Daily Escape

Munduk Moding Plantation (Bali, Indonesia)

Dedicated to sustainable tourism, Munduk Moding Plantation is tucked away where the average tourist does not go. By employing locals and using organic farming practices, the resort shows that it is committed to working in tandem with its natural surroundings and culture.

Take a Break With These Breathtaking Sites:

gothic quarter, architecture, tourists, people, barcelona, spain
Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter

Take a stroll through Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, located in the city’s Ciutat Vella (“Old City”) district. Most of the streets are closed to traffic, allowing tourists to wander from La Rambla to Via Laietana to view the city’s medieval past. 960 1280

Manfred Gottschalk/Lonely Planet Images  

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

You can’t leave Barcelona without admiring the amazing work of Spain’s most famous art nouveau architect, Antoni Gaudi. Casa Batlló, aka the House of Bones, was built in 1877 and later restored by Gaudi. 960 1280

Nikada/iStock/Getty Images  

Mercat de les Flors Theater

Mercat de les Flors Theater

Don’t miss out on stopping by the Mercat de les Flors Theater, located on Montjuic hill in Barcelona. Get a little culture and see one of many dance and musical performances featuring world-renowned international production companies. 960 1280

Enric Archivell, via CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0  

Christopher Columbus Monument

Christopher Columbus Monument

This monument is at the site where Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first trip to the Americas. 960 1280

Marcp_Dmoz/Moment Open/Getty Images  

Margarita Blue

Margarita Blue

Grab a drink at Margarita Blue, where you can check out live flamenco dancing, indulge in a jazz brunch or simply let the bar's DJs entertain you. 960 1280

Margarita Blue  

Frederic Marès Museum

Frederic Marès Museum

Step inside this medieval complex to see sculptor Frederic Marès’ eclectic collection of knickknacks, including religious art, 19th-century playing cards, toys, apothecary jars, a reconstructed Romanesque doorway with 4 arches, and old cameras. The Frederic Marès Museum is sure to keep your attention focused on its wide array of interesting curios. 960 1280

DEA / C. MAURY, Getty Images  

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

Dating back as far as 1217, La Boqueria Market is one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions. Dozens of vendors inside this large public market sell a variety of goods, including seafood, poultry, charcuterie, vegetables and fruits. 960 1280

Hiroshi Higucchi/Getty Images  

La Comercial

La Comercial

Go shopping at La Comercial in Barcelona’s El Born neighborhood. With 6 different boutiques, this shopping mall has a wide selection of international labels, jewelry and fragrances, such as Michael Kors, Fred Perry, Yohji Yamamoto, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. 960 1280

La Comercial  

Lailo

Lailo

Attention, shoppers! Make a stop at Lailo in Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella district if you enjoy browsing for vintage clothing. 960 1280

Geo Kalev  

Onofre

Onofre

Grab a glass of wine and enjoy Onofre’s cozy atmosphere. This restaurant’s specialty is pairing menu items — tapas, cheeses, salads and sausages — with your selection of wine. 960 1280

Onofr Tavern  

Monastery of Pedralbes

Monastery of Pedralbes

Founded by the Queen Elisenda de Montcada, the Monastery of Pedralbes is now a museum that houses religious art and everyday items used in the monastery from the 14th to 20th centuries. Take a relaxing, casual stroll through the gardens and courtyard if you have time. 960 1280

Elena Solodovnikova/iStock/Getty Images  

Tibidabo Amusement Park

Tibidabo Amusement Park

The 100-year-old Tibidabo Amusement Park has 25 rides, plus restaurants and picnic areas for family fun. Make sure to check out the Tibidabo Sky Walk for the best views of Barcelona.  960 1280

Boule13/iStock/Getty Images  

Sagrada Familia Basilica

Sagrada Familia Basilica

You cannot leave Barcelona without seeing the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, a magnificent work of art that is still in progress after more than a century. In 1883, Antoni Gaudi was commissioned to complete the project started by Francisco de Paula del Villar. Gaudi finished the chapel of San Jose, the crypt and the Nativity facade, but after his death, different architects continued to work on and add to his original idea. 960 1280

