a dream beach

Old Feb 8th, 2003, 09:48 AM
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a dream beach

Emerging from a week of snow, frost, and gail force wids here in Britain, I have dreams of a beach; but which? This is where it gets confusing. There are so many opinions on the dream beach. A recent BBC survey listed the following top 5:

1 Whitehaven Beach, Australia;
2 Bora Bora, French Polynesia;
3 Koh Samui, Thailand;
4 Boulders Beach, Cape Town;
5 Cancun, Mexico.

Conde Traveller also lists Whitehaven Beach in their description of best beaches, but it read as if you only visit there rather than stay there. Similarly, the Daily Mail talk of the Dry Tortugas as having wonderful beaches, but ones that you seem to visit as opposed to stay. Conde Traveller also mentions the beaches at Cancun, Mexico.

USA’s best beach quoted in the Sunday Times (January 12 2003) is St Josephs, Florida. In the same article it lists Grenadas beaches and those on the island of Kipungani off Kenya. A BBC Radio 4 description of the beaches of Turks and Caicos made them sound like paradise.

If the best beaches are those that are secluded, then the Independent lists some in their best 50 beaches (Independent, 16.6.2001).; Hot Water Beach in New Zealand (it wasn’t that secluded when I was there), Galapagos Islands, Cat Ba Island in Vietnam, and Ream National Park in Cambodia.

It would seem that the best beaches are a matter of opinion, and depends on what criteria are being applied. If it was on sheer volume of sand per person , then there are plenty of British beaches that would be up in the top ten ie Formby Sands, Southport sands. Or judged on dramatic backcloth, then Bamburgh Beach, Nothumbria (where El Cid was filmed) or Damai Beach (Borneo) framed by jungle would be in competition.

So, what in your opinion is your favourite beach and what are the reasons for selecting it?
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Old Feb 8th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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Koh is breath taking, all of Thailand is amazing - culture, shopping, the experience as a whole - unlike anything one will ever experience anywhere else in the world. Boulder's was bad weather when I was there (plus SA is getting quite dangerous these days unless you have family there - like me - and know where to go and where not to go), Cancun or Cozumel - ICK! If you want to be surrounded by the Mc Donalds of beaches then be my guest! Not to mention I am not a fan of being barraged on my holiday by children selling crap for exorbitant prices! St. Joe's is truly beautiful as well, however stay away during Spring Break or you will be devoured by randy, blood thirsty collegiates! All of the "Emerald Coast" (Florida Panhandle) is beautiful. Living in Tampa now - Clearwater is always a good choice (not to mention all the ex-pats down here - makes one feel right at home!) Personally, Ft Myers Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Gulf Coast (I prefer the left coast to the wrong coast! hehehe little rivalry going between Atlantic and Gulf here!) Not to mention they have already warmed up down there. Keys - are great by boat but the beaches are nothing spectacular. Same with the Tortugas only accessible by boat - no where to stay except under the stars but what a thrill!

Basically, what are you looking for? Sitting on beautiful white sand secluded beaches to get that all over tan? My personal favorite are the beaches of Maine - both southern coast and mid-coast. Nothing beats the rugged harshness and stark beauty of finding sand dollars peppered along the coarse dark sand or walking along boulders bigger than your house. However if you want seclusion and a taste of local culture - take mail boat to the out islands of the Bahamas - there's a story your grand children will NEVER believe! Rio - don't bother but a few hours north is a tiny little holiday village called Buzios where the hospitality warms your heart and you regain your spirit in humans as good people. No one speaks English but communication was never a problem.

Every beach in the world has something or nothing - dependent upon what you are willing to see in it or past it.
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Old Feb 8th, 2003, 12:39 PM
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GREAT beach review wlongman. I reacted as you did to seeing Cancun listed as one of the most beautiful. Nonono! It had lost all it's character by the time we were there, probably 15 or so years ago, and I can only imagine that it's gotten worse in the interim. But much of what is wrong with that, is also wrong with Clearwater Beach...well we haven't got poor children selling wares on the beach, but the strip around it sure is an eyesore, IMHO. I do like Caladesi...we run up there from the Pier if the tide is out giving firm footing--so pretty with sea, sand and dunes after you get past the strip, but you can't stay there.

I too love the rugged Maine coast, but only to look, never to swim. I remember the water as being so cold it actually hurt--mid summer! What unspoiled beauty though!

Dr. Beach seems to favor islolated beaches...Caladesi, St. Joes, Ft Desoto. I'm not too keen on DeSoto, other than the fact that you usually have it almost entirely to yourself. Sand quality isn't nearly as nice as CWB.

Isolated beaches do have their beauty though and some of the prettiest we've found have been Bermuda, where you have both the beautiful beach, clear turquoise water, as well as the undeveloped coastline behind it. Drive your moped down most any little lane and it'll end in something spectacular.

Then there was that teeny island owned by the hotel we were staying at in Nassau (a Sonesta at the time, but ages ago). A launch brought us out there and it was a little paradise, palms, white sand, a narrow trail leading through the middle of the island to the most beautiful water with not a sign of anything manmade other than the one little sign nailed to a tree: "Beware of spiny sea urchins"

In truth, I don't beleive I've ever met a beach I didn't like in some regard...but if one came close, it'd be Acapulco, where the water was filthy, the sand not particularly pretty, and where rifle-toting fatigue-dressed soldiers patrolled the beach putting a decided damper on the atomosphere, to put it mildly!

