Some of my favorite summer memories involve fun times at the beach, either running around with my friends and cousins in the sand, building sandcastles, or laying on a towel sipping on a strong cocktail and wishing that the day would never end. I’ve had some bad burns, and great tans. I’ve been with a big group of people, or by myself. No matter what, I always had a great time. For me the beach is the most relaxing place one can go. Even if there are thousands of people, I’ll still always manage to doze off for a few minutes, get some reading done, and love life.
Since summer is in full swing, I’ve been dreaming a lot about the beach, and remembering all of the good times. So I thought I would list the top 5 beaches that I’ve been to around the world.
1. Playa Parguito, Margarita Island, Venezuela: My family is from Venezuela, so I spent a lot of time there, and when I say a lot, I mean it. I used to go almost every summer for my whole three month vacation, and if I was lucky I would go over winter break. I absolutely loved it, and still do. Venezuela is full of amazing beach towns and islands that don’t get enough street cred. I’ve been to many, and practically grew up going to this one particular beach (Playa Norte, Chichiriviche… it’s cool if you can’t pronounce that) where my family has a beach house. But sadly that beach is kind of dirty these days. The Island of Margarita is an island just north off the coast that is really beautiful and full of fun clubs, cool bars, delicious restaurants, a few shopping centers, and a medley of sandy beaches.
Playa Parguito (which literally means Red Snapper Beach) isn’t the most tranquil of beaches, in fact it’s the most popular and has the gnarliest waves (that’s right I said gnarly). But it’s because of these features that make me love it so much. As a kid I just wanted to play in the water all day, but as I got older and started noticing boys more I realized that this was the place for that. Parguito is like the Spanish Steps of Margarita, it’s the place to see and be seen. It’s the place where you “accidentally” run into that group of hot guys chasing that Frisbee and introduce yourself and your friends and make plans to meet up later. It’s also the place where you scope out all of the cute surfers. Aside from the eye-candy, the water is perfect, the sand isn’t too fine or too rough, and there are vendors constantly walking around selling all kids of merchandise and food. My favorite thing is the guys walking around with buckets of oysters they literally just fished out. They sell them by the dozen, and break each one and hand them to you as you pour a little lemon on them and slurp them back.
2. Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Mexico: We’re all familiar with Cancun (Spring Break, WHOOO!). It’s full of luxury hotels, crazy bars ideal for American college students wanting to take their minds off of pending finals, and some decent beaches. When I went, the beach at our hotel was more like a warm soup that just needed a little extra seasoning. The waves were nonexistent, and this made me sad. When we heard about a bus that would take us to this town a few minutes away from the main Cancun, we jumped at the opportunity. Playa del Carmen was just what I needed. I was delighted to not only see and hear waves, but see a whole different kind of tourist, mostly Europeans. These people were so beautiful to me, their gold skins sharply contrasting all of the pale white kids at our hotel. We sat in the beach chairs provided for us, ordered some ceviche, and a few beers and relaxed for the rest of the day.
3. Pacific Beach, San Diego, California: I have to give a shout out to the beach where I spent a lot of time at in my college days. San Diego has a couple popular beaches, all practically right next to each other, but the one that I frequented the most with my friends was PB. Since it’s still California, the water isn’t exactly the most ideal temperature, but it does heat up in the summer, and I didn’t go to chill in the water, I went to get a tan and hang with my friends. The area has a ton of spots to drink beer, eat some good Mexican grub, and other nicer restaurants. The people are your typical so-cal pretty boys and cute girls riding around on their beach cruisers. At night, PB is the place to go to drink and party until 2 in the morning, and then then you hopefully have a friend with a house nearby to keep the party going. All I can say is, good times.
4. Capo d’Orlando, Sicily, Italy: On my family trip to Italy, we began with a tour of Sicily. We landed in Palermo, rented a car and drove around the island. Capo d’Orlando, a small town on the northeastern coast of Sicily, was in our plans because that’s where my Great-Great Grandfather was from and of course my mom wanted to see where her ancestors came from. All I was expecting was a cute Sicilian town, with a square, a church, and a few restaurants. When we arrived we realized it was so much more. From what we had been told before, Capo d’Orlando was practically abandoned, but apparently they came back. Filled with several luxury hotels, a sprawling town square equipped with high-end boutiques, gelaterias, cafes, and down the block a gorgeous coast and it’s amazing beach. The plan was to stay two days at the most and continue on our way. At our first day at the beach, my brother and I convinced my dad to stay four days. I don’t know if it’s because we were so tired of going from town to town, walking around like madmen, stopping at every church, but that beach was like a godsend. The tough waves slapped against me as a jumped around the cooling water. I really fell in love with the whole town, and the beach made it so much better.
5. Rockaway Beach, New York: New York City isn’t really known for its beaches, and as a native Californian I probably would of scoffed at someone if they would have told me NYC had good beaches. When I arrived, I actually lived in Far Rockaway for a few months before moving to Brooklyn. During my time in Far Rock, I got the chance to hit up the beach that was about three blocks away, and may I say I was pleasantly surprised. I first went in early August, and the water was actually really nice, and the super long boardwalk is always visited by runners, walkers, and bikers alike. If you want to go where all of the cool kids, hip concession stands, and new coffee places are, you have to go between 86th and around 106th street. This is where Rock Beach is growing exponentially, and quickly becoming a hipster hotspot. So go quick before the completely invade!
What are your favorite beaches?