Wangkun Jia/iStock/Getty Images  

Park Güell

Park Güell

Another example of Antoni Gaudi's work, Park Güell, is located on Carmel Hill and was built between 1900 and 1914. It was declared a UNESECO World Heritage Site in 1984. 960 1280

Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Hundreds of people converge on Montjuic hill to watch the amazing light and water show at the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. Classical, modern and movie music was incorporated into the light show in the 1980s. Arrive early to claim the perfect spot, and make sure you wear waterproof gear if you’re standing near the fountain. Check out the website for performance times.  960 1280

Krysztof Dydynski/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Located in the Palau Nacional of Montjuic, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya opened its doors with a large medieval Romanesque collection. Today, visitors can see other art collections, including Gothic art, Renaissance and baroque art, Catalan modernism and photography. 960 1280

Philip Lange/iStock/Getty Images  

Barcelona Zoo

Barcelona Zoo

The Barcelona Zoo was once home to Snowflake, the only known albino gorilla, who died in 2003. Now, giant anteaters, Bornean orangutans, Iberian wolves, Humboldt penguins, Cuban boas, Komodo dragons and yellow and blue poison dart frogs are a few animals that call this zoo home. 960 1280

Hiroyuki Matsumoto/Getty Images  

Aquarium Barcelona

Aquarium Barcelona

Explore marine life and go scuba diving with sharks in the Oceanarium, which is also home to moray eels and ocean sunfish. Visitors to the Aquarium Barcelona — the largest Mediterranean-themed aquarium in the world — can see more than 3,000 fish and watch zookeepers up-close as they feed sharks, stingrays and penguins. 960 1280

Artur Debat/Moment Mobile/Getty Images  

Camp Nou

Camp Nou

Visit Camp Nou, the stadium where Futbol Club Barcelona (also known as Barca) plays its home soccer games. While you’re there, take a tour of the FCB Museum and step back in time to see the history of Barca unfold via touch-screen TVs, championship trophies and Messi Space, a place dedicated to superstar soccer player Leo Messi. 960 1280

Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images  

Point Grace Resort, Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos

A forever favorite for honeymooners is Turks and Caicos. Hotel experts at Oyster.com recommend Point Grace Resort, a leading boutique hotel on the island. Take advantage of the many activities that the hotel offers, such as scuba diving, boating and windsurfing. 960 1280

Oyster.com  

Maldives

Maldives

Honeymoon in your own private paradise at Komandoo Maldives Island Resort. Start your happily-ever-after basking in the beauty of this romantic archipelago with crystal-clear water and pristine white beaches. In this adults-only resort's overwater bungalows, you'll be in a world of your own with the ocean on your doorstep.
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Komandoo Maldives Island Resort   

Hawaii

Hawaii

Say aloha to romance at Turtle Bay Resort, the only resort on Oahu's famed North Shore. With its secluded location a world away from Waikiki's crowds, breathtaking ocean views and miles of pristine beaches this is the perfect honeymoon escape. 
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Turtle Bay Resort  

Greece

Greece

If you're thinking of Greece for your honeymoon, seriously consider Mystique Resort Santorini. The stylish resort is nestled among the beautiful cliffs and whitewashed stone homes of Santorini island. Pamper yourselves with body massages and wraps in a private suite or on a private terrace. 960 1280

Courtesy of Mystique Resort Santorini  

Portugal

Portugal

Portugal has recently topped the list as a honeymoon destination. Indulge yourselves with a stay at The Yeatman hotel in the city of Porto, and try The Bacchus Suite (featured here). Amenities include a double walk-in shower and sliding doors that open onto a private terrace with dining options for 2 or more. 960 1280

