Every year, more than a million people get to swim with the fishes in a marine ecosystem located on the southeast coast of Oahu, 10 miles east of Waikiki. Hanauma (or curved bay) Bay is a former volcanic crater that became a protected marine life conservation area in 1967. Since then, it’s become an underwater park for snorkel enthusiasts, swimmers and anyone desiring to see more than 400 species of Hawaiian fishes including Hawaii’s state fish the humuhumunukunukuapua‘a, turtles and other marine life.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is open year-round, except for Tuesdays, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Plan to arrive as early as you can or wait until the crowd trickles out in the mid-afternoon. During summer, the state park opens at 6 am and closes at 7 pm. It closes at 6 pm in winter.
Another San Francisco beach located near an old fort. Fort Funston a rugged beach with crashing surf at the bottom of 200 foot cliffs, just south of Ocean Beach. Very popular with dogs, as well. When the winds are blowing, you'll see hang gliders soaring from the cliff tops.
Ocean Beach is the grand-daddy of San Francisco beaches, stretching out for three miles along the entire western edge of San Francisco. This wide, flat expanse of sand is the best beach for long walks or a run. It's also the most popular, which means lots of people on our warm, sunny days. This is a great surfing beach, and dogs can be off-leash in certain parts.
At the western tip of San Francisco, jutting out into ocean, is Lands End: a nature park of steep cliffs with beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands. It has a small, rocky beach, called Mile Rock Beach, accessible from the Coastal Trail. Wonderful beach to walk to.
China Beach is a great little local beach in San Francisco. The China Beach Cove is protected by rock walls on both sides creating a protected area that once was a camp for Chinese fishermen, hence the name. China Beach faces north toward the Marin Headlands and has a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge too. It’s not a large beach so when the tide is up and the summer sun is out, it can be hard to find a spot that is dry and isn’t already taken. At low tide there are tide pools to discover.
Like all the beaches in this area, China Beach is part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Swimming isn’t safe at China Beach for many reasons including the lack of lifeguards. The area just south of the cove is called Lands End and has many hiking trails to explore.
Baker Beach is a large popular beach not far from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. On sunny weekends both parking lots could be full and all the spaces along the entrance roads too. This popular spot is one of the many beaches in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Just north of the main parking lot is the Battery Chamberlin, a large historic military gun installation that was built in 1904. It is worth checking out especially if you have kids. Be aware as you explore the north end of Baker Beach because North Baker Beach is a clothing-optional area. All of Baker Beach is an unsafe swimming area because of cold water and frequent rip currents in the surf.
Just inside the Golden Gate, Crissy Field has a wide, sandy beach with a pretty view of the bridge and Alcatraz. It's a short, 10 minute walk from Fisherman's Wharf. Of the San Francisco beaches, this one's the most popular with windsurfers.
Aquatic Park Cove has a narrow sandy beach and a grass park at the end of the Hyde Street Cable Car line on the San Francisco Waterfront. The cove is located at the north end of Hyde Street and Van Ness Avenue near Fisherman’s Wharf. Boats are allowed to anchor in the protected harbor in the cove. It is protected by a long curved municipal pier that should not be missed if you have time to walk out on it. The view from the pier includes the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the San Francisco skyline. Nearby Hyde Street Pier has historic ships to see as well. The Marine Museum sits at the center of Aquatic Park Cove near the beach. Behind that is Ghirardelli Square. Aquatic Park Cove is part of San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, a district within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The large park at Fort Mason is a short walk away up the trail to the west.
This park and beach is an excellent vantage point for viewing shore birds, migrating whales, as well as seals and otters playing offshore. Further along the beach, public access tidepools offer a glimpse of life beneath the sea. Low tides reveal sea stars, shore crabs, sea anemones, and other colorful ocean life. The park also includes a large area of coastal scrub and grasslands, with bright native wildflowers in the spring. Moore Creek flows through the park, forming freshwater wetlands and a salt marsh before it reaches the sea.
