The week before Labor Day is the time of summer when everyone seems to be at the beach. My days of simply sunning are long past; now when I am seeking a beach vacation, in addition to wide swaths of smooth white sand and swimmable (and preferably warm) water, I look for beaches with something extra: nearby entertainment, sites of historical importance, something to keep me occupied during those hours of peak sun because these days, I don’t hit the sand ’til four.
Here are some of my favorites and the special things they’ve got:
Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina
When you’re tired of the great beaches on Sullivan’s Island in Charleston County, S.C., get a dose of Revolutionary War and Civil War history—and a touch of literary history as well (Edgar Allan Poe was stationed there) at Fort Moultrie or head into the city of Charleston for some good times.
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
Vast beaches coupled with restaurants within walking distance make Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. one of my favorites. I like to stay at the Surfside Motel.
Great beaches, hopping nightlife, fine restaurants—you can do as much or as little as you want. If you’re really motivated, it’s all too easy to take a day trip to Chichen Itza, to go snorkeling, or to cruise a few markets. My personal motivation in Cancun trends more toward spa experiences and margaritas.
Planning a beach vacation? You might be interested in these posts: