“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” ~ Henry Van Dyke
National Beach Day
I know it is Labor Day Weekend and the unofficial “End to Summer,” (boo!) but I am not ready to say goodbye (am I ever?!) and if I am being honest I do go to the beach YEAR round. The last couple weeks have been crazy busy, that SOME how I missed National Beach Day last Monday. How I could miss National Beach day I don’t know, maybe that means I need to relinquish my mermaid cred? Just kidding, I am never relinquishing my dreams to be a mermaid, but honestly EVERY day is National Beach day for me, and this blog. Am I right?
That being said I am quickly rectifying my oversight and I would share some of my favorite beaches through out the years of my travels, wanderlusting, and mermaid-frolicking. I also recommend saving this post, so that you can utilize it if you are ever near these beaches.
Before I get started, I wanted to say that Shockingly, I haven’t mentioned any New Hampshire beaches despite the fact that I was born and raised and currently (though not for much longer) living in New Hampshire. I am actually not a huge fan of New Hampshire beaches and they are much farther away from where I grew up and live, then Maine beaches, which are the high light of this post, because really NOTHING compares to Coastal Maine.
Criteria for a good beach
What makes a good beach? I am actually pretty picky about beaches. First of all, and I know this is majorly controversial, BUT I consider beaches, the ocean. I grew up with lakes and rivers, and it was always The Beach when we went to the Maine Coast or any coastal area. So while it might be unfortunate, no lakes are included in this.
Maine is known for their rocky coast (which is stunning!), and while I do love it, that is not a beach. A Beach is sand, with waves crashing and eroding the sand castles, so while I do go to “Beaches” that are mostly rock and pebble (which makes great sea glass finding) they do not fit my criteria.
This next one is probably very definitely first world problems, but bathrooms, changing rooms, and easy parking, are all part of this decision making. If I am going to spend all day at the beach, I want the amenities of life, which includes a functioning toilet and not a hole in the ground, where I imagine snakes coming up or worse mosquitos biting my tushy while I am trying to do my business. (looking at you Scarborough Beach) And while yes we are out in nature, not having a lot of scary, biting insects is also kinda a bonus. Now that that is out of the way without further adieu here we go.
Top of this list is probably my favorite and most frequented beach the last couple summers, probably my whole life, Crescent beach. While this list isn’t in any specific order, there is something special about Crescent, and it really does click ALL my criteria! It is a mile long beach, with beautiful soft sand, perfect for laying out on. Even at high tide, their is ample room to spread out, and the waves are quite calm making it perfect for kiddos. In fact the crowds tend to be more family oriented. There is still great people watching, but it really isn’t a boisterous party atmosphere. There are life guards in the more busy months, and the bathrooms not only have changing rooms and showers, but are kept clean every day, which is nice. I love walking the trails, and every so often I just might spot some mermaid tears! It is located in Cape Elizabeth just off of Route 77 and about a mile from Two Lights State Park.
Steps Beach on Nantucket is like a hidden oasis. It does get crowded, but it doesn’t ever feel like it, because of how spacious it is. It is quite scenic, and the waves are gentle. There is a Sand Bar you can swim out too and walk on at low tide, and it is over all a chill beach. As the name suggests, there are some pretty steep steps to walk down to the beach so be mindful off that, but it is so worth it and makes it part of its’ charm as well as a little more private. We biked there and they have ample room for parking bikes (alas no car parking). Over all it is a stunning beach and the views are so worth it, especially at sunset.
Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island has the only public beach access on the west end of the island, but from the entrance you can walk the ten miles of pristine beach sand if you so choose. While you do have to pay, you have ALL the amenities you could want from the basics of clean bathrooms, changing rooms, and showers, to a picnic area with grills, snack bar, and you can even rent chairs and umbrellas. It has a beautiful boardwalk which only enhances the view (and makes it wheelchair accessible) It does get busy, but the beach is humongous especially at low tide.
Ocean Beach in San Diego is a surfers dream. It is also another spacious beach that goes on for miles. It has a pier which is one of the longest on the West Coast as well as one of the most visited spots in San Diego. The beach is flat and there are restrooms and restaurants scattered along the beach. There is also a cliff walk you can do on the other side of the pier. It is not only great people watching, but to also watch all the surfers in action. If you are looking for a quite spot this is NOT it, but it is most definitely worth a visit! And another beach perfect for watching the sun set.
I love Folly Beach, which is located on Folly Island just twenty Minutes from Downtown Charleston, South Carolina. It has lots of activities to do, but still relatively quiet. It is another flat spacious beach, with soft sand, and has bathrooms, and changing rooms. The pier is one of my favorites I have visited and has a gift shop and an observation tower that is incredibly cool, even for myself how doesn’t like heights! One of the coolest parts is walking up and down the beach looking fo not just sea glass, but sharks teeth!
Main Beach in Ogunquit, Maine, is a rediscovered gem this year. I had visited before, but this past spring I really fell in love with the spacious three and a half mile beach with soft sand and ample room to spread out. It is also located in an area that makes it extremely easy to get to restaurants, stores, and even get to the Marginal Way Cliff Walk. And yet it is also the perfect spot to just lay out and enjoy the waves and scenery. There are bathrooms and changing rooms as well as a large parking lot, (though it does get filled up)and there are other parking lots, but you do have to walk. It is located right in downtown Ogunquit just off of Route One.
So Many beaches so little time
These are just six of my favorite beaches, but I have so many more that I love, from Willard in Portland, Maine which I love to hunt for sea glass and it has stunning views, to Old Orchard Beach, which is also located in Maine, which is so incredibly nostalgic to me as we use to go every year growing up, to private beaches in Amagansett and Sagponack in the Hamptons, to the countless beaches in California. Every beach has something to offer, whether it is the natural beauty of the coastline, or a more bustling beach with a pier and nightlife, or just maybe you are looking for lots of waves to surf, whatever it is, it is out there! Whenever I travel, I always try to make sure there is some sort of beach or coastline, or it isn’t really a vacation in my book! In true mermaid form, I certainly love my beaches!
Have you ever been to any of these beaches? What are your favorite beaches? What do you look for in a beach?