I love beaches.
I love walking barefoot along the shore, water lapping at my feet, my toes squishing the wet sand, leaving footprints that will be gone with the next wave.
I love listening to the slow rhythm of the ocean or the sea, like breathing,receding its surf on the in breath, and swelling out onto the shore with an out breath.
All of it – the warmth of the sun, the gentle breeze of the wind tickling my face, and the sound of the moving tide calms me, and while I love sightseeing, big cities, and beautiful museums, I feel most relaxed on a beach, the longer and the more empty the better.
As you might have heard, Massachusetts got walloped with snow recently, and to get myself in a better mood I started looking through my albums for photos of beaches, and then decided to do a photo essay.
While I absolutely loved the vibrant blue and warm, sunny beige of the beach in Cancun featured in the photo above, I can’t really choose a favorite beach from all the ones I’ve been to, so I’m listing them in order from the most recently visited, to the ones I haven’t seen in a while.
Hope you’ll enjoy the photos.
Walden Pond, Concord, Massachusetts, USA (October 2014)
I never actually swam in Walden Pond, though I walked the path along its shore several times.
The beach you can see on the opposite bank in this picture is part of the Walden Pond State Reservation. No big waves, but it’s a nice place.
Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and while swimming across the pond is prohibited, I’ve seen people do it.
A large parking lot is just nearby the beach, but there’s a parking fee of $10. It is very popular with the locals, however, despite the fee, so if you go in the summer, be prepared for the crowds.
Óbidos, Portugal (July 2014)
The lovely beach you see in the photo above is just by the holiday residences of the Praia D’El Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort, in Óbidos, Portugal where we stayed in July 2014.
The ocean was pretty rough at the time we were there, and I’ve heard it’s rough most of the time, so I’m not sure how safe it is to swim there. We didn’t even try. But it’s a lovely long beach, and since it was before the season started, it was also quite empty. A perfect place for long walks.
Palm Beach Shores, Florida, USA (August 2013)
Somehow I don’t have nice photos from the beach by the Marriott’s Ocean Pointe in Palm Beach Shores, Florida, where we stayed in August 2013, even though it was a really nice, wide long beach with a treasure trove of beautiful white and brown scallop shells.
It was August, so Florida was hot and the water was pleasant. The tides were pretty deep, though, so if you set up close to the water during low tide, be prepared to move your chairs or towels a few hours later.
The beach is right outside the hotel property, and there are several showers stations set up right by the gate, where you can rinse off the sand as you’re coming back.
All in all, a lovely place I wouldn’t mind seeing again.
Cancun, Mexico (April 2013)
The beach by the Royal Mayan in Cancun, Mexico is beautiful and stretches for miles and miles. And since it’s Mexico, even though it was only April, the weather was very warm, so I dragged my family for a walk as often as I could.
The water really is as brilliant blue as in the pictures, and the soft, a bit clay-like sand has this amazing warm beige color that just somehow goes perfectly well with the blue.
Sigh. Yes, that was probably one of my most favorite vacations ever. Especially because our suite was right on the beach, and we could have breakfast right on our balcony, looking down at the gorgeous view below.
Prince Edward Island, Canada (August 2012)
Prince Edward Island seems to be somewhat underappreciated when it comes to beaches, although it depends where you go.
Even though it was August – the height of the vacation season, the beach in the Panmure Island Provincial Park was quite deserted the couple of days we went there while we staying at a four-bedroom place we rented through HomeAway.
The water was a bit cold, even though it was August, but it’s PEI, not Florida, so that’s understandable. Still, we did play in the shallow water for quite a bit. Primarily because my daughter loves water, and of course I had to go in with her.
It’s a lovely beach, flanked with a lighthouse on the northernmost part, and magnificent red-clay cliffs at the other end. Definitely worth a walk from one end to the other.
The Basin Head Singing Sands Beach near Souris seemed much more popular with the tourists.
One reason for that might be that the water is pretty shallow and creates tiny islands at high tide, with lots of wading pools in between, perfect for little kids to play in.
There is also a large parking lot next to the beach and a building with changing rooms and bathrooms.
On the other hand, though, there were people everywhere, and it was a bit hard to find a place to set up.
Hilton Head, South Carolina, USA (August 2011)
You can barely see the beach beyond the trees in this photo taken from the balcony of a property at Hilton Head Island Vacation Rentals where we stayed for two nights on our way to Orlando, Florida. I don’t seem to have any others.
The day we stayed there, Hurricane Irene was still over the ocean, on her way to New Jersey, and the waves were fantastic. We couldn’t swim much, of course, but my son and I spent at least a few hours jumping the waves, and letting them knock us down under water. We only got out when the water got too rough to be able to stand, without falling all the time.
Saco, Maine, USA (August 2010)
Our trip to Saco, Maine was a four-day, Labor Day, extended family vacation, for which we rented a four-bedroom house a short walk from the beach.
The beach isn’t very wide in that area, but it’s close to a place where Goosefare Brook empties into the ocean, and that area is hugely popular with kids, since it’s the perfect place for smaller kids to play in at low tide, and a thrill ride for bigger kids when the tide is coming in.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA (April 2010)
The beach just by the Dunes Village Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC, is wide and goes on for miles. It is a perfect place for long walks, and a great place for kids to swim in as well, because the water was quite warm, even though it was only April.
I wouldn’t mind going there again some time.
Crane Beach, Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA (September 2009)
The Crane Beach on the Crane Estate in Ipswich is our family’s favorite beach in Massachusetts. It’s close enough that we can go there for a day, and simply go back home for the night.
There is a parking fee, but the beach is so popular that on the weekends you better show up before 10am, or you may not get a parking spot, which has happened to us a couple of times.
One of the reasons for the beach’s popularity is it’s location – away from busy, gaudy touristy towns. There are no houses on this beach, just dunes, and if you want to sit in a chair under an umbrella, you’ll have to lug it all with you from the parking lot, down the walkway over the dunes.
Another reason we love this beach is because it’s shallow, and at high tide you can walk into the ocean quite far without the water getting very deep.
Sa Coma, Mallorca, Spain (August 2008)
The beach near the Protour Safari Park Aparthotel in Sa Coma, Spain was probably one of the narrowest and the most crowded beaches I have seen. But then again, it was August, and the water was unbelievably warm. And it was Mallorca.
As you can see in the photo, the water is also quite shallow, so no wonder the place is hugely popular with families who flock from all over Europe to one of the all-inclusive resorts set up in this area.
The Protour Safari Park Aparthotel in Sa Coma, Spain where we stayed is not right on the beach. There’s a short walk, but it was manageable.
If you get bored of the beach, take a walk along the rocks north of the beach. Quite a different world.
I wouldn’t mind going back to Mallorca some time, though maybe not in August.
* * *
I do love beaches. The ones just by the ocean or a sea are the best, but if I don’t have time, I can see this beautiful place just a 15-minute-walk from my house.
That is, I can see it when the snow melts. Right now it is covered in ice and snow.
Hope you enjoyed the photos. Where are some of YOUR favorite beaches?
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