Food for Thought – Best Beaches

It’s officially barbeque season and even though I’m no authority on how to barbeque, I can manage a pretty mean homemade rub and barbeque sauce. But my thoughts are elsewhere right now.  It’s on cobalt water and wearing a white bikini while walking barefoot on white sand (in a perfect world). Long days and margaritas are part of the picture. Yes, I love culture and nature….

 borabora TAHITI.COM BEST FOR STRAIGHT-UP RELAXING: MATIRA BEACH (BORA BORA) Photo: Tahiti.com

BEST FOR STRAIGHT-UP RELAXING: MATIRA BEACH (BORA BORA) Photo: Tahiti.com

Museums are nice. Nature hikes have their place, But when it comes to vacation, I also want a beach, dammit. It’s not only for the pure beauty and relaxation,  there is so much to discover beneath the sea.

BEST FOR FUN AND GAMES: IPANEMA BEACH (RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL) Photo: AMRA/FLICK

BEST FOR FUN AND GAMES: IPANEMA BEACH (RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL)  There’s too much activity, beauty and *teensy bikinis at this photo-worthy stretch of sand. photo: amre/flickr

*Talk-show host Ellen said she flosses her teeth with more string than the bikinis.

Over time I snorkeled in the Philippines, Hawaii, French West Indies, Cayman Islands and the Red Sea; scuba dived in the Bahamas, Mexico and all over Jamaica. It was all I wanted to do for a long period of time.  I met lion fish, parrot fish, nurse sharks, sea turtles and almost everything in between and it was my favourite finding Nemo world. But I also got to appreciate that we need to protect – our vast eco system.

BEST FOR PEOPLE WATCHING: BAIE DE ST. JEAN (ST. BARTS, FRENCH WEST INDIES) photo: John M/flickr

BEST FOR PEOPLE WATCHING: BAIE DE ST. JEAN (ST. BARTS, FRENCH WEST INDIES).  See sunbathers plucked straight out of Vogue.  No, really! photo: John M/flickr

So on this post, nine vacation places in the world every sand-worshipper needs to take once in her lifetime.

 hawaii2 BRIAN HANCOCK/ FLICKR BEST FOR SWIMMING: LANIKAI BEACH (OAHU, HAWAII)

BEST FOR SWIMMING: LANIKAI BEACH (OAHU, HAWAII).  The name translates to “heavenly sea” – you’ll sea why!  Photo: Brian Hancock/flickr

 bondi IMPRESSIONS/GETTY IMAGES BEST FOR SURFING: BONDI BEACH (SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA) photo: Impressions/Getty Images

BEST FOR SURFING: BONDI BEACH (SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA) photo: Impressions/Getty Images

BEST FOR SUNSETS: CAPTIVA BEACH (CAPTIVA ISLAND, FLORIDA)

BEST FOR SUNSETS: CAPTIVA BEACH (CAPTIVA ISLAND, FLORIDA) photo: Ray Terril/flickr

Set just off Florida’s Fort Myers beach, Captiva is known for its jaw-dropping sunsets, due to its westward-facing direction and unobstructed horizon toward the Gulf of Mexico. When visiting my uncle I ran here with my dog Jia Jia at sunset. Ahhh those days….

PARAISO BEACH (TULUM, MEXICO)

BEST FOR EXPLORING, FOR KIDS AND IGUANA SPOTTING: PARAISO BEACH (TULUM, MEXICO) photo: Christopher Gonzales/flickr

This hippy-bohemian beach enclave on the Mayan Riviera is a family-friendly town that offers hotels and all-inclusives at every budget. The beach, less crowded than those of nearby Cancun, has soft, white sand and water so clear and calm, you can see tiny fish swimming by. (It’s also pretty close to the Mayan ruins of Tulum, if that interests any budding historians in your brood.) I’ve been here twice – this beach ruined me!

BEST FOR SNORKELING: HONDA BAY (PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES)

BEST FOR SNORKELING: HONDA BAY (PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES) photo: Caryl Joan Estrosas/flickr

If you love snorkeling in the Caribbean, you owe yourself a trip to this hidden paradise, nicknamed the Philippines’ last frontier. Arguably the best site for swimming and diving in the world, the aquamarine waters of Palawan are home to over 1,600 species of fish. You’ll see everything from starfish and seahorses to sea turtles and sea cows (that don’t say “Moo”).

BEST FOR INSTAGRAMING: PRAIA DONA ANA (LAGOS, PORTUGAL) Thanks to yellow cliffs and jutting rock formations, this place is pretty much impossible t

BEST FOR INSTAGRAMMING: PRAIA DONA ANA (LAGOS, PORTUGAL) photo: Benito Sevilleja/flickr

Notes:

OK, a Bora Bora trip probably doesn’t come cheap, but I’m told there is seriously no better spot for romantic relaxing than secluded Matira Beach. The only public beach on the island, Matira stretches from the Hotel Bora Bora to Matira Point. Think: palm trees, thatched-roof huts and translucent water. At low tide, you can even wade right out to the coral reefs.

I’m thinking, I’m thinking…..

 

 

 

 

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