West Cliff Drive ridiculously, scenic pathway traverses one of the most inspiring settings along the California coast. Hugging the shoreline of the majestic Monterey Bay, the waterfront thoroughfare stretches from the sandy beach at Natural Bridges State Beach to the Santa Cruz Wharf. Along the way, you’ll pass vivid, succulent-covered cliffs, secluded beach coves, and some of the region’s most famous sights including big wave surfers at Steamer Lane, playful pups at Its Beach, and the Santa Cruz Surf Museum at Lighthouse Point.
The small surf community of Pleasure Point is located in an unincorporated area of Santa Cruz County, nestled between Moran Lagoon and 41st Avenue, adjacent to the Monterey Bay. Nearly a dozen famous surf breaks make this an ideal destination for skilled surfers. It’s a classic beachside town and the genesis of surf culture in Santa Cruz – home to wetsuit pioneer Jack O’Neill – where locals mix effortlessly with visitors eager to capture that authentic surf vibe.
Everything for an exciting day out whether you want to climb a rock, surf, swim or just relax in the sun. Check out the nearby restaurants for full sit-down meals with great views over the sea. Hike the ridge, or watch the Dolphins and Seals. It's all hear at your beach, Zuma Beach!
Point Dume State Beach features headlands, cliffs, rocky coves and vast beach access. The beach is presently operated by Los Angeles County, which also operates Zuma County Beach. These facilities are noted for swimming, surfing, scuba diving and fishing. Point Dume is a perfect place to watch for California gray whales during the December to mid April migration period.
At the end of Westward Beach Road, access to Point Dume Nature Preserve begins from the cul-de-sac. A gradual ascending trail leads to an ancient coastal bluff sand dune. Visitors are asked to stay on the trail in an effort to help reserve this unique sand accumulation. An incredible view encompassing the entire Santa Monica Bay, north Malibu Coast, inland Santa Monica Mountains and distant Catalina Island may be enjoyed from the top on a clear day. A boardwalk, just below the summit, leads to a viewing platform - it tends to be more sheltered on a windy day. A stairway from the east side of the bluff-top preserve allows access to a more isolated beach and fine tidepooling opportunities.
Malibu Pier isn’t one of the longest piers in California, but it is in one of the best locations. West of the pier you can walk for several miles when the tide isn’t high. In that direction you’ll cross Carbon Beach, La Costa Beach, and Las Flores Beach (the latter two are not easily visited from Pacific Coast Highway). East of Malibu Pier is Surfrider Beach where longboard surfers and stand-up paddleboarders play in the mild rolling break. Farther to the east, Malibu Lagoon State Beach offers a unique setting without million dollar mansions behind (although they are never far away in Malibu). The Adamson House and Garden (Tour) between the lagoon and the pier is cool to see when it’s open. Malibu Farm Cafe and Restaurant is at the end of the pier and has healthy food for hungry visitors. Nobu and other restaurants are nearby as well. Parking is available in the lot next to the pier and along PCH.
Lovers Cove is on Pebbly Beach Road just a short distance east from Avalon on Catalina Island. It is a short walk to this cove from town and even shorter from the Catalina Express ferry landing dock. Unfortunately there isn’t much of a beach between the road and the water at this location. This rocky shoreline is mostly a snorkeling destination. Inquire in town about nearby snorkeling spots and they might send you to this location. Snorkeling gear, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, bikes, golf carts, and more can be rented in town to explore the area. The Catalina Express operates boats daily to Catalina Island from the mainland in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Dana Point.
The Ninamu Resort is hidden away on a private island in the southwest corner of Tikehau, just ten minutes by boat from the airport. Surrounded by pink sand beaches, abundant marine life, impeccable waves and prevailing trade winds, this secluded retreat is the ultimate paradise for every type of water sports enthusiast.
The Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort can be found on a secluded, pink beach fringed with palm trees at the southeast end of the atoll. Located fifteen minutes by boat from the airport and the main village of Tuherahera, this hotel serves as the ideal home base for any and all leisurely activities including kayaking, snorkeling and biking. It even has its own dive center on site, making it easy to arrange your daily excursions.
Venture across the lagoon with your guide to the tiny islet known as Bird Island. This bird watcher`s paradise provides the opportunity to view many unique avian species in their natural island habitat.
The Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa is located on the northern stretch of Rangiroa near the Tiputa Pass. Surrounded by a coconut plantation, the resort combines this convenient setting with a hidden seclusion. The architecture is elegant and refined, resting in perfect harmony with the natural environment.
