For: Oceanfront fun L.A. style
Three-mile-long Venice Beach, its sand absolutely kept back, its Pacific Ocean water bluer than blue backed by green hills, is the place to go for a spontaneous game of beach volleyball or tossing a Frisbee. Seeking impressive more active?
Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida
For: Beautiful beach walks
In 2011, Dr. Beach rated Sarasota’s broad and fine-looking Siesta Beach No. 1 in the United States, and with good reason. Couples find that this strand of white-as-powdered-sugar sand is just right for walking, on a beach so wide that it never seems packed out. Go early in the morning, when the only opposition is the irregular yoga class or Frisbee game.
Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii
For: Two miles of spectacular beauty
Ask 10 Hawaii residents to name the state’s most stunning beach, and you are sure to get 10 unlike answers—and all of them will be right. One name that keeps coming up, on the other hand, is Hanalei Beach on the north shore of the island of Kauai, just contradictory Princeville.
Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
For: Breathtaking nature
If your idea of romance includes walks during wilderness, where you may never come across another person . . . the occasion to camp on the beach, under a canopy of sparkling stars . . . some relaxed sightseeing . . . and time just to chill out, a vacation in St. John—the least developed of the U.S. Virgin Islands—is sure to please.
Wildwood, New Jersey
For: Reliving childhood memories
Now and then romance blooms in settings rich in nostalgia. Couples who bear in mind cones filled with swirly Twin Kiss frozen custard, braving the Wild Mouse as it zoomed up and down tracks high above the boardwalk, and diving into just a few more waves although your mother swore that your lips were turning blue, can find extraordinary romantic nostalgia in Wildwood, New Jersey, a beach resort that has stayed true to its charming past.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
For: Quiet walks along a windswept beach
Cannon Beach, the loveliest in a string of Oregon beaches, is perfect for couples seeking quiet, privacy, and long lazy walks on a windswept shore. Clearly this northern strand of sand isn’t meant for swimming, but is perfect for strolling, sharing extraordinary conversations, and daydreaming.
Ladies Beach, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
For: Mingling with the rich and famous
For all its old-fashioned New England charm, Nantucket Island, 26 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, and nearby by air from Hyannis and by ferry from Woods Hole, is a high-end-but-worth-it destination. The good-looking people, drawn by a bevy of equally gorgeous beaches, have arrived in droves, with prices rising to meet demand.
Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
For: History and solitude by the sea
As North Carolina’s Outer Banks become ever more developed, pretty Ocracoke Island, populace 948, offers visitors 16 miles of utterly perfect seashore. This most southerly island in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is nearby only by ferry or private plane, observance crowds away and regularly earning a place on Dr. Beach’s list of top ten beaches.
Horseshoe Beach, La Jolla, California
For: A beautiful beach in a chic setting
California’s pledge to keeping every beach public ensures that even tony Horseshoe Beach, in the fashionable seafront town of La Jolla, just north of San Diego, is available to every person seeking some sun and sand. That is, of course, if you can supervise to find it.
South Padre Island, Texas
For: Lazy days of summer
South Padre Island, located in the Gulf of Mexico, is so close to Mexico that it almost tickles the border, but it is in fact all about Texas . . . and about soothing in sun and sand. This isn’t a place for roiling roller coasters or big sticks of cotton candy.