Courtesy of The Yeatman  

Ireland

Ireland

Explore the Emerald Isle with that special someone. Experience Dublin’s poetic side with its diverse literature, art and music scenes; sleep at Ashford Castle, located near Ireland’s second-largest lake; and plan a classy affair at the castle’s George V Dining Room for delicious, locally sourced, modern Irish and international dishes. Fairy-tale castles, cozy pubs, cobalt-colored lakes and kelly green landscapes surrounded by craggy cliffs make this misty land the perfect honeymoon escape. 960 1280

Tourism Ireland  

Mexico

Mexico

Block-out the outside world at the award-wining Maroma Resort and Spa in Mayan Riviera, Mexico. Take advantage of their honeymoon package: It includes a 3-course dinner for 2 on the beach with an aphrodisiac menu designed by the chef.
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Courtesy of Maroma Resort and Spa  

Spain

Spain

Spend 2 or 3 weeks on a romantic tour of Spain. In addition to hitting popular cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, honeymooners should visit a few charming towns in the Andalusia region, such as Seville, Cordoba, Granada and Malaga. The country’s friendly locals, great food and vibrant cultures increase the potential for an unforgettable post-wedding getaway. 960 1280

Westend61/Getty Images   

Africa

Africa

Do you both have a love for the outdoors, wildlife and luxury? Try something different, exclusive and adventurous: Jack's Camp in the East African county of Botswana. 960 1280

Uncharted Africa Safari co.  

Seychelles

Seychelles

Spend your honeymoon in the Seychelles, a popular destination for Europe’s elite. We suggest a secluded stay at Fregate Island Private, an eco-friendly resort that features 16 residences with pools, the Rock Spa, 7 beaches and multiple dining options. Sit down to a romantic dinner in the resort’s Treehouse, which is located atop one of the island’s oldest and largest banyan trees. Honeymooners will enjoy a quiet and relaxing respite in this paradise after walking down the aisle. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/Dibrova  

Canada

Canada

Newlyweds enjoy horseback-riding, white-water rafting and hiking at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Canada. Just 2 hours from Calgary, the Chateau is located in the heart of Banff National Park.  960 1280

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts  

Turkey

Turkey

It’s not your typical spot for a honeymoon, but Turkey has become a popular travel destination this year. Pack your bags and head to Bodrum, a port city in the southwestern Aegean region. A much quieter alternative to Istanbul (which is also a great honeymoon spot), Bodrum has a population of less than 40,000 people, but it still offers options to maintain the romantic spark at luxe accommodations such as Ersan Resort & Spa. And for couples who are history buffs, we suggest a tour of some of the nearby ruins, including the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. It’s a wonderful spot for newlyweds. 960 1280

Anita_Bonita/iStock/Getty Images  

Bali

Bali

What says romance more than Bali? Savvy world travelers can celebrate a new life together at the enchanting and exotic Amankila Resort in Bali.  960 1280

Aman Resorts  

Italy

Italy

Voted year after year as having one of the world’s best spas, Capri Palace Hotel and Spa is an Italian paradise. Among the spa's many offerings is a medicated mud wrap that smooths the skin. 960 1280

Courtesy of Capri Palace Hotel & Spa  

Nicaragua

Nicaragua

Nicaragua is the perfect place for honeymooners looking for outdoor adventure in an eco-friendly country. The lush landscape, rain forests, waterfalls, beautiful coastlines and volcanoes make it ideal for surfing, hiking, bird watching and snorkeling. If you’re looking for a calmer honeymoon, you should consider staying at the Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa on Playa Manzanillo. The resort offers several special package deals, a variety of recreational activities and a spa that has 6 private suites and uses local Nicaraguan ingredients in its treatments. For couples, we recommend the holistic raindrop ritual in the Crystal Temple.  960 1280

Paul Taylor/The Image Bank/Getty Images  

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Revel in post-wedding bliss at the iconic Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Celebrate your nuptials with glamour and luxury, and maybe even a big win at the casinos. 960 1280

