Archive for September, 2015

French Riviera Beaches

The Côte d’Azur, known in English as the French Riviera, is a stretch of coastline that runs along the southeastern corner of France. It starts at Menton near the Italian border in the east, and carries on up to Hyères or Cassis in the west.

French Riviera beaches have developed into one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. It first evolved as a winter health resort for tourists from cold countries searching for balmy warm climes at the end of the 18th century. By the mid-19th century, it was patronized by British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria, and King Edward VII while he was Prince of Wales. As its popularity grew, it drew artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham, Aldous Huxley, as well as other wealthy people from all over the world. In the latter part of the 20th century, it was promoted as a destination for mass tourism through trade fairs, exhibitions, and business conventions. While it still remains the playground of the rich and famous, and celebrity sightings are common here, it has not remained exclusive to them.

Contrary to the burgeoning popularity of these French beaches, many have pebbles rather than sand, are often small or narrow, and located near busy roads or highways. The beaches turn into seas of humanity in the height of summer, and visitors often find that they have to pay for a stretch of sand to lie on, as many of the beaches are privately owned. For those who want to get away from the crowd and commercialization, there still exist pristine stretches of sand that allow for a relaxed peaceful holiday experience.

Plage de La Paloma, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

East of Nice, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is where the truly affluent live in their palatial villas that dot the rocky peninsula. However, the Plage de La Paloma still has stretches that are open to the public. So find yourself a spot on this crowded beach, put down your towel, and park yourself there. The steep steps that lead down to the plage open up to a view of yachts and sailboats, the resort of Beaulieu, the cliffs at Eze, and Cap d’Ail. The bay is shallow with soft sand and clear water. A swim out to about 100 meters in the ocean gives you a view of the magnificent mansions above the beach.

The opulent crowd that visits include Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, and Shane Warne, who were spotted here at James Packer’s pre-wedding party last year.

Plage de Notre-Dame, Porquerolles

Porquerolles is one of the islands of The Golden Isles, located off the south coast. It is a beautiful Mediterranean island, teeming with vineyards, forests, fruit groves, and fragrant eucalyptus and pine trees. As cars are not allowed here, exploring has to be done on foot or by bike, which adds to the experience. The outdoor restaurants serve flavorful locally caught fish.

The Plage de Notre-Dame is a stunning beach on the north-east coast of Porquerolles. It is a bay, and offers an enchanting seascape of ships floating in and out of view on turquoise waters. As it is in the south of France, you are likely to find people bathing au naturel. If it is activity you seek, the beach offers the opportunity for swimming and snorkeling. However, it is the perfect place for quiet contemplation too. Remember to pack a snack, for the beach has no snack bar.

Côte Vermeille

At the southernmost tip of France is the département of Les Pyrénées Orientales, often referred to as French Catalonia in the region of Languedoc Roussillon. The beaches of Côte Vermeille here are relatively secluded and dotted with rocky coves. The stretches of flat sandy beaches of Côte Radieuse are a good option too. The best beaches on this stretch are La Franqui and Leucate near Narbonne, and Portiragnes and Sérignan near Béziers. A wonderful view of the Pyrénées can be enjoyed from the northern end of Argelès-sur-Mer beach. As the Côte Vermeille is close to Spain, the area has some Spanish flavor and thus a different feel to it. The closest cities are Perpignan and Montpellier.

Mala Plage, Cap d’Ail

This beach is at the small town of Cap d’Ail, west of Monaco. For reasons unknown, this posh French Riviera beach is uncrowded, even in the summers. This could be because of the tricky 10-minute downhill road from Avenue Princesse Grace that needs to be taken to get here. One can enjoy Mala Plage’s extensive public areas, by sunbathing on the beach or kayaking or snorkeling in the coves under the cliffs to the west. This beach is about a ten minute walk from the Cap d’Ail train station.

The French Riviera has always been perceived as a holiday destination for the wealthy. While its high glamor beaches and hotels are best known, it also contains secluded pristine beaches and affordable living options.

Best East Coast Beaches for Families

Beach vacations are always rejuvenating and recreational. The United States is known to have some beautiful beaches on the east coast for families, which are mainly frequented during the summer time. Even a weekend getaway at the beach could distract your mind and bring mental peace. Nowadays, many beaches come with interesting water activities and even comfortable lodgings, to make the beach vacation pleasurable and enjoyable. Also making sand castles, swimming in the blue sea, or just walking along the shore is equally revitalizing and fun.

Best Atlantic Coast Beaches in US

The United States displays some of the best east coast vacation spots, which mainly exposes its visitors to beautiful beaches accompanied by soft rich sand and sea oats. Following is the list of east coast beaches which are best suited for family vacations.

Sandbridge Beach, Virginia
Virginia holds some of the most beautiful clear water beaches, which are suitable for family getaways. Among them, Sandbridge Beach is frequently visited by many tourists. The seashore is covered by rich golden sand, blanketed by sea oats. Beautiful beach houses and cottages make for a good and a comfortable stay for families who want to visit Sandbridge Beach. The area around the Sandbridge Beach offers some interesting shops, giving you a chance to indulge into some shopping. Arrangement of certain activities such as kayaking, surfing and dolphin tours keep the tourists engrossed into their vacation. After plunging into the activities of your choice, you can enjoy a nice sunset dinner at the beach with your family.

Maryland Beaches
Ocean City is a popular beach here. It is heavily packed by many tourists and has many amazing activities to offer to its tourists. Due to its good climatic conditions, people around the world love chilling at the Ocean City Beach of Maryland. It is one of the most crowded beaches, and the seashore has soft light brown sand accompanied by crystal clear water. Being one of the commercialized beaches, Ocean City has a number of hotels and restaurants that provide all sorts of accommodation, as per the requirement of the family. Occasionally, Ocean City arranges for live concerts and many more amusing activities that people take pleasure in participating.

Sandy Hook Beach, New Jersey
Sandy Hook beach stretches up to 6 miles and is located towards the eastern coast of New Jersey. Throughout the year, Sandy Hook Beach plays host to many families, couples and youngsters who visit the beach for recreational purposes. The beach is equipped with life guards for the protection of the visitors, rest rooms and little shacks that provide excellent food for its visitors. The nearby accommodations available around the Sandy Hook Beach are Sandy Hook Cottage, Seascape Manor, Grand Lady and Nauvoo. Restaurants such as Sea Gulls’ Nest Deck, Landmark Bahr’s Landing, Something Fishy and Moby’s are great options for dining purposes.

Sea Island, Georgia
Sea Island is more calm, quiet and a little isolated from the city life. These reasons pull many people to visit the Sea Island beach in Georgia. It has some great spas and also has a variety of activities in store for its visitors. While the women rejuvenate themselves in spas, children and men can engross themselves in different activities such as tennis and horse riding. Cloister is among the well-known resorts of Sea Island that offers luxurious suites and can comfortably accommodate families. If you want to wake up to the early morning sea, then this beach has beautiful beach cottages in store for you. Summers is the best time to visit the Sea Island beach.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Located in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach has a many motels, resorts, condos and beach houses where families can settle in. Children enjoy spending time at the water and amusement parks set up at Myrtle Beach. Flea markets, malls and boutiques offer some great shopping too. Myrtle Beach is a suitable place for family vacations and weekend getaways.

These are some of the beaches, which could be opted for just weekend getaways or even for a few a days of vacation.

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