand beach features a lava cave sheltering a freshwater pool. Legend has it that a Hawaiian princess hid here from her vengeful king.

3.Phra Nang Beach near Ao Nang, Thailand

It’s a 20-minute sail by long-tail boat from Ao Nang to take in the limestone cliffs peaking through the scenic waters of Phra Nang—a popular spot among rock climbers. Visit at low tide to walk out to the beautiful limestone karsts on Happy Island.

4.Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, Australia

Arrive by boat or seaplane to this protected ecofriendly beach in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Changing tides cause the white silica sand to swirl in the turquoise waters, creating breathtaking images to capture.

5. Llandudno Beach in Cape Town, South Africa

Surf and body-board in the brisk Atlantic, or enjoy a relaxing day of uninterrupted sunbathing at this gloriously uncrowded boulder- and granite-lined beach.

6.Hilton Beach in Tel Aviv, Israel

This party beach features full-service amenities such as bars, beach chairs and ice cream vendors in the heart of urban Tel Aviv. It’s backed by Independence Park, popular with families and young locals.

7.Siesta Key Beach on Siesta Key, Florida

Dig your heels into Siesta Key’s iconic quartz sand for a round of volleyball or teach your kids to float and swim in the gentle surf of the Gulf of Mexico, which stays warm late in the season.

8.Balangan Beach in South Kuta, Bali

A spectacular break just past the reef makes this beach a popular spot for surfing. For something closer to shore, its shallow waters are ideal for swimming, and the golden sand is just the right texture for sand castles.

9.Playa Tortugas in Cancun, Mexico

Rent snorkel gear from a shack on the beach and head for the water to spot stingrays and bright tropical fish swimming amid the coral reef. Dive off the pier into the sheltered waters, or grab a margarita at a beachside bar.

10.Playa de Papagayo on Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Go off the grid at this remote beach that’s part of Los Ajaches Nature Reserve, renowned for its unadulterated beauty. Pack a cooler for this rustic destination (there are no vendors) to enjoy calm, temperate waters year-round.

*Photo by Robert Harding/Glow Images

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