MGM Resorts  

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand

Plan a honeymoon to Phuket, Thailand’s largest island. Dozens of romantic, ultra-luxe resorts and hotels cater to happy couples’ every whim, including Six Senses Yao Noi, the Naka Island Resort & Spa or Mom Tri’s Villa Royale. Yes, there are cheaper alternatives, but why not splurge? It’s your honeymoon! And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Phuket has some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. A trip to Patong Beach, which made our list of the world’s sexiest beaches, should be added to any to-do list during a getaway on this tropical island. 960 1280

Zoya Stakienko/Moment/Getty Images  

Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands

If you're looking for a honeymoon without flashiness and digital distractions, stay at St. John's Caneel Bay resort. With its pristine and secluded beach location, you'll enjoy low-key luxury amongst 170 acres of lush Caribbean paradise.  960 1280

Caneel Bay Resort  

wide angle, waterfall, grand canyon, expansive shot, daytime,
Havasu Falls - Arizona

Havasu Falls - Arizona

Located in the Grand Canyon near the Havasupai Indian village of Supai, AZ, Havasu Falls has an average water temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. One of the most extraordinary swimming holes on the planet, it features spring-fed water that cascades 100 feet into an iridescent turquoise pool all day long. 960 1280

Michele Falzone / AWL Images / Getty Images  

Cummins Falls - Tennessee

Cummins Falls - Tennessee

Looking for the best place to escape the sweltering summer heat in the heartland of America? For more than 100 years, Cummins Falls, a scenic, 75-foot waterfall located in Jackson County, TN, has been a gem for Tennessee natives … but now, the secret is out! Although it’s a bit of a hike to get to once in the park, the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River provides unmatched beauty on your way to taking a dip in Tennessee’s eighth-largest waterfall. 960 1280

Cummins Falls Tennessee, Getty Images  

Chena Hot Springs - Alaska

Chena Hot Springs - Alaska

Only in Alaska can you find a secret swimming hole that’s accessible only by dogsled. Known by many as nature’s hot tub, Chena is filled with water that’s a constant 106 degrees and is also good for your skin because it contains sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. 960 1280

Patrick Endres / Design Pics / First Light / Getty Images  

Homestead Crater - Utah

Homestead Crater - Utah

Just a short drive south from Salt Lake City, UT, is Homestead Crater, a family-owned local attraction. Inside the unassuming mound of dirt is a hidden gem 12,000 years in the making. The giant pool is a soothing 96 degrees, and the water is said to have high levels of calcium and magnesium that can make you look and feel younger. 960 1280

  

Madison Blue Spring - Florida

Madison Blue Spring - Florida

Cascading over piles of limestone boulders, this first-magnitude spring on the west bank of the Withlacoochee River is one of Florida’s newest and most awe-inspiring swimming holes. Dive deep into the cool, crystal-clear waters that descend almost 25 feet into the earth’s surface, but make sure to get there early; this once-hidden gem is becoming more and more popular by the day. 960 1280

floridastateparks.org  

Blue Hole - New Mexico

Blue Hole - New Mexico

In one of the driest states in America, just off Route 66 in Santa Rosa, NM, lies the famed Blue Hole. The size of an average golf green with crystal-clear, 61-degree water, the Blue Hole is known as an artesian aquifer, where rainwater trapped beneath the ground is forced up under natural pressure. The spheres bobbing on the surface are attached to underwater diving platforms used for exploration. 960 1280

Sue Smith, Getty Images  

Aztec Falls - California

Aztec Falls - California

Known for its high cliffs and deep waters, Aztec Falls is the perfect getaway for those looking to escape the hot Los Angeles sun without heading to the crowded beaches. Deep in the San Bernardino Mountains, the falls are accessed via a 6-mile loop that runs mostly along the Pacific Crest Trail and offers jumps of 20, 40 and 60 feet. 960 1280

  

Hali’i Falls - Hawaii

Hali’i Falls - Hawaii

Located deep in the jungle on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Hali’i Falls is a multitiered waterfall that is accessible only by hiking through bamboo forests, deep marsh and former sugarcane pastures. The falls feeding this pool are named Hali’i, which means “to spread out,” and the cascading water does just that, creating the ultimate swimming experience. 960 1280

