Summer isn’t over yet – let’s not wish it away – but there are some US islands where it’s summer all year round. These places boast stunning beaches where all you want to do is sling a hammock between two trees, lie in it and ignore the rest of the world.
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1 Coquina Beach, Anna Maria Island, Florida
Located on the southern end of Anna Maria, this beach is the longest one on the entire island. Here you’ll have a relaxing time on the white sand and the park offers amenities such as free parking, lifeguards, picnic tables, a playground, restrooms, and even concessions, so it’s a great place to spend a day with the family even if young ones are with you. Footpaths and boardwalks allow access to mangrove shorelines and tidal lagoons, and it’s not unusual to spot dolphins from time to time. Plenty of accommodations are available on the island if you want to stay a while.
2 Makena Beach, Maui, Hawaii
This beach is also referred to as the “Big Beach,” and is one of many exceptional beaches on the island of Maui. This golden-sand beach is about 2/3 of a mile long and 100 yards wide, giving you plenty of room to romp or simply hang out in your hammock and chill. Less crowded than other popular beaches on the island, you can plan a picnic in the shade or try snorkeling in the pristine waters. Situated between two lava outcroppings, you’ll find this beach less windy than others. Restroom facilities are available as well.
3 Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
This popular beach is one of the most visited for so many reasons. Its quarter-mile expanse is filled with white sand, shimmering crystal clear waters, and plenty of coconut palms. However, apart from the sheer beauty there are fun things to do: if you like history there are ruins to peruse; there’s an undersea snorkeling trail complete with monuments for those who love an underwater adventure; and picnic tables with barbecue grills. If you get there between about 7:30 am and 4:30 pm, you’ll have access to bathrooms, showers, and changing areas, as well as a gift shop and snack bar.
4 Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
In winter, this beach becomes a world famous surfing spot, with large swells that draw the best surfers from all over the world. It’s a scenic beach year-round, and its sandy bottom makes it great for both swimming and snorkeling during the summer when the waves are calmer and more serene. The sunsets are some of the best in Hawaii, so plan to stay through the evening for some exceptional viewing.
5 Playa Tortuga, Culebrita, Puerto Rico
A short water-taxi ride from Culebra Island brings you to the uninhabited Culebrita. Playa Tortuga is located on the northeast side, and once there, you’ll feel like you discovered a hidden beach. Relatively untouched by masses of tourists, it has the same crystalline waters as more popular destinations, minus the masses of people. Situated in a cove, the waters are calm and it’s more protected from the winds. On the island, you’ll be able to hike, swim, snorkel, and even see a lighthouse. The only downside is that there are no public restrooms available.
6 Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel Island, Florida
Bowman’s Beach is ideal for those who love beachcombing for shells. It has a remote feel and is pristine and quiet even though it’s one of the area’s most popular beaches. Besides being a shell collector’s dream, the area is great for windsurfing and sailing as well. Take the quarter-mile walk from the parking lot and pass over a wooden bridge to the beach, and take advantage of amenities such as barbecue grills, showers, and restrooms. Parking costs about $2 per hour, and pets must be leashed.
7 Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii
This 2-mile half-moon bay is surrounded by lovely mountains and blessed by soft golden-white sands. Several waterfalls emerge from the nearby hills, and coral washes up on the beach from the surrounding coral reef. Visitors can enjoy swimming, kayaking, yachting, fishing, and camping (with a permit). However, during the winter months the area has high surfs and strong currents. While this makes it difficult to enjoy swimming, it’s great for surfing.
Where did you hang your hammock this summer or haven’t you had your vacation yet? I love to hear of new places so please share.
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