But usually, I'm one of those who barely glances at the resort pool on my way to the beach...wherever the beach!
 
Old Feb 8th, 2003, 12:58 PM
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For great beaches with talcum powder sand you just can't beat the gulf coast beaches of Florida. From Tampa south to Marco Island it's a toss up as to which is the nicest. They're not overcrowded, the sand is not hot to walk on, and the young children love the water lapping up around their toes instead of waves crashing on the rocks.
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Old Feb 8th, 2003, 01:18 PM
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As one who spends most of her waking hours actively in search of the "world's most perfect beach," I can tell you a couple of things.
1.) You WON'T find it in the U.S.
2.) YOUR definition is the most important factor in what constitutes success.
Tell us more about what you want!
Crystal waters, warm breezes and white sand beaches? = Caribbean or South Pacific or Mayan Riviera in Mexico.
The beach in Cancun is incredible, but it's also surrounded by a touristy high-rise concrete jungle that many find less than restful.
What do you like to do? What kind of activities are you looking for?
Do you want total decompression or an active vacation?
There are many places to choose from, but you need to tell us what you're looking for...
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Old Feb 8th, 2003, 01:54 PM
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Steve, you might want to check out the world's best beach list from the Travel channel's website.They have all the best beaches (voted by Dr Beach, i think) from 1999-2002.The next list will be in May.Hawaii has some breathtaking beaches-Hapuna and Mauna Kea beaches on the Big Island, Kapalua and Wailea on Maui and Lanikai beach on Oahu.Whatever you decide, you can't go wrong because you will be on the beach with warm waters, swaying palm trees and the warm sun....
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Old Feb 8th, 2003, 03:16 PM
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IMHO
The beach that stretches from Coral Bay to Exmouth in Western Australia is so awesome. No palm trees. Just red desert that turns into sand dunes that lead to wide, white powdery beaches that fringe turquioise water. The colour contrast is stunning. Perhaps another reason why it is so grand is because it is in the middle of nowhere and you truly have the place to yourself!
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Old Dec 7th, 2005, 04:27 AM
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The best beaches can be found in the Philippines. ( im biased I fell in love with Apo Island in Dumaguete City, a marine sanctuary for snorkelling. Go to bohol for wtching dolphins in the wild and Palawan /elnido / busuanga where you can swim with the dugongs, Boracay, although already filled with tourist is this small island with white sand and crystal clear waters where people go to surf and party
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Old Dec 7th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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If you mean beaches where you can stay at a resort on the beach and not have to drive to a beach, and you don't want to look at buildings or commercial stuff behind the beach, then I recommend the SEVEN beaches at Caneel Bay Resort in the National Park on St.John in the US Virgin Islands. 171 rooms scattered around 170 acres and 7 tree-shaded white sand beaches with wade-in snorkeling in crystal clear warm water. Paradise on earth.
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Old Dec 7th, 2005, 12:04 PM
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Hammock Beach, North Carolina gets my vote. Horseshoe Bay, Warwick Long Bay and Jobson's Cover, Bermuda gets another vote.
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Old Dec 7th, 2005, 12:24 PM
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How about this one:

http://image16.webshots.com/16/1/94/...5MZsiDO_fs.jpg

Ken
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Old Dec 7th, 2005, 12:27 PM
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Actually, a better picture of the beach:

http://image16.webshots.com/16/3/93/...5gkprtl_fs.jpg

Ken
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Old Dec 7th, 2005, 12:39 PM
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Funny enough, this post is nearly 3 years old. And, not a single one of the beaches mentioned in the original post is in the US.
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Old Dec 7th, 2005, 02:30 PM
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Brigantine Beach, N.J. Always in my heart!
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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Sounds like many of you are experts on the beaches of Florida's gulf coast, so tell me .... 22yo daughter and mom going to a couple of Sox spring training games in Ft Myers in early March also want to enjoy sun/sand/shells - should we stay on Sanibel? Naples? For the whole time, or split our time directly in Ft Myers for the games then move south to a beach resort for the rest of our vacation? thanks - we need to get away from these beautiful but frigid Maine beaches for a bit and warm up!
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 09:34 AM
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If you are only going to a couple of Sox games, I would stay the whole time in Naples. I like the beaches of Naples better than Sanibel.

Keep in mind that March will bring crazy traffic down there as every elderly person from the NE descends upon this area of the Gulf Coast. However, Naples is much nicer and has more options than Ft. Myers in my opinion,and it would be worth dealing with bad traffic several times on the drive from Naples to FM.
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 10:17 AM
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I would vote for Sanibel.

It is the Sea Shell capital of the US. So you would have sun/sand and amazing shells...
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 11:01 AM
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St John, Grand Cayman and Bermuda. I love visiting Florida (been all over both Atlantic and Golf coasts), but beaches don't compare to those in the Caribbean, where the water is simply pristine.
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 11:33 AM
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The beach in front of the JW Marriott Cancun is, indeed, a dream beach. (at least it was pre-Wilma) Not every bit of Cancun feels like a high-rise jungle, the JW Cancun is a lovely spot.
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