The Pink Sand Beach, located at the extreme southeast part of Rangiroa, is worth seeing both for the destination and for the route leading to it. Your adventure begins with a boat trip of about two hours with the ocean and an endless sky as your backdrop.
Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of sea life at the Lagoonarium Bora Bora. Let tropical fish surround you while sharks and rays float by your feet. The sea life is well fed and relatively harmless. Giant Rays are like little puppies as they come up to wanting to be fed little treats.
A visit to the Lagoonarium in Bora Bora can arrange via your travel agent or book through your hotel. A beautiful picnic feast prepared before your eyes come with the excursion. So once you’ve had enough swimming with the sea life, you head over to the picnic area and beach. The staff is very friendly and if you are afraid to enter the water they will do their best to show you it’s harmless.
Matira Beach is a mile of exquisite white sand at the southern tip of Bora Bora Island.
When you visit, you will understand why it is Bora Bora's most popular public beach. It stretches from Hotel Bora Bora (currently closed for renovations) to Matira Point and is framed from behind by lush palms and green hills. To each side, there are more long strips of privately owned beaches.
Often described as the most beautiful beach in the world, Matira Beach is actually the only public beach on the main island that is worth a visit. It is so gorgeous that it is in our list of the best things to do in Bora Bora! Everybody is welcome on this expanse of sand. There is a fun atmosphere that offers natural shade from palm trees, safe swimming and easy snorkelling.
Point Defiance Park sits on 702 acres at the northern tip of Tacoma and features the best of everything, with miles of forested hiking and walking trails, beautiful rose gardens, picnic areas, beachfront access, and a 29-acre zoo. It’s no wonder over 2 million people visit each year – once you come here, you won’t want to leave!
Welcome to Stanley Park, Vancouver's first, largest, and most beloved urban park!
Designated a national historic site of Canada, Stanley Park is a magnificent green oasis in the midst of the heavily built urban landscape of Vancouver.
Explore the 400-hectare natural West Coast rainforest and enjoy scenic views of water, mountains, sky, and majestic trees along Stanley Park's famous Seawall. Discover kilometres of trails, beautiful beaches, local wildlife, great eats, natural, cultural and historical landmarks, along with many other adventures. The park offers a wide range of unforgettable experiences for all ages and interests, including Canada’s largest aquarium.
Maui Beach is a rare white sand beach in Tahiti. It can get very crowded on weekends, but is peaceful during weekdays. It located right on the road but has shallow swimming, making it perfect for kids, as well as deeper spots for adults and some DIY snorkeling off the reef.
Tahiti is known for having one of the most dangerous surf breaks in the world, Teahupo’o. Its waves are big and powerful, and it breaks right onto the razor sharp reef. Tahiti’s best waves occur during the winter months of May to October.
La Quebrada is one of the most famous and original traditional activities of Acapulco. In cliffs of forty-five meters high, the local divers, who begin their training as children, launch themselves towards the waves of the Pacific in a pit scarcely four meters deep.
Admire the ability of those who climb to the top and jump into the void at the moment when the waves are highest. It vibrates with the night show of the Quebrada in which the experienced divers dive one by one, or up to three at a time, holding torches in their arms that mix the fire with the sunset and illuminate the night.
Observe sitting peacefully in the Mirador at the foot of the mountain or at the La Perla nightclub that has been serving the fans of Acapulqueño divers since the forties.
Formerly named the Duck Bay (like the island located just opposite) because of its swampy side, the Anse Vata neighbourhood now has the same name as the adjoining bay and the 2-kilometer long sandy beach bordering it.
Located between the Lemon Bay (Baie des Citrons) and Val Plaisance, it is bounded by the “Rocher à la Voile” on the one hand and the Pointe Magnin on the other side. This South neighbourhood of Noumea, part of the living heart of the city, really looks like a real see side resort.
There is a holiday atmosphere and this area is popular with tourists who find here all activities and infrastructure they need: shops, restaurants, water sports, most major resorts and two casinos ... all in one holiday setting at the edge of a wooded beach.
Sea activities such as windsurfing are highly successful thanks to the exposure of the bay to the prevailing wind. Many sporting events also start from this place.