There’s just something about the beach that makes relaxation and rejuvenation easy to come by. Compared with lounging by a pool, laying out on a sun-kissed stretch of sand and listening as the surf rolls in is infinitely more enjoyable. Whether it’s a secluded beach along the shores of Tybee Island, or a crowded stretch of South Beach where the people watching is out of this world, the beach has an allure and excitement that is wonderfully unique. Best of all, beaches cater to people of all ages and sensibilities; there are few other places where toddlers and grandparents will have the same amount of fun. If you’re sold on the idea of making the beach the focus of your next vacation, you should learn a bit more about some of the truly phenomenal, out of the way places that can be found all across the United States.

Most beach resort areas have beaches that are well known and well loved. Such places are great opportunities to introduce yourself to the excitement of the local beach, but finding a few less traveled areas is never a bad idea, either. Many times, finding the beach that best suits your needs means having to do a bit of experimentation – but you get to have fun the whole time, too, so who’s complaining? Once you’ve tracked down the ideal place, the fun can really begin.

Finding the beach that is right for you doesn’t have to be difficult. Many beach resort areas have dozens of options available. Some are geared toward partiers, while others are intended for families. Still others offer the kind of seclusion that couples are anxious to find. If you’re unsure about where to plan your beach sojourn, consider one of these options:

Photo Credit: Carol Norquist

Fenwick Island State Park – Bethany Beach, Delaware

Bethany Beach, Delaware presents many topnotch beach going opportunities for couples, families and senior citizens alike. However, if dealing with huge crowds of people isn’t your thing, you should consider spending the day over at Fenwick Island State Park. In July and August, the water is warm enough to splash around in and whiling away an entire afternoon at this unique spot is all too easy. Since the surrounding area offers many other prime sightseeing opportunities, you never have to worry about getting bored of the beach; when you’ve had enough fun in the sun, just head out for a break somewhere else in the nearby city.

Photo Credit: Grant Dawson

Tybee Beach – Tybee Island, Georgia

Despite its increasing popularity, Tybee Island continues to have plenty of secluded beach opportunities to enjoy. Tybee Beach itself is a beachgoer’s paradise, with many largely undeveloped areas along with a wide range of amenities. Tall grasses and dunes buffet beachgoers from the wind, and provide a scenic and attractive backdrop to this already very charming spot. During the most popular tourist months, like July and August, it can be a lot of fun to just sit back and watching the many people roaming up and down the beach. Whatever your preferences may be, you’ll be sure to find something that thrills you at Tybee Beach.

Photo Credit: Bill and Karen Wilder

Folly Beach, South Carolina

Few places can claim that the beach truly is their main attraction, but the city of Folly Beach, South Carolina definitely can. Indeed, this entire community revolves around the beach and everything that it has to offer. With the Morris Island Lighthouse on one end, and a seemingly endless expanse of sand and surf on the other, Folly Beach is strictly intended for those who just want to play and relax in the sun, sand and surf. The laid back atmosphere and culture of this part of South Carolina helps to make Golly Beach one of the most enjoyable and memorable beach vacations that most people will every have the pleasure of experiencing.

Photo Credit: Faungg's photos

Gulf State Park – Gulf Shores, Alabama

Depending on the time of year, the beaches in and around Gulf Shores can get pretty crowded. Still, this is one of the premier beach resort areas in the country, and you can beat the crowds by heading over to Gulf State Park. The beach here is out of this world, and there’s plenty of room for everybody to stretch out. Elsewhere in the state park, visitors can explore trails and get exciting views of the beach and the coastline along the way. This helps enhance the overall experience of beachcombing here, and makes it abundantly clear why Gulf Shores is such a prime tourist haven.

South Beach – Miami, Florida

Few beaches have managed to capture the imagination of the world quite like Miami’s South Beach. While the Art Deco buildings and exciting Cuban culture of the area help it stand out, it’s South Beach proper that really helps it maintain its reputation. While South Beach is not a nude beach, it’s not unusual to see topless women here – be careful if you will be visiting with children. Otherwise, this is a decidedly upscale and exciting beach to spend time at, and the people watching is really unbeatable.

Photo Credit: Faungg's photos

Jetty East Beach – Destin, Florida

Florida’s Emerald Coast, which is located along the state’s panhandle region, is a playground for anybody who wants to kick back and relax in unbelievably white, clean sand and sparkling green waters. Destin is probably the most popular resort town along this stretch of the Emerald Coast, and Destin’s Jetty East Beach is a topnotch choice for anyone who wants to take advantage of the weather and the water – without all of the swarms of people. Families with small children will particularly find Jetty East Beach to be a prime option, and most people end up spending entire days luxuriating and frolicking along the beach there.

Things to Consider

There’s really not a whole lot to planning a beach vacation; extensive gear and knowledge aren’t required. In order to protect your skin, be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen – get special formulas for toddlers and infants, if necessary. Bring along an assortment of beach toys, towels, chairs, coolers and food to keep everybody happy, and your day at the beach should go off without a hitch. If possible, bring along a waterproof camera and a portable radio to add to the fun – and to create some truly lasting memories.