  

Mooney Falls - Arizona

Mooney Falls - Arizona

Half a mile north of Havasu Falls stands the tallest water feature in the Grand Canyon, rising 190 feet above the surface. Named after a prospector in the 1800s, Mooney Falls is accessible only by crawling through 2 tunnels and then climbing down a sheer cliff face with just a couple of dangling chains to hold on to. Although tough to get to, the view alone makes it worth the trip. 960 1280

Jeremy Woodhouse / Photodisc / Getty Images  

Wekiwa Springs - Florida

Wekiwa Springs - Florida

Deep within the sinkhole capital of the United States is the crystal-clear swimming hole known as Wekiwa Springs, just 15 miles from Orlando. One of the shallower swimming holes in Florida, it has a water depth of just 5-7 feet, but it offers a perfect 72-degree temperature year-round. 960 1280

  

Sliding Rock - North Carolina

Sliding Rock - North Carolina

A popular place to cool off during those hot North Carolina summers, Sliding Rock waterfall is located in the Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County. About 60 feet of flattened rock dumps into a nearly 7-foot-deep pool at the bottom, making this natural waterslide a great place to visit with kids of all ages. 960 1280

Universal Images Group, Getty Images  

Lihue Plantation - Hawaii

Lihue Plantation - Hawaii

A private swimming hole at the old Lihue Sugar Plantation on Kauai, HI, was transformed into an inner-tube water ride by Kauai Backcountry Adventures in 2003. The waters for this 2 1/2-mile journey, which originate near the top of Mount Waialeale — one of the wettest spots in the world — are channeled through ditches and tunnels that were hand-dug by plantation workers over a century ago. 960 1280

  

Beaver Falls - Arizona

Beaver Falls - Arizona

The third and final swimming hole in the Grand Canyon, Beaver Falls is a free-falling fantasy that offers 40-foot cliffs and deep, aqua-blue pools. 960 1280

Michael Hanson, Getty Images  

Cool Off at These Hot Spots:

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast

Positano on the Amalfi Coast has been a welcome beach retreat since the days of Roman nobility and the ancient Greeks.
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Karl Blackwell/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Puglia

Puglia

Most tourists don't make it all the way down the spur and heel of this boot-shaped country, but they're missing out. Southern Italy's Puglia region has not only over 400 miles of stunning coastline, but seafood specialities that alone are worth a trip.  960 1280

Peter Adams/AWL Images/Getty Images  

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

Visitors flock to Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera for great hiking, pretty beaches and romantic cliffside villages.
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Poike/iStock/Getty Images  

Capri

Capri

Located off the Sorrento peninsula, Capri is a rocky, mountainous island beloved by starlets and jet-setters.
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David Soanes Photography/Moment Open/Getty Images  

Sardinia

Sardinia

Sunbathers and fancy yachts compete with the beach's natural beauty along Sardinia's Costa Smeralda, or Emerald Coast.
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iStockphoto.com/Matteo_Parma  

Tuscany

Tuscany

Tuscany is known for its rolling hills, great wine and superb scuba diving in Monte Argentario's coves and bays. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/Romaoslo  

Sicily

Sicily

Sicily's many beaches include sandy white shores and exotic black sands, making for a unique island getaway.
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Federico Scotto/Moment/Getty Images  

Lido

Lido

The best beaches in Venice are found on Lido, a 7-mile long sandbar sitting in the Venice Lagoon and Adriatic Sea.
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Holger Leue/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

The Tremiti Islands

The Tremiti Islands

The Tremiti Islands, often called the pearls of the Adriatic Sea, are a string of islands including San Domino, San Nicola and Caprara. San Domino is the largest and most developed of the 3 and is known as the "green pearl" with its lush vegetation. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/Simone  

Viareggio

Viareggio

Tuscany's largest beach town, Viareggio is one of the farthest points south on the Italian Riviera. Viareggio is a classic resort town with art nouveau buildings, bustling nightlife and endless food, but it's best known for its wild Carnival festival, a tradition since 1873. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/Wjarek  

