Memorial day is upon us and North America is heating up! So naturally I’m inspired to write about some of the best beach weekend getaways for 2015. Most people love to head somewhere for a few days of relaxation, especially the northerners who want to rid any lingering cold behind them. I’ve compiled a list of North American and Caribbean beach cities that offer tons of beach weekend amenities, an easy flight and renowned for their beaches.
Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Ft. Lauderdale Beach, South Beach, Miami Beach, Hollywood Beach
Why Miami/Ft. Lauderdale?
Established amenities, hotels, nightlife, and restaurants to start. Also known to deliver a great beach weekend getaway experience. From most major cities in the US, the flight isn’t too long and still on the mainland US. Most of the year these two cities escapes the cold offering nearly year round warmth and beach greatness.
Fly into the two major airports, Ft. Lauderdale or Miami International Airport. Bonus, Key West is just 4 hours away.
Hamptons, New York
East Hampton Main Beach, Cooper’s Beach, Southampton Beach, Ditch Plains, Sagg Main Beach, Indian Wells Beach
Why the Hampton’s?
For New Englanders and New Yorkers wanting to escape for a bit of the posh life, the Hampton’s offer a collection of pleasant beaches. It’s true that this beach experience is expensive, with more expensive accommodations and restaurants but this New York beach weekend getaway experience is well established.
Fly into any of the 3 New York airports and rent a car for your weekend drive out to the Hamptons.
The north beaches or the east beaches. Cancún has around 14 miles of wide white beaches with beautiful blue water.
Cancún is the most American you could get in México. It is firmly established as a total complete beach destination because of the beautiful wide white sandy beaches. Most of the hotels offer quality service, staff who speak English and American restaurants/bars right in the heart of it all. Also because it’s close to the US it really is an easy weekend getaway destination.
Fly into Cancún International Airport and take a taxi to any of the major resorts.
Charleston, South Carolina
Sullivan Island, Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, Isle of Palms, Seabrook Island
First the city itself is that classical southern city that we all love but the beaches are gorgeous. Located in the deep south this city was captured during the Civil War before being destroyed preserving most of Charleston’s history. On top of this the beaches are wide and there are many options, making it a great beach weekend destination.
Fly into Charleston International Airport
Los Angeles/San Diego, California
There are a ton of beaches to choose from like Santa Monica Beach, Venice Beach, Hermosa Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Malibu Beach, Long Beach, and Laguna Beach in the Los Angeles area. There is Mission Beach, Imperial Beach, Pacific Beach, Coronado Beach, Moonlight Beach, Del Mar Beach and Ocean Beach in the San Diego area.
Why Los Angeles/San Diego, California?
If you haven’t gotten the clue yet, the Los Angeles/San Diego area is filled with fantastic beaches. Doubly important, you’re in one of the most crowded parts of California which means plenty of amenities like hotels and restaurants to choose from. Plus you have that famous California weather with that famous California beach atmosphere; could you ask for more?
Fly into Los Angeles, Burbank, Orange County or San Diego International Airports
The Bahamas has tons of beaches but you’ll probably want to go to try Freeport beaches or Nassau beaches. Cable Beach on Nassau is one of the première beaches and on Grand Bahama there is Gold Rock Beach.
Why the Bahamas?
It lies just off the coast of mainland US and really on the same latitude as southern Florida. It’s an easy flight, it’s a little different from the US, has beautiful weather most of the year, and has top-notch hotels and services. However it can be pricey but the Bahamas is worth the money. It’s actually more family oriented than southern Florida, not drawing the crazy crowds like Miami tends to do.
There are many islands but most flights will go to either Nassau or Freeport. From there it’s possible to continue to the more remote islands but for a weekend destination, I would stick with Nassau or Freeport.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Known for its extremely long and wide beach, Virginia Beach is well established.
Why Virginia Beach?
Not only is it one of the safest cities in the US, it boosts hundreds of hotels, restaurants and bars as well an extensive park system. But surely the most popular attractive is the beach itself which is beautifully big and even has a boardwalk stretching much of the beach. Located in the middle of the East Coast and is only a 3.5 hour drive from Washington DC.
Fly into Norfolk International Airport and rent a car or take a taxi.
Pensacola Beach or Perdido Key
Pensacola technically doesn’t have any beaches but its southern communities known as Pensacola Beach or Perdido Key do. Both offer pristine sugar-white beaches. Although this area can get cold, it usually only lingers for a few months before jumping back up to beautiful summer time temperatures. More north than the rest of Florida, it’s a short flight for most in the US.
Fly into Pensacola International and take a cab or fly into the more distant Mobile Airport which tends to be more expensive and further away.
Savannah/Hilton Head, Georgia/South Carolina
Tybee Island and Hilton Head
Why Savannah/Hilton Head?
Really Georgia’s première liberal and party city, this city thrives on tourism. Savannah is known for its Southern charm, beautiful historic homes and huge oak trees. But even better is that it’s close to two major beach areas, Tybee Island and Hilton Island. Both offer plenty of hotels and amenities for families or couples looking for a great beach weekend getaway.
Fly into Savannah International Airport
Cabo San Lucas, México
Most of the première resorts have beach front property. Also there is Costa Azul, El Estero, Playa Solmar, Santa Maria, Lovers Beach, and Chileno Beach.
Why Cabo San Lucas?
Known as the glitzy resort city, Cabo San Lucas is known for its beautiful resorts, party nightlife, white wide beaches and beautiful sunsets. This is a great beach weekend destination since there are many direct flights from the US and many resorts offering activities from golfing to yoga to horse back riding. It’s warm most of the year and offers foreign friendly hotels and services.
Los Cabos International Airport
All the islands offer unique beach experiences. There are black beaches like Punaluu Black Sand Beach on the Big Island, iconic beaches like Waikiki Beach on Oahu, Red Sand Beach on Maui, and Polihale State Beach on Kauai. There are many other beaches that are just as stunning.
Probably one of the most remote islands with white sandy beaches and stunning scenery, Hawaii is the première beach getaway destination. But this vacation can be expensive and can hardly be a beach weekend getaway destination, because it is so far from the mainland. Traveling there takes all day so you really need an extended weekend to a week. Hawaii is beautiful and highly recommend.
Many direct flights from the mainland US although this flight can be long, especially from the East Coast. Fly into Honolulu International Airport to connect through the other Hawaiian Islands. Or you could fly direct into Maui International Airport. There are some direct flights to the Big Island or Kauai.