My Top Ten Beach Memories
I've traveled mostly in the United States and a bit of Europe as a kid and these are my Top 10 Beaches.
I am 45 years old, I don't travel much, but when I do, I usually end up at a beach somewhere. Most of these beaches I have visited with my kids, but some may have been when I was a kid, others when it was just my wife and me. There's one beach I remember from Europe in the list. Most are from the shores of the United States or its territories.
What's interesting is I remember a lot about each beach, probably more for the memory of how I got there or who I was with at the time. Each of these beaches has a great memory for me.
Grab a Corona or a Margharita and enjoy a trek through my favorite beaches.
#10 - Indiana Beach, Schereville, Indiana
Yes, I know, this really isn't a beach. However, as I was dating my wife, her family had a summer cabin on Lake Schaefer that we spent a lot of time at. Indiana Beach is actually a boardwalk with an amusement park that has been around for a long time. There is actually a beach on the boardwalk with filtered water, which isn't really that big.
Of course, if you've every been there you know, "There's more than just corn in Indiana"
#9 - North Sea on a Beach in Holland
I lived in Germany for three years when I was a kid. So we took a lot of trips all over Europe. One trip I remember because of the beach. It was fall and we were in Holland and I believe somewhere near Amsterdam. We were at a beach on the North Sea, and my brother, sister, and I were like, can we take are shoes off and go in the water. Mom said, as long as you don't get your clothes wet. And of course, it didn't take long before the three of us were wet head to toe.
#8 - Manhattan Beach, California
For our honeymoon, my wife and I stayed at a house in Manhattan Beach, California. We spent many hours at the beach. I remember this one restaurant we went to for breakfast almost everyday, which was a couple of blocks off the beach. Although I don't remember the beach much, as it was our honeymoon, I do remember almost all the time we spent during that week.
#7 - Mission Beach, San Diego, California
After I graduated high school, my uncle was living in San Diego and flew me out to spend a week at his house which was a few blocks from Mission Beach. I would spend the day at the beach just hanging out doing nothing. I remember losing a twenty dollar bill in the surf. The Mission Beach boardwalk was very cool.
#6 Hollywood Beach, Florida
On one of my business trips to Miami, we had a few hours to kill and were near the town of Hollywood, which is north of Miami. I loved the Hollywood boardwalk, as on one side of the boardwalk were a line of outdoor cantinas which you could sit at and see the beach and the ocean on the other side of the boardwalk.
#5 - Great Stirrup Cay, Norweigan Cruise Lines
If you've ever been on a cruise in the Caribbean, each cruise line has what they call a private island. If you ever wanted to be on an island where you can see ocean in every direction from almost anywhere you stand, then Great Stirrup Cay is your spot. I remember snorkeling in the breakwaters and seeing fish that were just humongous. And freaking out when a stingray came swimming by. Just sitting on the beach and looking at the ocean was just very relaxing.
#4 - Big Beach and Little Beach in Maui, Hawaii
15th Wedding Anniversary
On our 15th wedding anniversary, my wife and I took a trip to Maui. On the south side of the island, past Wailea is Makena State Park. This state park has two beaches called Big Beach and Little Beach. When we stopped at the beach, there wasn't very many people at the beach as it was a long way from the north side hotels around Lahaina. It was a beautiful beach, that felt very secluded that you could really just hand out and feel like you were away from everyone.
#3 - Chincoteague Island, Virginia
On one of our many driving vacations we took a trip south of Ocean City in Maryland. Our destination was the beach on Chincoteague Island. I mainly picked this beach because of the ponies that inhabit the island and as it was a different way to get to Colonial Williamsburg. Of course, the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel-Bridge which connects the pennisula to mainland Virginia was part of the plan too.
The beach at Chincoteague Island was awesome, lots of sand, waves and you feel like your no where near civilization. The kids loved this beach and it was a very relaxing place to hang out for a few hours.
The 25 mile Tunnel-Bridge was great as well, driving out in the middle of the ocean is unbelievable.
#2 - Beach between Melbourne and Vero Beach Florida
I love beaches that are secluded, hard to get to, and off the beaten path. Since the coastline of Florida is practically a huge beach, once you get away from the big cities you are left with a lot of beach access points that no one goes to. One such beach is between Melbourne and Vero Beach on Highway 1A in Florida. Just south of Sebastian Inlet State Park is beach access to the Atlantic Ocean. The beach was quiet, not crowded, and with a lot of great sand and waves. A great day trip to get away from Disney World and the Orlando theme parks.
#1 - Black Sand Beach, Maui
My favorite beach of all time is also on the island of Maui. It is near the town of Hana in Waianapanapa State Park. It is more a tourist beach, but not big enough to go swimming or hang out it, just too many people. However, just to see lava which has been beaten into sand was often. And the state park has a lot of trails to go out and see the ocean. Before going to Hana, I suggest picking up a tour CD or tape about the trip there. It makes the three hour trip a lot more interesting.
Hana Highway Mile by Mile
If you are going to Hana, this is a must and makes the drive a lot more interesting. We purchased one at a local gas station and left it in the condo we rented for others to enjoy.
My honorable mentions
- Virginia Beach, Virginia - In the 1990's, I remember spending a few days on the ocean which my brother and sister. We also were with a few other families and played a lot of hotel tag.
- Indiana Dunes - The Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan are a great place to hang out and do nothing
- Warren Dunes - Warren Dunes are also on Lake Michigan in Michigan. Another great place to hangout and enjoy some fresh water.
- Hilton Head Island - I remember spending a couple days with my Aunt, Grandma, and cousins on Hilton Head in South Carolina. I loved the sand and looking for sand dollars in the ocean.