Sexiest Beach: Miami

Sexiest Beach: Miami

You don’t have to leave the East Coast to slip away to this year’s Sexiest Beach. An easy getaway from New York, Miami has everything you need, according to Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Nina Agdal: “soft sand, beautiful warm water, interesting people, volleyball and fun spots to go for a bite or a beverage nearby.” Plus, “it’s acceptable to wear tiny bikinis,” she says. Whether you’re reveling in South Beach’s legendary nightlife or sleeping off the night before in a private cabana, Miami is the place for hot days and nights. 960 1280

photosvit/iStock/Getty Images, photosvit  

Best Unusual Beach: Red Beach, Santorini, Greece

Best Unusual Beach: Red Beach, Santorini, Greece

Named the “No. 1 most spectacular getaway on Earth” on Travel Channel’s 101 Sand n’ Surf Hotspots, Santorini’s Red Beach is also the Best Unusual Beach, thanks to its striking crimson and black volcanic sands. “Set off by the deep indigo waters, there’s really nothing like it,” says Sara Gilliam, senior producer for TravelChannel.com. “To do Santorini justice, check in to a chalky cave house built into the lip of the volcanic crater and catch an unrivaled sunset over the whitewashed buildings and blue-domed churches.” 960 1280

stockstudioX/iStock/Getty Images  

Best Romantic Beach: Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Best Romantic Beach: Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

“The crescent-shaped beach at Little Dix Bay is the epitome of barefoot elegance, with its palm-lined half-mile of white sand,” says luxury travel writer Tamala Prickett, founder of Chic Family Travels. Characterized by pristine, private beaches, exclusive yacht clubs, hidden coves and luxurious resorts, the island invites romance — and you’ll find it’s worth the price. Check into the 5-star Rosewood Resort, which was originally owned by Laurance Rockefeller, and you’ll discover why the timeless romantic retreat has earned a fiercely loyal following. “It’s common to see couples having a candlelit dinner on the beach arranged by the excellent hotel staff,” Tamala says. “It’s a scene right out of the The Bachelor.” 960 1280

gionnixxx/iStock/Getty Images  

Best Beach for Adventure: Praia do Futuro, Fortaleza, Brazil

Best Beach for Adventure: Praia do Futuro, Fortaleza, Brazil

Characterized as one of the windiest places in the world, Fortaleza draws extreme-sports enthusiasts from across the globe. “Whether you're a kite surfer, windsurfer or someone who just wants to be close to the action, Futuro Beach will not disappoint,” says professional kite surfer Chris DuComb. “On a daily basis, athletes reach speeds of over 40 mph and boost over 100 feet in the air.” On the off chance the wind isn't blowing, you'll find athletes and beachgoers congregating at the many sand volleyball courts. 960 1280

Edmar Moreira/Moment Open/Getty Images   

Best Beach Bar: Vice, also known as Nissakia Surf Club, Artemida, Greece

Best Beach Bar: Vice, also known as Nissakia Surf Club, Artemida, Greece

“In Artemida, Greece, a seaside town better known to locals as Loutsa, Vice is an epic beach bar situated on one of the most active shorelines in the country,” says Chris DuComb. You won't find many tourists at Vice, which is tucked away about 15 miles outside Athens, but you’ll be met with a serene coastline and mountainous backdrop. The bar features local dishes such as grilled octopus and spins the most current, upbeat music, adding to the lively atmosphere. “Local kite surfers and windsurfers frequent this hidden gem for the warm water, local food and delicious drinks,” Chris says. 960 1280

s-eyerkaufer/iStock/Getty Images  

Best Beach You Haven't Heard of ... Yet: Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

Best Beach You Haven't Heard of ... Yet: Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

The best under-the-radar beach does not find itself alongside an ocean, but the most beautiful lake in the world. Situated in the highlands of Guatemala, Lake Atitlán is Central America’s deepest lake. “Nestled in the valley of 3 volcanoes (one of them still active), you’ll not only take in peaceful volcanic views, but also absorb the vibrant pink, yellow and blue colors of the surrounding vegetation,” says Sara Gilliam. “In fact, Atitlán is Mayan for ‘where the rainbow gets its colors.’” 960 1280

Matthew Stallone/Moment/Getty Images  

Best Beach Boardwalk: Coney Island, New York

Best Beach Boardwalk: Coney Island, New York

If you don’t consider a boardwalk a boardwalk without kitschy shops and Atlantic Ocean views, than Coney Island is your quintessential American beach boardwalk. With extensive renovations in 2010 (in Luna Park) and 2012 (after Hurricane Sandy), Coney Island has returned to its former glory. “Bring the family and enjoy rides, fireworks, shows and plenty of food all summer long,” says Sarah Fazendin, family travel blogger at A Week at the Beach. Coney Island manages to feel like a seaside escape and yet quintessentially New York. 960 1280

thepurpledoor/Moment/Getty Images   

Best Family Beach: Seaside, Florida

Best Family Beach: Seaside, Florida

“Seaside is a beach community located near Destin, but it could not be more different in its features,” says Tamala Prickett. In place of high-rise condos, you’ll find pastel-colored houses lined with white picket fences and beach cruisers. “Families love to vacation in Seaside, as it is commonplace for children to jump on a bike to grab snow cones from an Airstream trailer on the way to the beach,” Tamala says. As night falls, families cover the amphitheater with picnic blankets to enjoy outdoor movies and live music. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/MoreISO  

Best Party Beach: La Barra, Punta del Este, Uruguay

Best Party Beach: La Barra, Punta del Este, Uruguay

This lush getaway spot, which used to attract the likes of Brigitte Bardot and the Rat Pack, is still bringing the party. “Rage with socialites and celebs alike at Bikini Beach in La Barra, Uruguay,” says Marianela Pereyra, host of Marianela’s Best Beaches. “With a name like that, expect lots of skimpy tops and supermodel bodies blessed with perfect tans.” This small strip of sand in Punta’s trendiest neighborhood is known for its upscale, 24-hour fiesta, where no one finds a siesta necessary and the beautiful landscape keeps you going long after the sun goes down (or comes up!). 960 1280

Miguel Rojo/AFP/Getty Images  

Best Exotic Beach: Ilhabela, Brazil

Best Exotic Beach: Ilhabela, Brazil

Ilhabela, Portuguese for “beautiful island,” is Brazil's largest island and a coastal Atlantic rain forest filled with more than 400 waterfalls, mountain peaks, incredible wildlife and tropical fauna. “It's without a doubt one of the most beautiful natural paradises,” says Marianela Pereyra. About 85% of the island is designated as Ilhabela State Park, which includes a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to protect the ecosystem. Beyond Ilhabela’s natural beauty, tourists revel in its popular sailing week, exploring underwater wrecks and the legends of pirate treasure. 960 1280

SambaPhoto/Paulo Fridman/Getty Images  

Koh Tao, Thailand

Koh Tao, Thailand

"Less famous than beautiful Phi Phi Islands and less touristy than nearby Koh Samui, Koh Tao won me over. This tiny island (less than 10 square miles) is easily navigated on motorbike or by foot. Despite its lack of high-rise resorts (for the time being), there's no shortage of scenic restaurants or a late-night bar scene. It's where I caught the diving bug, and nearly everyone has it here with more than 50 dive shops catering to those souls who long to be submerged in the clear turquoise waters for a glimpse of a stingray or sea turtle (or in my case, an unfortunately close call with the aggressive trigger fish)." -- Sara Gilliam, Senior Interactive Producer 960 1280

Getty Images  

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

“My favorite beach is Marina Grande in Positano, Italy on the Amalfi Coast. Nestled at the bottom of Positano's rocky village, Marina Grande is lively in the height of the summer months with locals and tourists sunbathing, dining at local restaurants – right off the beach – and visiting nearby boutique shops. And the views are immaculate!” – Rani Robinson-Kiganda, Managing Producer 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Goa, India

Goa, India

“The western Indian state of Goa is heralded for its beaches and for good reason. The former Portuguese colony boasts more than 6o miles of coastline, home to everything from secluded beach towns like Mandrem to lively hot spots like Baga, where beach parties and endless nightlife mix with wind-surfing fun and dolphin cruises.” – Lisa Singh, Interactive Producer 960 1280

Thinkstock  

The North Shore, Oahu

The North Shore, Oahu

“It’s only an hour’s drive from Honolulu, but Oahu’s North Shore is a world away from the developed and crowded Waikiki Beach. North Shore’s Pipeline Beach is known as a surf capital of the world, but there is so much more here than monster waves. The little surf town Haleiwa is dotted with cute surf shops, healthy-minded restaurants and cozy art galleries. During the summer when the waves are smaller, go for a swim or a snorkel in the clear blue Waimea Bay. ” – Kathleen Rellihan, Interactive Producer 960 1280

iStock  

Capri, Italy

Capri, Italy

“Warm your body and your soul on the small rocky beach of Marina Piccola on the island of Capri, Italy off the Gulf of Napoli. Surrounded by bronzed Italian locals, you'll feel like you've found paradise on earth as you gaze out into the aquamarine waters and monumental Faraglioni rock stacks. After drenching yourself in sun, take 2 steps and refuel at Da Gioia Restaurant right on the beach. What to have for lunch? Their tuna fish salad. It was so fresh and delicious I had it everyday I was there!” – Elizabeth Fraser, Photo Editor 960 1280

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Praia Mole, Brazil

Praia Mole, Brazil

“Florianopolis, a small island off the southern coast of Brazil, is a popular beach destination for tourists and Brazilians alike. Praia Mole (Mole Beach) is by far one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever visited. Aside from its white sand and world-class waves, this beach attracts surfers, para-gliders and backpackers. I’d recommend taking a hike north of the beach to experience the best spot for nude sunbathing. Don’t miss happy hour at one of the nearby beach restaurants or bars like LGBT-favorite Bar do Deca, where you can grab a bite to eat, sip on a caipirinha and mingle with friendly locals and tourists.” -- Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer 960 1280

  

Bald Head Island, NC

Bald Head Island, NC

“Take the ferry from Southport, NC, and hop aboard a golf cart to explore the live oak-lined, winding roads of Bald Head Island. After catching some rays on any one of the island's 14 miles of beaches, climb to the top of Old Baldy, the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina. If golf is your game, look no further than the Bald Head Island Club's world-class golf course -- just watch out for the occasional gator that may cross your path. Finally, drop by the Club's Pelicatessen to cool off with one of North Carolina's own Nye's Cream Sandwiches.” – Amanda DiGiondomenico, Interactive Producer 960 1280

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Nantucket, MA

Nantucket, MA

“Grab a sandwich at Something Natural (be advised: their “half” is your typical “whole”) and head to the beach on the beautiful and ever-so-quaint island of Nantucket, off the coast of Massachusetts. My favorite sandy spots? Steps beach for a beautiful view and calm waters, and Madequecham, Ladies or Fisherman’s for heavier surf but more privacy than some of the better-known beaches. When you’ve had your fill of sun and sand, a trip to Cisco Brewery is a must. “ Allee Sangiolo, Interactive Producer 960 1280

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Huntington Beach, CA

Huntington Beach, CA

“If I'm looking for the best beach culture in the United States, the first place that comes to mind is definitely Huntington Beach, CA, a.k.a "Surf City USA." From a vibrant art community to a lively shopping district with tasty eats on every corner -- including Ruby’s Diner -- Huntington Beach offers a variety of fun activities for everyone. And humans aren't the only ones hangin' 10 at this beach. Don't miss out on the always-entertaining dog surfing competitions throughout the summer, culminating with the 6th annual Surf City Surf Dog in September.” -- Ben Breslerman, Interactive Producer 960 1280

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